UK theme parks from another point of view!

 
User avatar
PeteB
Contributor
Contributor
Posts: 3586
Joined: Thu Jul 20, 2006 6:02 pm
Location: Sunderland
Contact:

Alton Towers: The Lost Back Stories

Tue Sep 14, 2010 2:03 am

Recent discussions on the SW7 topic have sparked my interest in Back Stories for all rides and attractions at Alton Towers. I have created this topic to go in tandem with the What Ever Happened To? topic.

Please share all details, knowledge, photo's, videos, and anything else you can think of that relates to the back stories of Alton's attractions. What I will do here is create a list of attractions below and then edit them each time a back story is given and also provide a link to posts with relevant photo's and videos etc.

I'll start off with 2 attractions I would love to know the back story of:

Haunted House
The Duel backstory is told within the ride, however it has been suggested before that the original Haunted House did also have a backstory, but no info on the HauntedOne website.

Th13teen
Does it have one or not? No one seems to know for sure. I've seen all the construction, all the marketing, and even been on it a few times but I still dont "get it" lol. Wraiths?
Image
 
DiogoJ42

Re: Alton Towers: The Lost Back Stories

Tue Sep 14, 2010 2:16 pm

John Wardley has said in interviews that they didn't bother with a back story for Th3teen, as the public never pay any attention to them. :roll:
If this is true, then it saddens me. They may as well go down the Thorpe route and not bother theming rides at all.
 
User avatar
Terra
TT Member
TT Member
Posts: 349
Joined: Fri Apr 02, 2010 8:20 pm
Location: Hertfordshire, UK.
Contact:

Re: Alton Towers: The Lost Back Stories

Tue Sep 14, 2010 2:47 pm

I completely disagree with Wardleys statement. I'll give you an example - Tower Of Terror. The story is detrimental to the ride, and without it would just be another drop-ride-in-a-building. Everyone is completely engrossed in the story and building in TOT - Sure, it would probably make sense without the video and stuff, and you could make your own story up about it, but others (like me) prefer to be told what the rides point is.

IDK if AT thinks it can't make a story because they don't have sufficient funds or whatever, or if they just can't be bothered with the effort. Either way, it really annoys me. All TH13TEEN needs is a decent story and it would be a great ride. For example - why are the wraiths there? What are they protecting? It just doesn't make sense.

The only ride I say that doesn't have a story and is effective (at AT resort) is Nemesis. But that's because the theming is completely immersive, which is more than what I can say for other rides in the park.
 
Anthony
TT Member
TT Member
Posts: 625
Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 11:39 pm

Re: Alton Towers: The Lost Back Stories

Tue Sep 14, 2010 3:21 pm

"PeteB" wrote:
Haunted House
The Duel backstory is told within the ride, however it has been suggested before that the original Haunted House did also have a backstory, but no info on the HauntedOne website.


I'm not sure there is one for this asuch, there used to be a speech by "The Ghost Host" that was the mandatory safety/loose articles information.

That there was a host shows that the ride is intended to be a tour around the house, it also says the ghosts have been "Dying to meet you", showing the ghouls and whatnot inside know you're having a mooch around.

As for how it became haunted, I've no idea. You could look to the gravestones, but the fact that it is acknowledged as a haunted house by the supernatural occupants themselves could possibly explain why the scares themselves don't seem to have much congruity...it is a place for them to gather, perhaps?

I like this topic.
 
User avatar
NF2
TT Member
TT Member
Posts: 835
Joined: Fri Feb 15, 2008 6:18 pm
Location: Newcastle

Re: Alton Towers: The Lost Back Stories

Tue Sep 14, 2010 4:07 pm

Sadly, as much as it annoys me, Wardley is right, it is correct to assue the "general public" are far too ignorant to bother comprehending a decent storyline on a ride. Hex for example, i've seen people coming out saying "what was that about" and "I don' get it", and that's after they've stood in a queue with numerous signs to read, and watched two video's that are impossible to ignore. Sadly people who visit theme parks are idiots. On Tower of Terror, Hex, Haunted Mansion, Star Tours, Space Mountain, and all other rides with a basic story, I have seen people standing during the pre show looking gormless, and you can guarantee what they are thinking is "when does the ride sart" or "this is boring".

At theme parks, people go to relax, and unless you're a theatrical type who gets a kick out of the storytelling involved, or an enthusiast who appreiates theming, people tend to suspend their thinking and don't bother using the brainpower to comprehend a story. Its a generalisation I know, but sadly so often these days we have to aim products at the lowest common denominator. I till don't see why they couldn't comeup with a simle story for some rides and put it in the queue, but I guess its just not worth it. I only a handfull of guests are going to bother to take notice and the story isn't integeral to "getting" the ride, then its sadly just not worth it :(
 
[Archive]

Re: Alton Towers: The Lost Back Stories

Tue Sep 14, 2010 4:12 pm

"Dorsia" wrote:
I'm not sure there is one for this asuch, there used to be a speech by "The Ghost Host" that was the mandatory safety/loose articles information.

That there was a host shows that the ride is intended to be a tour around the house, it also says the ghosts have been "Dying to meet you", showing the ghouls and whatnot inside know you're having a mooch around.

As for how it became haunted, I've no idea. You could look to the gravestones, but the fact that it is acknowledged as a haunted house by the supernatural occupants themselves could possibly explain why the scares themselves don't seem to have much congruity...it is a place for them to gather, perhaps?
Well, practically all of the ghost host's speech was stolen blatentely from Master Gracey's speech on the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland. So, that was not the intended backstory for the HH. I have no idea how they got away with it, really. Or why they would want to steal the idea of the ghost host in the first place... :?

John Wardley always describes the Haunted House as the "laugh in the dark" scare ride that he had always dreamed of making. Every scene is different, but consistency is lacking throughout. You are taken through a series of scenes, beginning in a haunted house, then entering Hell, then a giant menaces you, then spiders, then back in the house, then into the swamp. There is clearly not meant to be any storyline between these scenes. Even the name, "the Haunted House", was purposfully chosen (I assume) to leave the ride open to interperetaion. :)
 
Anthony
TT Member
TT Member
Posts: 625
Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 11:39 pm

Re: Alton Towers: The Lost Back Stories

Tue Sep 14, 2010 4:20 pm

Which part is meant to be Hell?

The demons are clearly located in the grand hall area, still a Haunted House.

I do like that they had a scale model of The House in the garden section to suggest you had left the house and were lost in the grounds.
 
[Archive]

Re: Alton Towers: The Lost Back Stories

Tue Sep 14, 2010 4:39 pm

The Tunnel of Doom was originally labelled as the "Gateway to Hell". Not much of this concept survives as the scene was rethought before opening.

Image
Image
Image

The tunnel was originally painted with flames.
Image

The same enscription on these signs are said to be located at the entrance to Hell in myths.
Image

In fact, this in itself is a lost backstory, I guess. There is certainly little emphasis on the "Hell" aspect nowadays, or even when the ride first opened. :)

Images and archive info thanks to HauntedOne.
 
Anthony
TT Member
TT Member
Posts: 625
Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 11:39 pm

Re: Alton Towers: The Lost Back Stories

Tue Sep 14, 2010 5:03 pm

Ah, awesome! I didn't know that!

I've never seen that sign within the actual house, but I think that is from The Divine Comedy (Dante's Inferno).
 
DiogoJ42

Re: Alton Towers: The Lost Back Stories

Tue Sep 14, 2010 5:10 pm

The sign is to the right, just before the giant skull.
 
User avatar
PeteB
Contributor
Contributor
Posts: 3586
Joined: Thu Jul 20, 2006 6:02 pm
Location: Sunderland
Contact:

Re: Alton Towers: The Lost Back Stories

Tue Sep 14, 2010 6:59 pm

I have to disagree with the Haunted House, as I think the original plan did make sense and the changes from scene to scene were perfect. It's no different from Disney's Haunted Mansion or any other good one for that matter, all you are doing is moving from one room to another to experience the ghostly and paranormal appericions. Can ghosts really distort the physical appearances of a room? Probably not, but people accept it because we see it in horror films. Duel however makes little to no sense.

With regards to back stories in general, I'm going to go out on a limb and say that Wardley and his cronies are totally wrong in saying the public dont care, its just a cop out statement. If that was the case then why does it work on other rides at major themeparks all over the world?

The backstory doesn't have to be explicitly detailed, we're not expecting a Hollywood film to come out of each ride, but the story should work to build up to the experience of the ride itself, whether that be fear or excitement. Thats all I think is important and Oblvion and Hex are good examples. You certainly dont want to bore people with pointless facts about a fictional ride, 'cos then the GP really wouln't care.

Th13teen's backstory may be vague, but could we put it together ourselves even though it would never to made known the GP? A crypt on an acient buriel ground being restored, a dark forest taking over, good/evil wraiths - 13 of them? The demon of the dark forest? The clues are all there.
Image
 
[Archive]

Re: Alton Towers: The Lost Back Stories

Tue Sep 14, 2010 7:19 pm

Well, I did not say that the Haunted House never made sense, I meant that there is no 'setting' or 'backstory' to link the scenes. As John Wardley said, the ride was always intended to be his 'laugh in the dark' ride, in other words a classic haunted house dark ride (and which ended up being a very nearly world class one). The brain storm sessions, Witches of Eastwick inspiration... they all point towards a series of ideas that the rider travels through during this dark ride. A series of themed scenes with sophisticated effects and atmosphere, with the finale at the end. A backstory is not really important.

Like I said, even the name "Haunted House" is a deliberately slick and simple title. If it had a name that suggested a particular meaning, emotion or setting, then the rider's experience of the ride would be marred slightly by the implications of the said name.

By the way, not everything John Wardley said I would like to agree with. I agree that it is a bit of a cop out to just leave Thirteen and the Dark Forest completely lost with no backstory at all. I don't want a storyline, but some sort of consistency would have been better. Saying that, I have not actually been on Thirteen... :(
 
User avatar
PeteB
Contributor
Contributor
Posts: 3586
Joined: Thu Jul 20, 2006 6:02 pm
Location: Sunderland
Contact:

Re: Alton Towers: The Lost Back Stories

Wed Sep 15, 2010 1:40 am

"electricBlll" wrote:
Well, I did not say that the Haunted House never made sense, I meant that there is no 'setting' or 'backstory' to link the scenes. As John Wardley said, the ride was always intended to be his 'laugh in the dark' ride, in other words a classic haunted house dark ride (and which ended up being a very nearly world class one). The brain storm sessions, Witches of Eastwick inspiration... they all point towards a series of ideas that the rider travels through during this dark ride. A series of themed scenes with sophisticated effects and atmosphere, with the finale at the end. A backstory is not really important.


The reason I mentioned it was because a few years ago, quite a few actually, there was a post on here where someone said something about the backstory of the HH but I never looked into it any deeper, and now I can't find the post.

Maybe it was just an "ideas" story like for Th13teen, so they could come up with the theme, scenes and effects.

Sir Henry Alton, the guy in the fire, wasn't he supposed to be the owner of the house, his family? I got the impression the girl in the dolls house was his daughter.
Image
 
Anthony
TT Member
TT Member
Posts: 625
Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 11:39 pm

Re: Alton Towers: The Lost Back Stories

Wed Sep 15, 2010 1:52 am

The girl in the fire was Emily Alton, if I remember correctly. That would make sense.

Does anyone remember/know what Henry said in the fireplace. I remember something to do with "playing tricks with your mind...", but that's about it.
 
[Archive]

Re: Alton Towers: The Lost Back Stories

Wed Sep 15, 2010 8:13 am

Good point, the Drawing Room did have a prominent backstory with Henry Alton and all that. Recently HauntedOne discovered a photo of this stitching hung up somewhere, does anybody remember it?

Image

Then of course we had Sir Alton himself make an appearance, and the ghost in the doll's house was named Emily Alton. The Altons were obviously meant to be 'charcaters', of the pre show at least. However, I notice that there is no mention of them at all on the original concept ideas... an after thought maybe?

I doubt the actual ride had anything to do with them. As soon as you leave the station the whole 'old victorian house haunted by the Alton family' aspect goes out the window. :P

What Sir Henry Alton actually said I don't know, since I never went on the original ride and there is no script online (perhaps no script exists?). However, he said something like "Are your frail, frightened minds playing tricks inside your brain? [...] As my head is trapped within these flickering flames..." (Roughly).
 
User avatar
PeteB
Contributor
Contributor
Posts: 3586
Joined: Thu Jul 20, 2006 6:02 pm
Location: Sunderland
Contact:

Re: Alton Towers: The Lost Back Stories

Wed Sep 15, 2010 2:30 pm

"electricBlll" wrote:
Recently HauntedOne discovered a photo of this stitching hung up somewhere, does anybody remember it?

Image


I believe that was hung up in the corridor between the entrance hall and the drawing room.
Image
 
Khalichanan
TT Member
TT Member
Posts: 221
Joined: Wed Oct 21, 2009 11:04 am

Re: Alton Towers: The Lost Back Stories

Thu Sep 23, 2010 11:01 pm

I write/have written a few novels and writing is probably my most prominent skill (blowing my own trumpet, sorry!) and I always wanted to write a beautifully sad backstory to Th13teen, in fact I had gotten around to a plan. However exams came and I stopped writing and never picked it back up again afterwards (The th13teen story that is, the normal writing is still blazing!)

I wonder if any of you would appreciate a backstory actually written properly? I'm not amazing but I'd like to do something and if I did would anyone be able to suffer me posting it on here?
Image
 
DiogoJ42

Re: Alton Towers: The Lost Back Stories

Thu Sep 23, 2010 11:18 pm

Go for it mate. Post away! :D
 
Joelio

Re: Alton Towers: The Lost Back Stories

Thu Sep 23, 2010 11:48 pm

"DiogoJ42" wrote:
Go for it mate. Post away! :D


Thats hilarious, i'm sure you'll work out why soon enough :P

Sounds like an idea Kamfira :)
 
Cheese

Re: Alton Towers: The Lost Back Stories

Fri Sep 24, 2010 1:51 am

As I've said elsewhere on this forum, I don't think the Dark Forest's really lends itself to having a proper backstory. That said, I'd be very interested to see how you interpret the very mixed themes Vez. Tying them all together without having to really shoehorn one or two in unnaturally isn't something I'd fancy trying, let alone be capable of doing :) .

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests