UK theme parks from another point of view!

 
Skumfidus

Re: Th13teen - Ride discussion [SPOILERS TOPIC]

Sun Mar 21, 2010 6:33 pm

I'm actually starting to think that the promotion wasn't the problem, the problem is that the target group is unclear.

We look at the phrases such as 'Ultimate Coaster' etc to mean directed at thrill seekers, but maybe it's simply aimed at budding little 1.2m tall thrill seekers. I can assure that at that height, Th13teen would have been my ultimate coaster in the UK, and would have scared the pants off of me.

But then the promotion seems so mature, especially the post-watershed advert...or was that simply created knowing that young kids would catch wind and stay up to watch it? Anything with an age limit automatically becomes a million times more attractive to people under that age limit!

Maybe we just didn't pick up on the target audience, but also maybe Alton Towers should have been more clear to avoid disappointment!
 
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riderita
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Re: Th13teen - Ride discussion [SPOILERS TOPIC]

Sun Mar 21, 2010 6:36 pm

I managed to get on twice on saturday! It was pretty awesome, although I have heard interesting rumours!

I have heard there is a special effect that isn't working, apparently a wraith will chase you out of the ground floor of the crypt... when it's working.

Has anyone else heard about this?
 
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Re: Th13teen - Ride discussion [SPOILERS TOPIC]

Sun Mar 21, 2010 6:59 pm

After seeing a few photos of the finished product, I think it's fairly obvious that Alton and Merlin have made a huge effort with this coaster and it's deffinately a huge improvement over Ugland in its final few years. However I think that there are three things that prevent this coaster from being as good as it could be.

1) Rita

This is admittedly something that couldn't be helped but unfortunately has the biggest impact on Thirteen. Despite the best efforts of the park to make it fit in with additional theming, Rita still sticks out like a sore thumb and completely dominates the entire area which isn't good considering it's supposed to be the secondary attraction.

What this means is that instead of entering the dark forest to be confronted by the gorgeous crypt building, it has to be squeezed behind Rita's launch and brake run which you then have to walk around and under only to see the new ride squeezed into a corner behind endless wooden cattle pens under a mass of loose article netting.

It's a layout that can only be described as weird. The post-Rita Ugland never made any sense with regards to theme and layout and with Thirteen, there was a chance to sort it out. However due to what I can only assume are budget limitations, it's just as bad as ever.

It's a huge shame as this whole problem was caused by a last minute quick fix in 2005.

2) The theme

I personally never thought much of the Dark Forest theme when it was first presented a few years ago. It's not new or imaginative being far too simular to other areas of the park. It's basically Forbidden Valley meets Gloomy Wood.

However, the most obvious problem with the Dark Forest theme is a distinct lack of trees. The area looks far too open and airy and is probably the most spacious area of the park that rides can be constructed in so why they chose this theme I really have no idea.

It's all very well saying the area will mature with time but there's nowhere for trees to grow and the time taken for a deciduous forest to grow is many times longer than the life span of the average steel coaster.

3) The marketing

AT have shot themselves in the foot by marketing a fairly exciting family coaster as the next Nemesis. Marketing and hype is all very well but the product has to deliver and in this case, they're selling a family coaster to a thrillseeking audience. People are not stupid, you don't have to be a coaster enthusiast to see through this.

I've yet to see the coaster in person or ride it so I could be completely wrong but these are the impressions that I get based on what I've seen so far
Last edited by CGM on Sun Mar 21, 2010 7:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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pj.frankophone
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Re: Th13teen - Ride discussion [SPOILERS TOPIC]

Sun Mar 21, 2010 6:59 pm

So what is the actual world first element?
 
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Re: Th13teen - Ride discussion [SPOILERS TOPIC]

Sun Mar 21, 2010 7:00 pm

"pj.frankophone" wrote:
So what is the actual world first element?


The drop inside the Crypt. The world's first "free-fall drop" rollercoaster.
 
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pj.frankophone
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Re: Th13teen - Ride discussion [SPOILERS TOPIC]

Sun Mar 21, 2010 7:06 pm

"NickT04""][quote=""pj.frankophone" wrote:
So what is the actual world first element?


The drop inside the Crypt. The world's first "free-fall drop" rollercoaster.[/quote]

I thought so. I remember someone posting here a while back that this element had been used before in some way... I can't remember though.
 
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seanyboyuk
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Re: Th13teen - Ride discussion [SPOILERS TOPIC]

Sun Mar 21, 2010 7:10 pm

I hope that something starts to happen inside the building with the proposed show section as it will make the ride feel half finished. Im looking forward to riding 13 on 31st March!
 
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Re: Th13teen - Ride discussion [SPOILERS TOPIC]

Sun Mar 21, 2010 7:30 pm

"CGM" wrote:
After seeing a few photos of the finished product, I think it's fairly obvious that Alton and Merlin have made a huge effort with this coaster and it's deffinately a huge improvement over Ugland in its final few years. However I think that there are three things that prevent this coaster from being as good as it could be.

1) Rita

This is admittedly something that couldn't be helped but unfortunately has the biggest impact on Thirteen. Despite the best efforts of the park to make it fit in with additional theming, Rita still sticks out like a sore thumb and completely dominates the entire area which isn't good considering it's supposed to be the secondary attraction.

What this means is that instead of entering the dark forest to be confronted by the gorgeous crypt building, it has to be squeezed behind Rita's launch and break run which you then have to walk around and under only to see the new ride squeezed into a corner behind endless wooden cattle pens under a mass of loose article netting.

It's a layout that can only be described as weird. The post-Rita Ugland never made any sense with regards to theme and layout and with Thirteen, there was a chance to sort it out. However due to what I can only assume are budget limitations, it's just as bad as ever.

It's a huge shame as this whole problem was caused by a last minute quick fix in 2005.

2) The theme

I personally never thought much of the Dark Forest theme when it was first presented a few years ago. It's not new or imaginative being far too simular to other areas of the park. It's basically Forbidden Valley meets Gloomy Wood.

However, the most obvious problem with the Dark Forest theme is a distinct lack of trees. The area looks far too open and airy and is probably the most spacious area of the park that rides can be constructed in so why they chose this theme I really have no idea.

It's all very well saying the area will mature with time but there's nowhere for trees to grow and the time taken for a deciduous forest to grow is many times longer than the life span of the average steel coaster.

3) The marketing

AT have shot themselves in the foot by marketing a fairly exciting family coaster as the next Nemesis. Marketing and hype is all very well but the product has to deliver and in this case, they're selling a family coaster to a thrillseeking audience. People are not stupid, you don't have to be a coaster enthusiast to see through this.

I've yet to see the coaster in person or ride it so I could be completely wrong but these are the impressions that I get based on what I've seen so far


I totally agree.

In an ideal world Rita would have an area by itself and a new spot would of been found for 13, but despite the size of Alton space is still an issue.
 
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Re: Th13teen - Ride discussion [SPOILERS TOPIC]

Sun Mar 21, 2010 7:39 pm

I think they should have put Th13teen in the Gloomy Wood forest.

I mean, think about it.

In the summer there is this Old Run down Crypt abandoned in the forest, the area is covered with trees making the queue and the ride itself seem like an actual Crypt found in the forest.

In the winter, the area looks dead and creepy. Add this to scarefest and light the building up and flood the area with fog.

Your onto a sure winner. I just don't know what Alton could have done really. They could have perhaps made the crypt bigger and have it spanning over Rita. Then where Rita goes into the Crypt they could have made it look like Rita was smashing through the building.

Could have made it sort of like good vs evil. Crypt taking over the area and Rita trying to fight it off
 
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Re: Th13teen - Ride discussion [SPOILERS TOPIC]

Sun Mar 21, 2010 7:43 pm

I hope that there is still more to see in relation to Thirteen's story.
The ride itself looks great; a unique coaster that a wide audience can enjoy with a decent drop and great indoor feature.

I just think it needs more substance too it. Oblivion has its queue line videos, Nemesis had its backstory. Every great Theme Park ride has some sort of build up in its surrounding area and queueline. Expedition Everest, Incredible Hulk Coaster, Nemesis etc. All world class rides with brilliant themes, executed well, with the stories explained in some form prior to riding.
Thirteen has more potential for this than most coasters, I think Alton really need to build on this. Even if its a couple of TVs in the queue, do something!
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Evostance
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Re: Th13teen - Ride discussion [SPOILERS TOPIC]

Sun Mar 21, 2010 7:46 pm

"Gax" wrote:
I hope that there is still more to see in relation to Thirteen's story.
The ride itself looks great; a unique coaster that a wide audience can enjoy with a decent drop and great indoor feature.

I just think it needs more substance too it. Oblivion has its queue line videos, Nemesis had its backstory. Every great Theme Park ride has some sort of build up in its surrounding area and queueline. Expedition Everest, Incredible Hulk Coaster, Nemesis etc. All world class rides with brilliant themes, executed well, with the stories explained in some form prior to riding.
Thirteen has more potential for this than most coasters, I think Alton really need to build on this. Even if its a couple of TVs in the queue, do something!



As said before, its meant to be a Crypt that has been found in a forest. Thats it, you just go on an adventure to the crypt and find the wraiths etc.

I've yet to see it however I think that with the presence of Rita it doesnt really seem like an abandoned crypt.

As I said before, if it was in the gloomy wood forest then it wouldnt need much else of a backstory
 
AstroDan

Re: Th13teen - Ride discussion [SPOILERS TOPIC]

Sun Mar 21, 2010 7:58 pm

Th13teen is a good family/thrill rollercoaster and is exceptionally well themed for the most part, in terms of Alton Towers' rollercoasters. It has moments of quality (bac rowm first drop, indoor section) but moments of average-quality (the far-too-slow twists before the 2nd lift hill) that ought to be faster.

I really enjoyed the ride, it varies massively from front to back (especially on the too short outdoor section) but on the whole it's great fun and with more theming/SFX to come, the ride will improve.

They've made a complete hash of the marketing though. When your park has the likes of Oblivion, Rita and Nemesis in it you are going to need something truly breathless to claim it's more thrilling/ultimate or whatever you want. Th13teen is not a thrill ride - it does not look or ride like one. It is a family ride. I would rather Alton accepted that and then we could all celebrate Th13teen for what it is rather than resenting AT for the fact that they marketed Th13teen as something it isn't. Fantastic throughputs - almost Europa-Park level!

A great ride, great theme - completely out of touch marketing which I fear will leave some guests dissapointed and only wanting the 4.7G on Rita instead.

:)
 
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Re: Th13teen - Ride discussion [SPOILERS TOPIC]

Sun Mar 21, 2010 8:08 pm

Can anyone show us the layout/look of the queue line (other than yesterdays TN Live pics), merge point, photo booth, shop and also the lower Dark Forest area (such as Rita's launch shed and where Ug Swinger used to be)?

Thanks! :)
 
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Sir John Talbot
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Re: Th13teen - Ride discussion [SPOILERS TOPIC]

Sun Mar 21, 2010 8:12 pm

I don't think the gimmicky marketing was congruent with the ride but, eh.. not a big deal. That stuff didn't generate a huge audience.

Promotional marketing is fine.. and fantastic. It markets the ride experience which IS very dark. Nowhere does it mention that this ride is overly thrilling or intense. They mention it's psychological intensity which, if you don't know the element, is entirely valid I think. I'd come off the ride extremely freaked out and pumped not having known beforehand.

The ride itself is fantastic. Family/thrill/whatever, it isn't relevent. Don't understand why people feel the need to categorise a ride to be able to enjoy it. A good ride is a good ride without unecessarily analysis th13teen is great. I particularly love the drop.. especially with hands up. What a great element, VERY worthy of SW status.

Love it :D
 
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Re: Th13teen - Ride discussion [SPOILERS TOPIC]

Sun Mar 21, 2010 8:22 pm

"Thom" wrote:
Can anyone show us the layout/look of the queue line (other than yesterdays TN Live pics), merge point, photo booth, shop and also the lower Dark Forest area (such as Rita's launch shed and where Ug Swinger used to be)?

Thanks! :)


Just got back home from an exceptional day at Alton Towers with a brilliant bunch of people TTF.. 8) 8)
Thanks Guys & Girls, I will post my trip report either later on or on Monday but here are a few pictures..

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Re: Th13teen - Ride discussion [SPOILERS TOPIC]

Sun Mar 21, 2010 8:31 pm

"Sir John Talbot" wrote:
Promotional marketing is fine.. and fantastic. It markets the ride experience which IS very dark. Nowhere does it mention that this ride is overly thrilling or intense. They mention it's psychological intensity which, if you don't know the element, is entirely valid I think. I'd come off the ride extremely freaked out and pumped not having known beforehand.

The ride itself is fantastic. Family/thrill/whatever, it isn't relevent. Don't understand why people feel the need to categorise a ride to be able to enjoy it. A good ride is a good ride without unecessarily analysis th13teen is great. I particularly love the drop.. especially with hands up. What a great element, VERY worthy of SW status.


See, I think Morwenna and her team have gone wayyyy too far this time. Buying a ticket to ensure a paramedic can see you afterwards? 'Ultimate' rollercoaster? New thrill rollercoaster which is has been collaborated with thrill experts physically and psychologically? Warnings that it is not for the faint-hearted?

To me, that all screams this amazing new rollercoaster which is going to scare the pants off me. It does mention the ride is thrilling, they screamed thrill everywhere - bloomin' Morwenna couldn't get enough of the idea! I feel that they've categorized it on the level of Oblivion and Nemesis - something it isn't at all.

Categorising a ride may be irrelevant, but the GP are going to instantly compare it to Nemesis or Oblivion if it doesn't live up to the standards of what what they've been told. Some of my friends have come up to me and said "it's crap, it hardly drops from what I saw on the TV, give me Oblivion or Stealth any day, then you have the scariest coaster".

I think that's why everyone here is getting funny with the marketing side. It's been misleading in so many ways, thrill, scares, intensity and ride enjoyment. It's a good family ride, but it's not enough to justify it begin a SW or the "ultimate rollercoaster".

The GP want to be thrilled more and more, they want scarier, bigger and better rides all the time. The way Alton have marketed this makes them feel this ride caters for all that. Sadly, it doesn't. People will be more interested in the thrill of Rita than the over-hyped Th13teen. It's enough to just look on youtube and all sorts to see the GP's reaction and it's a very mixed bag.
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Re: Th13teen - Ride discussion [SPOILERS TOPIC]

Sun Mar 21, 2010 8:36 pm

"buffaloBen""][quote=""Skumfidus" wrote:


What would you rate the themeing?
What did you think of the indoor drop?
What did you think about the outdoor coaster?
How long did you que?
Where did you hear about it?
Is thirteen the reason you came today?
What did you think of the effects inside?
[-o<
[/quote]

I would've loved to see the look on the guys face if someone replied, 'There was a indoor drop?!'

Sorry, sounded funny in my head. 8-[
 
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Re: Th13teen - Ride discussion [SPOILERS TOPIC]

Sun Mar 21, 2010 8:37 pm

What I am looking forward to is Scarefest when they will no doubt make it interactive or "Live" in someway. I think riding it in the dark will be a whole new experience, racing through the forest part in near total darkness. :twisted:
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Re: Th13teen - Ride discussion [SPOILERS TOPIC]

Sun Mar 21, 2010 8:42 pm

Just a few titbits about Thirteen:-

There are 3 Trains, and they are numbered 3,4 & 5. John Wardley mentioned that numbering them 1,2,3 would be boring, and also to confuse us all 3,4,5 sounded better.

There is just one setting on the drop, again mentioned by John Wardley. They have been amazed by the Thru-puts. The first hour of opening they hit 1260, when they were expecting 1100. Today trains were sometimes being despatched every 45 seconds.

One concern is the baggage area, where you hand your bags in and get a wrist band. This is causing a bottleneck, with people waiting for friends etc, so sometimes there is no one in the actual station to get on the train, even though theres a queue outside.

There are still some bits of theming to be added. Was told that things will look much different in a couple of months time.

Reliability has so far been fantastic. There was a 20 minute breakdown near the end of the first day, and a couple of other smaller issues, but on the whole it has ran great.

I managed 10 rides today and 4 yesterday. The first time, I thought the ride was average, but the drop and backwards section was great. Having had so many rides, my thoughts have changed entirely. I now believe it to be a very good ride, even the first section up to the second lift hill, especially when seated at the back of the train.

The theming is great, and with more still to be added in the near future, then it can only get better. The queue line isn't to bad. Certainly nothing like Ritas, and I wouldn't have an issue in having to queue in it.

The marketing has hyped it up to being scarey. For most of us it wont be, so maybe a bit over hyped on that one. The drop and backwards section really does take people by surprise, especially the second, longer drop.

To me, this ride for me is like HEX. It is a ride which I will enjoy re-riding, not just because of the overall experience, but also to see and hear = the reactions of the other riders who haven't ridden it before.

I suggest people go on the ride with an open mind. It isn't an amazing thrill coaster, but it has some great qualities, and a great Family thrill ride.
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Re: Th13teen - Ride discussion [SPOILERS TOPIC]

Sun Mar 21, 2010 8:43 pm

Sorry hang on, Dan, a well themed ride? The station is good, except the fact the roof looks shocking. Complete rubbish. The queue line except for the Alton Towers Van and hand coming out of the ground there is nothing. The ride itself is not amazing, the drop is a real disappointment, and the best bit is the backwards section.

Its not an SW, it is a family ride, and an average family ride at that. What it has done successfully is kill an area. I miss Thunder Rock Radio, i miss the music, there is no atmosphere, and the music is ambient background, its no Nemesis music, Inferno, Oblivion, i mean, there is nothing in the area that stands out. A shame really.

In terms of darkness, i dont think it will add a thing, there is not enough theming round the outside area to make it feel like i was flying in a rush away from anything or even going through a forest.

Even when you compare Saw to Thirteen, Saw has to win, better theming and delivers exactly what it said on the tin.

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