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AstroDan

Water Park: What's going on?!

Thu Apr 22, 2010 8:05 pm

A friend of mine was at the AT Waterpark today and they said it was diabolical. Firstly, the park closed at 5pm which was very early considering they left the park after 3pm expecting to have a good few hours to swim. In addition, the outdoor slides were closed entirely - including the Bubbly Wubbly Pool (and in such glorious weather, too!). He also informed me that the Master Blaster water slide closed earlier than the park did by an hour or so. Loads of water features were broken and there were no rings in the lazy river together with the continuing lack of attendants in the water park, such as at the top of Rush and Rampage!

What on earth is going on? Have AT given up on the place? Seems like it's becoming forgotten. How anyone would pay £14 admission or buy an Annual Pass if the likes of Flash Floods, Bubbly Wubbly and Master Blaster are closed at points I have no idea given the fact the opening hours have already been massively slashed.

It's like a nail in the coffin of the place every month at the moment.

:shock:
 
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Dylan
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Re: Water Park: What's going on?!

Thu Apr 22, 2010 8:18 pm

I'm heading in there tomorrow afternoon, hopefully will be better than what's described above. :(
It is allegedly open until 7pm.
I tried to book tickets on the phone using AP discount (as stated on the website), to be on hold for 20 mins, to then be told I don't need to book over the phone for the discount and 'it would be best for me to book them on the day'.
Hmmm.
 
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cmpunk771
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Re: Water Park: What's going on?!

Thu Apr 22, 2010 9:53 pm

When i visited on the 22nd of march the park seemed fine, The lifeguards seemed REALLY miserable (I am a lifeguard also and they where still really miserable)

I did enjoy my visit allot to the park but i thought that they need an expansion soon because after 2 hours i was more than ready to get back to the park!

I also think they should extend the opening hours or have a late night swim for Hotel Guests, There is not much to do in the evenings apart from listen to appalling singers
 
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Re: Water Park: What's going on?!

Thu Apr 22, 2010 10:06 pm

I think the opening hours should be increased - this is a resort so a large amount of activities should be on offer. I renember back in 2003 the waterpark was open until 10:00pm and when we stayed at ATH we had time to do the whole theme park then grab some tea
and relax THEN after that go in the waterpark until late.
Now perhaps 10:00pm is a bit late but 9:00pm wouldn't be bad would it :?:
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Rory
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Re: Water Park: What's going on?!

Thu Apr 22, 2010 11:24 pm

Yes, seems like a total joke that the park is not opened later. To pay so much to stay at the resort, guests should have the chance to all pack their evenings with activities such as the water park without having to rush about to partially get to do things.
 
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Re: Water Park: What's going on?!

Fri Apr 23, 2010 12:15 am

This is ridiculous. Even late Tussauds did a better job than this. Merlin still need to prove that they can actually run a resort, and not just theme parks.

Personally I loathe the whole resort booking package. Paying extra to go to the waterpark themed like and attached to the hotel it was built with is craziness. At the very least there should be money off.

The cost of the rooms alone should cover the watepark without having to 'add' it on to the package. Don't even get started on the golf!

:|
 
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Re: Water Park: What's going on?!

Fri Apr 23, 2010 12:45 am

Doesn't sound very impressive..

The most optimistic view to take on this would be that the waterpark is Merlin's next target for big investment: they're not really worrying about maintaining it/keeping it open too much at the moment because they plan for it to close soon for major investment.

Even so, that's no excuse for treating it so badly, but it is one possible explanation.
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Re: Water Park: What's going on?!

Fri Apr 23, 2010 12:55 am

Its not just the waterpark though, Alton Towers is a resort and you need more. Look at Universal and Disney. I know what you lot are thinking, but if I was Alton I would have a plan that by 2030 you have a sort of Downtown Disney or CityWalk going on, because Alton Towers is quite literally in the middle of nowhere and all you have is a waterpark that shuts at 5, minigolf course and awful singers. You just can't go out and there is nothing to do, especially if they are going to charge quite abit of money to stay 2 nights. I understand that locals wouldn't exactly go along with that and planning permission would be impossible etc, but Alton need to think on an even bigger scale if they are really to compete with the big boys.

Having said all of that, I would rather they concentrated more on getting the waterpark and themepark really top notch and just cleaned up here and there, rather than using my plan and having everything just rushed.
 
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Re: Water Park: What's going on?!

Fri Apr 23, 2010 8:56 am

id hate to be cynical but it is slightly obvious that people stuck in the hotel with little to do and poor entertainment WILL put more money over the bar whilst costing them less in staffing. Corporations really are killing everything.

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the last sentence meant in regards to prizing profit above all else, customer service and product quality being the main casualties.
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pompeymich
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Re: Water Park: What's going on?!

Fri Apr 23, 2010 9:33 am

I'm going for a 10 night stay at Splash Landings in July (just booked it yesterday :clap: ), and was concerned about shorter opening hours. But I've just checked the website, and from 16th July the waterpark is open 10:00 to 21:00 every day - much better hours (and suits me fine - I'm there from 12th to 22nd July).

One thing that irked me though, is that when I booked the hotel rooms, you would expect some sort of deal for use of the waterpark too, but they could only sell me 1 or 2 day family tickets (which would have worked out too expensive). They didn't even know about the annual pass that is available (I ended up buying one of those instead from the Merlin Corporate sales number). There should be a deal where you can get heavily discounted waterpark tickets if you stay at the hotel for a number of days I feel.

I managed to get a great deal using my corporate discount - £80 a night. I also managed to get a discount on a Merlin Annual Pass, so we will be doing Warwick Castle as well during our holiday. Not sure if it will be worth a 3 hour round trip to do the new Legoland Discovery Centre in Manchester yet.
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Re: Water Park: What's going on?!

Fri Apr 23, 2010 10:54 am

10 Days? :shock:

I hope you're planning on using it as a base for the local area, because there is no way you can milk 10 days out of the Alton Resort. I love it all the same, but it really is a 2 or 3 day thing, and I think after 4 or 5 days the boredom would really set in. I've found, as somebody who makes more annual trips due to my distance from the park, 3 days is a good balance allowing you to get everything in but not get bored either.

But as for the Waterpark, they really need to earn that people do not come to Alton to do the Waterpark alone. With the draw of the park and fact its only really about 3 or 4 hours worth of fun and is just too remote for a separately maketable attraction. they market it as a sideline for the theme park and try to get guests in via passing trade, but what good is that if as soon as the heaviest concentration of people are passing the area (park closing), the bloody place is shut! Why don't they get enough visitors? Because its opening times a far more suited to its staff and the company itself than the actual guests.

If they oened at mid-day, 1:00 ish and closed later, they could solve the staffing prolem and benefit from the passing trade of people leaving the park. Keeping it open at the same time as the theme park is in my eyes business suicide. You wouldn't pay to enter the theme park, then only go to the Arcades in X Sector, and in the sme way people don't travel 100 miles+ to visit a Waterpark with a maximum of about 5 hours entertainment when a world class theme park is right next door.

Until they learn to see it as a sidleline resort attration primarily for hotel guests and locals, rather than a full attraction people will spend an entire day at, its going to keep declining im afraid :(
 
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pompeymich
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Re: Water Park: What's going on?!

Fri Apr 23, 2010 11:50 am

Yes, we are using it as a base to see other things - the rate was so good, and with the waterpark, makes staying for a long time really good value. My son says he wants to go in the waterpark every day.

We are thinking of going to other places like Abrahams Heights, the peak district, Cadbury World, Warwick Castle, West Midlands Safari Park and possibly Gullivers Kingdom or Drayton Manor Park. I used to live in Birmingham, so know that there are some great places to visit in the area.

I wonder if AT are missing a trick here - they could market the hotels better as a base to visit the peak district especially, as it is well situated for that. I guess though that then guests won't visit the theme park, which is where they will make a lot of money.
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Re: Water Park: What's going on?!

Fri Apr 23, 2010 2:18 pm

"AstroDan" wrote:
A friend of mine was at the AT Waterpark today and they said it was diabolical. Firstly, the park closed at 5pm which was very early considering they left the park after 3pm expecting to have a good few hours to swim. In addition, the outdoor slides were closed entirely - including the Bubbly Wubbly Pool (and in such glorious weather, too!). He also informed me that the Master Blaster water slide closed earlier than the park did by an hour or so. Loads of water features were broken and there were no rings in the lazy river together with the continuing lack of attendants in the water park, such as at the top of Rush and Rampage!

What on earth is going on? Have AT given up on the place? Seems like it's becoming forgotten. How anyone would pay £14 admission or buy an Annual Pass if the likes of Flash Floods, Bubbly Wubbly and Master Blaster are closed at points I have no idea given the fact the opening hours have already been massively slashed.

It's like a nail in the coffin of the place every month at the moment.

:shock:


Totally agree. It seems to have been like this for some time now and every season the opening times get shorter. Infact, when I went during 13's first week there was no time at all for use to catch the waterpark despite the place being reasonably busy.

Altonator is right, it did used to be open very late when the hotel first opened. I really cant understand what they're playing at, although most things they do nowdays seem to go against the grain!
 
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Re: Water Park: What's going on?!

Fri Apr 23, 2010 3:51 pm

When I heard the opening hours it baffled me! I heard they're doing it to save money, but surely they'd make more money keeping it open later and perhaps closing it at quieter times during the day? Or maybe even opening a few hours later.

Surely most of their guest turn up after a day at the park, it just seems bizarre they'd close it close to the closing time of the park? There are times when you get out of the park at 6ish thus rendering a swim at Cariba completely pointless (if it shuts at 7). :?

Three letters come to mind! "WTF!?"

Seriously what's going on AT... I love the Waterpark! So much I feel it deserves expanding not being forgotten seeing as its the centrepiece of your most popular hotel! :roll:
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Re: Water Park: What's going on?!

Fri Apr 23, 2010 4:29 pm

I could fully understand closing the waterpark to the public at 6/7 and allowing exclusive hotel use from that time till say 9 - 10 pm. The fact the waterpark is no longer inclusive in the hotel "price" is scandalous. Then the cheek to charge you £14 for lets face it, is ana verage water park. You can't tell me they arn't already making a massive profit off you staying there/buying food/drinks/theme park tickets and so on. It's just nothing more than sheer greed.
 
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Re: Water Park: What's going on?!

Fri Apr 23, 2010 4:47 pm

"NickT04" wrote:
I could fully understand closing the waterpark to the public at 6/7 and allowing exclusive hotel use from that time till say 9 - 10 pm. The fact the waterpark is no longer inclusive in the hotel "price" is scandalous. Then the cheek to charge you £14 for lets face it, is ana verage water park. You can't tell me they arn't already making a massive profit off you staying there/buying food/drinks/theme park tickets and so on. It's just nothing more than sheer greed.


Naturally.

It also hacks me off big time the lack of differentiation between the two hotels. Now, i'm not talking theming wise here, but just by the exclusive features you get for both.

It matters not if you are staying in the ATH or SLH, whichever you stay in the cost of the waterpark is the same. I'm not sure about the Spa but I assume but you don't get anything off that if you stay in ATH.

I can understand that they wouldn't make Cariba free for SL guests, because then no-one would want to stay at the ATH. Therefore, it should be free for Splash guests and half price for Alton Towers Hotel guests, but then they ATH guests get free entrance to the Spa (but there's no way treatments would be free in any case).

Another ludicrous thing is booking with your hotel room a package to include the golf - I mean who books mini golf as part of a hoel package?!

:)
 
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Re: Water Park: What's going on?!

Sat Apr 24, 2010 1:05 pm

Well in terms of the waterpark and staying for 10 days, I'd definitely look at going to waterworld. Granted that unless you go on a Friday (where it stays open till 9) the opening times aren't much better than Alton's so you could mix and match maybe? As well as it being a much bigger waterpark, the prices are much more reasonable. between £7-£8 each if you go as a family. I also believe it's no more than 30 minutes from Alton so if you got back to the hotel one day at around 2-3ish then you'd have a good 3 or 4 hours there :) just a suggestion of course :D
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Re: Water Park: What's going on?!

Sat Apr 24, 2010 3:50 pm

After a recent visit to the towers we popped into the waterpark after the park had closed and couldnt beleave it was closed! looking at the waterpark (from the viewing area in hotel reception) without anything turned on id say that the whole waterpark is very close to refurbishment! all the areras look dull and in need of a good coat of paint, supose its just the chlorine eating away at it all!
With the main emphis on promoting 13 and the park this year its clear to see that the waterpark is being opperated minimally and also very low key (A path that is often used before major improvements or renovations)

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