UK theme parks from another point of view!

 
Crofty

Re: The 'Duel in the Crown' Project

Thu Jul 01, 2010 5:20 pm

Thing is, with these things it depends on what you see on your visit. Not everything will be working all season. Effects break in the season, smoke is sometimes not put on/not re-filled, nothing will be 100% perfect all season.


Thats not really an excuse though is it? Thats why they should have such a person who looks after all this stuff and ensures its fixed ASAP.
Disney have massive teams of people employed solely to do this very job. They ensure the theming is spot on, added to, Replaced and kept up to date. They even install the "Magic Mickey" twists which are a brilliant way of getting visitors to study the theming.
Altons attitude is more like "look over there because this bit is broken" :lol:

At least you can see where your ticket/parking money is going in these top parks, at alton you really can't.

Check This out for a list of specific themed items that are placed in Tower of Terror in orlando, along with many, many other things.
 
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James
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Re: The 'Duel in the Crown' Project

Thu Jul 01, 2010 5:38 pm

"Crofty" wrote:
Thats not really an excuse though is it?


It is at Alton Towers. :P

I do also think that it would be a good idea to employ someone to look after these types of things, but at Alton Towers I never expect everything to be working so I never really get shocked when I see effects broken, smoke machines off, Oblivion's mist off etc.

I do admire the attention to detail in places like Orlando, Disney etc. but this is Alton Towers and this is the UK, I just don't expect much like that here, it would be nice though if we saw little bits of theming added to rides and effects working all the time, there's a possibility that it could happen but I can't see Alton doing much.
 
Chris W
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Re: The 'Duel in the Crown' Project

Thu Jul 01, 2010 5:48 pm

Disney aren't as perfect as many people think, there are a lot of effects that aren't working. Below is an example for Disneyland Paris but there are a number of other things not being mantained at other Disney Parks.

MagicForum.eu have a list of all the effects in Disneyland Paris (although its not always updated). Red means the effects/details aren't working.

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Source

So even with their large budgets and teams of people working on the park they still aren't perfect.
Its certainly not an issue that only Alton Towers has.

Things just seem to take a higher priority when allocated budgets around the park and things do fall into disrepair. (Although this is not a good enough excuse)
I think Sam's original idea is a feasible one its just whether or not the park management take notice.
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haydn!
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Re: The 'Duel in the Crown' Project

Thu Jul 01, 2010 5:54 pm

As great a idea this is, and yes small changes can make big differences I'd hate Alton Towers to start accepting "donations" for theming. It's just cheap, tacky and not what I'd expect from the UK's number one theme park, or a multi-million pound business.

Merlin Studios produce a very high standard of theming for their rides and attractions, it is just sometimes the rides lack quantity. This doesn't mean a "£30 crate of nuts" or old antique chair from your local car boot sale would fix it. Do you want Alton Towers to start looking like Paulton's Park? I'd rather see the empty spaces remain empty than be replaced with this kind of stuff. It's got to either be the high quality stuff to match the rest, or nothing at all.

I seriously doubt Alton Towers would be willing to accept donations either, the potential for negative PR is too great, and that doesn't include the opportunities it would provide for competitors to mock the park. Imagine the headlines - "multi-million pound making attraction asks guests to bring their own theme park"

Great idea. Never going to happen. Only Alton Towers can fix these issues.
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bradpeet
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Re: The 'Duel in the Crown' Project

Thu Jul 01, 2010 5:59 pm

I think Disney can get away with effects not working because they have so many on everything. A few of them not working is therefore much less noticeable - although nothing gets past the geeks :lol:

In fact, being a bit random as to whether all the effects work can actually be an advantage because the experience can be different on different visits. But this does not apply to 'signature' effects on an attraction, as it is usually all too obvious when they are not working.
 
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XIIIDom
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Re: The 'Duel in the Crown' Project

Thu Jul 01, 2010 7:23 pm

This is good, but it has been missing for a long time. How about smoke from the drilling machine at the top of the valley? Smoke is not the be all and end all of my point, merely one of the more obvious.


The drill was smoking also, I always eat burger king sitting on the rocks near it! (hearing people saying "thats nemesis' gun" is priceless!)

V, I take your point - I agree more maintenance is needed. However, I'm sure that most of the effects come under seasonal maintenance, with extra effort to keep them working during peak times - eg the last time I was at alton was the school easter break - surely one of the busiest times of the year. It would be interesting to see if the same effects which work during peak times also operate at less profitable times of year...
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Dormiens-Dave

Re: The 'Duel in the Crown' Project

Thu Jul 01, 2010 7:34 pm

Just a few points

All from my last visit (about a week and a half ago)

1) nemesis cloud bus smoke - On
2) drilling think at top of valley smoke - On
3) Duel effects - nearly all working and floating goblin looking better than it has in ages and new hand for undertaker dude as well as some new ultraviolet zombie make-up.

Compare this to four years ago when there was music cut out, nearly all the effects where not working and smoke was a pipe dream

As for park Spruce up, Merlin has to be fair done alot more in this area than the last half of tussauds

1) monorail revamp
2) Sky ride revamp
3) UG land removed new coherent themeing
4) Merry England replaced with mutiny bay
5) Corkscrews in entrance

I think a lot of the little things are done when the techies get a chance (it has to be techies as they often involve entering ride areas) and seen as these techies are on site from 6am till 10pm (obviously in shifts) i dont think its down to lack of trying.

Though i fully agree with Sam that some cheep small additions to a lot of attractions will work fantastic and theres no reason second hand antique stuff can't work if it suits the style correctly
 
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Re: The 'Duel in the Crown' Project

Thu Jul 01, 2010 7:38 pm

That all sounds good.

Also glad about Duel's improvments. Finally the Undertaker has finally got a real hand. Out of interest, what do you mean by the floating goblin?
 
Dormiens-Dave

Re: The 'Duel in the Crown' Project

Thu Jul 01, 2010 7:41 pm

The goblin hologram that floats through the smoke out of the cofin
 
Blaze

Re: The 'Duel in the Crown' Project

Thu Jul 01, 2010 8:39 pm

"?V?" wrote:
It doesnt happen because they

a) dont care
b) have little to no enthusiasm/understanding of what makes a good theme park/attraction
c) there is nobody in charge of attention to detail
d) no "imagineers" who care about the rides and their experience
e) the working staff care even less about such things

Why do you think the monorail was left in such a state for decades?
Why is duel such a mish mash of broken effects and scenery?
Why is the Nemesis smoke barrel never refilled in the mushroom clouds bus/duel/RMT entrance?

If nobody is there/cares to make these things happen it never does.

Hopefully this answers your question

V

I really object to that. The park really does care, as do the staff. If I was a staff member I would be offended reading that. And the smoke machines are always working when I am there, maybe it's just bad luck on your count. Also, there are people who care about the ride experience. For example, the Oblivion mist has been turned up and an extra ring has been turned on, which was only used at Scarefest and special occasions until this season. Duel, monorail and so on have been left because they are still functioning. Duel still pulls a crowd and is enjoyed, and is from an era we fortunately have left, where they didn't care, but now they do. Duel needs fixing, but it's primary role is a laugh in the dark shooting game, so the themeing (or lack of) is not noticed. They may sort things out, as most rides have mid-life freshen-ups and the ride may even be revamped again in the future.

I would support you idea Sam, I think it's fantastic.
 
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Re: The 'Duel in the Crown' Project

Thu Jul 01, 2010 11:06 pm

"Dormiens-Dave" wrote:
I think a lot of the little things are done when the techies get a chance (it has to be techies as they often involve entering ride areas)...

Didn't think you had to be a techie to enter a ride area if said ride is isolated. I know members on here who have (or at least claim to have) entered various ride areas to clean things.

Having said that, though something like topping up smoke fluid can't be difficult and could surely be done by (almost) anyone, I'd guess that anything much more technical wouldn't be fixable by any old ride op.
 
Dormiens-Dave

Re: The 'Duel in the Crown' Project

Thu Jul 01, 2010 11:14 pm

No a lot can be done by all staff, but certain things have to be a techie (fairly sure the nemmie bus is)
 
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Re: The 'Duel in the Crown' Project

Thu Jul 01, 2010 11:44 pm

havent managed to read all of this thread properly, but ive picked up on the gist. well done to the guy posting his original post in the first place. i agree with him 100%

an actual studio should be set up on park. im pretty sure there may be one (magic HQ i think its called?) ive actually tried to find out about it, because since forever ive wanted to get into theming and landscaping for attractions, but i always seem to come to a dead end on who to contact etc (a PM here would be awesome folks)

anyway, a proper imagineering department should be set up on site at the park. just dedicated to attractions at Alton Towers. thats designing theming and creating it. again, im sure they have one. but im thinking about more of a larger department with bigger studio spaces etc. if it does all come down to cost. maybe the park should think of employing recently graduated art/design students on more of a voluntary basis?

what i love about the imagineering department at disney is that everything is catalogued. everything is kept. everything from attractions that have been removed, to attractions never made etc. this should happen on park. another idea could be to utilise the space in the actual towers. hey, its roomy, and atleast they'd be used in some way?
 
Dormiens-Dave

Re: The 'Duel in the Crown' Project

Fri Jul 02, 2010 12:22 am

Merlin studios north is on site, its behind Charlie

Though i agree they need there own imagineers department because they have to pay for whatever the studios does for them
 
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Re: The 'Duel in the Crown' Project

Fri Jul 02, 2010 5:15 pm

"Sam" wrote:

Take the nut room on Charlie. It's almost empty except for a few over-sized nuts and squirrels and a video. On either side of the boat is just empty flat space until the walls. Now imagine if on either side of the boat there were 3 or 4 wooden crates, overflowing with empty nut shells (pistachio nuts or the like), so that surface was covered in empty shells. You could even have a Willy Wonka factory logo stamped onto them like this.

Now this wouldn't set the world alight, and it definitely wouldn't make Charlie a good ride. But for the amount it would cost (I dunno, about £30 maximum? It'd be pretty easy to get nut shells from some nut maker) it would have a HUGE effect on the ride, relative to how much it cost. It would require no maintenance, and would simply be a permanent improvement. Relative to the overall park budget for a year, it'd be peanuts (excuse the pun). :)


Are you meaning get real nut shells? If so itt would then mean that nut allergy sufferers like my son would no longer be able to ride Charlie and my son being 7 loves Charlie. But pretend ones hand made and painted would be fine.
Louise
 
fredward

Re: The 'Duel in the Crown' Project

Fri Jul 02, 2010 5:30 pm

"cookiee_munster" wrote:
maybe the park should think of employing recently graduated art/design students on more of a voluntary basis?


Since i'm starting product design at staffordshire uni in september, I'd volunteer (well i'd prefer min wage!) to come in on weekends and touch up scenery (although thats more theatre design, what my sisters doing, not product design!)! I'd love to do it! But i'd rather be paid, because time money is a must at uni!
 
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Re: The 'Duel in the Crown' Project

Sun Jul 04, 2010 1:27 pm

"fredward""][quote=""cookiee_munster" wrote:
maybe the park should think of employing recently graduated art/design students on more of a voluntary basis?


Since i'm starting product design at staffordshire uni in september, I'd volunteer (well i'd prefer min wage!) to come in on weekends and touch up scenery (although thats more theatre design, what my sisters doing, not product design!)! I'd love to do it! But i'd rather be paid, because time money is a must at uni![/quote]

which campus? im guessing stoke? if so, you'll have an awesome time. the product design department there is awesome.

when you graduate, you'll realise you'll do anything creative voluntarily just to get things/experience down on your CV, ive had to pay all sorts of money to exhibit places, but i never cared, i enjoyed it, and it all goes down on my experience/CV :wink:
 
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Re: The 'Duel in the Crown' Project

Mon Jul 05, 2010 1:25 am

Bravo to the original poster!

It's one of the key things the park doesn't seem to get (one of many).
Theming has been improved yet only to a generic Roller Coaster Tycoon level. Create a proper (and original!) story instead of a vague reference. Add in a tonne of detail. Treat it like you would a movie production; everything will eventually get noticed if you include it, and the park will be all the richer for it - and you know, it's these details that creates that 'magic' that is so hard to describe.
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Re: The 'Duel in the Crown' Project

Tue Jul 06, 2010 1:44 pm

I am just about to go to Thailand for a month, however when I return this project will be shifted into first-gear. I'm going to try and get as many as possible to contact Towers management and let them know about our ideas. See you all in a month.
 
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Re: The 'Duel in the Crown' Project

Thu Jul 08, 2010 1:15 pm

"?V?" wrote:
It doesnt happen because they

a) dont care
b) have little to no enthusiasm/understanding of what makes a good theme park/attraction
c) there is nobody in charge of attention to detail
d) no "imagineers" who care about the rides and their experience
e) the working staff care even less about such things

Why do you think the monorail was left in such a state for decades?
Why is duel such a mish mash of broken effects and scenery?
Why is the Nemesis smoke barrel never refilled in the mushroom clouds bus/duel/RMT entrance?

If nobody is there/cares to make these things happen it never does.

Hopefully this answers your question

V



Huh? I find it hard to believe that the entire of the Alton Towers/Merlin employee base don't "care" about the rides etc. These are multi-million pound attractions that have taken years of planning so to make the judgement that they have stopped caring and that there are no people in charge of attention to detail or that they don't understand what makes a good theme park, is ludicrous.

Obviously, those in charge have a vested interest in making whatever they can better but sometimes budget or focus on other areas of the park manages to get other things pushed to the side.

I agree to some extent that investment across the park is not immediately noticeable, however, we have to understand that sometimes there just aren't enough hands etc to make solid and progressive movements across themeing throughout the park.

I think this is a great idea. Something that could definitely be incorporated into the park, and it would be very cheap in relation to the added experience.

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