UK theme parks from another point of view!

 
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buffaloBen
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Alton towers resort lacking polite and friendly factor?

Sat Sep 11, 2010 1:25 am

The last few times i have been to the park there has been a real grudge in the majority of the staff in the park and although it is more better at the Hotels i still think its lacking the friendly factor from the staff.

First started taking note to this when me and friend asked to go on the front row of thirteen and we were refused and forced to ride where we were told. This boiled my water! I felt like punching the staff in the face the way the spoke. (luckily viololence isnt my first action but could of been my second haha. I wouldn't really do such a thing)

It was the way i was spoken to and it was in thease exact words:

Me: Is it all right if we que for the front row?
AT Staff: No you sit where you are put. In a rather rude and grumpy tone.

What is the point in having an extended que for the front? :evil:

Also ride ops never smile or always try to avoid a chat or any friendly jesture.

I know there not the best paid and entertaining jobs but have some ethuisam or even a smile.

Alton need to get over to Universal and Disney over in the US to see how its done.
Im always smiling at Universal thanks to the talkative staff and always telling jokes the fantastic!
They always give you a clap and a whoop when coming back into the station and they even clap and whoop after having my picture taken! I spent 5 days at both universal and islands of adventure this year and they were all the best theme park expericnces i have ever had. (Im not comparing rides or anything but its not hard to cheer up during yout job.

Its not all bad at Alton from my point of view as the staff in sharkbait reef are always there to give information on the sea creatures and the games staff are friendly although the guys in arcade suck.

At Alton your chances of coming across a grumpy staff member is about 7 in 10 but compare that to universal or disney where them chances are around 1 in 10.

Its not hard to smile and communicate with guests and attend to there easy requests such as, to sit on the front row when it has a sign offering the option.

Which staff impress you the most?

Ride Ops
Games
Entertainment
Technicians (for what you see of them)
Cleaners
Management (obviously the most polite for me due to there high wages and high rankings haha)
Food services
Photography/photographer
or others that shine for you.
Last edited by buffaloBen on Sat Sep 18, 2010 6:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
Dormiens-Dave

Re: Alton towers resort lacking polite and friendly factor?

Sat Sep 11, 2010 1:56 am

In all honesty most of the staff i encounter (and i go alot) are really good and i always get a pleasant experience, i have never been refused front row on any ride with the facility to do so.

There are in any company always "bad eggs" if i was you i would have asked for their name and gone to guest services and complained. That staff member needs some retraining,

Its worth remebering, towers will have some new staff sround now to replace ones lost after the summer break, therefore a dip in skill will be likely.
 
CoasterCrazyChris
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Re: Alton towers resort lacking polite and friendly factor?

Sat Sep 11, 2010 2:27 am

Some of the ride attendants on Thirteen seem to be the irresponsible and unfriendly type from what I gather.

We got the same treatment and a grumpy sarcastic tone when we could not make out what the guy was saying over the noise in the station, "Or you can just stand there then".

Furthermore, at the very end of the queue in the station two girls jumped over the rail from Single Riders to main queue, right in front of the guy would did NOTHING at all. Disgraceful.

Also, on the point of Single Riders it is totally useless on Thirteen I think.

:|
 
ciaran
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Re: Alton towers resort lacking polite and friendly factor?

Sat Sep 11, 2010 8:48 am

agree with both single rider because it happened on saw the ride and yes I aswell have noticed rather grumpy staff!
 
Pennywise
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Re: Alton towers resort lacking polite and friendly factor?

Sat Sep 11, 2010 9:52 am

"CoasterCrazyChris" wrote:
Also, on the point of Single Riders it is totally useless on Thirteen I think.

:|


Actually, I completely disagree, the single rider queue on Th13teen is always (in my experience) shorter than the main queue, therefore meaning that there is a point.
 
ciaran
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Re: Alton towers resort lacking polite and friendly factor?

Sat Sep 11, 2010 10:26 am

"Air Dan""][quote=""CoasterCrazyChris" wrote:
Also, on the point of Single Riders it is totally useless on Thirteen I think.

:|


Actually, I completely disagree, the single rider queue on Th13teen is always (in my experience) shorter than the main queue, therefore meaning that there is a point.[/quote]
He was mentioning about queue jumpers because just like saw the ride there is a main reason why single riders is quick and thats becuase most are jumping the fence when ever possible!
 
Pennywise
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Re: Alton towers resort lacking polite and friendly factor?

Sat Sep 11, 2010 10:38 am

In which case they need a staff member standing at the top of the stairs, it still doesn't make the single rider queue 'pointless'.

:)
 
ciaran
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Re: Alton towers resort lacking polite and friendly factor?

Sat Sep 11, 2010 11:04 am

"Air Dan" wrote:
In which case they need a staff member standing at the top of the stairs, it still doesn't make the single rider queue 'pointless'.

:)

Trust me I would love to see th13teens front seat queue work but from Saw the rides single rider queue it did not work an it was the same as th13teen! The staff could even see queue jumpers but they did not stop them because it was so caotic with people :)
 
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Gloomy Dude
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Re: Alton towers resort lacking polite and friendly factor?

Sat Sep 11, 2010 12:18 pm

As someone who has visited Blackpool, Drayton Manor and Alton Towers in the past week, I couldn't disagree more.

From rides, to shops, to hotels, 99% of Alton's staff are lovely (verging on sickly in some cases actually) and they really do help make the day. Very friendly, attentive and chatty. Ok, Th13teen batching staff aren't always the most friendly and flexible, but how do you think it maintains its massive, expectation-exceeding throughput?

Actually, ride staff in general probably shouldn't be shooting the breeze with guests so much. They should be dispatching rides quickly, safely and efficiently. As they tend to do.

And really...

"buffaloBen" wrote:
I felt like punching the staff in the face


Do grow up.
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AstroDan

Re: Alton towers resort lacking polite and friendly factor?

Sat Sep 11, 2010 1:03 pm

If people want blunt ride host staff, try Europa-Park. I once got glared at for refusing to board a Euro-Mir train as I wanted to ride with friends - they're so throughput focussed on the major rides there that if you threaten to reduce it you almost get poison from them! Just as well the rest of their staff are always pleasant.

As for Alton - as with any low paid work, some staff are going to let the side down. I would probably say 10-20% of the staff at the park aren't as good as the others, for example I was going into Nemesis queue recently and the host at the entrance looked TOTALLY bored, with a foul expression on his/her face!

But then you'll get a great staff member to make up for it so it's OK.

However, when you're paying staff such a shoddy rate, there's only so much you can genuinely expect. Thankfully, Alton are lucky in that they have staff who are basicaly willing to give their lives to the place (such as relocation etc.!)

:)
 
DiogoJ42

Re: Alton towers resort lacking polite and friendly factor?

Sat Sep 11, 2010 1:29 pm

I have never had anything bad to say about Alton staff. Whenever I go, they are incredibly friendly. In fact, they often try to have a chat with you when all you want to do is crack on and ride / buy something. :P
I've always got the impression that the main difference between Alton's staff and other parks, is that the workers at AT genuinely love the park. They seem to work there because they want to, rather than it simply being a job.

Try Drayton, Flamingo Land, Blackpool or even Thorpe if you want to see bad staff.
 
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buffaloBen
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Re: Alton towers resort lacking polite and friendly factor?

Sun Sep 12, 2010 12:42 am

I tend to go over the top of how many staff are actually grumpy at Alton but i blame it on my trips to Florida at Universal and disney in which they spoil you in politness and humour.

But i still think there could be a slight improvment in staff, but i think Alton are strict enough as they can't eat or drink or sit down for a few minutes infront of guests even though they are the basic human needs and i know some of them have to miss there lunch breaks becuase there has been no one to cover them while they go for lunch so they lose out and this happens quite often as many friends who work there do comment on the lack of care Alton has for all there lower paid staff.

Alton needs to work from my point of view:

Making sure staff get there breaks.

Either offer the staff more benefits such as a bonous for holidays or harder work.
Something other than free tickets to cover there low payment.

More discounts from company partners, E.G Peugeot car discounts or something.
 
Jem8472
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Re: Alton towers resort lacking polite and friendly factor?

Sun Sep 12, 2010 10:27 am

"buffaloBen" wrote:
I tend to go over the top of how many staff are actually grumpy at Alton but i blame it on my trips to Florida at Universal and disney in which they spoil you in politness and humour.



One of the problems with comparing America to here is the work ethic is totally different. If a company has a member of staff who is rude/lazy/late for work they just fire them. Its not like here where it takes forever to get anyone fired for anything.

I was talking to a waiter when we were in Orlando, he works split shifts, less than minimum wage because tips make it up, he had worked at the restaurant for 2 of 3 years and only gets like a weeks holiday. But he said due to the fact that when they are on holiday they dont get tips a lot of waiters dont take holiday.

From what I have hear from people about working in America there is no way I would like to work over there.
 
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James
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Re: Alton towers resort lacking polite and friendly factor?

Sun Sep 12, 2010 10:44 am

I never really come across grumpy/rude staff. Alton is at the top for customer care, and nearly all staff are very friendly and welcoming. You do come across one or two unpleasant staff now and again, but you get that with any business.

Out of all the theme parks I've been to Alton IS the best for staff.
 
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Scott
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Re: Alton towers resort lacking polite and friendly factor?

Sun Sep 12, 2010 2:32 pm

In all fairness, the Towers staff are probably the best in the country.

Anyone who has worked at towers, works there now or has friends who work there, will know how much effort and commitment is required to even get a job at towers, so those who do work there, clearly want to be there otherwise they wouldnt of put the effort in to get the job in the first place!

You will encounter much worse staff at different parks in the UK!
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AltonThorpe
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Re: Alton towers resort lacking polite and friendly factor?

Sun Sep 12, 2010 3:12 pm

*cough* Thorpe Park *cough*.

No I'm kidding when I got stuck on the rapids at Thorpe the staff were very helpful. I think all Merlin staff in the UK overall are good. :)
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NickT04
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Re: Alton towers resort lacking polite and friendly factor?

Sun Sep 12, 2010 3:41 pm

They are probably just as annoyed about 13 as we are :P
 
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Mitch
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Re: Alton towers resort lacking polite and friendly factor?

Sun Sep 12, 2010 11:36 pm

My opinion on Alton's staff has changed since my visit yesterday.

Before yesterday, I would have said that they were efficient but a bit... robotic. By robotic, I mean that they weren't rude, they did their job effectively and with a smile, although the smile felt a bit forced at times. When you asked what was wrong with the ride, they'd give the textbook "It's experiencing technical delays" answer. I'd find that they waited for you to talk to them before talking to you.

Yesterday the staff were extremely friendly! Every smile looked genuine, the staff asked how much I was enjoying my day and they were extremely helpful as always. When I asked the Air dispatcher what was wrong with it when it broke down I was told "the locking mechanism for Row 5 was showing up as an error on the computer." They all seemed much happier and seemed to interact with each other like friends instead of co-workers.

The best staff are those who are both friendly and efficient. You get those who are very friendly but actually spend more time interacting and less time filling up seats. Then you get the worst ones such as [s:r0q2w9eg]Drayton's[/s:r0q2w9eg] those who look grumpy and are inefficient.
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djtruefitt

Re: Alton towers resort lacking polite and friendly factor?

Mon Sep 13, 2010 1:15 am

I think in general this year I havnt seen any bad workers at Alton, the majority have all been fine with a few who have been great (there was a guy on Oblivion who was nice asking for high fives and stuff as you went past), there was also a friendly guy on Duel earlier in the year.

The only ones who havnt seemed so nice is a couple of Th13teen who seemed a bit bored.
 
PeteB
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Re: Alton towers resort lacking polite and friendly factor?

Mon Sep 13, 2010 2:21 am

I have to admit, out of all the faults I can pick with Towers these days, their staff isn't one of them. True though that the Hotel staff are a bit more OTT with friendlyness.

The park staff certainly aren't as "magical" as they used to be but overall i'd say they're the best work force of just about any company in the UK.

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