UK theme parks from another point of view!

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Anthony
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Re: 2011: The Honest Truth

Thu May 05, 2011 4:51 pm

".Will" wrote:
I think it shows how strongly people agree with Dan by the fact he has 60 rep for it. Record is it?

:)


Quite possibly.

I'd check Kaycee's posts in the face for radio thread first, though.

:P
 
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Coke
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Re: 2011: The Honest Truth

Thu May 05, 2011 4:57 pm

I'm in for whatever, I agree with all the posts in this topic pretty much, and something should be done. I know some of you are probably on it already. :D
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Vik
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Re: 2011: The Honest Truth

Thu May 05, 2011 5:46 pm

Speaking to friend today who took his wife and two children there over the Easter Holidays. I will run through a few of the comments he made, which pretty much sums up everything that has already been said, but comes from somebody who is certainly not an enthusiast. He visits twice a year, and has done for a number of years.

His visit should of been a bit of a special one, as his eldest son was finally tall enough to ride the big thrill rides. This was overshadowed by what he summed up Alton Towers has become. Basically said he thought the whole park looked very run down. Even asked if anyone actually worked there when it is closed over the winter, and if so, would it not hurt to clean up some of the graffiti and give things a lick of paint?

Then he mentioned that driving towards the car park and seeing that it now cost £6 to park almost made him turn around and go back home. Obviously couldn't of done that as he would of had two upset children. Things didn't get much better. when at the kiosks he was repeatedly asked if he wanted to purchase a number of fastrack tickets, almost to the point of the person serving not taking no for an answer. As it so happened, they managed to get on practically everything without them. There were other attempts whilst walking in to the park to get him and his family to part with their money, mainly on insisting they will need fastracks to enjoy their day.

Within 30 minutes of arriving he felt he had been 'financially raped' even though he managed to avoid paying for any extras. But such were the repeated attempts to try and get him to buy things, and feeding £6 in to a machine to get a token so they would let him out at the end of the day, that it felt he had just spent the life savings. :P As he pointed out, and has also been mentioned in this topic, it would be nice to see where all this money gets spent, because it certainly hasn't been spent at Alton Towers.

There were a few other grumbles, much of which has been discussed. One thing stuck out though. He and his family go twice a year, normally purchasing a bounceback ticket to go back just before the end of the school summer holidays. This time he didn't. Their end of summer holidays visit will be to Blackpool Pleasure Beach instead, a place that he hasn't been to for years. The only reason he will likely go back to Alton Towers within the next few years is because his other son will be tall enough to ride the big thrill rides in a couple of years time. He hopes things have got better by then as otherwise they will get no more of his money for a long time to come.

That may be just one person and his family, but that is a non enthusiast talking. How many other people are saying similar things?

Please, sort it out Alton Towers. You can not simply rely on your reputation. Reputations can be lost much quicker than they are gained.
Sent from my ZX81 via Time Travel

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[Archive]

Re: 2011: The Honest Truth

Thu May 05, 2011 6:01 pm

I disagree.

There I said it.

Leave Alton Towers alone. :tears:
 
Pennywise
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Re: 2011: The Honest Truth

Thu May 05, 2011 6:03 pm

"electricBlll" wrote:
I disagree.

There I said it.


Whilst some members posting in this thread have exaggerated the issue... I simply cannot see how you can claim that there is no problem.

Care to explain further? :)
Last edited by Pennywise on Thu May 05, 2011 6:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
MinteButtons

Re: 2011: The Honest Truth

Thu May 05, 2011 6:11 pm

I will happily be added to any letter/email thing.
 
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NF2
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Re: 2011: The Honest Truth

Thu May 05, 2011 6:22 pm

I don't think i've got anything to add that hasn't already been said, but agree totally with everything thats being said, and from an economic perspective I can really fail to see how Alton are low on money. They couldn't possibly be unless the powers above decide that it is easy enough to get by operating as inefficiently as possible :?

Sign me up guys :D
 
[Archive]

Re: 2011: The Honest Truth

Thu May 05, 2011 6:26 pm

There are "problems", yes. I never claimed that Alton Towers was perfect or anything.

However, I like Alton Towers a lot. I go there to have a good time. Yet, on what is supposedly an Alton Towers 'fansite', there are people who want to do nothing but moan about the place. Sure, you are correct, Alton Towers does have lots of issues if you want to see it that way. It is nothing compared to certain other theme parks as well. To be honest I personally do not care. I just wanted to speak out.

Can't people just enjoy it for goodness sake? It has got to the point at which I think the negativity is ridiculous, over exaggerated and deliberate. Look on the bright side perhaps? Every time I come on here, which is a lot less often now for obvious reasons, the website is littered with big negative assumptions and gloomy atmosphere. Skimming through this topic all I have seen is loads more of this angry mob-style moaning. I am not saying that anybody is wrong here, and there are many well made points (probably, I can't be bothered to read all of it). All of this "yeah yeah, I AGREE" rubbish, "PUT ME ON THE EMAIL!"... Some people are speaking is if it is their right to have Alton Towers.

Thank goodness I have not fallen into the trap and I still enjoy Alton Towers. Maybe you (not speaking to any particular people here) should find a new interest if you hate Alton Towers so much.
 
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Don't_Look_Down
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Re: 2011: The Honest Truth

Thu May 05, 2011 6:30 pm

ElectricBill, I still love Alton Towers more than anything, but for a park that is one of the best in Europe, they're not doing very well at maintaining their image :|
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Oblivion beckons in T-minus five minutes, be prepared for embarkation!

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Crofty

Re: 2011: The Honest Truth

Thu May 05, 2011 6:35 pm

I love TV, I really like it a lot but would I still watch it if it was just showing a test card? I wouldn't just accept it because of my love of TV, i'd be on the phone demanding my licence money back! :lol:

We are fans of Alton Towers, We love the place and at the moment a lot of people feel that the reasons why we enjoy it so much in the first place are being ripped out. We haven't got blinkers on and we are not in Alton Towers pockets so why should we just pretend everything is going well? :)
 
barryzola

Re: 2011: The Honest Truth

Thu May 05, 2011 6:38 pm

Some good things said there Dan, fair play to you, it was due time someone commented on this type of thing :clap:

1988 - "Now, the Log Flume, naturally the worlds longest, as Alton doesn't aim to be second best at anything!".

How times change...

Looks like it's actually being planned from the top that Alton Towers is going to have to accept second best for the foreseeable future. The Towers are already a recognized brand and "Everyone goes there once a year anyway". Why continue pushing the boat out on this already successful brand when you could try to enhance the profile of another one of your products?

My brother who does enjoy the odd theme park but is not really an enthusiast visited Thorpe Park for the first time last week. I've not ridden it myself but he commented that the "Saw" attraction was one of the best new attractions he's been on in many years. He also commented that he thought "Stealth" was preferable to "Rita" (to be fair i know because of height restrictions Alton couldn't have built "Stealth").

My point being that i'd expect that whilst Alton continues to "plod along", Merlin will think that it is much more worthwhile to make the big moves at other parks that need their "brand" made more popular.

When was the last time anyone came off a new attraction at Alton Towers and honestly thought "That was amazing!"? It's honestly seemed like token efforts for many years, as opposed to a major project that will actually blow everyone away.

I was born in 82 and can actually remember some of my visits since around 88/89ish if i'm honest. It honestly was a different ethic back then and well into the 90's, i'm not just saying it. There was a pride on keeping Alton at the forefront of everything theme park related in the UK and Europe. Second best wasn't good enough in those years...


To be positive though, as some are probably aware, i'm into the history of the Towers and i must congratulate the recent work on the Conservatory and the window in the Music room, as well as some other bits (fair play for quickly rebuilding "Her Ladyships Oratory" after the accident). That's encouraging (although it was probably stipulated that work be done on some of these bits when planning permission was granted for successes such as "Charlie").

I was on park today and i couldn't help but overhearing too many times comments about the price of the parking, along with other things. People will, especially in the current economic environment, get tired of being fleeced when there is nothing new at the park to justify the increases.

Dan and all of the subsequent posters have covered all of the other things i wanted to comment on, and they've done it well.

The owners are fortunate that they have a park with such an historic old manor house, grounds, gardens and have a legendary coaster in Nemesis.

Alton Towers should always aim at being the best, keeping up with tradition going back almost 200 years. The sooner the Alton Towers management and staff have more autonomy and have a budget to allow it, the better. The staff at ground level are something to be proud of at the moment. I've not had a bad experience with any of them (i try keep my head down on Towers Street :) ).


Please add me to any list or petition quite happily :)
 
Pennywise
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Re: 2011: The Honest Truth

Thu May 05, 2011 6:40 pm

"electricBlll" wrote:

Thank goodness I have not fallen into the trap and I still enjoy Alton Towers. Maybe you (not speaking to any particular people here) should find a new interest if you hate Alton Towers so much.


I do actually agree with large amounts of your post.

However, nobody here hates AT... and it's ludicrous to even suggest so, in my opinion. The fact is that we all care about the place so much that it unsettles us that the park are moving... backwards? Perhaps not, but the place isn't improving at any great rate either, and the general public realise that too... and when they realise that they're being ripped off, they don't want to go back, visitor numbers decline, less money gets put into the park... and that's a rather vicious circle.

We all love Alton Towers, that's why we're here, and I think a large number of us would continue to visit on a regular basis even if the park were to begin to decline (which I don't think it is... yet)... but that doesn't mean that we can't object to bad (and lets face it... Oblvion - Sponsored by Fanta, for example, is undoubtedly a bad move) decisions which both enthusiasts and the general public are annoyed by.

Fanboys (and girls) will always be critical of bad decisions, overly so perhaps, but that's reality. We're critical of the park BECAUSE we love it so much.

:)
 
DiogoJ42

Re: 2011: The Honest Truth

Thu May 05, 2011 6:58 pm

ElectricBlll, if that's what you truly believe, then fair enough. But please understand that this is how the vast majority of us feel at the moment.
Without wanting to sound patronising, many of us have been visiting the park since before you were born, and have seen the park in steady decline over the long term. We only complain because we know the park can be better than it currently is. We've seen it with our own eyes.
 
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Re: 2011: The Honest Truth

Thu May 05, 2011 7:07 pm

"electricBlll" wrote:
I disagree.

There I said it.

Leave Alton Towers alone. :tears:


This thread is strictly for Alton/Merlin bashing. If you can't cooperate and play nicely then please leave. [-X


...just kidding of course!
 
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Re: 2011: The Honest Truth

Thu May 05, 2011 7:11 pm

Here it is guys:
Nobody has yet hit the nail on the head. Diogo came closest. the forums are not full of 'negativity' or 'anger'. The forums are crowded with frustration. Watch the Magic factory. The employees are dedicated and genuinly want to give Alton a reputation. The park was the pride and joy of Britain. the place is a PERFECT CANVAS. The landscaping, the reputation, the sheer name of it is so well known people automatically recognise it as a magical place. The management team could do SO MUCH MORE. It really is sad for some of the older members in the forums to watch such a fabulous and highly thought of place slip into decline. Newer parks such as Thorpe are just beginning their journey, with huge additions each year. I love Alton overall; see my 'What Makes Alton Tick?' topic. I think in this period, we should just show a little more love for the place. Let's be reminded once again that last year, we gained a new coaster (a world's first, I hasten to add' and a new land. We have pet hates, but overall, the place shows a promising future. None of the rides seem particularly 'past it'. Let's appreciate that in the coming year, the Black Hole Tent will be resurrected, and the shrouded SW7 will be revealed. Merlin will soon run out of steam with Thorpe. Maybe then Alton will regain it's magic.
Keep on whistlin', folks.

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Eagie
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Re: 2011: The Honest Truth

Thu May 05, 2011 7:15 pm

"DiogoJ42" wrote:
But people can go to see a band in any city. Alton should be somewhere special.


You can also see fireworks in any city but I doubt you will think Alton's should be called off! Alton Towers is a fantastic venue and seeing a concert there has an extra dimension and is so much more magical than seeing it in a generic arena. An Alton Towers concert is special.

I think as enthusiasts we can be guilty of being a little too precious about certain aspects of Alton Towers - it is a business and a business is only around to do one thing, make money! The problem is that as fans we have emotional ties to the place and emotions and business do not always go hand in hand.

There are, of course, things we have every right to be upset by and make our feelings known to management in a sensible, rational and coherent fashion.
 
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haydn!
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Re: 2011: The Honest Truth

Thu May 05, 2011 7:17 pm

Okay, I'm happy for my name to be added to this on the condition that we do more than just send a two page rant about how bad some things may have become. I mean, let's face it. Anyone can complain but the better man provides solutions too.

So instead of saying this, that the other thing could be better, can we say how? Suggesting realistic and achievable solutions? That way the park are more likely to sit up and take note.

A few things to consider though, Alton Towers are responsible for the majority of day to day decisions and project management not Merlin. So make sure you direct this at Alton Towers directly. Not Merlin.

Also, Alton Towers will not change their marketing style, because as much as some of you dislike it. It works and they've enjoyed some of the best seasons over the last few years and had a great start to the year this year.
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PeteB
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Re: 2011: The Honest Truth

Thu May 05, 2011 7:32 pm

"haydn!" wrote:
Okay, I'm happy for my name to be added to this on the condition that we do more than just send a two page rant about how bad some things may have become. I mean, let's face it. Anyone can complain but the better man provides solutions too.

So instead of saying this, that the other thing could be better, can we say how? Suggesting realistic and achievable solutions? That way the park are more likely to sit up and take note.


The t-shirts idea that big dave came up with really struck a chord for me. Actively campaigning by wearing shirts with a decent slogen is a good way to get these people to take some notice.

I imagine it would have quite an impact if the whole of TTF showed at the park with those shirts on.

Perhaps banners are an option as well but that might be a little extreme. Subtlety first!

Another idea, which I may be able to assist with is putting up a webpage expressing these concerns, targetted to the same keywords alton towers use. There's a good chance we could get it to the top of Google next to altons own site.
 
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Re: 2011: The Honest Truth

Thu May 05, 2011 7:33 pm

"PeteB""][quote=""haydn!" wrote:
Okay, I'm happy for my name to be added to this on the condition that we do more than just send a two page rant about how bad some things may have become. I mean, let's face it. Anyone can complain but the better man provides solutions too.

So instead of saying this, that the other thing could be better, can we say how? Suggesting realistic and achievable solutions? That way the park are more likely to sit up and take note.


The t-shirts idea that big dave came up with really struck a chord for me. Actively campaigning by wearing shirts with a decent slogen is a good way to get these people to take some notice.

I imagine it would have quite an impact if the whole of TTF showed at the park with those shirts on.

Perhaps banners are an option as well but that might be a little extreme. Subtlety first!

Another idea, which I may be able to assist with is putting up a webpage expressing these concerns, targetted to the same keywords alton towers use. There's a good chance we could get it to the top of Google next to altons own site.[/quote]

You are joking, right? Nobody outside of these forums cares about these issues. Do feel free to wear your tshirts and turn up with your banners but you'd only make yourself look utterly ridiculous. Honestly, this is all such a gigantic over-reaction.

How about you go speak with management instead of planning some high school tantrums on-site?
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AstroDan

Re: 2011: The Honest Truth

Thu May 05, 2011 7:35 pm

"electricBlll" wrote:
There are "problems", yes. I never claimed that Alton Towers was perfect or anything.

However, I like Alton Towers a lot. I go there to have a good time. Yet, on what is supposedly an Alton Towers 'fansite', there are people who want to do nothing but moan about the place. Sure, you are correct, Alton Towers does have lots of issues if you want to see it that way. It is nothing compared to certain other theme parks as well. To be honest I personally do not care. I just wanted to speak out.

Can't people just enjoy it for goodness sake? It has got to the point at which I think the negativity is ridiculous, over exaggerated and deliberate. Look on the bright side perhaps? Every time I come on here, which is a lot less often now for obvious reasons, the website is littered with big negative assumptions and gloomy atmosphere. Skimming through this topic all I have seen is loads more of this angry mob-style moaning. I am not saying that anybody is wrong here, and there are many well made points (probably, I can't be bothered to read all of it). All of this "yeah yeah, I AGREE" rubbish, "PUT ME ON THE EMAIL!"... Some people are speaking is if it is their right to have Alton Towers.

Thank goodness I have not fallen into the trap and I still enjoy Alton Towers. Maybe you (not speaking to any particular people here) should find a new interest if you hate Alton Towers so much.


There could well be some thrust behind what you say, but I really don't think your view is in the majority. What you ought to remember is that people join this forum because they love Alton Towers. As stated in my original post, I have been visiting since 1990 and Alton Towers is a major part of my life. Many of you may not know that I briefly worked there during a period in the 2007 season. I visited with family twice yearly right through the 1990's and, aside from a break in the early 2000's, I have been visiting regularly for the past six years.

I always try to look on the bright side and, yes - Alton Towers remains the best overall theme park in Britain - I don't think there are many, even of the 60+ people who clearly agree with the initial post who would disagree with that statement. I personally take offence at your suggestion that this is an "angry style mob" moaning. It simply isn't. Whilst there will be some people who perhaps don't construct their argument in a particularly effective way, and there will be those who indeed disagree (but, judging by the numbers, not many) I am afraid it's simply an inaccuracy to brush these sorts of threads off.

I can't disclose all my "oomph" behind every ounce of my original post, but I can assure you that it isn't only enthusiasts who are somewhat concerned about the direction the park is currently heading in, the entertainment, developments, upselling opportunities, ride sponsorships, maintainence/presentation and other areas.

As a fansite, that doesn't mean that the forum is full of blinded fanboys. Those forums are the very worst. People have very high expectations - Alton Towers created those for itself through the 1990's with legendary developments such as Nemesis, Oblivion and more. To retain that very high standard, the park need to continue to develop rides/attractions at that very same level. You are too young to perhaps understand the deeper roots of Alton Towers back in its first 20 years.

And just because people are worried about Alton at the moment - it doesn't mean they hate it. It doesn't mean they will completely cease visiting. It just means that with every visit, there's a slightly heavier heart and the quality of the day out isn't quite as high as it may have been.

Ohirome - I wish you were right about nobody outside of these forums caring. Please constructively contribute to the thread rather than just dishing out silly insults.
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