I don't think any Theme Park that operates seasonly is going to shout about this sort of thing. I think when the time was right, and the 2013 Rollercoaster gets approved, they would of announced it as part of that. They could still look a little silly if come the end of March they still don't have planning permission for the new ride approved.
Are these two rides going to be missed by most people visiting, a few yes, but most won't until they go on Oblivion, and can see the ride just sat there doing nothing. Sure, you can put a wall around it, but the track goes behind the two rides. I just don't think that it gives a good impression to guests.
It is good that they managed to keep Oblivion open, even though part of that track goes through exactly the same area as these two rides, but there is no way to stop guests seeing these rides sat there.
Enterprise can be easily moved, Submission I am not to sure about, But I am sure if the park wanted to, it could relocate these rides for the 2012 season and have them opperational. The only reason I can think of them not wanting to do this is to save money.
We talk about these two new rides as bringing something new to Alton Towers, and they do. But the 2012: Nemesis Sub-Terra ride is only replacing Dynamo which has long since gone, and the 3D show is only replacing a Live Stage show. You then still have Enterprise, Submission, Blackhole Tent, Beastie, and the Ice Skating Tent still standing, in sight of the public from certain locations not being used.
Why keep the rides, and not use them for 18 months to bring them back in 2013, why not just sell them/scrap them/send them to another park, and use part of the 2013 Rollercoaster to buy one new decent flat ride. Enterprise is almost 30 years old in 2013, and I will be surprised if that just starts working again after 18 months, and from what I recall, they struggle to get spare parts for Submission, hence why only one arm operates at a time, so again, I doubt after 18 months if this will still be happy working, and even then, I still doubt it will have both arms running at the same time.
I think when companies release press statements, you can not treat them as the whole truth, as with any source of information, you need to look at why they are releasing the information, what is the benefit from releasing it, and how does it go down with the public.
If they had said were closing these rides because they are no longer safe, and we need to take a year to repair them, its going to put the public off coming to your park because they think the rides are unsafe.
If they had come out and said, hands up, we are a bit short of cash so we are closing two rides for a year, the general public are going to think, do we really want to go there, when they are closing rides to save money.
If however, you have a new ride being built in the same area, it could be a convenient excuse to close two unpopular rides, but turn it in to a positive story by talking about how it is required for the 2013 Rollercoaster. The only reason I have to doubt they are telling us the full picture is because I think, if they wanted to, they could relocate those rides easily enough, and have them running in 2012.
I guess come Summer time, we will be able to see where the trucks are coming and going from.