UK theme parks from another point of view!

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Longy

Re: Park Opening Hours 2012

Sat Mar 10, 2012 8:40 pm

The park's open until 5:30 pm on opening day people.

As for the other times: What an utter shambles!

I've e-mailed Merlin, in a formal and polite way, about it, and am waiting for a reply.

I will get back to you soon when, and if, they reply, with details of the e-mail.
 
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Themeparksandy1981
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Re: Park Opening Hours 2012

Sat Mar 10, 2012 9:24 pm

You think it's the queue line that closes at closing time so at 6pm rides like 13,Nemesis&Air could still have queues over a hour long then they clean the queue lines so by this time it could be 8pm. Some of the workers could have a hours drive to get home.
 
DiogoJ42

Re: Park Opening Hours 2012

Sat Mar 10, 2012 9:38 pm

Themeparksandy1981 wrote:
Some of the workers could have a hours drive to get home.

Yeah, and? Some of us work 14 hour days that end in the small hours of the morning. If you work in entertainment, you should not expect to be home by 6pm. (no offense intended to all you hard working park staff. ;) )
 
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JoshC
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Re: Park Opening Hours 2012

Sat Mar 10, 2012 9:40 pm

Themeparksandy1981 wrote:
You think it's the queue line that closes at closing time so at 6pm rides like 13,Nemesis&Air could still have queues over a hour long then they clean the queue lines so by this time it could be 8pm. Some of the workers could have a hours drive to get home.


On quiet off peak days there are usually no queues after half 3/4, and the cleaning can be finished half an hour after ride close.

A good point to make is if the ride close is set at 5:00 and everyone leaves after 3, then ride close can't be shortened and that's 2 hours of running the rides for hardly any people, wasting alot of money. But if there is alot of people on park then the ride close can be extended. Europa Park's ride close in the summer is 6:00, but when I was there last year it was extended to 9:00, now im not saying Towers will extend it quite that much, but the possibility is still there that they will extend it if the amount of guests on park warrant it. They're not stupid.
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King Nemesis
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Re: Park Opening Hours 2012

Sat Mar 10, 2012 9:42 pm

But then people catching the buses will miss out, the buses are going to stick with how they are and wont change on days. The buses need to be sorted out too...
 
Dormiens-Dave

Re: Park Opening Hours 2012

Sat Mar 10, 2012 9:45 pm

If they have a plan of day extension based on numbers of guests they should tell people that. If i was guaranteed that if i went on a 4pm close but there was more than say 4,000 guests on park it would be extended until 5pm i would be fine with that.

As was the way with the MAP fiasco 2 years ago most of Merlins problems are that they fail at presenting change in any suitable way. Though Alton Towers possible is the best at communicating with its guests as was seen during feb half term opening.

The news broke on here late Friday so hopefully there will be more clarity come Monday.
 
AstroDan

Re: Park Opening Hours 2012

Sat Mar 10, 2012 9:47 pm

Alton will extend if it's busy, obviously. But if they're trying to save money what's to say they will try to avoid doing so? Last season there were a few times when it closed at 5:00pm and the Monorail/Car Parks were rammed because the park had been busy and close should have been extended.

No major theme park should be advertising closing at 4pm in Main Season. It just looks embarassing next to all the other "small town parks" who open later. This is regardless of if they'll extend it or not.
 
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siralgenon
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Re: Park Opening Hours 2012

Sat Mar 10, 2012 9:56 pm

Opening weekend and on the second day it closes at 4:00?  :evil: Merlin taking over The Towers is the day it went down hill  :roll: I'll be honest, before now iv'e quite liked Merlin but by the end of last year and this years OTT money making, they are the worst.
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Wes
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Re: Park Opening Hours 2012

Sat Mar 10, 2012 9:56 pm

I've just sent an email to Alton Towers with my views.

It's sad to see Alton Towers moving backwards, when you would think that it was growing with the times and competition. Clearly money is more important than experience.
 
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siralgenon
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Re: Park Opening Hours 2012

Sat Mar 10, 2012 10:00 pm

Wes wrote:
I've just sent an email to Alton Towers with my views.

It's sad to see Alton Towers moving backwards, when you would think that it was growing with the times and competition. Clearly money is more important than experience.


I actually don't think Merlin care whether the guest has a good stay or not anymore? They're just interested in getting the biggest amount of money out of people they can  :|
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JoshC
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Re: Park Opening Hours 2012

Sat Mar 10, 2012 10:05 pm

They're a business, so at the end of the day they need to make money. I'm sure they're not taking any of this backlash lightly.
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AstroDan

Re: Park Opening Hours 2012

Sat Mar 10, 2012 10:05 pm

I think Alton Towers care about their guests. Sadly, they are not given adequate platform to do things as well as they should be done.
 
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siralgenon
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Re: Park Opening Hours 2012

Sat Mar 10, 2012 10:08 pm

AstwoDan wrote:
I think Alton Towers care about their guests. Sadly, they are not given adequate platform to do things as well as they should be done.


Oh I agree, the resort themselves do care about guest experience as you can see from the staff etc. but like you said it's not upto them anymore  :roll:
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Wes
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Re: Park Opening Hours 2012

Sat Mar 10, 2012 10:15 pm

I've worked at Pizza Hut for 3 years. They're a terrible place to work for. The quality of food IS terrible, all bought in at the lowest costs to make the most money.

Staff hours are constantly being cut meaning customers get a lower quality of service, however, we were constantly being pushed to give the best service possible.... even to 10 + tables, which is virtually impossible.

I can see this situation in Merlin and Alton Towers. Minimum spend with a maximum profit - its clearly something a lot of companies are doing these days....which are the worst kind.
 
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Vik
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Re: Park Opening Hours 2012

Sat Mar 10, 2012 10:18 pm

It's all very well extending ride close from 4 until 5pm when guest figures reach a certain amount, but, assuming that decision is made on the day, rather than a few days before hand, it will be a bit too late to capture those people who may of been planning a trip, checked the AT web site and seen a 4pm ride close and decided not to bother. 

Then of course those that turn up on the day, arriving as many do, somewhere between 10-11am,  and see the advertised ride as being 4pm may well think twice about future visits if they figure that they are not getting value for money.  Yes, maybe later on in the day ride close will be extended, but by then it may be a bit too late and somewhere along the line potential visitors have been, or will be lost.

Whilst short term guest figures may remain healthy, long term the effects could be rather negative. 

I do hope that there will be a re-think on the 4pm closing decision, especially for Sundays, most importantly opening weekend Sunday and at the very least advertise 5pm closing instead, rather than simply 'extending' ride close on the day when needed.  With the internet, and social networking and the likes, word gets around quickly, as has already been seen just by looking at Altons FB page.  Bad word spreads even more so, which is a shame in this case, as there is a lot of good happening at Towers this year.  All of which is being overshadowed by some daft short sightedness in trying to cut costs.
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Dormiens-Dave

Re: Park Opening Hours 2012

Sat Mar 10, 2012 10:19 pm

siralgenon wrote:
Merlin taking over The Towers is the day it went down hill 


You clearly don't remember the last 3 years of Tussauds

:D

Just to balance the Merlin hate they are investing £26,000,000 in the park over 2 years, just to remember.
 
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BigAl
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Re: Park Opening Hours 2012

Sat Mar 10, 2012 10:19 pm

JoshC wrote:
They're a business, so at the end of the day they need to make money. I'm sure they're not taking any of this backlash lightly.

I agree that they need to make money, but there's a difference between being a business and making money and being downright thieving gits. Tussauds (pre-2002/3) managed to run the parks so that they made money and offered a far, far superior day out to what Merlin now have to offer. Tussauds was about the magic. Merlin is about the money.

If the price of "escapism" in this country gets any higher then I'm afraid I'd rather stay in the real world where I'm subjected to less upselling and still have some money left in my wallet at the end of the day. :/
 
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Themeparksandy1981
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Re: Park Opening Hours 2012

Sat Mar 10, 2012 10:27 pm

Talking about park closing why is it that spinballs queue is always open after all the others have closed? Is it to get guests to the exit area quicker. Ain't any of Alton staff under 18 as you can't work for more than 8 hours.
 
Kelpie

Re: Park Opening Hours 2012

Sat Mar 10, 2012 10:33 pm

JoshC wrote:
On quiet off peak days there are usually no queues after half 3/4, and the cleaning can be finished half an hour after ride close.

A good point to make is if the ride close is set at 5:00 and everyone leaves after 3, then ride close can't be shortened and that's 2 hours of running the rides for hardly any people, wasting alot of money. But if there is alot of people on park then the ride close can be extended.


But those few people still want to ride until the end of the day! ;)
Guests who have chosen to come on a quiet day (often purposefully - we do for all parks, not just AT) are getting an even more raw end of the deal really, I pay the same as anyone else for my MAP or park tickets but not deemed important enough to have the same opening hours offered?

They'll be loosing more money when no one bothers coming at all on those days than from running rides an hour longer.
 
AstroDan

Re: Park Opening Hours 2012

Sat Mar 10, 2012 10:42 pm

I remember saying to Russell Barnes at one of the 2007 Customer Council Meetings, that recalling those days when Hex/Corkscrew/Ug Swinger only opened 12-4, the Monorail was closed as was the Skyride on quiet days - effectively made those guests coming on a weekday "inferior" guests. All of this was reversed, after the company saw that it simply have a bad impression.

This "reversing" of ideas has already happened with Submission and Enterprise - they will open after all, but now they launch this attack on off peak guests - countering that fact they wish to visit when it is quiet, by closing the park an hour earlier than it would have previously.

You would have thought that after years of experience, Merlin/Alton would have learnt. Hopefully this will bite them hard and they will open till 5:00pm after all.

I advise as many people as possible to publicize their feelings on the Alton Towers Facebook page :)
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