UK theme parks from another point of view!

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 9
 
Dormiens-Dave

Re: The death of the (remaining) magic

Sun May 13, 2012 10:15 pm

Im seriously just still impressed that people seem to think that my attendance in the park is the cause of the problems like peeling paint. Never knew i was that important, for the sake of everyone else i will stop going.

On a serious note this hasn't been a topic started just to be negative, it was argued well with good evidence. To refute it do the same but i think you will struggle.
 
oldgitBEN

Re: The death of the (remaining) magic

Sun May 13, 2012 10:23 pm

Out of interest for those people saying its not really an issue, or that we have made up 'the better times' of TLC etc.

Merlin are CONSTANTLY telling everyone they are the second biggest company behind Disney. When have disney ever allowed an attraction to open when it was essentially not completed? When have disney let a ride station fall into a state where you can see the structure underneath? when have Disney put abit of tape on an attraction as a quick fix?
They must be in that 'golden age' that doesnt really exist.

For a company so determined to make the comparison its laughable, infact quite pitiful they even pretend to be up there with disney, when we are getting care similar to what my local parks fun-fair has.

I went to alton with [email protected] for the first time in many many months, and it looked disgusting. Oblivion is vile. Not looking at it for a year wont make any difference.
 
User avatar
Dylan
TT Member
TT Member
Posts: 1097
Joined: December 2008
Location: Reading
Contact:

The death of the (remaining) magic

Sun May 13, 2012 10:25 pm

For me, I haven't really felt much change since the 'The Honest Truth' thread.
It was around that period where I made a conscious decision to visit Alton Towers less. It felt neglected. It still feels neglected.
I have no plans currently for future visits to the park, and I'm not at all bothered by this. Which, as an enthusiast, speaking about my 'home' park is a little worrying and speaks volumes.

I did however love Ice Age 4D. It's a great addition to the park.
 
User avatar
Magrathea
TT Member
TT Member
Posts: 1262
Joined: August 2010
Location: Weston-super-Mare

Re: The death of the (remaining) magic

Sun May 13, 2012 10:28 pm

There's not much I can say which hasn't already been said, I'm just glad to finally have the rarity of an inherently negative topic which presents its points sensibly and fairly, instead of unjustified ranting about the evils of "Merlin"(*vom*).

I think it's really good that things like the Marauders' floor have had a proper touch-up (it was in dire need of doing!), it just saddens me that for every example of that there's another in the form of something such as Rita's stairs...

That said, I don't believe for a second that there would have been a higher standard of parkwide presentation in the 90s overall (ÜBER-NOSTALGIA ALERT), but that doesn't change the fact that improvements and touchups such as these need to be made, and more budget needs to be allocated to sorting them out, as I also feel that standards and expectations have been raised now :).

However, I do believe that both Ice Age and Terry (especially when they've given it some proper attention) are fantastic investments for a medium year...and yet I can't help agree that last year's opening day felt a more positive experience, despite the lack of investment. That said, last weekend's visit was wonderful so we shall see how the season progresses :)
Last edited by Magrathea on Sun May 13, 2012 10:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Image
Image
 
DiogoJ42

Re: The death of the (remaining) magic

Sun May 13, 2012 10:28 pm

[email protected] was my first trip to the park this season, and quite frankly, I'm in no rush to return. Seeing the place rotting away is just too depressing. Besides, not visiting or giving them our money is the only weapon we have to show them they need to pull their collective fingers out and do something.
 
Sazzle

Re: The death of the (remaining) magic

Sun May 13, 2012 10:30 pm

If every guest visited with a blind eye to the faults, then WOW OH MY GOD BEST DAY EVA MOST AMAZING THEME PARK!!!!

The park has the hardware, the vista, the history and the reputation behind it. That does not mean they can rely on this for forever and a day.

American Adventure had Europe's highest triple drop log flame, a groundbreaking Boomerang opened by an astronaut, and was better themed than Alton Towers in the early 90s. It rotted to death in 2006. By no means am I saying Towers will end up with the same fate, or is indeed in the same financial pickle that AA was, but parts of the park are beginning to look like AA did in the early 00s and it ISN'T just enthusiasts that notice.

For fibre glass facades and paint to be clearly decaying is not an acceptable state of affairs for the UK's biggest and best theme park - or so they declare. You don't see the finest restaurant in London having peeling wallpaper or broken light bulbs, do you? My point being that you can't continually point as your reputation and previous performance and say "well, here's what we've done before!" while brushing under the carpet the fact there's been minimal (bog all in the case of some things) upkeep. Investing in new attractions is fine, but for crying out loud don't neglect what you already have.

I will NOT stop visiting the park - that's a ridiculous argument. The problems will still be there, whether or not I stand a hiatus! That's basically the equivalent of burying heads in the sand and then coming back with rose tinted spectacles with a blood stream full of valium. I want to see the park for what it is, not try and lie to myself through false excitement.

While I don't agree with everything Russell has said, for example I adore Ice Age and I think it is a fantastic addition, I do completely understand and agree with the rest.

I love the place. I have a passion. Pass me a blooming paint brush, sign me a disclaimer for unpaid work, and I'll see you at the weekend.

Towers need a kick up the rear, some paint and a damn good clean up.

Sent from my HTC Desire using Tapatalk
 
User avatar
BigAl
TT Member
TT Member
Posts: 2265
Joined: June 2010
Location: South East Cheshire
Contact:

Re: The death of the (remaining) magic

Sun May 13, 2012 10:34 pm

Sazzle wrote:
Pass me a blooming paint brush, sign me a disclaimer for unpaid work, and I'll see you at the weekend.

I wouldn't mind lending a hand (in a couple of months) either! :D :P
 
User avatar
siralgenon
TT Member
TT Member
Posts: 1176
Joined: October 2010
Location: Bubbly Wubbly Pool in the Alton Towers Waterpark

Re: The death of the (remaining) magic

Sun May 13, 2012 10:40 pm

The park is dieing. There's no more to say.

A point I would like to add however is this:

The new custom made Cash Desk number system in Towers Trading which tells guests which till to go to cost quite a few thousand. Useless. How many cans of paint could that have bought to re-paint areas of the park?  :roll:
Last edited by siralgenon on Sun May 13, 2012 10:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Image
Image
Image
 
djtruefitt

Re: The death of the (remaining) magic

Sun May 13, 2012 10:44 pm

Russell wrote:
Just last week I went on Hex and noticed that part of the themeing in the vault has been patched up with silver coloured tape. This is just crazy, I wouldn't expect this of a smaller end park let alone one that claims to be a world class resort!


The worse thing is that silver gaffer tap has been on the Hex vault since at least last year (maybe even before!).
 
User avatar
Russell
TT Member
TT Member
Topic Author
Posts: 597
Joined: August 2008
Location: Chatteris, Cambridgeshire

Re: The death of the (remaining) magic

Sun May 13, 2012 10:49 pm

djtruefitt wrote:
The worse thing is that silver gaffer tap has been on the Hex vault since at least last year (maybe even before!).


Really?! I hadn't noticed! Thats awful! :(
Image
Image
Image
Since April 2008
 
User avatar
Benedique
TT Member
TT Member
Posts: 644
Joined: November 2009
Location: Somewhere in the Manchester area

Re: The death of the (remaining) magic

Sun May 13, 2012 10:52 pm

I'm so glad that you've started this topic Russell. I've felt as though I've been nitpicking for the past season or so, so it's refreshing to see that so many of us agree.

I'm afraid that this may sound a little 'it's not how it used to be' but meh, I'm past caring. The upkeep of the park seems at present non-existent, take X-sector for example,  it is literally rotting away. I overheard two young boys arguing amongst themselves recently over the shade of Oblivion, one was convinced that it was grey, whilst the other surmised it as silver. I suspect I'd have caused them to erupt in a state of howling laughter, had I divulged that it's actually black (or at least it's supposed to be).

I know that sprucing up the rides doesn't really generate income for the park so at the moment it doesn't seem like a feasible option on the business front, but surely I'm not the only guest around who feels the atmosphere is flaking away with the paint? I keep using Oblivion as an example, not because it's the only issue in terms of park upkeep, but because it's the most drastic example in my personal opinion. My most vivid memory of my first ever visit to the park, when I was 11, was of the intimidating Oblivion structure standing tall over X sector. I remember looking up at the thick jet-black track as each shuttle poured over the edge into the ground beneath me and thinking 'that looks terrifying'. When I stand in X Sector now and look up, I see faded grey track and discoloured shuttles, every beam of sunlight highlighting the layers of paint that have peeled away with years of use. It's hard to appreciate the intimidation and fear that it once injected into a guests day, when it looks old and worn. It's almost like looking at an old frail Grandparent who once seemed your strong hero, once capable of anything.

I'm aware that a first time guest will still be amazed and captivated by the park but, many guests who enter the park have visited at some point in their lives already and they are well aware of how certain rides used to appear.  I'm sure that I'm not the only member on here who has overheard comments such as 'Wow, (insert attraction name here) is looking old'. Surely it would therefore be beneficial to the park to invest in tidying up some of the older attractions/areas, not for the intention of attracting new guests, but for the intention of keeping current guests opinions positive. After all, word of mouth, gets round and I'm sure 'the place is looking tired' will have been mentioned by some guests to inquisitive potential guests.
 
It seems as though the people in charge have grown confident with the gap that stands between Alton and other UK non-Merlin parks. It's long been the case that no other UK park can compete with the Merlin parks (especially Towers). I fear that because of this, they have become unconcerned, overlooking the 'little things' that once made the park great such as it's impeccable clean and tidy image. Sad as it sounds, I feel that the gap which they seem so confident and sure of, is slowly closing in. Sure, there isn't a non-Merlin park in the UK that can match the investments of Alton Towers (take for example the fact that no other non-Merlin UK park has ever been in a position to invest in a B&M), but the smaller parks are providing the things that Alton are failing on.

Yes, people mainly go to Theme Parks for the attractions, but atmosphere also plays a huge part in guest enjoyment and if I'm honest, Alton's atmosphere is deteriorating. I doubt it ruins anybodies day but come on, it's hard to ignore rusting rides, crumbling themeing, and rotting paint when it can be readily found in every area of the park.

For those who are jumping on this topic for being negative, then right you are, it largely is - but it needs to be. Along with praise comes criticism, I'm delighted with this year's additions to the park and credit where credit is due they have done a fantastic job, but that doesn't mean that we will ignore the areas of the park that are screaming out for attention.  Being an enthusiast doesn't just mean that you are only there to cheer them on when they do something well, but that you are there pushing them along when they fail also. 
Image
 
User avatar
Magrathea
TT Member
TT Member
Posts: 1262
Joined: August 2010
Location: Weston-super-Mare

Re: The death of the (remaining) magic

Sun May 13, 2012 11:01 pm

Russell wrote:
djtruefitt wrote:
The worse thing is that silver gaffer tap has been on the Hex vault since at least last year (maybe even before!).


Really?! I hadn't noticed! Thats awful! :(


I believe that's basically the point...barely anyone notices that it's been patched up with gaffa so the money's better going towards, like, getting the smoke machine working than replacing a panel which basically no guests will ever see because it's so dark...(I'm presuming you only noticed it when we had lights on?)

It's sad but that's the way the money allocation works!
Image
Image
 
CoasterCrazyChris
TT Member
TT Member
Posts: 2885
Joined: July 2008
Location: Bristol

Re: The death of the (remaining) magic

Sun May 13, 2012 11:02 pm

Magrathea wrote:
Russell wrote:
djtruefitt wrote:
The worse thing is that silver gaffer tap has been on the Hex vault since at least last year (maybe even before!).


Really?! I hadn't noticed! Thats awful! :(


I believe that's basically the point...barely anyone notices that it's been patched up with gaffa so the money's better going towards, like, getting the smoke machine working than replacing a panel which basically no guests will ever see because it's so dark...(I'm presuming you only noticed it when we had lights on?)

It's sad but that's the way the money allocation works!


Opportunity cost basically.

(LOL I have a Business exam tomorrow)
 
McFlurry

Re: The death of the (remaining) magic

Sun May 13, 2012 11:21 pm

Everything comes down to profit. But, where is all the profit going, as it certainly isn't being reinvested into the Theme Park!  :|

For the for the foreseeable future Alton Towers, along with other attractions will contiune to be cash cows for the investment company that wants to make a return on its investment before off loading it.
 
User avatar
Squiggles
TT Member
TT Member
Posts: 2182
Joined: April 2003
Location: The Land of Make Believe! (No... really)
Contact:

Re: The death of the (remaining) magic

Sun May 13, 2012 11:50 pm

Dormiens-Dave wrote:
Im seriously just still impressed that people seem to think that my attendance in the park is the cause of the problems like peeling paint. Never knew i was that important, for the sake of everyone else i will stop going.


We've all seen you there at the park... weathering away at the scenery.

I'll tell you what, you can keep on going, just stop rubbing Nemesis, eh?
Edwardo..... move me!
 
djtruefitt

Re: The death of the (remaining) magic

Sun May 13, 2012 11:51 pm

If small parks with much lower budgets than Alton such as Drayton and Blackpool can spend money during the past few years simply painting rides and having a general tidy up then surely Alton can paint a ride like Oblivion thats been there for 14 years or fix things that havnt worked for years around the park.
 
Dormiens-Dave

Re: The death of the (remaining) magic

Mon May 14, 2012 12:16 am

Before they go near the track with a paintbrush they need to fix the station, theming elements and do the same on Nemesis...

They are not just nicer if sorted they are an eyesore in their current state, something that i don't think is the case with the track colour....

Please Towers... huge holes in the theming with MDF showing through wouldn't be allowed for the decor in a Aldi... never mind a theme park
 
User avatar
mrbrightside
TT Member
TT Member
Posts: 1100
Joined: July 2011
Location: Norwich

The death of the (remaining) magic

Mon May 14, 2012 1:18 am

I had never visited Alton before 2010 - so I am not really best placed to comment on any 'magic' but I will say that I dislike how the word magic is used on here... For some it conjures up memories from the 90s, for others it conjures up thoughts on how they hate any mention of magic and for others, like me, it brings thoughts of a first time recent visit and falling in love with the place.

I cannot help but agree with most of the points Russell made - as the upkeep of many areas of the park is frankly terrible and the opening of Sub Terra was a complete shambles. However, when I am at Towers I still feel a 'magic' - which is why I hate using the word.

Despite the negative upkeep and the terrible fact that rides are rotting, does anyone here actually have an inherently bad time at Towers when they visit? Because despite the flaws, the park is clearly still doing something right... As others have mentioned, new theming is starting to work out great (Dark Forest aside) and some touch ups are being made - however they are not enough.

Merlin is putting their parks on a tight squeeze, and this is presumably due to Blackstone wanting to recoup as much of their costs as possible before floating the company. It has led to a 'get rich quick culture' which just does not work. The company needs to look at long-term investments such as maintenance an upkeep in order to see long-term return, yet they are not and simply want to see a quick buck being made on new attractions.

I hope there is a light at the end when Merlin are floated, but it could just get worse... I think we need to be glad, at least, that investment is still high and we have not (yet) seen any major ride closures. Though it is a looming fear...

Long points short; I think that magic is an over-used and undefinable term to use on these forums. It's different for everyone, refers to different periods and causes trouble. However, I agree that the park is in a sorry state in places and I also think that there is an inherent problem in the way in which Blackstone are forcing Merlin to work...


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
ImageImage
 
User avatar
roary01
TT Member
TT Member
Posts: 355
Joined: June 2009
Location: Staffordshire

Re: The death of the (remaining) magic

Mon May 14, 2012 4:05 am

I'm starting to get to the point where im giving up with Towers, we thought we were out of they "dying years of the park" but quite frankly i think we are still in them, yes were getting new rides now, but NO care has been taken to protect the life of the main rides...

As has been said yes they have paid for SMALL refurbs, painting maurauders/toadstool... they WON'T spend money to refurb the bigger projects, and its really sad..

Nemesis Alien... What Alien??!! your biging up Nemesis by giving it a prequel ride... Soon the Original will have to be closed for MAJOR work, the station is in an extremely poor state, Moss, cracks, holes, you name it you'll find it on the station...
Oblivion.. Same things and its really sad.. you ride it then waiting to return into the station, you get a brilliant view of the crumbling, moss, peeling paintwork of the station facade... its really sad especially with SW7 next year.. BUT they did repaint enterprise and done work on Submission..(BOTH SMALL RIDES)

The park NEEDS to focus on the BIG rides and prolong the future of these attractions, but with the way things are these days we wont be seeing them refurbished anytime soon... When they finally fall apart they can get some corrugated metal sheets to replace there stations!
SORT IT OUT!!
 
User avatar
BigAl
TT Member
TT Member
Posts: 2265
Joined: June 2010
Location: South East Cheshire
Contact:

Re: The death of the (remaining) magic

Mon May 14, 2012 7:46 am

I don't think the park should just focus on the big rides. They ought to focus on everything. Everything they do needs to reflect being the UK's number 1 theme park. You can't repaint Oblivion and build SW7 if smaller rides such as the Twirling Toadstool look like they're on their last legs. The target audience of Twirling Toadstool won't appreciate changes in X-Sector as they're younger children and probably won't go to X-Sector very much, whereas they will see the signs of age on rides aimed at them.

And I hope these comments about "rose-tinted spectacles" stop. Mocking people isn't very productive in a discussion and it's getting tiring.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 9

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: MSN [Bot] and 119 guests