UK theme parks from another point of view!

 
Dormiens-Dave

Re: Off Peak Closure of SkyRide and Other Cuts

Thu May 17, 2012 10:47 am

I used this on someone's Facebook discussion but i will repeat here.... My thoughts on cutting the skyride

"Cut the ticket price and i will shut up, i suppose the question is, would you be happy for a bar to cut a pint down by 80ml but put up the price? That's where my issue is, if they want an "off-peak" service thats less than "peak" then offer an "off-peak" price structure to match"

This point also goes for Chessie with their staggering of area opening times during off-peak days
Last edited by Dormiens-Dave on Thu May 17, 2012 10:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
 
Alex Tyler
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Re: Off Peak Closure of SkyRide and Other Cuts

Thu May 17, 2012 11:17 am

kingbling11 wrote:
Is anybody on park today that can confirm whether the skyride is open or not?

I can confirm that it is closed.
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Mattchu_19
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Re: Off Peak Closure of SkyRide and Other Cuts

Thu May 17, 2012 12:09 pm

It was having a few problems yesterday! Kept starting and stopping and then broke down completely will a load of engineers heading to the Forbidden valley station, eventually it did open again but tbh i prefer to walk so closing it wont make a massive difference to my day!

On the point of closing it off peek, i can see why they are doing this because yesterday was dead, there were hardly any Q's so there was no need to rush about. You could take your time walking around the park and still get on everything twice which is what we did!
 
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James
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Re: Off Peak Closure of SkyRide and Other Cuts

Thu May 17, 2012 12:12 pm

What's annoyed me most with this is that there is no prior warning that the Skyride will be closed most days on the Alton Towers website. I know they do not owe it to guests to inform them of these things however the Skyride is an important attraction/form of transport, which directly affects those who are disabled or unable to walk through lengths of the park. Most guests are already aware that the Skyride exists, and more importantly, it's on the website, so this will mislead some in to believing it's open all year when it's not.

At least when complaints come in, if the information is on the website, then staff can inform guests that it is clearly stated on the Alton Towers website. Otherwise they will get complaints from guests of not being informed prior to their visit or the information not being stated any where on the website, leading them to being misinformed.   

Other parks are capable of informing guests of ride closures on websites and social networking sites, why can't Alton Towers do the same? It's hardly a big task. Just a matter of adding some text on a web page.

While I do not agree with the decision of only operating the Skyride on 'large' days (I do understand the difficult situation Alton are in though) the least they can do is make sure guests are well informed prior and during their visit to the resort.
Last edited by James on Thu May 17, 2012 12:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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marita
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Re: Off Peak Closure of SkyRide and Other Cuts

Thu May 17, 2012 12:39 pm

I think it is disgusting personally.

If you have someone in a wheel chair then the paths which are accessible to use make their journeys a lot longer and more energy zapping. Also think of the person assisting by pushing the wheelchair thats not really fair again a lot of up hill.

If they wanna save money then why not have a few of the little road trains which shuttle people about that might be an idea and cheaper than the sky ride

just an idea
 
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mrbrightside
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Re: Off Peak Closure of SkyRide and Other Cuts

Thu May 17, 2012 12:56 pm

I can't believe they aren't advertising this... When it was down for the majority of last season there was a notice on the website.

Like I said before, this has come about because their previous plans were overturned. If this gets overturned, another scheme will just be thought up and this will continue until one is put in place and kept to... It's clear that they have to do something and will keep going until they find something they can get away with...


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AstroDan

Re: Off Peak Closure of SkyRide and Other Cuts

Thu May 17, 2012 12:58 pm

I am sure they will edit the Skyride page on the website in due course. Give them a chance!

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mrbrightside
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Re: Off Peak Closure of SkyRide and Other Cuts

Thu May 17, 2012 1:08 pm

This plan has presumably not come about overnight though... And if the closures have started today, then they should at least be publicised. It doesn't take much to do so.

Yes, I may have come across as overly critical but I don't think it is unreasonable to expect them to update the website when a planned closure is happening.


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Satch

Re: Off Peak Closure of SkyRide and Other Cuts

Thu May 17, 2012 1:11 pm

I do think the moral outrage a lot of people are having is a bit OTT. I don't agree with it, and it's a poor move to close the skyride, but it is the better move out of the other options of closing subs/ents or cutting hours. It less directly impacts most guests on the enjoyment of their day, and is more of an inconvenience than anything else.

I don't think writing to Merlin will have any impact on reversing this decision. Instead, I suggest waiting for direct guest complaints in the park. If it is truly missed by park guests, then it will be known.

Clearly Towers have been told to cut costs. It's perhaps a credit to them that where they can cut costs is not so easily identifiable, suggesting everything is tightly controlled. It's down to them to tell Merlin exactly what impact these new measures will have on the brand
 
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mrbrightside
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Re: Off Peak Closure of SkyRide and Other Cuts

Thu May 17, 2012 1:22 pm

Satch wrote:
Clearly Towers have been told to cut costs. It's perhaps a credit to them that where they can cut costs is not so easily identifiable, suggesting everything is tightly controlled. It's down to them to tell Merlin exactly what impact these new measures will have on the brand
I agree with this.

Whilst I think that these cost-cutting measures will continue until they find something that can be gotten away with, it is a positive that the fact that they keep getting overturned has to be proving something to Merlin. However, it just sucks that Merlin seem to not be letting up and keep demanding Towers find a new way to cut costs.
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Sam
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Re: Off Peak Closure of SkyRide and Other Cuts

Thu May 17, 2012 1:44 pm

Islander wrote:
Sam wrote:
Always mystified by the dislike towards LWV's Facebook wind ups. Isn't it the point of capitalism and competition that you try to explain why your product is better than your competitor in some way?


It just seems childish. You have to question why they don't put as much effort into marketing when Merlin haven't screwed up.

Of course companies should try and explain why their product is better than their competition, but IMO that should be done by highlighting how good you are, not how poor the competition is. It reeks of desperation.


It doesn't "reek of desperation" at all. They're not saying "Alton's Skyride is shut! We'd never do something like that!" It's just a cheeky little dig at what is, quite frankly, an appallingly run company. They're meant to be one of the biggest theme parks in the world and they don't even have enough money to keep all the rides running?! What a joke, Lightwater are quite right to point out what a laughable situation it is.

And they do put the effort in with the marketing! Relative to their budget and size of the marketing team, they're by far the best marketed park in the UK. :)
 
Dormiens-Dave

Re: Off Peak Closure of SkyRide and Other Cuts

Thu May 17, 2012 2:53 pm

Just because i know a few have said they will veto Towers but then will still go to Thorpe lets look at all 3 parks cost cuts this year.

Towers

- Small Number of early closes
- Sky Ride closure off peak

Chessie

- Wild Asia and Dragon Falls opening late

Thorpe

- Entire ents team cut
- Saw Live not opening until Fright Nights
- Depth charge, Vortex, Flying fish, Detonator all not opening until 12!!

To be fair here as much as i still don't like it and stand by my point about cutting the entrance price Towers seem to have done okay finding the cuts that impact least on the park compared especially to Thorpe!

I just hate that Merlin are doing this when they are bragging about their profits on their website!
 
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RustyRider
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Re: Off Peak Closure of SkyRide and Other Cuts

Thu May 17, 2012 4:05 pm

Our number one priority

The delivery of memorable experiences to our millions of visitors underpinned by constantly monitored visitor satisfaction, world class people development strategies, and the very highest customer service and Health & Safety standards.


Just pulled this off the introduction segment of merlins website, it's a real shame when company's can never stick to their own standards/goals etc.

Although it being closed wont affect me directly, this is a shockingly bad decision that will no doubt come and bite them in the arse...

During my customer service training for my job  I was told this little gem..."if a customer has a bad experience they will tell, on average, 9 of their friends, they will then tell their friends and before you know it, your company has a terrible reputation." and what with social networking it will only create a sh*tstorm for merlin (and unfortunately Alton towers) :(
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Dormiens-Dave

Re: Off Peak Closure of SkyRide and Other Cuts

Thu May 17, 2012 4:40 pm

Also look on the bright side....

Ripsaw always runs better when the SkyRide is down... it gets more power!

Silver lining and all that :D
 
AstroDan

Re: Off Peak Closure of SkyRide and Other Cuts

Thu May 17, 2012 5:33 pm

It sure does! Rippy will be loving this!

I have somewhat altered my stance over the past 24 hours.

I don't think there is now much alternative than to do this. Not by Alton Towers, at least. It's probably the lesser of all evils, at least to me. I just hope the entire saga is over as soon as possible and the park can offer a full service on a daily basis again. I feel for guests visiting on quieter days, as they shouldn't be treated as second class, and I also worry for the long term viability of the Skyride.

Let's hope things pick up a bit.

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Re: Off Peak Closure of SkyRide and Other Cuts

Thu May 17, 2012 9:13 pm

Hi, long time reader, reduced poster here. :P

Rather than expressing my views on Facebook which get lynched upon I'm happy to throw myself to the wolves and post that the decision may not be the best one but it's much better than having major rides closed.

Alton obviously have to save money somewhere and whilst they tried to do this - to no avail - with Subs & Ents this is the option they have seen fit to choose instead.

In my view the hysteria created by this decision is insane. People are demanding reduced gate prices, claiming it's discrimination towards disabled people & out-and-out trolling Alton's Facebook wall with ridiculous comments & insults. Alton do not have a obligation towards disabled guests but choose to make all their rides accessible to those in wheelchairs. Take a look around the other none Merlin parks and see who caters for disabled guests the most. Even the beloved Europa park does not offer wheelchair access to any of it's major rides or coasters. Yes, I agree it can be tiring without the Skyride, but there wasn't this outcry when the Skyride was down for a combined season with the fires was there?

I think Alton have shot themselves in the foot honestly by backing down on certain decisions they have made, because it now it seems enthusiasts think they have control over what they decide and find it acceptable to sprout venomous tripe about legalities and how they're discriminating against disabled people. I will concede they must advertise this change to offer those who may find the park treks tiring fair warning.

I said yesterday, I honestly feel embarrassed to be an Alton fan sometimes. There was good reason to be angry over the proposed 4pm close as value for money enters the fray. If the park was not investing heavily (which it is) then maybe I could understand some of the hatred, but as we all no Merlin parks are struggling at present. Alton is quiet, even on weekends. Thorpe is doing dire despite having a brand new coaster. It is plain to see with all the cost cutting that's going on and reducing hours on rides etc that there's an issue. I would much rather see investments like SW7 continue and maybe lose the Skyride off-peak any day. Yes I know it's an inconvenience to the minority but what else do you want? You guys got Ents & Subs open for the year, the opening times increased & the Fanta vomit removed from Blivvy. Slamming the park this way because they have decided to close the Skyride on Off-Peak days is just going too far in my opinion.

I for one think a happy medium would be to keep the Skyride open and close Submission & Enterprise blocking it off as part of the reconstruction and build of SW&. That way, they get to cut their costs and the Skyride remains open. It just seems these days that once one person jumps on the band-wagon the rest follow and it turns into one big headache, many people are not posting their concerns with any real thought and are just jumping on said band wagon to push Towers around again, it's sickening. I'm not saying that peoples concerns are unjust, but it's the way in which these situations are turning up and the anti-Alton campaign starts again.

I was disgusted to see at [email protected] the level of hatred for attractions & the park itself so freely on display, people shouting jibes & ruining experiences for guests & other members to fuel their own narcissistic needs. It begs the question, why on earth do many of you keep visiting if you despise the park so much? I will say it's mini meets for me in future as it was the only thing that ruined my weekend.

I understand why so many of you are upset with the way the park is going and it bothers me sometimes as well, but you just let the cause down some of you by thinking you have the power to change the world. Well let me put it plain and simple, you don't & the world is crap. Greed always wins & the sooner you realise that the better. If you want to make your point, add to the dwindling gates numbers and don't visit if you feel that strongly about the changes, save the rest of us from your incessant moaning. (not directed at those of you who post diplomatically)     
 
Last edited by Spike on Thu May 17, 2012 9:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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oldgitBEN

Re: Off Peak Closure of SkyRide and Other Cuts

Thu May 17, 2012 9:37 pm

I disagree with a few points you've made Spike, however you have raised some excellent points too.

(Also I agree with the facebook stuff, I do not think thats the way forward at all).

I think the generalisation that disabled people have got the focus is correct, however its easy to use that categorise that group as it has more of an impact. But really it affects families with buggies (they are heavy), families with any children - as they get tired walking around the park, and most guests - I find a day at alton tiring, its a collosal park in size, which is why the sky ride was constructed wasnt it?
I see what you are saying, and think people have just focused on the one group, but really, it does effect every guest.
There was no outcry when the skyride kept burning down as that was something beyond altons control, and they were proactive in trying to restore it.

I dont think Alton backing down is a bad thing, they keep making silly decisions thats are just based on money. Im more impressed they do back down and change their mind - its a sign the park listens to its guests and takes them seriously. I realise they do these things for a reason, but when they get a backlash and customer service gets damaged, its brilliant they respond to it. Customer Service should be every business' priority, and thats why Alton overturn a poor service decision Im proud of them.

As you've said theme parks (and the entire leisure industry) are struggling, despite new rides and innovation. People just dont have the money to spend as freely anymore and visiting Merlin parks are expensive. For that Merlin should be making sure they deliver value for money, to keep these guests happy - with an aim to get returning customers.
Not seeing the downfall as an excuse to remove attractions and lower service standards, this is the time to really push and please people.

Like you said being an Alton fan is hard work, they dont always make the best decisions, but isnt that why we are here, to push them into making the better ones? And it must work to some degree!
 
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Spike
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Re: Off Peak Closure of SkyRide and Other Cuts

Thu May 17, 2012 9:49 pm

Oh don't get me wrong I agree it's nice to see them back down due to pressure and show they are listening, as they do and have made some right clangers. My issue is the tone of the latest in the 'Gate' series. You can almost see the way enthusiast especially are reacting "here's the address you need to complain too rarara" I think the way in which some people are portraying themselves is just cringe-worthy.

I also agree with some of the points about buggies etc, but Alton do provide lighter and more fun options (wheely cars) to help with a child's boredom & tiredness. I agree that the minority groups are being used here to further the pressure on Alton, especially when such a small number of enthusiasts on this site even go with buggies or wheelchairs.

Dan's earlier post about it being more so Merlin than Alton was spot on, hence why I feel the hysteria thrown at Alton for this decision is over the top. 
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AstroDan

Re: Off Peak Closure of SkyRide and Other Cuts

Thu May 17, 2012 9:55 pm

I actually think the 'uproar' about this issue has already reduced significantly.

Some good points from both, although I dispute the issue on meets - aside from some joking about with Sub Terra, I don't generally feel people attack the park on meets, perhaps some sarcasm, but nothing malicious certainly.

We do need to remember though, that as much as we can all feel sorry for Alton Towers, how hard it is at the moment - this is BIG business. A massive, international corporation that we are talking about. Capitalism at its biggest.

So, yeah - I don't particularly have sympathy although I do understand why there are problems.

:)

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siralgenon
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Re: Off Peak Closure of SkyRide and Other Cuts

Thu May 17, 2012 9:58 pm

Dormiens-Dave wrote:
Also look on the bright side....

Ripsaw always runs better when the SkyRide is down... it gets more power!

Silver lining and all that :D


I wouldn't completely agree with that, it was more like a pirate ship today, it took about 7 swings to get all the way around!  :P
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