One word for me...
Escapism. The park has a great atmosphere in my opinion. Although it has dwindled in the most recent years, the Towers has always given me a feel of escapism, which is longed for when you go for a trip away from your normal surroundings. I wouldn't want to come across as Merlin-basing, because I think they have done wonders with the list of attractions; but Tussauds were a company built around creativity, Merlin are a corporate giant, who have majority shareholders who hold little interest in creativity or 'magic'. These factors are what fuel the escapist nature of the park.
However, the long-term development plan we have seen shows that Merlin could be capable of reintroducing the creativity the park needs. Investing into family attractions, an entertainment complex and further additions to accommodation will help the overall atmosphere of the park come together. Of course, there will always be enthusiasts (like us) who complain a certain effect is down or a ride is in urgent need of a repaint
but at the end of the day, they just need a little creativity, it goes a long way to making Alton Towers my favourite theme park.