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NemeJaney
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Re: Alton Towers Resort - General Discussion

Mon Jan 22, 2018 8:18 pm

Just a thought...what happens if it's between 10 and 11am and Oblivon and/or Smiler is closed? There will be no other major rides open in that hour (until DF rides open, of course). It will be awful.

Relating to this, if crowds aren't dispersed evenly enough, surely on busy days that is a security concern worth thinking about?
 
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Justin
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Re: Alton Towers Resort - General Discussion

Mon Jan 22, 2018 8:22 pm

Health and Safety will be a nightmare with overcrowding!
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Re: Alton Towers Resort - General Discussion

Mon Jan 22, 2018 8:22 pm

Exactly Janey and Justin. I really don't think they have thought this through!
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NemeJaney
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Re: Alton Towers Resort - General Discussion

Mon Jan 22, 2018 8:27 pm

Let's hope they have enough funds to employ sufficient security personnel and don't make too many cuts in that department
 
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Dan
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Re: Alton Towers Resort - General Discussion

Mon Jan 22, 2018 8:31 pm

I don’t think the overcrowding will be all that bad. People are forgetting that Alton is a sizeable park and they will have looked at guestflow trends from the past few years when making these decisions.

The last thing they need is another Health & Safety issue so I highly doubt they haven’t considered all possibilities.
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Justin
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Re: Alton Towers Resort - General Discussion

Mon Jan 22, 2018 8:45 pm

It will be more the initial rush as it will be on a similar scale/concentration to Fireworks. The path and queue lines will be rammed!
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Dan
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Re: Alton Towers Resort - General Discussion

Mon Jan 22, 2018 8:50 pm

I disagree.

There will be less people entitled to ERT due to online bookings no longer receiving it, so as long as ERT guests are managed correctly at the turnstiles there won’t be an issue.

Come 10am there’ll be CBeebies Land, X-Sector, Mutiny Bay and Towers Street open, which will be more than enough space to handle the guest numbers, if similar to previous years.
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Re: Alton Towers Resort - General Discussion

Mon Jan 22, 2018 8:53 pm

I suppose that's true. We'd all be gathered outside FV in protest after an initial ride on Wicker Man anyway ;)
 
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Tom170499
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Re: Alton Towers Resort - General Discussion

Mon Jan 22, 2018 9:07 pm

I’m officially done. This is beyond a joke. If I hadn’t booked already, I wouldn’t be bothering this year. RIP Alton Towers. 
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OhShambhala
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Re: Alton Towers Resort - General Discussion

Mon Jan 22, 2018 9:16 pm

Think there may be a meeting at management to discuss backtracking tomorrow judging by the absolloute hellstorm going down on Facebook! :0
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Re: Alton Towers Resort - General Discussion

Mon Jan 22, 2018 9:23 pm

Unfortunately I can only get out to one Merlin park every year, (because they’re expensive and I’m only 15), if it wasn’t for Wickerman I would choose to go to Thorpe Park instead with 10pm openings throughout the summer.
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Re: Alton Towers Resort - General Discussion

Mon Jan 22, 2018 9:32 pm

Whilst I was expecting some small staggered openings, I didn't think it would be anything like on this scale. I thought we'd get FV and CBeebies Land on ERT, then X-Sector, Katanga Canyon, Mutiny Bay, Gloomy Wood, and Wicker Man at 10, followed by DF, Hex and CCL at 11. I'm not sure if it is a decision from Towers themselves, or something higher up in Merlin is influencing it, but I do get the impression there is something more behind this as they ust have known the backlash it would receive. Surely all that's going to happen is that queues will be pushed to the rides with the limited opening hours as people rush to squeeze them in.

What is positive is that Wicker Man is on ERT which does give us our strongest hint yet that it will open with the park on the 17th March, however I do worry that if it has teething problems that will leave only Spinball Whizzer for adults during ERT.

Whilst many people are angry at today's news (and understandably so), I'm just feeling a kind of sadness that it has come to this at Towers. It's sad to see a park which does still have so much potential forced to cut back in so many areas. I also strongly suspect there are a number of staff at the Resort who are equally as passionate about Towers as we are who are just as frustrated at what they are having to implement knowing how it will be viewed by enthusiasts and the public alike. All we can hope is that Wicker Man will see a significant uplift in attendance at the park so that it leaves Merlin with no choice but to reverse some of these staggered openings.
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ROYJESS
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Re: Alton Towers Resort - General Discussion

Mon Jan 22, 2018 9:46 pm

OhShambhala wrote:
Think there may be a meeting at management to discuss backtracking tomorrow judging by the absolloute hellstorm going down on Facebook! :0

I've openly voice my dismay both on Alton Towers and Merlin Facebook pages.  I personally don't think Merlin has enough feedback regarding this  ;)
 
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Joel Allen
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Re: Alton Towers Resort - General Discussion

Mon Jan 22, 2018 9:53 pm

I really hope a meeting is held about the issue tomorrow. There’s been around 380 Facebook complaints from what I’ve seen... Seems a lot of people are annoyed, I don’t blame them. I just hope a reversal happens. We would be saved! (Mostly)
 
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Justin
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Re: Alton Towers Resort - General Discussion

Mon Jan 22, 2018 10:01 pm

Dan wrote:
I disagree.

There will be less people entitled to ERT due to online bookings no longer receiving it, so as long as ERT guests are managed correctly at the turnstiles there won’t be an issue.

A point well made and not considered by myself :D

Joel Allen wrote:
I really hope a meeting is held about the issue tomorrow. There’s been around 380 Facebook complaints from what I’ve seen... Seems a lot of people are annoyed, I don’t blame them. I just hope a reversal happens. We would be saved! (Mostly)

I expect there will be some kind of briefing, but I wouldn't hold your breath for any reversals.
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NemeJaney
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Re: Alton Towers Resort - General Discussion

Mon Jan 22, 2018 10:06 pm

Looks like a lot of social media users have been directly tweeting Nick Varney himself, rather than the AT/Merlin pages, as that's where they feel a difference will be made. It seems people are currently feeling more like financial statistics, rather than welcomed guests. Perhaps I'm sensationalising the situation but there's definitely a very low morale among guests and, no doubt, staff. Let's all stay strong, people!  :D
 
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lewis97
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Re: Alton Towers Resort - General Discussion

Mon Jan 22, 2018 11:18 pm

While the cutbacks of the previous two seasons were by no means well received, they certainly seem to have provoked a much wider outcry this time (which is undoubtedly justified). Hopefully, that will result in at least some backtrack of what has been announced, but I'm not getting my hopes up given that it wouldn't make sense to make such drastic changes and subject themselves to the disastrous PR if they weren't completely 'necessary'. I think they might have just gotten away with it had Forbidden Valley opened at 10am though.

I was optimistic that with this being the year of Wicker Man we would see at least some steps in the right direction, however we've instead been landed with what is the most brutal set of cuts yet (especially if you take into consideration the closures that have carried over from previous seasons). They wouldn't have gone down well in 2016, but they'd probably have been easier to accept than they are now, in the third season post-June 2015.

We've still got the actual opening times to come, but I can't say I'm hopeful of them providing any consolation.

It really is such a shame to see the anticipation for Wicker Man replaced by the outrage at these cuts (as captured by the response to the Resort's social media posts this afternoon), and with it the Resort perhaps waving good-bye to their best chance of recovery for the next four years. Indeed, if it does seriously taint the launch of Wicker Man, I dread to think what we'll be discussing this time next year...
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Aidan Lowe
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Re: Alton Towers Resort - General Discussion

Mon Jan 22, 2018 11:34 pm

Heading into 2018, just cruising waiting for the season to start then they drop this bombshell.

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ponder
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Re: Alton Towers Resort - General Discussion

Tue Jan 23, 2018 12:15 am

They are, rightly, taking an absolute battering on social media. One thing I've learnt from years of retail management is that you can't take the mick out of your paying customers and expect to get away with it. If they don't back track to some degree, I think it'll almost certainly either impact on gate figures or on hotel bookings. Because, to be frank, what incentive is there to pay more to stay at AT than you would at a local B&B if you can't take advantage of the woodland walk and hit Forbidden Valley nice and early? 

I think they've completely misjudged this decision, and at a time when Blackpool are about to open a world class rollercoaster and more of the GP are becoming wise to how reasonably priced it can be to reach other, better European parks.

NemeJaney wrote:
I suppose that's true. We'd all be gathered outside FV in protest after an initial ride on Wicker Man anyway ;)

Once you've walked all the way over there because the Sky Ride isn't open yet...  :lol
Last edited by Dan on Tue Jan 23, 2018 12:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Merged double post
 
tedoshay
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Re: Alton Towers Resort - General Discussion

Tue Jan 23, 2018 9:27 am

I think it's important to remember here that after the media bettering over the last 2 years, it's battered the Towers. They absolutely have to make these sorts of decisions, rightly or wrongly as without them there wouldn't be a Towers to enjoy / bash. I do think that this is possibly a bit too far and does nothing to stop the rot.. I mean, where does it stop? I expect that guest trends will have been analysed to sort the times - look on queue-times.com on any random day and you'll see that Nemesis had a 5 - 10 min queue, Galactica only longer because of VR.. So of course, it makes sense on paper to stagger this opening as FV's popularity is lower while the newer headline rides are the opposite side of the park. It's also the first time that we see the newest ride on ERT...
I don't think we will see the opening times change, but what I do think we will see is an announcement that this only applies to off-peak days and not their peak days: summer, Scarefest, Half Terms, Fireworks etc.
As much as it pains me, I think I support the decision in principle.. The Towers need to save themselves in tough times. But as a fan boy it's upsetting to see that they have to take this much of a drastic measure to secure their future, when if the media weren't such sensationalist scaremongers putting the fear into potential guests, this may not have been needed..
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