UK theme parks from another point of view!

 
Smiling bass
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Re: Towers Loving Care

Mon Mar 21, 2016 2:14 pm

Had the most incredible couple of days there over the weekend. The opening of the smiler was insane. EVERYONE was cheering and laughing at every little thing that happened.

But what the chuff is wrong with the screen?!
 
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wolfwynd
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Re: Towers Loving Care

Mon Mar 21, 2016 2:29 pm

I hope they keep up with it too. It does look nice though going round the park yesterday.
 
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owenrita121
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Re: Towers Loving Care

Mon Mar 21, 2016 2:48 pm

Smiling bass wrote:
Had the most incredible couple of days there over the weekend. The opening of the smiler was insane. EVERYONE was cheering and laughing at every little thing that happened.

But what the chuff is wrong with the screen?!

I think the screen is like that whilst the media is still interested in the ride, so they can't make out what it actually says.
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COASTERGUY246
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Re: Towers Loving Care

Mon Mar 21, 2016 2:56 pm

i believe they edited out any reference to "correction" and exported it in a much lower quality, not sure if intentional or not
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LiamC
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Re: Towers Loving Care

Mon Mar 21, 2016 4:21 pm

Andy Mc wrote:
LiamC wrote:
The whole TLC thing, whilst good, doesn't sit well with me. It shouldn't take an incident like what happened on The Smiler to give them the kick to do this. This is just basic maintenance that should be done consistently and constantly.


But can we really say this is the case, we'll never know truly.


That The Smiler incident was the cause for TLC? Whilst it hasn't been specifically cited as the reason, it's fairly obvious that it more than likely was.
 
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jayson2125
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Re: Towers Loving Care

Mon Mar 21, 2016 4:50 pm

LiamC wrote:
Andy Mc wrote:
LiamC wrote:
The whole TLC thing, whilst good, doesn't sit well with me. It shouldn't take an incident like what happened on The Smiler to give them the kick to do this. This is just basic maintenance that should be done consistently and constantly.


But can we really say this is the case, we'll never know truly.


That The Smiler incident was the cause for TLC? Whilst it hasn't been specifically cited as the reason, it's fairly obvious that it more than likely was.


I agree...this work should be done as standard and not be something to shout about...

This is similar to councils when they fix roads putting big signs up saying we have invested x million in repairs....We pay for it in road tax so this should be done anyway.

For me the real negative is that ride closures are being justified by TLC...we all know why charlie has closed and I am sure we can have a dam good guess as to why others have been closed.

I was told on saturday that HEX is closed because of TLC and becuase its in a grade 1 listed building it could take all season..

Is this not what closed season is for..?????

Yes its nice to see improvements but the amount of rides that are closed yet AP costs have risen as has everything else we are getting less for our money and are expected to be happy that undermaintained scenery is getting a spruce up.......

I still love AT but Merlin really are pushing things....bring back the magic..
 
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Re: Towers Loving Care

Mon Mar 21, 2016 5:19 pm

tbh I don't see why everyone's complaining.

"Ohhhh budget cuts they're killing Alton Towers how dare they."

The Smiler incident cut their budget. I would prefer them to cut a few rides and do this TLC thing, which I personally think is a good thing, instead of just ditching Alton Towers and investing heavily in LegoLand, which is making them far more money currently.

The worst part is that a year ago the majority of users on this site would've condemned the rides which are closed, as Hex and Air are "too boring", The Smiler is "a disgusting ball of steel which feels like a rickety train track" and the Flume was "so boring it hurts" allegedly.

I understand that not everyone had these views, or changes their views so quickly, but it seems like many people just come here to complain that Alton Towers is a GP focused business instead of what they want it to be, and as nice as that would be, it's not. :(

EDIT: I realised I lumped Air in with the closed rides, but Galactica had it's fair share of abuse on announcement.
 
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Re: Towers Loving Care

Mon Mar 21, 2016 6:13 pm

I'm hoping TLC might show some of the work that's being done on the closed rides, so we'll know for sure if it isn't purely down to cost cutting and there is some actual sprucing being done. I think that would help remove some of the dubiousness around the closures.

Edit: These are some weird sentences..
 
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Re: Towers Loving Care

Tue Mar 22, 2016 3:04 pm

jayson2125 wrote:
LiamC wrote:
Andy Mc wrote:
[quote="LiamC"]The whole TLC thing, whilst good, doesn't sit well with me. It shouldn't take an incident like what happened on The Smiler to give them the kick to do this. This is just basic maintenance that should be done consistently and constantly.


But can we really say this is the case, we'll never know truly.


That The Smiler incident was the cause for TLC? Whilst it hasn't been specifically cited as the reason, it's fairly obvious that it more than likely was.


I agree...this work should be done as standard and not be something to shout about...

..[/quote]

Whilst I agree that these things should be standard and the resort should have never fallen into this disrepair, shouting about it is the right thing to do.

First of all its publicity and it shows that Alton Towers are investing money into things and makes the lack of new ride more understandable for the GP.

But mainly by doing this and shouting about it, Alton Towers is giving off a good impression which they need. The Smiler Incident was a massive negative for the park and by showing the public directly that TLC is taking place, people and the media can see that Alton Towers is making improvements and putting things right which will help to bring back their lost customers.

This was most definitely the right approach in my opinion. Bringing in a new ride so soon wouldn't have a positive effect, it would be simply labelled also unsafe. Where as by making these improvements they are helping to change people's opinions back into a positive opinion and by adding Galactica, they have something new to attract people to the park but also with Airs safety record. They know what they are dealing with. I am hoping that TLC and the next few years will focus on improving the resort and changing people's opinions so that SW8 can launch as a massive new ride and effectively see a relaunch for the park.


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Dom
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Re: Towers Loving Care

Tue Mar 22, 2016 9:20 pm

Here is today's update from @AltonTLC

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Finished @Picsolve shop on Towers Street... Towers Trading facade refresh next year? #TowersLovingCare
 
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Justin
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Re: Towers Loving Care

Tue Mar 22, 2016 11:03 pm

I support this fully and think it looks great!
If they had signs like that on other buildings and other bright colours in Towers Street then the area will look amazing!

On a side note, it seems the DigiPass will be heavily promoted this yeah - moreso than physical prints/products.
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Kraken
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Re: Towers Loving Care

Wed Mar 23, 2016 12:12 am

Towers Loving Care is a bit of a smokescreen IMO - it is all stuff that really should have been done as standard if Merlin really cared about the park. I can understand the Flume closure as it was >30yrs old and on it's last legs & is allegedly the SW8 site. As to the other ride / F&B closures, they are just pure cost-cutting, whilst Merlin still hike up the admission prices.

Let me introduce you to Europa Park Loving Care, from about 2007. We were in the queue for the Mine Train in the station. One of the two red lights on the rear car (theming like red lights on the rear of a train) had blown. The ride op noticed this and was on the phone. Before we boarded the ride (bare in mind no bay batching at Europa, so many bays loaded 8 deep (so 4 ride cycles), an electrician was on the platform. Train only stops very briefly to unload / load, so it was screw the cover off on one stop, replace the bulb on the next, then replace cover on the next. No leaving anything to daily / weekly / monthly / end of season checks - a very minor fault (100% non-safety related too) was noticed and it was rectified in minutes.

Also remember that Merlin claim to be second only to Disney Corporation in terms of the number of attractions they operate. Whilst I am no Disney fan, Disneys' standards smash Merlins' out of the water - in fact, they drain the Merlin lake completely!
 
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Re: Towers Loving Care

Wed Mar 23, 2016 1:38 am

Kraken wrote:
Also remember that Merlin claim to be second only to Disney Corporation in terms of the number of attractions they operate. Whilst I am no Disney fan, Disneys' standards smash Merlins' out of the water - in fact, they drain the Merlin lake completely!


You can't really compare the two as Disney have so much more money at their disposal. Its basically like comparing Barcelona FC with a local team in regards to finances. Despite being first / second respectively they are practically worlds apart.

As for the Europa park information, whilst that is nice unless its essential or a safety matter then no matter how little downtime it took I'd still rather have 5 minutes less time to wait than some tech guy stopping the ride to simply change a bulb.
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owenrita121
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Re: Towers Loving Care

Wed Mar 23, 2016 7:30 am

Andy Mc wrote:
Kraken wrote:
Also remember that Merlin claim to be second only to Disney Corporation in terms of the number of attractions they operate. Whilst I am no Disney fan, Disneys' standards smash Merlins' out of the water - in fact, they drain the Merlin lake completely!


You can't really compare the two as Disney have so much more money at their disposal. Its basically like comparing Barcelona FC with a local team in regards to finances. Despite being first / second respectively they are practically worlds apart.

As for the Europa park information, whilst that is nice unless its essential or a safety matter then no matter how little downtime it took I'd still rather have 5 minutes less time to wait than some tech guy stopping the ride to simply change a bulb.

He hasn't compared Merlin to Disney, he's only doing what Merlin have done, they have said they are second to Disney but he's right, they are world's apart. It's ridiculous that Merlin even but themselves as second to them based on Visitor numbers.
Last edited by Dom on Wed Mar 23, 2016 12:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Edited because of rude language
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Adz
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Re: Towers Loving Care

Wed Mar 23, 2016 11:41 am

Let's play nice. :)

Debate is good, insults and personal attacks are not.

That's all.
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iamradam
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Re: Towers Loving Care

Wed Mar 23, 2016 2:31 pm

Back to NOT talking about Disney... we can't blame Merlin *entirely* for how long the park has gone without major works done to it. Tussauds was also notoriously lazy and Merlin had to take over this company with their parks and has now been blamed for stuff like Nemesis or the rest of Forbidden Valley not being re-painted for over 20 years, etc. etc. Sure regular maintenance should mean we don't need this but at the same time they've had less than 10 years to not only keep up the parks' reputations for regularly bringing new experiences but as we now see they want to create overall great parks (as well as needing to manage their other 120+ attractions).
So in personal opinion, hats off to Merlin for trying to restore Alton Towers to former glory.
 
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Kraken
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Re: Towers Loving Care

Wed Mar 23, 2016 3:27 pm

Firstly, the Europa Mine train light bulb replacement - there was zero ride downtime. The ride only stops briefly to unload / load passengers - so the electrician had to replace the bulb over 3 normal ride cycle stops. It was the attention to the smallest detail that impressed us - the blown bulb made no difference to the guest experience, but it was noticed as not being right and was put right immediately.

Back to Towers (over the years). I would not say that Tussauds neglected the park all the time. Certainly 1991 when they took over to 1998 when Oblivion opened were good years IMO. The Alton Towers magic did exist then. Things started to change in 1999 when Tussauds was sold to Charterhouse Development Capital - the accountants were very much in control now & the neglect started. 2002 was obviously a good year with Air opening - but 2003 & 2004 are seen by many enthusiasts as being shocking years for Alton Towers - the neglect was showing all over the park.

In 2005 Tussauds was sold to Dubai Investment Capital & in either the same year or early 2006 (my memory fails me) there was a huge management shake-up at Alton Towers. New people in at the top & layers of management removed. The new team did start to give the park some TLC - things like the Oblivion mist, X-Sector entrance strobes, Nemesis waterfalls that had all been broken for ages got fixed.

Tussauds merged with Merlin in 2007 and the good work continued for a while. Merlin was ultimately looking for flotation so costs had to be kept well under control (across their entire estate of attractions) to make the books look attractive to investors. The regular annual entrance price rises + car parking fee increases were a standard feature because they could get away with it. Merlin floated on the stock market in late 2013, so since then the accountants have been 100% in control. Every investment will be analysed for the shareholder return it will deliver. No return = no investment, unless it is something they have to do for safety / legal reasons.

Whilst last season was obviously difficult for Alton Towers (and Merlin, who only just managed increased profits), no-one can deny the cutbacks Alton Towers have made this season. Towers Loving Care is, in part, a "lets paper over the cracks" exercise. Make the park look a little tidier, spruce up the shutters that remain down on closed F&B units, put a few brightly coloured fences in to hide SBNO rides etc.

Towers Loving Care on Towers Street - this should not be touted about as anything special, it should have happened as a matter of routine maintenance (but did not) given that this area is the guests first impression of the theme park. Will be interesting to see how many blown lightbulbs there are on Towers Street buildings come Scarefest.
 
xylyx
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Re: Towers Loving Care

Wed Mar 23, 2016 4:55 pm

No question it should have been unnecessary and the reasoning behind TLC kicking off can be debated endlessly but it feels to me like a genuine attempt to get everything back up to snuff in the wake of some negative attention. Regardless of the reason for starting I love a lot of the bits and bobs that have been done and hope that it continues throughout the season and beyond.
 
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Owen
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Re: Towers Loving Care

Wed Mar 23, 2016 4:59 pm

I feel there's a point when negativity and critique of a project becomes less justified and more so just a way to cause unnecessary hate toward a certain company or group. I feel that we have reached this point here and although I agree with you on the fact that Alton Towers should have a constant upkeep on scenery and attractions, I don't see many (if any parks) re-painting almost every area and attraction they own every year, and so it's slightly unfair to judge this and say it isn't special for when you look at the scale of the project it kind of is. Not to mention the restoration of multiple attractions as well as new attractions on the side.

On the other hand many of the attractions should not have been left to deteriorate into the state that they have and I respect that people may have an issue with this factor as it's an issue I have myself, but I am grateful for the work commencing now even so.

Finally, saying that they are doing this just because of The Smiler is a bit naive, as I don't expect this was planned just this year as it isn't a small project. On top of this, the rebranding of the resort has been going for quite sometime now with the new adverts and accommodation options available at the resort. We also know Merlin has been restoring many other of their attractions including THORPE PARK Resort and SeaLife London, which doesn't seem to be a coincidence.

So I feel that we should stop focusing on the negatives and be thankful for what we have got, and not complain about what we haven't. Of course we can always critique things, however when it becomes unnecessary hate it needs to be calmed down a tad. :)
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zakwoolley1
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Re: Towers Loving Care

Wed Mar 23, 2016 6:57 pm

I think that them repainting cebbebies land is a sign that they don't want the park to fall into the state of disrepair it did again. I didn't go in it last season but I imagine it didn't look that bad considering it's only 3 years old. They could've waited until it got to the state fv or Mutiny Bay was in but they decided to do it before anyone noticed. So maybe tlc is about returning the areas to a state where they can be regularly maintained instead of repairing the park and waiting for it to go rotten again.

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