UK theme parks from another point of view!

 
JoshC.
TT Member
TT Member
Posts: 57
Joined: October 2010
Location: Surrey

Re: Thorpe Park 2013: Possible Ride Discussion

Sun Apr 22, 2012 7:54 pm

It's interesting that people feel it is a bad thing for Thorpe to go down the thrill market.  In response to all those who think it's bad, answer me this:  who should they aim at?

Alton Towers is the all-rounder, with something for everyone.  Chessington is a family park (though seemingly more focused on families with slightly younger children) with an ever-expanding zoo.  Legoland covers younger children and their parents.  So, the three other Merlin parks in the UK have pretty much everything covered, but there's nothing really 'for' teenagers and young adults, in Merlin's line up.  The UK doesn't have anything specifically designed for that demographic (which is quite big really), and I can't think of anywhere park in Europe off the top of my head where 16-30 year olds are the main audience.  So, really, aren't Thorpe filling in a gap in the target market which is actually rather big?  And, as Adz said, if this thrill idea wasn't working, it would've been dropped by now.

Thorpe Park have chosen their target market and done brilliantly in advertising to them, catering what they want and are bringing in the visitors, and the money.  They are slowly but surely expanding (with the size of the park itself, and the opening of a hotel in the near future).  Also, unlike with say Alton Towers, when they advertise a major ride, they haven't had any trouble with the advertising - what you see is what you get, if you will.  For example, Th13teen had a fair few bad reviews from the GP because they marketed a family ride as a thrill ride.  Thorpe don't need to worry about attracting everyone, so they don't have any issues like that. 

As for space, Thorpe have plenty really.  The MHFS spot is just crying out for development, and CCR station / general area could even be used for something.  There's areas which just have time going against them, Depth Charge, X:\NWO, Saw Alive even, to name a few, which can have new rides put in, if Thorpe want.  There's rides and areas which could do with some big TLC, such as Canada Creek and the arena (which, according to the MTDP, will be getting a refurb...), which opens up possibilities in marketing.  Then, of course, you've got the two infilled  islands (one next to Swarm, one next to the bridge) which will no doubt be used for attractions / coasters, as well as Treasure Island.  The MTDP seems to suggest that if a coaster was to go on the island next to Swarm, a fair bit of the layout could be tucked away onto Treasure Island, leaving the infilled island open to flats / other experiences.  From what I'm aware, Thorpe are NOT starting any new infill projects until 2016 at the earliest, which shows that Thorpe know they're reaching their limit, something which some councillors showed concerns about recently.  In other words, Thorpe have plenty of space, and they have plenty of opportunities to revitalise areas, so as long as Thorpe utilise these opportunities creatively, they really have no problems with regards to space / number of rides.   

tl;dr?  Thorpe pretty much know what they're doing, have a bit of faith...
Who is Lez Cougan?
I am Lez Cougan.
We are Lez Cougan.
 
CoasterCrazyChris
TT Member
TT Member
Posts: 2758
Joined: July 2008
Location: Bristol

Re: Thorpe Park 2013: Possible Ride Discussion

Sun Apr 22, 2012 7:59 pm

But why can't we have two large family theme park resorts in the UK?

It's annoying when people make out each park must be segmented for a different audience.
 
JoshC.
TT Member
TT Member
Posts: 57
Joined: October 2010
Location: Surrey

Re: Thorpe Park 2013: Possible Ride Discussion

Sun Apr 22, 2012 8:16 pm

I hate to use this phrase, but 'from a business point of view', why not have each park aimed at a different audience, and help attract more people?  As I said, I hate saying it like that, but that's one way.

Also, as I said, the thrill market thing is something pretty unique in terms of European parks.  It is, in a way, a risky target market, yes, but it has a great deal of potential.
Who is Lez Cougan?
I am Lez Cougan.
We are Lez Cougan.
 
User avatar
Charlee
TT Member
TT Member
Posts: 141
Joined: December 2011
Location: Sandhurst

Re: Thorpe Park 2013: Possible Ride Discussion

Sun Apr 22, 2012 8:28 pm

But I'm sure if I went round to everyone in my school (12-18 year olds) and asked them which park they'd rather spend a day out to, Thorpe Park or Alton Towers, I'm sure most of them would say Alton Towers.

People spend a day at Thorpe because its closer than the Towers, not because its aimed at them, teenagers don't look at target marketing, they don't care, they just want to go on a good coaster.

Besides, adding in family attractions wouldn't exactly harm them, would it?
I used to think I knew a lot about coasters, but then I joined this forum.
 
User avatar
James6
TT Member
TT Member
Posts: 774
Joined: May 2009

Re: Thorpe Park 2013: Possible Ride Discussion

Sun Apr 22, 2012 8:32 pm

Teenagers love family rides too. In fact on rides like BTM, Colorado Adventure, and even Thirteen, they seem to be the ones enjoying it most.
If you go down to the Towers today, you\'d better ride Th13teen. :P
 
JoshC.
TT Member
TT Member
Posts: 57
Joined: October 2010
Location: Surrey

Re: Thorpe Park 2013: Possible Ride Discussion

Sun Apr 22, 2012 8:40 pm

I don't disagree that they should have family rides as well; it would be stupid to have EVERY SINGLE RIDE as a hardcore, full-out thrill ride.

However, simply put, I think Thorpe, though taking a risk, are doing the right thing and hitting every nail pretty much bang on the head, if you will...
Who is Lez Cougan?
I am Lez Cougan.
We are Lez Cougan.
 
DiogoJ42

Re: Thorpe Park 2013: Possible Ride Discussion

Sun Apr 22, 2012 8:50 pm

CoasterCrazyChris wrote:
But why can't we have two large family theme park resorts in the UK?

Why can't we have just ONE thrill park in the UK? There are plenty of family parks in this country already.
 
Dormiens-Dave

Re: Thorpe Park 2013: Possible Ride Discussion

Sun Apr 22, 2012 9:24 pm

CoasterCrazyChris wrote:
But their profits must be half that of Alton Towers at least.

They get well over a million fewer visitors each year but the cost of their investments over the past decade is well above Alton Towers.


Its always a bugger to get any financial disclosure from Merlin (as they are not a public company and register in the back of beyond) and they now lump all their UK theme park resorts as one concern but i always thought Thorpe made more of a profit than Towers, primarily because its running costs are lower.
 
SpinballEdders

Re: Thorpe Park 2013: Possible Ride Discussion

Sun Apr 22, 2012 9:42 pm

Think about it, how many theme parks are close to London? I can think of about 4 and that's Thorpe, Chessie LEGOland and to an Extent; Adventure Island. 2 of those are family aimed theme parks and the other is just a funfair with one thrilling coaster, would you want a Thrill dedicated park or a 3rd Family Park close to your city?

Cities like Chicago, Charlotte, Toronto, Atlanta and Dallas for example, only have one major theme park close to them, and the next major theme park is over 100 miles away! So I think London should be lucky to have so many theme parks close to them, and Merlin are making a smart by making Thorpe a "thrill" park because Chessie and LEGOland are so close to them!
 
Dormiens-Dave

Re: Thorpe Park 2013: Possible Ride Discussion

Sun Apr 22, 2012 9:55 pm

I think its the number of parks in such a small area that allows the Thrill Park concept to work, honestly i think Merlin would love to close Chessie and have a family/ thrill park at Thorpe but the site isn't big enough to accommodate that.

I don't think Thorpe will struggle because it has Chessie and Lego in the area.

EDIT: what spinball said
Last edited by Dormiens-Dave on Sun Apr 22, 2012 10:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
CoasterCrazyChris
TT Member
TT Member
Posts: 2758
Joined: July 2008
Location: Bristol

Re: Thorpe Park 2013: Possible Ride Discussion

Sun Apr 22, 2012 10:22 pm

SpinballEdders wrote:
Think about it, how many theme parks are close to London? I can think of about 4 and that's Thorpe, Chessie LEGOland and to an Extent; Adventure Island. 2 of those are family aimed theme parks and the other is just a funfair with one thrilling coaster, would you want a Thrill dedicated park or a 3rd Family Park close to your city?



The problem is that Chessington and Legoland are more children's parks than family parks.

London needs its own Alton Towers.

Many will disagree, but personally I dislike the idea of segmented theme parks. Intead of getting everything you want in one place (like Alton Towers) everything is split up.

A park full of teenagers (Thorpe Park) is equally as bad as a park full of kids (Legoland).
Last edited by CoasterCrazyChris on Sun Apr 22, 2012 10:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
SpinballEdders

Re: Thorpe Park 2013: Possible Ride Discussion

Sun Apr 22, 2012 10:29 pm

CoasterCrazyChris wrote:
SpinballEdders wrote:
Think about it, how many theme parks are close to London? I can think of about 4 and that's Thorpe, Chessie LEGOland and to an Extent; Adventure Island. 2 of those are family aimed theme parks and the other is just a funfair with one thrilling coaster, would you want a Thrill dedicated park or a 3rd Family Park close to your city?



The problem is that Chessington and Legoland are more children's parks than family parks.

London needs its own Alton Towers.


I would say LEGOland is a Children's Park, but Chessie is not. It still appeals to,me at the age of 16 despite it's Family Marketing

However I 100% Agree that London needs its own version of AT, just not Thorpe.
 
User avatar
BigAl
TT Member
TT Member
Posts: 2112
Joined: June 2010
Location: South East Cheshire
Contact:

Re: Thorpe Park 2013: Possible Ride Discussion

Sun Apr 22, 2012 10:35 pm

There's a theme park or attraction for every audience down South.

If you want...

Thrills: go to Thorpe Park
Family Park: go to Chessington
Young Children Activities: go to Lego Land
Unique Experiences: got to either Madame Tussauds/the Dungeons/the Eye/SeaLife

Why on earth would you need more? Especially theme parks! :?
Last edited by BigAl on Sun Apr 22, 2012 10:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
CoasterCrazyChris
TT Member
TT Member
Posts: 2758
Joined: July 2008
Location: Bristol

Re: Thorpe Park 2013: Possible Ride Discussion

Sun Apr 22, 2012 10:42 pm

SpinballEdders wrote:


However I 100% Agree that London needs its own version of AT, just not Thorpe.


Why not?

The argument that it could never be like Alton Towers due to limited space to expand the theme park does not really hold out.

They already have a range of staple family attractions - rapids, log flume, powered coster, teacups, magic carpet as well as a small selection of children's rides. So, really all it is lacking is a decent family coaster and a dark ride or two which is perfectly manageable giving the existing size of the park and would not require further infilling.

Creating the Resort side of things is given to them on a plate given the land around the car parks.

:)
 
Coasteraddict
TT Member
TT Member
Posts: 51
Joined: July 2011

Re: Thorpe Park 2013: Possible Ride Discussion

Sun Apr 22, 2012 10:44 pm

CoasterCrazyChris wrote:
The problem is that Chessington and Legoland are more children's parks than family parks.

London needs its own Alton Towers.

Many will disagree, but personally I dislike the idea of segmented theme parks. Intead of getting everything you want in one place (like Alton Towers) everything is split up.


A park full of teenagers (Thorpe Park) is equally as bad as a park full of kids (Legoland).


This. IMO It's dumb just restricting yourself to a single ride, and theme parks should have a little bit of everything, so for Legoland it should be about 50% kids 45% families and 5% thrill, so everything younger family based but a couple of rides to get your blood pumping if you happen to be born into a family that has 2 6/7 year olds and your 13 but always end up at Lego. Again Chessington should be 25% kids 50% Family and 25% thrill Which gives the most balance park IMO. Then finally Thorpe should be the reverse of Lego.

I actually think that Chessie has the greatest potential to be the next Alton (infact it was once the Alton of London and I think it could be the best park in Europe (minus Disney), but they don't have the greatest of space (but then you just have to use it more wisely) and for the past 10 years or so every owner the park has had seem hell bent on investing as little as possible into it.
 
SpinballEdders

Re: Thorpe Park 2013: Possible Ride Discussion

Sun Apr 22, 2012 10:53 pm

CoasterCrazyChris wrote:
SpinballEdders wrote:


However I 100% Agree that London needs its own version of AT, just not Thorpe.


Why not?

The argument that it could never be like Alton Towers due to limited space to expand the theme park does not really hold out.

They already have a range of staple family attractions - rapids, log flume, powered coster, teacups, magic carpet as well as a small selection of children's rides. So, really all it is lacking is a decent family coaster and a dark ride or two which is perfectly manageable giving the existing size of the park and would not require further infilling.

Creating the Resort side of things is given to them on a plate given the land around the car parks.

:)


I see your point, But I don't think Thorpe would be suited to be the "Southern Alton Towers". I actually would prefer Chessie to but the Southern Alton, you know why? Because they have something in common with Alton and that's a Restriction. With this they can get more creative with their rides like Alton do.

Thorpe would work great as The Southern Alton, but it's lack of space and close proximity to Chessie and LEGOland prevents this, I would Thorpe to cater for Families as well, But I'm happy with it as a Thrill Park

:)
 
Islander
TT Member
TT Member
Posts: 2207
Joined: March 2009
Location: Space Station Mir
Contact:

Re: Thorpe Park 2013: Possible Ride Discussion

Sun Apr 22, 2012 11:08 pm

BigAl wrote:
If you want...

Thrills: go to Thorpe Park
Family Park: go to Chessington
Young Children Activities: go to Lego Land

...and if you're a family, with say a young child and a couple of teens?

The problem with segmented parks is that each can only cater for a narrow range of guests. If you're in a family with a mix of ages, or even a group of friends with a mix of tastes, you are (to some extent) screwed.
 
CoasterCrazyChris
TT Member
TT Member
Posts: 2758
Joined: July 2008
Location: Bristol

Re: Thorpe Park 2013: Possible Ride Discussion

Sun Apr 22, 2012 11:23 pm

Exactly.

If I were to think about my own family situation, if we were looking for a day out as a family then none of the London parks seem attractive.

None of us are under 10, so that pretty much rules out Legoland straight away. Thorpe Park would be great for my sister and myself, but my parents would not enjoy it as they are not into thrill rides. Chessington would provide a 'nice' day out, but there are no real thrill rides and there simple isn't enough there to do to justify the journey there.

So, we would just go to Alton Towers instead.
 
User avatar
Slappy McGuire
TT Member
TT Member
Posts: 333
Joined: April 2009

Re: Thorpe Park 2013: Possible Ride Discussion

Sun Apr 22, 2012 11:35 pm

I went a couple of years ago with my young family, because being from 'oop narth', I wanted to get the most out of my MAP while in the area.  Legoland was OK, but the maintenance of the park was at points sub-Blackpool/Flamingoland standards which surprised me.  Chessington has on paper the least to offer, but is resolutely my favourite park in the UK because of the atmosphere, and because frankly the ride portfolio is near perfect.

Thorpe, we were finished with by Noon, having ridden all of the big hitters, bar the Flume, and Saw. 

I really, really wanted to like Thorpe, and Stealth and Tidal Wave are fabulous rides in their own rights, but somehow the park felt as if it had no soul - and I suspect at least in part, this is down to the lack of children there, no matter how clichéd it feels to say that.  I think there is nothing wrong with being a thrill centric park, but surely there is no harm in having two or three family friendly areas?

If Thorpe introduced their own equivalent of Valhalla, Nickelodeon Land and  family coaster like Thunder Mountain,  I can't see many people arguing it would somehow be a worse park for it, in fact quite the reverse...and I suspect th attendances would bloom - unless that is part of the problem, and in bringing in families, perhaps the park would struggle to logistically cope?
 
User avatar
BigAl
TT Member
TT Member
Posts: 2112
Joined: June 2010
Location: South East Cheshire
Contact:

Re: Thorpe Park 2013: Possible Ride Discussion

Mon Apr 23, 2012 6:45 am

Islander wrote:
BigAl wrote:
If you want...

Thrills: go to Thorpe Park
Family Park: go to Chessington
Young Children Activities: go to Lego Land

...and if you're a family, with say a young child and a couple of teens?

The problem with segmented parks is that each can only cater for a narrow range of guests. If you're in a family with a mix of ages, or even a group of friends with a mix of tastes, you are (to some extent) screwed.


Which is why I stated Chessington as a family park. Like others have said, Chessington could be the perfect family park if Merlin would quit being so mean to them. Creating another theme park or trying to rearrange Thorpe to accommodate more family rides is pointless. Thorpe is now established as "the thrill capital". Merlin are pushing the thrills and that's narrowed the audience. It's too late to try and reverse this.

Chessington has space for a few more thrill rides and Merlin has the money to provide them. Yes, the restrictions on what they can build are very annoying, but they can work around them, which they have done in the past.


Has anyone taken into consideration a park ticket like the Flex ticket that's available in Orlando for multiple park visits? Merlin are pushing return visits, so perhaps it might be a better idea to encourage visitors to purchase a better value for money ticket that lets you stay over at Chessington or Lego Land (or soon the Thorpe Park hotel if that goes ahead) and you can then visit a park a day.

Image

The three theme parks are all in very close proximity to one another, so why not create a joint ticket? There's already the joint ticket for the London attractions and Merlin do the joint ticket for the Blackpool attractions too. Just a thought.

:)
Last edited by BigAl on Mon Apr 23, 2012 7:09 am, edited 1 time in total.

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 58 guests