Images Sourced from Alton Towers & Bus Stop Toy Shop
Firstly, I'd like to apologise if this was the wrong thread to post this in, but I felt this was the best one to place it in.
Secondly, as an Alton Towers Enthusiast website I can understand that this may cause a lot of disagreement with what I am about to post but I hope that you could potentially see it from my point of view before discarding what I say completely and offer some constructive and unbiased debate.Why I think Ben:10 Ultimate Mission is a Better addition to a Theme Park than Th13teen, The ULTIMATE Rollercoaster.
I'm going to split this essay into many parts so you can see how I judge each ride equally and it makes this easier to write and compare.
:arrow: Queue Line/Entrance
:arrow: Target Audience & Marketing
:arrow: Sound & Special FX
:arrow: The 'Facts'Queue Line/EntranceTh13teen
Th13teen's queue line is very 'bland' and by bland I mean that to me it feels like some wooden fencing and just tiny bits of themeing thrown on the ground by some trees. Apart from the Van, what is there to keep people entertained from what can be a tedious queue especially on peak days/when the ride is not co-operating? To me the queue is very poor in terms of building up suspense, expectation and speculation not to mention the 2nd year of graffitied fencing because Alton Towers have yet to find the time to paint the fences. Also in true Merlin style there is also a shop mid-way through the queue where you are constantly waiting for people in front of you to buy their products and things are shoved in your face when you pass by "WANNA BY A MOTH** F****G KIT KAT?!"... To me this detracts from the Ride Experience and I've yet to go but I’m sure you wouldn't find this in say Harry Potter or true world-class rides. In terms of Entrance, I quite like Th13teens, it sets a good visual introduction and from the entrance you know nothing of the ride and it's kept secret till the end. However it's very 'out-of-the-way' and by that I mean it's by the old Corkscrew Entrance which most people struggle to navigate to as there is little or no signage around the Dark Forest. Ben:10 T.U.M
The Entrance is very in your face. It's in direct foot-fall of ALL guests walking around the area and is very striking with its bright green and stage for Characters to welcome queues to the ride and entertain on the odd day people outside of the main queueline. Once you get inside you are immediately granted with touch screens, strobe effects, full size models of Characters from the show and you are completely immersed in it's atmosphere and relates to fans of the show and even parents and people who have no interested in it alike. It builds up an atmosphere (which some people argue is let down after the ride) but in my opinion the queue line and atmosphere of the build up makes this. Not only do you see props and characters from the show but you get a pre-briefing of the ride and mission. In years to come this will most likely change as Drayton are very poor at maintaining themeing but time shall tell. In all honesty Ben:10 > Th13teen
in this category.Target Audience & MarketingTh13teen
I'm sure most people on here are familiar with the Marketing of Th13teen. The SW6 'tag', John Wardley, Morwenna, Boot Camp, The Ultimate Rollercoaster. Also aiming what is essentially a 1.2m family ride as a Thrill 'teenage' ride. No. Just no. Alton Towers got this marketing completely wrong, they targeted the wrong people; they built up extreme expectations among us and the general public alike (Psycoaster, signing waivers) and for what? A massive let down. I think the ride works supremely well with pre-teens/early teens and another 1.2m ride on park is brilliant, however this is not a ride for adults. I'd be keen to see ATRs 1 year report on the ride but I’m sure satisfaction scores for those who they targeted will have disappointed.Ben:10
Now in all honesty I’ve seen very little marketing for this ride. I've seen no TV ads, I've seen no posters, flyers or even a large amount of information on the website until it's opening day. Yet everyone from the age group I've spoken to seem to know about the ride? I must be missing something... Maybe word of mouth via schools? This is good though as the correct Target Audience know, the adults will be dragged along and those who go for thrills and adrenaline can get that fix, still enjoy Ben:10 but not be let down by marketing that is intended to please everyone and fails. For this reason alone I think Ben 10 couldn't be marketed any other way on a children's cartoon and DM did not dress this ride as something it is not. Therefore Ben:10 > Th13teen
on Marketing & TA.Sound & Special FXTh13teen
So what has Th13teen got to offer in terms of Sound & Special FX (SPFX).. The queue line and station soundtrack in my opinion is brilliant. I really like how they incorporated ITHOTMK into their sound theme and bass and if you listen to the full soundtrack (Available HERE
), it truly brings the Alton Towers magic out for me. Take away the music we have announcements. The breakdown announcement ('Disturbances') IMO is too 'comical' in the way that General Public might thing it's part of the build-up/experience on loop (Especially at how often it is played!). We know it means breakdowns but in the Audio itself it doesn't state this. Then you have a half-arsed Tesla Coil which doesn't arch as well as it did. Apart from some cheap 'building site' lighting and some air cannons there is nothing really unique about Th13teen's special effects. It feels to me that they have thrown in every effect they could afford but not thought how they could utilise it properly into the experience.Ben:10
In terms of SPFX Ben10 offers very little. There are a few strobes and some cool lighting in the queue line and a flashing red beacon on the turn back but apart from that, there's hardly anything in comparison to Th13teen. But what exactly could've been done. I'm going to throw a spanner in the works again and say that the SOUND EFFECTS of Ben10 are better than Th13teen, there are some proper lush sound effects that are used and are timed well to the ride, particularly on the turn back. I have not heard any announcements (if there are any!) so I can't comment on PA Announcements. In terms of Queue line Audio & Ride Audio there is very little. So I guess the fact that Alton Towers have a lot of effects [whether they use them right or not] are better than little/no effects so in this case Th13teen would win this.
Starting on Ben:10 this one, most of the experience section I mentioned in the Queue line part of this essay, I think the Queue line really immerses guests into the Ben:10 theme effectively and provides a really good and interactive build up. The thing this ride has in terms of experience rather than Th13teen is that Kids come off this ride and jump up and down and want to go on again and again. They love it. The experience gives them an adrenaline buzz, it's most likely their first rollercoaster experience and it's something that makes them want to go again.Th13teen
Really unsure of this one. As an experience I think Th13teen is good. The thing that concerns me is it's re-ride ability factor. The first time I went on Th13teen my opinions were "Woah, pretty good, loved the theme; drop was less than I expected all round meh." Now I’m a coaster enthusiast so I have a lot to compare it to, but it seems to trend in the GP too with opinions I've heard such as "That's ****", "That's a one trick pony" and people said this about Oblivion but Oblivion is still here. I can't see Th13teen being around in 10 years if I’m honest. The ride experience doesn't thrill me or do anything for me even on the second ride. Therefore for me Ben10 > Th13teen.RollercoasterBen:10
In terms of riding the actual rides I have ridden Th13teen more so than Ben:10. From what I can remember every time I rode Ben:10 and came off I thought and voiced that I felt in terms of Rollercoaster Ben:10 was more thrilling than Th13teen. It has a mixture of elements. Fair enough it doesn't have a secret crypt but it works, the ride is very cool and if you sit back row of Ben10 you go quite high! For its intended audience it's perfect. It's not tame by any means, but it's not intense at all, it's brilliant for Coaster Virgins! I would certainly have no problem taking my kids on and letting them enjoy it rather than Th13teen.Th13teen
In terms of rollercoaster, although it looks very good and impactful, I’m sure others would join me in saying watching it being built we though WOAH this might just be epic and the first drop is. After that what the hell is the rest of the rollercoaster bit? As John Wardley described it it's a 'Whizz around some trees' and that's it. Nothing else. Apart from the backwards bit. [Some parents clutch on to dear life on Th13teen in fear their kid will get ejected from the ride, although I think this is general GP saftness rather than a measure of intensity]. I personally don't rate Th13teen as a rollercoaster at all. It's an experience more so and I think this is reflected in its 153rd ranking in the Mitch Hawker poll. Ultimate Rollercoaster my arse. Therefore Ben 10 > Th13teen.The FactsTh13teen
£15 million wasted. 1.2m. Ranked 153rd best rollercoaster this year [According to MH], Intamin Family Mega-liteBen:10
Cost Unknown [Not 15 million], 1m+ Ranking Unknown until next year, Vekoma Boomerang.
On Paper Th13teen should outrank Ben:10 in every way. But it doesn't? It really doesn't and THAT is why I think personally Ben 10 is better than Th13teen.
Interested to hear other people's views on this and whether they agree or disagree with the statements and decisions I’ve made.