UK theme parks from another point of view!

What do you like the best!

Alton Towers and merlin parks
21 (42%)
Disney parks
29 (58%)
 
Total votes: 50
 
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Owen
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The BIG Alton Towers vs. Disney debate

Wed May 29, 2013 11:47 am

Carry on discussion from the smiler general (to do with the Disney debate) here.
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Roodlesnouter
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Re: The BIG Alton Towers vs. Disney debate

Wed May 29, 2013 12:59 pm

Disney are not the parks they used to be, TDO (Team Disney Orlando) seem very uninterested in putting their hands in their pockets recently, ask your self, when wqas the last MAJOR ride to go in a Diney park in Orlando.

Look just down the I4 at Universal, since comcast have come in they have been expanding big time and have a planned investment of nearly $1Bn.

Don't get me wrong I love Disney parks but they have been running on reputation for so long now,  this surly has to change soon with Universal showing them how its done.

As far as comparing AT to Disney well, its like comparing Ford to Rolls Royce, but Uni is putting in the work and could well take the race in the long term.
 
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Re: The BIG Alton Towers vs. Disney debate

Wed May 29, 2013 1:04 pm

Roodlesnouter wrote:
Disney are not the parks they used to be, TDO (Team Disney Orlando) seem very uninterested in putting their hands in their pockets recently, ask your self, when wqas the last MAJOR ride to go in a Diney park in Orlando.

Look just down the I4 at Universal, since comcast have come in they have been expanding big time and have a planned investment of nearly $1Bn.

Don't get me wrong I love Disney parks but they have been running on reputation for so long now,  this surly has to change soon with Universal showing them how its done.

As far as comparing AT to Disney well, its like comparing Ford to Rolls Royce, but Uni is putting in the work and could well take the race in the long term.

Read my mind  :D
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Themeparksandy1981
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Re: The BIG Alton Towers vs. Disney debate

Wed May 29, 2013 4:00 pm

The big different is Disney aim for Families with young children and Universal aim for families with older children. It's like I plan to take my little girl to Disney when she's 4 as she be able to ride most of the things in the parks it be pointless at Alton Towers as there's limited things to do there for her age.
 
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haydn!
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Re: The BIG Alton Towers vs. Disney debate

Wed May 29, 2013 6:19 pm

I think part of the reason Florida took a hit was because it was already performing extremely well, whereas Disney's other sites, California Adventure, Hong Kong and Paris not so well! Hence the massive investment at most of these sites. Both California and Hong Kong saw massive developments over the space of just a few years, with something like £10billion spent in California alone. Paris although not as much, has also benefited from the Mouse's piggy bank too.

Florida did get the Fantasy Land extension, which is a good move forward, but the resort does need something big. I think the last e-ticket was Everest? Hopefully Pandora will show it's face before the end of the decade but Disney could do with a few more quick wins. Isn't Car's land on the cards for Hollywood Studios, but minus racers which seems silly but I guess it would be too similar to Autopia or whatever it's called.

But answering the original question, Alton Towers have upped their game with The Smiler (despite it's disappointing/embarrassing start) but Disney are still in an entirely different league.
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Re: The BIG Alton Towers vs. Disney debate

Thu Jun 06, 2013 10:33 pm

As Roodles stated its is trying to compare a reliant robin to a rolls royce (More car metaphors)

Yes I absolutely adore Disney, i got DLRP twice a year. Yes disney have a larger spending allowance than Merlin. But Merlin spend their money wisely and unlike a certain Disney park go 1.9million in debt. But spending wisely comes at a cost of performance and quality, so its a (WIN WIN - LOSE LOSE) situation for both companies.

But I do wish Merlin put in some more effort with maintenance and care for their parks. *cough* Thorpe *cough*

That is all I have to say on the matter for now but I can become a very debatable person
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Re: The BIG Alton Towers vs. Disney debate

Fri Jun 28, 2013 5:09 pm

Disney all the way  :D
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Re: The BIG Alton Towers vs. Disney debate

Tue Jul 02, 2013 8:57 am

Roodlesnouter wrote:
Disney are not the parks they used to be, TDO (Team Disney Orlando) seem very uninterested in putting their hands in their pockets recently, ask your self, when wqas the last MAJOR ride to go in a Diney park in Orlando.

Look just down the I4 at Universal, since comcast have come in they have been expanding big time and have a planned investment of nearly $1Bn.

Don't get me wrong I love Disney parks but they have been running on reputation for so long now,  this surly has to change soon with Universal showing them how its done.

As far as comparing AT to Disney well, its like comparing Ford to Rolls Royce, but Uni is putting in the work and could well take the race in the long term.


This is the thing though. When Islands of Adventure opened, there was a lot of fear in the Disney camp that it would take away lots of guests. This never happened.

When Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey opened there was a lot of fear in the Disney camp that it would take away lots of guests. This never happened.

Quite the opposite actually. It turns out that whilst Islands of Adventure saw its attendance soar and soar, so did the four Disney parks. This is still true in 2013 where all four parks are up. It turns out that if you attract more people over for a ride like Harry Potter or Transformers or The Simpsons expansion, these extra guests will still try out everything Florida has to offer.

I am in agreement that Disney need to add something but attendance isn't going to suddenly collapse because Universal are throwing everything and the kitchen sink at the Florida site.

Alton VS Disney.. They are both great and I enjoy visiting both.. so yeah thats my contribution to the topic discussion.
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Re: The BIG Alton Towers vs. Disney debate

Fri Jul 05, 2013 12:12 pm

After years as a theme park fan I finally got to go to Disney Land Paris in October 2011. The anticipation was huge. For an enthusiast this, surely, would be Mecca.

So the opinion? Give me Merlin any day.

Seriously. Alton Towers just feels more magical. Disney is just false, false, false. Yeah it was to be expected. I’m a Disney fan but wow it’s all far too sugary. The customer service is really grating. “Have a nice day sir. What was your favourite experience today sir? Enjoying your visit sir?” It was France but they all seemed to have an American accent. I far prefer the UK’s ride-ops more natural unscripted conversation – even if it can be miserable at times.
The Merlin parks feel much more magical and natural. EVERYTHING at Disney is man-made. Every thing probably has a thousand consultations before being placed to ensure perfect theming but this leads to overcooking, almost jarring theming. We bemoan Merlin’s lack of attention to theming at times but the park feels more real as a result and other than the beauty of the construction of Space Mountain and perhaps the scale of the park I really don’t see anything at Disney that Merlin can’t do. And hey. Sleeping Beauty’s castle or the Gothic beauty of the Towers – I know which I prefer.

I also love how Merlin embrace the culture of the surroundings of their Parks. Swarm is themed around an incident in Chertsey – rather than try and transport you somewhere fake the strength comes in building on what’s already there. Alton and the Hex legend are a perfect example. Disney tries to transport you to the US – but when everyone around you is European it just doesn't work.

We also moan that most Merlin rides are over in seconds. Yes Disney ride experiences are longer but there really doesn't seem to be as many – especially for the enthusiast. Rock & Roller coaster, Tower of Terror, Crushes Coaster in the Studio Big Thunder Mountain and Space Mountain in Disney Land. Give me Saw, Stealth, Inferno and Swarm any day over those.

“But it’s for kids” I hear you cry. Hmmm. I had my two-year-old son with me and he was woefully under catered for. Changing facilities were poor and catering abysmal. Other than water the only real drink option was pure fruit juice, (I didn't want him drinking coke etc) and when the above changing facilities are crap you really don’t want him drinking too many of those. He loved the Disney Characters, of course, but there just wasn't as much for him to do as at Alton where he can spend hours in the farm or bish bash.

I spent five days there. I was bored by the third. Perhaps I need to do Disney properly. Go to Orlando and get the works, but, after my first dose I’m in no rush.
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Re: The BIG Alton Towers vs. Disney debate

Sun Jul 07, 2013 9:05 am

smeg_head wrote:
After years as a theme park fan I finally got to go to Disney Land Paris in October 2011. The anticipation was huge. For an enthusiast this, surely, would be Mecca.

So the opinion? Give me Merlin any day.

Seriously. Alton Towers just feels more magical. Disney is just false, false, false. Yeah it was to be expected. I’m a Disney fan but wow it’s all far too sugary. The customer service is really grating. “Have a nice day sir. What was your favourite experience today sir? Enjoying your visit sir?” It was France but they all seemed to have an American accent. I far prefer the UK’s ride-ops more natural unscripted conversation – even if it can be miserable at times.
The Merlin parks feel much more magical and natural. EVERYTHING at Disney is man-made. Every thing probably has a thousand consultations before being placed to ensure perfect theming but this leads to overcooking, almost jarring theming. We bemoan Merlin’s lack of attention to theming at times but the park feels more real as a result and other than the beauty of the construction of Space Mountain and perhaps the scale of the park I really don’t see anything at Disney that Merlin can’t do. And hey. Sleeping Beauty’s castle or the Gothic beauty of the Towers – I know which I prefer.

I also love how Merlin embrace the culture of the surroundings of their Parks. Swarm is themed around an incident in Chertsey – rather than try and transport you somewhere fake the strength comes in building on what’s already there. Alton and the Hex legend are a perfect example. Disney tries to transport you to the US – but when everyone around you is European it just doesn't work.

We also moan that most Merlin rides are over in seconds. Yes Disney ride experiences are longer but there really doesn't seem to be as many – especially for the enthusiast. Rock & Roller coaster, Tower of Terror, Crushes Coaster in the Studio Big Thunder Mountain and Space Mountain in Disney Land. Give me Saw, Stealth, Inferno and Swarm any day over those.

“But it’s for kids” I hear you cry. Hmmm. I had my two-year-old son with me and he was woefully under catered for. Changing facilities were poor and catering abysmal. Other than water the only real drink option was pure fruit juice, (I didn't want him drinking coke etc) and when the above changing facilities are crap you really don’t want him drinking too many of those. He loved the Disney Characters, of course, but there just wasn't as much for him to do as at Alton where he can spend hours in the farm or bish bash.

I spent five days there. I was bored by the third. Perhaps I need to do Disney properly. Go to Orlando and get the works, but, after my first dose I’m in no rush.


I have to agree with you about Paris we went in 2007 and we did have a good time but it didn't feel right not been in America. We spent a whole 12 hours at the magic Kingdom park and it felt like they just put a lot of mix matched rides into the park.
We went to the Studios and we though this was very poor. We only spend 6 hours in this park as we had to get the coach back home but we did everything that was available there. I did enjoy the movie/show where the sword looked like it cut a hole in the screen and the action was then onto the stage area.
I also liked this version of rock and roll coaster to the Wdw version.
 
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Re: The BIG Alton Towers vs. Disney debate

Fri Aug 02, 2013 7:06 pm

Having just returned from a holiday in orlando I have to say merlin has a long way to go to be on the same level as disney, universal, seaworld. For me disney is the best theme park experience there is. They have extremely high standards and their customer service is great. Their attractions are also excellent (tower of terror, rockin roller coaster, splash moutain, expedition Everest). The free fast pass system is also a key benefit. I have qued more at alton towers than I did my entire disney trip. They manage crowds so much better.

I do like alton towers it is the best the UK has to offer, but for me it's no where near the same experience as disney.
 
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Re: The BIG Alton Towers vs. Disney debate

Sat Aug 03, 2013 10:00 pm

Smeg-head, please don't think of Disneyland Paris as "Disney" entirely. The park was ultimately flawed upon opening and was running at an abysmal loss for many years - DLRP is not what Disney even consider to be their "show".

Bringing Merlin and Disney parallel is difficult; but disregarding budget differences, I think investment from Merlin is relatively good. Merlin have obviously shown they can make consistent good investments over the recent years, but they still have a problem with real entertainment and showmanship - they rarely make it work. Attractions and park areas need constant investment to prove successful over time; and I believe this is something which Merlin cannot match Disney on.

Another point which I believe is rather unfair on Disney, is the argument of poor investment at WDW. The Florida resort is taking a huge amount of time and effort in improving experiences, including the Disney Springs, New Fantasyland and Grand Floridian DVC developments. Low periods of investment (especially in these economic times) are likely, but Disney have taken that opportunity to put cash into delivering in what they do best. There's the obvious mention of Avatar Land also, which is likely to be the biggest cash investment in Disney history.

I think I've made my point, and in no way am I putting Merlin down; I just think that if they want to be taken as a serious competitor to Disney, they must improve in almost every aspect of their operations.
 
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Re: The BIG Alton Towers vs. Disney debate

Sun Aug 04, 2013 1:15 am

Alton towers is magical, but Disneyland paris?

Wow.

The lights show I saw at 11:00pm tonight is so amazing?!!? The projected animations on the castle and even the water fountains!!? It is unbelievably amazing I think!
My mum even shed a tear! I have never saw nothing more amazing in my life...
The thinks that make disney magical -light shows, cartoons, characters- are things alton towers doesn't have, I.e the characters! Spotting them walk around disney is real fun!

I am not putting alton down at all because I love it!
But the definite thing splitting them is disneys amazing ott magic feel, then altons thrill ride!
And I love them both :lol:

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