UK theme parks from another point of view!

 
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Fri Oct 20, 2006 10:46 am

Yes it is something so trivial some people may think 'so'? But we have to let Alton know they have to take more care over these things otherwise will soon find Gloomy Wood having an attraction installed that is totally inappropriate - and that's when things really will get 'pants'.


Like air being put in the Forbidden Valley for one example.
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Rita in Ugland (I know they changed the name but it doesn't fit)
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Javs
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Fri Oct 20, 2006 2:42 pm

I think we are missing something here. Yes the 90's had a magic we all acknowledge, but I dont think it was all down to theming. Remember the Beast, Thunder Looper, Corkscrew, 3 of the main attractions in the early 90's, each had little or no theming and yet each still created an atmosphere, I think due to their situation and surroundings. It is all about the ride and how and where it is incorporated. I think we all agree Rita is a great ride, very poorly situated and a great example of no imagination, and no magic. Rant Over :D
 
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mezza
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Fri Oct 20, 2006 3:33 pm

Indeed - lets not forget, that it was only by the arrival of Ug land that the whole park was properly themed - pre Ug land, that area of the park had no proper theme, neither did Fantasy World, pre X-Sector in 1998.

I really do think that we're confusing the 'magic' of the 90's with nostalgia.

A lot of us first visited the park in the 90s, when we were a lot younger, and before we visited the park, we probably knew very little about what to expect. Of course the place would seem exciting and magical.

These days, we know the park like the back of our hands, a lot of us work there, and we spend a lot of time discussing budgets, maintainance, planning permission, management structures, court orders and the like. How can a park seem magical when we know it so well and we are so familiar with it? How can it surprise us or transport us to another place if all we notice when we're there is that the signage is a bit wonky or whatever?

Sure, the park have done things too to take the magic away, but I really do think we, as enthusiasts, are as responsible for the park feeling less magical, as the park is.

If the management had left the park untouched from its 'glory days' - same music, same rides, same theming, etc.... would it feel any more magical than it does now? probably not.

We're not kids anymore. That's where the magic's gone.
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mike22
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Fri Oct 20, 2006 3:38 pm

Hi people

Indeed - lets not forget, that it was only by the arrival of Ug land that the whole park was properly themed - pre Ug land, that area of the park had no proper theme, neither did Fantasy World, pre X-Sector in 1998.

I really do think that we're confusing the 'magic' of the 90's with nostalgia.

A lot of us first visited the park in the 90s, when we were a lot younger, and before we visited the park, we probably knew very little about what to expect. Of course the place would seem exciting and magical.

These days, we know the park like the back of our hands, a lot of us work there, and we spend a lot of time discussing budgets, maintainance, planning permission, management structures, court orders and the like. How can a park seem magical when we know it so well and we are so familiar with it? How can it surprise us or transport us to another place if all we notice when we're there is that the signage is a bit wonky or whatever?

Sure, the park have done things too to take the magic away, but I really do think we, as enthusiasts, are as responsible for the park feeling less magical, as the park is.

If the management had left the park untouched from its 'glory days' - same music, same rides, same theming, etc.... would it feel any more magical than it does now? probably not.

We're not kids anymore. That's where the magic's gone.


I totally agree what you have said in the above post. I think personally we have all grown up and matured therefore seeing the more tachinical/management aspects of the park which we would not take any notice when we were younger.

Cheers

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Fri Oct 20, 2006 3:44 pm

I think the Park has a brilliant magical feel. I also go to Thorpe and find that not at all 'magical' although I still love it.

I mean I love walking down Towers Street once a year with its music playing and the sight of some of the rides gets me overly excited. It's great seeing families aswell. They kinda drain out the Chavs compared to Thorpe.

Alton has magic to me.

But I do think we can balme some of the magic disappering from the park at the managment for example, seeing some of the litter pickers/cleaners who just wish they could be somewhere else or at home or when you see graffiti in the queuelines can ruin some of the Atmosphere.
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AstroDan

Sat Oct 21, 2006 1:08 pm

I agree with various posts above. Smeg, yeah i see what you are saying, and I do indeed criticize Alton enough but just found the general labelling of the park as 'pants' a little OTT for my liking!

As for the magic, as I have said before, people seem to confuse nostalgia with magic. As someone said, a decade ago, Ug Land (Festival Park) was unthemed. X Sector (Fantasy World) was unthemed. A lot of the park was indeed not themed. It was never the theming alone that made the magic, although this assisted greatly in Katanga, Gloomy and Forbidden - the 'golden' left hand side of Alton Towers! It was more than that. It was the entertainment - and I genuinely believe that with daily, quality entertainers, shows and music - magic could be back - in an instant.

Anyway we are getting off topic. Alton can build as many new rides as it likes, but magic is another question. A woodie, water ride and whatever else will of course make me leap with joy, quite literally, but I have to confess that magic/atmosphere takes a lot less investment. A coaster may cost £10million - entertainment and shows a lot, lot less. But what to the public want?

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Sat Oct 21, 2006 4:46 pm

As for the magic, as I have said before, people seem to confuse nostalgia with magic. As someone said, a decade ago, Ug Land (Festival Park) was unthemed. X Sector (Fantasy World) was unthemed


That was a long time ago visitors now need more stimulation with media influances people want excitement and new experiances. A decade ago would have been fine the way it was.

The target area of todays modern world expect more.
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Sir John Talbot
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Sun Oct 22, 2006 4:52 pm

As for the magic, as I have said before, people seem to confuse nostalgia with magic. As someone said, a decade ago, Ug Land (Festival Park) was unthemed. X Sector (Fantasy World) was unthemed. A lot of the park was indeed not themed. It was never the theming alone that made the magic, although this assisted greatly in Katanga, Gloomy and Forbidden - the 'golden' left hand side of Alton Towers! It was more than that. It was the entertainment - and I genuinely believe that with daily, quality entertainers, shows and music - magic could be back - in an instant.


Agreed. The magic is gone because Alton Towers aren't marketing magic anymore. Customer service has declined dramatically. Entertainment, now at a bare minimum. Budgets being cut and cut further. I'm not sure what's taken over the Alton management as of late, especially when you look at what Thorpe are doing with their budget that must be the same or infact smaller than Altons. But this whole money grabbing, can't be arsed attitude needs to stop... fast. I hope the proposal to rejuvinate a large quantity of things among the park next year is a sign of better things to come.

As for the Woodie, I think we're getting ahead of ourselfs. All this talk of magic and theming. I don't think a woodie will bring either to the park. Woodies aren't themed. They don't really need to be. Hopefully AT will exploit the antique awe of a woody with a similar theming idea. Expectations for me are up on the water ride as, looking at Tidal Wave, Tussauds can do fantastic jobs on them. Will be a very intruiging year though, for me the year of jugdment whether Alton really has lost it or not, but I think if we let our expectations run too high and into the unrealistic we're just setting ourselfs up for disapointment.

Long time no Woodie info :(...
 
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Sun Oct 22, 2006 8:55 pm

"Sir John Talbot" wrote:
As for the magic, as I have said before, people seem to confuse nostalgia with magic. As someone said, a decade ago, Ug Land (Festival Park) was unthemed. X Sector (Fantasy World) was unthemed. A lot of the park was indeed not themed. It was never the theming alone that made the magic, although this assisted greatly in Katanga, Gloomy and Forbidden - the 'golden' left hand side of Alton Towers! It was more than that. It was the entertainment - and I genuinely believe that with daily, quality entertainers, shows and music - magic could be back - in an instant.


Agreed. The magic is gone because Alton Towers aren't marketing magic anymore. Customer service has declined dramatically. Entertainment, now at a bare minimum. Budgets being cut and cut further. I'm not sure what's taken over the Alton management as of late, especially when you look at what Thorpe are doing with their budget that must be the same or infact smaller than Altons. But this whole money grabbing, can't be arsed attitude needs to stop... fast. I hope the proposal to rejuvinate a large quantity of things among the park next year is a sign of better things to come.


"Yadder, yadder, Yadder, things i know nothing about, yadder some more". Customer service is key this year and Alton towers' Customer service has incrased dramatically for starters.

Can't be arsed attitude? with major improvements coming all around park next year and the word of a Woodie in 2008 possibly even a second ride, sounds a bit weird to say it's "can't be arsed attitude".

Let Electric towers and Halloween do it's thing, Halloween they've got room 13 at the hotels which is apparently fantastic and could even be better than terror of the towers and on park it may be small scale but actors have been deployed in the most suited area of the park.
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AstroDan

Sun Oct 22, 2006 9:03 pm

I agree with the above. They are arsed, just sometimes need to harnessed the 'arsed' bit a bit better.

Customer Service is good in my experience.
 
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Sir John Talbot
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Sun Oct 22, 2006 9:32 pm

Customer service is key this year and Alton towers' Customer service has incrased dramatically for starters


I guess it's all about your experience at the park, but with my visits I thought customer service was the worst part of the day. Didn't seem like Alton Towers 'cared' about their guests.

Can't be arsed attitude? with major improvements coming all around park next year and the word of a Woodie in 2008 possibly even a second ride, sounds a bit weird to say it's "can't be arsed attitude".


Yep, as I said I hoped the proposals for the next two years are signifying improvements, but currently such rides as Rita and SW for me personally seems that not a lot of thought of logic went into them, IMO.

Let Electric towers and Halloween do it's thing, Halloween they've got room 13 at the hotels which is apparently fantastic and could even be better than terror of the towers and on park it may be small scale but actors have been deployed in the most suited area of the park.


Well, the park doesn't have a Hallowe'en event as such which is such a shame from the sheer potential and gothic nature of the park. The plans they did have seemed fantastic, shame Tussauds gate figure expectations where too high. The hotel maze seems amazing, but it isn't the park. I completely agree about Electric Towers thought, certainly makes things look up and I have high expections of the event :).

Things I think the park should pay attention on is ride experience quality, entertainment and (for me personally) customer service. Next year will be an interesting year to see whether any of these improve :).
 
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Sun Oct 22, 2006 9:49 pm

"Sir John Talbot" wrote:

Can't be arsed attitude? with major improvements coming all around park next year and the word of a Woodie in 2008 possibly even a second ride, sounds a bit weird to say it's "can't be arsed attitude".


Yep, as I said I hoped the proposals for the next two years are signifying improvements, but currently such rides as Rita and SW for me personally seems that not a lot of thought of logic went into them, IMO.


That's because Rita and SW were planned by the old management which were around back in the bad days of the park a.k.a the god awfull 2004 season.
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Sir John Talbot
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Sun Oct 22, 2006 10:03 pm

That's because Rita and SW were planned by the old management which were around back in the bad days of the park a.k.a the god awfull 2004 season.


A ha! Forget about having new management. Hopefully they will be able to bring Alton Towers back to glory. One major fault so far, Charlie, but even that had had potential and the ideas were all there.

I'm quite excited about what they will bring to the park next year, and how they will update Alton Towers to its 'new era'.
 
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Sun Oct 22, 2006 10:05 pm

I think depsite thier being no major new attraction next year, I think 2007 will be the first year the new management really get to stamp thier mark.

The last few attractions, Rita and SW and I'd even say Charlie were the responsibility of the old management. (Wasn't Charlie in secret planning for years?).

Next year we're hopefully going to see dozens of mini makeovers with rumoured improvements in towers street, old macdonalds farm, fountain square, the hotels, forbidden valley and now katanga canyon. the park is set to be much more magical next season.

(Whatever this magical is meant to be, personally I wish people would quit it with the "magic's gone" tripe, move on to bigger and better extraordinary things please!!)
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Sun Oct 22, 2006 11:11 pm

Ohh, I go for a few days and everyone goes mad over what I posted! Ok, first things first, I actually work for AT for those who dont know and I agree that we have some world class rides, however, I feel that as a whole the park is a major let down as far as effort is concerned. Its as almost as if they are saying ok slap a ride here n bodge some themeing into it. Also I feel that there are several parks in Europe that offer a better experience that Alton does. Any park can buy a new state of the art rollercoaster as long as they have money. What actually makes a park that bit better is themeing and attention to detail. Ripsaw for example needs themeing. All of it was stripped off and nothing added back to it. There are no foutains and the speeches are all done via a P.A. whereas it would be much better to have themed pre-recored speeches. These things are only small and wouldnt even cost the park too much money, however, Alton have seemed to have adopted this "Ah it will do" attitude and its that which guests do pick up on and makes Alton look so bad. I deal with approx. 10,000 guests a day and over my 4 1/2 years working there have picked up on the things they feel that lets the park down and taking the obvious queue times etc away, the ones that I see the most are poor customer service and a poor atmosphere around the park. They also comment that things look shabby and just need a lick of paint. This all comes back to the caint be bothered/ it will do attitude and I think they need to change this attitude quickly as guests do notice it.
 
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Mon Oct 23, 2006 2:18 pm

it would be much better to have themed pre-recored speeches


At any other park, yes. Good idea, but at alton.....

(think's pre-recorded speech in the Nemesis station)

.......not such a good idea :roll:

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Wed Oct 25, 2006 5:11 pm

Well, not too sure what to make of this new news about the Woodie. I am a little dissapointed that it says the wooden coaster is going to be a LOT Smaller than the proposed 2002/03 one, but I guess size is not everything!
Also trying to work out exactly where it is going as the beast used to be in Thunder/Forbidden Valley. Do they mean the former site of the Beastie?
 
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Wed Oct 25, 2006 5:16 pm

"Javs" wrote:
Well, not too sure what to make of this new news about the Woodie. I am a little dissapointed that it says the wooden coaster is going to be a LOT Smaller than the proposed 2002/03 one, but I guess size is not everything!
Also trying to work out exactly where it is going as the beast used to be in Thunder/Forbidden Valley. Do they mean the former site of the Beastie?


No, the old Coaster Corner as in behind Tweenies Theatre as was.

http://www.towerstimesforum.co.uk/phpBB ... 3a69c84a92
 
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John
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Wed Oct 25, 2006 5:17 pm

The beast was originally located in an area behind CatCF and the cred street theatre (coaster corner), before being moved to FV.

Coaster corner hasn't been used for over a decade, apparently because of noise complaints, so its quite a surprising choice of location.
 
Anonymous

Wed Oct 25, 2006 7:03 pm

I took my Canadian cousin to AT last year and she come away saying she had never experienced so many different things in one day! So I think that says alot about Alton Towers.

But I do agree there are many faults and I have written many posts about this but never actually posted them on the forum, maybe I should now the season is coming to an end.

The one thing my cousin did say was bad is Air! She asked why there was so much concrete :P she said it kinda ruined the effect of flying.

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