2013: General Discussion

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by djtruefitt, 26th Dec 2012.

  1. Natalie

    Natalie TowersStreet Member

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    With the twisty straw embedded in it.
     
  2. Bubblegum

    Bubblegum TowersStreet Member

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    Was I the only person who got excited to see the use of the nice font Alton Towers used to use, instead of tacky, overused Mother Hen... :D
     
  3. Scott

    Scott Former TS Team Member

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    ATH tends to use that font for most of their signage and menus still I think. Only the occasional temporary notice uses Mother Hen.

    All the same - I think mother hen works as an identity for the park though could do with being used as a focal font with a clearer font as a secondary/information font.


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  4. James

    James TS Founding Member

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    Yeah, that font is always used in Alton Towers Hotel. It's only the theme park that tends to use Mother Hen heavily.
     
  5. Jables

    Jables TowersStreet Member

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    Anyone else think the queuetime board at the bottom of Towers Street completely ruin the view and is quite the eyesore?


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  6. Scott

    Scott Former TS Team Member

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    Its not permanent so I wouldn't be surprised if it's location was tinkered with (presuming it's kept for next season)


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  7. Slugjc

    Slugjc TowersStreet Member

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    Ok I'm posting this on here because I need a place to vent a bit of anger mostly down to myself, and some I think down to AT. I writing this on here as I hope people will understand my frustration. And also some of you can beat me into line and re-kindle some lost affection with AT

    I've just returned from a two day pass at Alton towers. I arrived at the park at 1:30 on Tuesday and did what was expected of me to head towards the smiler which as I knew it would be was closed whilst they resolved an issue. So a 40 min queue for oblivion and as luck would have it as we left the smiler re-opened and a 30 min queue. I was delighted, a short queue for the new ride. And to top it off the ride is utterly fantastic. Then a 40 min queue for Rita. Followed by a 20 min queue for nemesis and air. Which in the dark are.......... We'll cannot describe how brilliant that experience was. Then my first go at sub-terra which left me with a huge spring in my step I loved that ride. It was about 20:00 at this point and my day had been truly brilliant. The queue times were spot on and unlike the last time I had a 2 day pass and it was dead I wasn't rattling around having done everything to quick. I went back to the chained oak B and B to talk with my girlfriend and the owner about how brilliant the my first experience of nemmy and air at night smiler and sub- terra are whilst looking over at the glow of park.

    Since we had got 2 day ticket and a good price me and my gf decieded to do the rides we didn't have time for th previous day and since we could get before 10 have another go on the smiler. As it turned out mistake number 1. 2 break downs and a stoppage for them to add another car. 3 hours later we had done. Perfect ride again apart from my gf getting one huge bruise off the restraint. Now I understand the 3 hour time. It's new there having teething troubles and thanks for this website I fully aware of what could happen. Then mistake number 2. And the one I'm not forgiving myself or AT for. We walked to thirteen. Under the tunnel (which didn't offend me sorry guys) we looked at the queue time board and saw 60mins. We thought an hour yeah ok we had things to do when we got home but an hour wouldn't affect them to much. Now this is where I kick myself and everyone will jump on my back. 150 mins later we left the ride. 90 mins more then the time shown. Now is that my mistake or something the towers could look at. When we left the ride the queue time was 80 min yet the queue was longer. I left the park after with a bitter taste. I know it's my mistake I should have known. But the we did that based on the queue time shown, as a rule I always add about 20-30 to that time. But with no down time heard off I have to wonder how that time got so long. I'm willing to half the blame. It's just I don't see thirteen to be a ride to wait 2 and a half hours for. Although I did leave the ride smiling it did put my trust in AT down abit

    I know this is long. And it may seem to be my fault rather then AT but that ride ruin another perfect trip to AT. It even stopped my g/f buying a nemmy mug to replace the one she broke as we found the day before towers trading didn't stock. And she was ****ef off she didn't want me dragging her over to nemmy just for a cup. Thank you listening. You people are the ones who will listen and tell yes you are a numpty or yes we agree.
     
  8. Devilgirl

    Devilgirl TowersStreet Member

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    With regards to the Th13teen queue times, was it raining when you were at AT? Last time I was in park (in the rain!) there was a staff member at the entrance to the queue line warning people that the boards were not showing accurate timings due to the ride running less trains because of the weather conditions (I think that was the reason, I was scooting past into the SRQ entrance and only caught part of the conversation). If this was the case, a staff member would have been helpful to pass on info before the queue line to give you the option to join or go somewhere else. Or maybe there were lots of fastpass holders at the front slowing down the regular queue?

    As for your Nemmy mug... Hop on the skyride, buy mug, skyride to entrance, job done!
     
  9. James

    James TS Founding Member

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    Got back from 3 days on resort today. Just one or two general things...

    Firstly, my family would like to thank the Alton Towers Hotel duty manager this morning for her more-than-exceptional customer service.

    To explain a bit, yesterday we bought two of The Smiler hoodies, when we got back to the hotel in the evening they didn't fit and were pretty tight (my own fault for not trying it on before buying). Since we didn't have theme park tickets for today we went to see if the hotels could give us the correct sizes, which they could, although they didn't have any bigger sizes in the hotel stocks. So the staff member in the ATH shop gave The Smiler shop a ring to see if they had any in stock (which they did), they were asked if they could send someone over with the hoodies although the shop staff said they could not as they had low staff numbers.

    After some talking to my dad (I just wandered off into the shadows after this to take pretty pictures) the duty manager went off and drove to the park herself to grab the hoodies for us.

    I was super impressed to hear that when my dad got back to us. Most managers would just say "sorry there's nothing we can do" which is fair enough and I wouldn't have complained. But for the manager to do that for us just shows how brilliant Alton Towers can be with customer service. I cannot stress enough how impressed I am. So yeah, thanks!

    [hr]

    The Hotels - Evening Entertainment in the Alton Towers Hotel

    Now.. I'm really critical of the hotel entertainments, over the years the shows have dip dived into boring glorified karaoke that makes you feel like you're in an 80s Butlins camp. Dare I say though, the last two nights have been, somewhat... magical?!

    Yes, you read that right, magical. No I'm not high on drugs. Let me explain as there's a few things that bring me to change my views on the hotel entertainment...

    The vocals this Halloween are far, far better - it now reaches the quality of what I expect from the UKs biggest resort. The two newest singers (Beth and Josh) are both excellent and I'm glad Alton Towers has snapped up such talent, them and Sophie all work beautifully together and really work the crowd well! I hope Alton Towers keep all three of them for the foreseeable future.

    [​IMG]
    General picture - you can see the band in the back.

    A-Band-On Ship are as great as always, can't fault them. I hope they stay at Alton Towers for many more years to come - they really work well with nightly entertainment. I'm no musical expert but from the things I've heard over the years A-Band-On Ship are at the top of the list of good bands I've heard. Thanks to the bass player posing for us twice too. :p

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    One more thing that has improved with the night entertainments is guest interaction. I've seen bugger all of it for years yet now it's actually planned within the shows with the singers coming off the ship and interacting with guests. The acting skills are good and I saw all three stay really in character (I don't know how you do it!). So well done to them and whoever's idea it was to get performers actually out there interacting with guests heavily again!

    The shows themselves have improved, while it will always be singing to pop songs there were some good 'classics' thrown into the mix and also some custom lyrics with references to the scare mazes at the theme park. It brings a nice tie-in and everything works well.

    The costumes and make up are really well done. But I've always thought the make up during Halloween is done very well so it's pretty much on par with past years. The costumes though are linked in with the show theme (which there are two of each night during Scarefest) which is a nice touch.

    The new projections on the walls with custom graphics linked in with the shows are a nice touch. The foam machine (I think it was foam at least) looks pretty good too.

    [​IMG]
    Ooooo projections.

    I haven't been this impressed with hotel entertainments since the early 00s. It has really stepped up a gear and I'm truly in awe of all the hard work that has been done to make these shows come to life. For once it feels very complete and hopefully the only way is up from here!

    [hr]

    Theme Park

    Monorail

    Oh monorail, if only I could hear your on-board audio through the loud screeching of your fragile body.

    I have had a few complaints in the past with audio not always being played on the trains. Although that's not a problem this year, the staff play the audio every time and some even talk through with a message at the start. The problem now... I cannot hear the audio. I'm not sure what the problem is but it's pretty pointless having the audio on these days when you cannot hear a thing. I'm quite disappointed by it. Maybe there's a problem they cannot get too but I hope it's something that could be looked at/fixed for 2014.

    Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

    I'm just waiting for this to be bulldozed over. I always go on this once each visit as I do have a soft spot for it. Although the state it was in this week they may as well get rid of it now.

    As you enter there's a strong chocolate scent which is great, I'm glad that effect is still being kept going. As you enter the boat though you start to pick out all the usual bits and bobs that are falling apart, peeling or just broken. The balls that shoot up next to the large Violet Beauregarde were not quite shooting up, three of the balls were stuck and only one was going up. The waterfall light was not on (or the bulb has had it), so unless you are good at seeing in the dark the effect in that section is made pretty redundant!

    The garbage shoot tunnel just looks awful and to top it off lights were on in the backstage areas exposing the whole warehouse beyond the garbage shoot and showing the massive empty area for all to see. Kills any immersion you may have had.

    We went into the left side lift and oh god, I've never seen the lifts in such a state. The screens had marks all over them, killing the illusion and the lift made some horrific screeching sounds. Completely killed the effect and I would dread to imagine what first timers would be thinking after going through that. Some work needs to be done on it the whole ride and lifts this closed season!

    [hr]

    That's it for my 2013 moans and praises. :p The theme park hasn't been quite bad this year (although I'm a bit meh with some aspects of the park) and the hotels are as good as always and have improved in some ways too. Not too bad of a year!
     
  10. delta79

    delta79 TowersStreet Member

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    Jamies if you know the name of the Hotel duty manager, write to AT bosses telling them how great she was. It will show them that she is great member of staff and will show her how much you appreciated her going above and beyond.

    Everyone is quick to complain, however they are slow to praise.
     
  11. Slugjc

    Slugjc TowersStreet Member

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    there was no rain at all. No member of staff. Just sheer confusion and annoyance on a lot of peoples faces. when we got to the ride. The annocement stated that it was over an hour for single rider and to join the shorter main queue. That was made just as I joined. You see my frustration in all this. As for the mug yes it would of been that simple I even planned to do just as you said. But after the queue we just wanted to home. Two hour drive at least and we were fearing the rush hour traffic and needed to get back for personnel reasons which I wont bore you with on here
     
  12. Devilgirl

    Devilgirl TowersStreet Member

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    Unfortunately I think that the long queues and inaccurate ride time boards may just be a symptom of the park being extremely busy over half term and Scarefest :( I appreciate that this may not be a suitable solution for you, but I'd plan my visit on a quieter week if you're stressed out by long queues in order to get more value from your visit. I got 25+ rides in on the Saturday before Scarefest using SRQs and left before closing as the weather was getting grim :'(

    I avoid the busy periods to avoid the situation you ended up in as I can't be bothered standing in queues all day ... that's just wasting Nemesis time for me ;D

    Hope you have a better time on your next visit and the mug is still waiting for you in the shop!
     
  13. cybermen39

    cybermen39 TowersStreet Member

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    I'm sorry to not agree on the Hotel entertainment but we were there on the night of the 30th and you could not hear the words they were singing and the hotel guests hardly clapped.
    And as for the costumes they have been used time after time leaving them out from year to another does not make me forget as that's one of the reasons we go . And the only song that got a reaction was when they sang Holding out for a hero.
    The only thing agree with is the base player is very friendly and came up for a chat after they had finished.
     
  14. James

    James TS Founding Member

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    I was there on the night of the 30th and the crowd were applauding quite a lot (was definitely no 'hardly clapping'). It was pretty quiet though on the 30th (compared to the next night that is). On 31st the hotel was packed and there were loud cheers and applause! I don't know how you couldn't hear them singing the words as it was quite audible for me.
     
  15. cybermen39

    cybermen39 TowersStreet Member

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    I'm sorry but it must depend on what you like but that singing belongs in the local working mens club and as for the costumes they have been worn time after time. The same with all the roaming actors old costumes from very old ice shows. The only thing different was the images on the walls.
    That's why the base player came over to us he said your costumes are better than what they provide us with . But the singing please
     
  16. Slugjc

    Slugjc TowersStreet Member

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    Great advice not going in half term. But hoping to be working in a school soon. I chose that week because a it was the only week me and my partner could get off together. B, we knew it would be school holiday week so chose scare gets as we knew that even with queues we could get on all the rides and do what we won't without getting up v early having to come back early evening at rush hour. Leeds us a nightmare to get back too. M1 - a1 are just horrendous. So that's why we went this week. Glad we didn't go this week with the smiler shut.

    I think it was mainly due to us needing to get home and because we had a good day the day before, we got cocky and tryed to beat queue and failed. But with good information the day could have been saved and I could have 2 great days insted if 1 with 3 mugs AND NO NEMMY MUG
     
  17. James

    James TS Founding Member

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    I've heard all sorts of car crashes of singing in the past and Alton Towers has got good quality, decent singers who are very good in my opinion. Obviously if you disagree with that we can only agree to disagree.

    I've been to many venues in the past so know a good singer when I hear one. The new singers at the hotels this year are far better than the singers they've had come and go over the past decade that's for sure!

    I know Alton reuse costumes. But the majority of businesses do that. So it's not out the ordinary.
     
  18. cybermen39

    cybermen39 TowersStreet Member

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    Agree to disagree makes sense . But I don't go to the Towers for rides . But I'm an avid theatre and concert goer and the poster in the Hotel says it includes singers from the west end and that is total ---- . And as for costumes its only the last decade they have used costumes over and over from the 90's before if costume showed signs of use it would be remade. I'm not bigging it up but at the pirate show Sir Edward (Ky Kelly) and lady Victoria came racing over to us after there show and asked if we had come from Disney he even asked my partner to make him some stage outfits for his drag act and I we have never meet before. But James I know you love the Towers and every one has an opinion and I think we normally agree on the entertainment side of things.
     
  19. James

    James TS Founding Member

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    West end singers have a certain way of singing (I've been to a fair few west end shows) and the hotel singers have that kind of style of singing (well, that's what my ears are telling me at least) so I'm certain at least one of them is from the west end!

    Regarding costumes. I would guess they reuse them so much these days just due to budgets being so tight! Entertainments has one of the smallest budgets at the resort. I'm surprised what they manage with the little money they have to play with! Although the costumes look pretty good so I have no moans about that really. It's still visually interesting and that's what matters, whether they be new designs or old reused ones.

    There's been a number of big changes since the 90s so it's a bit hard to compare the two decades like they are similar. Bigger budgets, a better economy and a company that thrived on entertainments just doesn't exist in 2013.

    Things are getting better though. The introduction of certain things in the park this year has shown a slight improvement and with entertainments now being made mostly in-house hopefully this will be a turning point for Alton Towers over the next few years and entertainments will become a more important part of Alton like it once was.

    I know we mostly agree on entertainment side of things. I'm lucky enough to remember the 'golden era' so I know we share similar views in that respect. Although I do honestly think Alton are slowly improving. I'm not by any means saying entertainments is perfect, it still needs improvement, but for once it's slowly getting there. When you look back 6 years ago they have improved a hell of a lot. With creative minds like Pete C in charge now, I do think the department will improve and in another 6 years time we will be pleasantly surprised with what they do.
     
  20. delta79

    delta79 TowersStreet Member

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    I think with merlin returning a creative manager to the entertainment team. they are looking at bringing up the ents side of AT. and looking at what Mr C has done with the support of the ent team, I think it in very good hands.

    Lets not forget the other departments they call upon to help create their vision.
     

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