2014: General Discussion

Ben

TS Founding Member
Favourite Ride
Your Dad
For a company desperate to remind us they are second to Disney, have you ever heard of Disney doing staggered openings?

Infact I don't think there are even many UK parks that still do staggered openings on rides, it such a part-time, half arsed attitude.

Surely the budget can't be that tight they can't operate all the rides? Its not like the staff they are paying for that hour cost them a fortune, it will be mostly minimum wage staff.

If they manage to pull off the current 'get rich quick' scheme of not opening a fewer smaller rides, then Merlin will be snapping at their heels to make more savings next season?
Removing more from ERT?
Opening whole areas late?
Closing rides early?
Closing areas early?

Its a slippery slope... for the UKs leading theme park.
 

DiogoJ42

TS Member
Favourite Ride
The Metropolitan Line
Stop... giving... them... your... money... it's... the... only... way... they'll... learn.
 

jon81uk

TS Member
Ben said:
For a company desperate to remind us they are second to Disney, have you ever heard of Disney doing staggered openings?

Yes, Disney has done staggered opening in the past, the Mickey's Toontown area of the Magic Kingdom (now demolished and part of FantasyLand in Florida) always used to open at 11am. Also at EpCot, World Showcase (half the park) always opens at 11am. I think Disneyland Paris also has selected rides closing earlier than the rest of the park due to fireworks.

I don't see it being a big issue at Alton Towers, on weekdays during the school term it is easy to ride everything in a day and I never want to do the water rides first thing anyway. I would expect most rides to be open at weekends and during the summer shool holidays.
 

Rob

TS Team
Favourite Ride
Steel Vengeance
In regards to the farm animals leaving the Resort, I'm very disappointed. I thought it was a nice little touch having them at Towers and it added something extra. Every so often I used to really enjoy going to the farm and seeing the animals, it was somewhat relaxing.

Little George and Granville will always remain the Towers donkeys to me, I hope they get to keep their lovely Towers coats when they're down at Chessington!

:)
 

Bob

TS Member
jon81uk said:
Ben said:
For a company desperate to remind us they are second to Disney, have you ever heard of Disney doing staggered openings?

Yes, Disney has done staggered opening in the past, the Mickey's Toontown area of the Magic Kingdom (now demolished and part of FantasyLand in Florida) always used to open at 11am. Also at EpCot, World Showcase (half the park) always opens at 11am. I think Disneyland Paris also has selected rides closing earlier than the rest of the park due to fireworks.

I don't see it being a big issue at Alton Towers, on weekdays during the school term it is easy to ride everything in a day and I never want to do the water rides first thing anyway. I would expect most rides to be open at weekends and during the summer shool holidays.

People pay the same amount to get in for these quieter days as they do the busier days. They should get the same level of availability really. Certainly at Disney, World Showcase may open later then the rest of the park, but you do get a good twelve hours for the majority of the year to do the whole park. You get just over half that time at Alton.
 

Benzin

TS Member
Do we actually know what rides are due to open late?

DLP always open Casey Jr/Storybook Land after park opening (if they ever open), and will it be Port Aventura levels of bad?
 

jon81uk

TS Member
Bob said:
People pay the same amount to get in for these quieter days as they do the busier days. They should get the same level of availability really. Certainly at Disney, World Showcase may open later then the rest of the park, but you do get a good twelve hours for the majority of the year to do the whole park. You get just over half that time at Alton.

But you don't need the same level of availability on quieter days, I really wouldn't expect the flume, the rapids and wobble world to be so busy that the hour makes a huge difference. On those quiet days use the 10am to 11am hour to ride Nemesis & Air 3 times each or explore Cbeenies land and then find other attractions later.

As Florida weather is better and due to the international nature of DisneyWorld they don't get as quiet as Alton Towers does on a March weekday. Also the Magic Kingdom significantly alters its park hours depending on how busy the season is ranging from 9am to 8pm on quiet days to 8am to 1am on very busy days. All parks alter hours depending on the season, Alton Towers is also just opening rides at selective times to keep costs down on super quiet days.
 

Dave

TS Founding Member
Ben said:
For a company desperate to remind us they are second to Disney, have you ever heard of Disney doing staggered openings?

Infact I don't think there are even many UK parks that still do staggered openings on rides, it such a part-time, half arsed attitude.

Surely the budget can't be that tight they can't operate all the rides? Its not like the staff they are paying for that hour cost them a fortune, it will be mostly minimum wage staff.

If they manage to pull off the current 'get rich quick' scheme of not opening a fewer smaller rides, then Merlin will be snapping at their heels to make more savings next season?
Removing more from ERT?
Opening whole areas late?
Closing rides early?
Closing areas early?

Its a slippery slope... for the UKs leading theme park.

Not in defense of Towers but Disney close rides all day on quiet periods, i know the say it's for maintenance but if that's the case Casey Jr is the most maintained roller coaster in the world.

Towers argument will be that the rides they choose will have low numbers in the first hour, but their opening is so short already that i really don't think it's justified.

IF they where going to significantly extend the ride close then i would accept a few low popularity rides opening an hour later.
 

Dar

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Taron
Is the spare budget from losing the farm going to be plowed back into the park? Or is it a deposit on SW8?

If the news is to be believed keeping farm animals isn't cheap, what with the cost of the feed and vet bills and bedding and heating and such like. I reckon Towers are sitting on a nice little pot of unused cash there.

Unless of course the farm was an outside operation, Merlin Farm Operations Ltd.

Alternatively, are Merlin simply taking that budget away from Towers and giving it to Chessington? Will Chessington have to care for more animals with an unchanged budget? Will Chessington have to scrap their duelling wooden coaster plans to pay for poor little George and Granville's upkeep?

All this and more on the next episode of "Merlin do the darndest things"
 

jon81uk

TS Member
I expect the planning for Cbeebies land has already re-allocated the budget for the farm area into Cbeebies land. There is a lot of live performance going into this area with the new show area replacing the ice tent plus attractions like Nina and the Neurons, I think they will have to have quite a high budget for staff.

I wouldn't expect it to be costing Chessington a lot more, they already have zoo keepers etc for their Childrens zoo, adding a few more animals isn't going to be a huge cost to them.
 

delta79

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Nemesis, Air
The cost for the animals moved to chessington will be lower then keeping them at alton.

Feed is bought in bulk to one site. most of the staffing levels and require compancies are covered already by existing staff. Vets are going to be contracted to the park.
 
N

_nemesis_

According to the article posted here, the animals from the farmyard were being kept up at the hotels. How the hell do they do that? Would explain all the room and corridor closes though...

(This is a Joke btw.)
 

James

TS Founding Member
BenBowser said:
According to the article posted here, the animals from the farmyard were being kept up at the hotels. How the hell do they do that? Would explain all the room and corridor closes though...

They weren't literally staying IN the hotels. :p They were staying at the back of the Alton Towers Hotel beside the lake:

1525076_594114430659005_2041077872_n.jpg


1517672_594114677325647_2141358881_n.jpg


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Pictures from TowersStreet Facebook.

Rooms and corridors in the ATH have been closed due to new bathroom fixtures being fitted throughout the hotel and some rooms are being refurbished. :)
 

Scott

Former TS Team Member
Favourite Ride
Nemesis
BenBowser said:
According to the article posted here, the animals from the farmyard were being kept up at the hotels. How the hell do they do that? Would explain all the room and corridor closes though...
Is this... Serious?
 

Sam

TS Member
Hen walks into the Alton Towers Hotel.

"I'm sorry, this is actually the check-in desk."

*ba-dum*
 

Sam

TS Member
Cow arrives at the Alton Towers Hotel mistakenly.

It meant to go to Moo-vie Park Germany.

Another cow walks into the Alton Towers Hote--sorry, I'm just milking this now...
 

thefatone

TS Member
Ben said:
For a company desperate to remind us they are second to Disney, have you ever heard of Disney doing staggered openings?

Yes, they do a lot. They also like to close attractions earlier, sometimes a lot earlier than the park closure. One of the biggest was Studio Tram Tour when I visited, closing at 6pm on the dot regardless of the park closure (which was usually around 9pm when i visited). Which is even more frustrating as the parks tend to get busier or at least stay busy there as they always have closing events.

I hate earlier ride closes, sure open them later as most people haven't arrived yet and the parks themselves know when people ride certain attractions, but don't close them when people are enjoying themselves, that gives a worse impression as you're feeling like you're unwelcome.

Universal also do this, the entire Simpsons area was closed until midday when I visited. Granted, it was 5min queues elsewhere but it's a huge area of their park.

Anyway, with towers, from what others have said it seems to be a couple of small rides which noone rides before they're due to open anyway. No big coasters closed for instance..

EDIT: To add, it's not a new thing either, Haunted House used to have midday openings through the 90s, along with other rides I'm sure.
 

jon81uk

TS Member
James said:
They were staying at the back of the Alton Towers Hotel beside the lake:

It does seem a bit of a waste to move them to the hotel for one winter, I'm surprised they didn't move them to Chessington last November...
 

EuroSatch

TS Member
The difference between disney and Alton Towers though is whilst they may do staggered openings for select attractions, they are still open for a significant period of time throughout the day. If Towers opened till even 8pm then I could understand it. But 6 hours a day for support attractions that they themselves have been decreasing in number for several years???

This is such a blind approach to reducing overheads. Your service should never be impacted on by costs savings, whereas this is directly saying to guests "we're saving money so you're the ones who are impacted". The big supermarkets and other PLCs that offer a public service all need to be seen to be efficient. But do Tesco limit access to the frozen section to half a day to save money?

It's also a very cynical attitude to think investors and shareholders would see this as a positive move.
 
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