2017: General Discussion

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Rick

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Crux
Ticketing in my opinion should be height based so it depends on how many of the rides you can actually go on. Most 12 years olds are about 1.4m so near enough matches up with going on thrill rides.
Pricing by height or age makes me nervous. I am not saying that this is true of Alton at this present time because I do think there are a couple of gaps in the product for certain age groups, but on the whole, you should be able to have a relatively full day irrespective of your age/height.
 

JoshM

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Nemesis
Reading comments on news articles about the ID requirements and it seems it's going down very well.

We may not like it as enthusiasts, but if the majority of the general public think it's a good idea to require ID that's what really matters to Merlin and i'll support that.
 

chilli2

TS Member
Although a lot of under 18 are sensible and most likely wouldn't misbehave there's always a few that will.
And under 18s still aren't legally responsible for themselves.
This is more to cover themselves more than anything I would guess.


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You could easily flip that around:

Although a lot of Adults, over 18 are sensible and most likely wont misbehave there's always a few that will.....


As for what happened on the ride at Drayton, and supervision in general.
If you are taking a youth group, such as Scouts to a theme park, then you should have an idea on what individuals will behave if left to enjoy the park in groups not supervised by an adult which ones wont and may need some adult supervision, and which definitely wont behave and as a result wont be coming

Another aspect is in how the park deals with people that break the rules, and how well the rules are communicated to customers, a pre recorded message in the station is not good enough - this would have to be dome by who ever is loading/dispatching the boats verbally and further re-enforced by signs on the ride, such as a vinyl wrap on the rapids hand rail.

As for those that stand up, what does/did the park staff do when dealing with these people? if the answer is nothing then breaking the rules just becomes acceptable behavior - if they are doing it then so can we

An over 18's rule on the rapids, and other rides will in the long term be detrimental to youth groups, schools etc booking as they will look elsewhere as its impossible to have adults escort groups round the parks all the time

School trips/youth group trips to places such as Alton towers should be seen as a privilege and not an entitlement, however it seems we are living in a world where everyone is entitled to everything, and people are awarded for participation over achievement.


As for the ride - spot the adult in charge of the School group on the official site: https://www.altontowers.com/theme-park/congo-river-rapids/#ride-information
My only comment on the picture of the group on the raft is that they are wearing Ties round their necks, which could pose a safety hazard
 

kris3012

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The Smiler
You could easily flip that around:

Although a lot of Adults, over 18 are sensible and most likely wont misbehave there's always a few that will.....
Yes but you can say the same for every situation there's always someone who will try to break the rules.
The main difference as I've said before is that over 18s are responsible for there own actions.
My daughter is 11 as is very well behaved and mature for her age but I'd rather know she is safe but upset than put in a situation where her life could be in danger


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chilli2

TS Member
The age of responsibility in the UK is 10 (ten) years old.
this is the age at which a young person can be prosecuted and convicted of a criminal offence as this is the age when its deemed that they will have an understanding of the consequences of their actions.

At the age of 16 you can fly an aircraft Solo, yet you can no longer go on the Rapids ride at Alton towers
 

kris3012

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The Smiler
The age of responsibility in the UK is 10 (ten) years old.
this is the age at which a young person can be prosecuted and convicted of a criminal offence as this is the age when its deemed that they will have an understanding of the consequences of their actions.

At the age of 16 you can fly an aircraft Solo, yet you can no longer go on the Rapids ride at Alton towers
Yes but your classed as a minor until 18 which is when parental responsibility end.
I don't even know why this is an argument end of the day merlin have does this in the best interests of the under 18s and yet there getting abuse for it.
If they hadn't done something and a similar incident happened I could imagine how much uproar there would have been.
They literally can't win whatever they do it seems.


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AndrewH

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The Smiler
Yes but your classed as a minor until 18 which is when parental responsibility end.
I don't even know why this is an argument end of the day merlin have does this in the best interests of the under 18s and yet there getting abuse for it.
If they hadn't done something and a similar incident happened I could imagine how much uproar there would have been.
They literally can't win whatever they do it seems.


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What they have done is not in the "best interest" of us under 18s though is it. It is mearly an attempt to cover there own back sides. An 18 year old limit is so ridiculous it is unbelievable I could drive to the park with my wife and child after getting off duty from serving in the military go on every ride in the park only to be insulted by being told I'm to immature to go on a family water ride. Yeah but it's all in my best interest!?

If I was to turn up and be ID'd and refused entry to a family water ride I would be insulted it is a rule which demeans all under 18's in a society which already trys to do that when ever possible. To say everyone who is not 18 is to irresponsible to follow basic instructions is degrading and farcical
 

Benzin

TS Member
Demeaning 18 year olds by making them ride a Rapids with mummy or daddy? Yeah alright then...

The park have a duty of care to all guests, and are covering their own side of things after a child died at a nearby park... Imagine the hell if an unsupervised child did fall out and die at Towers?

I really don't get the OUTRAGE about it... It's a sensible temporary decision for a park already under the media eye to be making...
 

MakoMania

TS Member
I think if they made it under 16 instead of under 18 they would get a lot less grief. It is still unecessary but doesn't insult people that esentially are young adults and have paid just as much as any other adult to get into the park. I mean, at 16 you can be in the military, have sex and at 17 you can drive a car which has the potential to be a killing machine.

As a concept an age limit is understandable, but why have they set it at this ridiculous level? It should be 16 tops, and as someone else has said, the legal age of responsibility is 10.
 

jon81uk

TS Member
As a concept an age limit is understandable, but why have they set it at this ridiculous level? It should be 16 tops, and as someone else has said, the legal age of responsibility is 10.

The girl who sadly died at Drayton Manor was 11. I would hope that if there was an adult in the boat with them, then someone would have reminded the kids to stay seated. Of course not every adult is perfect either and it might not have made any difference in that case, but I would hope in the future school trips think about the need to have adults riding with kids on some rides.
 

MakoMania

TS Member
The girl who sadly died at Drayton Manor was 11. I would hope that if there was an adult in the boat with them, then someone would have reminded the kids to stay seated. Of course not every adult is perfect either and it might not have made any difference in that case, but I would hope in the future school trips think about the need to have adults riding with kids on some rides.

I really don't mean to come across as insensitive here, but if one 20 year old dies in a car crash you don't then go and ban all 20 year olds from driving. I know it's not the same situation, but you'll get what I'm trying to say.

I just hope this is a temporary measure and next year after some updated safety features they can relax it a bit.
 

Rick

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Crux
I'm not going to embed myself in the quagmire of rage and ridiculous about this.

However,I will say that after the death on Space Invader in 2000, upon reopening the ride was 18+ ('adults' only), then accompanied and then eventually a free for all again. So therefore, this situation is not without precedent.

If you can't ride, head over to Explorers and get a nice cold beer.
 

jon81uk

TS Member
I really don't mean to come across as insensitive here, but if one 20 year old dies in a car crash you don't then go and ban all 20 year olds from driving. I know it's not the same situation, but you'll get what I'm trying to say.

I just hope this is a temporary measure and next year after some updated safety features they can relax it a bit.

No but as they are the legal age to be the driver they are responsible for their actions. For the same reason the driver, as they are in charge of the vehicle, needs to ensure that anyone under 14 is wearing their seatbelt. The law assumes anyone over 14 is responsible enough for their own seatbelt.

This is a similar thing, Alton Towers has decided that anyone under 18 is not responsible for staying seated on their own and they need someone with them to check that everything is OK.
 

chilli2

TS Member
School end of term trip season is fat approaching, and it will be interesting to see what effect that has on Alton towers Rapids ride as god knows how many school kids stream into the park.

An intersting asside, the rapids main website has been updated and no longer shows the School party ( with no over 18) on the rapids ride.

Maybe some sort of seat belt could be an answer - i remember going on a Rapids ride in the past, not sure where that featured aircraft style seat belts
 

Matt.GC

TS Member
Yes, 18 is too high (although I'd argue the suggestion of 10 and 14, in light of the Drayton tragedy is too low), ridiculous even, under normal circumstances.

But the park isn't operating under normal circumstances is it? What's even more ridiculous than an 18 year old minimum requirement is the current media critique of the park and the UK industry as a whole. What's equally as ridiculous is the prospect of fitting restraints and preventing guests from getting wet to the extent that it ruins the ride for everyone.

At the end of the day, it's private property, the company has increased public liability insurance to pay, a tragedy on a similar ride happened down the road and the park has lost a third of its visitors mainly due to public perceptions of it being unsafe. For those reasons, it's simply not comparable to the age of consent or the age of "legal" responsibility. Whether it's fair on guests of certain age groups or not is irrelevant, it's the park and Merlin who have to take the reputational and financial risks.

Also, unlike the inconsistent and pointless fencing off of rocks etc, or even the turning off of the water features on the Rapids, this doesn't actually effect many guests. Most guests seem to visit as a family party, of which there would be at least 1 adult present. It also makes no difference to groups of adults visiting. This only actually effects Scout groups or school trips, which I think in light of recent events should have at least 1 adult on board each boat to prevent inappropriate behaviour anyway - or the odd, and rarely seen, group of under 18s who visit the park without any adults present.

We all rightly said that an Intamin rapids is a perfectly safe ride that carries little risk to riders as long as they follow simple safety precautions. Towers opt to try and lessen this risk by putting a procedure in place that doesn't effect the vast majority of guests like silly restraints or leaving the water features off forever would, and they get criticised heavily for this?
 

IanSR

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Smiler
If anything the turning off of the fountains has made the ride faster at the next corner, potentially increasing the possibility of somebody getting thrown about in the raft. Last year our boat slowed a lot going through the fountain section but yesterday we shot through and crashed into the wall at the next corner, something that has never happened in 20 years to me.
 

rob666

TS Member
I'm 55 years old, and can, on occasion, be very naughty on the water rides.
Would all school/youth groups be aware I am available for theme park escort duties at reasonable rates.
 
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