2017: General Discussion

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imanautie

TS Member
I never needed fastrack or VIP, even on the busiest day's, get in the park early and don't follow the crowds. Almost everyone heads for The Smiler first thing.

And don't get me started on RAP. These are there for ride access not to be used a as free fast track. On my last visit, I manage to get on the rear seats of Thirteen, then I was told to swap with a family using the front seats. Just because the family at the front were RAP and the rules are that they have to ride in the rear seats for evacuation purposes, and they decided to queue in the normal queue to get front row seats. Surly if you are RAP and can use the normal queue, then you don't need a RAP pass? This is not a dig at disable people or those with a hidden disabilities (bearing in mind my wife is disable). All I'm saying is, you can't justify obtaining a RAP because your disability stops you for using the normal queue line on one hand, but then on the other hand you go and use the normal queues when it suites you.

Back to the VIP pass, all that I can say, I'm a regular visitor to Alton and in all the years that I visited the Towers, I can't justify paying the hefty price tag for the VIP passes, I myself can't really remember the last time I queued for more than 30 mins in the last few years and on average I usually queue for no longer than 10 mins.
For me I can handle some level of queueing but some of the queues do get a bit too much for me to cope with its not a blanket I need to use RAP all of the time thing.

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Arpy

TS Member
And don't get me started on RAP. These are there for ride access not to be used a as free fast track. On my last visit, I manage to get on the rear seats of Thirteen, then I was told to swap with a family using the front seats. Just because the family at the front were RAP and the rules are that they have to ride in the rear seats for evacuation purposes, and they decided to queue in the normal queue to get front row seats. Surly if you are RAP and can use the normal queue, then you don't need a RAP pass? This is not a dig at disable people or those with a hidden disabilities (bearing in mind my wife is disable). All I'm saying is, you can't justify obtaining a RAP because your disability stops you for using the normal queue line on one hand, but then on the other hand you go and use the normal queues when it suites you.

I have to disagree with this. I have an illness that prohibits me from being able to queue for a long period of time and so i do get the RAP for queues that are longer. If a queue is any less than 15-20 minutes then i am perfectly capable of standing in that queue however anything longer i have to use RAP.
 

Steve74

TS Member
I never needed fastrack or VIP, even on the busiest day's, get in the park early and don't follow the crowds. Almost everyone heads for The Smiler first thing.

And don't get me started on RAP. These are there for ride access not to be used a as free fast track. On my last visit, I manage to get on the rear seats of Thirteen, then I was told to swap with a family using the front seats. Just because the family at the front were RAP and the rules are that they have to ride in the rear seats for evacuation purposes, and they decided to queue in the normal queue to get front row seats. Surly if you are RAP and can use the normal queue, then you don't need a RAP pass? This is not a dig at disable people or those with a hidden disabilities (bearing in mind my wife is disable). All I'm saying is, you can't justify obtaining a RAP because your disability stops you for using the normal queue line on one hand, but then on the other hand you go and use the normal queues when it suites you.

Back to the VIP pass, all that I can say, I'm a regular visitor to Alton and in all the years that I visited the Towers, I can't justify paying the hefty price tag for the VIP passes, I myself can't really remember the last time I queued for more than 30 mins in the last few years and on average I usually queue for no longer than 10 mins.
Thing is, (now I know what the RAP is!) doesn't it allow for only go per ride? My partner has had issues with walking long distances over the last few years so for trips to Alton she hires a mobility scooter for going round the park. She can walk short-ish distances but can't stand still in queues for more than 10-15 minutes without needing to sit down (she has osteoarthritis in both knees). In the past she has got one of the RAPs and was told she was only allowed to use it once per ride - not a problem for her because if the queue is short and she wanted a re-ride later she can queue normally. So this family in the normal queue - maybe they'd used the the 1 RAP access already and what you saw was a re-ride?
 

imanautie

TS Member
Thing is, (now I know what the RAP is!) doesn't it allow for only go per ride? My partner has had issues with walking long distances over the last few years so for trips to Alton she hires a mobility scooter for going round the park. She can walk short-ish distances but can't stand still in queues for more than 10-15 minutes without needing to sit down (she has osteoarthritis in both knees). In the past she has got one of the RAPs and was told she was only allowed to use it once per ride - not a problem for her because if the queue is short and she wanted a re-ride later she can queue normally. So this family in the normal queue - maybe they'd used the the 1 RAP access already and what you saw was a re-ride?
nope there's no actual limit in number of rides. for major rides aka big six cbebbies land and spinball once you go on a major rode you have to wait the length of the queue before going on any other major ride but are free to ride minor ones in the meanwhile.

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Steve74

TS Member
nope there's no actual limit in number of rides. for major rides aka big six cbebbies land and spinball once you go on a major rode you have to wait the length of the queue before going on any other major ride but are free to ride minor ones in the meanwhile.

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Yeah, that makes sense but I was meaning re-rides of the main coasters at any time after the queue time expires. I'm sure she was told she could only ride once per day each of the coasters with the RAP access
 

imanautie

TS Member
Yeah, that makes sense but I was meaning re-rides of the main coasters at any time after the queue time expires. I'm sure she was told she could only ride once per day each of the coasters with the RAP access
no, say you go on smiler and its a 30 minute main queue, . After 30 minutes your free to go back on smiler or any other major ride.

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RoyJess

TS Member
Don't get me wrong, I not here to prejudge and to say who should or should not be allowed to have a RAP

So this family in the normal queue - maybe they'd used the the 1 RAP access already and what you saw was a re-ride?

This is my point ;) I wasn't aiming my comments at those that are using RAP with genuine needs (hidden disabilities as well as visible), I've also seen people switch around in the wheelchairs before now to get in immediate re-rides, and don't forget, every-time someone abuse the system it is also going to make those genuinely needed to use the RAP waiting times longer which of course defects the object of having a RAP

I'm sure she was told she could only ride once per day each of the coasters with the RAP access

Unless the rules have change, you can have as many rides as you want as long as you have waited the allocated time on the rime card.
 

smudge

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Nemesis
I don't really get the hate for the 'VIP' pass itself - no doubt if people genuinely do 'push through ques' and have that general 'I'm richer than you' attitude then that's pretty crappy, but the pass itself isn't bad, is it?

The profit they make form these 'VIP' passes/events help subsidize/fund our beloved park...?

All the comments about it being a waste of money, more money than sense etc is nonsense too. Maybe you wouldn't pay that for a theme park, but when you consider that people pay £1000s for a few days in Centre Parcs, people think nothing of spending £1,000's on a new car, MTB, a fishing rod, whatever people choose to spend their money on, a few hundred quid on a pass isn't going to bankrupt anyone is it?

Its very similar to flying business class, who the hell wouldn't if they could justify the expense?

I've considered getting one in all honesty, although decided I wouldn't visit enough to get the full value form it. The only thing I hate at theme parks is queuing. It's why I always stay at universals hotels to get the express pass, and why I would only visit anywhere else off peak. The 'VIP' pass would quash my concerns on that front.

One thing I agree on though is the term 'VIP.' The only people this term will appeal to is people who actually aren't important at all and will buy something to make them 'feel' important.
 

James

TS Founding Member
I've seen regular pass holders act like they are superior to everyone else/barging past people in queues... It's just a case of certain individuals making everyone else look bad. I highly doubt every single VIP pass holder thinks they are superior to everyone else and acts that way.

Agree that it should be renamed Platinum though.

Standard = Silver
Premium = Gold
VIP = Platinum

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Steve74

TS Member
Don't get me wrong, I not here to prejudge and to say who should or should not be allowed to have a RAP



This is my point ;) I wasn't aiming my comments at those that are using RAP with genuine needs (hidden disabilities as well as visible), I've also seen people switch around in the wheelchairs before now to get in immediate re-rides, and don't forget, every-time someone abuse the system it is also going to make those genuinely needed to use the RAP waiting times longer which of course defects the object of having a RAP
Its a very delicate area for Alton and their staff to tread. I don't envy them. A fine line between not discriminating against disabled people and those just abusing the system and trying it on.



Unless the rules have change, you can have as many rides as you want as long as you have waited the allocated time on the rime card.
Maybe I had it wrong then, was a while ago now so can't remember!
 

Ted

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Kondaa
And don't get me started on RAP. These are there for ride access not to be used a as free fast track. On my last visit, I manage to get on the rear seats of Thirteen, then I was told to swap with a family using the front seats. Just because the family at the front were RAP and the rules are that they have to ride in the rear seats for evacuation purposes, and they decided to queue in the normal queue to get front row seats. Surly if you are RAP and can use the normal queue, then you don't need a RAP pass? This is not a dig at disable people or those with a hidden disabilities (bearing in mind my wife is disable). All I'm saying is, you can't justify obtaining a RAP because your disability stops you for using the normal queue line on one hand, but then on the other hand you go and use the normal queues when it suites you.

When I first started regularly going theme parks back in 2004, I always use to take up the opportunity to take up the Ride Access Pass at Chessie and Thorpe. Back in those days it was pretty much unlimited and you could on any ride as much as you like with no queues, and you can imagine I loved it :p It wasn't until about 2006 at Chessie and 2008 at Thorpe where they introduced the queue time limit and I continued to use that until 2010 where I got more fed up of just waiting riding the more rubbish rides at Thorpe and Chessie and thought it was just better to queue up, especially now when I go to parks when it's usually dead. It happens to me in quite a lot of places, I got frustrated at having to wait in queues as I don't understand the concept of waiting, but as I've gotten older, it's gotten a lot more easier to manage.
 

Steve74

TS Member
The whole VIP Tier frustrates me, one, I think it should have a different name... seen way to many VIP pass holders acting like royalty, pushing through queues etc and I think most of that is because of the VIP name. two, those loyal passholders who have had them for the past 5-10 years (probably twice as much as 3 years of VIP passes) get nothing to thank them. However those who can splash out X amount get thanked with these events.

It's the same with all companies though, very little to thank those who have stuck around.
Maybe they could do some loyalty thing like Cineworld and their Unlimited cards (after 12 months, you're upgraded to Premium giving you 25% off cinema food & drinks rather than 10% plus a few other perks). So maybe something like every 5 years of continuous MAP membership your 5th year is automatically upgraded to VIP level for that 5th year?
 

imanautie

TS Member
Maybe they could do some loyalty thing like Cineworld and their Unlimited cards (after 12 months, you're upgraded to Premium giving you 25% off cinema food & drinks rather than 10% plus a few other perks). So maybe something like every 5 years of continuous MAP membership your 5th year is automatically upgraded to VIP level for that 5th year?
Im not sure it would be practical like that.

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Steve74

TS Member
ah so people who really want to get it can and long loyalty is rewarded, that could work.

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Yep :) It would give people the incentive to continue buying the non-VIP passes, especially if they gave more things away with the VIP pass like a free night in the hotel for 4 people once a season or free scare maze tickets or something. Could also be done in a tiered way like for standard MAPs every 5th year you get a VIP year, Premium MAP it could be every 3rd or 4th year.
 
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