2019: The Alton Towers Dungeon

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by GaryH, 28th Jun 2018.

  1. Lurker

    Lurker TowersStreet Member

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    I feel differently. Having a brand identity and having homogeneity are independent factors. Whilst I might look for homogeneity in a hotel chain because 'i know what I'm getting', it's not necessarily a good thing elsewhere.

    Having the same scenes actually does the opposite of attract me, it makes me think "eh, already done that, why bother". It's a shame when there is a vast history to pull from. At the very least some fresh jokes.
     
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  2. rob666

    rob666 TowersStreet Member

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    Yup.
    The very reason I won't do any more dungeons is because I have seen the same things twice, so no more.
    There is no real reason for repeated scenes, other than saving money.
    Alton could have come up with six new and original plots, Molly crow, chained oak, King Ina getting battered, Henry Hound returns...but cut and paste is quick and cheap.
     
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  3. OilyWater

    OilyWater TowersStreet Member

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    Yeah I feel the same, and I think most people do. But Merlin continue to repeat because they are paranoid about new ideas or deviating from marketing stats (unfortunately)
     
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  4. Mikw

    Mikw TowersStreet Member

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    I enjoyed the AT dungeon when i went, really liked it, but i'm not a Merlin pass holder so have only ever been to one before, and that was 10 years ago.

    So, it's good i think for those who aren't MAP holders. Those that are will have seen it all before.
     
  5. DiogoJ42

    DiogoJ42 TowersStreet Member

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    The trouble with Merlin is, they always try to walk it in.
     
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  6. Emzy

    Emzy TowersStreet Member

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    I went and it was ok. Actors did a really good job. River ride could do with more but apart from that was ok. Shame you have to pay extra but we’ve done it now, no need to again.
     
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  7. ScottishChris

    ScottishChris TowersStreet Member

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    Do you not think that one is the biggest mistakes was using the Dungeons brand? If it was something unique, that you couldn't get anywhere else I think more people would have been willing to pay for it. Say something branded with Horrible Histories and a bit more of a family IP.
     
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  8. Matt.GC

    Matt.GC TowersStreet Member

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    The biggest mistake was putting an up charge attraction in, that takes 45 mins to do, looks awful on the outside, in a theme park that closes at 4~5pm every day.
     
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  9. OilyWater

    OilyWater TowersStreet Member

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    If its true the Dungeon is just a short term filler then I've come to appreciate it more. Its performance will hopefully put Merlin off ever permanently installing its own brands in parks in the future. Had it been a smash hit upcharge attraction I think there'd be a different story.

    And as a placeholder attraction that nobody wanted, Alton Towers did a good job with it. Much better than more years of SBNO rides.

    But it shouldnt have been necessary. I feel something isn't right behind the scenes if Alton Towers cant get the replacement it actually needs/wants in 5+ years since Charlie shut. Surely it doesnt take that long to design and deliver a good dark ride, especially when there was plenty of notice that Charlie was gonna close?

    Was it paranoia over spending money on family rides and the old 'we wont do it without an IP (but we cant actually get one)'?
     
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  10. Mikw

    Mikw TowersStreet Member

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    Low Capex year, and an upcharge, so they're probably hoping they get the cost back in a couple of years.
     
  11. b2311e

    b2311e TowersStreet Member

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    I think just about every year is one of those with Merlin
     
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  12. Themeparksandy1981

    Themeparksandy1981 TowersStreet Member

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    I not been Alton Towers this season yet but for how much it most have cost to build and the money to pay the actors do u think Merlin will make a profit from it.
     
  13. AT86

    AT86 TowersStreet Member

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    So it is now six months into the season, what is the verdict on the success of the attraction? Anyone ‘in the know’ have a view on whether Alton Towers are pleased with the performance of the Dungeons?

    From what I can tell there isn’t much ‘noise’ about the Dungeons on social media or review websites. The few reviews that mention the Dungeons do generally have favourable comments, it’s just there aren’t many people who appear to actually venture in.

    Alton Towers don’t appear to be using social media to advertise the attraction much these days and it doesn’t even feature as ‘new’ on the website homepage.

    On the days I have visited that whole side of the park has been pretty empty. They certainly don’t get much footfall passing by to entice people in.

    However on the other side of the coin MAP holders still have to pay (albeit reduced price) so there must be some demand, otherwise they would have made it free by now.

    Will it return for 2020?
     
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  14. Jb85

    Jb85 TowersStreet Member

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    A friend of mine has just got a job in the marketing dept at Merlin

    One thing that he has already made clear is that everything they try must have a usp and be able to be rolled out across the group.

    In short more of this is going to happen - we’ve seen it with oblivion and the wooden ride and heide ( can’t remember the name!)

    I suppose the one plus point is we may finally get a decent wing coaster in the uk
     
  15. Dave

    Dave TS Founding Member

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    The requirement to have a USP has existed since Tussauds day so there is nothing new there. I doubt they would also build the same rides with similar branding in the same geographical location either (Tussauds tried that it didn’t work).

    What will happen more and more is ride concepts and brands transferring to different geographical locations (we have seen this with Oblivion BH at Garda and Wickerman/ Collosus at Heide). If Dungeons works then they want more midways infiltrating resorts as well.

    Obviously it could be all change if the buyout is successful
     
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  16. OilyWater

    OilyWater TowersStreet Member

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    Everything needs some kind of big hook, but often Merlin go for such strained, gimmicky stuff to stretch an advert rather than actually create any hook in the real ride.

    Only using concepts that can be rolled out at all parks means before long we will get fewer and fewer new ideas (if Merlin havnt had that influence already) and every park will be a version of each other. There's always good go-to themes as a start point, but we need some kind of variety. No doubt it saves them an enormous amount on design and marketing effort and can be shown to people with no imagination whatsoever in a board room.

    "See this thing that we did over there? We're doing one of those" "Ok"
     
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  17. Dave

    Dave TS Founding Member

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    See I agree and disagree with this.

    On one had it does stifle creativity, however on the other how many of Alton Towers guests are aware there is an Oblivion ride in Italy and visa versa? How many German visitors to Heide would know it is massively influenced by a theme on a woodie in the uk?

    I will see how lazy Merlin become but sharing some brand work isn’t the end of the world if the geography is appropriate.
     
  18. D4n

    D4n TowersStreet Member

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    Agree with this. I mean, Disney literally do it. There is nothing wrong with saving some money by mimicking / taking inspiration from a successful idea in a different country.

    The difference with the Dungeons is that there was no chance of it ever being successful. It has reeked of being a low budget copy and paste job from day one.
     
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  19. Rick

    Rick TowersStreet Member

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    Like you say, it was low budget. The level of success required for it to be considered successful was likely pretty low too, the risk was minimal.

    They needed to get the boat ride back up to scratch anyway and when it does reach the end of the road they can use all the scenic stuff elsewhere.
     
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  20. Jb85

    Jb85 TowersStreet Member

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    And that’s the point jo public wouldn’t know! I am led to believe they were looking at rolling out the smiler theme to another of their parks but that got put to bed once the accident happened.

    It seems interesting that they are using AT as the guinea pig if you like. The copied items so far seem to have started at AT. The infiltration of midway attractions seems to have been tested first at AT. Maybe they see the park as their model ?
     

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