2020: General Discussion

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Perhaps they could treat the ride harnesses with some kind of safe spray on disinfectant several times a day a a preventative measure to kill germs on contact... Not too sure how safe it would be for eyes nose and throat, though...

...or domestos
 

Rob

TS Team
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If they do indeed open on Saturday, and I do still think it is an if, it will be interesting to see how many people turn up. If the park is completely and utterly dead then that may force them in to a decision to close, as they'd probably end up losing more money than if they were completely shut.
 

Croftybaby

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The whole of the UK is struggling to get Antibacterial supplies. Seems there's plenty at Alton though.I can think of better uses for it.

I wonder if this is again building up for a U-Turn where they are praised for closing in the end.
 

Steve74

TS Member
Shouldn't the National Trust be lambasted as much as Alton/Merlin for opening their gardens? What's the difference between walking around Alton's grounds (and staying a safe distance from people, avoiding rides, shops, restaurants if you wanted) and walking around National Trust gardens? Oh yeah, not owned by Merlin! :p
 

Plastic Person

TS Member
Glastonbury was only announced as cancelled an hour ago, I would argue something like that is far more problematic than Alton.

Yeah, but the difference is, Glastonbury is now cancelled and, let's face it, was always going to be. Alton is not #cancelled, nor is it taking place months away in the summer. The park opens this Saturday, amid an emerging national pandemic.

I can understand the logic of the National Trust maintaining admission on their wide, open spaces. Alton has plenty of those, sure, but many more queues, rides and other tight, sticky squeezes, including food and drink outlets where they make most their cash. Seems mental to me.

For reference, Alton did open alongside the Foot and Mouth Crisis in 2001, and they slaughtered all of their farm animals in order to be able to do so.
 

Rick

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Yeah, but the difference is, Glastonbury is now cancelled and, let's face it, was always going to be. Alton is not #cancelled, nor is it taking place months away in the summer. The park opens this Saturday, amid an emerging national pandemic.

I can understand the logic of the National Trust maintaining admission on their wide, open spaces. Alton has plenty of those, sure, but many more queues, rides and other tight, sticky squeezes, including food and drink outlets where they make most their cash. Seems mental to me.

For reference, Alton did open alongside the Foot and Mouth Crisis in 2001, and they slaughtered all of their farm animals in order to be able to do so.
Right, but I can still go in 9 pubs/bars that I can see from my office in central Manchester. They're all full of people, in enclosed spaces, consuming food and drink, using non-disposable cutlery. This is happening today, now in fact.

I don't disagree that it's mental, but it's happening.
 

Rick

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I suppose we are heading into a broader, more nuanced discussion about society, liberty and personal freedom that is perhaps ill-advised to project onto the opening of 'Gangsta Granny: The Ride'.
Haha, indeed. I get the outrage about Alton*, but it's not without precedent. Pleasure Beach and Drayton are still slated to open and bars/restaurants are still open and are ram-jammed - they're arguably far higher risk.

Get out of the bubble, kids.

* I suspect they might not open after all.
 

Funcone

TS Member
This does feel like the kind of thing where the industry needs to get together through BALPPA and make a decision. Like most people I’m not a scientist, but looking at where we are, I think it’s time to announce full closures. As other people have said, we’re talking about three days’ time. It’s reached a point where they need to make a decision. Music festivals months away are in a different boat.

Closures will be difficult. A lot of the staff are on zero hour contracts, in rented accommodation and have limited money for stock piling food etc. Quite frankly many of the staff will be terrified. If parks do close, I don’t know whether salaried staff will get paid as normal. A week ago, I’d have assumed they will, but a lot of companies seem to be putting salaried staff on unpaid leave. Talking to people on the frontline of the UK theme park industry, many of them simply don’t know what to do.

But still, I don’t think the decision can be delayed any longer. Theme parks attract people from a large geographic area and surely stand a good chance of spreading the virus around. A lot of businesses have stopped accepting cash and are card payment only. I do agree that all the people handling restraints is too risky.

Drayton Manor deserves a special mention having missed out on half term because of flooding. It’s getting a bit like the Come Fly with Me sketch about the lady who can’t open her coffee shop.



Given the state that some of the UK parks are in, it’d be nice for them to still bring in staff for painting/cleaning etc, but given how financially precarious most UK theme parks are, I can’t see that happening.
 

ringo

TS Member
Finally Merlin taking responsibility. I wonder if there has been some external pressure regarding London attractions that are closing as they are pretty much rammed and in close proximity to everyone.
 

Squiggs

TS Team
Haha, indeed. I get the outrage about Alton*, but it's not without precedent. Pleasure Beach and Drayton are still slated to open and bars/restaurants are still open and are ram-jammed - they're arguably far higher risk.

Get out of the bubble, kids.

* I suspect they might not open after all.

I'm not sure the double standards you think are occurring are actually present here. Forgive me if I missed it but I haven't seen anyone claim that bars and restaurants are ok to still be open? I'm fairly certain all the folk here who are saying the park should be closed have the same opinion on all non-essential social venues.

And I'm not sure Drayton and BPB have made their intentions known yet, so the reason all of the criticism is falling directly onto Merlin here is because they are the ones who have directly come out and said they are going to open despite this being clearly against the latest advice from the government.
 
I'm not sure the double standards you think are occurring are actually present here. Forgive me if I missed it but I haven't seen anyone claim that bars and restaurants are ok to still be open? I'm fairly certain all the folk here who are saying the park should be closed have the same opinion on all non-essential social venues.

And I'm not sure Drayton and BPB have made their intentions known yet, so the reason all of the criticism is falling directly onto Merlin here is because they are the ones who have directly come out and said they are going to open despite this being clearly against the latest advice from the government.
The latest advice is to not go out, not for companies to close. It’s a tricky situation, my place of work is experiencing a similar difficulty in closing it’s doors.


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Squiggs

TS Team
The latest advice is to not go out, not for companies to close. It’s a tricky situation, my place of work is experiencing a similar difficulty in closing it’s doors.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Indeed, so therefore a company encouraging people to gather socially and engage in non-essential travel is entirely going against the advice.

The reason it is not a blanket ban for businesses is because one size would not fit all. For example a blanket ban would have forced the National Trust to close it's parkland as well as its enclosed facilities - this wouldn't be the best option because that parkland can allow people who need to go out (i.e. to walk pets) to spread out more freely, thus actually making it safer.
 
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