2021: General Discussion

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Skyscraper, 2nd Nov 2020.

  1. Kraken27

    Kraken27 TowersStreet Member

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    Alton Towers (& I assume the other Merlin RTP's) have clamped down on the issue of RAP's since I worked there some 20 years ago. Back then you could hobble into Guest Services with a bandaged ankle claiming a serious sprain & the red wristband (what was disabled access back then) would be on in a shot, along with blue (helpers) wristbands for the rest of your party. This gave unlimited ride-exit access, with no "return time" restriction. You could bin the bandages off your ankle as it wasn't actually sprained when out of sight of Guest Services and have a very enjoyable day! Abuse was rife.

    They now require proof of certain disability related benefits / a blue badge / a letter on headed paper from a Nurse / Dr / Consultant stating why you are unable to queue before a RAP can be issued. (For MAP holders this entitlement could be recorded on the system so you only had to produce the proof once). This has made getting a RAP issued much less open to abuse. The issue is staff not completing the queue time on the pass - so it's completely a training issue.

    Needless to say, Disney get things right here (and I am no particular Disney fan). Just about all their queuelines are wide & stair-free, so accessible to guests in wheelchairs / mobility scooters. It's against the law in Florida to ask for proof of disability, so Disney Guest Services just ask "what can we do to help you?" When you say you have a hidden disability that prevents you standing in a crowded queue, they will issue you a pass that you show to the Cast Member at a ride entrance. The Cast Member will then issue you a ticket with a return time on equivalent to the current queue time, when you can return and enter via the exit. This is an extremely fair system, as all guests wait the same length of time to ride. Of course, Disney have Cast Members at just about every ride entrance, Towers don't due to cost-cutting.
     
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  2. jon81uk

    jon81uk TowersStreet Member

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    Many rides need somebody to check the Fastpass entrance which is why Disney have someone there, the people who need to return as they can’t wait in the main queue enter via the fast pass lane too. Whereas Alton Towers often has separate access return queue and separate fastrack queue so as you say they need more staff.
     
  3. Rick

    Rick TowersStreet Member

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    There might be more steps and process in terms of you getting access to RAP, but they are widely understood and not difficult to navigate. There are Facebook groups that provide the exact wording that you need in a letter from your GP, costing around £25 depending on your practice.

    Agreed, but this is what is driving the abuse which is absolutely happening.
     
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  4. rob666

    rob666 TowersStreet Member

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    You don't even need to pay £25 Rick!
    My doctor pointed out that you have a legal right to a printed version of your consultation records after each and every visit.
    Admittedly it might not be on official letterhead, but he kindly put the right sheet of paper in the photocopier for mine.
    I would still prefer no arthritis to a queuejumper pass.
    Probably.
     
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  5. Benzin

    Benzin TowersStreet Member

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    Did not know this, I'll pass this to my partner as her last doctor's letter is a few years old and slightly water damaged. Plus having to pay out for a doctor's letter has always felt wrong to me, let alone for those only on benefit.

    Don't tell the MAP groups though. They'll love that.
     
  6. Ils

    Ils TowersStreet Member

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    So our family of four went yesterday and I paid for the gold fasspass access. We had a very good day and I finally got on Wickerman, which I loved and the afternoon run was brilliant. Took me back to Mineblower at Funspot.

    I thought Gangsta Granny ride was better than I expected and the lads really enjoy it. They also loved the four temp flat rides, so clearly they have a market.

    That being said I think I might have to retire from Theme Parks. That is the second trip (Blackpool first) where I have been bad going on rollercoasters. I felt awful after Spinball and then after our second ride on Thirteen and wasn't great after Rita.

    I think I might just have to stick with Disney and Universal parks from now on where for me, it's not just about the rides.

    As for Fastpass, is it worth the value? Probably not, been it did save us about 4 hours queuing yesterday in the rain. Both at Wicker Man and Runaway train the CM did not scan or mark off the fastpass, so we could of used them again.

    All in all good day but it'd time for me to take some time out and just admit at 38, I'm past it!
     
    Last edited: 19th Jun 2021
  7. AstroDan

    AstroDan TS Forum Team Team Member

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    Efteling, Europa-Park and Co. say hi. Plenty of non coaster attractions, shows, dining and the like in those. I recommend if you're looking for a theme park trip that isn't just about rollercoasters!

    :D
     
  8. AT86

    AT86 TowersStreet Member

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    I have seen reports of Alton Towers having to turn away some schools bookings over the next few weeks because they are reaching capacity. Therefore I imagine there are going to be some very busy midweek days in the coming weeks.
     
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  9. Ethan

    Ethan TowersStreet Member

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    Midweek queues are longer than weekends atm
     
  10. Matt.GC

    Matt.GC TowersStreet Member

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    No they're not

    Sent from my VOG-L29 using Tapatalk
     
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  11. Ethan

    Ethan TowersStreet Member

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    Well you clearly haven't been monitoring the queues then as the queues today have definitely been shorter than during the week
     
  12. TheAverageNerd

    TheAverageNerd TowersStreet Member

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    The queues are definitely still busier at the weekends than mid-week, a quick glance at queuetimes.com very quickly confirms this.
     
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  13. Matt.GC

    Matt.GC TowersStreet Member

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    Have they? You know what the queues will be like tomorrow? Wow. I must be mistaken because I thought that Cbeebies land and the other family attractions had much higher queues today than they've had all week and I was so sure this would also be the case tomorrow as well. But then I "clearly" don't know what I'm talking about.

    Sent from my VOG-L29 using Tapatalk
     
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  14. Ethan

    Ethan TowersStreet Member

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    No it doesn't. The queues were shorter today and I'm not argue
    Well I was talking about the coasters. I don't look at ride times for cbeebies and family rides
     
  15. Matt.GC

    Matt.GC TowersStreet Member

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    Right. So now this is clear as mud. So the the queues today (only 50% of the weekend you seem to be referring to as you haven't mentioned any other weekend day other than today to support your claim) were shorter on average than during the week and this is so unquestionably true that you won't argue about it.

    But then this is only the coasters (10 rides) so isn't actually true? This somehow makes it "clear" that I haven't been monitoring queue lengths, even though this actually may prove to the contrary?

    Please, out of courtesy, put a bit more thought into things before you post. This is a forum, not quick fire social media. This is why so many of your posts rightfully get challenged.

    Sent from my VOG-L29 using Tapatalk
     
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  16. Islander

    Islander TowersStreet Member

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    This, 100% this. You desperately need to stop posting as if you're the master of all AT knowledge, when actually your views, though totally 100% valid as your views, cannot and should not be misrepresented as fact.

    I mean to make a bold claim re. all queue times, and then happily state that you're only taking into account a handful of rides... sheesh...
     
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  17. Ethan

    Ethan TowersStreet Member

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    Well I was only ever refereeing to the coasters. Maybe a little selfish I suppose but I don't suppose there's many that go on cbeebies rides without kids here
     
  18. David Allen

    David Allen TowersStreet Member

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    Definitely it has been busier this Season , Thorpe Park seems to be quieter midweek until the weekend .
     
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  19. Kraken27

    Kraken27 TowersStreet Member

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    Back when I worked at Towers, the gate forecasts were done by taking an average of the actual gate admissions for the equivalent day over the past 5yrs. Staffing / budgets were based around this data. It was a reasonable indicator, but they got their fingers burned on many an occasion as they didn't factor in the weather forecast, which is only reliable a day or two in advance.

    By "equivalent day" I mean, for example, May Bank Holiday Monday / 1st Sunday in September etc.

    I suspect they stopped using this crude algorithm years ago to save money - but Covid has clearly blown it well and truly out of the water. The pre-booking level data must be invaluable now and a very real-time tool to accurately predict the actual level of attendance. Must be a nightmare for the team leaders if bookings suddenly shoot up based on a good weather forecast (e.g. last Wednesday) and they have not got enough staff rota'd in to cope with the increased demand. They've got a day or two at most to try and get more staff in on days off.
     
  20. s_g_k

    s_g_k TowersStreet Member

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    Out of interest , what were your average queue times for fast track rides with you having gold fast track? I’m going on 29th June which is currently a 4pm close and I don’t expect it to be busy, although I’m definitely not expecting those glorious mid week September crowd levels that mean you can walk on everything. Just trying to gauge whether it’s worth buying a couple of one shot fast tracks for the most popular rides so it gives us maximum ride time for everything else on the basis of a 4pm close
     
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