2021: Opening date & Tickets Onsale

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by AT86, 14th Oct 2020.

  1. rob666

    rob666 TowersStreet Member

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    I used to visit with a friend/family under 2 for 1, on any random good weather off peak day, and have an amazing time with little or no queues apart from the newest rides.
    Lunch in the courtyard, treats on the way out, fantastic day.
    Can't do that anymore, because of bargain basement season passes, so I (usually) go once a season with Sun tickets, and the park has lost my hard cash fifty quid single visit due to budget season passers who will try to visit twenty times for the same money, with a lower secondary spend.
    Stupid method of running a park.
     
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  2. Some people appear that they think they are more worthy of being some where as they paid more. I would suggest they actually go and pay the full gate price for full affect.
     
  3. pluk

    pluk TowersStreet Member

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    For the hard of understanding, I couldn't care less what any individual pays to legitimately enter the park. I care whether the park is able to be profitable and opperate at a decent standard on its takings. The current situation indicates that unsurprisingly they can not do that while giving their tickets away.
     
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  4. jon81uk

    jon81uk TowersStreet Member

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    I think some parks used to do mid-week closures for years. Even before the internet was widespread some parks would have colour coded calendars on leaflets.
    Not the best example but here is a very old Thorpe Park leaflet from the 80s https://c2.staticflickr.com/2/1157/5131985427_6cfd1e76ce_o.jpg

    More recently Thorpe were using closed days (mainly in September) even before the Smiler incident. Its not a new thing really, its just new for Alton Towers as their popularity dropped slightly following the incident.

    I agree that discount season passes don't make the park money on quieter days, but I don't think they caused the midweek closures.
    I'd rather have closed days in September and longer opening hours in the summer rather than an attempt at to be open for every single day of the season.
     
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  5. pluk

    pluk TowersStreet Member

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    I was looking for some old maps online when I wrote that to see if my recollection was correct. I still think most parks opperated every day in open season during my visiting heyday in the 90s once they got to the right scale, I've always been a shift worker and so an off peak visitor. Probably quite relevant that it might have been a bit of a stretch to call Thorpe a theme park in '86!

    I think it's a given that expected profitability is the driving factor behind opening on any given day, if they think they can make money they'll open. I struggle to believe they can't find an option that's attractive enough to drive sufficient visitors but still turn a profit, especially at a time when peak day capacity will be limited, but it's hard to see how dirt cheap passes could be part of that equation.
     
  6. rob666

    rob666 TowersStreet Member

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    Yup, every day of the season opening for at least a decade, if not two, at the Towers.
    Weekday closures are a recent matter at the Towers.
    Blackpool had mon/tues or tues/wed closures for years.
     
  7. jon81uk

    jon81uk TowersStreet Member

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    Given that 2020 is the first year AT has consistently opened every day (from July due to the pandemic) I think there are two things that changed, one is Oktoberfest, they have tried something to get extra visitors in September which traditionally is one of the quietest months of the park. The other reason is the pandemic causing more people to go for days out in the UK.
    I think that pushing out new events is one way to potentially get more guests in the quieter times, but some weekdays will still always be quiet.
    A low priced term-time weekday only pass would make the park busier on some of those days so could be a good option too as it gets income without filling up the days that will sell out anyway.
     
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  8. RoyJess

    RoyJess TowersStreet Member

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    I remember the days before the Tussauds pass when the off peak on the gate prices were cheaper than the peak days. I also remember the days when if you paid to get in after 2pm, you get free entry the next day
     
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  9. rob666

    rob666 TowersStreet Member

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    There used to be cheap afternoon entry as well.
    My sister used to drop the kids off early, then get in for a tenner after 1.30pm
     
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  10. jon81uk

    jon81uk TowersStreet Member

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    Technically the did re-start peak and off-peak pricing from this autumn, by raising the peak price online to £38.

    Also they did offer Tussauds passes and off-peak pricing in the early 2000s.
    https://towersstreet.com/talk/threads/adult-ticket-prices-1980-present.2978/
     
  11. Mikw

    Mikw TowersStreet Member

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    But the last couple of years have seen more midweek days opened again since the hit taken by the Smiler crash really quietened the park down.

    So it boils down to this, do you price out those who go every week and make them go on the same peak days as everyone else? Risking going back to more midweek closures and reducing the amount of days to chose to visit?

    Who said anything about "engineering parking charges" and "dirty upselling". You can avoid thosem parking charges by getting a premium season pass, and you don't have to buy fasttrack. I did it twice this year for The Smiler when i had to be home early and the queue was 50 minutes.

    And, with the amount of season pass holders you could argue that, on quiet days, there's no such thing as an entrance charge, And with the increase in midweek open days the last couple of seasons i think you could argue it's back to proftibility again.

    By massively increasing prices for these regular guests then you're only making people go on peak days when they don't neccesarily have to at the moment.
     
  12. Mikw

    Mikw TowersStreet Member

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    Last year saw more off peak open days than the couple of years before that, it's not just the pandemic.

    Visitor numbers had gone up aboveo 2 million.
    We seem to be arguing that increasing the cost massively to off peak regular visitors is a good thing, i don't follow that logic.
     
  13. pluk

    pluk TowersStreet Member

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    It doesn't boil down to that at all though. You are making an assumption that the alternative is closing on off peak when the opposite is more likely as the days could be profitable if people were actually buying tickets. They used to open off peak prior to the prevalence of annual passes, it's doable if the offering is right.

    Covid capacity means the opposite is true; those who want to visit, and will pay to do so, may have to find a way to visit off peak of the peak days are running at capacity as they have been.

    How do you think they are making any money at all from people who have paid about a quid for 7 hours in a theme park then? Your argument can't work both ways, they are either full of people having not paid so not making any money or they are making money by turning those same people over.
     
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  14. rob666

    rob666 TowersStreet Member

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    The parks make no money on days with low visitor numbers.
    I have always sought out the quietest days at parks.
    Both the Beach and Towers lose considerable money on quiet days, I know one senior manager who wants their park closed for three midweek days outside all school holidays as they lose large amounts of money staffing the site for very little income.
    Out of main season, all parks run at a loss on weekdays.
     
  15. jon81uk

    jon81uk TowersStreet Member

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    They have only been offering the £50-55 season pass for three seasons now, previously I think they had half a season with a £70 annual pass but before that it was around £120. They only offered super cheap passes recently to bolster visitor numbers following the Smiler incident.
    Due to Covid pre-booking they don't really need to offer such cheap passes anymore and could go much more flexible with the online price instead. Maybe offer weekdays for £20/25 pre-booked, school holiday weekdays for £35 and peak weekends for £38, That way those who visit on quieter days can still get a low but realistic price.
    Then post-covid I could see a single park annual pass coming back for say £99.
     
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  16. AT86

    AT86 TowersStreet Member

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    I’m not sure that the cheap season passes were specifically Smiler incident related.

    They first appeared at Thorpe Park a few years back and were then rolled out across the RTP group including the European Parks. I think it was more related to keeping the illusion going to the shareholders that visitor numbers were increasing.

    Now they aren’t public anymore hopefully they will shift the focus from stack em high sell em cheap to something more sustainable.
     
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  17. jon81uk

    jon81uk TowersStreet Member

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    Yes true they did start out at Thorpe Park offering cheap passes. The timing coming a few years following the incident could be a coincidence.
     
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  18. AT86

    AT86 TowersStreet Member

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    2021 opening times have been added to the website.

    Not much to report sadly:
    Off peak weekdays are 10-4
    Weekends 10-5
    Summer 10-6
    Scarefest - 8-10th and 15-31 Oct - 10-9
    Fireworks 5-7 Nov - 10-9

    No sign of later openings in September, potentially meaning no Oktoberfest? Or of course these could be updated at a later date.

    The positive news is no midweek close dates.

    https://www.altontowers.com/plan-your-visit/before-you-visit/opening-times/
     
  19. jon81uk

    jon81uk TowersStreet Member

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    Personally I would rather see September closed on Tuesdays but open to 8pm, Thurs, Fri, Saturday for Oktoberfest.

    No midweek closures isn't always a positive when having some closed days could result in improved operations on the days they are open.
     
  20. ringo

    ringo TowersStreet Member

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    I’d be more inclined to believe that no midweek closures is more likely to do with us possibly being in some sort of socially distancing world, if it still a “reduced capacity” then no point having closed days if you’ve got paid up passes wanting to use it.
     
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