40th Anniversary 2020 - ideas

AT86

TS Member
So 2020 will be the 40th anniversary of Alton Towers as a theme park, if the park are going to do any medium or large scale events to celebrate they should probably be starting to plan them around now.

Disneyland Paris have shown how it is possible to make a marketing campaign around an anniversary as they did for their 25th with the ‘time to sparkle’ and we know Merlin love a marketing campaign.

I was just wondering what ideas everyone had for how they could celebrate across the park (and resort) to mark the occasion? Of course the obvious (and most likely?) is to stick a plastic cake on Towers St and theme the fireworks display to the 40th and call it a day, but that seems like a very wasted opportunity.

From a commercial perspective it would be beneficial too, based on the ever changing Merlin investment cycles 2020 is set to be a medium capex year, so they could take a chunk of that to use on events throughout the season and brand it as a ‘year of celebration’ (or something).

In terms of ideas I was thinking along the lines of:

- 40th anniversary branded merch, mugs, hoodies, pin badges etc
- Food - birthday cupcakes in Corner Coffee for example
- Pop Up museum exhibit (say in CCL theatre or Towers St) with photos, stories, videos and the like from the archive of past rides/attractions
- Limited time chances to bring back experiences from the past e.g meet and greet with Henry Hound
- Bring back old park music for limited time in certain areas
- 40th anniversary show focusing on big occasions from the parks history.

Perhaps they could take another leaf out of DLP’s book and organise a paid extra after hours party for pass holders featuring rides, old characters, presentations by the likes of Mr Wardley, exclusive merchandise items etc.
 

Stuie

TS Member
For their 40th birthday I think they should buy themselves a couple of decent, thrill, flat rides.

From a commercial perspective it would be beneficial too, based on the ever changing Merlin investment cycles 2020 is set to be a medium capex year, so they could take a chunk of that to use on events throughout the season and brand it as a ‘year of celebration’ (or something).

Capital expenditure is for fixed assets / property / machinery.

Of course they can still do parties and events, but that would be from OPEX and I would rather they used that for actually running the park as it should be run.
 

jmc

TS Member
I highly doubt they will do anything other than mass produce some screen printed logo variation onto cheap hoodies/t shirts, pinbadges and whatever else they can make money out of nothing from.
 

AT86

TS Member
Capital expenditure is for fixed assets / property / machinery.

Of course they can still do parties and events, but that would be from OPEX and I would rather they used that for actually running the park as it should be run.

I suppose what I am thinking is that they could seize the opportunity of the anniversary as a way of adding things to the park that perhaps don’t fit the formulaic approach Merlin usually go for, and something that isn’t just another CBeebies addition or a new coaster.

A celebration of 40 years of the theme park could work in a similar style to low key years at Chessington when they have gone for ‘the year of the penguin’ or whatever.
 

OilyWater

TS Member
For the 40th anniversary there should be a bronze statue (recycled from an old Tussauds waxwork painted orange) of John Wardley holding the hand of the Nemesis monster looking down to the ruins on Towers Street. A plaque beside him should read "He made the geeks smile".

A roaming costumed character of the Earl of Shrewsbury (you can get a great costume off ebay for £2, look at Chessington's Bubbleworks closing event) should re-enact the famous smug turn to camera as guests enter.

The above mentioned hosed-down cardboard birthday cake should be pride of place in the turnstyles and the missing letters on the new entrance plaza should be specially put back just for the occasion.

Every hour, this historical documentary should be shown in the Hex cinema and a volunteer band of YouTube vloggers should take guests on a tour of the gardens and grounds, but make sure they can get 3G in the ruins to read Wikipedia.

 
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Benjsh

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Steel Vengeance
As a major new ride for 2020 seems highly unlikely i hope they take a leaf out of DLP's book for their 25th and put some major TLC into some existing attractions.

1. Rapids is in the worst state I can remember. It's quite frankly an embarrassment to the park now. Needs major TLC on it including a good hosing down and cleaning and also more theming wouldn't go a miss. Could give it a new lease of life and with the Flume no longer around its crucial the rapids remains popular.

2. N-ST. Kind of goes without saying but that building needs a permanent ride. Be such a waste to have it used purely for Scarefest alone when they could put a maze practically anywhere they wish.
 

Matt.GC

TS Member
They won't do anything for the anniversary at all. Although I think some sort of marketing led campaign would be a good idea, the park doesn't have the goods to excuse the use of party poppers right now without serious investment. Merlin wouldn't pay for such an event so you'd be looking at park specific OPEX to tart the place up and hold some sort of promotion. This is money they clearly don't have.
 

Robert.W

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Nemesis
I have to agree with what has been said so far, and that the most likely thing we will see is some new limited time anniversary themed merchandise, which actually isn’t a terrible thing to be honest, Merlin are generally quite good (with some exceptions, of course) when it comes to merchandise.

I would still love there to be an actual event though, with decorations around the park and all sorts of other festivities, but I just don’t see anything massive happening. I think at the very most, we might see them put on an event similar to the Alton Towers Live concerts that they have organised in the past.
 

Natalie

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Phantom Manor
It was Sundown Adventureland's 50th this year and all they got was a driving school and a themed bench!
 

Natalie

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Phantom Manor
I'm wanting to go re-ride trackless BENCH that's only open around xmas but I've got no one to come with me. They have an actual bench dedicated to the founder Mrs Rhodes. See here
 

siralgenon

TS Member
I'm wanting to go re-ride trackless BENCH that's only open around xmas but I've got no one to come with me. They have an actual bench dedicated to the founder Mrs Rhodes. See here

I'm sorry I know this is way off topic, but why do they only open that ride at Christmas? It seems a bit weird to have a ride sat there not being used for 11 months of the year?
 

Tibble

TS Member
Favourite Ride
The Smiler
"We are celebrating 40 years by ripping half of the theme park out - we will not be replacing it...."

Other than a change to the logo "4lt0n Towers" and maybe some merch, I wouldn't expect much - doubt Merlin see it as a reason to invest
 

Natalie

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Phantom Manor
I'm sorry I know this is way off topic, but why do they only open that ride at Christmas? It seems a bit weird to have a ride sat there not being used for 11 months of the year?
It's a trackless sleigh ride that takes you to see Santa and a way to increase capacity during the busy xmas time for them.
 

WillPS

TS Member
I think one issue is - what exactly is 2020 the 40th anniversary of? If Corkscrew was still around, it'd be the 40th anniversary of that ride. The park didn't overnight become a different sort of attraction the day Corkscrew opened in 1980 though, it certainly didn't become a theme park on that day. The park had hosted a number of fun fair rides for a number of years by that point.
 
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