Air or Galactica?

Discussion in 'Talbot Street' started by Matt N, 8th Sep 2021.

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Air or Galactica?

  1. Air

    79.4%
  2. Galactica

    8.8%
  3. Undecided

    11.8%
  1. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    Hi guys. As the only one of Alton Towers’ SW coasters to have ever been rethemed, Galactica’s current theme certainly divides opinion; some people prefer the aesthetic of the ride as it is now, while some long for the days of Air to return. So my question to you today is; removing the now non-existent VR from the equation, do you prefer the theming of Galactica or the former Air theming?

    Personally, I’d have to vote Galactica. As much as I wasn’t personally huge on the VR (while I initially found it an interesting novelty, the novelty had worn off completely by the 2nd go for me, and I’m generally not a fan of not being able to see the surrounding scenery while you’re going round the ride; the VR felt a little claustrophobic, for lack of a better word, for me, even though I don’t have claustrophobia), I think they did an excellent job of making Air more aesthetically pleasing and giving it a stronger sense of theme and presence.

    As much as Air had a nice sleek style, I think it did lack a bit of thematic presence, and the portal, soundtrack and redone station, amongst other elements, do now give the ride that certain sense of thematic presence that it lacked as Air. The portal is an excellent theming element, in my opinion, and I’m a huge fan of the soundtrack; I vastly prefer Galactica’s soundtrack to Air’s former one, and I’d controversially say that Galactica’s track is possibly one of my favourites on park!

    But which do you prefer? Are you a Galactica fan like me, or do you long for Air to return?
     
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    Posted 8th Sep 2021
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  2. Thameslink Rail

    Thameslink Rail TowersStreet Member

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    Personally I prefer Galactica (no VR) because of the added theming (like the portal and screens) and new soundtrack. I don't think Galactica is perfect and I still think the ride could be improved by theming the tunnel.
     
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    Posted 8th Sep 2021
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  3. JAperson

    JAperson TowersStreet Member

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    I picked the undecided option as I like both.
    I liked air for it's being the good guy, relaxing theme but I really wish there was more to it. I know they cancelled the theming due to budget restraints but it would have been brilliant.
    The transformation to galactica added some better theming elements to the ride but was eventually pointless as they scrapped the VR after only a few years of adding it. The portal and other objects added are cool so I really am not decided which is rare for me as I don't like to sit on the fence.
     
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    Posted 8th Sep 2021
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  4. Matt878787

    Matt878787 TowersStreet Member

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    This is a hard one. I don’t believe that Air made so much of a huge impression ‘theme-wise’ for the re theme to have much of an impact in the first place.

    VR aside, there’s been a new soundtrack and a ‘portal’ added. I’ve fond memories of following SW5 construction and the pre hype for Air’s opening but I don’t think I mind either way… So think I’m neutral in this poll.
     
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    Posted 8th Sep 2021
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  5. John C

    John C TowersStreet Member

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    Generally I don't like re-themes but there are aspects to this one I like such as the portal and the station. I'm gonna go with air though. It's easier to say and spell.
     
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    Posted 9th Sep 2021
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  6. jon81uk

    jon81uk TowersStreet Member

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    The portal is nice, but the boxed in bridge makes no sense. Darkening the station for the videos was needed but I don't think the Galactical videos play anymore anyway.

    Overall I prefer the Air theme and the music was great in the summer.
     
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    Posted 9th Sep 2021
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  7. Matt.GC

    Matt.GC TowersStreet Member

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    If Galactica was themed to some sort of space flight training facility or something, at least it would have some excuse for having it's name. But it makes zero sense now as there's nothing Galactic about it.

    Air also gave it the excuse for being so tame as it's obvious when watching it off ride that it simulates the swoops and rolls of flight. Almost bird like.

    It was always a mess as Air, but is even more so now it's Galactica. Air had hardly any theming at all, and the cutbacks on theming where the first major sign of things to come at the park in the 2 decades that followed. Air will always be remembered as the downwards turning point at the park for me. But at least the concept of the theme was quite well thought out and unique. Space themes sit alongside Pirates, Wild West, Dinosaurs and Fairy Tales as one of the most generic theme park themes you can get.

    As for Physical theming like the portal and station, yeah I could concede to Galactica that it at least has some. When the VR was there I did like the whole air port style departures and arrivals theme. The portal gives something to look at off ride. But again, it would be like a random snake themed arch around the Smilers track or something. It would have more theming but why would it be there?

    On the ground, neither made sense in Forbidden Valley. But I'd take the the sanctuary/tranquility area amongst the carnage excuse over random space port that has nothing to do with space any day. Even some of the Air fake rock work around the signage and station building went some way to trying to blend it in to FV, Galactica just didn't bother (some for he remaining rock work around the station has just been lazily spray painted grey). At least you could strap a blurry, smelly VR headset with no sound on it over your face and pretend you were boarding a space craft a few years ago, but now it's just weird and jarring. The music between the 2, no preference really. I prefer Galacticas, but having this big dramatic, loud piece just makes the ride theme look even more silly so even though it's the preferable track, Airs was more fitting and also decent in its own right.

    There's also nothing that can realistically be done about it. Theming it back to Air would just be an almost total waste of money. Giving it a new theme wouldn't really do much to it either other than tidy the area up. The only thing I can think of is if SW9 was built in the car park (it won't be) they could separate it off into a new area and blend it in.
     
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    Posted 9th Sep 2021
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  8. jon81uk

    jon81uk TowersStreet Member

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    I agree and disagree, mainly because the change in ownership from DIC to Blackstone/Merlin did provide a bump in theming, Mutiny Bay was very well done and I don't think there is any sign of cutbacks on Battle Galleons really.

    Yes I agree Air was the last major development by the old Pearson Tussauds and that era of ride (Haunted House, Mine Train, Nemesis, Toyland, Ripsaw, Oblivion, Hex, Air) and Charterhouse concentrated on Splash Landings.
     
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    Posted 9th Sep 2021
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  9. s_g_k

    s_g_k TowersStreet Member

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    I prefer Air as I just think the concept was stronger and I loved the music. Yes it would be great if they retrofitted the original theming elements that were planned, however from a business perspective this would almost definitely be seen as a waste of money. If the car park behind it was developed into a new area, I guess they could incorporate the ride into that and give it a retheme if necessary but I can’t see this happening in the next few years at least.
     
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    Posted 9th Sep 2021
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  10. Matt.GC

    Matt.GC TowersStreet Member

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    You're right and I wasn't referring to the business side of things as I know what then happened. More the overall dip in quality that started with Air over a long period. Whereas there seemed little compromise with investments before Air, most large additions everywhere had something missing. MB theme whilst by no means poorly done was very generic and lacked imagination. Thirteen with its lackluster unthemed outside section and the less said about DF the better. The Smiler with its bland concrete pit, station and cheap build quality. Even though Wickerman came close to a complete package, I still can't look at that first indoor section and it's rather average and short layout and think what could've been had they gone all out but I'm more inclined to forgive them as it was the first woodie built on the UK in 20 years, a first for the park and gave us the theming quality we've needed for a long time.

    Merlin's investments seem to go a different way to the DIC period. Merlin bother but then seem to let the accountants ravage projects at a late stage. A well themed but cheap drop tower at Chessington. The Swarm where they came up with a good ride and concept but only seemed to end up building half a coaster.

    Galactica itself is a pin up for this. Expensive to install prototype hardware that they rightly felt they needed to fix. Came up with an idea to improve it, didn't think it through properly and now we're left with something that's at best no better than it was before. They may as well have just thrown cash down a storm drain.
     
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  11. Danscott22

    Danscott22 TowersStreet Member

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    The former Air theming? You mean the non-existent theming? It'll probably come down to the ride soundtracks for me. Galactica's is great, but Air's soundtrack was one of my favourites.
     
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  12. geo4chg

    geo4chg TowersStreet Member

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    Without the VR Galactica makes no sense whatsoever. As others have pointed out, the Galactica soundtrack doesn't fit the ride, and even the space mission theme doesn't fit the floaty sensation of the coaster. A lot of people say Air didn't really have any theme but I think it looked great when it first opened - the bright turquoise track, the lush green vegetation and the clean, metallic station building - and as the greenery grew and bedded in over the coming years it added to it. It was the antithesis of what Nemesis looked like and I think the opposite styles worked as a whole - particularly as Air is on its own down that end of FV.

    A lot of people on here talk about Nemesis needing retracking or refurbing, but I actually think Galactica is in greater need. The track desperately needs repainting back to its vibrant best, the closed in walkways in the queue need removing and brightening up, and I think the portal should be removed - replace it with some kind of rock formation you fly through and do away with the space theme altogether. It also isn't as smooth as it used to be, and sounds quite rattle-y in places, so I'm not sure if some actual track/support work needs to be done. The tunnel has always looked terrible - if they aren't going to theme it properly I would paint it black to make it darker and install lots of little lights to give the illusion of stars and flying at night - then you come out of the tunnel into daylight and fly - that wouldn't cost much and would look far better than it currently does. The ride layout and lack of VR make a flying theme, rather than a space theme, far more appropriate. And then rename it Air - job done.
     
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  13. Skyscraper

    Skyscraper TowersStreet Member

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    Galactica, purely for the awesome soundtrack that I still have as my phone's ringtone. :p:)
     
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  14. Benjsh

    Benjsh TowersStreet Member

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    It's one of my least favourite B&M's I have done and I have done a lot of them. However I don't really care for flying coasters so that's partly why. Wouldn't be that sad to see it go if and when it does. Don't think a retheme would make me like it more either.
     
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  15. jon81uk

    jon81uk TowersStreet Member

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    I'd rather keep Air over The Swarm...

    That is my least favourite B&M (I think).
     
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  16. Benjsh

    Benjsh TowersStreet Member

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    I'm no great lover of Wing coasters either and Gate Keeper didn't even blow me away really. Pretty tame actually. However I'd put most wing coasters slightly above Flying ones....just. But that's down to my preference.

    Hypers, Inverts and Dive coasters are all in another league from those two though.
     
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  17. jon81uk

    jon81uk TowersStreet Member

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    I can see why many would put Wing coaster higher than flying. But its just for me The Swarm was meant to be thrilling and wasn't very good. Air is meant to feel like flying and pretty much evokes that.

    Potentially B&M did peak with inverts.
     
    Last edited: 9th Sep 2021
    Posted 9th Sep 2021
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  18. Skyscraper

    Skyscraper TowersStreet Member

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    I never actually rode it as Air as I only rode it for the first time in 2018.

    When riding during Scarefest last year I noticed colourful lights in the tunnel, which were actually really nice. Does anyone how long they've been there?
     
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    Posted 9th Sep 2021
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  19. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    I’ve got a potentially controversial take for you, then; I personally rank the Wing Coaster among my favourite B&M models, and off the top of my head, I’d only put the Hyper Coaster and the Dive Coaster ahead, based on what I’ve ridden.

    On the topic of the thread; I must admit I’m surprised at how much of a minority I’m seemingly in in preferring Galactica to Air!
     
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    Posted 9th Sep 2021
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  20. jon81uk

    jon81uk TowersStreet Member

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    it probably doesn’t help that Air is older than you are? Therefore you’ve probably not got as much of a connection as others have to the old Air?
     
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    Posted 9th Sep 2021
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