Alton Towers Oktoberfest 2020

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Danny, 18th Feb 2020.

  1. AstroDan

    AstroDan TS Forum Team Team Member

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    I think I am out of touch with what the general public are willing to pay.

    I guess I have to concede that. Although I also would like to see AT bring all the food in house... and keep 100% of the takings, but lowering the price at the same time. Rather than what is currently the case.
     
  2. James

    James TS Founding Member

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    As someone who only goes to Towers once a year, I would pay the prices advertised for food at Octoberfest, given it's a rare treat. For most guests who would be visiting as a one off visit or for a special occasion, they would pay for it. It is expensive for families, although again those who do not visit theme parks frequently are likely to pay.

    The only downfall of the high pricing is repeat custom and obviously as this thread shows, encouraging secondary spending with annual pass holders.

    Bringing everything in-house is a win for all. Easier for Towers to manage and oversee, annual pass holders get discount and are more likely to buy food/more drink, regular guests are more likely to buy more than one/two drinks and may buy seconds for food/try multiple food outlets as opposed to just the one with high pricing.

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  3. RoyJess

    RoyJess TowersStreet Member

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    At those prices, I'll stick with my pack lunch and get a meal for a fraction of the price on the way home at the Golden Arches :)
     
  4. Alsty

    Alsty TowersStreet Member

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    I wonder if it's due to risk. Being the first time they've run this event, maybe outsourcing the catering lowers the risk if it turned out to not be popular? Hopefully next year they'll see what worked/ what didn't work and have more confidence in their decisions.
     
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  5. Themeparksandy1981

    Themeparksandy1981 TowersStreet Member

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    In Germany I paid roughly €8 for a litre in Munch. Currently in Epcot Germany it’s $15 a litre. So really the Alton Towers prices ain’t bad.
     
  6. Burbs

    Burbs TS Site Team Team Member

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    Munich is notoriously expensive compared to the majority of other locations in Germany.
     
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  7. jon81uk

    jon81uk TowersStreet Member

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    AT is serving pints for £5.50, which is about €6.50, so about to €12 a litre.

    but I think being in London skews my beer price, where £5 a pint is pretty average really, £5.50 is quite common. But the food seems high for takeaway style, as others have said, Winter Wonderland is overpriced but still cheaper than what AT are charging.
     
  8. Kraken27

    Kraken27 TowersStreet Member

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    When people talk about bringing everything in-house food-wise... let's look back about 18 years or so to Fireworks. For one season (it must have been 2002 or thereabouts) Towers did all the catering. They bought what were basically huge shipping containers clad in logs [to look nice] and were fitted out inside with catering equipment and, obviously, serving hatches installed. Towers placed these around the main lawns and had no outside caterers in.

    Sure, Towers must have made a lot of money, but then the shipping containers lay dormant in staff carparks / back areas and were not seen again. I guess the cost of keeping them clean, food hygiene certificates etc must have been too high for just a week and a bit's use a season. (NB: This was when the only main event was Fireworks - obviously a bit different now).

    When you weigh up all the costs, it's probably cheaper to allow the maggot-wagons [external caterers] in and charge them an eye-watering pitch fee. Of course, this means the caterers will reflect the pitch fee in their product pricing.
     
  9. Error

    Error TowersStreet Member

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    People are different, I try to get to Towers once a year also as I live a good 3 and a bit hours away so technically that is my treat,
    In no way though would I pay those prices.

    It’s just “event” food (over here anyway.) it’s ludicrously priced and I hope sales of food lacked so it opens their eyes if this happens to return next year.

    Lower the price, people will buy, money/food in pockets/mouths, happy days.


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  10. jon81uk

    jon81uk TowersStreet Member

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    The issue for the fireworks weekend would be staff. Getting an extra 30 staff to run those outlets for just three nights would be hard. Whereas using external catering vans, they already have people on the books they can get in to run them.

    For Oktoberfest where it is running for a few weeks and they potentially will want extra staff for Scarefest anyway it might make sense to bring more of it in-house next year. But fireworks for AT is an exceptional event given that half the park basically is closed off for 2-3 hours and they need to provide extra food capacity in the area where people are.
     
  11. Alsty

    Alsty TowersStreet Member

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    Can they not impose a condition that the external vendors must price things sensibly and honour the Annual Pass discount?
     
  12. Kraken27

    Kraken27 TowersStreet Member

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    I am sure they can impose any conditions they want on the external vendors pitch-fees. TBH pricing in the past has seemingly been agreed between all the external vendors - you'd rarely find any difference from one maggot wagon to another.

    If Towers want the external vendors to offer MAP discount, well it won't happen. You're getting into car insurance no-claims discount territory there... i.e. "you have maximum 70% NCD... PS your premium is £10k, so we'll still have £3k thanks".
     
  13. James

    James TS Founding Member

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    If they brought food in-house there is the potential to keep the outlets running for Octoberfest, Scarefest and Fireworks. Having outlets running for 2-3 months would certainly give an incentive to manage it themselves.

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  14. Themeparksandy1981

    Themeparksandy1981 TowersStreet Member

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    Sorry I thought Alton was selling them at litre sizes as that’s what I was drinking in Birmingham during there Oktoberfest festival 3 years ago and many years before that at the German market.
     
  15. Dave

    Dave TS Founding Member

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    True but it’s also the three months of the year they struggle to staff the resort as people start looking for winter jobs
     
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  16. TheBolt

    TheBolt TowersStreet Member

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    [QUOTE="Kraken27, post: 306372, member: For one season (it must have been 2002 or thereabouts) Towers did all the catering. They bought what were basically huge shipping containers clad in logs [to look nice] and were fitted out inside with catering equipment ...

    Sure, Towers must have made a lot of money, but then the shipping containers lay dormant in staff carparks / back areas and were not seen again.[/QUOTE]

    Are these the units in Forbidden Valley now, e.g. the donuts and closed units by Nemesis (hidden by bending machines, but with unused kitchens etc.)?
     
  17. Ben

    Ben TS Founding Member

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    I had my first Oktoberfest visit yesterday and what a thoroughly charming and fun event. Theres certainly changes and improvements to be made but overall for its first attempt I really enjoyed it.

    The 'arena'
    Looked good, the towers do make an incredible backdrop for any event. To be able to sit on the lawns and enjoy the view and entertainment was great. Service was fast, personable and all in good humour, credit to the staff there.
    I didn't eat as I thought the food was overpriced, I saw the fries and thought it looked a small portion for the price.
    I hope next year there is a better offering and more sensible prices.

    Entertainment
    I cannot understand why they built one huge stage and sound system then another small tent with a portable DJ speaker and leave the big stage empty half the time. Just use the one stage and use it well. The small stage felt out of the way, too quiet and seemed a waste.
    The German Jukebox were the absolute highlight of the entertainment, interacting with the crowd, upbeat and so good. I heard one singer / guitarist who while good just played a really melancholy set and sucked a lot of fun out of the event, the accordian wasn't my favourite but fit the theme so I don't mind.

    Entertainment Characters
    Firstly the puppet camper things were terrifying.
    The dancers with bubbles were brilliant, I have a video of the girl dancing to German Jukebox play Britney and I keep watching it with sheer joy.
    There were people carrying a barrel, I don't know why, but I just like it happened.
    The older man carrying a beer just seemed a little odd, I can't put my finger on why (maybe because he was alone?).

    Toilets
    - fun right. But Courtyard or X-Sector are both a fair treck; what about the toilets at Towers Street restaurant or maybe even some portaloos.

    Night Rides

    So good to be able to get a bit longer to get the rides in and I love night rides. It was however very quiet, 15 mins for Wickerman, walk on for Nemesis and 5 mins for Galactica. I say this, with caution, if improvements were made in other areas Id be happy for some rides to close a bit earlier. I think the entire park open until 8 was possibly under-utilised.
     
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  18. Ben

    Ben TS Founding Member

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    Couple of other thoughts... (Bates and co, feel free to merge)

    Hotels
    We stayed in Splash, ate in ATH, you would not have known there was an event on in the park. Complete ignorance of its existence (aside from a hot dog on the menu). I nipped into the shop looking for an Oktoberfest stein as I was drunk forgot to pick one up in the park. Met with complete uninterest by shop staff "try the other shop Ive not seen any". Thanks.
    A bit of bunting in the hotels could have been nice, some of the cool German soundtracks used on the park, even a banner... there was zero.

    Hotels - CoVID
    We had to be in our room for 10pm, which while frustrating, isn't the Resorts fault. What was poor was not having room service menus available in the room, or staff suggesting at check in you could have a bottle of wine or something dropped off ready for later if you wanted it. Seemed short sighted, although my liver was pleased.
    Also be aware the bars stop taking orders at 9:15! Ouch.

    Oktober Ents (cont)
    While Ive praised the majority of the performers and characters... there was a 'compare'.
    I'm throwing my hat in the ring for when he's sick, easiest job on park! *walk on stage* "thanks to 'band' you were beautiful/handsome/gorgeous and now to the other stage for the beautiful/handsome/gorgeous 'band'".
    Occasionally he would shout something but was incoherent. It just felt unnecessary and a slight annoyance. Get a band on, people know to clap, get another on.

    CoVID in General
    The hotels had a non clear system for entry / entry and I don't know why. They've split each set of doors into 3, one to enter, one to exit, one to.... party?
    Aside from that I was very cautious. Ive not been out much with CoVID due to health concerns, I was prepared to leave the park if I didn't feel "safe". Aside from 1 individual family who followed us for a while and just couldn't grasp distancing... the park did BRILLIANTLY. Full credit where its due, they were enforcing it, there were announcements, staff were quick to remind people if they forgot too.
    The fact you could see they have learnt (making haunted hallow / Katanga to duel one ways) is impressive. Credit where its due, Towers were on it.
     
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  19. Danscott22

    Danscott22 TowersStreet Member

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    Final day of the event today, and I think most of you would agree, this event has been a success! I loved it, hope it returns for future seasons!
     

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