Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Danny, 18th Feb 2020.
And 6pm weekdays, it's as if Alton Towers are listening to us!
Great news! Ironically, COVID-19 seems to have made the Merlin parks increase their opening hours; maybe the opening few weeks have been very successful?
Regardless, great to see some nice late closes during Oktoberfest, and also great to see that the park still wants to press ahead with the event in some capacity!
It's about damage recuperation, and boosting revenue.
I can see the family-friendly aspiration (unofficially) going out the window and it being a huge drive of alcohol sales - which sounds good to me...
I think it would be foolish for Merlin to make Oktoberfest solely about consuming alcohol because they would probably not want to deal with drunk and disorderly behaviour. Especially not at a family park. (Thorpe Park Fright Nights can be hard to handle, imagine that but on scale of Alton Towers)
I’d argue it will be far easier to manage than Thorpe for example. If people are only staying on-site for one day, they won’t drink as much (because public transport is so difficult from Towers anyway, most will drive by car, and I’d hope not many would be idiotic enough to drink-drive. I get you may have the odd issue with those not driving, or staying in hotels/overnight, but I wouldn’t suspect there will be any major problems like Thorpe get. Each park attracts very different clientele anyway.
Totally different circumstances to Thorpe which have wide access to trains, buses, and are also in a fairly built-up area with a far larger catchment area of people who live in a fairly close proximity and can rely on public transport to get home.
Those opening times for Oktoberfest are really gonna bring some life to September, usually a quiet month! It's good to see 6pm and 8:30pm closing times in September! Maybe if it's successful it will become an annual thing?
Six friends turn up in a small people carrier.
They pay the driver in food and soft drinks.
Wild day on the booze and rides.
Five mates get driven home by an ex mate.
Normally done as a one day stag/hen in Blackpool, but it will fit nicely here.
I'm envisioning Roller Coaster Tycoon 2 style vomit at the exit of all the thrill rides too, I hope they're hiring extra janitors.
I'm not sure it'll be as crazy as some people imagine. I'm sure the beers will be priced in such a way as to stop a heavy session, unless you have deep pockets.
I'm actually hoping the event will see some life bought to the park with entertainment and music . It's what's been lacking for a long time.
My main concern over Oktoberfest is what Towers take will be on "delicious food with a German twist" - as Towers are not exactly known for fine / different dining options in the same way that, say, Europa Park are.
I strongly suspect it will be a German Sausage hotdog, so they will replace the Herta sausages with Bratwurst or Currywurst. Pizza & Pasta will see a pizza topped with the same Bratwurst / Currywurst (economies of scale in purchasing). No idea what they will pull off in Woodcutters / RCR as both rely on guest throughput & a lot of German food takes a while to cook. Will probably be a burger & Bratwurst / Currywurst combo (more economies of scale!)
Over in the hotels, you stand a bit more of a chance of something halfway authentically German - but again, the hotels have to turn the tables over at a reasonable rate so all guests can dine.
Add to the above that if the current social distancing measures are still in place, all the restaurants will be running at reduced capacity. Maybe Towers will just let some external food vendors into the park (at a high pitch cost, obviously) to take the strain off the Towers-run units? That could be good as some of the food vendors we've had at events I've been to, e.g. beer festivals, have been very good.
So a bit of an update on Oktoberfest opening hours - Friday to Sun is now 10am-8pm and Mon-Thurs 10am-6pm.
The website also now states:
“From 3pm each day, an area of the Theme Park will be transformed into a Bavarian-themed venue, complete with Lederhosen-clad hosts and oompah band! It will offer the perfect setting for families and friends looking to explore new delicious dishes and live outdoor entertainment in a fun, family friendly atmosphere.”
There are plenty of options that can be done just as quick as the current meals at those places.
Woodcutters could easily offer schnitzel and chips, as could the hotel restaurants. Currywurst would work well for RCR and as you say Bratwurst could be sold anywhere.
Secret Garden could offer something more interesting too I expect, although many dishes take a while to cook, most of it is the preparation, the cooking before serving is simpler.
Hopefully it will be better than the publicity image.
I don’t imagine they will be making changes to existing food locations. The way it reads to me is that there will be a specific ‘village’ section (probably the Towers St lawns) with food stalls (most likely outside caterers), picnic tables, and an entertainment stage.
I doubt many people gonna pay £30+ to get in then spend most of the day drinking if you gonna do that you may as well spend £30+ at Wetherspoons.
Thats partly why the hours of the park are expanded to 8pm. So you can do some rides and do some Oktoberfesting.
They are clearly splashing out the budget on that publicity image... NOT. It's a shocking photo-shop job with the Oktoberfest sign on the front of the Valley donuts kiosk and bunting. My 8yr old nephew could do a better attempt on photo-shop.
But that’s not the aim of the event. It’s not meant be a day of drinking. It’s a day of rides, entertainment, food and drinks.
It’s something different, not just a rush round rollercoaster after rollercoaster and then out the gates and home at 4pm.
Well Families ain’t gonna be there in the week as they go back to School from the 1st September.
It's not really going to attract many day visitors is it? What good is drinking beer if you have to drive home? I suppose you can have just the one pint but that's not a true Oktoberfest experience is it?
Might help shift some hotel rooms I guess.
Separate names with a comma.