Alton Towers visitor figures through the years

Discussion in 'Talbot Street' started by Matt N, 19th Jan 2018.

  1. AstroDan

    AstroDan TS Forum Team Team Member

    Messages:
    6,181
    Likes Received:
    8,475
    Location:
    Staffordshire
    Favourite Ride:
    Steel Vengeance, Cedar Point
    I don't recall ATR, certainly, being pocket-money-prices in the 90s. It was always expensive.

    Prices at ATR for the 'gate price' typically go up at a more than inflation rate due to the fact that discounting is central to ticket buying.

    The average admission price for ATR is under £30.
     
  2. RicketyCricket

    RicketyCricket TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    1,047
    Likes Received:
    2,246
    Favourite Ride:
    Taron
    It would be interesting to know what percentage of guests actually pay full price. I'd imagine it's only foreign tourists who rock up and pay £58 on the gate.
     
    Matt N likes this.
  3. DiogoJ42

    DiogoJ42 TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    13,292
    Likes Received:
    20,054
    Location:
    Under your bed...
    Favourite Ride:
    The Metropolitan Line
    I don't doubt you, old bean.
    Unfortunately my first visit to AT wasn't until '98, and that was part of an organised coach trip that I don't recall the price of. Hence I had to base my old man grumblings on CWoA. Back in the days when penny sweets still existed, a pack of 20 fags cost under a fiver, and only tossers and TV FBI agents had mobile phones.
     
    Jb85, Matt N and MaxPower like this.
  4. rob666

    rob666 TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    3,675
    Likes Received:
    5,943
    Location:
    Lancashire
    Oh dear, my first packet of 20 fags, Lambert and Butler when they first came out, cost a whole 30p.
    I am that old!
     
    Rick, DiogoJ42 and Matt N like this.
  5. Kraken27

    Kraken27 TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    398
    Likes Received:
    892
    I know when I worked at Towers back in the early 2000's they quite openly told us in induction that the average guest spent at least as much as their admission cost again when on-park. This was back in the days of free FastTrack & McDonalds / KFC / Pizza hut brand partners for food, that all charged pretty much high-street prices.

    Now that we have paid FastTrack & Merlin having a monopoly on the food offerings (bar Eastern Express), with associated higher prices, I would imagine the average guest spends a lot more nowadays.

    NB: Many people on here are not "average" guests as they probably have premium MAP's so avoid the parking charge, visit regularly, don't buy FastTracks and take their own food / know the nearby places to stop off on the way to / way home from the park for normally priced food.
     
    Matt N likes this.
  6. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    5,225
    Likes Received:
    4,008
    Location:
    Forest of Dean
    Favourite Ride:
    Mako (SeaWorld Orlando)
    Right, I have an interesting Alton Towers attendance-related question for you all. I was always led to believe that Alton Towers' highest year of attendance in history was 1994, with just over 3,000,000 people visiting, with this number being closely followed by 2010. However, Wikipedia now states that 1999 was Alton Towers' most visited year, with the park attracting an obscenely high 4,195,000 visitors! Is this true? It seems a little strange to be Alton's highest year, as the only significant thing added was Ug Land.

    Here's a link to the relevant part of Alton Towers' Wikipedia page so you can see what I mean: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alton_Towers#Annual_attendance
     
    Posted 7th Nov 2019
    #66
  7. Rick

    Rick TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    4,236
    Likes Received:
    7,254
    Favourite Ride:
    Crux
    @Matt N I read on Wikipedia that you're a very negative young man
     
    WillPS, MaxPower, MattyH and 10 others like this.
    Posted 7th Nov 2019
    #67
  8. Jb85

    Jb85 TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    640
    Likes Received:
    708
    It’s interesting that the parks numbers seem somewhat linked to peaks in our economy
     
    Matt N likes this.
    Posted 8th Nov 2019
    #68
  9. Tibble

    Tibble TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    452
    Likes Received:
    405
    Location:
    Buxton
    Favourite Ride:
    The Smiler
    33,000,000 in 2000? I assume that's a typo
     
    Matt N likes this.
    Posted 8th Nov 2019
    #69
  10. Tom

    Tom TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    2,277
    Likes Received:
    545
    The TEA figures are pretty much guesses, and as for some of those two other figures on the Wikipedia page, they probably include vandalism. The two referenced ones are pretty much all we can go off.
     
    Matt N likes this.
    Posted 8th Nov 2019
    #70
  11. Jb85

    Jb85 TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    640
    Likes Received:
    708
    lol it actually went through that change - I edited that then forgot to post to say it’s easy to manipulate wiki
     
    Matt N and Tibble like this.
    Posted 9th Nov 2019
    #71
  12. jon81uk

    jon81uk TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    2,640
    Likes Received:
    1,648
    I went to AT once as a child and we only did it because my parents got vouchers from collecting Safeway points. Yet we went to Drayton Manor almost annually in the early 90s. I agree Alton Towers has always been expensive or at least perceived as expensive.
     
    Matt N likes this.
  13. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    5,225
    Likes Received:
    4,008
    Location:
    Forest of Dean
    Favourite Ride:
    Mako (SeaWorld Orlando)
    By watching an Expedition Theme Park video on PortAventura, I have managed to find what I think might be a 1995 figure for Alton Towers:

    At approximately 17:28 in the video, a graphic of attendance at various European theme parks for 1995 is flashed up, and Alton Towers’ attendance is listed at 3,000,000 exactly, so I’ll add that to the archive.

    The 2019 TEA report should be out fairly soon, so I’m hoping we could have a new addition to the archive before long in the form of 2019’s visitor numbers.
     
  14. OilyWater

    OilyWater TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    1,242
    Likes Received:
    3,025
    The newspaper used says the source is from the 'Economics Research Association' and park operators but doesnt say which for which figure. It sounds like a good estimate but again can't be taken to be fact. And of course the 3M figure will be heavily rounded.
     
    Matt N likes this.
  15. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    5,225
    Likes Received:
    4,008
    Location:
    Forest of Dean
    Favourite Ride:
    Mako (SeaWorld Orlando)
    It’s the best I’ve found for 1995 so far, so I’ve added it.

    I suppose that to fit within the 0.1m range each figure was rounded to, the figure could have been anywhere between 2,950,000 and 3,050,000 in reality. I’d probably guess towards the lower end of that range given that 1994 attracted 3,011,000 guests according to Tales from the Towers, and I’ve always heard it said that 1995 was a terrible year for the park’s attendance in comparison to 1994.

    Even with that in consideration, however, anywhere in the 3,000,000 range is not personally what I’d consider a “terrible year”; still one of the park’s highest years ever!
     
  16. OilyWater

    OilyWater TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    1,242
    Likes Received:
    3,025
    Yeah you can be sure 1995 wasn't a terrible year, Ive never heard that said before
     
    Matt N likes this.
  17. Rick

    Rick TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    4,236
    Likes Received:
    7,254
    Favourite Ride:
    Crux
    In a very early Merlin press conference Nick Varney was talking about the importance of building new attractions and how it affects attendance. I am pretty sure he said something along the lines of "You only have to compare the 1994 and 1995 seasons at Alton Towers to understand the impact of a new ride on attendance".
     
    Matt N likes this.
  18. Plastic Person

    Plastic Person TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    1,274
    Likes Received:
    2,050
    The hype for Nemesis was so large, it definitely lasted through until 1995. People were still clamouring to ride it, and it remained the focus of the park's marketing. Energizer didn't even really have a proper marketing campaign.
     
    Matt N likes this.
  19. Funcone

    Funcone TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    511
    Likes Received:
    976
    That’s interesting Rick. If attendance fell a lot in 1995 and there wasn’t an obvious cause (like particularly poor weather), then it might imply that a lot of the people who visited in 1994 weren’t that impressed. I’m wondering whether some people visited and found the park overcrowded.

    I didn’t visit Alton Towers until 1999 so I don’t have any personal memories. I suspect that in 1994 attendance was heavily clustered between March-August, as Halloween wasn’t celebrated back then. They also didn’t have any accommodation, which can help to space out when people come and go. I can imagine that the roads leading to and from the park must have got incredibly congested at times if there were 3 million visitors.

    Inside the park they did have some high throughput rides like the monorail, cable car, rapids, log flume, Haunted House, Toyland Tours and Nemesis as well as more shows. It’s clear from interviews with John Wardley that throughputs were a strong consideration. They also didn’t have Fast Track and the number of exit riders that they have now, and no doubt fewer safety restrictions which can slow things down. Nonetheless, 3 million visitors clustered between March-August must have created congested roads and long queues inside the park. Some of the older rides like Corkscrew and Thunder Looper didn't have terrible throughputs, but clearly behind rides that were added later like Oblivion and Air. On paper the mid-90s looks like a golden period, but perhaps not everyone had such a good experience.
     
    Matt N and jon81uk like this.
  20. OilyWater

    OilyWater TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    1,242
    Likes Received:
    3,025
    I remember learning they took on a huge surplus in 1994 with the biggest marketing campaign theyve ever had (and lots of free ticket deals which really boosted the numbers), which probably went back to a more 'normal' level the next year, but still a high attendance.

    We just don't know the numbers for sure so I don't think any big conclusions can be drawn from it, that period was still the highest few seasons of attendance they ever had

    Also Tales From The Towers was a fan written book researched from the internet bear in mind, what are the references it gives for the figures it lists?
     
    Matt N likes this.

Share This Page