Chessington World of Adventures Resort

IanSR

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Smiler
It didn't, there should be a batcher at the organ, but they are probably too busy chatting to the person on the button on the back row (especially true if the opposite sex) to do their job properly lol

There's also a maximum number of people permitted in the station under fire regulations too, I'm sure that photo exceeds it, maybe tweet it to Surrey Fire & Rescue and ask if the number complies with their license conditions... Tag CWOA and they'll be a batcher there quicker than you can say Vampire sucks.
 

ringo

TS Member
@IanSR they were flirting at the fastrack merge today. What was even more random was the guy checking the screen said it’s manic in there as he opened the gate to let us in.

No staff in the station apart from dispatch.

It really was rammed and was snaking up the ramp as well.

Today was a real mixed bag, some staff exceeding themselves and others literally just there for the pay and bare minimum effort they can get away with.
 

Matt N

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Mako (SeaWorld Orlando)
How come it's a problem that Vampire is now self batch, out of interest? Drayton Manor and Blackpool Pleasure Beach both seemed to operate self-batching on most rides. I will admit that I do personally prefer assigned seating, however, as I don't particularly like having to find my own row...
 

AT86

TS Member
As you can see from the picture self batching on Vampire quickly becomes a mess due to the amount of space behind the airgates.

It’s full of people trying to work out if they are lined up correctly with the rest of their party in other rows and inevitably causes faff when they realise they aren’t. Which then causes delays in dispatch and reduces throughput even further.

It also causes issues with estimating the length of the queues for time boards.
 

Matt N

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Mako (SeaWorld Orlando)
As you can see from the picture self batching on Vampire quickly becomes a mess due to the amount of space behind the airgates.

It’s full of people trying to work out if they are lined up correctly with the rest of their party in other rows and inevitably causes faff when they realise they aren’t. Which then causes delays in dispatch and reduces throughput even further.

It also causes issues with fastrack queues as you will be waiting considerably longer than you and the merge attendant might think you will be as the queue line into the station might look short/non existent but that is because everyone is on the platform instead.
Ah right. Thanks @AT86!
 

zerogravity

TS Member
Out of interest Benzin, did the trains fly into the station back then instead of stopping at the transfer track?

I remember those arrow bat trains in the mid 90s did, with operators saying "quickly, quickly" over the tanoy as people got on and off with urgency.

Good times
 

Benzin

TS Member
Depended on dispatch if the trains would stop, usually 3 trains had some form of pause (it is not completely viable in a station layout and train design on Vampire to do it all in 20 seconds, even less so now)... They would burst into the station though if was done in time...

With decent platformers and guest awareness the 'free-for-all' situation is no issue whatsoever...
 

Alsty

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Shambhala
It's just a continuation of the dumbing down of standards that I've seen across the resort over the last few years.

On a few occasions now I've come across bar staff on the park who are unable to serve draught beer ("oh I'll have to go and get someone to do it"); at least one who attempted to pour it but had no idea what they were doing and wasted at least one pint's worth of beer; and one staff member who shifted the foam head from the beer glass using a bottle opener (really hygienic?). I've also had staff in full conversation to each other while they were serving me, even in the hotel. I don't recall any of this being a problem about five years ago.
 

IanSR

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Smiler
That's not exclusive to Chessie though @Alsty, but I do find it really annoying and it gives you a unique insight into what staff moral must be like if they are so disinterested in their jobs they cannot pause their conversation for 10 seconds while they serve you.
 

AT86

TS Member
It all comes from the top, it has taken a long time to trickle down, but now Merlin have been in charge for over 10 years it’s well and truly embedded in that seasonal employees aren’t valued.

This is an interesting (and long) interview with Mr Varney.

https://blooloop.com/features/nick-varney-merlin-entertainments-ceo/

He has lovely positive things to say about benefits for permanent employees, like:

“We have one of the highest levels of staff participation in share ownership amongst the world’s public companies. I’m very proud of that.” Nearly 80% of permanent employees are engaged in a bonus plan and 33% participate in one or more of the company’s sharesave schemes.”

But when it comes to seasonal ones (who are pretty much all on min wage), his priorities seem rather different:

“He is frank about the UK government’s performance over the last two years. “Basically they have screwed us over,” he says. He points out the government has put up the living wage without consultation, driving up labour costs for what is a very labour-intensive industry”.

How dare they expect him to pay his staff a wage they can actual live on. What a lovely gentlemen he is.

No surprise this culture leads to staff on the frontline who don’t care about the guest experience. Why should they care when their employer doesn’t give a monkeys about them?
 

RicketyCricket

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Taron
Wow what an absolute tosser.

"They've screwed us over".

So they've screwed you over by protecting the people that you would like to screw over who are on the front line doing arguably the most difficult jobs across the whole of Merlin.

Edit: saw him recently actually. He's about 5ft tall which suggests it may be a case of small man syndrome
 

Alsty

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Shambhala
The irony is the seasonal staff are the only ones the paying guests come into contact with.

If the morale of seasonal staff is low then that will directly impact on each and every guest's experience, whereas the morale of Susan in Payroll has no bearing or relevance on any guest.
 

AstroDan

TS Team
Favourite Ride
Steel Vengeance, Cedar Point
Whilst young people need employment, Alton Towers cannot hang on to the vast majority of its seasonal staff. This is in stark contrast to parks around Europe and the USA, where lots of staff return year after year, decade after decade.
 

Matt N

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Mako (SeaWorld Orlando)
Whilst young people need employment, Alton Towers cannot hang on to the vast majority of its seasonal staff. This is in stark contrast to parks around Europe and the USA, where lots of staff return year after year, decade after decade.
How come Alton Towers can't hold on to staff like the European and American parks can, out of interest?
 

AstroDan

TS Team
Favourite Ride
Steel Vengeance, Cedar Point
I genuinely do not know.

When you look at the average age of ride staff at ATR, they are typically 16-30. There are, of course. some older staff - but the vast majority are straight out of college and/or school (as I was, in 2007!).

:)
 

Matt N

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Mako (SeaWorld Orlando)
I genuinely do not know.

When you look at the average age of ride staff at ATR, they are typically 16-30. There are, of course. some older staff - but the vast majority are straight out of college and/or school (as I was, in 2007!).

:)
Oh OK. I suppose that most of Alton's workers do seem to be younger people compared to other parks I've visited. Thorpe has quite a few older workers, though!
 

AstroDan

TS Team
Favourite Ride
Steel Vengeance, Cedar Point
Thorpe has no more than Alton.

The Merlin parks in the UK are particularly heavy on very young staff. Retaining them is difficult, pay is low and progression is limited and slow.

I don't particularly think there is much job security.
 

John_P

TS Member
I'd imagine some of the parks being shut for two/three days a week in March, April, September, and October can't help. Difficult to attract and retain staff if for 50% of the season there's no guarantee they'll get enough hours per week to survive on.
 
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