Discussion in 'European Parks and Attractions' started by Anonymous, 12th Jun 2012.
The new signs make no sense to me, they’ve got rid of them at Alton and put new ones at Chessington.
Those signs are spectacularly bad, who signs off on this crap?
These are the things which anger me, when effort and money is spent making things worse. We all know how little cash is available for upkeep and improvements across the Merlin empire, then this happens. The money is spent, the park looks worse, and there's no funds to fix it or all the other things that were already broken and could have benefited from whatever this spend was.
It actually transpires these new electronic signs have been up since at least March, two photos taken by TPG at Services day!
I would imagine the same signs are probably up across Towers as well - probably the same provider, I’d have thought...
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Can’t say I noticed a difference on Tuesday although the only ride I went up to was Wicker Man, rest are fenced off.
I like that "35", nice and easy to read. Presumably they'll also reprogram it to say "Broken down" when necessary as well which will be handy.
Not appeared at Wicker Man as of today.
I'm not sure why they need to be so big. It's almost like somebody ordered in inches instead of centimetres...
In theory having screens telling people the queue lengths is a big step forward. We know from Trip Advisor that the biggest source of complaints are the queues. Some people use the app to check waiting time, including enthusiasts who aren’t at the park, but not everyone uses the app. One of the key things guests want to know is how long the different waits are, and since Merlin don’t have staff members at the entrance to rides anymore, or not regularly, these screens do the job. At the moment they look messy. I really hope that isn’t the final look. I presume it isn’t. My expectations of Merlin aren’t quite that low yet.
Another issue is that they’re only helpful if the advertised queue times are fairly accurate. I haven’t been to Chessington for a few years, but their posted waiting times used to be fairly inaccurate. Having a screen saying 10 minutes when it’s 30 minutes is worse than not having the screen at all. The sort of decisions people are trying to make are, “Have I got time for ride X before show Y is on?”.
Given how many people say that queuing’s a nightmare at Chessington, it’s good to see them trying to do something about it. Hopefully it’s been given a big enough budget to make a real difference.
^Don’t forget, all these queuetime screens replace existing queuetime screens. It’s not new, it’s a refresh of an existing system.
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Ah yes, my post was a bit of a waste of words.
My point stands though about the waiting times needing to be accurate. I presume there's a reason why they're replacing all the screens. I wonder whether there are any other changes to the system, or whether they were just worn out. Am I right in thinking that Chessington had individual screens at different rides, but they didn't have the central screens listing multiple rides like Alton and Thorpe had? I'm pretty sure they didn't 5 years ago, but they might have added them since.
I think they doing this to let guests know the true queue times if they only loading every other row.
That's not true either, sorry . There are screens at Adventure Point, by Lodge Entrance, Explorer Entrance and possibly a few other places which show queue times and show times.
It's a bit of a mystery as they had electronic queue times already. They've replaced them with a system that (on face value) does the same thing.
Thank you Islander and Alsty. My knowledge of Chessington is certainly pretty rusty. I still think there is some kind of logic behind this decision. I know Merlin do sometimes make odd decisions, partly because their culture promotes short term thinking and has a degree of politics, like a lot of workplaces. But I don’t think they’ve completely lost the plot here. I’m going to have another crack at it.
Different parks update their queue times in different ways. Chessington’s used to involve staff contacting a central operations control, either using phones or radios. This was based in Burnt Stub Mansion (the building where Room on a Broom now is). Operations Control would update the queue times.
For quite a few years Alton and Thorpe had large screens at key points with the waiting times, but Chessington said they couldn’t have them because they weren’t compatible with their system. At some point Chessington got a mobile app and I believe this worked completely independently of the system that displayed the wait times at the ride entrances. So, an operator would phone/radio the operations control who’d have to update the time on two different systems. Alsty says there are screens at several locations with multiple ride times/show times on. I recon these were added after the mobile app was released and take their data from the app rather than the screens at the ride entrances. Part of the reason they’re getting these new screens could be to amalgamate the two systems together.
This is all speculation based on dated knowledge of the park. I haven’t visited the park for about five years and I’m not techno savvy at all. But I recon there is more to this than meets the eye.
There's definitely gonna be reasons behind the scenes, to be honest who really cares though, the end result for guests looks ridiculous with giant screens pokin' out all over the place with really rushed installs. There'd be a way to solve stuff like this like most parks would do.
It’s a fair point. Certainly most visitors won’t care about the reason and I couldn’t imagine somewhere like Europa Park letting their park look like this. In the context of a theme park forum it’s a moot point. A page or two discussing the TVs getting changed might be tedious for some people. Although given the current pandemic and the general stagnation at Chessington, I don’t know if there’s going to be anything more exciting for us to discuss for a while.
The Chessington capacity is apparently 2000 from tomorrow, that sounds quite a lot for zoo only(?)
@imanautie can you see the numbers?
I can see it per package, Leme check the passholder package Vs the day ticket package for tommrow.
Chessington does appear to be running zoo days with a capacity of 2k on Tuesday, there's none available for tommrow.
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As of the hire days in March they’d all been replaced with signs telling you to check the app.
Not sure if it's been mentioned or announced but Chessington has a pre-book for ticket holders with tickets for during the closed period and one for tickets/vouchers/passed in general.
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Out of interest, does Gruffalo have a very high capacity? I was only wondering because I thought the station was an omnimover design (I know the ride isn’t, as only Disney in 2016 were able to make a water-based omnimover, but I thought the cars moved through the station at a relatively quick speed?), and don’t the boats seat something like 6-8 people?
So in theory, it should be able to get not far off 2,000 riders per hour, as something like POTC at Disney with 20 riders per boat is reportedly able to get something insane like over 3,000 riders per hour, so Gruffalo must be somewhere in the high 1000s, but I never hear people talk about it having high capacity very often, so I was just wondering.
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