Christmas 2021: Christmas Markets

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Matt N, 9th Jun 2021.

  1. JAperson

    JAperson TowersStreet Member

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    Amazing pictures at @Matt.GC especially the nemesis one, what a coo view. So glad you had a good day. To be honest I was surprised forbidden valley was open? What's actually open down there?
     
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  2. Matt.GC

    Matt.GC TowersStreet Member

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    It was open from the Galactica gate for RCR. The pictures don't really do it justice. For some reason my phone filtered out how heavy it was snowing. I could see the snow flakes on my screen but the final image didn't show much of it. It was incredible. We spent most of our time just walking around with a hot chocolate enjoying the snow and the views. Stunningly festive and beautiful.
     
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  3. jon81uk

    jon81uk TowersStreet Member

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    Although why should they offer the stage entertainment for free? Most of the £20 ticket will go to Lightopia, that ticket price is the same as the Lightopia walk in Manchester. Therefore only those paying for Santa Sleepover at the hotel or the festive day out rides tickets are contributing to the cost of putting on a full afternoon of staged entertainment so it makes sense that is exclusive to those paying for the festive day out ticket. Equally those who only have that ticket can’t enter Lightopia.
    Maybe they could have done the check after Her Ladyships Gardens so people could enter the Towers ruins on the free entry ticket. But it makes sense why Fountain Square stage isn’t available for free.
     
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  4. Steve74

    Steve74 TowersStreet Member

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    You have a point as it stands with the pricing structure. But I'm sure there are plenty of people who would like to have had a wander around, seen the entertainment and soak up the atmosphere but not go on the rides (myself included). I'd have been happy to have paid a little bit to have been able to walk around and see the entertainment. Maybe they could've have structured it: Market (free), roaming ticket, rides ticket and then Lightopia. Just seems a missed opportunity to get more people walking around and into that area to enjoy the entertainment. And the reason I haven't got the Festive Day Out ticket was that I couldn't justify the extra cost when myself and my group (all adults) aren't interested in the rides. One of the reasons we made this decision was because the £16 ticket only says it includes rides - there is nothing about extra [exclusive] entertainment - if there was, we'd have considered it
     
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  5. GaryH

    GaryH TowersStreet Member

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    Pity we cant roam about the park I would have liked to have watched the entertainment, but there we go. Explains why not many people are there watching it in the various online videos I have seen. Rides were fully booked on Saturday why is why I didnt buy a ticket.
     
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  6. NuttySquirrel

    NuttySquirrel TowersStreet Member

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    Are the gardens open to all or does that require a ride ticket as well?
     
  7. Steve74

    Steve74 TowersStreet Member

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    According to their website it is Festive Day Out Ticket holders and Santa Sleepover guests only, ironically both groups of people who probably aren't interested in the gardens!
     
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  8. Skyscraper

    Skyscraper TowersStreet Member

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    It requires a ride ticket as the checkpoints are Cebeebies Land and Mutiny Bay.
     
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  9. Plastic Person

    Plastic Person TowersStreet Member

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    This ticketing business seems quite fiddly. Hopefully the park will be able to move to a more efficient model if this year continues to be a success. If the atmosphere and entertainment are strong enough, I've no doubt that they will be able to shift to a Pay-one-Price, even for those who want to browse the market.
     
  10. Skyscraper

    Skyscraper TowersStreet Member

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    It's made more complicated in that Lightopia is an external company, and so the money from those tickets goes straight to them. That's why it's ticketed separately.
     
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  11. Danny

    Danny Gugu Rides’ Number 1 Fan

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    I think the three tickets models are fine, but there should perhaps be a discounted ticket to have all three options in one ticket.

    The entry systems at the bottom of Towers Street are a bit complicated as well. Rather than have two ride entrances, with Lightopia also being through one of those ride entries, I think they need one entry for rides and one for Lightopia. Perhaps have guests wanting to do rides enter via Mutiny Bay, and be able to cross the bottom of the lawns to access CBeebies and TWODW. Then have Lightopia's entrance/exit outside the park, perhaps where the old Christmas entry used to be next to Sea Life.
     
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  12. jon81uk

    jon81uk TowersStreet Member

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    There is a discount.
    Festive Day out is £16
    Lightopia is £20
    Both together is £31, saving £5 compared to doing them separately.

    The market is always "free" if you pay for parking and passholders get free parking.
     
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  13. JAperson

    JAperson TowersStreet Member

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    Don't most rides have entry hosts anyway? If so can't they just have the person at the entrance check to make sure they've paid for rides?
     
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  14. Steve74

    Steve74 TowersStreet Member

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    That's what I thought would've happened considering the Festive Day Out Ticket does only state it includes rides and nothing else.
     
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  15. Matt.GC

    Matt.GC TowersStreet Member

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    Kind of. We queued just over 5 mins for Flavios (dual manned for some reason, which was strange as just one of the ladies there would have been sufficient) and Frog Hopper (single manned), both would have been slower had we shown wristbands as well. Surprisingly, GG had someone on the photo op even though that was also 5 mins but no host at the entrance.

    Even more bizarre was the way over resourced Hex. No host at the entrance which kind of gave it the impression it was closed but was manned by 5 people! Me and my son did it completely on our own, just the 2 of us right through. Cbeebies had hosts around but they were hanging around the entrances of ride queues to inform guests that the rides were closed which is understandable given the weather conditions. I didn't see anyone other than ops on the other attractions in Cbeebies.

    I only saw 1 person operating Marauders and 1 on Heave Ho. Maybe the Spinball crew were sent to Hex and Cbeebies due to its closure?

    There was a host at both archways but the wristband check was almost non existent. There's no way either could have seen mine, I rolled my sleeve up the first time but the host didn't even look and my son wasn't even checked. The host at MB just greeted us with a friendly smile and hello and just asked if we had them but didn't check.

    On that note, I know from experience that Towers generally have much more friendly staff than the other Merlin parks but yesterday they were exceptional. On most of my visits to Towers I usually find that the staff manage to make Towers feel different to the rest (a Smiler op in particular really made my little boys day in 2020) but during 2021 I've actually found them to be quite unpleasant at times - a few instances during this year I've felt like a nuisance to them and they've been quite rude in places. I forgive this as I know the recruitment pressures they're under but yesterday they were really on form. I'm not sure if this was because they're permanent colleagues rather than seasonal temps, but despite the fact they must all have been freezing their asses off, all of them were very welcoming and friendly. From ATH staff to the hosts around the park and till operators in Towers Trading, they were very friendly and warm and I'm very appreciative of that. The quality of the people who work at Towers still gives it that spark that many other parks just don't have.
     
  16. JAperson

    JAperson TowersStreet Member

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    I'm glad to here it and I agree about towers staff. They're considerably better than most staff at theme parks in the UK. I think they've definitely been under pressure this year and 2020 and I think it's showed however no were near some places who've had real standards drop. I've always found Alton Towers staff to be really helpful and friendly which is definitely different to some other UK parks.
     
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  17. James

    James TS Founding Member

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    RE: Entertainment - There's some free entertainment around the market/Towers Street area and a band stand that will presumably be used once the snowy weather has cleared. So there is some form of entertainment available for those who are just visiting for the market. I think having Fountain Square for ticket holders only is fair.

    The ticket options is a little confusing and the layout/checkpoints on the park could be adjusted/changed a little (giving free ticket holders access to the Towers would be great), however it is the first year Alton Towers has tried anything like this so I wouldn't criticise too much, they will no doubt work on feedback received this year and adjust the event in future years. This year is very much an experiment.
     
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  18. GaryH

    GaryH TowersStreet Member

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    What are the food prices in the market ?
     
  19. Matt.GC

    Matt.GC TowersStreet Member

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    Expensive. Very expensive.
     
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  20. JAperson

    JAperson TowersStreet Member

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    No surprise there, theme park food is always expensive now. The thing is everyone going to Alton Towers tends to know that the food is expensive so I think it's part of people's expectations now. Those who are willing to pay do and those who aren't take a packed lunch. The issue would accrue if Alton Towers don't let people bring there own food on park.
     
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