Controversial Alton Towers Opinions

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Heidi, 6th Apr 2021.

  1. Trooper Looper

    Trooper Looper TowersStreet Member

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    I see what you're trying to say, but again, I just don't get why people want the next SW right next to the gardens. Galacticas carpark is free, barely anyone uses them.

    Is there like a limited amount if places Merlin is allowed to build on, then I'm suspecting that the gardens and the valley are part of that since NO development has ever been seen there, excluding refurbishing the tower in the lake.
     
    Last edited: 3rd Dec 2021
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  2. jon81uk

    jon81uk TowersStreet Member

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    Something on the car park and something that crosses the valley would be entirely different rides due to the type, size and shape of the land. Would be possible to use both areas I think if as MakoMania says the right coaster type is selected for the cross-valley.
     
  3. Skyscraper

    Skyscraper TowersStreet Member

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    I agree, I also don't understand why people are so keen on a cross-valley coaster. Any type of coaster, no matter what, would disturb the peacefulness and tranquility of the beautiful gardens, which are right next to the valley. That's why they've never been able to get planning permission there, because the Local Planning Authority (Staffordshire Moorlands) share our view.
     
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  4. rob666

    rob666 TowersStreet Member

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    Sorry to be Mr Pedant here, but the valley is a part of the gardens.
    It is man made, with terraced wooded drives, lined with rhododendron and cypress/non native evergreens and terraced paths.
    They may now be outside the fence, and grossly neglected, but they are very much part of the historic landscaped gardens, a man made landscape nothing like the original natural environment.
     
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  5. Trooper Looper

    Trooper Looper TowersStreet Member

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    That's actually quite cool and interesting that a whole valley is man made!
     
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  6. rob666

    rob666 TowersStreet Member

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    The valley isn't man made!
    It is natural, but the whole area was planted up with non native trees and shrubs, and the drives and paths quarried out to make them level for horse drawn coaches to ride up the valley, coming up to the stunning view of the lake and Towers under the bridge close to the lake.
    The landscaping around Quixhill Drive is very clear on the Staffordshire walkers footpath maps, and it shows all the old footpaths around and down the valley, including the continuation past the fence at the bottom of the Pagoda lake...two on each side of the valley, about half a dozen in total, and clearly shows the access to King Ina's Rocks, and the old path right round the back of Thirteen that you can still access via the path behind the Swiss Cottage.
    Abbey Wood, Slain Hollow and Cuckoo Rocks were all replanted as part of the old estate, and the paths are still shown on the map...likewise there are half a dozen old park footpaths all around Ina's Rocks, just behind the hotels.
    The bottom air car park is actually on the walkers map as Park Banks.
     
  7. DistortAMG

    DistortAMG TowersStreet Member

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    I am not 100% sure, but because there are no support towers in the valley and all the support towers for the ride are below tree height in other places, it complies with the rules. The only real visible permanent thing is the cable, which from a distance you cannot really see anyway.

    Could the case not be made however, that if they start building big new rides, attendance could increase, making that very car park useful again?

    I think I understand what you are saying. While the lovely terraces, foliage and pathways are all man made, they are all built into what is a very natural and ancient valley. The valley itself, ie the huge depression in the land (like in the photo below) is very very much natural. The huge construction project of the gardens was building them into this pre existing and huge natural depression in the landscape aka, the valley. EDIT: @rob666 just seen your post. Must have posted at a similar time!

    [​IMG]
     
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  8. Skyscraper

    Skyscraper TowersStreet Member

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    That's a really good point actually.
     
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  9. Trooper Looper

    Trooper Looper TowersStreet Member

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    What about those empty fields on the left when you're on your way to the car park? Maybe the could be converted into Car Parks to increase attendance if a SW is built on Airs car Park.
     
    Last edited: 4th Dec 2021
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  10. Ally

    Ally TowersStreet Member

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    May be I'm alone here, but always strikes me with the idea of a cross valley coaster that there could be an opportunity to use it in the same way as Sky Ride, moving people from one side of the park to the other.

    Still essentially one ride but with a station each in Dark Forest and Forbidden Valley. World's first in that it's a coaster and shuttle all in one? Each could be designed/themed slightly differently, adding further to the feeling of it being 2 rides.

    Any time I've seen it discussed or mock ups created it's always been one ride that starts from Dark Forest and loops back round.
     
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  11. rob666

    rob666 TowersStreet Member

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    A cross valley "transport" woodie would have to be tame as "transport", which would make the thrill seekers unhappy.
    Simply never going to happen.
     
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  12. Jim

    Jim TowersStreet Member

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    Controversial opinion: The car park south of the monorail (aka Galactic Car Park) should be left as parking and not used for attractions.

    Why I think this: Forbidden Valley is well away from the the main loop of ride areas. Its a trek to get there and you are really limited on options when moving to a new area. I just feel that the busier the park gets over the years the less space there is in that area to handle everyone going to the new attraction.

    If Gloomy Woods & Katanga Canyon are heavily upgraded with must do attractions (SW's) so the areas are not just "a ride" then my opinion would possible change. Oh and the Haunted Hollow path would need some serious profiling to lessen the impact of the hill!
     
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  13. JAperson

    JAperson TowersStreet Member

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    Oh I agree. The parking isn't amazing as it is and I don't want to them to start removing infrastructure. The park has the ability for its attendance figures to start rising again (and I think they will) so they need the infrastructure to cope with this. I think we could quite easily see near enough 3 million guests a year again within the next few years (once we have started to recover from the recession). And I think numbers will continue to be slightly higher next year due to travelling abroad being so uncertain and a bit of a nightmare.
     
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  14. Matt.GC

    Matt.GC TowersStreet Member

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    Just realised I've never posted this one before: Bottom Burp and Blade are both grossly underrated. Sure, both are younger family attractions. Both can be found anywhere in loads of parks as well. But Bottom Burp/Frog Hopper is actually faster than the Peter Rabbit ones and all the other frog hoppers in the other Merlin parks. Blade also delivers the goods same as every Pirate ship of it's size. Both actually provide quite a thrilling experience for kids and even as an adult I never miss a back row ride on Blade when I visit. Dream about nothing but large coaster hardware all you want, but these tiny background attractions are staples that the park needs in its lineup.
     
    Last edited: 5th Dec 2021
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  15. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    I can sense I might get massacred alive for this one, so I apologise in advance if it’s controversial, but… I think that the Duel refurbishment was a positive move for the Haunted House in the long term.

    The reason why I think this is because even though the ride was critically acclaimed in 1992, I’d argue that the base concept would have been showing its age by now regardless of how well they’d maintained it; I get the impression they built it as more of a dark, jumpscare-led ride with no real story as opposed to something that thrived on ambience and narrative like Haunted Mansion, and while that’s not a bad thing by any means, I think it did limit the longevity and timelessness of it as a concept compared to the Disney equivalent. Since the HH originally opened, more “realistic” jumpscare-based horror attractions have really taken off, and had HH still been a thing today, I feel like things like its cartoony props and lack of narrative and grand scenes would be viewed in a very different light to how they were in 1992. I obviously never did HH, but from what I’ve heard, many even considered the ride to feel dated when it closed in 2002.

    Even away from that, I think the superficial type of horror HH relied upon (jumpscares) limits rerideability to a degree, because after you’ve been scared by each jumpscare for the first time, it’ll never have quite the same effect on you again.

    With the laser guns, however, I feel like it stays relevant and gets around those flaws, and despite the refurbishment having been dismissed as an attempt to shoehorn in an on-trend gimmick, I’d actually argue that it made the ride more timeless and more rerideable. I think the interactivity changes the dynamic of the ride to something that plays a lot more to the Haunted House concept’s strengths, and I think the cartoony props and jumpscare-based nature actually lend themselves very well to the interactive dark ride as a ride style, personally; I think the dynamic of stuff jumping out at you and you having to shoot it and gain points actually works very well and feels almost like a cool video game, which makes you more inclined to reride it in order to beat your previous high score against the challengers within the ride. While I know that interactivity could have been construed as a gimmick of sorts at the time, I feel like changing the vibe of the ride from something trying to be an immersive dark ride to something with a fast-paced, game-style dynamic did work in its favour, personally, as for the type of ride Haunted House was built as in the era we currently live in, I’d actually argue that it suits the latter vibe more.
     
  16. rob666

    rob666 TowersStreet Member

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    In brief.
    Haunted House was brilliant.
    It was badly neglected, so they added crap guns, poor quality lights and zombies.
    That too was neglected.
    So we end up with crap.
    If you had ridden the original ride, in its original style Matt, you would probably agree.
     
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  17. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    I won’t pretend that I’ve ridden HH, because I haven’t, but I’m gleaming this off of some of the videos I’ve seen of it and what I know about it, as well as reviews of it from when it was around.

    From what I can tell, HH was very similar to how Duel is now (much more similar than I’d thought) aside from a different ending, slightly different lighting & music and of course the key one; the guns.

    I’m not denying that HH was probably a brilliant ride that was critically acclaimed when it operated, particularly in its initial few years, and I also won’t deny that Duel probably would have felt like an unnecessary move at the time, but my point was more; had Duel not happened, would that critical acclaim have stayed with it into the late 2000s and 2010s without some other kind of major change? Would it still stand up today?

    When I ask that question, I’m personally more doubtful about whether HH would be as highly reviewed if it were still operating today; with horror attractions having progressed a lot since the 1990s, particularly jumpscare-driven ones like HH, would it have the same appeal among the average guest as Duel does now had it stayed as the horror attraction it was intended to be in the 1990s? Rightly or wrongly, I think changing the dynamic of the ride for Duel and adding the interactivity element does add a certain appeal for the general guest that the Haunted House never had when it operated (or at least, a different kind of appeal to what HH had); I hear a lot of family groups rave about the guns, and I do think it adds rerideability, as you can run back round and try and beat your high score. Apparently, Duel was genuinely a really well received upgrade in 2003 (according to those who were around when it was upgraded)!

    That’s my personal opinion, anyway.
     
  18. Squiggs

    Squiggs TS Site Team Team Member

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    I don't think the Haunted House was ever designed to be based around 'jump scares' though. Whilst elements swung out at you, the ambiance was never designed to be scary in the way that the Scarefest mazes are for example.

    You really need to think of it in the same vein as The Haunted Mansion - that 'fun frights' genre - that is why it was popular. In many ways actually the Haunted House had basically the same basic storyline as the Haunted Mansion, you were exploring a spooky old house, strange things start happening, then you get haunted, then you run out of the house through an 'outdoor' spooky bit.

    A slightly separate topic, but I'd actually also argue that Duel isn't really an interactive dark ride at all, because the action of you as a rider has no impact on what is going on around you. Duel is more of a moving carnival shooting gallery, but without the prizes at the end.

    Perhaps that in itself is a controversial opinion, but really if they had designed it as an interactive experience (and not installed the cheapest halloween props/zombies, they could find) Duel might have been better received and would also be an awful lot more re-ridable than it is at the moment.
     
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  19. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    Ah, my apologies; the jump scares thing was merely an inference on my part based on what I’d seen. The main difference I noticed between HH and HM was that HH didn’t really have scenes or a narrative in the same way as HM, so I always assumed that the jump scares were the focus during the design; it doesn’t really have an awful lot else to it other than jump-scares. (Although I’ll digress that that is me making an inference based on the current Duel, as I know that Duel and HH were much the same besides the ending and the guns)

    Even putting that aside, though; rightly or wrongly, I’m not sure people would view the ride as it was in 1992 in the same way today. I’m not necessarily saying I agree with that, personally (I thought it looked pretty great in the 1994 POV I saw, and certainly understand the calls for it to return!), but I do think people would look at the 1992 ride in a different light if it were to be returned to that exact specification today, and that’s why I personally feel that that shift in dynamic to Duel benefitted it in the long term (at least in principle).

    Maybe it’s a generational thing; I didn’t grow up with HH like many of you did, after all.

    Out of interest; of the 2 classic Wardley dark rides at Towers (Haunted House and Toyland Tours), which one did people generally prefer?
     
  20. Matt.GC

    Matt.GC TowersStreet Member

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    Yeah they would, a much dimmer one that doesn't show the walls, ceiling and mechanisms
     
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