Fastrack Farce

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by AstroDan, 28th Oct 2012.

  1. TheMan

    TheMan TowersStreet Member

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    I'm not sure it would be interested in the entertainment industry dude.

    What is more frustrating I think, is that this behemoth that Merlin now is, actually have a chance to run things better, and use their power for a wider development and improvement.

    The thing is, even though the GP are generally cottoning on more - will they stop going? I very much doubt it, as they have the highest quality attractions, bar arguably BPP, in this Country.

    As much as I love to see independent parks - the likes of LWV/Oakwood even FL and BPP to a slightly lesser extent etc just can't compete, there only way out of that to be competitive would be to drive up prices, introduce mass up selling etc, and then they don't really have a USP.

    I was also concerned to note, that BPP features on a resort pass, alongside Merlin attractions.

    Sorry, a bit off topic, but I think it's a natural extension of discussion.
     
  2. Noonie99

    Noonie99 TowersStreet Member

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    We have just come back from 3 days being at scarefest. I have to say we were overwhelmed by the amount of fast track people. It really did cause the main queue serious delays and whilst it's a great idea in principle too many people have decided to go that way. How they used to do it was first thing in the morning you would go to a ticket machine with your entry ticket, put it in and get a time to come back to a certain ride. Now this runs out obviously but that along side a fast track system of paying worked really well. I have to say my boyfriend had a real issue in the queue line for single riders on Saturday in oblivion. Not only was he stuck with a group of pushing and shoving chavs, but there was a group of about 7 of them and they moaned when they got to the front they couldn't sit together??? I think not only has fast track just lost the plot, but single rider queues are just being used for groups of people now?? That slows down the main queue alonside fast track.
    Why can't they bring back that old system?? Or why can't people just queue like we had to for serious times.. ? I appreciate not everyone stays till the end but "fast track" clearly isn't that fast anymore so people should save their money and queue like us poor peeps have to!!
    I'm not having a go and the idea is good in principle but I think people are just taking advantage now.
     
  3. BigDave

    BigDave TowersStreet Member

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    Like I said, myself and pretty much everyone else with us that day wouldn't have minded queuing if we knew that the main queue was going to move at a reasonable pace and we would get a fair share of the rides capacity. This simply wasn't the case as also mentioned above. The fastrack queue on busy days seems to just take over and the park don't seem to be in the slightest bit bothered that it MASSIVELY effects the normal queue. Its all very well saying well you should have also gotten a fastrack ticket, but the thing is, the more people who have fastrack tickets, the less "fast" the fastrack queue becomes. They really need to sort something out.
     
  4. TheMan

    TheMan TowersStreet Member

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    Haha yeah Dave, it simply becomes the Expensive, moderately quicker queue.

    At that point, they'll brand it Yves St Laurent or something - Burberry maybe? And people will want those tickets...

    Crap, I hope Varney isn't reading this!
     
  5. djtruefitt

    djtruefitt TS Site Team Team Member

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    I was there on Saturday with TST, it was certainly one of the busiest days I have seen of the season and I didnt really expect to get on many rides (as im there so often it doesnt really bother me). But if that had been my one and only visit of the season I would have left pretty annoyed, if you didnt purchase fastrack you would have really struggled to get on every ride on park, even with the park being open for 11 hours.

    I belive the main issue on Saturday was hotel fastrack, I belive you get fastrack for TH13TEEN (120 mins), Oblivion (90 mins), Charlie (70mins) and Mine train (70 mins), all three of these rides had massive queues all day, and it was only in the evening when the queues for these rides got shorter (probably when all hotel guests had been through). Surely 40 minutes fastrack queue for TH13TEEN at one point proves the system is a massive fail, hotel guests get it for "free" as part of their package, but if a normal guest had paid to fastrack TH13TEEN and then had to queue 40 minutes, im sure many of them would not be happy.

    I think for hotel guests when there is no ERT, they should either give a variety of fastrack (on the website just promote a selection of fastrack), then when guests turn up to the hotel they are given 4 fastrack tickets for 4 rides, but every room gets a different selection of rides, this way is spreads the hotel fastrack across the whole park.

    The second suggestion would be timed fastrack for hotel guests, the only issue with this is when its issued at reception some guests might not agree with it and will want a different timed slow.

    And my final suggestion for hotel guests would be to simple remove free fastrack and either give a different thing for free (maybe cheaper meal in hotel, free drinks, etc) or just give them nothing. Im sure the majority of guests who stay in the hotel over scarefest and fireworks dont do it for the free fastrack, and the majority of them probably wouldnt notice if it was removed.
     
  6. Dave

    Dave TS Founding Member

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    It seems the problem is continuing as Facebook is full of complaints about it. Surprised Towers don't see the huge negativity on their FB page as a symptom of a drop in standards.
     
  7. BULBOUS

    BULBOUS TowersStreet Member

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    I think you're ignoring the fact that there are now far more offers about than there were in 1994. Average price people pay to get in to Alton Towers will not be £45. It will be closer to £25. Which is no increase whatsoever on your approximated inflation adjusted gate price.

    I'd happily pay the extra £1 for Thirteen, Oblivion, Air and Rita, not to mention all the other things which make AT today a far superior park to the AT of 1994.
     
  8. GaryH

    GaryH TowersStreet Member

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    Hmm, not sure everyone would agree with you on the "far superior" now bit. 1994 had Nemesis brand spanking new, Thunderlooper and late night opening! Oh, and no car parking charge! ;)
     
  9. Scott

    Scott Former TS Team Member

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    But in terms of a ride line up there is no possible way to argue that Alton Towers had a better ride selection in 1994 than in 2012.
     
  10. TheMan

    TheMan TowersStreet Member

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    Sorry this isn't a fair comparison.

    Nemmy was state of the art (Not a gimmick), and back then, Nemmy was extraordinary as is still shown by today!

    Thunderlooper was brilliant, it had corky, and everything else was much cheaper even in relative terms.

    You can make an argument for it being an extra £1, but it isn't. As I say, I think it equates when you include all the other "optional extras" such as, being able to park lol, you are looking at an approximate 50% extra! That is not a pound mate... on a different note, ever thought of running for chancellor of the exchequer, they could do with someone to spin figures like that ;D
     
  11. mark9

    mark9 TowersStreet Member

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    We wouldn't have known better in 1994. We'd have our European first and only B&M inverter and be happy with it.
     
  12. Scott

    Scott Former TS Team Member

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    So what? That doesn't mean that the park isn't better now than it was in 1994... Which was the point being made. When you look at how much has been added to the park between then and now, and see how the average admission price hasn't actually risen all that much in inflated terms it makes the day seem like decent value.

    But the bottom line is that the park is clearly better now in terms of rides than it was then.
     
  13. TheMan

    TheMan TowersStreet Member

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    Exactly Mark, it is all relative.

    I have also heard of figures that suggest walk up purchasing is higher than one may imagine. Therefore Dave, technically Bulbous you're using the Modal average to purvey your point, when the "Mean" average may well be much higher than half gate price, when you factor in a conservative 6% estimate of full gate price entries.

    You also may want to check the ever increasing 1 Star ratings on Trip Advisor. The public will only put up with so much before they feel they're just getting ripped off at worst, getting little perceived value at best.

    All of us here want the park to do well, but right now, they aren't even getting the basics right - and the stuff that is right, is down to dedicated staff choosing to give far more value than they will paid to.

    For Merlin to take advantage of this in such a way, really, is a disgrace.

    EDIT: Mr Brightside, the public seem to be in disagreement. A day out at a theme park is more than just how much metal and bolts are crammed into it! It is an experience, and clearly, people are beginning to enjoy that experience less and less.

    It is as I pointed out earlier, self evident.

    Since when did we judge a Theme Park purely and simply on how many rides were crammed into it?? By this judgement, Thorpe beats the crap out of Towers! PBB arguably even more so!!
     
  14. Scott

    Scott Former TS Team Member

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    All I have said is that the park is better now in terms of rides than it was in 1994.

    I agree that theming, atmosphere, value for money, enjoyment, magic and everything else is lacking.
     
  15. mark9

    mark9 TowersStreet Member

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    Well you say that but Nemesis is still king of the crop and Black Hole was far better then Thirteen and Spinball. ;)
     
  16. Scott

    Scott Former TS Team Member

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    But you also have Air and Oblivion!

    Anyway, I feel like we're derailing the bread with thus...
     
  17. TheMan

    TheMan TowersStreet Member

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    Yes absolutely! And arguably Thunderlooper better than Rita.

    Lapbar launch loop and reverse?

    I'm a fan of Rita, but Thunderlooper is one of my most missed rides. Blackhole also, that was just Alton Towers, and still miss it terribly. SW7 has to be something special to occupy that space, but it looks like it might be in fairness.

    I've not been a huge fan of anything they've built since Oblivion!

    I think this deserves it's own topic - I will have a go at it and see what opinion is, rather than side track this one more. Not fair on Dan's original post really.
     
  18. Croftybaby

    Croftybaby TowersStreet Member

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    Have these numb-nuts still not worked this out yet?

    This company seem to spend vast amounts of money to ensure they are constantly flicking the V's up at it's customers at every available opportunity. It will come back and bite them on the ass just as it's done with much bigger businesses in the past couple of years.

    JUST OFFER A GREAT DAY OUT!!

    If people are enjoying themselves, they will spend money; they wont begrudge paying for your overpriced popcorn, they may have more time to sit in one of your generic restaurants instead of grabbing a quick sausage roll as they move to the next inflated queue line; HECK, you may make them feel so good about their day that they'll wan't to treasure it forever by purchasing a photo of them on Tower Street with a cola refill bottle sales point as a backdrop.

    "It's your own fault for going on a busy day"

    This doesn't wash any more, since on quiet days your faced with cutback relative to how busy it is so you no doubt end up with a similar experience.

    :D :D
     
    Posted 1st Nov 2012
    #78
  19. Dave

    Dave TS Founding Member

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    The trouble is non of the senior management are ever on park to see what's happening. When Paulding was around he would be on park on busy days making sure rides ran at full capacity and standards where high.

    On Oblivion yesterday the staff seemed more interested in chatting about their private lives than actually doing any work. Wish I could get away with slacking in my place of work.

    Bring back a leadership team that cares about guest experience and good operations instead of letting H&S bring in ridiculous systems that don't improve safety and slow the ride down, as well as letting stff have a jolly instead of dealing with the queues.

    No wonder the park is getting slated on Facebook and Trip Advisor, they seem to be subscribing to the flamingoland theory of themepark operations!
     
    Posted 1st Nov 2012
    #79
  20. Croftybaby

    Croftybaby TowersStreet Member

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    I noticed this at Chessington and LegoLand, maybe it's a widespread issue.

    Vampire - Que was advertised as Half hour and was actually 1 hour+ when we got to the station the staff were shoddy to say the least. Chatting, messing about, the ride op was too busy talking they were missing signals from the batcher to release harnesses.

    Driving School at legoland, loads of staff as expected just con-grating in the centre messing around, meanwhile kids were unable to find cars and some of the cars were moving before they were supposed to, staff did nothing to prevent kids driving them while others were still finding cars. Surprised nobody has been hurt on that one.

    Obviously the threat of managers walking in unannounced means ride staff are free to do what they want.

    sorry, I've gone off topic :p
     
    Posted 1st Nov 2012
    #80

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