Favourite iteration of the CCL boat ride (currently Alton Towers Dungeon)?

Discussion in 'Talbot Street' started by Matt N, 30th Mar 2019.

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Which iteration of the CCL boat ride is your favourite?

  1. Around the World in 80 Days (1981-1993)

    2.6%
  2. Toyland Tours (1994-2005)

    82.1%
  3. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2006-2015)

    10.3%
  4. The Alton Towers Dungeon (2019-present)

    5.1%
  1. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    Hi guys. As most of us know, the Alton Towers Dungeon has been open for a week now. However, the boat ride system within the attraction dates way back to 1981, when the attraction first opened as Around The World in 80 Days. Then, it was rethemed to Toyland Tours in 1994, and then again to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in 2006. The ride closed in 2015, sat dormant between 2016 and 2018 and finally reopened in 2019 as the Alton Towers Dungeon.

    But the question I made this thread to ask was; which of this boat ride's many iterations is your personal favourite? I'm not going to rank Around the World in 80 Days and Toyland Tours as I haven't seen an awful lot of them online, but here's my personal opinion based on my memories of CATCF and what I've heard about the Dungeons, controversial as it might be:
    1. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
    2. The Alton Towers Dungeon
    Now, my reasoning for ranking CATCF higher than the Dungeons is because as good as the Dungeons looks from what I've heard about it and seen of it, the boat ride sounds as though it has quite a few dark spaces, whereas CATCF almost always gave you something to look at, if you get what I mean. I also think that CATCF fitted CCL better than the Alton Towers Dungeon, and I must admit that I have somewhat of a nostalgic connection to CATCF; it was the ride my mum always took me on as a young child while my dad and sister rode the bigger attractions, and I still liked to ride it even when I was tall enough to ride the bigger attractions! I will admit that I have seen nothing of the Black River portion of the Dungeons, and I must admit that it looks like a fantastic overall experience if you like that sort of thing, but those are my personal opinions.

    But which iteration did you guys like best?
     
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    Posted 30th Mar 2019
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  2. Robert.W

    Robert.W TowersStreet Member

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    I’ve also seen very little of Around the World in 80 Days, and similar can be said for Toyland Tours – but the little bits of it I have seen did look pretty good! Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is the only version of the boat ride that I have experienced, and it wasn’t great to be honest. Well, wasn’t great might be a bit of an understatement. :p

    The Dungeon, no matter how good of an attraction it may be – and in honestly, hearing some of the reviews, I could question wether it really is that good – it’s not something I think really belongs at Alton Towers, and it’s location certainly doesn’t help things going forward with the mess that is Cloud Cuckoo Land, at least in the immediate future anyway.

    If I was to rank all of them:

    4. The Alton Towers Dungeon
    3. Around the World in 80 Days
    2. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
    1. Toyland Tours

    Although despite that, I have to give my vote to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, because it is the only version I have experienced. :)
     
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    Posted 31st Mar 2019
    #2
  3. Ted

    Ted TowersStreet Member

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    By far and away Toyland Tours, despite never ridden it. The overall atmosphere from what I gathered captured the "magic" that Towers was known for in 1990s. It came in a time Towers was seriously transforming (it opened the same day as Nemesis of course) and this alongside Nemesis contributed to 1994 arguably being Towers' best year for investment. The theming was wonderful and had a lot of colourful charm and warmth that both young kids and adults could enjoy. The soundtrack by Graham Smart was wonderful and was reused as the main theme for Towers Street around the same time. It was fun, lighthearted and wonderfully themed.

    Around the World in 80 days, from what I've seen did look pretty good but it felt a bit too "generic" for me. It is an essentially less annoying version of It's a Small World and Toyland Tours captures the feeling of Towers being a "theme park better imo.

    Charlie was admittedly a great idea, but just poorly executed. The boat incarnation just felt very tame to what a lot of people would have been exposed in the 71 and 05 films and the lifts were being any better than just being in a lift in the hotels. The theming as well was generally no where near as good as it's predecessors and didn't have the same "charm"

    The Dungeons though are one of the worst decisions Towers have ever made. It's a stupid decision to turn a family boat ride that had ran for 3 generations into something really horror themed. I like the Dungeons the most out of Merlin's midway attractions, but there's no reason at all to do it at Towers.

    I think once the Dungeons runs it's course (which I hope is soon), they should just removed the system entirely and build a new flume style ride. Keep it indoors as well.
     
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    Posted 31st Mar 2019
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  4. rob666

    rob666 TowersStreet Member

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    In my humble opinion, all three were crap filler rides.
    Sorry Ted, Toyland Tours was crap as well, don't think it was any good just because you didn't ride it!
    Rode each one roughly a couple of times, once to try it out, then when I had been lumbered with small brat sitting.
    The brats preferred the runaway mine train...every last time.
    Empty the shed, put a small family coaster in there in the dark...most popular kids ride on the park.
     
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    Posted 31st Mar 2019
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  5. RoyJess

    RoyJess TowersStreet Member

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    My memories back in the day, around the world in 80's days was good and is up there as one of my favourite options. It was Alton's take on Disney it's a small world.

    Toyland Tours was probably my favourite, it was free, upbeat, great themeing, humour and catered for everyone.

    I must admit, I do also like the Dungeons, great boat ride, but why I mark this down is that it's not free and unsuitable for the younger guest which are both of which Alton is crying out for.

    As for CATCF, as much as I love the story and films, I felt that this ride was poorly executed and could have been far better. So for me I would put this at the bottom of the list. However the elevators were probably the best part for me
     
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    Posted 31st Mar 2019
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  6. D4n

    D4n TowersStreet Member

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    As a general rule, the quality of the attraction in that building has declined over time.

    That said, I've voted for Toyland Tours, having not experienced Around the World in 80 Days myself.
     
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    Posted 31st Mar 2019
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  7. Matt.GC

    Matt.GC TowersStreet Member

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    I can predict now with relative accuracy that almost everyone will say Toyland Tours. Was an excellent attraction, they'll be tonnes of nostalgic value due to the era in which it operated and the tune is almost something of legend around these parts.

    However they all have their merits and pitfalls. If I take rose tinted specs off, TT is synonymous with the retheming of Talbot Street to The Land of Make Believe, which was a step backwards in quality in my opinion for that area of the park. It also aged very quickly, the Sonic room for instance showing video of Sonic 3 on the Mega Drive, well into the post Dreamcast era when Sega had exited the home console market.

    Charlie added the lift ride, which I thought was a very welcome addition and was fun. However, despite the boat ride virtually lending itself automatically to the plot of the book and the films, it was poorly executed. This extended to the exterior of the attraction which I thought looked crap.

    The Dungeons, well what can be said about turning a much needed family dark ride into an upcharge horror attraction?

    I think Around the World gets overlooked alot, maybe due to the nostalgic value of TT. Although I was young at the time, and I know that it was a rip off of It's a Small World, I thought ATW was of very high quality, no lower quality than its Disney source material if I'm being honest! It was very well designed, well themed and lit expertly.

    It was also what that building was designed for. Although I've lost my bearings due to my memories adjusting to all the changes around the area, the original Sparks created Talbot Street started at the restaurant and swooped around the corner with the iconic arch of ATW being the welcoming centrepiece. That area of the park from present day BK right through to present day Driving School was the very best version of that area in my opinion, it really did have such a magnificent grand feel about it.

    Although I accept that TT was probably overall the better attraction as the boat ride itself, I thought the whole area in which ATW was a centrepiece of, detriated after its closure, hitting it's low point in it's present CCL form. Its never been the same since it's original design was first tampered with. For that reason it edge's it for me:

    1. Around the World in 80 Days.
    2. Toyland Tours.
    3. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
    4. The Alton Towers Dungeon.
     
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    Posted 31st Mar 2019
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  8. TakeYourMedicine

    TakeYourMedicine TowersStreet Member

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    Haha I have chatted to many people who actually rode Toyland Tours and a fair bunch who remember Around The World as well, and literally nobody else thinks that. I think it's fair to say it just wasn't your bag, which is fine.

    They were fun! The park's lost staple family attraction
     
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    Posted 31st Mar 2019
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  9. Ted

    Ted TowersStreet Member

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    Man I thought you were cool Rob :(
     
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    Posted 31st Mar 2019
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  10. Alsty

    Alsty TowersStreet Member

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    I didn't ride Around the World in 80 Days, but of all the incarnations since I would say Toyland Tours was the best. It was a cheery and uplifting theme, something that is apparently out of fashion these days at AT.
     
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  11. RicketyCricket

    RicketyCricket TowersStreet Member

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    Toyland Tours was ok. Not a patch on Bubbleworks but far better than Charlie.
     
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  12. rob666

    rob666 TowersStreet Member

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    I suppose it could be due to the fact that I rode them all as a grown up, none as a child.
    None compared to the quality of the Haunted House in my mind...that was a top quality dark family ride.
     
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  13. djtruefitt

    djtruefitt TS Site Team Team Member

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    I have actually done all 4 versions of the ride.

    However I was only a small child when I rode Around the world, and my only memory of it was some can can girls above the ride at one point. Having seen photos of it since it was a nice ride but very much of its time. If it was still there now I’m sure we would all be slating how old and outdated it is now.

    Toyland Tours is by far my favourite version, quite possibly because I have lots of happy childhood memories of the ride, it was fun, colourful, loud, big and everything moved. There wasn’t a space left empty, and there was lots of little jokes in there. It’s a shame it didn’t stay and just got updated rather than completely ripped out. Toyland Tours and Around the World also used the whole boat ride, compared to the final two versions.

    Charlie has some nice bits, the first room was good, but after that it went down hill, it was full of blank spaces, 2D walls and sparse sets. The lifts will good (but that’s not original) and I did enjoy the music and the voice overs but that’s about the only part of the ride I actually miss.

    And finally we have the dungeons. I would probably say this is the worse version of the ride, it’s even more sparse and empty than Charlie, it doesn’t have any music like Charlie did and you can really tell it was done on a budget, rather than theme sections they have simply painted it black or turned the lights out.
     
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  14. Tibble

    Tibble TowersStreet Member

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    I dont believe I have been on any version of the ride. That being said was the around the world in 80 days a take on the 'Its a small world' ride?
     
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    Posted 1st Apr 2019
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  15. TakeYourMedicine

    TakeYourMedicine TowersStreet Member

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    It didn't really look anything like Its A Small World and had all its own scenes, but was the same format, going from country to country with animated characters
     
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    Posted 1st Apr 2019
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  16. Rob

    Rob TS Forum Team Team Member

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    Never doing Toyland Tours (along with the original Haunted House and Black Hole) remain very big regrets of mine! Toyland Tours looked brilliant and is the type of ride that the park is in desperate need of; indoors so good for all weather conditions, fun for the whole family to ride and well themed.
     
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    Posted 1st Apr 2019
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  17. TakeYourMedicine

    TakeYourMedicine TowersStreet Member

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    I totally agree, I think if Toyland opened brand new today it would be a staple for Alton Towers, it had so much more colour, big animation and fun than most Merlin-built dark rides today. It got run down towards the end and suffered lower ridership with the decline of that area in general (a bit like Charlie) but it was one of those rides that made Alton Towers what it was.

    Around The World obviously would be very dated today, but for its time it looked like a pretty good dark ride and was popular. A surprising amount of animation and nice touches. The park removed it at the right time, instead of letting it decline for years like Merlin do with most their older rides today.

    Charlie was a big disappointment to me when I rode it new (still a kid). The boat ride starts off well, but there is not much to tickle your sense of fun. The preshow and second half the ride felt empty and cold.

    The soundtrack I think was good but didnt work just playing out of one speaker on-board your boat, you could hear how lifeless and quiet the rest the room was. Add to that the massive lack of animation, it was pretty soulless. Such an awkward moment when your boat stopped in the middle of a room and you're told to get off, always felt like they gave up with the boat ride.

    The elevators were a good idea to add a finale to the attraction, but jumped the shark with imagery overload that looked nothing like the factory you saw in the boat ride earlier. The actual simulation wasnt really good enough.
     
    Last edited: 1st Apr 2019
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    Posted 1st Apr 2019
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  18. RoyJess

    RoyJess TowersStreet Member

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    Around the world I presume was based on the story of Phileas Fogg





    I feel that the charlie boat ride was cut shorter than it predecessor's and felt too short of a ride as you exit the boat in a new disembark area

     
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    Posted 1st Apr 2019
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  19. AT86

    AT86 TowersStreet Member

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    The current offload area is pretty much where the teddy train scene was in Toyland Tours, around 3:06 in the above video, so it took around a minute off the ride time.

    Toyland Tours will always be pure Alton Towers magic for me. Sums up the park at that time quiet well. Fun, bright, fresh - of course it wasn’t perfect but was a good solid ride for all the family.
     
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    Posted 1st Apr 2019
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  20. WillPS

    WillPS TowersStreet Member

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    Sitting on Toyland Tours eating a McFlurry from next door is genuinely the part of my early trips to Alton Towers that I look upon most fondly.

    Every time you'd ride you'd notice something you hadn't seen before. And this is the last few years when it was in places a bit mouldy.
     
    Posted 1st Apr 2019
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