Discussion in 'Talbot Street' started by Matt N, 30th Mar 2019.
I genuinely love how 90s that sentence is
It was indeed! That, Coupled with the theme of the wider Talbot Street area and the Sky Ride gave Alton Towers its very unique flavour in the late 80s ealry 90s era. It really was a fantastic area of the park.
I suppose it'll largely come down to what was your era, mine would be Around the World. Toyland tours was fun but my better memories are from before that.
CatCF was a joyless abomination, particularly galling considering the source material. I'll take stab that the dungeon is an improvement over that but I won't be going in to find out.
1 Around the World
I never got the chance to ride Toyland Tours, since I didn't visit Towers until 2011. It looked miles better than CatCF which I remember being pretty crap, though I only ever rode it once.
'twas between 2002 and 2004 I think. I don't think I got to the park in 2005 until after it had shut. GCSE's and hospital.
And to be super picky - McFlurrys weren't a thing (in the UK at least) until 2000 https://m.mcdonalds.co.uk/ukhome/Aboutus/Newsroom/History/2000s.html.
The moar you know.
Pfffft! Just knock the rose tinted glasses off my face with your so called ‘facts’ why dontcha?
2007 Haunted Hollow
... those were the real dark years for anyone who tries to tell you the park is bad now
How could you forgot the greatest Towers addition ever, the Dungheap!
There's no doubt it was on a downwards slop straight to hell back then.
But that period was guaranteed not to last, DIC were running Tussauds in such a way that they would have had to sell it sooner or later. With Merlin though, stuck in the rut of mediocrity is what we get for the long run.
DIC only had it for 2 ish years and the previous investment bankers before them (about 98–04) made decisions very similar to Merlin today.
I thought DIC had many more extravagant plans (e.g. Project Dolphin, Project Shark, casino-themed hotel) for if they'd stayed on?
It’s very unlikely they were ever to become a reality.
Those plans I dont think ever got very far and were hardly extravagent. DIC wanted to have little to do with the parks and just make money off them, when it turned out they actually had to invest year by year (duh) they sold them to a very eager Merlin.
While I never rode Around the world in 80 days, I think Toyland certainly appeared better than what was before and most certainly afterwards too in my opinion.
I think Tussauds had really hit their stride by 1994 in installing top quality dark rides in their parks. They knew what worked well and who to call upon to produce these rides well. Having installed The 5th Dimension, Bubbleworks, The Haunted House, and then Terror Tomb for the same year as this in their parks. The people within Tussauds (probably helped hugely by John Wardley) certainly knew who to call upon to create world class dark rides for themselves, by this point, 1994, that portion of Tussauds was a well oiled machine.
Tussauds were certainly the catalyst for all the companies involved to get together and produce these amazing rides.
Therefore, my vote goes with Toyland Tours.
At least operations were good and there was only really the Black Hole SBNO..
As bad as those installations were, I would certainly take a 2005 themed Rita with Thunder Rock Radio over the current version and a free to enter CATCF over a pay per ride Dungeon.
Give me the 2005 - 2007 park over the 2016 - present one any day.
The issue is that those both ruined things people liked with thoughtless additions; Toyland Tours for Charlie and Ugland for Rita. The attractions being bad is not the biggest issue here it's that the lack of thought destroyed good things to the point they could not be revived.
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I absolutely agree with you that both those additions were thoughtless and poorly planned, but the overall atmosphere of the park and the way the business was run is still a level above what we’re left with today in my opinion.
Merlin have had the opportunity to sort out Ug Land and given us the Dark Forest (Which is the worst area in the park IMO) and installed the Dungeons having left CATCF to rot for years.
The park had its problems in the mid 2000’s but it’s nothing compared to what Merlin have done after that.
I would say that period maybe had more in common with the current SBNO era.
In 2004/05 they had that era's equivalent to the TLC closures, which saw Black Hole, Dynamo, Boneshaker, Ice Show, Swan Boat Ride, 3D Cinema, Vintage Cars and Cred Street Carousel all close. The park during that period was quite a patchwork of missing/SBNO attractions.
Yes, literally half of Cred Street was closed that year - I remember there were some gargoyle type figures on the fence they erected closing it off. Was it ever established what that was about? Just a decorative fence, or a hint at a planned attraction that never happened?
The gargoyle face was 'borrowed from the Fabulous Toy Shop, so was most likely just put there by a rogue staff member. You can see it here in its original location by the Toy Shop's window:
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