OK, time to introduce myself. I've been reading Towersstreet forum since the very start, and another well known Alton Towers forum for 6 years before that. Have finally decided to sign up and contribute, so please be gentle. Thought I would start with a big post on a new Thread. IS ALTON TOWERS A WORLD CLASS THEME PARK? I'm asking this for a reason. There has been a lot of speculation about the proposed Paramount Park near London, and I read numerous posts saying that it is just what the UK needs and that it is time we had a “World Class Theme Park”. Personally I think we already have one. The No Camp. Alton Towers rollercoasters aren't high enough or long enough. Some developments in other parts of the world cost 10 times the cost of the Secret Weapons. The British weather can't complete. The theming in Disney, Universal and Paramount parks is on another level. The entertainment on park is comparatively poor. There are other issues raised, but from what I can see, these are the main ones. MY TAKE ON THESE. It's true that Alton Towers doesn't have the highest rollercosters in the world, and this is unlikely to change due to the prohibitive planning regulations associated with its location. Personally I think that height is an overrated attribute in creating a world class rollercoster. I would happily but John Wardley's seminal classic Nemesis up against any rollercoster anywhere in the world, and it would hold its own or come out on top. If I fall of a ladder 60 feet high, I would be dead. If I fall f a ladder 300 feet high, I would still be dead (but no more dead than if I fell 60 feet). Extra height does not make a coaster scarier or more thrilling for this very reason. The law of diminishing returns applies to rollercoaster height, just like everything else. What makes a truly great coaster is the twists and turns, the changes in direction and velocity, the proximity to nearby objects, sustained G forces and sudden changes in G forces. This is why a 43 foot lift hill coater like Nemesis, trumps a 200 foot coaster like the PMBO (This is not a dis of Blackpool Pleasure Beach = Grand National is a truly great coaster). If we ever get the long awaited cross valley coaster, I hope it hugs the contours of the valley, giving the sensation of speed without the actual huge speeds, so that we get a great ride duration too. The cost of an attraction is not directly proportional to it's enjoyment factor. I've seen many a huge budget Hollywood blockbuster that is not a patch on another movie with a tiny budget. Originality, cleverness, thrills, humour, etc are what make a great movie. I can't make a case for the British Weather, but PP would have the same issues in London (other than more indoor attractions). Regarding theming its is true that other Theme Parks spend tens of millions creating fibre glass castles, mountains, landscapes etc. In comparison Alton’s theming budget is tiny. BUT – take a look at that awesome view as the Monorail pulls in at the bottom of towers street. No amount of fibreglass, concrete or intellectual property could complete with what Alton has. For me those Majestic Towers and world class gardens are far superior to anything else. Next time you go to AT, just spend the hour after the rides close in those gardens. The feeling of escapism is unrivalled. Entertainment wise, I would agree that Alton Towers could improve. Whilst I always enjoy Patch and Friends during Scarefest and the Pirate Show at other times, they are clearly done on a budget and do not compare with shows and entertainment elsewhere. This is unlikely to change until Merlin do something to improve the transport links, increasing the gate figures to justify a larger entertainment budget. Anyway, that's my first post. I think we have a truly great world class theme park that we can be truly proud of. I'll certainly give PP a go if it comes to fruition, but I doubt that it will ever replace Alton Towers in my affections. Let me know what you think.