Is Alton Towers a world class theme park?

Is Alton Towers a world class theme park?

  • Yes

    Votes: 20 38.5%
  • No

    Votes: 32 61.5%

  • Total voters
    52

Coaster

TS Member
If Blackpool had built a custom coaster since 1994 I would be more keen to lavish praise on them.

But they haven't and Alton Towers + Thorpe Park have built 5 since. Even Chessington have built 2!

If you're into history/nostalgia then Blackpool is going to be your favourite park. If you aren't, then it won't be because they do not invest in big custom rides anymore.
But BPB still has 10 coasters, which is more than Towers or Thorpe has regardless of when they were added. They are also more thrilling in my opinion, but that's for a different argument. It doesn't matter when the coasters were added, they are still in the park so to suggest that BPB is only good for nostalgia is a bit unfair.
 

Ketz

TS Member
Before going to Orlando I did quite a bit of research looking at various websites. Many views over there see Merlin particularly the Lego brand quite a money spinner and a small threat. They are reporting Merlin made profits in excess of $700 million dollars. Compare that to Universal who they say made revenue of around $2 billion, unfortunately they don't say there profits but like most businesses it will probably be less than half that figure.

How can a park making that much money not invest at least some in park upkeep and park regeneration.
 

Scott

Former TS Team Member
Favourite Ride
Nemesis
Ketz said:
How can a park making that much money not invest at least some in park upkeep and park regeneration.
One word: shareholders.

Merlin make bucket loads of money - the vast majority from midways rather than parks. Rather than invest the profits into things like maintenance and upkeep which don't see instant returns they'll invest in big attractions and not much else.

Shareholders want as much return on their own investment as possible and thus the cycle continues.
 

jon81uk

TS Member
One word: shareholders.

Disney also have shareholders, Universal is owned by Comcast, who also have shareholders.


The difference with Merlin is that they know the quick to build and profitable attractions are the Midways, hence in Orlando they are buildings an Eye, Madame Tusssauds and another Midway. The midways are actually quite well invested in terms of maintainance and new areas too. Basically it is harder to make big profits from theme parks and Merlin know this.
Also this goes back to the comments on BPB not adding a custom coaster in 20 years, it is very risky to make big investments into themeparks. Hence most parks relying on IPs that they can invest smaller amounts in (Peppa Pig, Thomas Land, Nickelodeon, CBeebies, Ice Age, Madagascar, Angry Birds etc etc).
 

Rob

TS Team
Favourite Ride
Steel Vengeance
But BPB still has 10 coasters, which is more than Towers or Thorpe has regardless of when they were added. They are also more thrilling in my opinion, but that's for a different argument. It doesn't matter when the coasters were added, they are still in the park so to suggest that BPB is only good for nostalgia is a bit unfair.

I don't want this to turn into a Blackpool vs Towers debate, but please. Towers will have 9 coasters next year and then 10 if 2017 does bring a coaster. I really don't see Blackpool getting a new coaster in this time. There really is no comparison. Even though the quantity at Towers is less right now the quality is far superior. And they don't try and break your back (or actually succeed in the case of the Nash) or crash.

:)
 

AstroDan

TS Team
Favourite Ride
Steel Vengeance, Cedar Point
Jamie - new rollercoasters breath life into an attraction for both staff and public.

Blackpool IS only really good for nostalgia/classic rides. If you like that then great, but if you're after modern thrills then Thorpe or Alton do that.

Nostalgia is half the reason why people love Blackpool anyway so I don't know why you're denying it to them. Not many parks offer hundred year old coasters and I can see how that would bring lots of appeal for some people.

:)
 

TheMan

TS Member
Favourite Ride
NemiLerVion
Do you mind? This is no place for respectful disagreement!

You're talking out of your butt crack!

Everyone knows the main draw of Towers is it's location, how many times did you say you'd been??? Have you noticed the whacking great "castle" lake (if you can see through the oncoming fences) and rather spectacular gardens??

Where would you rather it be? MUPPET!

How long have you been on these forums??!! FLAMINGO LAND IS THAT WAY! >>>>

Better? :D

EDIT: IMBECILE!
 

Coaster

TS Member
I don't want this to turn into a Blackpool vs Towers debate, but please. Towers will have 9 coasters next year and then 10 if 2017 does bring a coaster. I really don't see Blackpool getting a new coaster in this time. There really is no comparison. Even though the quantity at Towers is less right now the quality is far superior. And they don't try and break your back (or actually succeed in the case of the Nash) or crash.

:)
What, so Runaway Mine Train didn't crash then? The Monorail didn't nearly end up falling over an incomplete section of track? The Smiler didn't throw bolts at people and hit people in the face on the front row? And the accident on the National was due to a back condition he already had, the ride wasn't at fault.
And the quality of the coasters is down to opinion - personally I would much rather ride things with a bit of life in them like Wild Mouse, Grand National etc. than fall asleep on coasters like Air.

Also, is Towers getting a new coaster next year then? First I've heard of it.

Blackpool IS only really good for nostalgia/classic rides. If you like that then great, but if you're after modern thrills then Thorpe or Alton do that.
Nostalgia is half the reason why people love Blackpool anyway so I don't know why you're denying it to them. Not many parks offer hundred year old coasters and I can see how that would bring lots of appeal for some people.
Valhalla isn't a nostalgic ride, nor is PMBO, Infusion, Wallace and Gromit, Ice Blast, Airbender and a fair amount of others. Of course I enjoy the history of the park, I'm not saying that isn't a factor but it isn't the only one - and personally I find the coasters at Blackpool much more thrilling than those at Towers and Thorpe so I prefer BPB for thrills.
 

Alastair

TS Team
Favourite Ride
Indiana Jones Adventure
What, so Runaway Mine Train didn't crash then? The Monorail didn't nearly end up falling over an incomplete section of track? The Smiler didn't throw bolts at people and hit people in the face on the front row? And the accident on the National was due to a back condition he already had, the ride wasn't at fault.
And the quality of the coasters is down to opinion - personally I would much rather ride things with a bit of life in them like Wild Mouse, Grand National etc. than fall asleep on coasters like Air.

The point wasn't solely that they haven't had incidents, it was that the normal ride experience of the majority of BPB's coasters (including some of the more modern ones *Infusion*) is incredibly rough and throws you around a lot. Even the most hardened BPB enthusiast can't deny that. If that's your thing then fine, but it's impossible to deny that to a lot of people they are viewed as uncomfortable to regularly ride.

Also, is Towers getting a new coaster next year then? First I've heard of it.

Yes. A kids coaster to replace the Beastie. :)
 

Benzin

TS Member
Valhalla isn't a nostalgic ride, nor is PMBO, Infusion, Wallace and Gromit, Ice Blast, Airbender and a fair amount of others. Of course I enjoy the history of the park, I'm not saying that isn't a factor but it isn't the only one - and personally I find the coasters at Blackpool much more thrilling than those at Towers and Thorpe so I prefer BPB for thrills.

Are we really counting a Zamperla Disko as a modern classic?
 

shakey

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Wild Mouse - Blackpool - :(
... the normal ride experience of the majority of BPB's coasters (including some of the more modern ones *Infusion*) is incredibly rough and throws you around a lot.

Aren't roller coasters supposed to throw you around a lot :)

Back on topic, I started visiting AT before it became a theme park and have seen many changes over the years.

The park always looked like it had potential to be world class. The country side setting in vast open spaces with a propper historic ruin as the perfect backdrop. Other parks could only dream of a location like that.

Sadly though it's never quite fulfilled it's potential for me and recently it seems to be losing some of its charm. The gardens in particular have been neglected in recent times.

It still has some great rides but there never seems enough attractions to cater for the huge footfall the park gets at busy times and when they do add a new big ride they usually end up removing one.

They also have the huge problem with planning permission which has no doubt held them back over the years.

I hope the park one day sees its full potential realised, but I am not holding out too much hope.

It's still one of the best parks in the uk though and will no doubt continue to thrill visitors for many years to come.
 

Coaster

TS Member
The point wasn't solely that they haven't had incidents, it was that the normal ride experience of the majority of BPB's coasters (including some of the more modern ones *Infusion*) is incredibly rough and throws you around a lot. Even the most hardened BPB enthusiast can't deny that. If that's your thing then fine, but it's impossible to deny that to a lot of people they are viewed as uncomfortable to regularly ride.



Yes. A kids coaster to replace the Beastie. :)
The coasters throw you around a lot, that's why I rate them so highly but I don't consider any of them to be rough (except perhaps Infusion on a bad day), and definitely not uncomfortable.
Are we really counting a Zamperla Disko as a modern classic?
I never said it was a classic, I was just proving that BPB is about more than historical rides (although they do make up a big part of it - but not all of it).
Aren't roller coasters supposed to throw you around a lot :).
Thank you! Agree 100% with this, I like to come off a coaster knowing I've been on one.
 

Rob

TS Team
Favourite Ride
Steel Vengeance
The coasters throw you around a lot, that's why I rate them so highly but I don't consider any of them to be rough (except perhaps Infusion on a bad day), and definitely not uncomfortable.

I'd love to ride the back row of Big Dipper with you and for you to come off saying it's not rough!

:)
 

Coaster

TS Member
I'd love to ride the back row of Big Dipper with you and for you to come off saying it's not rough!

:)
I have ridden the back row of the Big Dipper several times, 8 days in a row and it wasn't rough once. Similarly, I rode the back row of the National nearly every time I rode it (and Streak), as well as going on the Wild Mouse and not once did I have a rough ride. You are mistaking rough with raucous - which is what I look for in a coaster.
 

Rob

TS Team
Favourite Ride
Steel Vengeance
Nah, back row of Big Dipper is simply rough! Penultimate row however is ok! Though I do respect that you like what I label as rough, we are all different after all. I suspect The Ultimate would indeed be the ultimate coaster for you.

:)
 

Coaster

TS Member
Nah, back row of Big Dipper is simply rough! Penultimate row however is ok! Though I do respect that you like what I label as rough, we are all different after all. I suspect The Ultimate would indeed be the ultimate coaster for you.

:)
Yeah I quite like The Ultimate, not my favourite coaster but the second half is pretty good. And roughness is all down to opinion, I have grown up riding BPB's coasters (and my first big coaster was Megafobia at Oakwood) so I am used to coasters that throw you around, and whilst I don't think they are rough I can understand that other people have a different opinion.
 

Sazzle

TS Administrator
Just a quick few pence from me...

I find Towers to be a major player in the world's top attraction club, but I wouldn't say it's "world class".

There is too little maintenance (rotting Nemesis monster), too little attention to detail (blue screened Smiler projections every day in the indoor queue) and too much upselling (no I wouldn't like a lucky Buddha for a pound with my Toffee Crisp, thank you).

I agree it has world class rides - The Smiler captured the world regardless of how it rides! The likes of Six Flags Magic Mountain and Cedar Point in the US have an amazing array of coasters, but the only park to come close in Europe is Alton Towers.

My only complaint is that we hold the park in such high regard because Merlin have little to no competition in the British Isles.

I for one will be looking forward to watching the Paramount project develop, giving Towers a reason to up their game to the next level!
 
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