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

TheMan

TS Member
Favourite Ride
NemiLerVion
Other big theme parks do. Or at least have an ongoing rolling program on ride upkeep and improvements. So Alton Towers could. Merlin Entertainments are a big enough company to support far more money for upkeep. Although they won't.

I really don't understand why they don't. The food is getting worse as well. As I always say, it's the direction not the present state that concerns me. When year on year the park gets more run down, the offerings get worse, and more expensive with more "supremium VIP" up sells etc it doesn't bode well for the park.

Given it's present trajectory and focus, unless someone grabs it by the scruff of the neck higher up and demands better standards, it'll continue to decline as an overall experience.

I find that a real shame, this park IMO deserves the best.
 

BigT

TS Member
Define world class? No really what exactly does that mean?
I hate that phrase, Rooney is world class? Against what exactly?


Now, location wise (I'm going to be bias here because I live there) but if you discount Cumbria is there a more splendid part of England? I don't think so, so that's a big tick in the box. Would I rather go to a crabby wasteland on the outskirts of Paris? No.

Then we get to the hardware, here I agree with Sam, it's top notch. Majority of it 1st of its generation.
Yes there maybe better examples out there, Shekira is better than Oblivion but was it first? No, and it's always easier to follow and improve.

Yes some of the themes are getting a bit tired but it's located in the middle of a wood in one of the wettest places on the planet, it's going to turn green! Trust me I have an ongoing battle just to keep my house and garden looking respectable.
 

Ketz

TS Member
I would say a world class theme park is a park where you are will to spend extra to get in, or to get to. Its obviously on a global scale, would someone in Germany who isn't a themepark fan travel to Alton ahead of there local park. Probably not, but millions of people from around the world travel to France, USA, Japan, and Germany to experience there world class theme parks
 

TheMan

TS Member
Favourite Ride
NemiLerVion
Define world class? No really what exactly does that mean?
I hate that phrase, Rooney is world class? Against what exactly?

Football wise? I think Rooney is a great example, Towers is a bit Rooney, tons of potentially sometimes delivers, sometimes doesn't, money seems to be a prominent concern, he divides opinion.

Define it though?
Messi, Ronaldo, Bale, Neuer, possibly Suarez talent wise.

I think "world class" is obvious, and when it is, it doesn't get debated.

Tiger Woods, Schumacher.

WWHP, Hogwarts Express, (not a HP fan but still!), Kingda Ka etc.

Defining the point at which something becomes world class is difficult, and pinpointing exactly what it is; that's impossible. It seems to be a blend of timing, circumstances, investment, location, management, creativity, raw talent, freedom of expression etc dependent on the business involved.

There are things though that are quite obviously world class, because people sit up and go WOW. The immersion of HP at Universal, Ronaldo's ridiculous goal haul and almost inhuman skill, Messi's power and skill to float past opposition, Tiger's pin point accuracy with a tiny white ball.

Back when it was launched, Oblivion and Nemesis had exactly that. It's something almost undefinable, for moments it completely draws you in and nothing else exists but that moment in time.

That's what world class does. And when it does it, it's beyond obvious.

If you have to debate it? It's not world class.
 

BigT

TS Member
But you don't go to the US or Japan or Germany or France just for the theme park.
Is England world class? Now there's a question.
 

TheMan

TS Member
Favourite Ride
NemiLerVion
But you don't go to the US or Japan or Germany or France just for the theme park.
Is England world class? Now there's a question.

This is wrong place to say that lol!!

Or did you miss the whole road trip across Europe and people touring the states purely for the parks ;)

:D
 

BigT

TS Member
So DLP is world class then?

What piece of hardware from DLP would you rather see at AT?
I've been there its huge yes but what does it have except the name and the shows?
The Hotel's are no better than AT and the food prices? Haha.

I just think it's a silly argument, France has DLP, Germany has EP but England has Alton Towers, Thorpe Park, Blackpool Pleasure Beach, Drayton Manor the list goes on.
Put all of those together and you have your world class destination.
 

Ketz

TS Member
It's not just about hardware though is it really. It's about the overall experience.

And Both Germany and France probably have twice as many themeparks than the uk, there's the well known ones like EP, DLP, Heide park, Phantasialand, Parc Aterix and so on. And the less we'll known ones. It's easy to list uk themepark because we live here, but how many non themepark fans in France is going to know Flamingo land, much like i don't know there smaller parks.
 

TheMan

TS Member
Favourite Ride
NemiLerVion
Now @BigT I've never been, but I think Germany has:

Europa Park
Phantasialand
Heide Park
Movie Park
Hansa Park
Holiday Park
Tripsdrill

Plus a couple of really random smaller parks. I don't even know what point this serves lol, but that's not a bad offering!
 

TheMan

TS Member
Favourite Ride
NemiLerVion
May as well fully utilise Roland's Law :D

wohlfuhlwochen_europa-park-hotels_1920px.jpg


World class.
 

James

TS Founding Member
I really don't understand why they don't. The food is getting worse as well. As I always say, it's the direction not the present state that concerns me. When year on year the park gets more run down, the offerings get worse, and more expensive with more "supremium VIP" up sells etc it doesn't bode well for the park.

Given it's present trajectory and focus, unless someone grabs it by the scruff of the neck higher up and demands better standards, it'll continue to decline as an overall experience.

I find that a real shame, this park IMO deserves the best.

They don't because guest figures stay steady and it's all about making money left right and centre.

For Merlin it's all about figures. As long as the profits come in and the guests stay what's the point in wasting money on making the park look pretty? That's the mind frame of Merlin sadly.

I'm sure if any Merlin executives ever read this topic they would be laughing in their offices thinking 'you all moan about it but you still pay and visit our parks ha ha money money'.
 
I'm not here to stick up for Merlin, but there are so many widely accepted things that represent poor value compared to theme park admission.

A trip to the cinema is typically £8 to £13 depending upon the area of the country. An hours "flowboarding" at Castleford outlet costs more than a day at AT. £25 for 8 hours at AT is good value in comparison. Unlike at BPB there are no bouncers to confiscate provisions so it is your choice if you want to buy the crappy food or not.

The cross sell and legalised queue jumping is annoying, but without it the gate price would be higher.

The Americans are the last people I would trust to create a theme park less about extracting every penny from every guest.

We get a midway addition most years and a £15 million attraction every 3 to 4 years.

I would hate to see Alton Americanied. Believe me, Merlin are rank amateurs at parting guests for there money in comparison.

I'd hate to see the beautiful towers augmented with fibre glass and plasterboard however cleverly presented. I don't want to see the flavour of the week IP everywhere, nor do I want to here the insincere rote learned "have a nice day" at every point of contact.

For all its faults AT is a British as fish and chips and I hope it stays that way.

I consider it to be more special than any number of Mickey Mouse American copies.
 

Danny

TS Contributor
Favourite Ride
Steel Vengeance
But you don't go to the US or Japan or Germany or France just for the theme park.

Try telling that to the overwhelming numbers in the members of public who fly out to Orlando purely to see the look on their children's faces when they walk down Main Street for the first time.
 

TheMan

TS Member
Favourite Ride
NemiLerVion
I don't know how aware you are, so apologies if you know @Altonadvocate1 but the picture I posted was Europa Park, Germany. Voted World's Best theme park in one award, taking it from an American park (eek forgot which one!), and is independently run by the Mack family.

Roland's Law (Roland Mack) was invented on this forum, in relation to how long a thread will go before Europa Park is mentioned :D

It is the pinnacle of service, quality, warmth, immersion, and great rides - perfect? No. Has it's flaws, certainly, but that is a world class destination and you'd be hard pressed to find anyone anywhere that would disagree.

Hence I used it as an example, truly world class seldom gets debated.
 
It looks great on YouTube, but I haven't been. I'd love to though!

Unfortunately my other half isn't into theme parks (I know, I need to get her corrected), and as she wears the trousers...
 
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