Oktoberfest: 18/19 September 2020

Discussion in 'Your Alton Towers Trip Reports and Plans' started by AstroDan, 20th Sep 2020.

  1. AstroDan

    AstroDan TS Forum Team Team Member

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    Location:
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    Steel Vengeance, Cedar Point
    EDIT: After writing this post, I realise i used "another level" on multiple occasions. Therefore, with this in mind please play the following whilst reading:



    I hadn't been to Alton Towers since the day it opened in July. On that day, I left at 2pm as it was "bloody awful".

    Cue a return to the resort for the first time since.

    And? It was great!

    Covid-19
    I felt Alton Towers' efforts to promote social distancing were easily as strong - if not stronger - than any of the 15 theme parks I have been to over the summer across several countries. Compared to last Saturday's trip to Fantasy Island, it's another level entirely. Sanitiser widely available, chevron markings mostly respected, announcements, staff enforcing masks indoors and plenty of other crowd management staff around. Hex was the slickest example of this, the way groups are batched and then moved through the attraction is superb.

    Rides/Operations
    Compared to July, it was another level. This time, queues moved (with exception to a situation on WM on Sunday evening when it as advertised 80 minutes but, due to two trains, turned into a torrid 110). In nearly all cases, the time waited was 25 to 50% lower than the advertised time. Smiler from the steps by the entrance? 40 minutes. Oblivion from the entrance? 25 minutes. Nemesis from the old vending machines? 11 minutes. Although not all rides were being fully filled, it was generally not too much of an issue because of the limits on guests in the park. Alton can cope with 10,000 right now and it is fantastic that they are holding firm and not doing a Phantasialand, Efteling or Blackpool Pleasure Beach and letting too many people in.

    Food/Beverage
    All outlets were open that I noticed (unsure on Burger Kitchen by Dungeons). All food that I ate was as expected. I was delighted to see Woodcutters have replaced the awful old tables/chairs and brought in trendy new ones, along with new lighting and artwork. An enhancement!

    Hotels
    Probably the weaker link during the weekend. The refurbished Splash room was good - no problems there. But the bar tariffs seem to be increasing by far greater than inflation - Aperol Spritz for example at £9.50 is more expensive than any other bar I have ever seen - and beers are also tipping over £6.00 a pint... which even for Alton Towers just seems a little much. Bars also closed early - I guess Covid related... but when rooms are still £200+... I am not sure this is justified. Breakfast was average, I don't really think the ingredients are very good quality to be blunt. I also wasn't keen on the lack of background music in the hotels... and the fact that the house lights were on max in the atrium... there was no atmosphere at all. Compare THAT with the lawns on park...!

    Oktoberfest
    This event has brought a buzz into the park the likes we have not seen for some time. Lots of entertainment, food and drink. I am thrilled the resort have pressed ahead with it and can't wait to see what the future holds for this exciting event. This said, I have some suggestions on how to improve it from a guest experience point of view:
    • Vary the shows slightly. Although all entertainment was pitched well, if you were sat for more than 2 hours, you were treated to complete repeats of sets. Some variety would be nice for those spending more time in the main area.
    • Get rid of the second stage. It is pointless.
    • Bring all food and beverage in house. This way, the prices can be brought more in line with what is served on park already and Alton Towers can keep 100% of the revenue rather than the current situation where a Bratwurst costs £8.00 (obscene), yet Alton only take a small chunk. For example, an in house hot dog costs £5.50 (£4.40 with pass) yet the Bratwurst was £8.00. This sort of difference is insane. I didn't see much queue at the food stands to be honest and I didn't buy *any* food at them - and neither did anyone I was with. It was grossly overpriced.
    • Get MAP discount available on the lawns - it was available as usual at the WunderBar (Welcom-Inn) but not on the lawns... irritating.
    • They ran out of Erdinger at 4pm on Saturday and had none in for the rest of the weekend. GET. MORE. IN. STOCK!
    • Get the other on park outlets "on board" .At Thorpe, the Infinity/Fin's restaurant has Schnitzel and all manner of German treats on he menu. Woodcutters was totally disinterested. I did see a special burger at the Burger Kitchen but that was about it.
    • If numbers no longer need to be capped in 2021, perhaps extend the event to Fountain Square.
    The above are not criticisms particularly - I understand this is a new event but would love to see these things addressed for 2021. Overall, well done Alton Towers - you did it and after all these years of people on this forum and others screaming about how events can drive repeat visits and build an atmosphere in the park, they actually went and pulled their finger out and did it.

    Now - let's do it more.

    A great weekend!

    :)

    PS - Duel and Extraordinary Golf are in complete states and need work. Quite sad just how bad these two attractions seem to be now :(
     
    Last edited: 20th Sep 2020
    MattyH, Matt N, djtruefitt and 11 others like this.
    Posted 20th Sep 2020
    #1
  2. adsyrah

    adsyrah TowersStreet Member

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    I'm going to this on Friday, staying in Splash Landings hotel that night.

    Though getting brekkie on the Saturday seems to be an issue - there's no tables available in any of the hotels. Anyone else had this issue? Customer services seem to be of little help.
     
    Posted 22nd Sep 2020
    #2
  3. jon81uk

    jon81uk TowersStreet Member

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    Probably best to ask when you check in?
     
    Posted 22nd Sep 2020
    #3
  4. AstroDan

    AstroDan TS Forum Team Team Member

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    I am seeing breakfast availability for Saturday?
     
    Posted 23rd Sep 2020
    #4
  5. Danscott22

    Danscott22 TowersStreet Member

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    See I'm not sure what the deal was on Saturday for us on The Smiler was, but after the steps at the entrance was 60 minutes as opposed to the apparent 40 that it can be, we didn't move for 13 minutes I timed even though the ride was throwing out trains constantly. Not sure what the deal was with that.
     
    Posted 23rd Sep 2020
    #5
  6. djtruefitt

    djtruefitt TS Site Team Team Member

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    Could be a large influx of disabled or fastrack guests, or minor downtime you didn’t notice?
     
    Posted 25th Sep 2020
    #6
  7. Danscott22

    Danscott22 TowersStreet Member

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    Location:
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    Our thought was the constant social distancing announcements meant that a large chunk of guests in front of us weren't social distancing and therefore the queue didn't move as they were all then waiting for a chevron. Certain there wasn't any downtime as trains kept being dispatched.
     
    Posted 25th Sep 2020
    #7

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