Opening Weekend: The Inquest Begins

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by AstroDan, 25th Mar 2018.

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  1. Rob

    Rob TS Forum Team Team Member

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    This is a very important point. The park wasn't even that busy on Saturday yet queues were massive. The park feels so much busier than it used to beacuase there are less attractions to absorb guests and those attractions that are open have poor throughputs.

    As it stands, Alton Towers cannot afford to have a successful season like 2010 or 2013 after The Smiler eventually opened. The park simply cannot cope with these crowds any more.

    :)
     
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  2. RandomCamden

    RandomCamden TowersStreet Member

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    A question for anyone who understands the ride operating procedures.... Why can't they start running and testing the rides at 8:30, so when they open the gates/queues, the rides are up and running, warmed up and working for the paying customers? So frustrating on Sunday to get up (very) early to get in early, to be told that Wickerman isn't working (new ride, so I'll forgive them that), then to head over to Smiler to spend 45mins in a pre-queue watching them run dummies around the track. I'm guessing it's a cost thing, and having staff running empty rides for an hour costs them money. Any other reason? Are they only allowed to run rides after a certain time?
    Don't get me wrong- safety is absolutely the first priority, but why not start testing earlier?
     
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  3. Rob

    Rob TS Forum Team Team Member

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    I believe the main reason for this is cuts to the technical services department at Alton Towers. It is also why we have seen much more downtime at the park over the past season or two than there ever used to be.

    :)
     
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  4. AstroDan

    AstroDan TS Forum Team Team Member

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    Wicker Man probably opened late on Sunday because it was a) running with guests until 8.15pm on Saturday and b) it was being worked on through the night to sort out the issues.

    As a result, standard opening procedures were delayed.

    Of course, they should have opened other rides early to compensate... but they did not.
     
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  5. Dave

    Dave TS Founding Member

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    If people start taking the reviews on tripadvisor and social media seriously it will never get busy.....
     
  6. Ash84

    Ash84 -

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    Exactly. Had Oblivion or the Smiler been on ERT Sundays problem's wouldn't have got so bad. As it stands I have emailed AT with a complaint, something I haven't done in my life, I think having a back up ride on 9.30 opening until the Wickerman is up to speed is a very sensible idea.
     
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  7. Error

    Error TowersStreet Member

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    I have never seen anything like that plaza area before, utter chaos. I'm glad I printed my tickets out to at least get through turnstiles before lunch.

    Pandemonium.
     
  8. John_P

    John_P TowersStreet Member

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    Got to the entrance about midday today and there was still a sizable queue of people buying tickets.

    Probably not helped by removing ert from guests who book online thus making using the 2 for 1 offers a much better option price wise.
     
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  9. Thomas5

    Thomas5 TowersStreet Member

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    So, we were there today and Sunday. Sunday had been well documented :).

    But just to say that although the experience was better today due to much lower guest numbers, there are still so many issues.

    Spinball was meant to be an ERT ride - but it didn't open today until well past 10 - meaning that WM was the only grown-up ERT!

    Galactica was running with 50% VR only - and even then the wait for no-VR in the afternoon was 45-50 mins.

    WM broke down with a train on the hill for a while - I guess it had to be evacuated. Rita also went down.

    And this was just what I saw. Bear in mind that most rides had 0-10 minute queues today, so the park was under virtually no pressure...
     
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  10. GaryH

    GaryH TowersStreet Member

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    Its amazing the difference when I visited on the Thursday compared to those who went this weekend. We had such a good day, minimal queues and multiple re-rides, minimal ride downtime, I thought the park looked good, gardens looked amazing I thought, overall, it was really good day for us, the only negative I could sight was the splats of UV paint on the various characters in Duel which I thought had spoilt parts of the experience.

    We stayed in Splash Landings for 2 nights as well, something I was worried about given the hotel has been closed for some time, but overall we had a great experience there too. Room was good, all the staff were great, loved the new "experience" slide in the waterpark where you press the buttons to start different music and lights in the tube. Even our night in the Rollercoaster Restaurant was very good, with the best food we have had in there since it opened.

    Reading peoples accounts of this weekend almost seems like people are talking about a different place! One thing is for sure however and that is I will probably try my best this year to only visit on off peak days.

    Oh, and we both wished Treetop Quest was open, being in the hotel on the Wednesday when the park was closed did offer limited things to do for us

    Edit : seems the weekend queues have also found their way into the press https://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/midlands-news/father-son-reveal-six-half-14454217
     
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  11. Yalnix

    Yalnix TowersStreet Member

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    This seems key this year. Will also probably only visit mid-week out of holidays. Park closes at 4pm, well luckily I can always come back. Some people don't have the virtue of a short drive which are the people I think bad operations effects the most.

    What would be the bare minimum list of thing they need to do then to get back to acceptable?
    • If keeping staggered openings then have staggered closing too?
    • Extend park opening by an hour. 4PM becomes 5PM and 5 becomes 6?
    • Sort out the mess at plaza
    • Get Sub-Terra back open
    • Open FV BK back up.
    Have I missed anything. Or was that too much. I'm just spitballing here.
     
  12. GaryH

    GaryH TowersStreet Member

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    Problem with the staggered openings is that when some of the rides which are due to open earlier don't for whatever reason, your left with minimal offerings.

    Take for example if Wickerman is not open for ERT then what are you left with....... Just spinball
     
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  13. Sauron97

    Sauron97 TowersStreet Member

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    I thought we all knew they were going to do this anyway, and not fall for the cut 'reversal' ploy. As people have rightly pointed out, they are desperately protecting their margin at this stage,not only through the cuts but also the £55 pound passes which I'm guessing will set up their next excuse of "visitor numbers at AT were at an all time high". Confidence in the business is going down again despite the slight spike over the last month. I personally think it's only a matter of time before the next plunge like there was last October.
     
  14. Thomas5

    Thomas5 TowersStreet Member

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    I'd add to that the closing of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - that's a big loss for families as it was one of the few rides that kids of a range of ages could enjoy together.
     
  15. Benzin

    Benzin TowersStreet Member

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    What would be acceptable is having everything open, be it a ride, a shop or f&b...

    All rides opening as they used to (i.e. everything for 10, Rapids at 11 plus whatever they want for ERT)...

    Sensible opening times (if it's busy, extend, etc)...

    All things they could've done since 'THE INCIDENT' but chose not to, forgetting that the damage to the brand lasts long in the memory...
     
  16. RoyJess

    RoyJess TowersStreet Member

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    Staggered opening or closing times is never a good thing with a park that is so popular. May be OK on a quiet day, but they are also implementing them on busy days too. If they are going to have staggard opening times, then at least have some more alternative offerings for thrill riders in between. An hour an worth of thrill rides with just 1 or 2 of thrill rides on offer is not good.

    On a busy day, all rides should be open at 10 to help disperse the crowds. On the quieter days, then stagger the rides by 30 mins not an hour and have more thrill rides on offer. So x sector at 10, DF at 10.30 and FV at 11.

    I disagree with suggesting staggard closing times as this will only lead down that slippery route of only ending up having thrill rides open for the lunch hour.
     
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  17. Croftybaby

    Croftybaby TowersStreet Member

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    I think having CBeebies land Mutiny Bay from opening and one ride in each area open for 10am and then the rest at 11 would be suitable. This would disperse crowds and they could go to their starting areas of choice get a ride in, maybe grab a bite to eat if they wanted to wait for the rest of the rides in the area to open.
     
  18. bluesonichd

    bluesonichd TowersStreet Member

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    Unless that area is forbidden valley as the only food to eat there is donuts, not a bad thing but not good for you at 10am
     
  19. Croftybaby

    Croftybaby TowersStreet Member

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    Yes theres also the issue that most areas only have 2 rides in them anyway. This is why they need more flats! They need at least one and maybe two in each area I think.
     
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  20. GaryH

    GaryH TowersStreet Member

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    I think whoever was manning the Twitter account on the weekend was getting a bit fed up. Hows this for a response to someone who bought Platinum fastrack!!

    [​IMG]
     
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