Park Hours - the shortest in the world?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by AstroDan, 3rd Jul 2019.

  1. RoyJess

    RoyJess TowersStreet Member

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    We know that won't happen, keep dreaming o_O

    I notice that too, the quiet week has been cut and the first weekend. So looks like we have a choice of either very busy days or non alcohol Sunday :mad:

    Don't forget to include the cost of fast track and overnight accommodation per visit as you are going to need it with poor put through's to make a trip worth wile nowadays :rolleyes:
     
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  2. jon81uk

    jon81uk TowersStreet Member

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    You almost certainly won't need Fast Track on a weekday that is open 10-4, that's why the hours are shorter, the park is quieter.
    If you buy it then you are a sucker. I have never paid for Fast track at any park and never felt like it is needed at AT. If you are travelling a distance and staying overnight then plan ahead so you are still unlikely to pay full gate price as you get tickets with the hotel package or book online as you have planned.
    Basically almost no-one needs to pay full price.
     
  3. Steve74

    Steve74 TowersStreet Member

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    Agree 100%. Have never paid for and have no intention of paying for Fastrack tickets. Visited both Scarefest and Fireworks this year and from my experience, they were not needed.
     
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  4. RoyJess

    RoyJess TowersStreet Member

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    If you are paying gate prices, then you are not a regular visitor, I agree, on most days, you shouldn't need to purchase fast tracks providing you know how to get around the park and beat the crowds. However there are many visitors that are not regular visitors or enthusiast. Saying that, the crowd/queue levels can be very difficult to predict. They can be unexpectedly busy even on what should have been forecast as a quiet day.

    Still poor opening hours, especially when you take in consideration the size of the park.
     
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  5. Poopoohead

    Poopoohead TowersStreet Member

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    Quite drastically too!
     
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  6. AstroDan

    AstroDan TS Forum Team Team Member

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    The park closed at 4pm last year with 40 minute queues on some rides...

    Sent from my SM-G973F using Tapatalk
     
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  7. RoyJess

    RoyJess TowersStreet Member

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    ...and if your lucky, they might extend the opening hours on the day, who can't forget the infamous measly 15 minutes extension insult during this season :rolleyes:
     
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  8. Ethan

    Ethan TowersStreet Member

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  9. Rick

    Rick TowersStreet Member

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    That is sort of the point though ... You almost have to imagine it because the likelihood of anyone actually doing so is so small.
     
  10. RoyJess

    RoyJess TowersStreet Member

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    I should imagine there will be many that will pay £60 on the gate and get less hours, especially if you are not a regular and happens to arrive late and by the time they parked, catch the mono rail and queue up for their tickets, they eventually get through the turnstiles after midday
     
  11. jon81uk

    jon81uk TowersStreet Member

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    I think almost everyone at least checks the website once before travelling so they should be well aware that its cheaper to book online. Or they have bought a box of Kellogg's cereal and have a 2for1. Pretty certain @AstroDan has said in the past that the number of people turning up at the gate without any form of voucher or booking are in single figures.
    Back in 1994 even my family were aware that Alton Towers was too expensive (compared to Drayton Manor that at the time allowed free entry and had wristbands/tickets for rides) and we knew to get a voucher or offer.
     
  12. Mikw

    Mikw TowersStreet Member

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    I don't there's many. For a start the park is closed on some days, people will check the website in advance to see if it's open and what the prices are, and see it's cheaper to book online, or get a season pass
     
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  13. RoyJess

    RoyJess TowersStreet Member

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    I think you missed my point!

    I was mainly referring to people arriving after midday (on a 4pm closure) with less than 4 hours to spare in the park. I've lost count how many times I would be riding Nemesis around midday and going up the lift hill only to see through the trees loads of people walking from the car parks to the entrance.

    I can't really say if these people are regulars, pass holders, locals etc.. but I can only presume amongst them that there will be a few people that have travelled afar with the intention of paying on the gate prices.

    As far as checking the website, we can't just take for granted that everyone has internet access. There are still many remote areas of the UK without any form of internet as well as people that don't own a laptop/computer or smart phone. And there are those that do have internet access that won't even bother checking the web page or be aware of the special 2-4-1 offers.
     
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  14. jon81uk

    jon81uk TowersStreet Member

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    I think the Venn diagram overlap of people who go to Alton Towers with no form of internet access is so tiny it’s pretty much non-existent. Most people will familiarize themselves with a place they are visiting before going whether it is the cinema, theatre, restaurant or theme park. Do you just turn up at the cinema just hoping that they are showing the film you want to watch on a particular day, or do you check the website (or before that the local paper or teletext listings) to find the time of the film you want?

    Even before the internet there was a need to check the opening times/days/prices via leaflet or phone.

    The park has opened at 10am pretty much forever, if you are only turning up at 12noon or later then it’s not the parks fault you are under-prepared. Again you wouldn’t show up to a play at 9pm and then complain about missing most of the action.

    I am completely agree that 4pm shouldn’t be the default on every day (it’s probably fine many weekdays but not all) but I think talking about people being uninformed is irrelevant.

    Maybe also if there is a significant number of people arriving late then 11am opening time would be better?
     
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  15. RoyJess

    RoyJess TowersStreet Member

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    Most is not everyone :p

    There will be those that will visit places including Cinema, theatre, restaurant or a theme park on the off chance. I've have done so in the past and I'm sure that I will also do so again sometime without checking the internet.

    I can assure you that I have stood outside many attractions before they open in the morning with people turning up asking what time they open as they had not checked the opening times before hand. So people not checking the internet happens more often that you think.


    I rarely did before I had internet.

    It's not for me to say why people turn up mid day or later, but many guest do. 4pm close is poor even for any attraction mid week. A park as large as Alton, it not as if all the rides are cluster together in one area, the rides are pretty much spread out.


    No, in the past Merlin has already tried to implement staggered opening times and this never worked.

    At the end of the day, this thread is about the opening times and that was what my original comments were aimed at. There are guest that do pay the full gate price and end up with a measly few hours on the park with maybe one or two rides in. Like you said, talking about people being uninformed is irrelevant, but the fact is that guest do turn up after midday and I can only presume that a percentage of them will pay the full gate price. What the percentage is, I just don't know.
     
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  16. Rick

    Rick TowersStreet Member

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    Given how easy it is to attain such information now, I have very little sympathy for someone cruising through the gates at two on the assumption it's open until 7.

    There will be people who fall foul of that, no doubt about it, but with a real shift to online bookings and a larger passholder community (ie; people who visit the park semi regularly), I don't think it's a bit deal. Not least because 10 - 4 is now the norm for quiet weekdays, when the park isn't closed altogether.

    If someone does turn up and pay gate price knowing the park closes in three hours time, that's their own decision, after all.
     
  17. RoyJess

    RoyJess TowersStreet Member

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    Opening times are still very dire for such a popular theme park. Not only have we lost time at the end of the day, but we have also lost ERT time too. At Alton, you will spend a good hour or more queuing (in total not per ride), even on a quiet day, you will spend a good hour or more walking from ride to ride, time you take to eat, even on a quiet day, the opening times are not great for such a large place.

    You just can't assume that people turn up late on purpose or due to bad planning/organisation. There are many reason why people don't turn up to a park for opening time. I've been nearly caught out in the past by traffic, break downs, road closures/diversions (especially on the A14 for the past few years), family or friend that is coming with you that has bad time keeping etc....

    The further you have to travel, there is less room for error and the more chance that your travel time can unexpectedly increase.

    I'm not justifying people for not first checking the web site or arriving late, but the fact is that many guest do not check the web page and many will arrive after noon. My original post was a light heart'd comment about people paying on the gate prices for a measly few hours, I didn't expect this to turn into a debate about how people should check the internet first. Might sound a simple thing to do, but not everyone will. And if people do take a look at the web page, the closing times change from the weekend to midweek, people may take a look at both times but for some reason only remember the weekend time and then get it in their head that the closing times are open longer than they really are for mid week. Before now we have all got confused over information, I certainly have.

    I don't always check the web page for closing times on any of my visit to any of the attractions (maybe my local zoo or a Merlin attraction further afield). But I always operate a policy if I can get to a park early and for opening time, if I had enough of my visit, I can always leave early, but if I arrive late and I hadn't had enough time, then I can't gain those loss time at the beginning of the day for turning up late. But not everyone thinks like you or me.
     
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  18. SuperMuscleMan

    SuperMuscleMan TowersStreet Member

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    It's just tight for a company second only to Disney. A working day is on average 8. They should do off peak pricing again for these days.
     
  19. jon81uk

    jon81uk TowersStreet Member

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    I didn’t suggest staggered times. I suggested if there is a problem with people arriving for 10am then the whole park hours should shift to 11-5 or 11-6 instead on 10-4 and 10-5. So no staggering, everything on same hours but allowing for more travel time for people’s arrival.
     
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  20. Rick

    Rick TowersStreet Member

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    I was trying not to conflate the "Opening times suck", "Some people don't check when the park is open" and "People get stuck in traffic" debates

    On the first one, I get it - but Merlin have their motivations and it's not going to change, so very much inclined to shrug it off and make the most of it.

    On the second, I think there is some personal responsibility required. If you're travelling a reasonable distance and spending a not insignificant slice of your wage on entry & fuel, I think the park provides adequate information for guests to do their planning, if they bother to do so.

    On the third, I have to put it down to 'stuff happens' - I'm not really of the view that the park are obligated to address that.
     
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