Park Hours - the shortest in the world?

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

  1. SuperMuscleMan

    SuperMuscleMan TowersStreet Member

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    The whole situation is not saying to visitors ”come and explore a magical place full of wonder and excitement” instead to me it says ”come and rush between lands, and don't take in the atmosphere of one of the world's most beautiful theme parks". However there is an advantage for the punters - your less likely able to sit back see how grubby and tired the place is. You won't have time to sample the poor overpriced food on offer at the park, or realise there is more entertainment by the ducks than paid members of staff.
     
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  2. RoyJess

    RoyJess TowersStreet Member

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    I don't understand reading though some of the post why some people are sticking up for these dire opening times, (even on the off peak days), this will just give Merlin the green light to carry on with these dire opening times or to even cut them further..

    I've don't think people turning up late is a problem, actually I like it that people turn up late as it gives me the morning free of walk on rides before it get busy. At the end of the day, there will always be people that will turn up late, some even will turn up, right up until last entry. So moving the hours will only mean that people will turn up 1pm instead of midday.

    I fully hear you on this and agree.

    TBH I don't know why this topic has escalated to arrival times and people not reading the web.

    I think it started with someone saying that no one ever pays on the gate prices, which is not true. I know people that are not pass holders, but visit different Merlin attractions and pay on the gate prices, they clearly would be better off getting a pass, but some people are stuck in their ways and are reluctant to change their habits.

    2-4-1 offers are not available to all, especially if you are visiting as a solo guest or in an odd number of people in your group which means that one person in that group will have to pay the full price.

    Also there are our overseas guests that visit the park, they are unlikely to be pass holders or be aware of the offers, so will be more likely to pay for the on the gate price.

    I'm now getting bored of this turning up late and 2-4-1 debate.
     
  3. bluesonichd

    bluesonichd TowersStreet Member

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    its closed season,... the mundane debates are only going to get worse :p
     
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  4. jon81uk

    jon81uk TowersStreet Member

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    I went to Phantasialand this year, I checked and made sure they were open on the weekend we were visiting and identified whether there was a better price for booking tickets online or not.
    I went to Disneyland California last year. Before we got there we checked the opening times and identified if it was cheaper to book online or just buy on the day (we bought at the gate).
    I expect most foreign visitors to our parks do the same, check the opening times and check the prices, probably deciding to book online to save £25.

    I don’t think anyone is really defending the opening hours, just talking about making the most of what we have. What people are defending are suggestions that poor planning and paying on the gate are common when it is very easy to save money by doing one minute of research.

    Also I have visited in odd numbered groups with 2for1 discounts and if you have to pay one full price then just divide the price by everyone (so on recent prices £116/3 = £38) or book online instead to get the £33 price. Back when I did there wasn’t really the option to book online though!
     
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  5. RoyJess

    RoyJess TowersStreet Member

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    I'm losing the will to live :banghead::banghead::banghead:
     
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  6. Ethan

    Ethan TowersStreet Member

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    I think we should all just agree that the ice cream van is the best investment at towers in years
     
  7. RoyJess

    RoyJess TowersStreet Member

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    Should one first check the website to see what time the ice cream van opens before attending to save disappointment and also can you use 2-4-1 vouchers so that you don't pay on the van prices o_O

    anyone for a 99'er?

    Phew! I'm please that you cleared that one up, for the minute I thought you were saying that no one ever pays on the gate prices and that everyone always checks the website in advance.

    I don't think that at any point I was saying that poor planning and people paying on the gate prices were common amongst the guest, all I was saying is that it does happen.

    I'm pleased that we have now cleared that one up, we were both right in our own perception of things.

    Lets shake hands,no harm done.

    I apologise for any confusion or misunderstanding caused

    Roy :)
     
    Last edited: 25th Nov 2019
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  8. Mikw

    Mikw TowersStreet Member

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    Nice idea, but hardly anybody pays full price on ANY day these days.

    With the 2 for 1's and season passes.

    I mean, i managed to get in over 15 visits for £70 last year, i think that's fantastic value personally. And with car parking charges being removed for Premium season passes next year, it'll save me a £100 on last year.
     
  9. speedy

    speedy TowersStreet Member

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    Sure if you live nearby and wish to spend several weekends on park, then per visit it'll be cheap and you won't be so fussed about missing out on a ride.

    However for the occasional visitor, no matter the price, arriving bang on opening to rush around, skip lunch to get everything done and maybe a couple re-rides isn't really a great experience. Perks for premium pass users doesn't fix that, and the lost parking fees will have to come from somewhere else.
     
  10. Steve74

    Steve74 TowersStreet Member

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    To be fair, if an occasional visitor is planning their annual or bi-annual visit (outside of Scarefest or fireworks) they're likely to plan it for days that have longer opening hours. Even if they only visit once every couple of years, they're probably going to check the website for opening hours rather than just turning up and hoping for the best.
     
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  11. jon81uk

    jon81uk TowersStreet Member

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    and if the visit is on a true off-peak weekday (March or May outside of school holidays, September) it is very likely that queues to all rides will be under 30 minutes and 10-4 is plenty of time. But a June Saturday that happens to have exceptionally good weather and then attracts crowds and 10-5 might not even be enough time if all queues are 1 hour plus.

    I've been at the park on weekdays before and done everything I wanted to by 4pm, even allowing for lunch. I do think they should be open to 5pm as a minimum (maybe less for a couple of rides like Battle Galleons). But it is possible to have a better experience on a quiet weekday than it is on a busy Saturday and that extra hour won't make a huge difference if its quiet and there are no queues.

    So I agree a lot of visitors going once a year will probably plan to go on a day with longer hours but it is likely by choosing a weekday in the quieter months they will have a better experience.
     
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  12. speedy

    speedy TowersStreet Member

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    Sure, but it isn't always possible to choose which day to go. I'm not defending people who turn up without checking the website (nobody should do that).

    On a June 10-4 I fitted in all the coasters plus Hex and a couple of re-rides. No lunch. Based on that day, 10-4 hours wasn't enough. Compare that to Walibi Holland in September, shorter (though still existant) queues and the park was open 10-8. Efteling, also open 10-8.

    There are many days that the park isn't open long enough. Going back to the original question, if some sort of demand based pricing meant the park was able to open for longer, I'd be all for it. I still think some more dining options on park would keep people later as well.
     
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  13. RoyJess

    RoyJess TowersStreet Member

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    I have always visited the park off peak days midweek (with the exception of Scarefest and Fireworks events for obvious reasons). I won't visit the park any other time and I can assure you that it is very rare for all rides to be under 30 minutes long.

    Spinball, Wicker Man, Rita and The Smiler usually exceeds 30 minutes, sometimes exceeding 60 minutes even on a quiet day.

    Just because the park is quiet, it don't mean that the queues are short, they will operate the rides with less put through by running less cars on the track. Rita and Nemesis queue waiting times can be just as worse on a quiet day when they run them on the one car
     
  14. Kraken27

    Kraken27 TowersStreet Member

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    Demand based pricing - whilst a good idea - would never really work at Towers due to the sheer number of Towers Annual Pass / MAP holders who can visit when they like (with the exception of the blackout days on the Towers Annual pass). You could say they are having a crude attempt at demand based pricing with the £5 ticket to guarantee Fireworks entry for MAP holders... but this is a very crude attempt mainly due to the fact they screwed up a few years ago and the park was stupidly full at Fireworks (on the point of being unsafe by all counts).

    As to paying full gate price - yes, there will be some guests who do, either because they have an odd-numbered group / or just can't be bothered to book in advance. I know the vast majority of guests are either on an annual pass / have booked in advance or are using a BOGOF / voucher of some kind.
     
  15. SuperMuscleMan

    SuperMuscleMan TowersStreet Member

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    It all depends if you are after a day that's an experience or a tick list. I go to theme parks for emersion and experience not just to tick off ride Hardwear.
     
  16. Rick

    Rick TowersStreet Member

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    I agree that would be the outcome - but I don't think that's prevalent at Alton, is it? If both trains are serviceable, they typically run them both and don't plan large overhauls mid season, quiet day or not?

    The only ride I've personally seen them scrimp on is Oblivion where it typically runs one station on some days where it could do to run two.
     
  17. RoyJess

    RoyJess TowersStreet Member

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    Obvioulsy you haven't visited on the same off peak days as me this season, I can assure you that there have been a number of visits that I have made this year where they have run Nemesis on just the one train.
     
  18. Rick

    Rick TowersStreet Member

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    Certainly not my experience. Nemesis was closed altogether one day when I visited this past season, but on two trains each other time.
     
  19. bluesonichd

    bluesonichd TowersStreet Member

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    And even worse running 2 trains but only loading one :cry:
     
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  20. Error

    Error TowersStreet Member

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    Exactly this, all this "10 - 4 is more than enough time to ride everything." is a load of balls.
    I am not immersed/relaxed when I'm having to clock watch and have to calculate crucial timings between rides to take a slash/dump, thinking -
    "Well that's 10 mins of my 6 hour day wasted."
     
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