Park Hours - the shortest in the world?

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

  1. AstroDan

    AstroDan TS Forum Team Team Member

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    Good Morning. Thought I would bump this thread.



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  2. TPC

    TPC TowersStreet Member

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    Somebody at towers must have read this thread...
     
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  3. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    Did we clear up whether the closing times for next week are 5pm or 8pm?

    Certainly promising if the times are 8pm next week, however; based on my experiences with Thorpe’s 8pm closes in 2019, it could be very quiet by the end of the night, meaning optimal riding conditions! I remember getting a good couple of back to back, walk on rides on Swarm towards the end of an 8pm day at Thorpe in 2019, and that was a good 1 or 2 hours before 8pm! However, from the park’s perspective, I suppose they’re probably hoping that more people will stay late.
     
  4. AstroDan

    AstroDan TS Forum Team Team Member

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    They are 8pm. The park are messing about, marketing obviously frustrated for whatever reason you want to pluck from the sky that the hours were published this morning. No idea why - it's not like this is classified information.

    The less notice they provide, the worse it will be. Guests need to know so guests can plan.
     
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  5. jon81uk

    jon81uk TowersStreet Member

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    Realistically I agree, the last hour probably won't be busy, especially with it being announced at short notice. Also with no indoor dining available until May I don't see people staying too late unless the weather is great.
    6pm ride close would probably be a good first step with 8pm from May once the weather improves and the indoor are also open. Even with a 6pm ride close they could still offer entertainment outdoors through to 7pm for those who are still around and extend as needed if the weather makes it worthwhile.
     
  6. AstroDan

    AstroDan TS Forum Team Team Member

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    The intention is for guests to stay. They want guests to ride more rides and spend more cash in the park. It will also help with the end of the day as guests will be staggered when leaving. We'll see if an evening ticket appears soon.

    It's all just a bit last minute, though.
     
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  7. jon81uk

    jon81uk TowersStreet Member

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    Unfortunately I just don't see guest staying late in April. From May when indoor attractions can open and indoor dining with the hotels starting back up too it would be perfect. But with the slightly cooler weather, nowhere to sit inside if it isn't so great and few non-thrill attractions operating (as most of those are indoors) I just don't feel this is the right time to push longer hours.

    I think the park really needs longer hours a lot of the year. But I'd rather see 6pm in April, then 7 or 8pm for the first May bank holiday and then a proper go at 8pm after the 17th when indoor attractions are going, ready for the late May bank holiday and half term. Feels better to start cautious and save some budget for the better weather and bigger attraction count.
     
  8. pluk

    pluk TowersStreet Member

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    The restrictions mean this is going to be a little harder to embed than otherwise, but I'm extatic they are trying it.

    The customer culture that previous regiemes have embedded will take a while to overcome, some of their offering will have to adapt over time to encourage longer visits, monetise those longer visits, and meet the new varying demands they will bring.

    This wont always be immediately successful in delivery or financially im sure, but I get a feeling the way they are going with it they are happy with that, that they see the longer term benefits and it's part of strong signs they want to deliver a quality product again. That long term vision over the crippiling shortermism of the last couple of decades is more exciting to me than the announcement of another half arsed SW would be.
     
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  9. AstroDan

    AstroDan TS Forum Team Team Member

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    The biggest shift here will be in the way Tech Services operate. I know that this department has always been a stumbling block with trying to alter Early Ride Time offerings and extended hours. Seems ERT is temporarily suspended for now which will help TS - but this makes sense given there's hardly anyone staying in the hotels and hours seem to be extended anyway.
     
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  10. jon81uk

    jon81uk TowersStreet Member

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    I would guess they could also close CBeebies land early and maybe a few other rides if they really need the evening for tech services.
     
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  11. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    I thought of a positive (yet another positive!) of these new longer opening hours next week; when Wicker Man was being constructed, people complained that Alton Towers’ opening hours wouldn’t do the lighting and theming shown in the press photos justice. Well, the longer opening hours mean far greater opportunities to experience Wicker Man at night, and in the state that these press photos showed it in!
     
  12. jon81uk

    jon81uk TowersStreet Member

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    Sunset is at 8pm next week. It might be dim in April, but 8pm closing won't be night riding until late September. Sorry!
     
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  13. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    But if you join the queue at 8pm (Towers’ close times are usually queue close as opposed to ride close), you might get a night ride dependant on how long the queue is (WM can often exceed 60 minutes on a peak day, so that would take the actual time you get on the ride to after 9pm, by which point it should be pretty dark).

    Regardless, a sunset ride is still pretty cool!
     
  14. Burbs

    Burbs TowersStreet Team Team Member

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    Yes, but after the queues close you no longer get fastrack or RAP users accessing the ride, meaning the main queue moves significantly quicker. I think @jon81uk is right, I can't see any rides operating beyond dusk until September ish.
     
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  15. jon81uk

    jon81uk TowersStreet Member

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    Can't fault your optimism Matt, but coming back to your earlier post about evening rides at Thorpe being a walk-on, I don't expect you will get a 60 minute queue at 8pm. Also once the queue closes there will be no fastrack users slowing it down either so after closing time queues often move faster.

    However I agree sunset riding is very cool. I was lucky to get the timing right on Oblivion to get a great view of sunset over the fields, just before the drop!
     
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  16. John

    John TowersStreet Member

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    On really busy days, Smiler and WM could still have queues at 8pm, probably not very long though. Every other ride will almost certainly be walk on long before then as most people will leave well before closing time - it's not like scarefest/fireworks where the night rides are a big draw
     
  17. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    Ah; I completely forgot about that. Scratch what I said above about WM, then!

    I’ve only ever done proper sunset/night riding at Blackpool Pleasure Beach’s Late Night Riding event, and I have to say that even sunset is amazing! I had a sunset ride on Icon, and it was absolutely sublime! The sun was just starting to go down, I was seated on row 7, all the ride’s lighting was just starting to turn on, the ride was running really fast; everything was just perfect! I think my only genuinely dark night ride I’ve ever had, however, is actually Grand National, which somehow seems even rougher at night than it does during the day!
     
  18. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    According to what he just put on the Coaster Studios Facebook page, it would appear that Taylor, the person whose review caused the creation of this thread in the first place, is very excited about this happening!
    P.S. Sorry for double posting!
     
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  19. Ian

    Ian TS Site Team Team Member

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    Remember on the lighting front that, while some elements are permanent fixtures, a lot of the equipment for press shoots is hired in and not intended to be in place longer term. While we may see some more lighting in place if there’s going to be more days with dusk on park, I wouldn’t be expecting too much above and beyond what we usually see at Scarefest and Fireworks.

    Don’t get me wrong, if this is going to be a thing longer term, which I’m sure we all hope for, we may see more budget going into purchasing more elaborate lighting, but I think at least in the immediate we won’t see much we haven’t seen already at the 9pm closures.
     
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  20. Matt.GC

    Matt.GC TowersStreet Member

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    It is incredible when you think about it that we've gone from the shortest in the world to some of the best in just a couple of seasons. One year I'm spending more time in the car there and back than I am in the park. The next I'm thinking about booking an hotel stay because I can't be bothered to do a 3 hour drive home after such a long day and would want to use some of my extra time on park having a few beers in the sunshine.

    I wonder what the data behind this is? They have long opening hours at Scarefest every year so have had all the data they'd need about different spending habits at what time of day dating back many years, yet still continued to cut back hours to less than my local zoo. I'm intrigued as to how they expect guest behaviour to change, and also what they'll be doing to get as much expenditure out of guests as possible. I'd imagine for one we'd see evening meals in Woodcutters and Pizza Pasta etc.

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