Park Hours: Updates and Discussion

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

  1. jon81uk

    jon81uk TowersStreet Member

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    the timescales can be different but Disney parks make similar decisions based on hotel occupancy and expected guest numbers. Many of their restaurants monitor booking levels and won’t out extra staff on if bookings are low, therefore some tables can’t be used as there is no-one to serve them and then they can’t take any walk-ups only the bookings.
    Disney also (on a different timescale) only extend their hours once they know to expect a crowd, the difference is they usually announce the new hours about a month before.
    And yes I know Disney don’t do 10-4 hours, but at some of their parks they have offered the shortest hours in years this year and there has been some quite early closures in the past year.
    This is why it’s almost certain that their park pass booking system will stay after covid because they know exactly how many guests to expect that day and can plan the park hours, staffing, number of restaurants that are open and everything accordingly.
    I wouldn’t be surprised if Alton Towers try to get as many guests pre-booking as possible in the future too.
     
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  2. Matt.GC

    Matt.GC TowersStreet Member

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    Monitoring occupancy levels and adjusting your labour requirements accordingly is good business sense. I do this at work where I forecast sales to plan labour and other costs. What I always do however is limit any effect this has on customers, you always try to offer the maximum experience and satisfaction for the lowest cost. I get that it's a different industry but there are red lines you never cross no matter how tight things get and you just have to find a way of doing something else for less.

    It's prudent for Disney to plan their labour based on bookings and cut opening hours IN ADVANCE when they are expecting lower attendance. Cutting your cloth accordingly is important. But I bet they're much better at forecasting numbers, don't open 10-4 and then put an expensive event on top. Extended hours at the end of the day on top of an already decent enough day is different.

    It's the lack of long term planning that I don't understand. Towers seem to have set their sights very low here. Mardi Gras looks like it's a good event and kudos to them for trying it out but I don't think they've got the balance between the finances and the guest experience right.

    We went all out at the beginning of the season, hiring in 4 much needed new flats, announcing an event calendar the likes of which I've never known at Towers and 10-8 openings. Indeed loads of effort and budget looks like it's been put into their first event. Then the 10-4's kicked in and it looks like this has been a grave mistake and is actually holding back potential guests from visiting. With all the good stuff happening at Towers this year, I hope that they've taken the opportunity of people not being able to leave the country to experiment and see what works and what doesn't (it all seems to have that flavour about it and credit to them for taking these risks of trial and error to get the mix right). If there is to be an autopsy of what worked well and what didn't this season, I hope consigning 6 hour operating days to the history books is one of them.

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    Last edited: 26th May 2021
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  3. jon81uk

    jon81uk TowersStreet Member

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    I've not read Disney forums as much as I used to, but I have seen several threads in the past with people angry about 7pm closures that were 10pm the year before and Disney only made changes 30 days or so in advance. Again the time scales are different but it definitely had the sort of fans who post on forums quite angry!
    With dining they definitely didn't always offer the maximum satisfaction for customers as there were a lot of customers who would have booked if they had opened up more tables.

    Yes I know the DisneyWorld experience is very different and their "basic" short hours will be longer than what we get, but the fan community is still annoyed when they feel the customer experience is being affected.
     
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  4. Danscott22

    Danscott22 TowersStreet Member

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    Tomorrow is now 10-7 which I’m more than happy with!
     
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  5. jon81uk

    jon81uk TowersStreet Member

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    I think the improved weather is probably going to make this a busy weekend and half term, so I wonder if they will extend further next week?
     
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  6. Danscott22

    Danscott22 TowersStreet Member

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    unsure it's already at 8pm for next week so I'm not sure if it'll go any higher?
     
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  7. Matt.GC

    Matt.GC TowersStreet Member

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    So clearly is wasn't just moaning saying it was reasonable to expect a 7pm tomorrow, especially with so many in service days. Could've been better attendance on park too if we didn't begin the week advertising 4pm close next to the 'buy now' button. 7 sounds reasonable. It's beautiful out today but tomorrow is cloudy, cooler and spots of rain.

    I'm now glad I booked as it looks like I'll have a decent day tomorrow and Saturday. Not too bothered about queues, I just want the drive and the stay to be worth while so I can chill out on the lawns with the kids and have a few beers. That's what theme parking should be about, atmosphere and enjoying your surroundings as well, not just pounding back to back rides for 6 hours. I just wish we didn't have to gamble before handing over the cash and that the hours had been reasonable in the first place, but I can't be critical of them for doing this even if it is at the 11th hour.

    It's also good to see that many of the members on here calling out a lack of entertainment for the last few years have been vindicated somewhat. As better hours seem directly related to bookings, it appears that Mardi Gras has been successful so far. They've put loads of effort into the event and it looks like a great atmosphere on park so it looks like people don't just visit for £multimillion coasters installed every few years, but an overall package. At least that's what I partly read into this anyway.

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  8. jon81uk

    jon81uk TowersStreet Member

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    Ah okay, don't think it will go longer than 8pm. Will see what the weeks following half term bring too then.
     
  9. Rob F

    Rob F TowersStreet Member

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    Its sold out most of next week with only 4-8pm tickets available
     
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  10. Ethan

    Ethan TowersStreet Member

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    Gonna be some long long queues! I expect 2 hours for the likes of wicker man, smiler and th13teen, upto 90 for the likes of Rita and galactica and around an hour for nemesis, oblivion and spinball
     
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  11. Danscott22

    Danscott22 TowersStreet Member

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    I think there will be big queues but it’s hard to say what they’ll be. I’m expecting decent sized queues tomorrow but I wouldn’t like to guess what they’ll be
     
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  12. George Williams

    George Williams TowersStreet Member

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    It is a bit of a bummer that when I'm going on June 11th on the Friday I already know it's going to be very busy and have long queues and my day will get cut short at 4pm after traveling so far
     
  13. Thameslink Rail

    Thameslink Rail TowersStreet Member

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    I expect that date will be extended, I hope they announce opening hours sooner rather than later but since they are going by booking numbers they probably won't extend until a few days before.
     
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  14. Danscott22

    Danscott22 TowersStreet Member

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    I’d genuinely be surprised if any current 4pm close until September remains 4pm.
     
  15. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    I’m going on 28th June, which is currently down as a 4pm close. I wonder if that will end up getting extended?

    I wouldn’t mind a 4pm close, as I’m sure that we could still get plenty of rides in regardless due to the lower crowd levels midweek, but I was wondering…
     
  16. Danscott22

    Danscott22 TowersStreet Member

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    But that's the thing, end of June probably won't be as quiet as you're thinking. It'll likely be a crowd that doesn't equal a 4pm close. I'm sure it won't be anyway, we've seen they can extend by a few hours- I'm guessing it could be a 6/7 by the time we get there - I'm next there on 24th June.
     
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  17. jon81uk

    jon81uk TowersStreet Member

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    they really should just make all the June 4pm to 5pm now and save the speculation.

    but I would expect the September term time weekdays to remain 4pm at least until the Oktoberfest event starts.
     
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  18. AT86

    AT86 TowersStreet Member

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    Monday has been extended from a 6pm close to 8pm, guess there are lots of teacher training days being tagged on to the half term.

    Every weekend until 4th July is now a 7pm close. Good to see the hours getting extended again. Let’s hope those 4pm closes are next to go.
     
    Last edited: 3rd Jun 2021
  19. Danscott22

    Danscott22 TowersStreet Member

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    I hope so too! My next visit date this month is a currently scheduled 4pm close but I can't see it staying that way!
     
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  20. George Williams

    George Williams TowersStreet Member

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    Does anyone think the park hours for next Friday or Saturday will be extended or is it a bit too close for them to change it now
     

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