Rollercoaster Restaurant: General Discussion

Rick

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Crux
I've heard nothing but positive comments about this tonight, with people saying it blows FoodLoop at EP completely out of the water! This is fantastic news, however the ludicrous prices really put me off.
Are they really that ludicrous? It's a premium product, for sure - the price will reflect that.
 

AndrewH

TS Member
Favourite Ride
The Smiler
If you consider the pricing of everything on park (which is all inflated) then the price is quite logical. The food looks like a much higher quality than the likes of woodcutters or TS bar and grill so you pay slightly more. Then you add on the experience then the price isn't really all that bad. Yes it is expensive but compared to what is around it it is not disproportionately expensive.
 

Leah

TS Member
I suppose as well that if you do find it too expensive, they always have the "test track" options (the popcorn bowl or pork crackling for example), and some of the desert options sent too much either. If you purely wanted the experience, that's always an option.

Anyone got any videos of it? What music do they play inside?
 

James

TS Founding Member
Another thing to consider is that for most guests, a theme park visit is rare, and an experience like this is very rare and very unique. It's a premium price, but you get premium food and a very unique experience out of it, it's a treat, rather than somewhere you would go to eat every day or for every meal.

All things considered the pricing is about right. I was actually expecting prices to be higher than what they are. So I'm not quite sure what other people were expecting.

Sent from my HTC One M9 using Tapatalk
 

Martin

TS Member
Back from the park, was at the restaurant Friday night and loved it. Looks great inside and out, lots of nice touches, lots to see and hear, themed to Alton Towers and pretty much a geek paradise. Great atmosphere. Love the delivery system obviously. Menu could be a little bigger, especially the drink menu, but the food they do offer is very nice and the prices are mostly fair enough (over £6 for a bottle of Peroni though, should wear a mask). The new walk is charming at night too. The ordering system is far from perfect though; it's not bad, just not the best.

Really impressed for once, hopefully this is a turning point, something the place needed and they've pulled it off extremely well.
 
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Danny

TS Contributor
Favourite Ride
Steel Vengeance
Really exceeded my expectations which is fantastic. I rated it against FoodLoop at Europa-Park on three different categories consisting of atmosphere, delivery and food quality.

The overall atmosphere in the restaurant is phenomenal. It's a totally unique experience and even though that was a given prior to opening, it's the little touches I didn't anticipate that make it all the more special. The videos that play on the wall every 10 minutes or so (perfectly timed; not too frequent to appear as intrusive - yet not too irregular for you to miss on a flying visit) are perfectly synced with the lighting around the restaurant, the colour changes reflecting the coaster on the screen.

The transition of lighting according to time of day is a little jarring and I'd prefer it if it was to be eased upon diners, but once in full effect really adds to the experience. I'm also a MASSIVE fan of all the old audio, ride music including Air and even the old Thunder Rock Rally Radio gem. <3

The concept art of the coasters that take pride of place on the wall do are essentially what give it a name and whilst it may serve as a treasure trove to us geeks, it will give the general public something different to look at and gives the restaurant its title, rather than the track the food is delivered on. On this front, the Rollercoaster Restauraunt takes the atmosphere crown.

The delivery is a little on the disappointing side compared to FoodLoop. The tablet system isn't as thorough and precise as FoodLoop's appears to be, and one per four diners could be frustrating if you weren't made aware of the menu prior and had no clue whatsoever as to what you wanted to eat. Once ordered however, the food and drinks arrived in a very timely manner that bowled over expectations. The track it's delivered on however doesn't serve as much as a spectacle that FoodLoop does, doing so in a more graceful manner with the loop right above the entrance rather than acting as a centre piece. Our table were lucky enough to have the loop, yet we were nowhere near it. Had the track layouts offered a little more of a wild journey and sense of erratic style, I'd have forgiven the tablet system and given the delivery crown to the Rollercoaster Restauraunt - however FoodLoop easily pips it to the post.

That leaves food quality. At no point over the evening did I see anyone other than a woman opposite us on the table complain about their food. She came across as the type of person who complains about the slightest of faults in her food and was whining about ice cream portions compared to her child's, yet I couldn't fault my portion when it arrived after I ordered dessert. I ordered the 10oz steak and was thoroughly impressed with the quality, finally bringing the premium standards of the resort hotel food offerings onto the theme park. The ice cream was also more of an ice cream compared to when I ordered the same at FoodLoop, which was more of a mousse. Overall, I vastly prefer the food at Rollercoaster Restaurant and give it the crown for food quality, however there is a point to be made between the two.

FoodLoop is more of a fast food service set in a sit down restaurant type of environment, and the offerings there reflect that standard. Rollercoaster Restaurant is exactly what it says on the tin: a premium product with prices and food quality reflecting that. The only niggle I had is as Martin said, the price of Peroni is staggering and I can only hope this is a mistake that will be rectified.

Another concern I have is the size of the toilets. They are insanely small and I can appreciate the size is limited, but I can see this area struggling when the restaurant is at maximum capacity.

The table you're sitting at can easily make or break the experience it seems. As mentioned earlier, we had the table with the loop nestled very nicely in the back corner. Despite being located next to the toilets, this wasn't a off-putting factor and having the ability to observe the whole restaurant and the food being delivered everywhere else was superb. I suspect sitting on the long, rectangular tables doesn't make for a pleasant experience, particularly with strangers who will have to pass your food down to you at the end. As proven on our table, sitting with poorly disciplined children can make the process of retrieving your food a ball-ache. One rotten brat in particular was frequently stealing the cards which state whose food belongs to who, rotating the table when we were trying to retrieve our food and stood over us regularly. There is an element of privacy with the tables being segmented into fours, however this can easily be eliminated when it comes to having the food delivered.

A nice touch is the 'Facts' section on the tablets which make for a good reading for the general public when waiting for food. The issues however are blatant, with the cells being too small for the information being contained within them, and Thirteen also supposedly opening in 2009. And if the images are anything to go by, all the rides are food and SW8 is going to look remarkably like a ham salad.

The walkway created for the restaurant connecting the hotels to the park is certainly a highlight. The system of admitting guests in through the walk is great and will inevitably be a much better option than the Woodland Walk. I'm led to believe this will come next year be an official annual pass and hotel guest entrance, whilst also allowing any guest out at the end of the day. The time saved rather than having to hobble down the Woodland Walk in total length or make your way back to Towers Street to then use the monorail made a noticeable difference, and the quality of the stencilled signage on the pathway is much higher than the bog standard Leek Signs job. There's a somewhat, and I dread to use the word... but magical feeling about it that makes you smile as you walk along it.

Galactica and the Coffee Lounge being open for guests also makes for a nice treat, but I can see these being cut due to low guest usage which is fair enough (I also felt for the staff who had to stay behind on Galactica). Hopefully these do remain open on peak occasions and throughout the summer.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Whilst having an evening meal would be a once in a while treat rather than a regular occasion, I would quite like to try the lunch menu and would happily scimp out on the children's menu to save money whilst also enjoy the experience, as their portions seem satisfactory.

It gives me great happiness that I can finally write something positive for once after the park has been decimated by ride cuts and ridiculous fence erections this year. It is a point in the right direction and I really do hope guest feedback reflects this, even though we know full well the powers above won't give a flying cahoot and cutbacks will still be inevitable.

 
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Ryan B

TS Member
This restaurant, proves to doubters that Merlin can produce a high quality, "Magic" experience if they can be bothered, and Even though I think all of Merlins additions offer more magic (Find 2003-2008 to be the years that ruined it) than previous additions, this restaurant and pathway just puts the icing on the cake! (No Pun intended :p ) Brilliant place, reasonable place for just sitting back, and I can't think of much bad to say about it! Keep investments on this scale coming and Alton will be in another "Magical" Era! This is a showcase of what can be done when the effort is put in :p
 
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Martin

TS Member
No one doubts they can't do it when they can be bothered. The problem is they usually can't be bothered or just make a balls up of it. :p

The restaurant is clearly a labour of love and designed by people who really care, it could easily be mistaken for something that opened in the golden years if it wasn't so fresh and modern.

It's obviously a big step towards making the park and resort more closely linked like the MTDP suggested they're going to, and I hope there's more like this to come.

I really, really hope they build on this because they've really gotten this spot on.
 

Leah

TS Member
Does anyone else hate the logo for the restaurant?

PS why do any of you believe the food is premium? Have you ever eaten anywhere other than a Wetherspoons before? one of tower's other outlets
It is premium by theme park standards. If your regular meal at a park I some kind of fast food (in towers' case - burger kitchen or fried chicken company), then this is premium.

I don't see ffc or bk selling steak and lobster tails.
 

AirFAN

TS Member
Of course it's premium when you compare it to the other offerings within the park, that's pretty much a non statement. It's not premium though. Not even close.
 

Rick

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Crux
PS why do any of you believe the food is premium? Have you ever eaten anywhere other than a Wetherspoons before?
I was referring to the experience, rather than the food. FoodLoop is by no means the best food at Europa but I tend to eat there because it's fun.
 

stretchy

TS Member
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I did the restaurant Saturday lunch and Sunday evening and did a report over at TPM, rather than just reiterating (and using up the whole of my lunch break) I'll just throw the link below.

http://thorpeparkmania.co.uk/articles/15-05-2016/Rollercoaster+Restaurant

Additional photos in both day and night at
https://goo.gl/photos/zjbgnooUmfqjcEsM7
 

Martin

TS Member
Realised the entrance is rather scaled down compared to the original plans which is a shame. The entrance still looks nice though, especially at night.
 

Scott

Former TS Team Member
Favourite Ride
Nemesis
Does anyone else hate the logo for the restaurant?

PS why do any of you believe the food is premium? Have you ever eaten anywhere other than a Wetherspoons before?
I've not eaten there yet but having heard what others have said it's clear it's more premium than any other places on park.

The steaks, for example, are apparently the same high quality meat that is used in Emperors Grill in ATH.
 

Rob

TS Team
Favourite Ride
Steel Vengeance
I had a wonderful time in Rollercoaster Restaurant on Friday evening; it is a brilliant experience not to be missed. In short the experience can be seen as a spectacular show of all things Alton Towers have done well over the years - rollercoasters.

The atmosphere in the restaurant is far better than I imagined it would be. Interesting and varied lighting, a soundtrack made up of current and past Alton Towers music, a mini show every 30 minutes with projections and lighting effects to match (videos used during the show include new footage and new custom made animations for some rides). All of this is complemented by the decor featuring plenty of ride plans and concept art, many of which have never been seen before. None of this can be faulted.

We've all seen the menu and in the evening there is a good selection of food. I had the ham hock to start, the fillet steak as my main and chocolate brownie for desert. All three courses were delightful; high quality food that you would previously only associate with Emperors at Alton Towers. The steak was a real highlight. The food was all served very quickly and I liked that you were able to dish it out onto Rollercoaster Restaurant branded plates. Main courses coming down in two 'pots' also meant that portion sizes were not a problem - you get more food than at FoodLoop.

I feel than as an overall technical operation if you like FoodLoop is better. Putting everything that you order onto your card there makes for a much more efficient payment system. Paying at Rollercoaster Restaurant is a real faff at present and some of us appeared to be under/over charged. I hope this is something that they can improve upon as it's not ideal that the poorest part of the whole experience is the final part and potentially the lasting memory for some guests.

Usually when Alton Towers do something - whether it be a major coaster, a resort expansion or something like a new restaurant - you look and think "argh, if they'd had a bit more money then it would have been better if they'd done this or that". This is not at all the case with Rollercoaster Restaurant. It is executed to near perfection.

In addition to all of this the new pathway from the hotels into Forbidden Valley is a delight and even feels a bit magical.

Well done Alton Towers!

:)
 
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