Talbot Street Lock In

Discussion in 'Talbot Street' started by Squiggs, 21st Mar 2020.

  1. Squiggs

    Squiggs TS Site Team Team Member

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    It wouldn't surprise me, though I think calling it sincere would mischaracterising any 'market research' they might have done.

    Part of the MO at the time was using normal business practices like market research to drum up viral stories. It was a very odd time for that sort of thing. The Karaoke Coaster was later given as an example by Morwena of ideas made up by the marketing team as PR stunts. The other two I recall her listing were Project Baby Gurgle and the idea that part of the Corkscrew was used to make the tree of the front of Thirteen.
     
  2. WillPS

    WillPS TowersStreet Member

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    I get that it wasn't designed for our benefit, but it got pretty tedious. One day you'd have some utter crap about how scary Thirteen was going to be, the next it'd be a ban on having sex in the hotel.

    I'm not really sure it did much to boost the resort's reputation in the long run.
     
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  3. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    Wasn’t Morwenna Angove the marketing director behind things like the Thirteen age rating (and general fear-inducing marketing campaign), the Carnival of Screams clown resignations and the bra testing on the park’s coasters, amongst other somewhat out there marketing campaigns from the late 2000s?

    Her work certainly bought attention to the park, so it worked well in that sense!
     
  4. Funcone

    Funcone TowersStreet Member

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    I remember being at an enthusiast event in 2007/2008. The park’s management told us that it had been a genuine consideration. The story we were given was that at the time there were different budgets for refurbishments compared to new attractions. We were told that Duel and the Karaoke Coaster came out of a different budget to the pool of money for new rides, and that they were struggling to find a way to provide something new. It seemed like a slightly ludicrous by sincere explanation of how things can work in a big corporation. But it might just have been a publicity stunt that they were still going along with.
     
  5. Squiggs

    Squiggs TS Site Team Team Member

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    Oh, 2007... what can we say? If there was ever a year when the park would have been better off not adding an attraction, this was it. For it was the year of The Dung Heap, which turned out to be somewhat apt as a name.

    But it wasn't all bad, elsewhere in the farm the first of the Furry Friends arrived and the Riverbank Eyes-Spy got a delightful 3D overhaul, whilst the Haunted Hollow offered a pleasant stroll through a corner of the Gardens that had been closed for many years. And not to forget The Extraordinary Golf, which distilled some of the finest themes from the park into the latest resort attraction.
    [​IMG]
     
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  6. jon81uk

    jon81uk TowersStreet Member

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    Although there wasn’t any major investment that year, you do list off a number of reasonably well done minor investments and and improvements.
    Dung heap was a themed kids playground and I remember the projected bugs on the floor inside the heap was pretty cool.
    Haunted Hollow was good in the first couple of seasons while stuff worked.
    Extraordinary Golf I think remains one of the best mini golf courses in the country with excellent theming and inventive hole layouts.
    Also as you mention the upgrade to Riverbank Eye Spy is a good small improvement.

    If these little touches were accompanied with an actual replacement for Bone Shaker or another flat ride, it would have been a fantastic year.
    But with the festivals and events going on I think they park had a great year of plussing what they had, the coaster line up was already pretty world class.
     
  7. OilyWater

    OilyWater TowersStreet Member

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    I was a kid at the time or at least my sisters were still young enough to be the target age for the Dung Heap. It was about as fun as your average local kids playground. The mushroom maze was absolutely terrible, just loads of wooden fences.

    From what I remember Haunted Hollow was exactly the same then as now, maybe the odd effect is broken now but hardly makes much difference. It was so basic

    Riverbank Eye Spy was still pretty drab, just now it had 3D scenery instead of pretty cheap looking 2D scenery

    None of these were that remarkable changes to the park, it was more the complete dreary atmosphere on park that year (from what I rmemeber anyway)
     
  8. Squiggs

    Squiggs TS Site Team Team Member

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    I would argue that the Dung Heap was an unthemed children's playground... a few flowers painted on a B&Q fence does not count as theming.

    I agree though that they did add quite a few nice things that season, my point in the Lock In post was that had they not added the Dung Heap, 2007 would have actually been a reasonably solid low investment year. Plus with the extra budget that would have been freed up by not buying the Dung Heap, they would have had extra available take the Hunted Hollow to the next level and perhaps also provide minor upgrades to another ride (either CATCF or Duel would have benefited from minor upgrades at that time).

    It does seem to be a recurring theme for the park that when they don't have the budget they need for the attractions they want to add, rather then reducing the number of attractions to fit the budget they always seem to plow on regardless and end up with half hearted additions that don't serve their purpose.
     
  9. Squiggs

    Squiggs TS Site Team Team Member

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    Of course the highlight of 2007 was no doubt the arrival of Scarefest, which challenged guests to be 'As Scared As You Dare'.

    And the new event did not disappoint with its scares, introducing the innovative Field of 1000 Screams, alongside the classic Terror of the Tower: Bloodfest Banquet and Room 13. And the family market was not forgotten either with the introduction of the Freaky Four mascots, whilst The Haunted Hollow came alive.

    All in all Scarefest kicked off with one of the strongest line-ups the event has seen.
    [​IMG]
     
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  10. MichaelTowers2001

    MichaelTowers2001 TowersStreet Member

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    It must of been hard and awkward without the Mine Train running after it's own Thomas the Tank Engine accident.
     
  11. Squiggs

    Squiggs TS Site Team Team Member

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    The park experienced a pirate invasion in 2008, when Captain Black came ashore in Mutiny Bay.

    Merlin came out with all (water) guns blazing for their first addition to the park. In one fell swoop they added new attractions, new entertainment, new sideshows as well as providing impressive rethemes to several existing attractions. It was a development the likes of which the park had not seen since the arrival of Ug Land, nearly ten years earlier.

    [​IMG]
     
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  12. Squiggs

    Squiggs TS Site Team Team Member

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    It is no secret that down on Towers Street we have a soft spot for The Pirates of Mutiny Bay and their antics, which featured on the courtyard stage until 2015.

    Inspired, we set off on our own adventure: "The Quest for the Lost Pirates". Venturing down into the archives, we eventually surfaced with a bounty of over forty new pictures of the pirates from all of their adventures over the years.

    'Tis the stuff of legend...
    [​IMG]
     
  13. Squiggs

    Squiggs TS Site Team Team Member

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    We're heading back in time again this Wednesday, back to the 1950s and a short-lived attraction that doesn't often get mentioned despite being a fascinating moment in the park's history.

    The Alton Towers Zoo opened in 1959 in the area around the Dovecote by Fountain Square. There's not a huge amount of information available about the zoo but during its short lifetime, it looks to have had an impressive range of animals, including chimpanzees, bear cubs and wallabies.

    The park has always been known for its hair-raising attractions and the zoo was no exception, starring a leopard who would walk around the grounds on a leash.
    [​IMG]
     
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  14. Trooper

    Trooper TowersStreet Member

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    Big Chief Horrible Noise?

    Someone ought to teach that leopard about respecting other cultures. What an insensitive name it chose for itself.

    Also, were there ever dolphins at Alton Towers or have I made that up? It was somewhere in England, maybe an actual zoo.
     
  15. Squiggs

    Squiggs TS Site Team Team Member

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    I believe you are thinking of Flamingo Land of all places.
     
  16. rob666

    rob666 TowersStreet Member

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    There were sea lions on the front lawns.
    If you were lucky, you could park your car right by them on busy days...overflow parking.
     
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  17. Trooper

    Trooper TowersStreet Member

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    You're right. I was actually thinking of Dudley Zoo which had a killer whale and dolphins but the killer whale moved to Flamingo Land. I don't know if they were different dolphins.
     
  18. Squiggs

    Squiggs TS Site Team Team Member

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    A world of whimsy awaited in 2009 when Cloud Cuckoo Land opened, giving Cred Street a larger then life upgrade. Not only were we introduced to Snorlix, Lucy and all their friends, but also enhanced attractions like the Twirling Toadstool.

    Back to reality with a splash, Sealife also came to the park when the impressively themed Sharkbait Reef opened in Mutiny Bay.
    [​IMG]
     
  19. Pleasure Beach Valhalla

    Pleasure Beach Valhalla TowersStreet Member

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    It was good at the start but after the Smiler incident in 2015, CCL just started to die. No corkscrew either which was sent off with a special event!
     
  20. Squiggs

    Squiggs TS Site Team Team Member

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    The World of David Walliams may be delayed until 2021, but we have already said a fond farewell to Cloud Cuckoo Land. It may seem like only yesterday we were first invited into this world of imagination, but that was over decade ago now.

    And so, let's take a look back at ten years of Cloud Cuckoo Land, which saw shows and characters come, come, come and Go!Go!Go!, an Ice Age descend and monsters move into the neighbourhood, not to mention an entire dungeon open on the doorstep. Cred_St_5.jpg
     

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