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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    1997 was another season that seamlessly mixed thrill and family additions, with the arrival of Ripsaw as well as Nickelodeon: Outta Control in the freshly rethemed Cred Street.

    It was also, however, the first year with no attractions that pre-dated the amusement park, after the closure of the Park Railway as well as the Boating Lake at the end of 1996.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: 4th May 2020
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  2. jon81uk

    jon81uk TowersStreet Member

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    I miss the stage that used to be where Woodcutters grill is now.

    There was so much energy in that area with the live music.

    The biggest thing missing in general in the parks over the last few years is year-round (or at least outside of scarefest) live shows.
     
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  3. Poisson

    Poisson TowersStreet Member

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    Shows don't make money, so Merlin don't care
     
  4. jon81uk

    jon81uk TowersStreet Member

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    By the same logic rollercoasters don't make money.

    and they do have some shows, just only where licensed characters are involved (CBeebies at Towers and Madagascar at Chessington).
     
  5. Squiggs

    Squiggs TS Site Team Team Member

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    I'm not sure that's entirely true... what you're working on there in Merlin money making logic, and that's not exactly raking in dividends for them.

    Almost universally, the theme parks of the world that are highly successful have a very strong entertainment offering and that's not by accident.
     
  6. Poisson

    Poisson TowersStreet Member

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    Didn't clarify, that's what I meant. Merlin see high cost with no way to market it well without an IP so won't do them.
     
  7. Squiggs

    Squiggs TS Site Team Team Member

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    Nickelodeon: Outta Control holds the dubious honour of being one of the park’s shortest lived attractions, operating for less than two seasons.

    You may not have got the chance to experience it for yourself but today we follow Michael as he ventured into the fun house during the 1997 season in our exclusive attraction walkthrough.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. OilyWater

    OilyWater TowersStreet Member

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    Funny how Nickelodeon's longest serving thing was its facade! Went to all that trouble of building an attraction just for an elaborate backdrop to Frog Hopper. Shame we didnt see this reopen with some of the problems solved or the IP remvoed, maybe that was the reason it never opened again.
     
  9. Squiggs

    Squiggs TS Site Team Team Member

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    The park started their programme of scientific 'research' in 1998 with the introduction of the enigmatic X-Sector.

    The Black Hole, Energizer and Enterprise were transformed to bring assorted thrills into the new area, but no one was in any doubt as to the headliner with Oblivion, the world's first B&M Dive Machine, towering over its neighbouring attractions.
    [​IMG]
     
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  10. djtruefitt

    djtruefitt TS Site Team Team Member

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    Funny thing is 23 years later and some aspects of the Nickelodeon frontage still remains, even now its turned in to David Walliams.

    A few bits of the frontage disappeared when Ice Age opened. And then since then little bits and bobs have gone.
     
  11. Rick

    Rick TowersStreet Member

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    1997 was a great period. My memories of Festival Park at that time are vivid, but come the following year, I don't recall what it looked like without Enterprise and Energizer. I don't remember it feeling empty, but it must have been a bit weird in 1998, prior to the arrival of Ug Land.

    Spent too much time in X Sector during 1998, I guess.
     
  12. RicketyCricket

    RicketyCricket TowersStreet Member

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    My first ever Towers visit was around the opening of Nickelodeon and even as an 8 year old who watched all of their TV shows I can kind of remember it being a bit crap. No wonder it didn't last long.
     
  13. WillPS

    WillPS TowersStreet Member

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    I've only ever seen a closely cropped version of this map, very interesting to see in full.

    The Corkscrew bubble is clearly based on a rather old stock photo as it features the old train (replaced in 1995 I believe) with the original Alton Towers logo (which I think was removed at some point in the early 90s).
     
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  14. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    I have an interesting question to ask you all, to do with the Nickelodeon stuff above; how is Tussauds investing in things like Nickelodeon, which no one seems to mind, any different to Merlin investing in similarly styled (and in some cases, less short-lived) IP attractions, which they get panned for? I'm not criticising, I'm just wondering what the reasoning is that makes the reception for Nickelodeon far more positive on the whole.
     
  15. RicketyCricket

    RicketyCricket TowersStreet Member

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    It was sandwiched in-between two huge investments in the Hotel and Oblivion. Every single corner of the park looked impeccable with a wide variety of shows, coasters, flats and family rides. No queue jump options, just an all round superb customer experience.

    Now look at Thorpe under Merlin for example. There are areas of the park that have been left to rot, SBNO rides, a £10 parking fee and oversold Fastrack. They haven't built anything decent since 2012 and fill the gaps with bouncy castles and upcharge attractions.
     
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  16. OilyWater

    OilyWater TowersStreet Member

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    Mate the attraction shut down after 1 year. It was probably the least successful IP attraction the park has ever had. Hardly anyone speaks about it and comments seem mixed at most. Hardly a more positive reception!

    Still it looked more themed than most similar attractions opening new today
     
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  17. rob666

    rob666 TowersStreet Member

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    Took a mixed group of nine to thirteens that year.
    "Looks crap"
    "Long queue"
    "Long slow queue"
    So we went back to nemesis.
    Again.
    So I never saw the inside.
     
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  18. AT86

    AT86 TowersStreet Member

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    I remember being very excited for Nickelodeon Outta Control back in 97. I was 10 and a big Nickelodeon fan and had also been to Universal Studios in 1996 and experienced the Nickelodeon film studios there. Sadly I recall the Alton Towers 'version' being pretty disappointing. Only ever did it once.

    Despite that one rubbish attraction, 1997-2000 are probably 'peak' Alton Towers for me. In a short space of time you got Ripsaw, Oblivion (and X-Sector), UG Land and Hex. At the same time Nemesis was still pretty new and there was a great selection of all different types of rides with the likes of Energiser, Astro Dancer, Toyland Tours, Haunted House and Black Hole giving far more variety than exists now. Plus there was still lots of entertainment and shows and the chain restaurants arrived during this time too. What 10 yr old didn't want to eat McDonalds sat at a table themed to a car?

    Good times.
     
    Last edited: 3rd May 2020
  19. Squiggs

    Squiggs TS Site Team Team Member

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    These days, it's difficult to imagine Oblivion and X Sector being anything other than a secretive research facility, but for a time the park's Dive Machine very nearly found its home in the Steampunk inspired Port Discovery.

    Whilst the theme was switched before the full area was redeveloped, a little taste of steampunk could still be found inside the Black Hole, which had its internal retheme completed in 1996, when Port Discovery was clearly still the intended theme for the area.
    [​IMG]
     
  20. Pleasure Beach Valhalla

    Pleasure Beach Valhalla TowersStreet Member

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    I like the concept art, though the drop doesn't look very vertical in the picture:p. The 90's were the golden years for towers, though Hex was very good in 2000. We had a dip then we went up again, then down in 2015 and now up again. It's fair to say Alton Towers history has been one rollercoaster of a ride for all its fans!
     

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