TBC: SW9 Speculation

Discussion in 'Future Discussion' started by Matt N, 2nd Nov 2017.

  1. Matt.GC

    Matt.GC TowersStreet Member

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    I have 3 children of varying ages, the youngest is 6, and not one of them is intimidated by the theme of Wickerman. They find it exciting, not horrific. It's only a horror theme in literal terms, kids don't actually stop to think about being burned alive any more than they do learning about Henry VIII chopping his wives heads off, bloodlessly shooting the hell out of each other on Fortnight, or Hitler being satirised in the Simpson's. It's context over base content.

    The last thing Alton needs is an expensive coaster right now, as much as we all want one. Apart from the fact it's very aged now, Alton's coaster lineup in terms of a roster is up there with the best, even if it is flawed. Putting in a new coaster would be like building a 7th expensive extension when you live in a rusty caravan.

    AT has a wonderful rapids ride reduced to a gentle boat ride devoid of theming that shares an interaction tunnel with a Mine train coaster where guests can experience the exhilaration of looking at brightly lit breeze blocks. It has a functioning dark family boat ride where only tiny portion of it is used in a shoehorned-in dungeons attraction that nobody asked for within a family area of the park. It has a well designed, bespoke Mack haunted house inside a large show building that's hanging out of its arse. It's a sparse park with a collection of thrill coasters that has a pre school area that is dense with attractions, fenced off from the rest of the park. In a country where it rains all the time it has only 1 (possibly 2 when GG opens) notable dark ride(s). It has large pieces of land around the coasters which either used to house or could easily house flat ride supporting attractions. A lot of the theming around the park is also either in poor condition or has been removed. There's very little entertainment and shuttered shops and restaurants everywhere.

    You could spend less capex than a new SW would cost spread over many seasons that would return a far more relevant increase to guest experience than a new expensive coaster. Build an new coaster by all means but sort the rest of the park out first.

    Sent from my VOG-L29 using Tapatalk
     
  2. jmc

    jmc TowersStreet Member

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    Digging this topic up, well it is closed season afterall...

    Its been almost three years since Wicker Man opened, and if we don’t see another SW/rollercoaster by 2023 then that would mean we are seeing the longest period between fairly large scale additions since pre-Tussauds. If we are to see another SW by 2023 then it would make sense plans are submitted this year. When were SW8’s plans submitted, I cant remember?

    Obviously with the current pandemic still raging on, who knows what Merlins plans are going forward.
     
  3. Danny

    Danny Gugu Rides’ Number 1 Fan

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    Plans were submitted in May 2016, so just under a 2-year turnaround from application to opening.

    I do think this will be the longest period between SWs, and so it should be. There are lots that should be done in terms of getting some support attractions in and also looking to strengthen the entertainment offerings before diverting attention to adding another SW.
     
  4. GaryH

    GaryH TowersStreet Member

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    I honestly can’t see there being any major investment for a while given how much money Merlin have lost from this pandemic.
     
  5. jmc

    jmc TowersStreet Member

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    I completely agree, there has been far too much lost in recent years and it feels like the parks offering has just reduced to rollercoasters, for the majority of guests. Unfortunately we know that generally speaking Merlins budgets don’t really allow for anything that isn’t going to draw in guests however.

    It will be interesting to see how they choose to move forward and what strategy they take to invest post-pandemic.


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  6. Kraken27

    Kraken27 TowersStreet Member

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    I too think we are in for quite a wait before SW9 will show it's face, even on a prospective planning application. As above, the amount of money Merlin (and indeed many other park / attraction operators) have lost due to the pandemic can only be guessed.

    In many ways, I do think it is CBBC Land & the CBBC Hotel did a lot to save Alton Towers. They introduced both at just the right time, to attract a completely new demographic of guests to the resort. Had it not been for these two developments in the aftermath of the Smiler - well who knows that would have happened? Suffice it to say I think there would be even more closed attractions / F&B units and the park would be in a seriously sorry state.

    Just about all the parks [worldwide] opening big-Capex new rides this year would have set the budget & committed the funding long before the pandemic hit. I think everyone on here knows that the delayed Gangsta Granny ride is not high-Capex. It's been done on the cheap and will probably last 5yrs at most - unless Towers pay for the IP rights to do a fully blown World of David Walliams. They have proven they can pull off a good IP branded area with CBBC, so it may just happen.

    The problem for Merlin is that it's the big headline rides that draw the crowds in. The general public will soon see Wicker Man as "old - been there, done that". The Smilers reputation will be forever tarnished to some of the general public & all the other coasters are ageing. I don't think that Merlin - even with their new ownership - have have the funds sitting round to give their Resort Theme Parks major investment for new rides, whilst spending on the Midway attractions too in order to keep them "fresh".

    In addition to the above, I personally think things with the economy & employment figures will get worse before they get better. Whilst people will always strive to have the occasional treat whilst tightening their belts financially, the fact remains that a day out at a Merlin theme park is not cheap. BBQ's / parties in back gardens [when they are allowed again] are infinitely cheaper and allow people to socialise with friends & family in a safer environment than a theme park when it comes to social distancing.

    Finally - I hope a lot of the above proves to be wrong... whilst I cannot predict the Euromillions numbers for tomorrow night, I think a lot of the above will turn out to be true.
     
  7. Benjsh

    Benjsh TowersStreet Member

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    I think all the people who have been pinning for more flat rides might get their wish. Not because Merlin will have changed their minds on them persay but I don't think there's guna be money in the coffers for a big coaster for a good while now.

    I think we might see a major flat ride in 2022 or 2023. Can't see another coaster coming for at least 4 to 5 years.
     
  8. jon81uk

    jon81uk TowersStreet Member

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    If they did go down this route and add a new flat ride every year for a couple of years, as well as tidying up the area the ride goes in it would probably do a lot more good than a new coaster anyway.
     
  9. jon81uk

    jon81uk TowersStreet Member

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    Something like
    2021 Gangsta Granny
    2022 show in Walliams land theatre and Ripsaw replacement with tidy up of Forbiddon Valley
    2023 CBeebies addition/replacement and Submission replacement with tidy up of X Sector
    2024Twirling Toadstool replacement and changes to Walliams show
    2025 New coaster?

    For a coaster I would really like to see them build on the old coaster corner site between Twirling Toadstool and Dungeons and back from there to give a new indoor coaster.
     
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  10. skyscraper

    skyscraper TowersStreet Member

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    The former Coaster Corner site is now a backstage area with warehouses etc, so that's unlikely unfortunately.
     
  11. jon81uk

    jon81uk TowersStreet Member

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    Looking on google maps its always just looked like skips and bins. If they really wanted to use the space it would be possible. I agree its unlikely though.

    Where else is left that could easily add a coaster? They could use the Ripsaw/Blade site and go into the woods, but its not going to be easy to work around the trees. Similar the old UG Swinger site on the edge or Dark Forest and the woods around there. But there aren't many places left for large scale (ie B&M) coasters.
     
  12. skyscraper

    skyscraper TowersStreet Member

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    There's also Dark Forest and Adventureland maybe. I can see either Rita or Spinball being the next coaster removal.
     
  13. Themeparksandy1981

    Themeparksandy1981 TowersStreet Member

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    I think Merlin only know a flat ride only works on IP attractions that’s why CBeebies land had more flat rides added than the rest of the park over the past 20 years.
    If they can’t sell fast track tickets for a attraction they not interested.

    Spinball with be removed so they can make CBeebies land bigger and maybe use the hospitality suite next door for parties and vip meet and greets.
     
    Last edited: 19th Jan 2021 at 10:28 AM
  14. Danny

    Danny Gugu Rides’ Number 1 Fan

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    Fingers crossed Croc Drop has some form of impact at Chessie; that would be sufficient enough proof that non-IP themed flats work.
     
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  15. Brad97

    Brad97 TowersStreet Member

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    If they remove Spinball I dont think they would build another coaster there, that spot would probably become a CBeebies land extension. Removing Rita would free up a nice space though.

    Without removing any rides, there's the Air car park and I believe Katanga Canyon was considered at one point? Theres some decent space in that area from looking at Google Earth.
     
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  16. jon81uk

    jon81uk TowersStreet Member

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    I wouldn't encourage any ride removal at the moment. Already I think the park has fewer rides now than it did ten years ago.
     
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  17. skyscraper

    skyscraper TowersStreet Member

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    I'm sure SW8/Wicker Man was earmarked to go on the Air car park at first. Could definitely see SW9 going there.
     
  18. Themeparksandy1981

    Themeparksandy1981 TowersStreet Member

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    Chessington know they can’t build anymore coasters so they need to add flat or kids rides instead.
    Alton added some top flat rides in the 90’s with Astrodancer, Energizer and Ripsaw but all gone and not replaced.
     
  19. skyscraper

    skyscraper TowersStreet Member

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    I didn't mean in the short term, I meant in the future.
     
  20. jon81uk

    jon81uk TowersStreet Member

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    I mean in the future too. I don't think there is a need to remove any coasters in the next 10 or 20 years. They do not need to remove any rides at all really right now or in the near future.

    I thought the rumour was (pre-Smiler incident at least) it would use the Blade area for the station and then go into the woods and valley.
     

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