The magic has disappeared!

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Oatcakedodger, 19th Mar 2016.

  1. shawnoc

    shawnoc TowersStreet Member

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    I feel the park is far to full of corporate advertising, bland generic uniforms and too much upsell points.
    The food outlets are bland generic and dated even if they have just opened. Bring back the old McDonald's next to toy land tours. That was amazing.
    I still get a buzz when I catch the first glimps of nemesis from the monorail and when approaching fv and hearing nemesis roar round the track.
    The whole of ccl and df need to be re thought, bring that part of the park away from being just meh.
     
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  2. Rick

    Rick TowersStreet Member

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    They're different, but so is the purpose of the advert and this is reflected in the content of the adverts. In the 20 seasons since the 1996 advert, the park has become more well known and the need to attract people for their first visit has reduced. People now know what the park is and what it offers, people now need to know how it is affordable to them.

    You advertise businesses in different ways depending on how familiar the brand is in the target market. Not only that, advertising as a whole has changed. You don't need to tell people what CocaCola is now, they already know. A tech start up will advertise itself very differently now than how it will do in five years time.

    You don't think that it's something to do with the fact you're now 26 and not 10 or whatever? When I take the kids to the park they still feel 'the magic'.

    And if it's nothing to do with age, a lot of it is down to people becoming enthusiasts who visit the park with a frequency that destroys any sense of escapism - you can't escape to somewhere familiar, it doesn't work. When you ride a dark ride and wait to see which effects are broken, rather than sit there waiting for the unexpected - you can no longer have a view that is akin to the bulk of the visitors to a park and that's the stage a lot of enthusiasts get to. You enjoy the park, but you enjoy it in a very different way.
     
    Last edited: 30th Mar 2016
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  3. James

    James TS Founding Member

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    The fireworks finale last year was pretty 'magical', even the main show (if lacking something or the other) felt like something that you would have seen back in the magic days.
     
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  4. jon81uk

    jon81uk TowersStreet Member

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    Yes but most Coke advertising now focuses on how Happy drinking Coke will make you. Coke never mentions their pricing as they are a premium product.
    The enchanted lodges are new but the advert doesn't highlight any of the happiness that Escaping to Alton Towers would bring.
    Another good example of a magical advert is the Escape one below.



    I also spot this often as a difference between how Disneyland Paris and DisneyWorld Florida adverts are. Paris mentions their discounts and kids go free offers fairly prominently. WDW may mention offers but the focus is on reinforcing the magic.


    I do get your point, but I also think if they have to push discounts so heavily then it is priced wrongly to start with.
     
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  5. Rick

    Rick TowersStreet Member

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    I follow your point - but it's priced so that they can advertise in this way. It's priced so that the content of the advert can be about how cheap it is compared to the full pricing, rather than how reasonable a lower 'full' price is without discount.
     
  6. neil.r.benson

    neil.r.benson TowersStreet Member

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    Long time viewer - first time poster :)
    First time I went to Alton Towers was on a school trip back in 1983 (yes - I'm that old). It blew me away. To be honest - there wasn't much there then - corkscrew, log flume were the biggest rides. But there was an atmosphere that was unique - a holiday kind of atmosphere. It was just a fun special place to be. From then on more rides were added - The Black Hole the following year, the Grand Canyon, Nemesis etc etc. The magical atmosphere was the same though; they were building on firm foundations.

    From about 1999 to 2010 I did not get the opportunity to visit the park so went back in 2011. COMPLETELY different experience. Still plenty of rides and things to do but the atmosphere had changed. Smaller rides had gone to be replaced with pay as you go games of chance you can play at any fair ground. I felt like I was constantly being up-sold. Then - as I left - a firm kick up the backside with a car park charge. ( Not that your going anywhere else if your use the car park at Alton Towers now is it!)

    I think if I had to condense it down - old Alton Towers viewed itself as an entertainment venue. A place of theater. A place you could have fun and explore ( at no additional cost) once you were in the park, where the staff seemed to be having almost as much fun as the visitors. The current Alton Towers seems to be a numbers game. How many visitors can we get in the gates? How much will they pay? What can we sell them once their in? What's the minimum we can get away with doing in the park ? It looked worn down an in desperate need of a paint job.

    The opening times best sum the change for me. In mid-summer the park now closes at 5:30pm. When back in 1984 - the park closed when the sun started to set. OK - now I'm beginning to sound like an old fart --- so I'll shut up.
     
  7. LordOfDarkness

    LordOfDarkness TowersStreet Member

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    Nice to see Submission back in action for this year!
     
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  8. Leah

    Leah TowersStreet Member

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    We all know towers love recycling/making up old footage of their rides (interesting red track in the Background?), but how hard would it be to remove things like submission. It's not like it was a main ride in its life, same with enterprise. Surely there are so many more marketable rides in the park (nemesis, spinball, Congo, hex, duel, forbidden sweep (;)) for example).
     
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  9. Ted

    Ted TowersStreet Member

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    I think this is further proof Towers need a major rebrand soon.
     
  10. TomW

    TomW TowersStreet Member

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    I was thinking about this exact thing the other day when I was looking over old Alton Towers maps. I'm 25 and have been visiting the park since I was 7 years old (1997), and have always been a huge enthusiast.
    Looking back to maps of the park from what I would personally consider its 'glory years' of 1998-2003, gave me a feeling of excitement which I can remember from when I was that age, thinking of travelling through the park on the monorail seeing all the rides, studying last years park map for weeks before my visit, that is exactly what I define as the so called 'magic'.

    Now the question of weather or not this is gone I think comes down to two things; firstly, I've grown up. I'm 25 now not 12. I'm not saying I can't get excited about things any more but I certainly don't think it would be normal to get that same feeling from a theme park that I did when I was young.

    That said, I have to wonder if as a 12 year old now, if Alton Towers would create the same magical feeling it did for me back then, and to be honest I think it would, but probably not to quite the same level. There is no question that they have gone downhill since the halcyon days of Tussauds in the 90s and early 00s. The park then really seemed to have a vision of what they wanted to do. This is probably the influence of Wardley and others but they really seemed to care about the detail, and want to rival parks like Disney for the overall experience.

    I think the loss of magic can be seen in things like CATCF's cardboard exterior compared to the pink turrets of Toyland Tours, sticking a random space ride at the end of Forbidden Valley, or a racing theme in UG Land. The level or care which went into things like Storybook Land and Katanga Canyon won't be seen again any time soon. The focus seems to have shifted to individual, unique and marketable experiences opposed to consistency and immersion.

    That said, I do think that being a child I would still feel some of what I felt back then going into Alton Towers now, and maybe a lot of these shifts are just a sign of the times rather than failings of Merlin.

    So I do think the magic has gone, a little, but I think that was always going to happen to a point, for me anyway, considering how obsessed I was with this place as a child.
    Long post I know but it is something I feel quite strongly about!
     
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  11. PeteB

    PeteB TowersStreet Member

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    I would really like to know why anyone even bothers to pay the parking charge at Alton Towers. I mean what they gonna do, ask you to leave? Perfect, that's where I'm headed anyway.

    I've never once paid to park at Towers, and quite honestly, never will!

    Unless they actually start pumping some money into doing things for the local community, as that is why the charge was introduced in the first place - to pay for a bypass. The news article about that can still be found on the BBC website I believe, dating back to the late 90's. Only then will I pay the parking charge.
     
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  12. Plastic Person

    Plastic Person TowersStreet Member

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    Do you need to pay to get beyond the barriers when you leave? Unless you're willing to kill time for a few hours, that is.
     
  13. Burbs

    Burbs TowersStreet Team Team Member

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    You buy a token when you exit the park, which you then show to the staff member at the car park gates. They'll scan it for you and the gates open. Same with an annual pass.

    The hotel gates tend to be open about an hour or so after park close though.
     
  14. shawnoc

    shawnoc TowersStreet Member

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    Maybe this year they will use Derren Brown mind tricks to hypnotise you into having a magical time at the main gate after May 6th.
    Double deals and all that.
     
  15. neil.r.benson

    neil.r.benson TowersStreet Member

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    I had thought about doing that but hadn't fancied getting into a confrontation with some jobsworth at the gate with my family in the car. Regardless, it leaves a bad final impression of the park as you leave - Slightly undoing any good positivity you may have had about your day out.
     
  16. Burbs

    Burbs TowersStreet Team Team Member

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    To be fair though, most theme parks charge for parking. Some... you can get away without paying if you know what you're doing, but the majority will charge. Even on the continent.
     
  17. neil.r.benson

    neil.r.benson TowersStreet Member

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    Didn't want to turn the thread into a parking fees rant. Just that it's hard to feel the "Magic" when the parks constantly trying to get their hands in your wallet.
     
  18. kris3012

    kris3012 TowersStreet Member

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    Although I don't agree with parking charges (it should be included in the entry price) they do advertise it on entry, So it's not a shock at the end of the day.
    Any business will use what ever means necessary to produce income and charging for parking is a guaranteed income as most people will come via car
     
  19. neil.r.benson

    neil.r.benson TowersStreet Member

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    Another way of killing the magic, remind people that the park is a business run for profit.
     
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  20. kris3012

    kris3012 TowersStreet Member

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    Well that's the truth of it but what effect does that have when u visit the park??
    That seems a rather silly statement to make imo
     

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