The Sinking Ship: (Un)Love Letters to Merlin

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by AstroDan, 20th Nov 2016.

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  1. Matt.GC

    Matt.GC TowersStreet Member

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    You need to open some rides to rotate in the first place to do that!
     
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  2. James

    James TS Founding Member

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    It makes you wonder what the cut off point will be. Cuts have been going on for years, even before The Smiler crash. It'll be interesting to see how far they will go with cuts until they start getting some real damage.

    This year I found my visits enjoyable to an extent, moreso because I was enjoying it with others, however the lack of Hex was disappointing and the other rides closed made some areas feel like a run down fair ground, very depressing - and sitting in the Coffee Lounge looking over at the Ripsaw replacement made me felt like I actually was in some run down funfair.

    Alton Towers has been a very mixed bag since 2011, each year you see some good things which are then dampened by the not-so-good things. I suspect that's why people still visit, as they latch on to that little good bit and try to ignore the bad bit, that and nostalgia. When you step back and notice the bigger picture however, Alton Towers is really going in the wrong direction. I only visit once or twice a year so I'm happy to still visit the place for now, although I can see myself stopping if they continue with SBNO rides, further cuts and higher prices.
     
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  3. AstroDan

    AstroDan TS Forum Team Team Member

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    We *should* see Hex, at least, re-open for 2017.
     
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  4. andeyhart

    andeyhart TowersStreet Member

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    Really hope so.
     
  5. Croftybaby

    Croftybaby TowersStreet Member

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    You lot comparing Merlin cuts to Disney cuts should have a word with yourselves.

    Yes Disney have cuts, I understand mainly for new investments, Yes they have rides closed for refurbs, They open 365 days a year, whats Merlins excuse? Yes Staff may be on lower or minimum wage like Merlins but the key difference is it doesn't show!! You can't force staff to be happy, they either love the wage or love the work, you choose which applies in each case.
    Merlin parks are like a couple having a nasty argument in public at the moment and all the bad parts are clear for everyone to see.

    Lets remember that this massive companies 'Next Big Thing' is going to be a model village. That says it all really. Epcot bosses must be crapping themselves.
     
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  6. jon81uk

    jon81uk TowersStreet Member

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    I never mentioned Disney closing attractions for maintenance.
    It's the smaller cuts, such as opening one of the Dimbo rides at 11am, halving capacity in the morning, or cutting the number of trains running on a coaster so there are long queues at a time of day when historically there wasn't. Or cutting back on waitstaff so tables are left empty and they are turning guests without reservations away at restaurants. Or removing streetmosphere and outdoor performers. Due to the poor performance of the Hong Kong and Paris parks, DisneyWorld has done many small cuts to the parks this summer.
    Then there are the upcharge events, dessert parties or an extra hour for $100 events or rent a tent in the park for $650 a day type things to bring in extra money.

    Yes the level of the cuts at Disney is different as their parks operated at a higher standard to start with and they haven't cut big things like shows and parades. But it's more about the fact that both companies did similar things, closing or part-closing rides at quiet times of day and cutting staff costs as parts of their theme parks were struggling.
     
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  7. Altonadvocate1

    Altonadvocate1 TowersStreet Member

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    Croftybaby wrote

    "Yes Staff may be on lower or minimum wage like Merlins but the keydifference is it doesn't show!!You can't force staff to behappy, they either love thewage or love the work, you choose which applies in each case"

    Not sure about happy staff...

    Just Google Disney suicides to hear the high suicide rates amongst Disney employees and the suicide notes they left blaming the park for enormous stress caused by a company that "cares only about making money".

    To be fair, we know from the coverage of the smiler crash that the press will twist and exaggerate the facts, but the core incidents remain.
     
  8. andeyhart

    andeyhart TowersStreet Member

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    Most of the staff at Towers seem fairly happy when I'm there, or at least they appear to be. Only occasionally do I come across someone really miserable. Thorpe and Chessy are more hit and miss.
     
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  9. PeteB

    PeteB TowersStreet Member

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    I can't stand the miserable staff at Towers. It's 90% of them. Occasionally you meet a happy chirpy one, usually at the entrance gates, but that's it. Try the Resort Box Office on Towers Street if you want to see an example of people who are genuinely sick of their life.

    Other noteable mentions for top misery guts:
    • staff on Rita
    • staff on Nemesis
    • staff on The Smiler
    • the various drink/snack huts around the park
    • Burger Kitchen staff in Cloud Cookoo Land

    It's even worse when you approach someone in a positive way and they give you nothing back, won't even crack a smile!
     
  10. andeyhart

    andeyhart TowersStreet Member

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    We obviously have very different experiences with them. Food and Beverage staff, I admit, are quite doom and gloom, but I always find the ride staff surprisingly cheerful.
     
  11. BarryZola

    BarryZola TowersStreet Member

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    My favourite is when they have to pretend to be interested in how your day is going, as they've obviously been told to force a small conversation about if you're enjoying yourself. In these interactions you can clearly tell that neither of us wants this small talk but it's just a process that has to be repeated again and again. Ah well.
     
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  12. andeyhart

    andeyhart TowersStreet Member

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    To be fair, that's in most jobs that deal with customers. There's always someone in management who assumes customers will be mortally offended if they're not asked how their day's been by a total stranger.
     
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  13. delta79

    delta79 TowersStreet Member

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    I am not surprised. A lot of guests talk to them like they are scum, and their problem is all down to that member of box office staff.
     
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  14. AstroDan

    AstroDan TS Forum Team Team Member

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    Honestly? You think the staff at Towers are miserable?

    Have you seen staff at most German theme parks!? They are very efficient but will gladly ARGUE with guests at times!
     
  15. jon81uk

    jon81uk TowersStreet Member

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    To be fair, I imagine a good argument would make some people very happy ;)
     
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  16. andeyhart

    andeyhart TowersStreet Member

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    I find the staff at Towers who are friendly to be more genuine than the staff at, say, Universal Studios, who can be friendly in a quite phoney way. Plus Towers staff have always been really kind to my 9 and 12 year old, especially when reassuring my youngest who only recently started going on the big rides and was very nervous.
     
  17. PeteB

    PeteB TowersStreet Member

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    Ok, I will mention a few places I've found happy, helpful, friendly staff:
    • Sean in the ATH bar (nicest bloke working at Towers full stop IMO)
    • Runaway Mine Train (always the nicest bunch of staff in the whole park)
    • Hotel receptions
    • Staff at the entrance gates
    • The staff working in Towers Trading
    • Game stalls in Mutiny Bay
    • Sea Life
    • Pizza Pasta Buffet in Katanga Canyon
    That's it. Everywhere else is just meh, and the worst offenders are found in my previous list.

    Exactly like the staff at Thorpe.
     
  18. Towerslover

    Towerslover TowersStreet Member

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    The staff are always great when I visit, very polite and up for a chat!
     
  19. andeyhart

    andeyhart TowersStreet Member

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    You must have really done something to **** off team Nemesis :p, they're always the best when I'm there.
     
  20. CGM

    CGM TowersStreet Member

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    Towers staff I would say are decent on the whole. In all the years I've been visiting, I can't think of any instance in particular where I've felt poorly treated or let down by a member of AT staff.

    By default, that makes them much better than the likes of Port Aventura and Flamingoland where one visit is enough to meet lots of rude, disinterested and unhelpful staff.

    At the same time though, I can't think of an occasion where an AT staff member has done anything outstandingly good. There are some parks I've been to where individuals have really shone and made a positive impact on the day. I can't say I've ever experienced this at Alton.

    The standout park for me when it comes to staff is Hong Kong Disneyland. They were always smiling, very helpful and seemed genuinely interested in making sure we were having a good day.
     
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