The Special Events Void

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by AstroDan, 24th Jun 2017.

  1. AstroDan

    AstroDan TS Forum Team Team Member

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    It's actually quite embarrassing.

    Alton Towers is way short of the mark when it comes to special events.

    And it's not simply the Smiler effect that's caused this reluctance. There's basically been nothing outside of Scarefest and Fireworks for years.

    When we see parks both big and small all around the world showcasing live music, special shows, food and drink events or otherwise... we see Alton Towers as the same-old product day after day after day from March through to the middle of October.

    I could list - quite literally - every other theme park in Europe that gets over 1m guests per year and explain what special events they do.

    Alton Towers seem to consider it a risk. But why do all other parks seem to do it? Saying that, the other UK Merlin parks are pretty limited, too - Chessington seems to have nothing on offer this summer, Thorpe has Ministry of Sound only - and Legoland seems to have gone from offering a fair bit some years back to nothing now.

    It's such a shame - because they could use these events to attract guests to the park with advertising and give the park some life.

    I firmly place the ball in Merlin's court with this but, as they have proved, they don't really care.
     
    Posted 24th Jun 2017
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  2. Bert2theSpark

    Bert2theSpark TowersStreet Member

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    I don't think it is necessarily Towers fault themselves but Merlin's as Towers have shown that they have a budget for Towers Loving Care, Scarefest and Fireworks, and entertainment and recently they have shown that the budget is not as large as it once was, if the park had the budget for another event, I would quite like to see a summer event, with a few bits of street entertainment, some shows like at Warick Castle. and maybe even some tasty summer-style snacks to sell to its guests and bam, you have an event you could have for summer. Maybe even extended opening hours as well.

    It is a shame that there is only Fireworks and Scarefest in terms of events but when they do have an event its certainly great.
     
    Posted 24th Jun 2017
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  3. Benzin

    Benzin TowersStreet Member

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    Have the UK parks ever been really big on events though? Used to have Easter and Summer stuff but it was never to the same degree as our continental cousins...

    Maybe it's a cultural thing? At any rate we know that Merlin won't do anything unless its got a proven success of returns... So it's unlikely the odd random concert or whatever else a park could host is unlikely to happen...
     
    Posted 24th Jun 2017
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  4. AstroDan

    AstroDan TS Forum Team Team Member

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    Alton Towers were pretty big on events in the 80s and 90s.

    However, it's so long ago now that most people forget they ever happened.

    I am not talking about rock concerts. I am talking about events which run over a number of weeks etc.
     
    Posted 24th Jun 2017
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  5. delta79

    delta79 TowersStreet Member

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    I think garden day event for when towers is closed midweek. No rides just the chance for a guided tour of the gardens and a nice cuppa tea and cake ( bought separately to ticket ). Would make a great addition for people who cant ride and enjoy history amd gardens.
     
    Posted 24th Jun 2017
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  6. Rick

    Rick TowersStreet Member

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    They've tried things like Alton Towers Live, that had mixed results in terms of both reception and profitability.
     
    Posted 24th Jun 2017
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  7. bluesonichd

    bluesonichd TowersStreet Member

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    I thought the concerts on the lawn went down quite well and was a profitable adventure for them.
    maybe Im wrong and hence why they no longer do them.
    but music and rides till late on a summer evening sounds like a crowd pull to me
     
    Posted 24th Jun 2017
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  8. AstroDan

    AstroDan TS Forum Team Team Member

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    Thing is: AT Live was a nice idea - but the cost and effort to deliver it far outweighs just a standard theme park event.

    My worry is also that they have cut staff on resort so much that they may not even have the capacity to deliver an event anymore.
     
    Posted 24th Jun 2017
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  9. MaxPower

    MaxPower TowersStreet Member

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    Any form of on park entertainment in general would be nice, let alone special events.

    It's hard to believe that many years ago there used to be live theatre shows, ice shows, live bands and parades and now we're left with practically nothing.

    Even before the Smiler debacle things were bad in this department. It's farcical that the park has regressed in its entertainment and events offerings over the past 10-15 years, especially when Merlin are a bigger company than the Tussauds group were.

    It ultimately boils down to profit and greed when all is said and done.
     
    Last edited: 24th Jun 2017
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    Posted 24th Jun 2017
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  10. MakoMania

    MakoMania TowersStreet Member

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    The lack of events has always been one of my pet hates with Alton!

    With BPB doing late night riding & fireworks/ministry of sound/Nickelodeon events AT need to step up their game! Even something as simple as a food festival during the summer months would be a great improvement and wouldn't take much effort at all.
     
  11. Jordan

    Jordan TS Contributor

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    Shame they can't do something like a food/craft/wine festival on TowersStreet, and invite in local vendors. Would be cheap to put on and a nice change.
     
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  12. rob666

    rob666 TowersStreet Member

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    BPB are doing cheap Guiness world records in the summer, punters taking part, half a dozen firework nights, and a Ministry night.
    Another one is slimefest in the Nickelodeon bit.
    It doesn't need to be expensive or over the top.
     
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  13. Bert2theSpark

    Bert2theSpark TowersStreet Member

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    It would be a good idea to host world record attempts at Towers in the summer, It would mean free publicity!
     
  14. yoursilentface

    yoursilentface TowersStreet Member

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    That's a good idea

    They'd smash the world record for the amount of rides not working without even trying:D
     
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  15. venny

    venny TowersStreet Member

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    The most well-attended days at BPB last year were coincidentally the same days they were holding the Late Night Riding and Fireworks events. Just sayin'.
     
  16. GaryH

    GaryH TowersStreet Member

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    I wonder if this is due to Towers and Merlin or the problems they have had in the past with local residents complaining about noise and traffic....

    I agree however that there should be more events. I think one which would really be successful would be summer nights/beach sort of event - make a fake beach on the main lawn, set up some carribean style stalls selling jerk chicken, various foods, drinks, cocktails, and have a bit of live music and the park open until 9pm.

    Granted it depends on the Great British Weather but they did a beach in the past and it was nice to sit on the deck chairs at the end of the day and just chill out for a bit.
     
  17. Ben

    Ben TS Founding Member

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    I think its mainly a cultural / locational thing.

    I suspect if you compare Alton to any Disney Property, Europa, Phantasia etc - they are more than 1 day destinations so they not only can but have to, provide something else to make their stays and longer hours entertaining.

    Most british theme parks are one day visits for people, they come want to do the rides and go home - especially Alton due to its frankly horrid location. So while punters might see a bit of entertainment in passing its not their focus of the park, yes it can add an extra level - but for a park that can barely run all its rides anymore I think entertainment is well down the list of concerns.

    Id sooner they had a few street performers to instantly add to guests day than a seasonal event of entertainment.

    I remember the chocolate events and summer beach parties and aside from some nice deck chairs they added zero interest for me. Id sooner that money go into park operations.
     
    Posted 2nd Jul 2017
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  18. Error

    Error TowersStreet Member

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    I just want late night closing in the summer months :(
     
    Posted 2nd Jul 2017
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  19. PeteB

    PeteB TowersStreet Member

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    Yeah late nights at other parks seem to be a regular thing. I've enjoyed many a late night at BPB, I can even remember Flamingo Land staying open until 8pm on a Saturday a couple of years ago, they extended it from 7pm due to the lovely weather. Surely this in itself could be classed a special event - "late summer nights".

    Just made me think about something they said in the press release after the staff cull:

    Note the "higher visitor expectations" and yet here we are 2 years later with the park still being run like crap.

    You coudn't make this stuff up!
     
    Last edited: 3rd Jul 2017
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    Posted 2nd Jul 2017
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  20. IanSR

    IanSR TowersStreet Member

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    Heard a lot of families today saying their next trip will be a single day or day+overnight stay and not two or three days because there's so little to do in the park and nothing to do in the evenings, one group we met on the monorail were on their second day (like us, we're gready) and they were staying until Tuesday and their kids were bored by mid-afternoon on Saturday.

    Gotta wonder sometimes if people actually research things beforehand or just base their bookings off the tv adverts....
     
    Posted 3rd Jul 2017
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