Thorpe Park: General Discussion

jon81uk

TS Member
And here-in lies the whole problem with Merlin. It doesn't seem to matter how much an attraction makes, they're all subjected to the same budget cuts and penny pinching. If anything, the way Merlin runs, parks seem to be better off when they make a little less money than expected!

Thorpe had a massive misfire with Swarm, and as a result they seemed to have loads of money invested into a new brand identity, X re-theme, Angry Birds, and Fright Nights. However, it still all comes back to Merlin budgeting. Thorpe could be making more money than any other park in the UK, but if it meant saving money they'd still only be given the budget to run one train on a lot of their rides.

Have you actually studied the budget, income and profit for the park?

I don't expect anyone on here has a deep enough understanding of the workings of the park and their labour costs to know if they are penny pinching or not.

I would expect on many of the quiet September weekdays they have to run on minimum staffing levels just to make a profit. 10 years ago Thorpe didn't even open on September weekdays.

At the beginning of the season people on this forum were complaining about Alton Towers and selective opening of food and beverage units. If the park has a fixed labour budget based on predicted guest numbers for a day, which would rather have, a two train operation or a food kiosk open?
 

Dar

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Taron
I think Merlin are very short sighted, a symptom of the whole shareholders nonsense, in terms of budgets and profits. Sure, they might not make much on a September weekday, but when they hit capacity during October Half term or Alton's Fireworks, I'm sure they're rolling in the dough but because that's not today, they don't care.
 

Tim

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Air / Blue Fire
The weird thing with Thorpe Parks operations is that you can get on more rides during a mildly busy day when they are running two trains than a dead day when they are running only one. It has actually discouraged me visiting on quite days because there's nothing that annoys me more than watching a train going around the track knowing it needs to complete the circuit, offload and load before the normally fast flowing queue moves again. If you have a ride that can have a train on the track and one in the station then that's how it should be. Not unless it really is so dead there is no queue, and if that is the case the park shouldn't be open at all.
 

TheMan

TS Member
Favourite Ride
NemiLerVion
Have you actually studied the budget, income and profit for the park?
At the beginning of the season people on this forum were complaining about Alton Towers and selective opening of food and beverage units. If the park has a fixed labour budget based on predicted guest numbers for a day, which would rather have, a two train operation or a food kiosk open?

So, if you went to say, a fast food outlet on a quiet day, you'd be happy if it took you longer to get served than on a mildly busy day?

I mean you no disrespect by this Jon genuinely, but you seem to have very little knowledge of the service industry sector.
 

Benzin

TS Member
You know what's funny?

Even after all the rebranding and stuff, Thorpe are still performing really badly...

Perhaps they need to remember that a park that's efficiently run is more important than a dull, boring bland (and an awful website)... And now for the rest of the season there's one less family ride open (which sounds like Thorpe of old, closing any family ride to try and stop the buggers visiting because they weren't wanted), which means less for families to do when they do visit the event, which means they're more liable NOT to visit or spend money at Thorpe...

It's the same stuff as to why the park don't run two trains from the start of the day on weekends (the reasoning given is to be energy efficient, which is of course, utter bull)... Because the operational standard is so poor, probably because of Merlin not allowing the budgets that are suited to the park's actual requirements... Why let Towers be able to have two trains on everything pretty much every day of the week and not Thorpe?
 

jon81uk

TS Member
So, if you went to say, a fast food outlet on a quiet day, you'd be happy if it took you longer to get served than on a mildly busy day?

I mean you no disrespect by this Jon genuinely, but you seem to have very little knowledge of the service industry sector.

No, my point was that at the beginning of the season some TowersStreet members were complaining that at AT all the Burger Kitchen outlets were open etc but some of the smaller outlets such as Ben & Jerry's and Pirates Pastys were closed on these quieter days. But Alton Towers almost always runs two train operations, therefore it appears they are making labour cost savings on food on beverage while ensuring that ride ops is well staffed.
At Thorpe they seem to make labour savings on ride ops on quieter days by running 1 train and not opening baggage rooms, cutting staff costs.
Personally I think AT is doing it right, some of the smaller food outlets aren't needed on quiet days but it is good to minimise queuing by concentrating staff at larger food outlets (Burger Kitchen, Pizza/Pasta) and on ride ops (I know F&B has separate budget to RideOps but overall the park has chosen to manage differently to Thorpe). The queue at the food outlets won't be longer as there aren't as many customers in the park.

I used to work in retail and although I didn't have control of the full budget I did have to schedule the rota, I was given a limited amount I could spend on staffing and overtime, for example in February when the store was quiet I could not use overtime and if I was short I had to take staff from other departments. Customers were still not queuing to be served as there were less customers in the store. In December when the store is busy I could spend on overtime to ensure customers did not have to wait.
 

Ted

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Kondaa
This is slightly off tpic but the whole 1 train on non peak days is there on Vampire at Chessie as well. Went there on a cold Thursday in March nearly two years ago and the park wasn't that busy to be fair. However, Vampire was running one train and had an hour queue, sure if it had two if wouldn't be great, but that's not acceptable.

Back to Thorpe, the whole thing really irritates me with this thing there. Sure it's a small park on everything can easily be done on a quiet day, but knowing you could get every more rides done in a day if they run two trains on its 4 out of its 5 thrill coasters is annoying. Especially for those who don't go to parks often as they could enjoy themselves even more!
 

Rob

TS Team
Favourite Ride
Steel Vengeance
No, my point was that at the beginning of the season some TowersStreet members were complaining that at AT all the Burger Kitchen outlets were open etc but some of the smaller outlets such as Ben & Jerry's and Pirates Pastys were closed on these quieter days. But Alton Towers almost always runs two train operations, therefore it appears they are making labour cost savings on food on beverage while ensuring that ride ops is well staffed.
At Thorpe they seem to make labour savings on ride ops on quieter days by running 1 train and not opening baggage rooms, cutting staff costs.

But on most coasters you do not need more staff to run more trains. On the likes of Nemesis, Thirteen, Rita, The Smiler, Nemesis Inferno, Stealth, Colossus and Swarm etc. you can have the same number of staff whether it be one or multiple trains. Ride's where this may not be the case are Oblivion and Air, where they can run reduced capacity and only open one station rather than two, saving on staff. And this is done on quiet days at Towers without having a real impact on queues.

The cost saving by not running two trains on say Nemesis Inferno or Colossus must be minimal. It is nothing more than shoddy operations. Thorpe are not the only culprits, I got rather fruustrated at parks in Florida back in 2009 for running coasters on reduced capacity. Kraken on one train for example; it made what should have been a walk on queue a 10-15 minute wait in the station.

:)
 

jon81uk

TS Member
But on most coasters you do not need more staff to run more trains. On the likes of Nemesis, Thirteen, Rita, The Smiler, Nemesis Inferno, Stealth, Colossus and Swarm etc. you can have the same number of staff whether it be one or multiple trains. Ride's where this may not be the case are Oblivion and Air, where they can run reduced capacity and only open one station rather than two, saving on staff. And this is done on quiet days at Towers without having a real impact on queues.

I did read somewhere that two train operation needs at least 1 extra member of staff due to evacuation procedures.

The cost saving by not running two trains on say Nemesis Inferno or Colossus must be minimal. It is nothing more than shoddy operations. Thorpe are not the only culprits, I got rather fruustrated at parks in Florida back in 2009 for running coasters on reduced capacity. Kraken on one train for example; it made what should have been a walk on queue a 10-15 minute wait in the station.

:)

Would you rather wait 10-15 or pay a higher admission fee to fund the additional staff and the additional electricity and wear and tear on the coaster? I don't understand what the issue is with a 10 minute wait, that is exactly what I would expect at a theme park.

The park is a business and they know that for the majority of guests if they get on every ride once with no more than a 10 minute wait for each that guest will leave very happy as they have experianced everything the park has to offer with less queuing than if they had gone on a peak school holiday day. On those off-peak days of courses there are less guests in the park, so less income, therefore costs need to be kept down.

Thorpe's bigger problem is that on these peak school holiday days even with 2 train operation they get 2hr plus queues on almost everything, they need to improve throughput and keep building to increase capacity.
 

Rob

TS Team
Favourite Ride
Steel Vengeance
Would you rather wait 10-15 or pay a higher admission fee to fund the additional staff and the additional electricity and wear and tear on the coaster? I don't understand what the issue is with a 10 minute wait, that is exactly what I would expect at a theme park.

The park is a business and they know that for the majority of guests if they get on every ride once with no more than a 10 minute wait for each that guest will leave very happy as they have experianced everything the park has to offer with less queuing than if they had gone on a peak school holiday day. On those off-peak days of courses there are less guests in the park, so less income, therefore costs need to be kept down.

Thorpe's bigger problem is that on these peak school holiday days even with 2 train operation they get 2hr plus queues on almost everything, they need to improve throughput and keep building to increase capacity.

Oh 10 minutes is great! It is just frustrating when you are spending that long in the station waiting to ride when you know that if a second train was running (which would still be reduced capacity on Kraken as it can run three) you would be straight on.

I still maintain that running an extra train on most coasters has a minimal impact on operating costs. Parks that fully understand and appreciate the huge importance in guest experience and satisfaction and the resultant profit generating return visits ensure that their coasters are always operated in an efficient manner. No one likes queues, no matter how long or short they are.

:)
 

Rob

TS Team
Favourite Ride
Steel Vengeance
So Thorpe are clearly investigating more IP based rides... yay! Some of their suggestions/ideas/options or whatever you want to call them are quite horrendous.

:)
 

James

TS Founding Member
Most of those options are obviously ghost options and they clearly have an idea on what particular IPs they are aiming for. Having Take Me Out and The Hobbit in the same list of options is telling of that. Interesting Halo is on the list of options, given that was the (rumoured) planned theme for The Smiler/SW7.

Interesting no Doctor Who is mentioned too, given that has been a rumour for Thorpe for some time now.
 

Rob

TS Team
Favourite Ride
Steel Vengeance
Hang on, could be on to something here! Maybe Thorpe Park are planning on setting up their own football team, make their way up the non-league structure and eventually make it to the Premier League! It all makes perfect sense!! :p
 

Jem8472

TS Member
That survey is really depressing. You can see what they want to do. Just random tv/film areas in the park. Nothing to try and connect the different areas. I have a feeling a lot of those game ideas would be scare mazes that would be sitting there empty and wasting space most of the year.
 

Ian

TS Team
Favourite Ride
Dizz, Bobby’s Yarn Land 🧶
I for one would be interested to see how the park plans to conduct an Orange is The New Black experience. What're they going to do? Fill the park with lesbians in orange jumpsuits for the day? :p
 

James

TS Founding Member
I for one would be interested to see how the park plans to conduct an Orange is The New Black experience. What're they going to do? Fill the park with lesbians in orange jumpsuits for the day? :p

Scare maze where Pennsatucky comes running at you with a makeshift knife yelling "I'm an angel of God". ;)

I love OITNB, but what a stupid thing to put in a theme park. :p That's why I think half those shows aren't actually going towards research and are just there as 'ghost options'.
 
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Sam

TS Member
I'm not sure this survey is really aimed at me...

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