Towers Loving Care

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Randomizer462, 21st Dec 2015.

  1. rob666

    rob666 TowersStreet Member

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    Weed the gardens and clear the monorail windows would do it for me.
    As a Blackpool fan I'm used to grubby concrete that smells of wee, so smiler's queueline is fine.
     
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  2. HermanTheGerman

    HermanTheGerman TowersStreet Member

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    ^ This. The monorail is filthy. Tidy up the Plaza station as well, it’s overgrown on the outside, and the inside it’s grim white concrete that leaves a horrible last impression. People are tired at the end of the day, at least let them queue somewhere pleasant.

    Also, the mine train facade needs work too. Bits disappear every year, and the queue line is really overgrown. Also making the queue longer would be nice. It seems to come out the entrance as soon as it’s longer than a 30 min wait.
     
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  3. Lurker

    Lurker TowersStreet Member

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    The year of the tunnels?

    With Galactica no longer fully-dedicated to VR they have no excuse to not tidy up that tunnel. With the Galactica theme it should be easy and cheap. A simple white/blue space style cladding with some LED strips (nothing fancy, just blue lights) would keep it looking tidy. Want to spend some budget on it? Throw some monitors in there showing some of the planets, as if you are inside a space station looking out at space.

    The RMT/Rapids tunnel needs something too, some rope and wooden bits and bobs.

    Smiler tunnel, some whirly pattern on the floor/walls? (Though I read the strobe is back, so maybe not needed).

    Oblivion tunnel clean up? I don't really remember how it was last time I went, which maybe means it's okay. I don't remember any mist though.
     
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  4. GaryH

    GaryH TowersStreet Member

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    I agree about Monorail, considering it is the first "experience" for a guest going in to the park, its very dirty and the its very hard to see out of the windows now. However, the colourful vinyls are much better than the old dirty trains!

    As for Galactica, there has always been a debate about that tunnel. Putting a light effect across the walls and floor would be very easy to do, as would be having a smoke machine just pumping some mist into the tunnel, although whether it would affect sensors, or be an issue in a evac situation I dont know.

    And yeah, Oblivion hole needs a bit of a clean or at least turn the mist back on to hide it!!
     
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  5. AT86

    AT86 TowersStreet Member

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    An even earlier first impression than the monorail trains themselves is the car park monorail station exterior - take the AT logo over the entrance - a lot of guests take group photos and selfies in front of the logo to show the world via social media where they are. The logo is in a right state and covered in green slime/muck that would take 10mins to sort out. Hardly takes a genuius to work out it would be a good idea to clean it up.

    It’s one small example of many that shows the lack of care and attention to detail and any regular routine cleaning that you would expect of a park the size of Alton Towers to have in place to maintain basic standards.
     
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  6. BarryZola

    BarryZola TowersStreet Member

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    A local window cleaner would probably be glad of £20 for sorting that out too. Not too much trouble.
     
  7. FreakOut

    FreakOut TowersStreet Member

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    Sad state of affairs.. this is Mauraders, the old style of tea cups is clearly coming through and visible!
    [​IMG]
     
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  8. RussellH

    RussellH TowersStreet Member

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    If we're talking about bleak tunnels…

    If we're talking about bleak tunnels, I rode Wicker Man a few times last Tuesday morning, and it took until around midday for the fog to really settle in the first indoor section between exiting the station and entering the lift. It looks fantastic when full of fog, or when it has built up and filled the trench between the station and the room, but was really taking its time to settle that day. Resulted in being able to clearly see the inside of the room, looking at the bleak concrete walls and lighting rigs on the floor.

    I've ridden in the mornings before and not noticed this, I wonder whether it is weather dependant or just if they didn't switch the effect on as early that day. Either way, and when the effect inevitably breaks some years (weeks) down the line, it's not (currently) a great start to the ride experience without fog.
     
  9. Austin Towers

    Austin Towers TowersStreet Member

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    Maybe just me but oblivion is a totally different experience when the mist is on.

    Even for onlookers the way the mist moves looks amazing after a train drops through it.

    Such a simple effect makes a huge difference. It couldn't be that difficult to keep it operational.
     
    Last edited: 30th Apr 2018
  10. Error

    Error TowersStreet Member

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    I agree, with the roar of the car going down and then the mist being sucked is pretty cool.
     
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  11. OilyWater

    OilyWater TowersStreet Member

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    What you have described is likely already in the six figures region, unless it's going to break instantly, be installed extremely shoddily or be nasty 'bits and bobs' style.

    Theming has to be professional and invested in for value, otherwise it will not be maintainable or look good. I'd rather they spent proper money on it than a time-filler cheap job. We see far too much DIY theming in UK parks already to be honest.

    Air needs the full theme design it never got for it to be a complete experience and a better ride.I hope one day it will get all that proper tunnel design and landscaping to interact with the ride & area. :)

    Galactica's VR was never going to last and wasn't invested in properly to work either. It feels like it exists ONLY because Nick Varney went to a "VR is the new future of theme parks and without it you'll be left behind" type presentation at a corporate exbo.
     
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  12. Olivus Prime

    Olivus Prime TowersStreet Member

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    Unfortunately I feel like Galactica/VR will be a permanent blemish upon Air's history to Merlin. It'll always stand out as "the VR ride that didn't catch on" and thus there will be hesitation, if not downright refusal, to give it any kind of additional makeover in its remaining lifespan.

    Such a shame, as its original Air setup was not only great, but also within reach of excellence. An overlooked high-concept ride that was only 80% complete.
     
  13. Bubblegum

    Bubblegum TowersStreet Member

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    Not sure the image has loaded correctly but I noticed this recently too. The paint is coming off the barrels and the walls, surely it wouldn't cost that much to touch up? And what the hell happened to the smoke?
     
  14. Rick

    Rick TowersStreet Member

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    Air tunnel? "Get a life" - JW.
     
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  15. OilyWater

    OilyWater TowersStreet Member

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    Funny how he spends his life designing these exact things. :p

    The comment was obviously a joke towards the pedantry of online forums - a ribbing, since he was talking to a room full of people from online forums.

    It was a great funny moment, but I kind of regret how it gets quoted by jaded others online as if to 'side with Wardley' and denounce anyone else who cares.

    He and the whole team that delivered Air will appreciate the difference that finishing it properly would have made to the guest experience. :)

    Ride Air straight after Nemesis and you realise what a huge difference landscaping makes to a coaster like this, or ride with VR and you realise how much better the experience is when you don't start it with a stained concrete bunker.
     
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  16. Lurker

    Lurker TowersStreet Member

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    I enjoy the tunnel/lift hill sequence on Galactica VR, it's a nice style. After that I get really bad motion sickness.

    I agree, the tunnels aren't really the biggest problem (you're never in them for long anyway), and if they are going to bother they should splash a bit of cash on it and get a proper thematic job done (is this not what TLC is about, they did the artistic repaint on nemisis rather than taking the cheaper option and throwing a tin of red at it)

    However since I've seen mention of refreshing the cladding on Oblivion, adding cladding to smiler station exterior, I thought it was worth mentioning again the tuneels which are mostly dirty concrete holes with puddles and would also benefit from cladding.

    I really don't think six figures should be out of the reach of Altons improvements scheme. Perhaps the budget would be better spent reworking the queue to be more efficient at splitting the VR riders and regular riders, as right now it's a bit of a crush into the entrance. Both would be ideal.
     
  17. OilyWater

    OilyWater TowersStreet Member

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    It's far out of TLC's kind of budgets but definitely not out of reach of Merlin's capital expenditure, and spending to improve a headline ride is justified when you consider the amount of paying guests who ride it in a year.

    Unfortunately, Merlin have strict policies that money like this is never spent, unless it can guarantee them return (usually by rebranding the ride as something new, which is why Galactica happened, even then it didn't get a proper investment).

    I totally agree the tunnel needs something, it's just the fact that it needs an all or nothing approach really, no more cheapening out on :)
     
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  18. QTXAdsy

    QTXAdsy TowersStreet Member

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    With regards to Smiler if it were to get TLC, IMO, I would have a damn big list of what would be needed that would probably never happen, but here's what I'd do:
    • Reroute the Queue line, I know this has been said before but it's an obvious one and you could have it go round the north part of the ride with perhaps TV queue line similar to Oblivion's build up but done with a more black comedy element about the MOJ and all that.
    • Paint 'n' Jet wash! No surprise there as it does need it though perhaps you could be a little fancy having a yellow spiral effect on the supports to add to it's whacky theme job.
    • The main ride building, simply clad it over to match with that of Oblivion as we've all complained about that building for God knows how long.
    • Effects...yeah.
    • For the loading area, have an extra loading bay to help increase it's capacity and while at it, have the trains expand from 4 to 6 cars which not only increases their capacity but also reduces the risk of too many ride cars when the ride is in action.
    • Finally...lap bars to replace OTSR. This is now very unlikely since the crash, but it would help with the rough ride it delivers or if they want to keep the OTSR, simply replace the current set and copy what Vekoma did and use the 'vest' style restraint, if it worked for them then no reason they can't use that for Smiler.
    None of these would likely happen, though I would be stunned if at least one of them was half done, all the upgrades would likely cost the same as Wicker Man if done at once.

    With Air (I'm certain it'll return to it's original name with what's going on), I think the park's 40th anniversary in 2020, it would be nice to go out and dig out the original 'oasis' idea for Air and do it. Come to think of, you wouldn't need a new ride for 2020 as the whole thing can be marketed as Alton Towers re-mastered with every ride and area getting TLC of some description or 'as you've never seen it before!' style PR.

    None of this would happen, even on this forum most will likely laugh all this off, but if only...:(
     
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  19. Alsty

    Alsty TowersStreet Member

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    Re: Smiler, I think jet washing, repainting the queueline area and making some of the inaccessible parts accessible (adding gates etc) so they can be cleaned is probably all we could expect for a TLC budget. I can't imagine rerouting the queueline or anything more significant being financially viable.
     
  20. OilyWater

    OilyWater TowersStreet Member

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    Of course it is for Merlin, they can afford to do it tomorrow. But they would never even consider it, let alone pay for it. That's one reason why we have such an awful queue experience for a headline ride in the first place.

    Unless you mean as a theme park Alton Towers or the TLC people wouldnt be able to afford it, in which case yes, becaue Merlin don't grant them the budget.
     

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