TPR Video from IAAPA, GG want to build at Alton towers

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by davewazere, 20th Nov 2013.

  1. EuroSatch

    EuroSatch TowersStreet Member

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    I've been on many woodies, both good and bad, and not one was themed on the wild west. However, some of what I would consider the best themed rides are themed in the wild west...

    And so what, a formulaic theme that works. Beats trying to be original like Merlin where awful uncohesive themes result
     
  2. Dan_PMBO

    Dan_PMBO TowersStreet Member

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    They would have to build something pretty spectacular to surpass the classic Wild Mouse and Grand National! something i don't think towers have got. But i would like to see them try!
     
  3. Meat Pie

    Meat Pie TowersStreet Member

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    Sigh... I probably bring this upon myself by using objective language about a subjective subject.

    I'm only talking about what I'm interested in. I don't care and never will care about rollercoasters and rides simply because they're rollercoasters and rides. I'm interested in seeing what can be done with the medium to create unique and interesting experiences on the basis of constructing narrative and putting the audience in the middle of a physical alternate reailty. No more - no less.

    So using that framework to analyse what I see, to come to my conclusions, yes there are a lot of steel coasters out there that don't match these standards but I have yet to ride/watch a POV of a single woodie that meets the standard, for the reasons I have already given. That of course though is purely an observation.

    Benzin - If the landscaping effects the rider experience, it is defintely part of themed experience. Although if this means people are going to start saying a cross valley coaster would be themed to 'Trees', well I don't buy it.

    Basicly... I think a park has failed a bit if at anyone time the riders are able to completely forget what the ride experience is representing in this alternate reailty or forget their role in the narrative.

    I'm not against woodies completely... Sure put them in amusement parks or at a seaside attraction... Just don't put them in a Theme Park, where themes and ideas are meant to lead the entertainment using thrill rides as the medium.

    Besides...AT needs a good dark ride on park before a woody! With only Hex and Sub-Terra being good, Duel and Charlie are in desperate need of replacement.
     
  4. Plastic Person

    Plastic Person TowersStreet Member

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    Meat Pie, I love your posts and often agree with you (as I do to an extent in this case.) But my God, you're a demanding young man. :p

    Alton Towers has long had a, shall we say flexible approach as a theme park. I really love the themes that suit the environment, such as Nemesis, Storybook Land, Thirteen and best of all, Hex. But it's not a Punchdrunk theatre production, and I can't resist the idea of a world beating wooden coaster firing through the woods. Especially if it had a nice station!
     
  5. josht

    josht TowersStreet Member

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    Amazing bloke seems a right laugh
     
  6. NF2

    NF2 TowersStreet Member

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    I Managed to have a fairly decent chat with Chad Miller of Gravity Group today so naturally quizzed him further on what was said in the TPR video.

    He told me that the Woodie idea was very much Wardleys baby and numerous ideas have been thrown around. He told me the last proper communication he had with Merlin was with James Paulding at last years IAAPA, and as we all would expect he said that whilst the management at Alton are very much in support of the idea, the powers that be at Merlin just aren't interested. He then further went on to say that around the time of the last EAS they emailed Justin Platt directly about whether Alton would be interested in pursuing a project, but received no reply.

    I naturally went on to tell Chad about Nick Varneys somewhat draconian marketing strategy and lack of interest in projects without a USP, and he laughed saying "the last guy to build a coaster with us has found it a marketers dream... If an inverting Wooden Coaster isn't enough of a USP then I don't know what is". We finally discussed the oft lamented idea that UK consumers have no interest in Woodies, and whilst I still think that Merlin are wrong, he recalled to me that they received a significantly lower amount of interest when exhibiting at the London EAS than at Paris the following year or any other trade show in recent years.

    I proposed the idea that maybe people still associate woodies with classic Blackpool style rides, but who knows, he said hopefully one day Merlin will see the light and take the risk, but sadly only the Marketers at the top can make that call :(

    Still, it's good to see they're still very actively interested in working with Alton... Even if Merlin don't seem quite so excited back!
     
  7. Plastic Person

    Plastic Person TowersStreet Member

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    Very interesting, NF2, thanks for that!
     
  8. BarryZola

    BarryZola TowersStreet Member

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    One day they will build it, and the customers will come. It will be the finest attraction at Alton Towers since 1994.
     
  9. Benzin

    Benzin TowersStreet Member

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    It'll take a non-Merlin park to take the initial risk (it IS one, regardless of enthusiast opinion) of building a modern wooden coaster...

    It would more than likely pay off though... And then it'd be the next big thing in the UK...
     
  10. Slugjc

    Slugjc TowersStreet Member

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    A wooden rollercoaster would ruin AT. To me a wooden rollercoaster should be left at places like Blackpool were they have a history. I can only see it at AT as a gimmick. Nothing more
     
  11. James

    James TS Founding Member

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    A gimmick, really? If anything it would suit Alton Towers ideally. Merlin Studios can create some pretty unique concepts when they put their heads to it. So it would be a match made it heaven. They would take the wooden coaster and turn it into something that will amaze.
     
  12. PeteA

    PeteA TowersStreet Member

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    ^
    Sigh

    Its a good job that other parks all around the World dont think like that. On my travels around the World, which kind of coaster do I consistently see kids getting off and running round the queue again for another ride? Woodies.

    I went to Quassy in October and rode the Wooden Warrior and for a ride of its size it packs a punch. Low height limit enables small kids to ride on their own and it certainly packs a punch. I was speaking to one of the parks press officers about the ride and it has worked wonders for them. Attendance has gone through the roof and customer satisfaction for the ride is over 90%.

    We all know woodies can be awful if they arent looked after well, and of course, the Blackpool coasters may have put some people off due to their bumpy nature. However most of that is due to the restraints. Ride on the Grand National with quite a high lap bar and not sat over an axle and its still a great ride. With a lap bar pinning you in and sat over an axle... OUCH !!!

    Also another ride which I think has hurt peoples opinions of them is the Ultimate. Now we all know (or I hope we do) that the Ultimate is a Steel coaster, but people see the wood and immediately think its a wooden coaster. Look on trip advisor and you will see what I mean....

    At the end of the day a junior wooden coaster along the lines of the aforementioned Wooden Warrior, would be great for Alton. Then, if that was successful, then a major thrilling woodie could follow. Wood would (no pun intended) compilment the existing coasters.

    But I am a realist, and while Merlin has a marketeer at the top who likes his gimmicks then its never going to happen and we will just get gimmick after pointless gimmick coming into the park.

    Sigh.....
     
  13. LiamC

    LiamC TowersStreet Member

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    I used to feel exactly the same as this. However, after riding my first modern woodie (Wodan, a GCI opened in 2012) in October my whole perception changed.

    Visually it's one of the most impressive rides I've seen in a long time. The way it interacts with it's setting and the rides around it is completely unique, something which could only be explored further at Towers given it's unique setting and the topography of the park. The ride itself is remarkably smooth, smoother infact than some modern steel coasters I've been on. Also, the trains are some of the most comfy I've ever sat in...those plush leather seats <3

    Also looking at the Mitch Hawker poll for last year, nine of the top ten Wooden Coasters in the poll were all opened post 2000:

    El Toro - 2006
    T. Express - 2006
    The Voyage - 2005
    Boulder Dash - 2000
    Balder - 2003
    Ravine Flyer - 2008
    Dualing Dragon (L+R) - 2012
    Colossos - 2001

    Whilst wood is generally looked on as being old and rickety by the GP, now days it is anything but with a lot of top coasters being wood. Infact you could argue that wood is, currently, at the forefront of developments within the coaster industry. A wooden coaster is, in my eyes, the next logical step for Towers if they want to compete with top european parks like EP etc.
     
  14. Dave

    Dave TS Founding Member

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    See I'm no great wooden coaster fan, personally I think they get an over elevated status with mediocre wooden coasters lauded when the comparable steel coasters are slammed...

    HOWEVER

    A good wooden coaster is a great thing to ride. there is no reason a wooden structure can't theme well, the issue is most theme parks don't theme well and those that do have avoided wooden coasters (Disney, Universal ect) with only a handful of the immersive theme parks giving it a shot (EP, Eftling). Wooden coasters also make great family coasters even if they are tall beasts.

    As much as we moan about the place Alton Towers have a great coaster hardware portfolio (lacking in theming). They now have:

    - Multilooper
    - Dive Machine
    - Launch Coaster
    - Family thrill steel coaster with drop
    - Invert
    - Flyer
    - Mine train coaster
    - Spinner

    They really urgently need to sort out a kids coaster and then really what they are lacking is another family thrill and a woody would work perfectly!!
     
  15. QTXAdsy

    QTXAdsy TowersStreet Member

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    Alton do seem want to take risks and just go for it, just that Merlin is keeping the collar and lead on them...makes you wonder if Alton decided to break away from Merlin and decided to go it alone, would create competition in the UK market at least (going a bit of topic!)

    Still the fact that Alton still want a woodie is hopeful.
     
  16. Dave

    Dave TS Founding Member

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    Alton can't decide to break away from Merlin, it's owned by Merlin.

    What I wouldn't give for Merlin to sell it though :)
     
  17. DiogoJ42

    DiogoJ42 TowersStreet Member

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    Merlin need to sell off all their parks and stick to midways.
     
  18. James

    James TS Founding Member

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    If Alton was a standalone business it's unlikely we would see new additions yearly. You would probably be waiting for a new roller coaster for longer than every 3 years. They need to be owned by a company. I hope though they are managed by a smaller company in future that allows more freedom.

    I think Merlin selling off parks will be coming at any moment in the next 5+ years. It will be interesting to see what they sell off first of they one day do decide that.
     
  19. EuroSatch

    EuroSatch TowersStreet Member

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    They can easily break away through a management buy out with the backing of some financial investors if they wanted to. Buy their shareholding out of the Merlin Operations
     
  20. Slugjc

    Slugjc TowersStreet Member

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    Yes a gimmick really. To shove a woodie in just for the sake of it would be desperate in eyes . I'm all for a good woodie, the grand national in particular. Im sure the ride would look good at Alton, and they could theme it very well, but it would have to be a kids ride. Nothing more. Im sorry to say.
     

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