What is the finest achievement of Alton Towers?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Drew Peacock, 20th Jun 2021.

  1. Drew Peacock

    Drew Peacock TowersStreet Member

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    What, in your opinion, is the overall best thing you think Alton Towers have accomplished?

    Is it the hotels, the gardens or any of the rides?

    For me, it's Nemesis.
     
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    Posted 20th Jun 2021
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  2. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    Great thread idea!

    For me, I’d say that Alton’s finest achievement is a more general one, of managing to continually make innovative and fun attractions within the constraints they’re under. Many parks would have given up, but Alton found ways around the constraints. With Nemesis, they dug the pit. With Oblivion, they dug the hole. With Smiler, they used two lift hills to generate the momentum for 14 inversions. My list could go on…
     
    Posted 20th Jun 2021
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  3. Rick

    Rick TowersStreet Member

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    I think it's largely its very existence as a theme park, in part it's a product of its time but in no small part due to the ambition and vision of John Broome and Tussauds.

    Hard to say for sure, but I imagine a scheme today to build such an attraction around a historic building in the Staffordshire Moorlands wouldn't happen.
     
    Last edited: 20th Jun 2021
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  4. Funcone

    Funcone TowersStreet Member

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    Let's be honest, the only way you'd get planning permission for something like Alton Towers today, is if you bought Robert Jenrick a really nice birthday present.
     
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  5. jon81uk

    jon81uk TowersStreet Member

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    This was
     
    Posted 20th Jun 2021
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  6. jon81uk

    jon81uk TowersStreet Member

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    I think the destruction of the building during the war sort of helped in a way. If the building was habitable then the National Trust or similar may have it. But the fact the grounds were more usable pushed it further down the leisure attraction route I think.

    but yes the ambition of the Tussauds group in the early 90s really cemented it as the main theme park in the uk.
    I suppose in a way without the Tussauds group in the early 2000s we wouldn’t have got Thorpe Park as a thrill ride destination either, it would have likely continued as more of a water themed park.
     
    Posted 20th Jun 2021
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  7. Ethan

    Ethan TowersStreet Member

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    The smiler. 14 inversions in the space of where a tent used to be, how they managed it I'm still left wondering to this day
     
    Posted 20th Jun 2021
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  8. Rick

    Rick TowersStreet Member

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    I am going to adopt your persona to respond to this post.

    No, you're wrong.
     
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    Posted 20th Jun 2021
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  9. Drew Peacock

    Drew Peacock TowersStreet Member

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    I also think accomplishing the building of the great rides they have with all the restrictions they are up against (height, noise etc).
     
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  10. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    Even if you could get permission for rides on the grounds, it probably wouldn’t have been able to be anything larger than children’s rides these days, as planning restrictions/heritage preservation laws seem to have gotten stricter since the 80s.
     
  11. TheAverageNerd

    TheAverageNerd TowersStreet Member

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    This might be the best post I've seen all year, thanks for the chuckle!

    I think the park have accomplished a lot over the years, but I really think that the secret weapon program as a whole is what put the park on the global theme park map and made it a destination for so many. We all know it's a bit of a marketing ploy, but the fact that a ruined stately home in the middle of nowhere is now known by millions worldwide thanks to the likes of Nemesis, Oblivion and the Smiler is genuinely very impressive.

    If we are going on individual achievement though, I really think it has to be Nemesis. I still genuinely believe that Nemesis is the crown jewel of Alton Towers. It's such a great blend of theming and engineering, it rides incredibly well given it's age and it changed the landscape of themed entertainment in the UK forever. It's amazing that almost 30 years after it's debut, we still use it in conversation when talking about the best rollercoasters in the world. I really think that alone speaks to it's quality and how lucky we are to have it, even if it's not to everyone's taste.
     
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  12. pluk

    pluk TowersStreet Member

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    It'd take a lot of persuading to get me away from Nemesis. It's an incredible piece of work, the vision, planning and engineering required to get that ride there is completely beyond me. Its something very special.
     
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  13. Ethan

    Ethan TowersStreet Member

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    I am more than happy for people to express when they disagree with my opinion, afterall that's the whole point of a discussion. Me questioning an opinion isn't saying that it is wrong. It is morely so I can understand their perspective as I am not them and I don't know what they think and why they think that
     
  14. Matt.GC

    Matt.GC TowersStreet Member

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    The fact that the park exists. I know that seems like a genuine cop out to say such a thing but hear me out.

    Without a major corporation and IP behind it, a listed estate and ruins in the middle of the English countryside managed to become a fully fledged theme park in just a decade! That's incredible when you think about it. There wasn't loads of money, no corporation like Disney behind it, no catalogue of strong grounded IP's to use and it wasn't a gradual progression like other parks with many decades of organic growth behind it. It was almost a standing start (a fun fair behind the Towers doesn't count). All this in a country that had very little heritage in this sector, rediculously strict planning restrictions (although admittedly many of these were bent and twisted in the first decade), a mild rainy climate and full of NIMBYs.

    What happened the next decade is almost as incredible. Just 12 years after it started, it opens unique and world class attractions that stand head and shoulders (and sometimes above) the most established big boys elsewhere in the world, as well as becoming a resort, opening 2 hotels and a water park. I can't think of any other park that has as many handicaps as Towers and has managed to achieve this, so well and so fast.

    On top of these challenges, Towers then spends the next 2 decades inflicting harm upon itself. It opens a plethora of attractions of much decreased quality, falls into a state of disrepair that it never recovers from, does a great deal of damage to it's original theme park heritage, slashes operational budgets and crashes a rollercoaster. Yet still, despite all this, it somehow still exists?



    Sent from my VOG-L29 using Tapatalk
     
  15. Ted

    Ted TowersStreet Member

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    Corkscrew.

    As others have mentioned, the place even becoming a proper theme park is a massive and impressive achievement in itself, but I think Corkie being there is what set the foundations for it for the next 41 years. There was hardly else like it in the UK and this was the attraction that put the park on the map. Things like Nemesis, Oblivion and the park itself managing to have an old mansion and gardens plonked right into it have done it wonders, but Corkie was the one that helped it become one of the most iconic parks in Europe (if not the world!)
     
  16. Drew Peacock

    Drew Peacock TowersStreet Member

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    Could you elaborate more on your views of it falling into disrepair and it doing damage to the heritage?
     
  17. jon81uk

    jon81uk TowersStreet Member

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    I agree in general, but I don’t think the park would have got the success and international reputation without the investment from Tussauds/Pearson in the 90s.
    Who knows what would have happened if Broome got to continue in the same style that was being done in the 80s.
     
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  18. Matt.GC

    Matt.GC TowersStreet Member

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    Sorry, I need to clarify. I meant heritage as a theme park. I was not referring to the heritage of the site. I should have chosen my words better there as a realise when using the word heritage when referring to Alton Towers it means something entirely different.

    Sent from my VOG-L29 using Tapatalk
     
  19. DistortAMG

    DistortAMG TowersStreet Member

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    For me, it has to be the grand Towers and Gardens themself, had it not been for them, the park which we all love, would probably not exist.
     
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  20. Drew Peacock

    Drew Peacock TowersStreet Member

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    What do you think they've done to damage the heritage of the park?
     

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