What is the finest achievement of Alton Towers?

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

  1. OilyWater

    OilyWater TowersStreet Member

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    This is all pre 2020 I mean for Thorpe and Chessington, their attendances started to drop since they started to do random low investments and let the parks themselves decline in the last 10 years. There's always a lag, if Alton are letting problems creep in now then it will show up in the general public's attitude a few years down the line and not sustain attendances, as shown by Chessington and Thorpe.

    So it's not an instantaneous response from the public, who've been coming back to Alton in large numbers since the crash. But what I mean is, if the park let things slip now with the likes of Dungeon and World of David Walliams, it will only drop again instead of keep increasing back to where the park should be.

    And had the park kept up the great approach it had in the mid 90s, it might be on a more solid foundation today.
     
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  2. Matt.GC

    Matt.GC TowersStreet Member

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    Not wanting to veer to far away from the subject of this thread, but looking at the way other European parks that Alton sat shoulder to shoulder with in the same leagues at the turn of the century have moved on does support this argument. It's testament to the strong foundations the park laid down in the 80's and 90's that the park has been able to withstand the effective downgrading it's been receiving in recent years

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  3. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    I have a question; why is it that the park seemingly didn’t keep up the same approach as they had in the 90s, as that approach was clearly a successful one?

    Admittedly, I’m not entirely sure how the approach differs now compared to the 90s, but I’d be interested to know.
     
    Last edited: 22nd Jun 2021
  4. Ethan

    Ethan TowersStreet Member

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    Why are you so negative about towers. It may not be the same quality of many european parks you're referring to anymore, but it's still got some great rides and attractions. It always has history and heritage that no other park could possibly compete with. Its more than just a theme park
     
  5. jon81uk

    jon81uk TowersStreet Member

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    Pearson sold the Tussauds group. First to Dubai Investment Capital and then to Blackstone (which caused the Merlin merger).
    I just think the owners were more interested in getting money out than putting it in.
    Also to some extent I think the purchase of Thorpe Park, Heide Park, the full ownership of the London Eye and so on watered down the focus of the Tussauds group. A lot was spent on Thorpe in the 2000s and I think Chessington suffered and to some extent Alton maybe did too.
     
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  6. Heidi

    Heidi TowersStreet Member

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    I am a personal fan of Heide Park
    Not to speak on @Matt.GC 's behalf, but I remember not long ago when first joining these forums being surprised by the amount of criticism people have for AT but I've now come to realise where it comes from. It's not from negativity or dislike of the park, but more of a love of it and a desire for it to be the best it can be. It's important to remember that we've only experienced the park throughout the 00s and 2010s, not the 90s which is widely agreed to be the peak of the park's history. As fans of AT of course we're going to be defensive of it when it comes to criticism, but we never saw it in its peak, and so we don't have the perspective of those who have.

    Plus, I doubt anyone on here would disagree that AT is more than just a theme park, we're all on this fanboy site for a reason.
     
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  7. Matt.GC

    Matt.GC TowersStreet Member

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    You asked me a question and then immediately answered it for me.

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  8. RicketyCricket

    RicketyCricket TowersStreet Member

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    Now we're talking :cool:

    Crap video here...

     
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  9. Davezilla

    Davezilla TowersStreet Member

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    Having the queue times readily available online. No matter where in the world you may be, you can always check to see if Duel is still on a 5 minute wait.
     
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  10. Matt.GC

    Matt.GC TowersStreet Member

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    That lift hill motor echoing around Festival Park IS the ultimate Alton Towers soundtrack to me. Boy do I miss it

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  11. s_g_k

    s_g_k TowersStreet Member

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    I love it! It worked so well with those Ug Land beats as well. God it looks so tame in that POV but I remember being so scared of it when I was a kid when my dad took me on it.
     
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  12. NuttySquirrel

    NuttySquirrel TowersStreet Member

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    Easy to look at corkscrew through rose-tinted specs - apparently it was rough as hell!
     
  13. s_g_k

    s_g_k TowersStreet Member

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    It was! From the tight right hander before the first drop up until the end of the smaller second drop it was quite the head banger.
     
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  14. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    I was never able to ride Corkscrew, but from what my parents said, I think it would have made Smiler seem like a B&M!
     
  15. Ethan

    Ethan TowersStreet Member

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    The smiler is smooth tbf. It has the odd jolts but it's not rough really. How people can expect it to be smoother when it's such a compact ride
     
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  16. Drew Peacock

    Drew Peacock TowersStreet Member

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    It really was. It would throw your head in all different directions.
     
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  17. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    I personally find Smiler a bit rough. I admit that it’s a very compact ride, so it would have been hard to make it glass smooth, but I usually come off it with either my head or my ears hurting these days, which isn’t what I personally like in a ride; Smiler isn’t really my kind of coaster. Admittedly, I wouldn’t say that it’s as rough as something like Saw, perhaps, but I’d certainly call Smiler a touch too rough for my personal taste, from my experience; the ride certainly has a very strong rattle and a large number of notable jolts. My dad’s convinced he hurt something in his back the last time we rode Smiler.

    Admittedly, the fact I’m not especially tall may mean increased contact with the OTSRs compared to some, but I wouldn’t personally say I find Smiler a particularly smooth or comfortable experience.
     
  18. Danscott22

    Danscott22 TowersStreet Member

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    The Smiler is smooth to me but I can completely accept to someone else that it might be rough as old nails, body shape, size, height will all contribute to how it rides from person to person.
     
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  19. Matt.GC

    Matt.GC TowersStreet Member

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    It would jolt alot. I remember the Corkscrews themselves being particular ear bangers.

    I loved the way the track looked in it's Ug Land form as it really did look like a Skeleton. The whine of the lift hill motor was one of the things that was consistent throughout it's life span. You'd first hear it as a kid in the late 80's when the area was completely different, but in 2008 that sound was still there echoing out behind Rita as soon as you entered the area even though the area itself was almost unrecognisable.

    As soon as Nemesis opened, Corkscrew and the Beast started to look out of place with their temporary looks, a bit like the fun fair flats look now. Imagine walking into Dark Forest now from Fountain square, with the food buildings to your left and a large space to your right where Rita now sits with a clear view of the entirety of Corkscrew in bright yellow. As far as the eye could see were flats and colour everywhere - 1001 Nights swinging up to the tree tops (if I remember correctly, it was somewhere near the current Thirteen entrance?) Enterprise, Wave Swinger etc. I remember loads of colour and the area, which started open with the food buildings and Corkscrew 'plaza' kind of area (if that's the right word to use for the land Rita's station and maintenance building now sits) and then thinning out as you got to the back. It had a tacky look from 94 onwards (but I loved it at the time) and Festival Park felt very much like a Broom era original area, hence the well timed retheme a few seasons later to Ug Land.

    Ultimately, by 2008 it was clearly time for it to go.

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  20. OilyWater

    OilyWater TowersStreet Member

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    The Corkscrew lift motor noise and gentle screams quietly echoing over the garden valley was much better than the actual ride, totally made the park feel special. I have absolutely no idea why but it did
     
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