What would Alton Towers be like today if it hadn't been acquired by Tussauds in 1990?

Discussion in 'Talbot Street' started by Matt N, 12th Nov 2019.

  1. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    Hi guys. Even though Alton Towers had forged successful foundations in the 1980s under John Broome, it was arguably propelled to its present position in the UK theme park ranks by the additions that Tussauds made, especially those made in the 1990s. But if you have ever read Tales from the Towers or listened to any interviews or Q&As with John Wardley, then you will most likely know that it was not Tussauds' original intention to purchase Alton Towers. Their original intention was to build an Alton Towers beater; a new ground-up theme park that would aim to compete with Alton Towers. So my question to you today is; what do you think Alton Towers would be like today if Tussauds had not acquired Alton Towers, and had instead been able to realise their original vision and been able to build a theme park on the grounds of Woburn Abbey or on the site of the Colby steelworks?

    In my opinion, I don't think that the park would have grown to quite the scale or have quite the public reputation that it has today, but I don't think that it would be a million miles from what it is today. The park had already built incredibly solid foundations and gained a considerable customer base in the 1980s; as well as this, it still had many attractions, among which were quite a few substantial and iconic rides. My personal prediction is that the park would probably be one of the more prominent non-Merlin theme parks in the country in terms of size and guest figures; maybe not quite Blackpool Pleasure Beach level, but I easily think that it would be fairly prominent; perhaps on the level of somewhere like Drayton Manor or Flamingo Land. I reckon that the park would still have built more major thrill rides, but I think that these would likely have been less frequent and/or less expensive, with one of these most probably being the unbuilt Schwarzkopf coaster in what is now Dark Forest.

    But where do you guys think that Alton Towers would be today if it had not been acquired by Tussauds in 1990?
     
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    Posted 12th Nov 2019
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  2. TakeYourMedicine

    TakeYourMedicine TowersStreet Member

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    Alton Towers went up for sale regardless of Tussauds so I guess it could have gone in any direction. It was still the most successful and biggest park in the country before Tussauds got it, but Tussauds developed it really well from there

    It's an interesting question. Im unsure Tussauds could have ever built a new theme park as big as AT from the ground up. They would have probably sold Chessington to someone else after a while, so who knows where Tussauds would have ended up too. Then Thorpe Park and Port Aventura would have had a very different fate too
     
    Last edited: 13th Nov 2019
    Posted 12th Nov 2019
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  3. jon81uk

    jon81uk TowersStreet Member

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    We may not have even got Nemesis if Tussauds hadn't bought the park.
     
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    Posted 13th Nov 2019
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  4. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    I think that Nemesis (or at least, an equivalent major B&M) would likely have gone to Tussauds' new theme park as opposed to Alton Towers if Tussauds hadn't acquired Alton Towers.
     
    Posted 13th Nov 2019
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  5. LordOfDarkness

    LordOfDarkness TowersStreet Member

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    No way it would’ve been Nemesis though! That pit & John Wardley was a perfect storm.
     
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    Posted 16th Nov 2019
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  6. Themeparksandy1981

    Themeparksandy1981 TowersStreet Member

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    I think we would have had at least 1 coaster in every section of the park. I think they would have had custom build coasters like a spinning wild mouse. The thrill line up would be a lot better than it is now.
     
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    Posted 1st Dec 2019
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  7. Log Flume's Dennis

    Log Flume's Dennis TowersStreet Member

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    I agree with Theme Park Sandy - I guess we'll never know but chances are it would have been a lot more thrilling!
     
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