Will Alton Towers' visitor numbers ever return to their pre-Smiler levels?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Matt N, 6th Jul 2019.

  1. RoyJess

    RoyJess TowersStreet Member

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    For me, Pleasure Woodhills or Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach are my closest park, but not worth the visit.

    Thorpe, Chessie and LLW are the closer Merlin Parks in distance compared to Alton, but the M25 traffic means that Alton is actually the quickest option for driving for me, plus I prefer the rides at Alton.
     
    Posted 6th Jul 2019
    #21
  2. Mikw

    Mikw TowersStreet Member

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    Hold your horses! I am of meagre budget, and The season pass deal is fantastice value. I don't want to to up just because it can.

    I also think the park has improved this year, it will continue to do so as the visitor numbers rise again, partially because of the season pass.

    I don't think raising prices would be popular at all, we are living in austere times
     
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    Posted 6th Jul 2019
    #22
  3. WickerMan99

    WickerMan99 TowersStreet Member

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    Im really suprised that those numbers haven't already risen to pre-smiler levels (unless the numbers are false of course). Especially after last year due to wicker man and the really good channel 4 documentary made about it. Surely that brought in more than 200000 extra people?

    The park seems to be improving a little each year, but I think if they added some new flat rides and water rides it would make it more inviting to familys of all ages and probably get more people coming.

    If not then SW9 is surely gonna drum up a crowd like all of the SW projects do. I reckon people will have trust in the park again by the time that comes.
     
    Last edited: 6th Jul 2019
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    Posted 6th Jul 2019
    #23
  4. Danny

    Danny Gugu Rides’ Number 1 Fan

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    Trust isn't the only contributing factor to driving guests through the gate. Good value for money is, which is why season passes are having to be offered for the same price as a gate ticket. The fact of the matter is that Alton Towers is not good value for money. The operating hours are amongst the worst parks in the world. The quality of food and beverage continues to dive bomb year upon year. Customer service is far from desirable.

    Obviously the park have had to rebuild a huge component of trust following the accident; to the extent an operations director was used more as a marketing gimmick than anything else. But you cannot drive guests into a theme park on trust alone; there has to be a sense that they want you to have an enjoyable visit and get the best value for money. That is seriously lacking at the moment.
     
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    Posted 6th Jul 2019
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  5. Ethan

    Ethan TowersStreet Member

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    I disagree. Tbf Alton towers is home to world class roller coasters that are unique in their own way. Smiler, wicker man, galactica, nemesis, oblivion. These rides make it worth the visit, well for me anyway.
     
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    Posted 6th Jul 2019
    #25
  6. Kraken27

    Kraken27 TowersStreet Member

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    A colleague I used to sit next to - not an enthusiast, but enjoys a rollercoaster - went to Alton Towers once last year on Sun free tickets. He visited in the week, so got a 10-4 operating hours day with the infamous staggered openings thrown in. His words were "I won't be back there in a hurry".

    So Towers have succeeded in annoying a guest who had free entry (only had to pay for parking), who only had a 33mile journey each way and visited on a quiet day to the extent where they say they are not going back anytime soon.

    There is the saying that a dissatisfied person will tell 10 people about their bad experience, whereas a satisfied person may tell 2 or 3 people. Well this colleague told the entire support office about his "quality" day out courtesy of Merlin / Towers, so there's about 60 people within circa 30miles of the park who are probably not inclined to head there soon.
     
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    Posted 6th Jul 2019
    #26
  7. Danny

    Danny Gugu Rides’ Number 1 Fan

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    Ride hardware alone does not dictate whether or not a park is good value for money. You could fill a park with off-the-shelf layout rides but if they are operated efficiently, combined with great food and beverage offerings and park-wide entertainment; the value for money would be far better than a park which is overseen by a company with no concept of offering a genuine guest experience.
     
    Posted 6th Jul 2019
    #27
  8. WickerMan99

    WickerMan99 TowersStreet Member

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    I think its pretty good value for money. Its the largest theme park in the country and has some of the best themed and quality rides. Especially if you can get yourself a couple of free tickets in the sun which means its even cheaper to get in. It makes it a lot more value in that case.

    I haven't had a problem with customer service myself. The ride operators all seemed quite friendly when I was there (especially those working around Wicker Man). I think Alton is miles above Thorpe (who's staff seemed like they didn't want to be there).

    I personally agree with opening times needing to be a little longer. But tbf I usually manage to do all the rides I want to before closure. If they are extending opening times I'd like to see more flat rides, family rides or water rides added to the park. More things to do = a longer time you want to stay at the park = better value for money.
     
    Last edited: 6th Jul 2019
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    Posted 6th Jul 2019
    #28
  9. Doublethink

    Doublethink TowersStreet Member

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    Just to say Europa Park is 50 euros for a day ticket and has better hours and is world class. I got my busch seaworld tickets for £100 for a 14 day pass with unlimited free parking.
    Both Europa and seaworld offer world class experience, great service, brilliant F&B and have great rides and themeing which are IMHO better than towers.

    I just can't say based on those above figures that alton offers a good value experience....
     
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    Posted 7th Jul 2019
    #29
  10. Ethan

    Ethan TowersStreet Member

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    The parking is good value. However you can get a season pass for £70 at towers and go whenever you want
     
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    Posted 7th Jul 2019
    #30
  11. Themeparksandy1981

    Themeparksandy1981 TowersStreet Member

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    I think it’s down to a new generation 25 years ago my parents and my friends parents took there kids to theme parks and we spoke about how good Nemesis was and parks like Drayton Manor and then American Adventure.
    Fast forward to now and now of my school m8’s and college friends have taken there kids to Alton Towers even at work there’s guys in there 30s not been since they were a kid and many 18 to 24 year olds that have never been so they more than likely won’t take your kids to theme parks.
     
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    Posted 7th Jul 2019
    #31
  12. Mikw

    Mikw TowersStreet Member

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    I'm with you there. It's terrific value if you go for the season pass
     
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    Posted 7th Jul 2019
    #32
  13. AstroDan

    AstroDan TS Forum Team Team Member

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    The park needs events to generate repeat custom.

    But marketing won't take risks.

    Sent from my SM-G973F using Tapatalk
     
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    Posted 7th Jul 2019
    #33
  14. Alsty

    Alsty TowersStreet Member

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    They could do with some events, something marketable that will attract different groups of people. I don't think it's enough just to expect people to come without putting in some effort to encourage them.
     
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    Posted 8th Jul 2019
    #34
  15. Ethan

    Ethan TowersStreet Member

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    The parks busy enough anyway. 30-60 min queues for most rides
     
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    Posted 8th Jul 2019
    #35
  16. GaryH

    GaryH TowersStreet Member

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    Was surprised this weekend to see that staggered openings are still in effect. RMT didn't open until 11 , neither did rapids and a few others, yet the place was absolutely packed first thing.
     
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    Posted 8th Jul 2019
    #36
  17. Ethan

    Ethan TowersStreet Member

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    Most people don't go to those rides til later on so that makes sense. Tbh even when some of the coasters didn't open til 11 last year it made sense, forbidden valley is dead until about 11:30
     
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    Posted 8th Jul 2019
    #37
  18. GaryH

    GaryH TowersStreet Member

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    The queue for RMT yesterday morning by 10.30 was down to the rapids.
     
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    Posted 8th Jul 2019
    #38
  19. Danny

    Danny Gugu Rides’ Number 1 Fan

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    They need to send someone down to Dreamland to take a look at their events. There's no doubt it's had a rocky life since re-launching in 2015, but they've hit the nail on the head when they performed the conversion to an event based amusement park.
     
    Posted 8th Jul 2019
    #39
  20. Alsty

    Alsty TowersStreet Member

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    And that is because of a lack of support rides, lack of shows, reduced food & beverage offerings as well as operational things like Fastrack and RAP which are eating into the throughputs. The park just cannot handle the crowds like it used to.
     
    Posted 8th Jul 2019
    #40

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