What's new

WTF Merlin?

CrashCoaster

Formerly ATI

Typical **** Merlin.

EDIT: Fixed the image link for you. You have to link to the image address, not the page the image is on. Hixee.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

NeoXIII

Best Newcomer 2016

Typical :emoji_poop: Merlin.

EDIT: Fixed the image link for you. You have to link to the image address, not the page the image is on. Hixee.
Yikes, where is that coming from? o_O
What would be the difference between "coming soon" and "come back later" anyway?
To cut Merlin/TP a bit of slack, unless it's looking like that all day long, it's just temporary. Am quite sure they're trying to open up stuff asap if it's broken down or something...
 

JoshC.

Active Member
What would be the difference between "coming soon" and "come back later" anyway?
Coming Soon is usually for a ride that has yet to open, but will be soon. Come Back Later is for a ride that has opened but has shutdown. For context, Closed means closed, as in it won't open at all.

Tbh, that image screams "we've had an issue with our queue time website" more than "nothing is open" to me. It doesn't help that there's no way of knowing when that screenshot was grom. I believe everything aside from Colossus is open right now anyways.
 

NeoXIII

Best Newcomer 2016
Tbh, that image screams "we've had an issue with our queue time website" more than "nothing is open" to me. It doesn't help that there's no way of knowing when that screenshot was grom. I believe everything aside from Colossus is open right now anyways.
From all we know it could be just someone taking the piss again.
@ATI, context/source please? :)
 

jj23w

Member
I can confirm that was what the park lineup was at one point but everything bar Colossus and Vortex did open yesterday.
 

owentaylor121

Active Member
I understand rides breakdown, but it seems like Merlin Parks, particularly this season have an excessive amount of downtime and breakdowns with their rides compared to other parks. What is the reason for this? Is it lack of maintenance staff or just poor maintenance on the rides in general?

It seems to be effecting the way the ‘general public’ see the parks too though. I’ve seen countless posts and had conversations talking about Thorpe Park and Alton Towers along the lines of, “Do you fancy going to Alton Towers soon?” With a reply along the lines of, “will everything be open” or “No point, everything was breakdown last time I went.”

Now I’m unsure if the constant news articles when a ride breaks down might be a factor behind this, but I feel like I very rarely seen ‘general public’ care about ride availability before planning a trip?
 
Whether enthusiast or not, everyone wants their monnys worth.
I understand rides breakdown, but it seems like Merlin Parks, particularly this season have an excessive amount of downtime and breakdowns with their rides compared to other parks. What is the reason for this? Is it lack of maintenance staff or just poor maintenance on the rides in general?

It seems to be effecting the way the ‘general public’ see the parks too though. I’ve seen countless posts and had conversations talking about Thorpe Park and Alton Towers along the lines of, “Do you fancy going to Alton Towers soon?” With a reply along the lines of, “will everything be open” or “No point, everything was breakdown last time I went.”

Now I’m unsure if the constant news articles when a ride breaks down might be a factor behind this, but I feel like I very rarely seen ‘general public’ care about ride availability before planning a trip?
Sent from my G3221 using Tapatalk
 

Hixee

Flojector
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
I understand rides breakdown, but it seems like Merlin Parks, particularly this season have an excessive amount of downtime and breakdowns with their rides compared to other parks. What is the reason for this? Is it lack of maintenance staff or just poor maintenance on the rides in general?
Now I have a theory...

I reckon as part of their budget cuts they're not employing the maintenance staff to work 'out-of-hours' anymore. Not only does this reduce the number of hours you're paying for, but you may also avoid additional overtime pay. If you don't open Nemesis until 11am, then you don't need to ask the engineer(s) to be on site until 9am to start their checks!

I think this ends up with rides being closed or down during the day for what is essentially routine maintenance. I bet it's an effective cost cutting exercise.

And after all, who cares about guest satisfaction, they're not in that business. Oh, wait...
 

bob_3_

Active Member
I understand rides breakdown, but it seems like Merlin Parks, particularly this season have an excessive amount of downtime and breakdowns with their rides compared to other parks. What is the reason for this? Is it lack of maintenance staff or just poor maintenance on the rides in general?

It seems to be effecting the way the ‘general public’ see the parks too though. I’ve seen countless posts and had conversations talking about Thorpe Park and Alton Towers along the lines of, “Do you fancy going to Alton Towers soon?” With a reply along the lines of, “will everything be open” or “No point, everything was breakdown last time I went.”

Now I’m unsure if the constant news articles when a ride breaks down might be a factor behind this, but I feel like I very rarely seen ‘general public’ care about ride availability before planning a trip?

I completely agree about Merlin parks being bad for downtime, but it's a result of a few things.

One is the fact Merlin is now very cautious about when to open rides to the public especially after what happened. After the incident, piles of paper work had to be signed to ensure every decision was documented and certain procedures are authorised by higher staff, if they aren't free or all parties cannot agree on a solution, that ride will not open. They also introduced new procedures where the ride had to run for a certain amount of time/cycles completely empty after a stoppage. I remember a point where Air's re-opening procedure would take atleast 20 minutes.

Now a stoppage isn't always a maintenance problem or even a ride error. Merlin has a strict phone and camera rules, you get caught with one on the lift, the ride gets stopped, then to restart with the new procedure, downtime increases massively.

Someone climbs a fence? E-stop is pressed, wait for security, techies have to reset it so wait for them. everyone has to fill in forms. Management have to attend, all the fences have to be checked incase their damaged. Is a dropped phone the reason for the danger? that has to be removed, but before it's removed the ride has to be empty and turned off completely to allow someone inside. Then the restart procedure has to commence which could involve the ride being run numerous times.

I know everyone knows most of this, and every park has it's downtime. I just wanted to highlight that Merlin in particular adds what it calls an "extra layer of safety" to it's procedure after the smiler incident. Which increases downtime (and ironically makes the rides seem less safe). It is frustrating and I really don't agree with it. I mean if the HSE are happy and the ride manufactures are happy, why add MORE procedures, but I guess it stops the investors twitching.
 

Will

Active Member
Before somebody points this out to me, it appears Alton have listened.
There are screens up in the Welcome Inn and Courtyard this afternoon :)
 

Hixee

Flojector
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
^But you go to theme parks to ride rides, not watch football. ;)
I agree on some level, but not fully ('cos I'm not much of a sports watcher). I visited Grona Lund a few years back and, whilst it's a very different type of park to Alton Towers, there was a huge number of people in the park purely as part of their 'day out'. At the time there was some football event on (don't know what) and there were loads of groups of people entering the park primarily to watch the game. At half-time, and at the end, they were all heading off to ride the rides. There was loads of beer and food, and everyone was having a great time. The park was reasonably busy, but the longest queue was only about half an hour.

I think it's about the kind of atmosphere you set in your park. It should be a place where people go for a fun day out - regardless of what their idea of fun is.

Like I said, Grona Lund is very different to Alton, but it's not hard to imagine a park like Blackpool or even Thorpe making a great day out by screening the football.

Then again, Alton might need to show the football just to give guests something to do, seeing as most of the rides are closed all day! ;)
 

Ethan

Well-Known Member
Yeah I sort of agree with it depending on the atmosphere each park creates. For example, I couldn't picture a (good, worth visiting) park such as Phantasialand building big screens for the event, but then I guess Alton are happy to do that.

I mean, if you think about the sort of people that visit Alton Towers, it does make sense. Wouldn't be surprised if they had pukka pies stands next to each screen. Although, they wouldn't be actual pukka pies, because it's Merlin.
 
Last edited:

Robbie

Member
The thing is, there may be people who decide not to go to Alton and watch the match instead. By making the match available they're giving those people the option to still go, rather than cutting them off outright.

Plus yesterday's match was 2 hours around lunchtime - ideal to mop up food and drink sales.
 

Will

Active Member
^^
Annual pass holders etc. - I had this debate a fair few times on Facebook yesterday. If the park's open for 8 hours (and it was extended) that still leaves 6 for riding, with an extended lunch time to watch the game.

Basically, Hixee's got it spot on. @nealbie and me once annoyed a bunch of Germans at Europa Park as we insisted one of the screens in the sports bar was changed to the Belgian Grand Prix, as we'd made time in our day to watch that over lunch rather than doing repeat rides. Again, the park was open for a long time, because Europa.
 

gavin

Administrator
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Social Media Team
I just wanted to highlight that Merlin in particular adds what it calls an "extra layer of safety" to it's procedure after the smiler incident. Which increases downtime (and ironically makes the rides seem less safe). It is frustrating and I really don't agree with it. I mean if the HSE are happy and the ride manufactures are happy, why add MORE procedures
Sounds like China.
 
Top