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New (temporary, hired) flat rides for Alton Towers

toofpikk

Mega Poster
^Elaborate? 😂
ah just the usual;
if you don't like it and say your piece you'll be hounded for having a hint of a possibility of being slightly controversial, and for being a 'hypocrite' for the fact that you criticise the park but will inevitably visit anyway;
but at the same time if you say you like them you'll be eaten up for allowing merlin to get away with putting literal temporary fairground rides in the site of what was once one of the best flats in Europe.
images

*sniff*

Had a couple convos with friends and the general consensus is ew, but they might eat up some crowds. But will they actually? If I wanna go on fairground rides, I go to the fair. They are just temporary. Are they really? I wouldn't be surprised that if they do well, they'll be kept on in their already sorry looking state.

I think the situation is very forced, but entirely the park operators doing. Of course its unprecedented, but if there had been generally better investment and management beforehand as has been seen in the likes of Paulton's, and many parks across Europe and the world, the situation we have here would never need to be resorted to.

For me personally, I find it a little bit heartbreaking that this was approved. Totally flabbergasted that whoever's decision it was to trouble-shoot potential over crowding and long queues was to literally hire fair ground rides to dot about a THEMEpark. How that can ever be approved in one of the UKs most prestigious leisure destinations is beyond me. Grade 1 listed Victorian gardens & protected sight lines to a f***ing waltzer. Cheers.
 
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Niles

Hyper Poster
Enthusiast: Please lord Alton Towers can we please have a new flat, something new and good to replace all the ones you’ve taken.

Alton: “looks at king Merlin, Merlin nods”

Alton: You want a flat ride huh? I’ll give you a flat ride “shows ride”

Enthusiast: What....what is this? Is this not just a common fair ground rid..

“Alton Slaps his face”

Alton: It’s what you deserve! don’t even think of complaining, your lucky to have anything, now hand over your money, prices have increased due to the amazing new attraction.

Enthusiast: we..we won’t stand for th..

Alton: OOH you will or else....*whispers* SW9 will be a another family coaster.

Enthusiast: “hands over money”

Merlin: Excellent Alton, excellent, my army of legolands will love what you have done for us.
 

JoshC.

Giga Poster
Oh dear. toofpikk has got the heart of my views down perfectly, but just to add a bit more

I'm not necessarily against the park getting more rides. Lord knows they need some flats - I even said so yesterday...

But the whole scenario is just damning of the park's current situation. The park needs filler rides. Rides which they've removed, neglected and not gotten over the past decade. So it's a problem of their own making. And the only way they can solve that problem is by hiring out rides from the fair circuit. It's just...sad, and it shows something clearly isn't right high up the chain.


Some other scattered thoughts...
-Surely this is actually quite expensive? Sure, the ride owners had a bad 2020 and won't have a good 2021, but they must make a lot of money normally. Is this really a cheap option?
-The general consensus seems to be that this is happening to help convince Merlin that flat rides are needed (which, in itself, is crazy). What if these rides aren't popular, or this crazy experiment isn't a success? Do the powers that be conclude that flat and filler rides are not worth it? Where does that leave the park?

It's just a sorry state of affairs right now.
 

Tonkso

Mega Poster
I'm not against this, I'd actually rather the park bought them, installed them permanently and began to install some theming. Many parks have these flats anyway with the generic funfair stuff stripped off and replaced, it's all just fibreglass moulding at the end of the day.

Not in the list of rides I don't think, but a chair-o-plane right up by the valley's edge would be a great addition. Just a random thought.
 

JammyH

Hyper Poster
I'm not against this, I'd actually rather the park bought them, installed them permanently and began to install some theming..
They aren’t for sale permanently. They are being hired out for one season from the Irvin family who normally host a lot of well known funfairs in London. They will not be staying for 2022 as Irvin’s will be keen to get them back onto the circuit as soon as those sorts of events are allowed again.

Buying them and installing them permanently would either need the manufacturers (in the case of the supertrooper-PWS) to manufacture a brand new model from scratch, which would take a long time, or finding a second hand model up for sale. In the case of the PWS super trooper, it’s a brand new model and there’s only a couple in existence so they would not be up for sale second hand at this stage, and Irvin certainly wouldn’t be willing to sell theirs to Alton Towers.

Whilst I agree with your sentiment that it would be better that Alton towers bought flat rides and installed them permanently, in this scenario it’s not as simple as that. It was only an option to hire these flat rides due to covid as the fair circuit isn’t particularly profitable at the moment. When things start to ease back to normal again Irvin will want to get their rides back to the circuit and therefore the hiring of these is simply on a temporary basis.

As far as I am aware as well, the rides will be operated and maintained by the Irvin family themselves on site, rather than Alton Towers staff getting involved in staffing/maintenance.
 

Hixee

Flojector
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Social Media Team
Man, if I was the owner of these rides I'd be laughing all the way to the bank.

You can't run/operate your funfair (or at least, can't plan it all out like you normally would), so instead you convince Merlin to rent the rides off you. I doubt you'd charge Merlin the full whack, but you could probably rent them out at 50% their going rate. Basically free money if you can't set up your usual travelling fairs.

Feels like one of those things you'd see on Cowboy Traders. :D
 

Howie

Giga Poster
I'm assuming these rides will be included in the admission, rather than being an upcharge?
They.... they wouldn't do that
... would they??
 

Hixee

Flojector
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
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I'm assuming these rides will be included in the admission, rather than being an upcharge?
They.... they wouldn't do that
... would they??
I mean, I wouldn't put it past them...
 

Professor

Previously AndrewRollercoaster
The notion of "well you wanted flat rides so here they are" I'm seeing mostly in other places talking about this seems a bit patronising to me.
People shouldn't have to accept just anything. This isn't Ripsaw, Talocan or Wellenflug that is being added.
It's like asking for a roller coaster and getting a wacky worm delivered on a trailer so you should just shut the hell up and pay the entrance fee or go home.

These rides in their own environment I think are pretty decent usually. I'd rather do coasters but funfairs have big appeal for sure. I loved my visits to Hoppings and Winter Wonderland.

I can understand what Towers are doing with this hopefully helping out during uncertain Covid times. It is very uncertain how things will be after June 21st in the theme park world; will there still be socially distancing and mask wearing required? Probably. So maybe this indeed will eat some of the punters so they can at least ride a few extra things.
In that light perhaps this is best to have some sort of backup whilst these rides are otherwise only collecting dust.

But let's not let Merlin off the hook to hopefully improve and do better in the future once things get back to some sort of normality.

I doubt very much there will be an upcharge. Surely not?
 

oriolat2

Giga Poster
So, these rides will be opped by AT operations team or will they be run by the owner of each ride? Manual cycles, yay!

It is a bit tacky for a park like Alton Towers but it's a good alternative and a way to test the waters to see if a permanent flat ride could be installed at the park again. I can't believe that a park that once had such a great collection of flat rides now almost doesn't have any.
 

spicy

Giga Poster
^ Ironically Zodiac was originally put in as a quick filler flat ride to up capacity after the fire at the wicked witches haunt. When it first arrived it still had it's funfair theming (last time a fun fair ride was seen like this in a Tussauds/Merlin park before this Alton abomination I believe) , they then added it permanently with the lost city theming but just didn't bother with it's replacement.

But even in 2000 they didn't hire Zodiac they actually purchased it from the funfair operator, like a major theme park operator should do.
 

Crazycoaster

Giga Poster
And the thing is.. it’s not like they had to make new theming.. they literally could have just screwed the bits off of the old one and onto the new one??
 

JoshC.

Giga Poster
With Zodiac's theming, I remember being told there was a problem when the new version came along and fitting it on. Something like they didn't fit properly because it was slightly different or something?

I don't know how true it is, but there might be a reason for that other than laziness. Also, at the time the new Zodiac came in (2006ish), it wasn't 'Merlin' in charge, it was still Tussauds. Minimal difference in practice (just extra layers of people), but not really one to pin to Merlin whatever the story is!
 

Sandman

Hyper Poster
Very impressive.

I hope some of the bigger parks across the pond take some much needed inspiration from this.

IoA would benefit from an area themed to Stoke, chock full of world class dodgems, chairswings and boosters. IMAscore can be replaced with Ministry of Sound clubland classics 2004.
 
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