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New (temporary, hired) flat rides for Alton Towers

spicy

Active Member
Merlin should just do an Animal kingdom Chester & Hester's style land.
Shove a load of fairground rides in the car park and it can look as cheap and crap as it likes because ‘that’s the theme’.
 

Pokemaniac

Mountain monkey
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
I'm kind of wondering if they suddenly realized that they've painted themselves into a corner. By removing all the flat rides that weren't considered crowd-pullers on their own, and focusing on adding new "headliner" attractions with a strong branding, they've found the park suddenly lacking a "backbone lineup" of thrill attractions. Yes, the park has a fair few coasters, but aside from those there's just Duel, Hex, two water rides whose appeal is very weather-dependent, and a couple of aging flat rides that are probably due for replacement very soon (being around 40 years old). There's not much to spread out guests away from the main coasters, little to fall back on if something breaks down, and queues congregate mainly at a handful of rides. Despite its size, Alton Towers appears to have very few "filler" attractions that aren't strictly kiddie rides.

Or in other words, "Oh crap, we've torn out half our park and now there's little left to keep guests inside the gates". The addition of leased rides could be a measure to try to patch up a lack of thrill rides after so many of them have left the park over the past eight years.

It probably looks like a good decision in the short term, to reduce maintenance costs by retiring an old ride. But if it's done again and again, there's not much left of the park. Maybe they assumed that a new coaster would be several times as marketable, so that Wicker Man could serve as a replacement for a handful of lost flats? Perhaps that's true quality-wise, but the quantity has suffered. And it's going to be expensive to build that back. Maybe leasing is the only viable way for the park to rebuild its total lineup in the short term.

Thorpe appears to be wading into those same waters too, with a whole slew of attractions due for replacement in the 2010s that just never happened. Trying to catch up with that backlog will cost them a lot of money as well. But at least they're not Six Flags cirka 2030, when they will receive that same problem, times a hundred, across the whole chain, when literally dozens of huge coasters will reach their "replace by" date every year.
 

Pokemaniac

Mountain monkey
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
It's gone because it was being discussed in both the WTF Merlin and some other separate thread. Was quicker just to combine the two. ;)
Meanwhile, I was considering to move all the relevant posts in this thread over there. It is a story that will develop in the future as the rides are built, after all, so it may be an idea to keep it in once place instead of scattered around a general discussion thread.
 

IntaminFan20

New Member
I've no idea where that thread for Towers flat rides discussion has gone, but here is a video of the SPECIFIC Super Trooper opening at Towers:-


Apparently, it's virtually brand new. And it looks to have a solid cycle too.
The Main Point here is Towers are wanting to boost attendence but it doesn't throw away the fact that Merlin are installing Fairground rides in their "THEME PARKS" and they don't belong there. However it kind of is good for Towers because they need new flat rides after the closer of most of them..
 

Sandman

Active Member
I've no idea where that thread for Towers flat rides discussion has gone, but here is a video of the SPECIFIC Super Trooper opening at Towers:-


Apparently, it's virtually brand new. And it looks to have a solid cycle too.

I would reluctantly ly forgive Merlin if they actually opened Alton Towers late enough to actually see the lighting packages on these rides at night 😂 is there anything more bleak than a fairground flat in the cold light of day?
 

witchfinder

Member
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.

As a Stoke resident I can assure you it's not that exciting here! 😆

This is a strange move and the rides may well look a bit sh*t but I'm not totally against it - I hope they're using this to test the water to see how much demand there is for flat rides before making an investment in permanent ones.

As it was the 40th anniversary recently maybe they're just trying to give a nostalgia trip for those of use old enough to remember the days when flat rides were everywhere in the park. I'd love to see them bring the Magic Carpet, Gravitron, Turbostar and Octopus back and plonk them almost exactly where they used to be 30+ years ago!
 

Trax

Member
As if Alton towers will close any later than 4pm. The opening times of Merlin parks, especially in the UK are really a joke. In addition, the lighting package needs power, which has to be paid for. Do you really think that Merlin is willing to pay for that additional lighting?
 

SilverArrow

Active Member
As a Stoke resident I can assure you it's not that exciting here! 😆

This is a strange move and the rides may well look a bit sh*t but I'm not totally against it - I hope they're using this to test the water to see how much demand there is for flat rides before making an investment in permanent ones.

As it was the 40th anniversary recently maybe they're just trying to give a nostalgia trip for those of use old enough to remember the days when flat rides were everywhere in the park. I'd love to see them bring the Magic Carpet, Gravitron, Turbostar and Octopus back and plonk them almost exactly where they used to be 30+ years ago!
That would be fab!
 

Tonkso

Member
As if Alton towers will close any later than 4pm. The opening times of Merlin parks, especially in the UK are really a joke. In addition, the lighting package needs power, which has to be paid for. Do you really think that Merlin is willing to pay for that additional lighting?
In Merlin's defence, I don't believe the early closures are something that they chose, but were something enforced upon them.
 

Professor

Previously AndrewRollercoaster
As if Alton towers will close any later than 4pm. The opening times of Merlin parks, especially in the UK are really a joke. In addition, the lighting package needs power, which has to be paid for. Do you really think that Merlin is willing to pay for that additional lighting?
Can't believe on reopening weekend straight away we are talking 5pm and nothing more. The demand until people can travel abroad coupled with the extended lockdown we have just had /are still in and the pressures on rides with social distancing is going to be immense surely!
A few extra rides might help to get a few guaranteed ride credits I guess, but I still don't think it is going to make a huge difference to cover the major attractions. On a very quiet week - 10-4pm day 2 years ago I was able to just ride every coaster once (and I used skyride) just because of the size of the park.
I'm always curious what happens at UK parks but I think for the most of this year UK-wise at least, I'm going to sit things out.
 

Gazza

Active Member
I get that this increases capacity, but gawd have some standards people.

Also, if the park is rammed, you're going to prioritise getting on the flagship rides. If I was at Alton, I'd sooner wait 90 min for Nemesis, Smiler etc than tick boxes on waltzers and dodgems.
 

Tonkso

Member
Yes, it's low standard but could set the precedent for more permanent flats. If park attendance shows demand, then rides will follow.
I want to see better in the following years. A Magic Carpet, Chair-o-Plane (we ALWAYS ride Chessington's) and some Zierer Spinning Drop Towers (Windmill Towers/Tikal) would complement the park's line up so well, could fit into the existing themed areas easily, and would be relatively cheap investments.
Okay, these are none of those, but could they pave the way?
 

CrashCoaster

Well-Known Member
Yes, it's low standard but could set the precedent for more permanent flats. If park attendance shows demand, then rides will follow.
I want to see better in the following years. A Magic Carpet, Chair-o-Plane (we ALWAYS ride Chessington's) and some Zierer Spinning Drop Towers (Windmill Towers/Tikal) would complement the park's line up so well, could fit into the existing themed areas easily, and would be relatively cheap investments.
Okay, these are none of those, but could they pave the way?
They already have Peter Rabbit and Frog Hopper (or whatever it's being called now), they don't need any more family drop towers.
 
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