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The World of David Walliams is coming to Alton Towers

Matt N

Strata Poster
Sorry but I'd take my kids to Paultons Park instead.
The inflatable arch is awful and makes it look like a temporary marathon for kids event.
I think the inflatable arch is only as a temporary promo before the area opens; the actual entrance is the blue feature with the books propping it up underneath the arch.

Also, it's probably worth bearing in mind that the area is still a work in progress; it's highly likely that the park will add more minor details in the 2 weeks before opening!
 
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Professor

Previously AndrewRollercoaster
I think the inflatable arch is only as a temporary promo before the area opens; the actual entrance is the blue feature with the books propping it up underneath the arch.

Also, it's probably worth bearing in mind that the area is still a work in progress; it's highly likely that the park will add more minor details in the 2 weeks before opening!
Two weeks in the UK isn't enough time to paint a wall usually.
The ride I get: Gangsta Granny. It's based on his most famous book. Build that and put all the effort into that. Perhaps an adjacent shop with his books and memorabilia.
But really, by the looks of this there is no way there is enough imagination or things on display to justify naming a whole land "The World of so and so". Even JK Rowling doesn't get a land named after her.
 
Sorry but I'd take my kids to Paultons Park instead. They're having great fun with the Radiator Springs stuff and characters. More imagination from what I can see at least.
I also don't get naming this area after a guy who is also quite associated with adult stuff (Britain's Got Talent, Little Britain, stupid Twitter comments, the celeb dating a young model thing) . Walliams isn't Roald Dahl.

The inflatable arch is awful and makes it look like a temporary marathon for kids event.
Look I'm making an assumption here but you clearly don't have kids, they love David Walliams' books and characters. He's as much associated with children's books now as anything else and the kids will not know about his more adult content.

This is aimed at the next age bracket from CBeebies world. I think the area will do really well and whilst most enthusiasts don't like an IP the general public do.

I think tornado springs looks amazing but David walliams land will get more guests through the doors because it's David walliams. I have no doubt that my 8 year old will prefer tornado springs when we get there are but he'll want to go to David walliams land because he's read and enjoyed the books.

I seriously think it's something that us as enthusiasts struggle with because we like to see new ideas and imagination and don't really care for ips. Theme parks are businesses, IPs bring people through the door. We forget that too easily.

Having said all that inflatable arch looks like a pile of crap.
 
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Matt N

Strata Poster
Two weeks in the UK isn't enough time to paint a wall usually.
The ride I get: Gangsta Granny. It's based on his most famous book. Build that and put all the effort into that. Perhaps an adjacent shop with his books and memorabilia.
But really, by the looks of this there is no way there is enough imagination or things on display to justify naming a whole land "The World of so and so". Even JK Rowling doesn't get a land named after her.
To be fair to them, Gangsta Granny itself seems to have been Alton Towers' main marketing hook as opposed to the full land, unlike with an area like CBeebies, which was the whole land.
 

Professor

Previously AndrewRollercoaster
I think tornado springs looks amazing but David walliams land will get more guests through the doors because it's David walliams. I have no doubt that my 8 year old will prefer tornado springs when we get there are but he'll want to go to David walliams land because he's read and enjoyed the books.

I seriously think it's something that us as enthusiasts struggle with because we like to see new ideas and imagination and don't really care for ips. Theme parks are businesses, IPs bring people through the door. We forget that too easily.

Having said all that inflatable arch looks like a pile of crap.

You're probably right but it seems a bit sad the amount of effort and planning that goes into something such as Tornado Springs might not have the same result as simply using Walliams' name and creating (what looks like to me) a cheaper experience if that brand is as strong as you reckon. Having said that Paultons has their own use of the Peppa Pig IP which probably helped finance Tornado Springs in part.

Glad we agree on the arch. ?
 

Nicky Borrill

Giga Poster
Looks fine for what it is, a much needed spruce up of a tired and forgotten area of the park... This isn’t a brand new, ground up, themed area as some of you seem to have been expecting, it was never going to be more than a freshen up. I’m actually impressed with how much they have done. Should breathe a little life back into that area.
 

JammyH

Hyper Poster
Looks fine for what it is, a much needed spruce up of a tired and forgotten area of the park... This isn’t a brand new, ground up, themed area as some of you seem to have been expecting, it was never going to be more than a freshen up. I’m actually impressed with how much they have done. Should breathe a little life back into that area.

Cannot agree at all. Calling this “The world of David walliams” is simply diabolical, as excluding the dark ride, all they have done is garishly painted a couple of walls and stuck a couple of book stacks in the middle of the pathway. The dark ride is another matter as I think that also looks atrocious with extremely cheap and tacky theming on the inside; with modern technology the dark ride system and the theming could be much more spectacular (I appreciate the budget was low, but I don’t think that’s an excuse for quite how cheap the theming is on the inside of the dark ride).

I last visited towers in 2014 and I honestly preferred CCL to the look of this. I know this is branded to “David walliams” so it will get the kids in as it’s a big name, but common it’s so cheap and it just looks awful...
 

Nicky Borrill

Giga Poster
Cannot agree at all. Calling this “The world of David walliams” is simply diabolical, as excluding the dark ride, all they have done is garishly painted a couple of walls and stuck a couple of book stacks in the middle of the pathway. The dark ride is another matter as I think that also looks atrocious with extremely cheap and tacky theming on the inside; with modern technology the dark ride system and the theming could be much more spectacular (I appreciate the budget was low, but I don’t think that’s an excuse for quite how cheap the theming is on the inside of the dark ride).

I last visited towers in 2014 and I honestly preferred CCL to the look of this. I know this is branded to “David walliams” so it will get the kids in as it’s a big name, but common it’s so cheap and it just looks awful...
A lot changes in 6 years, especially considering what’s happened in that time operationally... Anybody who saw CCL in the last couple of years would agree that any change is positive.

It was like a run down, derelict, ghost town, I honestly wouldn’t have been surprised to walk in at the start of the season and find it had boarded up windows and graffiti ?

It’s a facelift pure and simple, a minor investment in a low investment year. And bang for buck will be a huge improvement on CCL of late.

Plus it’s not finished yet!!! The area around the dungeons was bare until a week before official opening, they even had to hire temporary theming and effects for the press event. So There ‘MAY’ yet be more to come.
 

Professor

Previously AndrewRollercoaster
Cannot agree at all. Calling this “The world of David walliams” is simply diabolical, as excluding the dark ride, all they have done is garishly painted a couple of walls and stuck a couple of book stacks in the middle of the pathway. The dark ride is another matter as I think that also looks atrocious with extremely cheap and tacky theming on the inside; with modern technology the dark ride system and the theming could be much more spectacular (I appreciate the budget was low, but I don’t think that’s an excuse for quite how cheap the theming is on the inside of the dark ride).

I last visited towers in 2014 and I honestly preferred CCL to the look of this. I know this is branded to “David walliams” so it will get the kids in as it’s a big name, but common it’s so cheap and it just looks awful...
It will be really interesting to see a full POV of the dark ride and hear the reactions of the market this is aimed at.
It just sort of comes across as trying to pull the wool over people's eyes a bit. They could potentially get bad reactions.

But maybe the ride will be excellent and I'm totally wrong in my hunch. I guess it's better to downplay things and actually being good after all!

I must say Disney's recent dark ride offerings and Symbolica I think have been beyond what I thought was possible at this stage. Quite incredible. Obviously these are located in much bigger parks with more visitors but I'd expect something better from Merlin / Lego than say a Wallace and Grommit or Adventureville quality type of ride.
 

JammyH

Hyper Poster
I must say Disney's recent dark ride offerings and Symbolica I think have been beyond what I thought was possible at this stage. Quite incredible. Obviously these are located in much bigger parks with more visitors but I'd expect something better from Merlin / Lego than say a Wallace and Grommit or Adventureville quality type of ride.

The thing is small parks can build really good quality dark rides. A prime example of this is Basilisk at Legendia (ETF trackless, similar to symbolica) which is beautifully themed, has some great scenes throughout and keeps you engaged with the shooting elements. Whilst Legendia is part of a larger company so the budget was definitely higher than merlin are willing to give towers, it really emphasises the quality that small parks can achieve.

From watching the ITV news video, you can see the lead creator of the project is so proud of what he has invisiged, and whilst the concept art for the scenes may be good, the actual theming itself looks so cheap, for example the plastic treasure. It’s 2020, so much better can be achieved with modern technology, 3D design and use of machines such as CNC routers and large scale 3D printers to create theming items.

I’m just going to be brutally honest and say if I was the lead creator of this project I would actually be embarrassed, and not want to go on TV presenting the dark ride/the area itself. I don’t know if the UK general public are just too naive to see that this is low quality, however I won’t be giving my money to go and experience something which is going to be “ok” at best. Nowadays theme park prices are so premium that you expect premium quality rides and attractions as a result of the entry ticket you’ve paid.

Interestingly, I actually quite like adventureville and Wallace and gromit. They both may be quite simple in terms of design and sets, however they are always good fun to ride, and unfortunately the UK is so far behind the rest of the world when it comes to dark rides within our parks that those are a couple of the best dark rides we’ve actually got.
 

emoo

Mega Poster
I don’t know if the UK general public are just too naive to see that this is low quality,

The one thing Merlin appears to have put the most work and success into is achieving just this. By owning so much and not building the actual best but rampantly claiming it is, this limits what people expect and the GP are amused by another shipping container. For anyone lucky enough to be able to travel they can see whats really possible but they wont be the target audience.
 

JoshC.

Giga Poster
From watching the ITV news video, you can see the lead creator of the project is so proud of what he has invisiged,
...
I’m just going to be brutally honest and say if I was the lead creator of this project I would actually be embarrassed, and not want to go on TV presenting the dark ride/the area itself.

Within Merlin, they always like to have this 'father figure' for the attractions when it comes to marketing. For many years, that was obviously Wardley, and it was always spun as him being this crazy guy who designed huge coasters, etc etc. It's something he's mentioned about several times.

In Wardley's time, this sort of marketing was reserved for big investments. But as marketing has changed, Merlin have decided to go down this route time and time again, regardless of the scale of the investment. And it always follows the same routine: "we're done exactly what we wanted", "we've made advancements in the industry", blah blah blah. These lines are almost always scripted word-for-word and come directly from the park's marketing department.

In other words: anything the lead creator says in any interview isn't coming from them. Of course, they may believe what they're saying. But it very much could not be. It's part and parcel of the job these days.

and whilst the concept art for the scenes may be good, the actual theming itself looks so cheap, for example the plastic treasure. It’s 2020, so much better can be achieved with modern technology, 3D design and use of machines such as CNC routers and large scale 3D printers to create theming items.

We've only seen the dark out of context, not in show conditions and not even finished. It feels a bit early to judge the quality of the theming from that, since many attractions can look poor out of these conditions..
 

Nitefly

Hyper Poster
In fairness, compare the new Mickey and Minnie Railroad attraction to the footage (from ITV?) showing the ride vehicles moving around at Gangsta Granny. On one hand, in no way can AT compete with Disney, it’s a totally unfair comparison.

On the other... I mean it’s pretty **** isn’t it. Look at what the European parks can smash out and we have... cardboard cut outs and “4D Bubbles”.
 

Matt N

Strata Poster
Sorry to majorly bump this thread, but the land opens on 17th May, and David Walliams appeared in a segment about it for the local news tonight, showing off some parts of Gangsta Granny and the general area:

I’ve got to say, I’m very impressed with the ride; I think it looks absolutely terrific for the younger families, if I’m being honest! The land itself also looks fantastic, with lots of nice little details around! Even if the ride is admittedly not the longest, and apparently doesn’t have the highest capacity, what it does have looks really well done, so I’ll happily applaud Towers in that regard!

So all in all; top job, Towers! I really hope the land brings the park the success it deserves!
 

CrashCoaster

Strata Poster
I do actually like the look of that, I'm surprised to say. I don't think it will win any awards for the best dark ride ever or anything, but I think with the space and budget they had to work with, they've done a nice job. The use of screens doesn't bother me, since there are some physical set pieces too. Hope to be able to ride it myself soon!
 
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