Alton, Thorpe, Chessie - Input required!!
Arguably the 3 best parks in the country. All offer thrills, spills, something for the younger generation and a great day out... Right?
Id like to start a post where people can share their good or bad experiences from these 3 parks. This can range from rides being shut, rude staff or even bad food. Also what is good about the parks and bad?
Also what do people think about the different rides and the impact they have on people when they aren't running to the high standards they should be.
The purpose of this post is to find out what people think of the parks. I'm sick of the negativity that surrounds these parks and how they've "slipped" in recent years. Should this post get a good response, i'm going to send it to the managers of each park and they can see what people REALLY think.
So let me put my first point.
I hate the way people have to pay for park maps when they used to be free.
I also hate the ride availablitity particularly at Thorpe Park where it seems every day at least one ride is down.
Good points are ride choice. There is something for everyone.
Fastpass system. Great to cut queueing time.
Add your input!
I can't believe that crap about buying park maps. I know myself, when I go to a park, I have one for the day, and one for my collection (I have an Animal Kingdom map in Chinese). Tom, this would be a great post for someone like me to read, although I know more about these three parks than most of the ones here. :P
> Arguably the 3 best parks in the country. All offer
> thrills, spills, something for the younger generation and a
> great day out... Right?
I would put Legoland in there somewhere, although there are far less 'thrills' in Legoland.
> I hate the way people have to pay for park maps when they
> used to be free.
Agreed, I understand that everyone has a computer and internet and therefore can print off a map from the web site but.....they should still be free to all customers to the park. We pay enough money to get in to the park, the map should be given out with your receipt.
> I also hate the ride availablitity particularly at Thorpe
> Park where it seems every day at least one ride is down.
Thorpe's ride reliability is famously poor. When I visited at a weekend last Autumn, 5 big rides were shut for the day and the 4D Cinema was operating in 2D. No vouchers/discounts were given out as a sorry. Very poor customer service indeed.
>>Good points are ride choice. There is something for
Especially true in Chessington's case. A good selection of family rides, a Zoo and now a Sea Life centre, too.
> Fastpass system. Great to cut queueing time.
> Add your input!
Fast Pass is a great if a: you don't mind paying extra money and b: if it's managed correctly. Thorpe have been known to sell so many fast track tickets for Stealth that it's fast trsck queue was almost equal to the main queue. A violation of trading standards surely? It's not fast track if it's the same wait....Come on Thorpe, sort it out.
Another good point is the parent swap system. It saves so much time and enables both parents to enjoy the bigger rides.
More bad points: Alton Towers: The natural beauty area around Alton creates a lack of opportunities for big installations. However, being surrounded by such beautiful scenery is also a serious plus point to the park. As a result, Alton has evolved into a resort instead of a leader of thrills.
Thorpe Park: Thorpe just seems so poorly managed. I really fail to understand the reliability issues, there. However, it is easier for Thorpe to develop new and exciting installations and lead the way for new and exciting rides. Now if only they could manage the rides better, then we could see Thorpe become the number one thrill park in the u.k.
Chessington: I really can't find fault with Chessington, I really can't. It has rides for all ages plus plenty to see and do as well. The park is very family orientated with Parent Swap and Pit Stop schemes and this extra effort with families makes a big difference.
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Best of Times...
Late '80s/early '90s. 5th Dimension, The Vampire, Professor Burp's Bubbleworks. General green and pleasant atmosphere throughout park.
Worst of Times...
Oh dear, I last went in 2000 and it was terrible. Got stuck on Runaway Mine Train (OK, not too bad in itself), but got soaked in the rain. Couldn't have been wetter had I stood in a shower. Customer Services should have been falling over themselves to make us happy again, but they were more interested in being "assertive". I demanded my refund and left the park.
And generally speaking the park had become much worse. Less greenery, more built-up and overdeveloped, and far more sideshows and coin-ops. Can be summed up in one word: TACK!
Best of Times...
I didn't go until 2002, but it was very pleasant. Although Colossus could have been a better ride, I still felt they were being careful with installations and the way the park was run. Great customer service - Colossus broke down and they gave me free tickets, even though I wasn't complaining!
Worst of Times...
It's become very chavvy, for one thing (I suppose they all have). And, broken record time, but the thing that most annoys me about Thorpe is I truly feel they have mucked up all the big coasters to some extent.
They had the chance to be international quality, but the rides just seem geared to temporarily boost attendance. Instead of thinking what the UK needed (and therefore the park), like a B&M Floorless/Looper, they have gone for weaker options. Colossus would have been better had it been a B&M. Inferno is good, but should have been larger and more elaborate, with tunnels etc. Don't really care about Stealth. B&M plans dropped for 2009.
Best of Times...
I'd single out Nemesis and Air as great installations. They, like Oblivion, are from the best manufacturer, have extensive landscaping and tunnel into the ground so that, in actuality, they are bigger than Thorpe Park's 100ft coasters.
And generally speaking, the park is very green with fantastic gardens. Also, the huge size of the park is a plus.
Worst of Times...
I've never had any real problem. Like all the parks, I will say it's important to cut down on anything tacky or chavvy (like sideshows). Also run things to full capacity, of course.
The single biggest mistake must be Rita. Plonked down in (above) Ug Land with no care, no tunnels and no landscaping. I feel it has limited any other rides that might be built in the general area.
As a closing message, I will just say it's a great shame the UK has missed out on some important coasters this decade. A well-timed woodie or B&M Floorless would have sent ripples of excitement through the UK theme park industry.
I loved Air as a ride but it was a little to short for my liking !!
Chessie - I hope that a lot of money spent on Chessington has not been at the expense of Thorpe or Alton but they have attempted to make it into a Busch Gardens for kids which is fine but Merlin may struggle to recoup the cost without thrillseekers cash coming in.
Thorpe - I dissagree slightly with Greame. Colossus is as good as floorless coasters i realy like it. I think its by far the best coaster at Thorpe. Stealth i agree was designed to boost attendance. I have been to the park twice since its instalation only rode it twice. Thorpe should have become a six flags for the uk. Big B&M hypers etc but with rides like the eurofighter on there way its not sending out a statement.
Alton Towers - Nemesis still the best coaster in the UK. Air bit boring Oblivion not bad. This is what Alton Towers should do. Remove the Corkscrew build a world class coaster in its place. Inside the Black Hole tent install a ride like spiderman maybee using robot coaster technology thats world beating. Remove Runaway mine train and install a new family coaster. And build a new water ride and update cred street into soemthing more 21st century this would put Alton back on the map. They would not be doing a bad thing by copying the concept drawings on Towers Times website. As coaster fans we must urge Alton that families want thrillseeking action not dated puppets like in Charlie and the Chocalate factory.
> Chessie - I hope that a lot of money spent on Chessington
> has not been at the expense of Thorpe or Alton but they
> have attempted to make it into a Busch Gardens for kids
> which is fine but Merlin may struggle to recoup the cost
> without thrillseekers cash coming in.
Haven't been to Chessington since around 2001. For what I can tell, the park is very family day out/let's go their for an average day out type attraction. A bit dissapointing
> Thorpe - I dissagree slightly with Greame. Colossus is as
> good as floorless coasters i realy like it. I think its by
> far the best coaster at Thorpe. Stealth i agree was
> designed to boost attendance. I have been to the park twice
> since its instalation only rode it twice. Thorpe should
> have become a six flags for the uk. Big B&M hypers etc but
> with rides like the eurofighter on there way its not
> sending out a statement.
Thorpe is the best in the UK for thrills. It fails though, when it comes down to customer relations and ride up-time. In recent years, it has become very 'lets place this here and see what happens' with regards to the riding experience.
> Alton Towers - Nemesis still the best coaster in the UK.
> Air bit boring Oblivion not bad. This is what Alton Towers
> should do. Remove the Corkscrew build a world class coaster
> in its place. Inside the Black Hole tent install a ride
> like spiderman maybee using robot coaster technology thats
> world beating. Remove Runaway mine train and install a new
> family coaster. And build a new water ride and update cred
> street into soemthing more 21st century this would put
> Alton back on the map. They would not be doing a bad thing
> by copying the concept drawings on Towers Times website. As
> coaster fans we must urge Alton that families want
> thrillseeking action not dated puppets like in Charlie and
> the Chocalate factory.
Totally agree. Alton Towers is the most established theme park in the UK. It is there as somewhere for an experience - not a day out. The hole ethos of Alton Towers consists of exploring the different themed areas and rides with insight. We need the Secret Weapon projects back - the hype and suspense that the marketing teams created to intice the public and thrill-junkies alike. I think the re-theming of Merrie England was a good choice but, even considering the new 'family-orientation' type marketing they could have chose a better selection of rides. The splash battle is, though rather fun!
Hello has everyone forgot about Alton Towers and 2010. Are there any prep work going on or is there not to be a new coaster. I wish Alton would sort it out and fast we have no new ride in X Sector on The Black Hole Tent yet. Area behind Corky still nothing in there yet. Its been a long time since Nemesis know although Oblivion was pretty good Air boring and Rita well what was the point. Alton low on air time low on inversions its just centre parcs with one good coaster. With height restrictions why not build some good 4d rides like spiderman i know budget is not as high but they could build small scale. Instead we get Willy Wonka and Haunted House. For me Thorpe has built some good coasters i know enthusiasts dont like them but i have been on rides such as X, de ja vu etc at Magic Mountain and Thorpes coasters not as good but as effective. I love Colossus,Inferno and stealth.
Nemesis vs Inferno winner nemesis
colossus vs Air winner colossus
Rita vs Stealth winner Stealth
Corky vs x no way out winner corky
oblivion vs dyalan well have to wait and see
runnaway mine train vs flying fish winner flying fish
submission vs vortex winner vortex
log flume vs loggers leap winner loggers leap
Thorpe is know the king except it.
Alton step up your game.
Thorpe the king? I disagree but I would say that Thorpe is quite possibly the future for major new thrill investments in the UK.
PS How can you contest Air to Colossus? A smooth, flying coaster vs a negected, rough as a badgers arse sit down? No contest. Air is the winner. Thorpe's neglect of one of the most unique coasters in the UK is part of the reason I disagree with your 'Thorpe is king' statement.
The way I see it, Project Dylan only brings Thorpe in line with Alton (I still prefer Alton though).
Nemesis vs Inferno - not enough in it to separate them.
Air vs Colossus - I much prefer Air, but can understand Colossus suits some people more.
Rita vs Stealth - at a guess, Stealth is more effective at what it does, but the public still like Rita.
Oblivion vs Project Dylan - to be decided, but these are the two coasters I'd compare with each other.
Corkscrew vs No Way Out - doesn't really matter.
Runaway Mine Train vs Flying Fish - same as above.
So, I'm not going to write Alton off. My instinct tells me Corkscrew will be leaving this year and replaced with a coaster for 2010. Whether it's a good coaster, I don't know!
Only been to Thorpe and Chessie, but recently got a merlin pass so I hope to head over to Alton soon...
Firstly Stealth, I really love Stealth and the 14 times over 3 visits I've been on it have been great, although one of its low points is that it is often closed for all/most of the day. 11 out of 10 for front seat.
Nemesis Inferno is a very smooth ride, never seems to be closed although the fastrack entrance is shut til 11am causing us to have to go through the ride exit and several shouts of "wrong way" from people exiting the ride.
Colossus is fun but WAY too rattly, I've seen people lose things in the final twists at the end of the ride.
SAW the ride, often had errors when it first opened.. the theming is a bit over the top but the ride is excellent and offers an on ride video.
X:/ no way out is pointless and boring, also the seats are tiny and the queue area is odd, I think they should scrap it and build something like X2 or Tatsu at SFMM.
The flat rides... rush and samurai are my favorites, Slammer can cuase shoulder pain, zodiac is okay, vortex gets boring.