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Alton Towers Discussion Thread


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I've just watched an article on the local news(central news),it was a much better piece of video,probably cause it was better edited and it made the ride and "surprise" look so much better than the GMTV piece this morning.

Can't wait till saturday to experience the ride properly.

Edited by mousch
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Awful Towers seem to think they can just role out a ride, hype it beyond belief and then throw a few bits of plastic at it to make it look nice.

You can say the exact same thing about SF and their "upgrades". However the upgrades are a cheaper alternative to new rides and serve a functional purpose to extend the life of the coaster a few more years and Thirteen is a brand new ride.

 

But from what I see, the hype comes from the fact that Alton wants to draw people to the park. All parks hype their rides, no matter how big or small they are. SF did it when they upgraded SROS and Medusa as well as for the Dark Knight coasters, Busch did it with Griffon, etc.. etc... etc... The hype is pretty much expected for any new ride at a major (and even smaller) amusement parks.

 

I want to be excited not just by the ride but by the whole experience. I want designers to not just think about creating the next gimmick but to really look at the whole experience. Don't leave dead space in a queue line, don't think that just because you've got the World's first B&M Flying coaster you can have a bare concrete tunnel with water on the floor as you exit the platform. Start thinking about what goes on near and around the rides, they've got the space so use it and make it work for them.
While I can agree with you about theming existing rides and that all parks should follow that example, I don't get where you claim that Thirteen is just a gimmick because Alton is trying to create an experience (by using the horror theme) and incorporate a gimmick into that (the elevator drop and backwards portion). But that's just me...

 

Awful Towers have spent too long looking for their next gimmick instead of looking at what they already have and investing in making the park what it should be.
You can say that about any park that tends to build large rides on a regular basis. Using Cedar Fair as an example, they tend to chase after larger coasters without a care for keeping the park's original charm intact. The CF parks could be better/have rides with great theming and excellent atmosphere, but they just choose not to. Same goes for SF during the 90s/early 00s.

 

As for Cedar Fair I've been to plenty of their parks but the difference is that they don't set themselves up as anything other than a park full of rides and if there's space we'll cram another one in. If you know that before hand then there's no disappointment.
Perhaps Alton is going the same route CF is taking. Maybe they're trying to set themselves up as an amusement park filled with rides/attractions. Edited by netdvn
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After watching the video and looking through the pictures, to me, it looks like a supersized version of Knott's Berry Farm's Jaguar/Pony Express, with a bonus of the track dropping section, some indoor elements, and a backwards ride.

 

It seems like a decent medium-sized family coaster, but I don't think it would be something I would hate in a long line for...

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I'm not sure why but this reminds me of Skully @ Gadv...maybe the seats? If the first drop is anything like Skull Mountain's we are looking at some EXTREME airtime the entire lenght of the drop. The "special" part was a bit of a let down but traveling backwards makes up for it!

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@Juggler - I think you're just bitter that we have roller coasters such as Millennium Force, Kingda Ka, and the Intimidator series.

 

I think this roller coaster is pretty cool- the way it goes through a forest (think Knoebels!) The dropping track is a cool element, and I don't know of any other coasters that has this, so it's definitely a world's first. Maybe Intamin will come up with a coaster where the track is mounted on the side of an 2G drop tower. The lift will climb up to the track at the top and then the track would drop down to the ground. Gives a whole new meaning to "first drop"

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@netdvn

 

The trouble is I don't think Awful Towers themselves know what they want to be and there in lies the problem.

 

How? You said that all Alton cares about is building rides with gimmicks. Chances are, that's where they want to be. A park that utilizes rides with gimmicks and thrills over atmosphere (similar to the CF parks in the states). On occasion, they'll pump out a ride with a good theme, but other than that they're not gonna put too much effort into that.

 

They can't build the biggest and the fastest, so they want the first... Gimmicky or not...

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After watching the video and looking through the pictures, to me, it looks like a supersized version of Knott's Berry Farm's Jaguar/Pony Express, with a bonus of the track dropping section, some indoor elements, and a backwards ride.

 

It seems like a decent medium-sized family coaster, but I don't think it would be something I would hate in a long line for...

 

I thought the same thing when I watched the video. I'm not impressed. All this hype for a 60 foot coaster with a drop section which doesn't drop very far and a short, mild backwards section. It looks like something I would put in the category of only ride if the line is really short.

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Been there ridden 'em got the T-Shirts. Top Thrill was FAR better than Kingda Kak though!!!

 

Not bitter at all as I think we have some amazing parks and rides in Europe but when I see parks with a fraction of the budget doing a vastly superior job it annoys me because if they can do it and spend a tiny amount in comparison then why can't Alton, Thorpe and said others do it SO much better?

 

Take Mystery Mine at Dollywood for example. It looks fantastic, the ride itself is just a custom Eurofighter but the way it's themed inside an out just makes it so awesome. The attention to detail in and around Black Mamba at Phantasialand is just mind blowing, in fact Phantasialand as a whole should be stuck up on a very high pedastal and everyone else told "You want to be the best? Well there's your target!" Even before Black Mamba this place was my number one park in Europe and they keep improving all the time. Just look at Mystery Castle, that tower is not some plastic ediface it is built entirely of stone and cost more than the ride system itself. THAT is the attention to detail I want to see Awful Towers striving for.

 

Remember when Six Flags moved into Europe? What was the very first thing they added to SF Belgium and SF Holland? Wooden coasters in the shape of Loup Garou and Robin Hood. They're not world beaters, they don't have some trick they were just added becuase Six Flags could see the balance was wrong in the park. This is what I mean about Awful Towers missing the point.

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Maybe I'm missing something here but why did the bootcampers and the TV reporters ride without the FX and with the lights on?

 

Are the FX just not ready yet?

 

It would seem to me that if the FX are a huge part of the ride, why have all this video out there without them?

 

To me that would be like putting a promotional video of Space Mountain with the lights on or Tower of Terror without it's show elements as the first thing presented to your viewing audience all over the world to pass judgements on.

 

Think about even Mystery Mine. Dollywood didn't release an official video of the fire effect for nearly a full year after that ride opened! Had they released a video of the inside of the 2nd tower section fully lit up, that would have just looked stupid. So they chose not to release anything and let that element be a real surprise.

 

--Robb

Edited by robbalvey
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^ Perhaps to keep the elements a secret...???

 

Take Mystery Mine at Dollywood for example. It looks fantastic, the ride itself is just a custom Eurofighter but the way it's themed inside an out just makes it so awesome. The attention to detail in and around Black Mamba at Phantasialand is just mind blowing, in fact Phantasialand as a whole should be stuck up on a very high pedastal and everyone else told "You want to be the best? Well there's your target!" Even before Black Mamba this place was my number one park in Europe and they keep improving all the time. Just look at Mystery Castle, that tower is not some plastic ediface it is built entirely of stone and cost more than the ride system itself. THAT is the attention to detail I want to see Awful Towers striving for.

 

But that's where the problem lies... Alton isn't going in the direction of Phantasialand or Tokyo Disney Sea. They're going in a different direction whether you like it or not. And it works for them because people still walk through the gate and pay money just to ride the newest ride. Maybe if the outcome was a little different, Alton would take a different approach.

 

Remember when Six Flags moved into Europe? What was the very first thing they added to SF Belgium and SF Holland? Wooden coasters in the shape of Loup Garou and Robin Hood. They're not world beaters, they don't have some trick they were just added becuase Six Flags could see the balance was wrong in the park. This is what I mean about Awful Towers missing the point.
You should also keep in mind that SF was also adding gimmicky rides to their parks at that time. Remember X? Deja Vu? Superman: Ultimate Flight? The list goes on and on... Look at where that got them... They're in an insane amount of debt as a result. Also keep in mind that SF added a ton of big coasters to their newly bought parks in the late 90s-early 2000s. And then they focused on building capital investments in their flagship parks while neglecting their smaller parks.

 

THAT is the attention to detail I want to see all parks striving for.

FIXED

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Can't disagree too much with those comments net. I know I am but one tiny voice screaming when the general public is blinded by the BS!

 

I go back to my earlier comment about them not knowing what they want to be. If they want to be a car park coaster park then be that. Just plonk a new ride in, do very little with it and get on with pulling in the punters. If they want to be a themed park then don't keep making half hearted attempts at it put the money in and make it the best it can possibly be. They always seem to start off with good intentions and then lose direction once the ride is in and the public are going Ooooo and Ahhhhh.

 

There was a big difference between the way SF ran the European parks and the way they invested in the US and I actually think they were getting it right in Europe. OK they sold the parks back to Walibi in the end but they went back in a far better state than they were before.

 

Hee Hee, All Parks!!! We both know that is never going to happen (too many car parks!) lol

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Not bitter at all as I think we have some amazing parks and rides in Europe but when I see parks with a fraction of the budget doing a vastly superior job it annoys me because if they can do it and spend a tiny amount in comparison then why can't Alton, Thorpe and said others do it SO much better?

 

I guess the grass is always greener on the other side, because I wouldn't mind having Nemesis in my back yard here in Florida. Yes, I know some of their newer coasters haven't been great, but Nemesis is still a top 10 steel coaster.

 

Could you imagine having Kumba and Nemesis in the same park. Yes, I know the theme wouldn't fit, but still. ...Wow.

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the effects were not on because of filming i think. in am going again saturday so thats cool and i dont mind. http://www.itv.com/central-west/new-rollercoaster12493/ have you all seen this video? it is much betetr than the terrible gmtv one. the guy who says "ahh best ride here" THATS ME =D

 

Since you have to be in the UK to see it on there website I found it on Youtube. It's not the best quality so if you find it better somewhere else please post it!

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I have to wonder what the ride would be like without the little pre-drop first. Just start with the big drop...I would think that would be more thrilling, but who knows.

 

I also am curious as to if they can change the drop sequence, that would provide a re-ride factor that not many other rides can give. I don't think there's a single coaster out there that can say it provides a different ride every time (aside from the obvious seat switching).

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I have to wonder what the ride would be like without the little pre-drop first. Just start with the big drop...I would think that would be more thrilling, but who knows.

 

I think for non-enthusiasts (and a lot of enthusiasts like myself), it's far more scary to have that little "omg" moment before the big drop to let you know something normal is not going on. Tower of Terror at DCA does the same thing and it definitely puts you in an entirely different mind set then just a drop by itself would. It makes your mind over think things, like if it can do that what else will happen. Seems to me it might be able to get reprogrammed down the line as Tower of Terror in Florida has to keep it "fresh" down the line and a whole new thing to market depending on if they can change the effects inside as well if they wanted to.

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To be honest I feel that the drop part will be quite thrilling. For example extremist at london dungeons is 8 metres high which means the drop itself isn't even 8 metres but anyway. When I went on extremist I looked up into the darkness which made it look high, I got on went up and could still see the bottom. The scene showed it dropped and the drop had so much airtime it was comparable to the tall freefall drops. It took you by surprise but was over in a second. The drop on 13 looks simular so it might be better than it looks. Cant wait to ride it.

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I think the real secret is that the park managed to build a fun looking coaster without a bitchfest about restraints.

For The Win!

 

I think it looks fantastic. Hope something like this comes to the states. I think the 2nd video really shows off the freefall well, looks so fun!

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