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Alton Towers Discussion Thread

P. 235: "The Curse at Alton Manor" dark ride opens Spring 2023!

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Secret weapon nr. 7 looks very good in that video. But I'm still not convinced that it's a Gerstlauer Euro-Fighter seeing the plans. Wouldn't mind if it is but I'm not convinced it is now. Still wondering whats the "first" about it is knowing that SW have this history of being firsts. Can't wait for them to start building SW 7.

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Just got back from Alton Towers today and I do admit that I don't think the park made too many mistakes with Sub-Terra considering the nature of the ride and it's reliance on effects. As with any ride with this type of reliance, tweaks need to be made and the ride will have a break-in period. You only have to look at Hex to realise a dark ride can go from awful to a masterpiece after six months of operations. I feel Sub-Terra is starting to grow into quite the attraction after the initial bad reception from opening. Saying this, as to be expected, it's not all the way there yet.


First off, the actors were very good and maintained a good sense of intimidating authority whilst still being rather witty! The batching room preceding the lift was good being dark with a short video explaining the idea of a group of eggs being discovered underground and that you are viewing one which has been deemed safe. You then move on to the lifts rather swiftly. This is where there could be some improvement. Apart from some lights and slight vibrations, it didn't feel like you were going down. Something could be done here to make the lift feel more authentic.


It's not until the lift door opens to reveal the caves that the level of theming becomes clear. The low level lighting, haze and rock really creates a good atmosphere. From here, another set of doors open to bring you to the ride area. With the giant egg centrepiece, lighting and other details of theming, this room is highly effective and the actors do a terrific job of rushing you to your seat. The ride sequence begins and if you didn't previously know there was a drop coming up, you wouldn't have the slightest idea! More explanation of the egg is interrupted with flickering lights and activity from the egg. Sirens go off and you get sprayed with water as smoke starts to billow from the centrepiece. Here is another complaint. It seems from other reviews that the lights are supposed to go out and when they come back up, the egg has hatched. This did not happen and thus, we saw the table turn slowly to reveal the hatched egg. Obviously, the effect was horribly ruined. More sound effects build tension until, what I feel, was one of the coolest things I've seen on a ride. Each of the four ten rows dropped independently at random intervals. Seeing the people disappear below the floor before you was truly strange. We were the last to fall so we saw each of the other rows fall before us.


The drop is admittedly average and could pack more of a punch. This could be down to the fact that the floor drops with each vehicle. The bottom room was quite disappointing. I couldn't see a thing. As far as I am aware, you were supposed to see the other eggs that Phalanx didn't harbour. However, the other elements here stole the show. Sounds of the monster screaming filled the room until the screams of riders drowned this out as they were poked in the back and the monster brushed past their legs! It even took me by surprise. Soon, each vehicle was pulled back up only to be greeted by loud sirens, flashing red lights and Phalanx operatives ordering you to get out as quickly as possible. The sense of urgency was overwhelming.


The second lift that took you to the surface again had a nice twist. This time, it felt as if you were travelling upwards as the floor moved and vibrated. Suddenly, the lights went out and the floor shook violently. The screams of the monster filled the lift and with one large jolt, the lift seemed to be smashed by the monster from outside. When the lifts finally opened, more actors rushed you out in what was a slightly underwhelming corridor as it was fully lit by the sunlight at the end. This could be rectified by utilising the black plastic flaps used at the first batching room.


Overall, I was thoroughly shocked. It surpassed my very low expectations by some degree! Obviously, there needs to be a few more adjustments before Sub-Terra becomes something to be described as amazing, but it is getting there. It's the finer details, which every effect-reliant ride should have, that need improving. I feel Nemesis Sub-Terra is a great addition to the park. I just hope that over the next few months, Alton Towers continue their improvements and bring it up to the likes of Hex.

Edited by jason10
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^^Thanks for the "blow-by-blow" description of Sub-Terra--an attraction that seems to have some potential.


I love the description, but I'm still not 100% sure what the ride is? Is it a giant 4-sided, amped-up frog hopper? I'm probably just being dense, but I'm not getting it.

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Basically, it's a top loaded, inward facing, four sided drop tower with rows of ten. They drop once with the floor attached. I'd say the drop is only about 6-7 metres tall (19-23 feet), but don't quote me on that.


Edit: It's really four separate towers.

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After the marketing for 13, very over hyped marketing, but an OK ride and now this I'm unfortunately getting put more and more off Alton Towers; which I hate to say as its got so much going for it as a location. It's all about integrity and if you don't live up to your hype then people start to have little trust in the park.


I think they need to have a big re-think about how they plan to develop both theming and attractions in the future. We were last there for halloween and although we had a good time they really do need to get an improved focus on providing the overall feel for the park. To me it's becoming too focussed on certain scare features and not on providing an exhilarating fun day out. Both the park areas and attractions are becoming too disjointed - I've lost count how many times we've been over the years but the park is so blatantly becoming just a money extraction set up with poor park merchandise and less and less attention to customer satisfaction it's now becoming very obvious and in your face.


Instead of pushing the next one trick pony to death with costly marketing what they need to do is make the customers feel valued and make sure you deliver what you promise.


To me Alton Towers biggest appeal is always around halloween but they need to get a more coherent full event in place instead of a collection of disjointed and poorly supported range of attractions.


With the next SW project now in swing I can just see them over-hyping more and continuing to deliver less. If it was a school report it would really be a case of shows potential but really must do better - a lot better. Stop showing off and make sure you deliver what you say.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I really don't know what to say to this.


May 3rd 2012 : Ropers to Challenge Alton Towers at High Court


The long running dispute between the Ropers and Alton Towers Resort took another twist today, when the parks appeal to prevent the Ropers from taking their grievances to the high court was thrown-out, paving the way for a High Court battle between Merlin Entertainments (Alton Towers parent company) and the couple who own a house in Farley.


The battle between the Ropers and the resort started in 2002 when they claimed their lives where made a misery by the noise of the rides and the parks screaming guests. They successfully won a civil case against the park in 2004 and won a noise abatement order in 2007, resulting in the Oblivion drop audio being removed and the parks firework displays being limited to 3 shows a year.


In January 2011 the couple lost a civil case and injunction against the park and it is this civil case that is being appealed in the High Courts. The stakes for both parties are high; if the resort loses rides could be forced to close near the boundary of the park (potentially including Oblivion). If the couple lose they may be subject to huge financial penalties as they have been refused protection against legal costs.


As always TowersTimes will keep you up-to-date with the case as it continues.


Taken from Towers Times.

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You would have thought that AT/Merlin would have just bought their property years ago to end this mess. People that live near any large existing area like an amusement park or an airport and then complain about noise are really, really dumb. Why a court will even listen to this nonsense is beyond me.



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^ Well this is only a successful appeal against a decision that was made against them after 9 years of proceedings. Don't be so quick to call it either way.


I just hate the irony that these people are fighting this court battle with money made from a pottery company that is very loud, but the people that live near it can't go to court because they can't afford it.


I know that these guys were there before the park, but there has to be a point to just accept it. Alton Towers is a great economic benefit to the area and a favourite with vast numbers of the population. Just let it be.

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Makes me think of the Parent family (Parent is their family name) in Wavre, who have always been a pain in the a** for Walibi , ever since Sirocco opened in 82. Ever ? not really... actually in the first years, well before the Schwarzkopf Shuttle Loop was renamed Turbine, they just moaned " a bit " but used to shut up because Eddy Meuws (the park's founder) used to give them enough cash compensation so they could go on holiday during the two most active months of the season (July and August). I appears they never really left on vacation but gladly took the money for many years ! And when this practice came to an end, they created "les Versants de la Dyle", an association of protesters against the awful noises this machine from hell "suddenly" generated... Now, even the end spikes of Turbine have to be enclosed...ah the power of money...

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Just found this on the BBC News website:


Man rescued from Oblivion ride at Alton Towers


The Oblivion ride at Alton Towers had to be closed after a man entered a prohibited area and needed rescuing.


A spokesperson for the Staffordshire theme park said a young man managed to get into the ride's tunnel at about 14:20 BST.


The ride was stopped and the surrounding area cordoned off while three fire crews rescued the man.


He was safely removed and taken to University Hospital North Staffordshire as a precaution.


The spokesperson said: "As with all our rides the area surrounding the Oblivion track is securely fenced off and ride operators reacted immediately in line with our well rehearsed safety procedures.


"A full investigation will now be carried out."


The Oblivion ride remained closed following the incident but is due to reopen again as normal on Wednesday.


Source: BBC News

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