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New (temporary, hired) flat rides for Alton Towers

Ethan

Strata Poster
It's hard because people would look at the Tikal model and just walk past it as it looks small and childish but they wouldn't realise Tikal gives better airtime than some full sized drop towers!
 

JoshC.

Giga Poster
I will confess it took me a good couple of visits before doing Tikal at Phantasialand. But after doing it, it became a staple to any Phantasialand visit. It's fab.

Now any time I see a Zierer family freefall tower, I do my best to ride it. Honestly such fun rides, and I would gladly see them at any park. A pair of them would work well in Walliams World for example imo.

It likely goes without saying, I don't go out of my way to ride a Frog Hopper though.
 

Tonkso

Mega Poster
We nearly skipped it on our first visit too, only deciding to ride it on the last day towards the end when it was clear that chain-riding Colorado was our only option. I think we actually gave it a go between Colorado rides actually.
Now it is a must-ride.
I could see them working in the dark forest (easy tree theme) to balance out the fact the zone contains two coasters... and that's it.
 

Tonkso

Mega Poster
I don't get the negativity to be honest. We've needed more flats for a while, and whilst yes these are temporary, they may pave the way for more permanent additions.
If the park deems them to be a success by whatever metric they will be using, then why would they not?
 

FistedColossus

Hyper Poster
I see the logic behind it but yeah... I hate it.

Would look a lot better if they bunched them all up together in one area with its own fairground theme but that would then defeat their purpose of being additional capacity rides.
 

Hixee

Flojector
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Social Media Team
The problem I have, and I can see happening, is that people won't ride this stuff 'cos they'll recognise it's just old funfair tat and at the end of the season the park will say "see, people don't want flat rides". That's not entirely true then, is it?

Plus, it's just tacky.
 

emoo

Mega Poster
I'm not surprised about the branding. But it is noticeable the ad starts by openly telling people that Towers had a massive gap (which they have let grow over the years) and are quick fixing with fairground rides.

An overlay would be appreciated to dress them up appropriately per area of the park
 

JoshC.

Giga Poster
The problem I have, and I can see happening, is that people won't ride this stuff 'cos they'll recognise it's just old funfair tat and at the end of the season the park will say "see, people don't want flat rides". That's not entirely true then, is it?

Plus, it's just tacky.

This is also one of my fears. The other fear I have is the opposite end of the spectrum.

Say people ride these rides and love them. Then what?
Either they become permanent, and are likely left in a tacky state (or shoehorned in with theming and all that, which would be tricky).
Or they disappear. Maybe Towers get a new, permanent flat or two in their place next year. Or we get nothing, because whatever metric Towers/Merlin use to measure success deems them a failure anyway. Either way, we lose up to 4 rides from the line up next year, and people are going to notice that.

(I guess it's possible that if they're successful Towers could buy 3-4 brand new, permanent flat rides in their place, but I just don't see that happening).
 

CrashCoaster

Strata Poster
Why can't we just wait and see what happens before we determine whether we think the flats are successful or not. It's not like we won't get a guage pretty quickly once the park reopens. Either they will have decent queues or they won't. But either way, I think they will get at least one permanent flat, simply due to capacity reasons, which we know Towers have clearly noticed at this point. That being said, I think the number of them we will see, and/or the cost/quality of the flats will increase if they do prove to be more successful than some of us are thinking.

TLDR; Literally none of us have a ****ing clue how successful these will be yet.
 

Matt N

Strata Poster
We now have an official announcement from the park; the scheme is officially being referred to as The Retro Squad, with all 3 rides being given retro names and themes:
In terms of the rides announced; 3 have been announced as part of this, and they are:
  • Funk’n’Fly - Super Trooper in Forbidden Valley.
  • Mixtape - Smashing Jump in X-Sector.
  • Roller Disco - Waltzer in Dark Forest.
For some reason, the Twist in The World of David Walliams doesn’t seem to be getting included...

What do you guys think of this?
 
We now have an official announcement from the park; the scheme is officially being referred to as The Retro Squad, with all 3 rides being given retro names and themes:
In terms of the rides announced; 3 have been announced as part of this, and they are:
  • Funk’n’Fly - Super Trooper in Forbidden Valley.
  • Mixtape - Smashing Jump in X-Sector.
  • Roller Disco - Waltzer in Dark Forest.
For some reason, the Twist in The World of David Walliams doesn’t seem to be getting included...

What do you guys think of this?
Well even though the themed areas have completely gone out the window lol This is epic and the marketing is spot on! I can't help thinking they planned this for the anniversary year last year.
 

Matt N

Strata Poster
I quite like how the park is selling this as a “nostalgia” type thing; I think it’s quite cool in that regard!

I also think it’s nice to see that the park has a passion for its history, and are almost taking visitors “back to a simpler time” as it were!
 

JoshC.

Giga Poster
Why can't we just wait and see what happens before we determine whether we think the flats are successful or not. It's not like we won't get a guage pretty quickly once the park reopens. Either they will have decent queues or they won't. But either way, I think they will get at least one permanent flat, simply due to capacity reasons, which we know Towers have clearly noticed at this point. That being said, I think the number of them we will see, and/or the cost/quality of the flats will increase if they do prove to be more successful than some of us are thinking.

TLDR; Literally none of us have a ****ing clue how successful these will be yet.

Orrrrr, you know, you could actually try to understand the points people are raising.

If the flat rides aren't successful, it gives reason for the park to think flat rides aren't necessary for the park.
If the flat rides are successful, the park stand to lose up to 4 rides from the line up next year.
Either way, that's some major repercussions for the short and mid term future of the park imo

We aren't determining if the flats are successful before they've even opened, we are discussing the consequences of what happens if they are, or are not, successful.

---

I actually don't mind the nostalgia vibe the rides have in their own right. It would actually be pretty cool as its own area (not just at Towers, but any park). Scattering them about into different areas where they don't fit though? Nah, not for me.
 

Pokemaniac

Mountain monkey
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
I think the disappointment stems from the fact that, whichever way you twist and turn it, plonked-down fairground rides hired for a season does not reflect the same commitment to quality as permanent installations would. It's clear that Alton has recognized the problems created through years of hollowing out their flat ride lineup, but at the same time they don't seem willing to address them properly. I'm not sure if this strategy is chosen to explore how the public will react to thrilling flats (perhaps with some undertone of "maybe we'll do just as fine without them, after all?") or if there is a pressure to deliver good numbers in the balance sheets every year and that leasing instead of buying is a nice way to boost the bottom line in the short term.

Either way, despite the addition of these flats, Alton's ride lineup is not what it used to be. If they are removed again next year we're back to the same situation, if they stay they're still representing lower quality than the park had ten years ago. Replacing them with proper, permanent rides seems to be the best possible outcome, but there are few signals of whether this is even considered. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.
 

Matt N

Strata Poster
If this 2021 flat ride drive is successful, then I could possibly see 2022 providing something not too dissimilar to what Thorpe Park did in 2001; in 2001, Thorpe did the “sensory overload” and installed 3 brand new flat rides, in the form of Detonator, Zodiac and Vortex!

Once these rides (presumably) vacate at the end of 2021, that leaves 3 sites where the park could put 3 permanent flat rides in in a similar style to what Thorpe Park did in 2001.
 
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