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New (temporary, hired) flat rides for Alton Towers

Rupert

Member
I thought they absolutely nailed the aesthetic and sounds of that video - properly 80s, great animation, very cool transitions into rides to give them the context of being there. Really liked it as an intro video.

Obviously the issues with this have all been talked through, but in a way the video compounds them: are they going to be that well themed (to the 80s vibe)? If they are, they will absolutely jar with the surrounding themes. If not, they will still absolutely jar with the surrounding themes. Not only that, but who will really see this video, as a proportion of the park’s guests? I’d hazard a very small minority, so the explanation of why the rides look so out of place won’t be there, and they’ll be acknowledged as exactly what they are - fairground rides. It will really change the vibe and perceived value proposition of the park - one of the reasons it can command a high price as a day out is the seemingly premium offering compared to a fairground, so I hope this doesn’t completely undermine that.

It’s been clear for years that AT need to reinstate flat rides to help spread out guests and pad out the day, and they of course already have the space for it. I just hope this is a temporary measure on the way to that, rather than a one-season measure where they look completely out of place and then it’s back to (poor capacity) business as usual.

Reading this back - it’s probably another case of enthusiasts making a big deal of a small issue again right? The average park goer gets there, sees new flats, thinks that they look a bit naff and out of place, but great! Some extra fun rides as a freebie, on top of the normal premium offering. They’ll probably have short queues compared to the usual line-up, the fairground nature will give the out-of-control feeling - from that perspective it’s probably a great bonus to the average guest.
 

Will

Well-Known Member
Given we were expecting nothing (bar the delayed David Walliams crap) this year, I still see this as an improvement. We couldn't very well expect major investment for the 2021 season after the financial battering every theme park has just taken, so I'm happy just to see something - and maybe it will work in terms of drawing crowds away from the major attractions.

Understand the concerns that it could be used as an excuse not to invest in much-needed permanent flat rides if it does 'flop' though - and yes, the marketing is quite upsettingly bad :D
 

spicy

Active Member
I hate the idea of random funfair rides (which are only needed due to years of neglect) plonked in themed areas of the park.

But credit where it is due, they have got the branding for this spot on and have almost changed my mind 😆

Would have been so cool if they went further with it and got similar ride types in of Alton's past, gave them the same name with signage explaining the connection to the past attraction.

Maybe the Funk'n'Fly could have passed off as the Tri Star for example https://www.towerstimes.co.uk/history/past-rides/tri-star/
 

TommyAlex

Member
I want to be annoyed that Alton Towers have borrowed a few travelling fair rides and randomly plonked them in heavily themed areas.

But this retro/time bending/alternate universe theme for them is exactly the sort of thing I would've suggested to cover it up, so it's all fine by me.
 

toofpikk

Member
Just seen the full video for it.


I wanna hate it so bad. But I can't. The marketing team have truly outdone themselves, it turns out you CAN polish bits of turd.

I stand by my points raised earlier and agree that from an operation stand point this is a ridiculously cheap self inflicted situation they find themselves in. Buuuuutttt, they've made it fun. Lord knows how. I hope that whatever happens with the flats this season, something more permanent and fitting can be installed sooner rather than later as a result of this.
 

SilverArrow

Active Member
My only really tiny, nitpicking issue was that two of the rides aren't 80s rides. The super trooper paratrooper is almost brand new model that came out in the last year or so and the smashing jump is relatively new to the scene as well. The waltzer is a British classic so that's a nice choice to be fair. I would have maybe chosen a breakdance (which would have been a proper throwback as they used to have one) and some other classics closer to the period that we are supposed to be travelling to but I can understand why they went for relatively new and more family orientated rides. Having said that, I think Huss still make breakdances (for example) so some in-depth research could have got things slightly more time appropriate if they wanted to be a bit more accurate with the whole retro nostalgia branding thing. Obviously most people won't realise or care but as someone interesting in ride history it's a bit strange.

Wouldn't it have been cool if they could have hired that looping star that was floating around for UK hire a while back. That would have been an impressive bonus ride reminiscent of the thunderlooper, beast and black hole days! Imagine that!

I personally don't have a problem with the lack of theming as I'm not really a "theming enthusiast" and it was kind of refreshing to see something upbeat return to Dark Forest after UG land left us with a lack of atmosphere in that area. Dark Forest has always seemed so flat compared to what it used to be.

Yeah it's a bit cheap and basic but it is a throwback to times when the park actually had multiple rotating fair-style flat rides (so even if they're not all era appropriate it still has that vibe) and I think they could be quite popular with the average guests (particularly the waltzer and smashing jump rides). You often see rides that enthusiasts don't consider doing proving popular with the majority of guests at parks so these rides could really help soak up people if they work. I like the idea that they're giving the showmen a cash boost too. It's like an industry cross-over. I bet they never expected their rides to become animated transformer characters either! 😂

I guess in a nutshell, I can see why it bothers some people but for me it's just nice to see something new and different that's a bit of a curveball. It mixes things up a bit at a time when we could do with some new distractions.
 
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emoo

Member
A bonus limited time roller coaster would have made a huge difference to the views here right from the start!
 

Smithy

Well-Known Member
It's embarrassing (although I'm not sure if it's for you lot or me) that none of you have mentioned Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles with Cowabunga. Heathens.

I both love this, and think it's a seriously smart business move for them. I get the concerns about them looking tatty, or putting people off. But think broader. It's 2021. The leisure industry has taken an absolute pounding and parks will be desperate to attract people in. What better way to do so than advertising THREE 'new' rides? Even more-so, using rides that people will link to fairgrounds, previous nostalgia, at a time when most people will be resigned to domestic holidays. Let's also wait and see what the rides look like in-situ, it's not like they're going to be rust buckets.
 
Good news on the opening, although it's a shame it couldn't be pushed one hour later for proper night rides! Still happy for more time in the park though, I'll be there Tuesday.
 

Will

Well-Known Member
A nice touch indeed :)

Not planning to do Alton until the following week, sadly - though once schools are back I'll comfortably get everything I want done by 4, particularly with a handful of my usual rides closed.
 

Matt N

Well-Known Member
A nice touch indeed :)

Not planning to do Alton until the following week, sadly - though once schools are back I'll comfortably get everything I want done by 4, particularly with a handful of my usual rides closed.
It’s worth remembering that every weekend up to 16th May is an 8pm close, if you still fancy a late close but can’t visit in the first week, and there is Mardi Gras coming up later in May, which should provide some later midweek days!

Personally, I think this is brilliant! Should provide brilliant conditions for maximum riding! With regard to 4pm closes midweek, I don’t think it’s really worth their while opening any later on those really quiet days, to be fair. The park’s probably deserted on these days.

I’ve struck pretty lucky, as I’m actually going on 16th April, which is an 8pm close!
 

Serena

Miss CoasterForce 2016
Staff member
Social Media Team
I love how tenuous this flat ride marketting is!

I, for one, have never looked at a funfair ride and thought "oooh so 80's!" Because funfairs to me, don't have a particular decade? And these ride types aren't from the 80's, are they?

Like, you think Waltzer, you think
a. That episode of Peep Show where Sophie makes Mark ride the Walzer.

Or b. That episide of Casualty in the 90s where an accident happened on a Waltzer

You don't think cowabunga dude get me to Alton Towers right now for a nostalgia trip back to the 80s!

There's nothing nostalgic about funfair rides when they still exist in this very form right now haha.

Talk about clutching at straws. I love it.
 

Howie

Active Member
Extra flat rides. 80's throwbacks. Later opening hours. Lots of good news here. My only gripe is... why stop at 3 temporary rides? Why not 4, or 5, or even 6? It's not like fairground rides are exactly in high demand at the moment, I'm sure they could have found a couple more. Maybe even a travelling coaster for the cred whores. A wacky worm would be a great throwback seeing as Alton used to have one! Something more substantial? How about Olympia Looping in the overflow car park for a season? That'd be cooool....

But yeah. The 80's. Far out, man.
 

CrashCoaster

Well-Known Member
So they are at least trying to theme and brand the flats:-

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Honestly, I don't hate it. I believe the park are installing a semi-permanent queue line for this and Roller Disco, and Mixtape will re-use Submission's queue.
 

Will

Well-Known Member
Like, you think Waltzer, you think
a. That episode of Peep Show where Sophie makes Mark ride the Walzer.

Or b. That episide of Casualty in the 90s where an accident happened on a Waltzer

You don't think cowabunga dude get me to Alton Towers right now for a nostalgia trip back to the 80s!
...I genuinely didn't think ANY of those things, but glad to see you posting again :D
 
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