What's new

YAY Merlin!

toofpikk

Mega Poster
Had what was, to be frank, the best trip I have ever had to towers over the last 2 days. There were a collection of reasons as to why the trip was already set up to be good (my first trip to a park in over a year, last days before local lockdown for me, first time I've seen a couple good friends in months and managed to do it on a ridiculously miniscule budget) but the park and rides were being ran the best I have ever seen.

Over a 10-9 & 11-7 day, we managed 29 rides. Galactica & Wickerman were both being dispatched so quickly they were stacking on the lifthill every other time. The vast majority of guests were very obedient to the chevron rules. Whilst the horror mazes weren't particularly scary, they were very pretty. I very rarely comment on my park trips anymore (may be because I very rarely do them) but I have never had such a great time at a merlin park. I saw 2 breakdowns the whole time, the smiler was 'duelling' pretty much the entire time, the park looked great, and I'm really struggling to find a complaint. Ironically the operations were noticeably slower on the saturday compared to the slightly quieter friday, but still they were throwing trains out. Hopefully a good sign for how they will deal with half term crowds.

OH and PS: The smiler & wickerman (and even rita) were running pretty smoothly. Maybe I have built up a tolerance thanks to a lack of park visits for a while but no rough complaints from me.
 
Last edited:

zazobo

Hyper Poster
Had what was, to be frank, the best trip I have ever had to towers over the last 2 days. There were a collection of reasons as to why the trip was already set up to be good (my first trip to a park in over a year, last days before local lockdown for me, first time I've seen a couple good friends in months and managed to do it on a ridiculously miniscule budget) but the park and rides were being ran the best I have ever seen.

Over a 10-9 & 11-7 day, we managed 29 rides. Galactica & Wickerman were both being dispatched so quickly they were stacking on the lifthill every other time. The vast majority of guests were very obedient to the chevron rules. Whilst the horror mazes weren't particularly scary, they were very pretty. I very rarely comment on my park trips anymore (may be because I very rarely do them) but I have never had such a great time at a merlin park. I saw 2 breakdowns the whole time, the smiler was 'duelling' pretty much the entire time, the park looked great, and I'm really struggling to find a complaint. Ironically the operations were noticeably slower on the saturday compared to the slightly quieter friday, but still they were throwing trains out. Hopefully a good sign for how they will deal with half term crowds.

OH and PS: The smiler & wickerman (and even rita) were running pretty smoothly. Maybe I have built up a tolerance thanks to a lack of park visits for a while but no rough complaints from me.

I second everything you said, we went up last weekend and had such a great day. The coasters were running the best I can remember for years. Even smiler was tolerable!!
 

toofpikk

Mega Poster
Extended opening hours to begin with, with extended weekend hours throughout the entire year it seems? (Extended being specific for merlin, because actually, its just a return to what is continentally known as 'normal' open hours...)
This is great stuff for Chessington.
Hopefully the other parks will follow suit (?)
KjeYJNg.png
 

VonRolland

Hyper Poster
On the subject of opening hours I thought i'd note current AT opening times and compare actual at the end of the season, especially as there's so many 10-4's in July. Brace yoself... data below correct as of 24/03/2021.

* April - 19 day's - 123hrs - 10x 10-4 & 9x 10-5
* May - 31 day's - 198hrs - 19x 10-4 & 12x 10-5
* June - 30 day's - 192hrs - 18x 10-4 & 12x 10-5
* July - 31 day's - 208hrs - 17x 10-4 & 6x 10-5 & 8x 10-6
* Aug - 31 day's - 248hrs - 31x 10-6
* Sep - 30 day's - 190hrs - 21x 10-4 & 8x 10-5 & 1x 10-6
* Oct - 31 day's - 288hrs - 9x 10-4 & 2x 10-5 & 20x 10-9
* Nov - 7 day's - 57hrs - 4x 10-4 & 3x 10-9

Total's 210 open day's with 1504 open hour's (so far) with (98x 10-4) & (49x 10-5) & (40x 10-6) & (23x 10-9)

Certainly hope this will increase in time especially the 10-4's in June/July! Hope this is readable ey ;)
 

witchfinder

Hyper Poster
Certainly hope this will increase in time especially the 10-4's in June/July! Hope this is readable ey ;)

I wouldn't expect much change from that - the 10-4 days in June/July will be midweek during school term dates so crowd levels are always low those days. By the looks of it they're opening every day during the week in term time which is better than many years in the recent past when they have closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
 

Tonkso

Mega Poster
Those Chessington hours are promising. I remember in 2018 when we visited on a 10-4 day, midweek, we didn't get Vampire done as it had a 90min queue all day. This was supposed to be a quiet day, 6 hours just isn't enough.

In all honesty, I think 8 should be the minimum for any park.
 

Howie

Giga Poster
I'm not sure what exactly, but something has happened to Thorpe Park.
I was there on Tuesday with @Rollercoaster David and @JoshC.
Had a really great day, got tons of rides in.
Ok, the park was actually really quiet so queues were small anyway... but it was more than that. Despite the low crowds, all the big coasters were running at least 2 trains (Saw was running 5 or 6). And if a coaster found itself with an empty queue line, do you know what they did? No, they didn't use it as an excuse to take a train off they....

wait for it....

They let people ride again!

We didn't even have to ask, ride ops were volunteering this information freely.
"As there's nobody waiting in line you're welcome to stay on for another go, guys", they said.
"Wait.. what? Er... yes please". we said. 😁
This happened twice on The Swarm, once on the Rapids and twice on Stealth, the only difference being that on Stealth you had to unload from one train to fill up the empty train in front of it. Such a burden.

Apart from the 3 indoor attractions - DBGT, Walking Dead and the 4D cinema - all rides were open. Storm Sturge had some issues in the morning, but they got it running eventually and Colossus was being temperamental throughout the day but whenever it did break down the staff did an amazing job of informing people in the queue what was happening, how long they expected it to be down, what the problem might be etc.. Not just over a tannoy either, but by walking along the queueline, chatting to guests, asking about their day and stuff. Really really good.
In fact, staff throughout the park were on point all day to be fair - friendly, enthusiastic and genuinely glad to be back.

Quite a ridiculous ride count for a single day at Thorpe, might have lost track of a couple, but it was something like this:

The Swarm x 5 (3 back, 1 front)
Stealth x 5 (Josh and Doc also had an extra one while I was having a cigarette break)
Nemesis Inferno x 3
Colossus x 1
Saw x 1
Rush x 2
Quantum x 1
Rapids x 3
Vortex x 1
Detonator x 1
Samurai x 1
We even had a lap on the Flying Fish, and all of that even left time for a leisurely, hour long lunch break with a few beers to boot.

So not your typical day at Thorpe Park that's for sure, but I'll take it.

I didn't think this warranted a full trip report, but I did want it on record that it feels like something positive might have happened behind the scenes at The Island Like No Other and if so, then the change is definitely noticeable.

Of course, there's always the possibility that we just dropped lucky and it will all turn to sh*t again next week, but I genuinely hope not.
 

FarleyFlavors

Mega Poster
on Stealth you had to unload from one train to fill up the empty train in front of it.
It's rather nice when they do that! Only ever happened to me once, several years ago, at park opening on a really quiet day. They propped open the gate between the offload and loading areas and I managed 14 rides in an hour before a gradual trickle of people coming up the ramp meant they had to close the gate again.
 

Nitefly

Mega Poster
I was at Alton Towers yesterday. I don't want to adversely affect the variety of content on the forum by posting more 'trip reports' (after my recent spree of the same) but I do have a few good things to say about it and this seemed like the appropriate thread.

The new flat rides (the 'Retro Squad' and Flavio's Fabulous Fangando) are sooooooo welcome in the line up. Rides like this might not be the most impressive (in any sense) but I laughed on them far more than any of the more 'permanent' installations. I very much enjoyed listening to 'Burning Heart' whilst queuing for 'Funk N' Fly', although it did make me yearn for 'Hearts on Fire', which never came =[

Duel is running far better than it has on my recent annual trips. Last year, it felt a little 'unfinished'. Now, far more effects are working and the lighting and sound all seems well synced with jump scares etc. They just need to sort out that weird bit at the end where the guns stop working and, obviously, the 'spinning tunnel'.

The 'Mardi Gras' performers were amusing / bemusing and welcome.

Finally, albeit less of a 'Merlin' thing, Wicker Man was absolutely hauling - Mrs. Nitefly and I were aggressively twerking the whole way round. She even screamed out loud at one point. CRITICAL HIT!!! Hands off, Wicker Man *slaps wrist*

Good job, would visit again A+++
 

Matt N

Strata Poster
I was at Alton Towers yesterday. I don't want to adversely affect the variety of content on the forum by posting more 'trip reports' (after my recent spree of the same) but I do have a few good things to say about it and this seemed like the appropriate thread.

The new flat rides (the 'Retro Squad' and Flavio's Fabulous Fangando) are sooooooo welcome in the line up. Rides like this might not be the most impressive (in any sense) but I laughed on them far more than any of the more 'permanent' installations. I very much enjoyed listening to 'Burning Heart' whilst queuing for 'Funk N' Fly', although it did make me yearn for 'Hearts on Fire', which never came =[

Duel is running far better than it has on my recent annual trips. Last year, it felt a little 'unfinished'. Now, far more effects are working and the lighting and sound all seems well synced with jump scares etc. They just need to sort out that weird bit at the end where the guns stop working and, obviously, the 'spinning tunnel'.

The 'Mardi Gras' performers were amusing / bemusing and welcome.

Finally, albeit less of a 'Merlin' thing, Wicker Man was absolutely hauling - Mrs. Nitefly and I were aggressively twerking the whole way round. She even screamed out loud at one point. CRITICAL HIT!!! Hands off, Wicker Man *slaps wrist*

Good job, would visit again A+++
Glad to hear you had a nice day!

By “aggressively twerking”, do you mean that WM was particularly rough compared to usual? Glad to hear it’s running well; controversially, Wicker Man is my favourite coaster at Alton Towers! As someone who values coasters that are both thrilling and fun over out and out intense ones, I’ve grown to absolutely love it as of late!
 

Nitefly

Mega Poster
Glad to hear you had a nice day!

By “aggressively twerking”, do you mean that WM was particularly rough compared to usual? Glad to hear it’s running well; controversially, Wicker Man is my favourite coaster at Alton Towers! As someone who values coasters that are both thrilling and fun over out and out intense ones, I’ve grown to absolutely love it as of late!
I meant that our asses were out of our seats: up in the air, gyrating, swirling!! Bystanders were dropping their snacks and saying GOD DAYMMMM DATS SOME THICC ASS. We almost derailed.
 

Matt N

Strata Poster
I meant that our asses were out of our seats: up in the air, gyrating, swirling!! Bystanders were dropping their snacks and saying GOD DAYMMMM DATS SOME THICC ASS. We almost derailed.
Ooh, so there was a lot of airtime! I’m really looking forward to riding it again on 28th June, if that’s the case; if it’s smooth and comfortable, but providing that amazing speed and airtime, then I’m really looking forward to it!
 

CrashCoaster

Strata Poster
I meant that our asses were out of our seats: up in the air, gyrating, swirling!! Bystanders were dropping their snacks and saying GOD DAYMMMM DATS SOME THICC ASS. We almost derailed.
Ooh, so there was a lot of airtime! I’m really looking forward to riding it again on 28th June, if that’s the case; if it’s smooth and comfortable, but providing that amazing speed and airtime, then I’m really looking forward to it!
WM is running absolutely incredible this year, I very much agree. I went to Towers a couple of weeks back for the first time in two years and managed to get a ride towards the back of the train (I think row 10?). Even though the trains weren't full at the time, the ride felt very fast indeed and I felt the same emotionally as I did on my first ever ride; absolutely in awe. Great woodie.

Also, the operations are incredible due to the pre-show not being shown, and the ride has actually been exceeding its theoretical throughput which is fantastic! Here is a recent video from Coaster Bot where he analyses the 2021 operations of Towers:-

 

Matt N

Strata Poster
A lot of people seem really enamoured with WM this year; for instance, I seem to remember @nadroJ having very positive thoughts in her latest Alton Towers vlog, and she’s not usually a huge lover of Wicker Man (correct me if I’m wrong there, Jordan?), as far as I’m aware! I’ve also heard a lot of other people saying that they’ve had their smoothest rides ever this year; oddly, I found a slight rough patch in the final wicker man pass through on my only ride of 2021 in row 1, but nothing major by any means. I seem to be the only person who ever noticed slight roughness in that spot, strangely, so maybe it was just a one-ride anomaly; wooden coasters certainly vary a fair bit, so that wouldn’t surprise me! The park has also done a bit more retracking work since then, so maybe the spot may have been resolved?

On the whole, though, it would seem like whatever Towers did to Wicker Man over the off-season (at very least, I know they retracked bits of it) has clearly worked, as the ride seems to have massively turned the reviews around compared to the end of 2020, when it was apparently slower than usual and getting a bit rough (it was absolutely amazing in July 2020 when I rode it, but the ride apparently went downhill a fair amount as the season progressed)!
 

Will

Strata Poster
I admit I tend to skip Wickerman unless I have time to 'burn' but maybe I'll have to see what I think next time I'm up that way :)
Considering a trip tomorrow actually, as the AP is finally running out at the end of the month, so that will probably be it until October.
 

Nitefly

Mega Poster
Yes, we were on the back row (late afternoon) so perhaps the experience will not be repeated on other rows but it really was in ‘surprising ejector’ territory, to the point where we could barely believe it was the same ride.

Maybe it was a one off and the planets had aligned - who knows!
 
Last edited:

SilverArrow

Giga Poster
I did it a couple of weeks ago after not having done it for a couple of years and it seemed faster than I remember it. Like they had greased up the track or something!
 
Top