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Thorpe Park: 14/15 March 2009, Same old failings...
AstroDan
post Mar 15 2009, 11:20 PM
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Thorpe Park: Weekend Review 14-15 March 2009

Before you begin reading this, if you are a die-hard Thorpe Park fanboy, then I dont advise you to read this, as I am about to write a scathing review of the park that I have visited this weekend.

I live in Staffordshire, some 2 1/2 hours from Thorpe Park by car. As a result, my visits to the park are limited to around 3 times per season. After the fiasco's of February 2007 and 2008, I decided to avoid Thorpe's 2009 Thrill Chill and instead wait for "full" park opening. The hotel was booked in advance, and the date set.

Of course, as the day drew closer, it became apparant that several key rides would be unavailable. Stealth, Slammer, Loggers Leap and Rumba Rapids all took up residence on the "closed rides" list 24 hours prior to the visit. The usual grumbles started, with me thinking Thorpe Park will never be able to get it right at the start of February OR the main season... Still, with it all booked, we headed down at 6am Saturday morning.

Upon arrival, the annual pass queue was snaking back towards teh car parks, and the main queue's were crowding round the entrance. All looking very messy. The metal fencing once again made Thorpe's plaza look more like a rock concert venue than a typical theme park. The purple paint was peeling on a lot of the entrance area which didn't give it that "new season" feel. As the park opened, people ran like vultures into the park and we made our way, predictably, towards Saw.

As we arrived at Saw, it was clear that none of the rides in the area were available - but there were people queuing from Saw's entrance to the Colossus inline twists. We were advised to return later. So, we instead went for Rocky Express which was open. We then headed past a SBNO Fungle Safari ride (very professional for a premium theme park to have all the signage for the ride left up and looking tatty) and a closed Carousel, passed a closed Banana Boat to Inferno. There was no queue at this stage, and we enjoyed the ride - albeit in an effectless tunnel with no lights OR mist. Walking past a closed Rapids ride to Detonator, for a quick ride and then past a closed Stealth to X:/ which again had a number of lights not working on the ride and was average at best.

We had a go on Rush and then went to Saw, which had closed and people were crowding at the entrance. Samurai had a 60 minute queue.

So, with Rapids, Slammer, Stealth, Saw, Loggers Leap, Banana Boat and Carousel all closed, a quick trip to Guest Services to receive the usual priority passes ensued. After a 20 minute queue, we did of course, receive passes. We used ours on Colossus and Samurai which saved us a total of 3 hours queues!

The day petered out then. Everywhere, people looked unhappy. Thorpe had not opened the park properly. The park was not ready. There were Theme Park Review people, Coasterforce People, Southparks, TowersTimes, Towers Almanac, Ride Guide - YOU NAME IT - all there having a totally, utterley, shambolic experience of Thorpe Park having driven anything from 10 minutes to 6 hours.

Even lunch at Pizza Hut ended with refunds as they didn't actually have any pizza out, and when one did come, it was cut into such tiny slices, that you needed 25 of them to fill up. Diabolical.

We left at the end of the day and got our Saw priority passes. But, frankly, by that stage I wasn't even bothered about Saw. It was the same old failings and same old crap that was coming from Thorpe Park about how "they didn't foresee ______" or "it isn't possible to predict". Such a fiasco would NOT happen at Alton Towers. Or Chessington. Period. OK for Saw, it's new - but the rest? Please. The excuses are just tired now.

So, the next morning. Originally, we'd planned to go to London for the day, but we decided we'd at least pop to Thorpe to see about Saw.

We arrived, and the park opened 15 minutes late, apparantly due to a "power cut". How Thorpe's "luck" seems to just get worse. As we went into the park, around 8 rides were closed. Realising that Saw was highly unlikely to open - we went to Guest Services to tell them we were leaving as again, it was the same old story as the day before. Another long queue, more angry guests and this time, due to the mass of tickets given out the previous day, they were offering a choice. Either a June/July return ticket for Thorpe (not valid in any other month) or tickets valid all season for Alton Towers. As AP holders, we got another Saw pass for Thorpe, and 5 passes each for Alton Towers.

Alton Towers should not have to pick up the pieces for Thorpe and, offering tickets to AT is basically like Thorpe saying "we're poor, we know we're poor, so go elsewhere".

We left at 11:15am and went to the London Dungeon.

Thorpe Park continue, season after season, to have the same serious failings. Poor organisation and lack of ride maintainence resulting in angry guests. I never did get that ride on Saw, but you know what? A ride on Stealth, Slammer, Rumba Rapids, Loggers Leap and even that damned Banana Boat may have made the day(s) so much better.

I explained to Guest Services how I felt, and was advised that TP's ride shutdowns are similar to Alton Towers. Make of that what you will.

I cannot believe how second rate, operationally, Thorpe Park is compared to it's bigger sister up north - and I cannot wait to see how AT compares on its open day in a couple of weeks. Will there be 6+ rides closed all day? We shall see...

Same old crap. Same old Thorpe. I'll go back for Saw, and then there'll be no more!



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meames
post Mar 15 2009, 11:35 PM
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Sounds like Thorpe have had a typical opening week again.......I was seriously contemplating going down this weekend for saturday just to take a look at Saw, the only reason I didn't was that Daniel and the missus have been under the weather, I am so glad now that I didn't do the 4-5 hour drive.


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Graeme
post Mar 15 2009, 11:54 PM
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I agree with all your comments Dan, as I said to you on the Saturday evening just after park close. It's my local park so I go quite a lot every year as I can't afford trips to Alton all the time but it's getting beyond belief at Thorpe.

It's a shame, it really is because no one can deny that they have a great line up of thrill rides but why bother making the long journey when only 25% of them at the very most will be open!

I will see how Saw performs this week and maybe go and try ride it a week monday!

I bet Lionsgate are thrilled to be affiliated with such a reliable park!

On the plus side though, 6 free tickets to Alton, a fast track on Saw and another ticket to go back to Thorpe isn't too bad tongue.gif


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AstroDan
post Mar 15 2009, 11:59 PM
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Incidentally, I am writing to Nick Varney (Merlin) and TP's Divisional Director about this.


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garyholc
post Mar 16 2009, 12:11 AM
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Ooh nooo dont write a letter to complain, there are people on here who will tell you there is no point, nothing will change!

Lol, yeah good idea, I believe a few on TTF are also writing to Nick to complain. I wonder why however Thorpe is so bad compared to Alton. Is it the rides, are they more unreliable than Alton, or is it the maintenance staff, not as skilled. Or is less money being pumped into Thorpe in order to maintain the rides, in which case this is worrying. A few times I have heard of power failures, in which case the power supply to Thorpe should be investigated and upgraded. I for one am not really interested in riding SAW or traveling the 2 hours to Thorpe. I have Speed an hour or so away which apparently, from some TTF members is a better ride than SAW. Maybe I will have a go one day to see for myself, but for now I cant be bothered to go to Thorpe.

Good luck with the letter keep us posted on a reply...
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WillPS
post Mar 16 2009, 3:12 AM
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QUOTE (garyholc @ Mar 16 2009, 12:11 AM) *
Ooh nooo dont write a letter to complain, there are people on here who will tell you there is no point, nothing will change!

Lol, yeah good idea, I believe a few on TTF are also writing to Nick to complain. I wonder why however Thorpe is so bad compared to Alton. Is it the rides, are they more unreliable than Alton, or is it the maintenance staff, not as skilled. Or is less money being pumped into Thorpe in order to maintain the rides, in which case this is worrying. A few times I have heard of power failures, in which case the power supply to Thorpe should be investigated and upgraded. I for one am not really interested in riding SAW or traveling the 2 hours to Thorpe. I have Speed an hour or so away which apparently, from some TTF members is a better ride than SAW. Maybe I will have a go one day to see for myself, but for now I cant be bothered to go to Thorpe.

Good luck with the letter keep us posted on a reply...
There's a difference between a day that is totally ruined and a £1 increase in car park charges you antagonistic swine.

This really is a poor show by Thorpe Park, something is _DEFINITELY_ wrong with maintenance down there, Merlin should really be looking into it.

This post has been edited by WillPS: Mar 16 2009, 3:14 AM


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AstroDan
post Mar 16 2009, 9:18 AM
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The difference is, Thorpe Park CONSISTENTLY display an inability to operate the park effectively. Last year, at Fright Nights, there was again a queue for Guest Services back to Depth Charge as guests moaned about 3hr queue's for mazes, and 1hr fastrack queue's for rollercoasters. Following Feb 2007 and Feb 2008 and Feb 2009 first day AND March 2009, frankly the park is a shambles.

It is manor operational and logistical problems which casued Thorpe Park to give out AT tickets yesterday and these issues which result in so many attractions being closed.

Had the park been on RCT, it would have been "game over" many months ago.


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Yeah 7
post Mar 16 2009, 10:46 AM
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Anyone remember the game over ending for the original Theme Park?

Many Dan would like some of the management at Thorpe to consider this?



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D4n
post Mar 16 2009, 5:02 PM
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I still see it as co-incidental that it is never this bad when I go.


But, considering that you suggested people like me shouldn't read it I will stop at that. smile.gif
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AstroDan
post Mar 16 2009, 5:02 PM
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If you continue to be unable to accept that Thorpe Park is often diabolical, then frankly you are a fanboy of the biggest kind.

See: Coasterforce, Southparks, TTF, Ride Guide etc. for 100s of viewpoints to back me up.


This post has been edited by AstroDan: Mar 16 2009, 5:03 PM


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andy talocanham
post Mar 16 2009, 5:37 PM
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QUOTE (AstroDan @ Mar 16 2009, 5:02 PM) *
If you continue to be unable to accept that Thorpe Park is often diabolical, then frankly you are a fanboy of the biggest kind.

See: Coasterforce, Southparks, TTF, Ride Guide etc. for 100s of viewpoints to back me up.


Hi Dan

I went to Thorpe on 13th March and i was shocked, as for the first time in ages, everything that they promised to be open (Including saw) was running. I know it was only Rush, Saw, Collossus, Vortex, Quantum but its very unusual for me to go to Thorpe and find that everything is open. It is a shame you did not manage to get on Saw, on the annual pass day, it was running all afternoon, had the actors in there, no breakdowns, about a 10 min queue and were allowed to go back round and round and round. Staff were in a really good mood with one staff saying to my gf "what have you got to smile about in here". One member of staff on the platform had a Needle pen in his neck and all were chatting.

Thorpe Park in my opinion has the best "thrill" line up in the UK with an impressive coaster count, and some really good flat rides. Rush and slammer etc. It also has excellent water rides etc....i could go on....

I do love Thorpe Park but the problem for me has always been reliability. I have only been to Thorpe a few times and had full ride availability. G says i curse Thorpe but to be honest i think everyone curses the place.

Fright Nights are shocking, they dont feel safe to me, the firework event last year was shocking, i could not believe how bad it was. I went into Staines Town Centre it was that bad.

Thorpe need a better management team and/or maintaince team to allow the park to actually deliver a service. Until that happens, Thorpe is going to struggle. Alton has got the reliability and i can be confident that when i go most if not all rides will be available.

Good luck with the letter Dan, i think there will be a pile very high at Merlin's headoffice. Also, let us all know the reply, although i can see it now.

Dear Mr Astrodan

We are sorry to here about your experiences at Thorpe Park on the 14th and 15th March 2009. Unforuantly, we could not manage to fix our rides in 3 months. Our team have been working to try and fix all rides however some people forgot to order parts and therefore we have to open 80% of rides. Saw was closed as one strobe light failed on the first drop and therefore we were unable to open the ride. In comments to X No Way Out, we believe that no one would notice if we left this ride to rot, but thanks for your comments.

We hope you continue to visit Thorpe Park the Home of Saw and Stealth.

Please see attached more passes to hopefully shut you up.

Regards

Thorpe Park


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D4n
post Mar 16 2009, 5:46 PM
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OK... you've started me off now.


Why the hell are you still visiting Thorpe Park is all you're going to do is moan? For a start SAW is a new ride, does nobody remember what Air, Oblivion, Rita, Spinball were like when they were new?

The ride broke down, and you seem unable to accept that Thorpe Park can have power cuts, I'm sure that if Alton had a power cut you'd be the first to defend them.

Good on Thorpe for giving out tickets for later in the season and fastracks for annual pass holders, such complaints at Alton Towers are often ignored.

Well done to them for updating their ride availability, Saw was listed as unavailable and it was mentioned (literally) hundreds of times on Thorpe Park Mania that the coaster was going to be closed for the whole of Sunday by a member with inside information.

The reason behind the long queues at Thorpe were probably people like you complaining and getting fastrack and therefore increasing other peoples waiting time. You said you used a Fastrack for Colossus, you don't even like that ride and keep speaking of your hate for it whilst the people you're cutting in front of might love it!

Personally, from reading that I think you're slightly exaggerating and I don't really think Thorpe Park will like you very much for constantly moaning about their theme park which is, in terms of rides, as good as Alton.

You find faults with every park about every park except for Alton and Europa, I've found plenty of faults at Alton which you fail to mention whereas you don't hold back when it's Thorpe!

It's simple, Thorpe Park can be diabolical, I admit to that. But I do still enjoy a good day out there, you just moan about it...

If you don't like the place then don't go. It's that simple. smile.gif




Andy, Fright Nights is far superior to Scarefest in my opinion. I really enjoyed my day at Thorpe during the event, but I do realise that I am of the minority on the matter. But at least everything was open, and no queues exceeding 60 minutes. At Alton I queued 75 minutes for Oblivion and 120 for TOTT and Rita was closed. angry.gif

This post has been edited by Air Dan: Mar 16 2009, 6:28 PM
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andy talocanham
post Mar 16 2009, 6:00 PM
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QUOTE (Air Dan @ Mar 16 2009, 5:46 PM) *
Andy, Fright Nights is far superior to Scarefest in my opinion. I really enjoyed my day at Thorpe during the event, but I do realise that I am of the minority on the matter. But at least everything was open, and no queues exceeding 60 minutes. At Alton I queued 75 minutes for Oblivion and 120 for TOTT.


Agree with most of your points mate. I have had some excellent days at Thorpe Park, and to be honest, i laugh when it goes tits up. Air Dan, my experiences of Fright Nights include me looking towards the floor avoiding everyone scaring me and jumping out on me. My complaint with Thorpe is i dont feel safe at Fright Nights, but thats more the client they attract (Not everyone).

I do agree things happen at Alton too, and they have screwed some things up granted and i would agree they might not be mentioned at all. (Mine is the minigolf).

One other thing to add: "Europa Park is by far the most perfect park in the world i have ever visited". Kicks Alton completly and has 0 faults. A+++ Park. Where else can you meet the owners walking round the park and will chat to you. I Love the place.


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WillPS
post Mar 16 2009, 7:13 PM
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I think objectively you can say that Thorpe's average ride availability is comparatively poor - and it seems to have built up consecutively over a number of years now, each with the park stubbornly rejecting that it is even happening.


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Jayne
post Mar 16 2009, 7:14 PM
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May I add my 7 pennies worth:

Before Feb this year, I hadn't visited Thorpe for 2.5 years. I was there that fateful day Slammer got a ride full of people stuck in mid air and half the park was evacuated. Not good, but I understood that it was the right thing for staff to decide, even though I'd travelled a fair distance to be there that day.

I went on the 2nd day of the Thrill Chill this year, so I avoided the major "all rides down" incident the day before. However I was still disappointed that some of the rides they had claimed would be open were not.

But Saturday was a really low day. I'd driven nearly 700 miles (what with picking people up on the south coast and London) and if it wasn't for the company I was with, I'd be writing it off as a shocking weekend! Some points to mention though (positive and negative):
  • (Positive) I was extremely happy to see Rush open for the majority of the day. On the last ride of the day, the ride ops were great and having a laugh with guests.
  • (Negative) Rush operation seemed to be sporadically delayed by new staff being trained, slowing down launches. Correct me if I'm wrong, but Alton do this before the season starts, right?
  • (Positive) The lady in guest services was really good to us, even though she must have had a worse day than anyone being subjected to the ear bashing she no doubt received! I asked for an Alton Ticket (mainly because I knew I wouldn't be coming to Thorpe any time soon, but also because my annual pass will be expiring after my next Alton trip) and I duly received.
  • (Negative) So my experience of the staff was good. However I did overhear a gentleman complain about the treatment his disabled son received from staff in the Colossus queue. He asked for Chessie tickets, and duly received them.
  • (Negative) The majority of maintenance staff seemed to be working on the Carousel for most of the day.... Hmmm aren't there some motors to be reattached to Stealth???
  • (Negative) Instead on maintenance staff working on Rumba Rapids, yet more operator training was taking place.
  • (personal negative) I was disappointed that the priority passes given to Annual Pass holders on exit from the park were only valid until the 4th April. I'd been planning my trip down months in advance, and won't get a chance in the next 3 weeks to waste yet more petrol.
  • (positive) Saw looked the part even in the queueline
  • (negative) Why did their pre-season testing not flag up the weight in the cars issue??
I agree with Air Dan's previous comment that Alton often experience opening day problems with new rides, but Saw has been testing for absolutely ages. Even during Thrill Chill, my doubts of the ride not being ready were kicked into shape and I became quietly optimistic that come Saturday, my bum would be on that Gerstlauer seat and I'd add one to the coaster count experience Saw. Disappointed to say the least.
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Gregster
post Mar 16 2009, 9:13 PM
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Here’s my experience of Thorpe Park on Friday…

Having originally planned to spend the Saturday morning at the park, staying local and making a weekend of being down sarf, the AP preview offer hit my inbox and plans changed to accommodate this. We group opted to do the AP preview day, 2pm to 5pm with the emphasis on riding Saw. Tickets were purchased - £5 each – with the promise we’d get this back against AP renewal, which mine expired in February this year.

Later the same week came another email offering free preview day tickets for lucky winners – 500 in total. We entered out of interested and won. Others in our group did the same – all winning 2 free tickets for the 2pm to 5pm preview event.

Next came an email from TP announcing that a member of our group had won the leg saw competition for ‘VIP first rides’ the same day, but a different event from 12noon till 2pm. This prize was entry for the competition winner and a guest. Strictly 2 people the blurb said – STRICTLY!

So in the space of 3 days we had 4 preview event tickets @ £5 each, 6 free preview event tickets for the afternoon and 1 VIP competition winner prize for the morning event. To be honest it read like desperation on TP’s part to get some people in for Friday!

Various phone calls and emails to TP customer service followed (including one to inform them that the email address we had to use to confirm the VIP prize was bouncing back) explaining that 4 of us were travelling down on the Friday, from the north west in one car etc etc and could we all do the morning VIP preview. Needless to say the conversations and emails were unhelpful and we didn’t get anywhere, other than to be advised to turn up on the day and ‘make enquiries’.

On Friday we arrived at the park just before 11am. We went to collect our tickets and set about the arduous task of explaining about the two members of our group that didn’t have the VIP competition tickets, but DID have the paid for AND competition tickets for the 2pm entry.

What followed was an hour and a half of the most amazingly BAD customer service I have experienced. We had shouting from the ‘lovely’ Gemma (the Admissions Duty Manager), we had ‘not interested, go away’ from the divine Daniel (Admissions Manager) and pity from the guys on the turnstiles who wanted to let us in! Seriously – this was bad.

I run a visitor attraction myself. I understand the value of good customer service and the dos and don’t of handling a situation. This was the ultimate lesson in how NOT to handle a paying customer, or any customer for that matter. Text book.

Whilst we were getting nowhere at admissions, this guy who had also won the VIP prize and was attending on his own gave us his spare wristband. So now we had 3 wristbands for the VIP event but 4 people in our group. At this point the Manager, Desperate Daniel, informed us that there was an ‘old and balding’ guy who was by himself and in the queue. If we brought this person back to the admissions window we could have his wristband. It was as if they (Gemma and Daniel) were wanting to play a game with us! Hang on, isn’t saw where the games begin??!

Our argument to TP was simple. We’d travelled down as GROUP. We’d PAID for preview tickets as a GROUP. We had then won extra free tickets and then, after all this had happened one of our party had won even more tickets from a competition that was entered months ago! Their advice was that the (now one) member that couldn’t enter should wait outside until 2pm, just like a dog outside a newsagent! What made things even more illogical was that about 50 of the VIP winners failed to turn up – Desperate Dan told us this – and took delsight in showing us the uncrossed names ‘if you’re names not on the list you’re no coming in’. When asked what would happen to the bunch of unused wristbands the reply was ‘they’ll go in the bin’.

Admissions were simply not interested. At one point they were blatantly taking the piss. It was now like a game between them and us – it was so stupid it was funny! What could have been a really fun morning was instead compounding our dislike for the UK’s worst theme park. Oficial!

While this was happening a group of RCCGB members were also hanging around. They were in exactly the same boat – 2 members with VIP’s and 2 without. They were getting the same treatment as us, although they seemed a bit more desperate to get in!

When we arrived we’d done so knowing we were chancing our luck. If it had been an exclusive event, say 8 winners – a Saw car full – then of course, no way would we have expected to enter. On arrival we were prepared to leave and come back at 2pm, but due to the attitude of admission it became a mission to get in as VIP’s – rub their snouts in the fact we’d won and they had lost. We’d now stop at nothing to get in…!

12 noon came and Desperate Dan went to the front of the queue to let the 50 or so people in. The RCCGB people succeeded in their quest for admission. One of their group pleaded desperately with a guy from PR they’d met at an earlier preview event, much to the annoyance of Desperate Daniel and his sidekick Grimma. Now there was us 4, an empty entrance plaza, and admissions…

Our tactic changed. We waited by admission for anybody that looked important and raised the issue with them. First up was Sheleyne (sp) who happened to be the PA to the Divisional Director. She listened to our story and said she couldn’t understand the problem, She suggested maybe for H&S reasons the park may only be admitting a limited number of people (well there would be 50 places spare then – they had already told us). In the end she couldn’t do anything for us other than give us our word that if we wrote in to complain, which she advised us we should do, she would make sure the Divisional Director would get the letter. Funnily (although it shouldn’t be funny but for Desperate Dan’s ott campness) whilst we were talking to the PA, DD was mincing round admissions, pulling down the shutters and creating a ‘you’re locked out’ scene. He then, thinking we couldn’t see, gestured to Sheleyne not to let us in. How pathetic! but have to admit we did laugh afterwards. Bad move Devine, you’ve now REALLY made it our mission to be in before 2pm! The game continued…

Next move we launch our secret weapon – Jonny. With three of us having wristbands and only needing a fourth, Jonny puts on the magic VIP wristband and enters the park on a mission to find the most senior person he can. He eventually spots a group of official looking park people enjoying the attention Saw wasn’t getting. Jacqui, the Park Manager is now listening to Jonny’s case. Initially she regurgitated the corporate spiel about TP being an amazing product and that all guests are treated as equal etc etc (hmmm, Fast Pass?). To Jacqui’s credit she considered our argument and suggested we might actually have a point. She spoke the corporate line but her face was obviously uneasy at the fuss.

Jonny arrived back at the main entrance with Jacqui and within 5 minutes we were in the park and on our way to ride Saw, all 4 VIP wristbands firmly attached and much to the obvious annoyance of Desperate Dan and little miss attitude Gemma. Result J

Poor Jacqui really got her ear bent as she walked us over to Saw. I’d like to think she could see what a sham our morning had been. She promised she would investigate and I believe she will (I’m told she used to work in admissions?!?).

When we got to ride Saw it was practically deserted. We later discovered that TP had been expecting double the number of guests, hence the empty trains. So why the BIG deal about letting in ONE extra guest?

So that was that. We’d got what we wanted and enjoyed a couple of rides on Saw. It’s an ok ride, probably a lot better if you know the films (I don’t so a lot of the appearance of the ride meant nothing to me). Sadly the inside section was a big disappointment. Of real surprise is the batching. Station 1 will apparently always dispatch a car that MISSES the main pre show, with the car from station 2 stopping to view it. This is a massive shame since it is this pre show that will explain why you’re on the ride. Imagine Tower of Terror without the library or Hex without the first film. Major design flaw – ask for the second loading area when you ride!

At about 1pm a few other rides started to open, Colossus, Rush etc. Nothing exciting. 2pm came and the masses ‘flooded in’ (trickled in reality). The enforced one ride timed slot soon went out the window with everybody getting plenty of rides in, if they chose.

When we left we had another run in with Desperate Dan, which was actually hilarious. I can honestly say at NO POINT all morning we any of us rude or deliberately argumentative. OK we had to really bite our tongues at time, but we stayed calm and reasonable. The confrontation all came from TP staff. At this point with Daniel in ear shot we did get a bit lippy, criticising DD’s awful management style to staff on the gates. I guess we were looking to provoke and it worked. DD stopped dead in his tracks, his back to us all, hands out at his side like a penguin – paused a few seconds – tutted – and then moved on to his building. As we walked off we could see him and Gemma through the tinted window. They were giving us the two fingered salute. It was comical and summed up their whole attitude.

The really awful thing about Friday is that there are some GREAT members of staff working at TP. We met several around the Saw area. But the inexcusable actions of Desperate Dan and sidekick Gemma tainted what should have been a fun day and tarred everyone with the same brush that seems to sweep the crap all over TP on a regular basis.

Complaint letter is in the post.

Greg
PS I've enjoyed writing this - made me giggle at how bad it was tongue.gif


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Graeme
post Mar 16 2009, 10:01 PM
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I've put it down to the following to sum it up....

Thorpes average customer doesn't care about ride line ups and will accept rides being down so they know they can get away with it.

Alton is aimed at families and they care about their customers more.

Simple.

Besides...Alton can spend more on maintenance, especially with the £1 increase in parking tongue.gif

This post has been edited by Graeme: Mar 16 2009, 10:02 PM


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mark9
post Mar 16 2009, 10:20 PM
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QUOTE (Gregster @ Mar 16 2009, 9:13 PM) *
Here's my experience of Thorpe Park on Friday…


Wow.. just wow..

You must have the patience of a saint as there is no way i could have just bitten my tounge and walked off if someone did that to me.


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AstroDan
post Mar 16 2009, 11:28 PM
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QUOTE (Air Dan @ Mar 16 2009, 5:46 PM) *
OK... you've started me off now.


Why the hell are you still visiting Thorpe Park is all you're going to do is moan? For a start SAW is a new ride, does nobody remember what Air, Oblivion, Rita, Spinball were like when they were new?

The ride broke down, and you seem unable to accept that Thorpe Park can have power cuts, I'm sure that if Alton had a power cut you'd be the first to defend them.

Good on Thorpe for giving out tickets for later in the season and fastracks for annual pass holders, such complaints at Alton Towers are often ignored.

Well done to them for updating their ride availability, Saw was listed as unavailable and it was mentioned (literally) hundreds of times on Thorpe Park Mania that the coaster was going to be closed for the whole of Sunday by a member with inside information.

The reason behind the long queues at Thorpe were probably people like you complaining and getting fastrack and therefore increasing other peoples waiting time. You said you used a Fastrack for Colossus, you don't even like that ride and keep speaking of your hate for it whilst the people you're cutting in front of might love it!

Personally, from reading that I think you're slightly exaggerating and I don't really think Thorpe Park will like you very much for constantly moaning about their theme park which is, in terms of rides, as good as Alton.

You find faults with every park about every park except for Alton and Europa, I've found plenty of faults at Alton which you fail to mention whereas you don't hold back when it's Thorpe!

It's simple, Thorpe Park can be diabolical, I admit to that. But I do still enjoy a good day out there, you just moan about it...

If you don't like the place then don't go. It's that simple. smile.gif




Andy, Fright Nights is far superior to Scarefest in my opinion. I really enjoyed my day at Thorpe during the event, but I do realise that I am of the minority on the matter. But at least everything was open, and no queues exceeding 60 minutes. At Alton I queued 75 minutes for Oblivion and 120 for TOTT and Rita was closed. angry.gif


If you read my post correctly, you would see that I acknowledged that Saw was new, and that teething problems are expected. You would see that the crux of the argument of me and many other 100's of people is that the rest of the park was the shambles - not Saw. Air, Stealth, Spinball Whizzer etc. all suffered similar issues when they were new too. I am 25. I have been going to parks for years, don't patronise me as if to suggest I don't expect teething problems.

Equally, do not accuse me of being an Alton Towers fanboy. You are telling me I don't have the right to complain about Thorpe Park. I have a wide experience of theme parks in Europe. Thorpe Park consistently has problems the rest do not suffer. I can assure you that if 7 rides were closed at Alton Towers, and it happened year after year, I too would be saying the same things about Alton Towerrs. I have worked at Alton Towers (2007). I know what it's like on the front line.

We spoke to the park manager on Saturday at Thorpe, who agreed that it was shocking.

I went to Thorpe Park to ride their fantastic looking new coaster, I am sorry if that's such a crime.

And do NOT talk out of your arse. Since when are complaints at Alton Towers ignored? What do you mean "good on Thorpe"?

This post has been edited by AstroDan: Mar 16 2009, 11:31 PM


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Craig
post Mar 17 2009, 12:00 AM
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The thing is, people seem to be focussing on a powercut which occurred on the Sunday. The Saturday for me would be the main gripe. The ride downtime has already been mentioned, but in addition we also had:

- The Pizza Hut incident with the half working ovens.
- Shoddy crowd control at the entrance - they should have been more prepared for the number of AP holders attending. That could have quite quickly and quite easily got nasty.
- Allowing guests to queue at Rumba Rapids for 20 minutes before advising them that the ride would not be opening. Over the tannoy might I add too, resulting in people having to let people behind them in the queue know.

I know people have mentioned about how Thorpe have had an "unlucky" weekend. I can understand one bad weekend of opening, but when this has now happened for 3 years in a row, an excuse like that just doesn't seem valid. The first time it happened, you step back, look at what went well, what didn't go well then look at how to improve on it. The second time, you do the same and improve again. Evaluation of previous openings doesn't seem to have occurred, and the same old issues have still remained. If they require more time to get things done, you make a case to allow for more time to get rides up and running, not just stick to the same formula and hope for the best!

Just to refer to your post air dan. Yes people complain about Thorpe Park, but on all ocassions where I have made my views known, its been more than warranted. If I'm honest, I probably wouldn't have gone this past weekend if it wasn't for Saw. I'm an enthusiast, and an addition to the UK lineup of this calibre, at any park no matter what my views are of it is something that I'll want to visit. I went prepared downtime on Saw, but I expected much, much better uptime on the more established rides. I also thought they may have learned from the previous 2 years where I had visited at half term. Instead, I found an experience which was far, far worse than I could've anticipated.

I don't understand how the "Alton fanboy" criticism can be aimed at Astrodan here either? The criticism posted is more than valid, and as others have said, enthusiast forums of all types have criticised the frankly shambolic opening weekend.

This post has been edited by Craig: Mar 17 2009, 12:13 AM
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