Archive for Features & Analysis

Why has The Smiler had so many problems?

The SmilerIf you’ve been to Alton Towers this year and found its latest rollercoaster closed, you are far from alone.

The Smiler opened more than two months behind schedule, but even then what was presented was not strictly ready.

Read more

The best and worst of the TripAdvisor review

TripAdvisorThe end of the summer holiday period inches closer, and theme parks prepare to end their busiest time of year.

This hive of activity is echoed by the surge in reviews on the travel website TripAdvisor, recently blamed for the damaging of many businesses’ custom.

Read more

Conversations with a ride structural engineer

Big DipperSteve Buckley has been involved in Structural Engineering since leaving school at the age of 16 and today works on Blackpool Pleasure Beach’s famous rides.

“Time flies”, he says as he recalls that was now 36 years ago and launched a career of which the majority of work is actually away from the theme parks working on buildings, bridges and chemical structures.

Read more

How theme park prices would look with 5% VAT

TaxThere has recently been a re-emergence of calls to cut VAT on tourist attractions and hotel rooms from 20% to 5%.

It has to be asked that if the attractions calling for the change were granted their wish, would they pass on the full extent of the cuts to their customers?

Read more

How Merlin’s parks might change after flotation

FTSE 100As Merlin Entertainments prepares to become a public company within just a few months’ time, the pressure of shareholders will have wide-ranging impact.

The impending stock market flotation will consolidate the expectation of year-on-year continuous growth within the company.

Read more

Why is it big when rollercoasters break down?

Air stoppedWhen rollercoasters break down – or stop on their lift hills – it is usually made a big deal of by tabloids and news organisations.

Usually explained by power cuts or safety systems stopping the rides in a controlled, forceless manner – guests a virtually never in any danger of harm.

Read more

In quotes: How the media reported on The Smiler

The SmilerIt is always interesting how varied in style television and newspaper reports regarding a theme park ride incident can be.

We take a glance at how the papers and news organisations put a bolt falling from The Smiler at Alton Towers, into their own words.

Read more

Understanding rollercoasters’ wheels of fortune

WheelCallum Robin is the Business Manager at a company called QWheels – a company which may be of interest to theme park fans.

Read more