Why Thirteen is the best thing in the past decade.

General discussion regarding the UK's No.1 Theme Park. Talk about anything and everything Alton Towers here.
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Sentri558
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Why Thirteen (I could never remember where the 13 went) is the best thing to happen to Alton Towers in the past decade. Sweeping statement right?
Hear me out guys!

This discussion wont be talking about just how the ride... Well, rides, but also the benefits it has/had on the park. (Before I get started, I just want to say that this topic isnt in 'history' because it's about the benefits Thirteen has brought about today and in the future, as well as its past.)

1. The income
Thirteen was advertised really well back in the day. TV adverts everywhere were spooky people left and right. Because of this, all the kids wanted their parents to take them to the park. This may seem like a bad thing, an influx of bratty kids, but they mostly came at peak times anyway, so it didn't make much of a difference. These kids came, with their parents money I may add, and badically threw money at Merlin. Had they not, Merlin may have sold Alton Towers on to another worse company. That would be... Bad, to say the least. This cash has helped the park out a ton, bringing small upgrades to the signs and just general refurbishments.

2. A 'step up'
Lots of people are scared of roller coasters, and are limited to the runaway minetrain. Thirteen is very similar to the minetrain, and the 'vibe' it has is that it is worse than air (by that I mean the music and stuff is more intimidating)
This lets less confident people ride the minetrain, then Thirteen, then air and possibly Nemesis too without pushing them too far in one go. I told my Mum that she had to try Thirteen, which surprisingly she did! She may have hated it, but she still tried it anyway.

3. Innovation
How many parks can claim to have a coaster that drops you downwards 2 metres and then carts you backwards underground? One. Unless I'm missing something. Anywho, Thirteen was a major technological advance for Alton Towers, bringing manicans, much more abient music and a TESLA COIL to the park. That's pretty cool. It also opened the path for more uniqueness, leading to the mess known as The Smiler.


This is just my opinion. Let's start a friendly debate as to wether I am correct or not down below :)
Thanks for reading!
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MerlinFan
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Let's not forget the great concept of an invisible coaster - during the queue you get to glimpse some of the early and late sections of the ride, but the bulk of the ride is not visible so there is a real element of mystery when you get on it. The sensation of 'near misses' of the trees is an extra thrill (a bit like Swarm in that respect) and it is quite whizzy. Good use of an area that was previously not accessible - and the trees got to stay there!

There is a little bit of theming in the queue line (the stones with Roman numerals counting up to 13 and a car of some kind, as well as the whispering girl's voice) but a down side is that this ride doesn't have the fast through-put of some of the bigger coasters and you do queue for a long time. I think more theming is needed to provide more interest in this respect. A queue of the same volume on Rita takes about half the time to move along in. And I can't actually remember the last time I ever had to properly queue for Nemesis or Oblivion!
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MerlinFan
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I don't agree that it's the best thing in the past decade though - I actually rate all the other coasters (Rita included) above it.
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Dom
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I can fully understand where you are coming from and i agree in some respects. The biggest issues i have with Thirteen is that its introduction meant that an iconic (Yet old!) coaster had to leave. It also meant that the infamous Ug Land had to go and what we got in return was a well themed coaster, but an incredibly terrible themed area. The area has so much potential but AT just aren't using it.

Thirteen itself was cleverly advertised and has been a very good ride for the park for the reasons you have stated. I think with age it has matured and has actually become better. I remember riding it the year it opened and was utterly gutted by it but as the years have gone on i feel it has matured into something the park should actually be quite proud off. I think out of the three newer coasters to be added to the park, Thirteen towers over the rest, in my opinion of course.

I don't know what the coaster did for gate figures the year it opened and it would be interesting to find out. As for your bold statement about it being the best thing in the past decade, i would have to disagree. I feel that Cbeebies Land had a massive impact for the park to the point its being extended with a new ride. This would suggest that it has been better than anything they have added to the park. But if we are looking at just the coasters, i would have to agree.
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Luce
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When Thirteen first opened, I wasn't a fan of it but over time, it's begun to grow on me and I think it's a pretty good ride. However, I personally wouldn't say it's the best thing in a decade despite it using clever technology - it does have that re-ride draw though and I always like seeing reactions of first time riders when it drops :)
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Aidan Lowe
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There is 2 parks which have a ride similar although one has a freefall drop into a forward facing launched section I think.

Well advertised ride and as Merlinfan said its well hidden unlike all other coasters on park which you can see the layout so that first ride brings a bit of mystery to it which is nice. Coaster has a lot of technical issues with it which lets it down.
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Sentri558
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UPDATE:
When I said 'The best thing in the past decade' I was talking about Merlin reaching out to new things, advancing into unknown territories. It's sitting in the Dark Forest, which should be called "Run down forest" currently. The theming of the area needs work, the issue is that it seems like a carbon copy of the Gloomy woods, the ambience is the exact same.
I wont go into this in detail because there are so many threads about the Dark Forest, but they need more trees and the music needs to be more sinister.

(tbh I named this thread so that it would be click-bait. I want people to appreciate Thirteen because I've seen so many people bash it, where I love the thing <3.)
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SmilerLover
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I think that Thirteen is not the best thing in the past decade.

As much as I admit that Thirteen is a good ride, and I do enjoy it myself, it's not the best thing. This is because it brought in less visitors than other rides this decade.
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thedeckking
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Thirteen is a massive step change for AT. With a 1.2m height limit it is a stepping stone to the bigger rides and opens up a whole new world for kids. I can still remember how excited my daughter was to find out there was a big ride she could go on.
We did Walt Disney world the other year and I was amazed that she could ride almost every ride there. It was great for her and if AT truly want to attract families they need to find ways of making their SW's accessible to as broad an age range as possible without compromising on thrills. It's a big ask, but then so is a 14 loop coaster with a footprint the size of Smilers
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SmilerLover
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thedeckking wrote:Thirteen is a massive step change for AT. With a 1.2m height limit it is a stepping stone to the bigger rides and opens up a whole new world for kids. I can still remember how excited my daughter was to find out there was a big ride she could go on.
We did Walt Disney world the other year and I was amazed that she could ride almost every ride there. It was great for her and if AT truly want to attract families they need to find ways of making their SW's accessible to as broad an age range as possible without compromising on thrills. It's a big ask, but then so is a 14 loop coaster with a footprint the size of Smilers
As much as I think thirteen isn't the best, I do agree.
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TheBeast
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My problem with it was that it was a bit of a let down. True, thenadvertisement, but some of it had to be shown after 9pm, and if you are aiming at a 1.2 target audience then its kind useless. Also, if you hate vertical downwards drops, you are put off from it. I dont really like the theming and I think they could have put more effort into it. When they first claimed "16-65 age restriction" in the Sun newspaper, I was really intrigued, but its an undersized single ride. It gets boring after the first ride anyway
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Themeparksandy1981
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I gonna get shot down for this but the best thing to happen to Alton Towers in the past 10 years is Cbeebies land. Just adding a IP and retheming 4 rides already in the park has made a area that at most at queues of 15 mins long into 1 hour old queues. Like it was so popular that they added a new ride to the area already. Last year in Sept Nemesis,Oblivion,Runaway Mine Train and 13 were 10 queues at most,Air,Rita and Spinball was 15 to 30 mins and the Smiler was 45 to 60 mins. Like Cbeebies were more busier than all the coaster
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Aidan Lowe
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With more couples having considerably larger family's in recent years its a good move by Merlin to have CBeebies in one of their parks so I agree with you there. Its been a huge hit with the GP of Britain.
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TheBeast
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Hit with General Public? Yes
Hit with Beast? No

It says a lot you have to point out that its a "sweeping statement" simply whilst saying it
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Owen
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First off, the theming on 13 is some of the best in the park - exclude the dark forest and then look at 13 on its own it is brilliantly themed. Secondly if you don't like vertical free falls what is the difference to if you don't like inversions, inverts or launches? The incredibly bias way people rate 13 is quite frankly irritating and as an enthusiast I get rather annoyed when people are blinded by thier own judgement and exclude factors such as theming, target audience and planning - this goes for any coaster.
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tallicay2k
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TheBeast wrote:Hit with General Public? Yes
Hit with Beast? No

It says a lot you have to point out that its a "sweeping statement" simply whilst saying it
So what makes you stand out from the general public?
I don't quite understand.
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TheBeast
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Im just saying, I think the majority of people liked Cbeebies Land, but I didnt
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Dan
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TheBeast wrote:Im just saying, I think the majority of people liked Cbeebies Land, but I didnt
That's probably because you aren't part of the demographic CBeebies Land was aimed at.


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I think most people on these forums arn't in the age group Cbeebies lands aimed at, and more to the point, most off us wouldn't take a CBeebies land ride over Nemesis
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Themeparksandy1981
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I just said that Cbeebies for the park is the best thing as a whole. You only got to look how clean and themed the whole area is and it's the only area that been repainted after only 1 season. You only got to look at the the other IP in the park Ice age how they rethemed the whole building inside and out just for a 4D movie. I do wonder if Merlin was in charge when Charlie was build or even designed how much better it would have been.
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