Shopping for Teachers this Christmas!

As a mum, I know all about creating an atmosphere. If you have kids, you will know where I’m coming from. Every big occasion in life, birthdays, Christmas, holidays, are all planned by us. We are responsible for making sure that our children have the best damn birthdays that existed! We get the cake, invite the friends, sort the food, trim up the house, wrap the presents, blow up the balloons – basically, make the ‘day’ special, and it’s not always obvious to the casual observer – exactly what has been done, but ultimately people feel certain things because of our input. Guests feel welcome, kids feel excited. But it’s not just ‘occasions’ that get the ‘mum’ treatment! Something as everyday as ‘bedtime’ runs smoothly because of the effort mums put in. In my house, after the evening meal and a little play, then I start to wind the kids down, speaking in a soft voice, dimming lights, running a warm bath and using a calming lavender bath oil, all to create the right atmosphere, in order to get the result I want – calm, sleepy kids!

So I wonder how the event planners or project managers at Alton Towers would feel to know that all their hard work in creating a certain atmosphere was ruined by the ‘Fast Pass’ ticket holders!!

We went to Alton Towers during the summer and one of the rides we all wanted to go on was Hex. If you’ve ever been there, you’ll know that Hex is a kind of spooky castle where you queue up in a dark, very dimly lit chamber before getting on the actual ride which is a kind of ‘illusion’ roller coaster. Even though the queue is separate to the ‘ride’, it is all part of the experience. The fact that you queue in a dark room is part of creating the right atmosphere – Hex is a spooky ride and they want you to feel the history of the ride, so they play videos showing eery horse drawn carriages going through the woods, showing the modern day archaeologist digs where items were found to support the theory that a Hex is on the ‘castle’.

Alton Towers had spent time to think about guest experience on this ride and as we waited in line, an atmosphere was created. It was spooky; dim lighting, smell was a factor, sound and even temperature. As you got nearer to the front of the queue, you started to feel apprehension on what was to come. Your hairs were almost standing on end- the area you were in was far away from the front door where we’d entered, and it got darker and darker as we got nearer to the front.

Then, all of a sudden, as my children clung to my legs, feeling a bit on edge, and as our anticipation peaked, the ‘Fast Pass’ door opened and the Fast Pass ticket holders joined the queue using their short cut! The sudden door opening flooded the queuing area with sunlight and completely broke the suspense atmosphere! The students in the queue behind us cried “Hex is ruined!” We all laughed and relaxed, but ultimately, I don’t think that the people who designed the ride in the first place wanted us to feel relaxed after they’d spent so much time and effort in getting us to feel suspense!

What do you think – have you ever tried to create atmosphere and had it ruined?!

I hope you like my blog. I feel like a party host and you are my guests so it’s important to me that you feel welcome! Do follow this blog so I know who my guests are! Your support really makes a difference. x

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One Response to There was a hex on Hex!

  1. Time Management Mum says:

    …My Nanna has just sent me this comment – she never comments on the post, only in emails!

    "Your article on "Hex" had me enthralled ,I was getting nearer to the computer as you moved down the queue,eager to know what came next. What a disappointment when the door opened!"

    It's nice when someone shares their thoughts- tell me what you think too!


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