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The 2017 Challenge

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BaronC.

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Parks in the UK have been subject to much scrutiny over the past couple of years.  In fairness, a lot of the scrutiny and negativity that the parks receive is justified; there are things which do happen which shouldn't happen.  And when we compare to our European cousins or American brothers, it does seem like UK parks aren't up to scratch.  But at the same time, there is an awful lot of nitpicking that goes on at times.  

 

However, despite this overwhelming negativity, a large majority of us continue to visit our home parks multiple times year-in-year-out.  Why that is will no doubt vary for every person.  But one thing is almost certain - if we're visiting so often, they've got to be doing something right, surely?  

 

So if you end up making multiple visits to a park this year, maybe even finding yourself in a rut, set yourself a little challenge:  Try and notice some new-to-you positive each time you visit.  I'm not saying this positive has to be a new thing the park have done, like painting or fixing something (though it can be!), but just a new thing you've personally noticed.  Maybe you hear a piece of audio you never noticed before, see a subtle piece of theming tucked away, try something new to eat, some new foliage that's been planted.  It could be the tiniest of things.  But just try and notice something.  

 

Then maybe, just maybe, you might find yourself enjoying the parks a bit more.  You might realise that everything isn't as bad as you originally thought.  You might remember what it was like to visit for the first time, and just how awesome some things are.  And then you won't be blindly visiting the same park over and over again, but actually visiting because you want to go, want to explore and want to immerse yourself.  And that might give the extra incentive to visit a new park, go exploring, go on an adventure, to truly recapture that buzz.   

 

Of course, don't overlook the negatives.  Don't be afraid to think 'This is naff' or 'Why have that changed this?' as well.  Not everything is going to be perfect.  Just don't forget to look out for the positives too, and if you really can't find any, then maybe you've finished exploring that park, and you truly have to wonder why you're visiting at all.  


Roodie likes this
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I can safely say the fundamental reasons why I return to our Merlin parks are as a result of the following:

  1. The social aspect-meeting and catching up with mates (not to mention meets)
  2. New rides- Examples include Swarm, Smiler and DBGT
  3. The rides I love- Swarm,Nemesis, Vampire, Thirteen and Inferno to name a few
  4. The Merlin Pass is still adequate value (arguably)

Typically I only complain as I think they could be better than what they currently are, but as this is a positive topic I'll try and stay optimistic. 

 

  • The Towers Loving Care Scheme (the Nemy repaint)
  • The Roller Coaster Restaurant 
  • The Ghost Train Shop
  • Tidal Wave enhancements 
  • Thorpe Street food
  • Slammer working (sorry 😳)
  • Burger King enhancements 
  • The pre-firework fountain show at Legoland 
  • The  new finale in the Star Wars miniland
  • Salvaging models of Dino Safari & Loki's Labyrinth 
  • The new opening system at Legoland 

Hope that was acceptable 

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I like Stealth and the free food and drink at press nights :)

 

It's a good idea though! And if you are fed up of the parks, visit one you've always wanted too! A lot of people think it's hard or expensive but it doesn't have to be! I've done a fair few budget European trips with no complaints yet and I know many other members on here have too. Sometimes a break is good, you appreciate stuff more the less you do it. 

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For my part, I continue to occasionally visit Merlin parks because they do have some great thrilling coasters which I want to ride. I can't help wanting to ride them and there really isn't much of an alternative that is reasonably accessible. 

Having said that, Chessington hasn't been good enough for me to considering visiting for about 4 years, Alton's reduced line up last year wasn't enough to entice me up the M1, I doubt the coming year will either but I don't suppose I'll be able to resist the woodie. 

 

I can't help but enjoy myself on most rides, I find it fun and that feeling in that moment can't really be lost. For may years though, whenever I'm at a Merlin park, I feel like I enjoy myself in spite of what what the park do rather than because of it. It's like the powers that be actively try and piss me off and sap the fun and escapism out of what they have already created in the way they run and develop the parks. It's a shame.

 

Looking for the positives in the parks (and in life!) is a good idea; there are things to enjoy, things to be entertained by, small improvements which may have been made. I think it wrong to particularly celebrate these little things though while the very core of the parks is rotting away.

wegloo likes this

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For me hearing the tP's theme tune for Colossus was incredible as a kid, even to this day! That alongside with the Beach boys for Amity Cove area, boy those where the days!

 

I haven't been to Chesington in donkeys, so I look forward to a visit there shortly to be fair to see what I can notice (which will be huge)

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