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  1. Yesterday
  2. Hi guys. As technology advances, screens are growing ever more present within dark rides. Initially, it was Universal and Disney who pioneered the use of screens on rides, but regional parks eventually cottoned on, and most new dark rides built nowadays have some form of screen within them. However, screens are somewhat of a contentious topic among enthusiasts, with many complaining that their use has killed creativity within dark rides. So my question to you today is; how do you feel about screens on dark rides? Do you hate them? Do you not mind them? Do you like them? Or are you undecided? Or does it depend on the context? Personally, I don't mind screens at all. In fact, when fused with physical theming as part of a more varied ride experience, I really like them, and I do think they can add a certain something to a ride when used well! Now I don't rank dark rides to any huge extent, but if I did, I'd say that a big percentage of my top dark rides use screens to at least a certain extent. To be honest, off the top of my head, I'd probably say my top 5 dark rides are Tower of Terror, Gringotts, Spider-Man, Transformers and Forbidden Journey, in that order. 4 of those 5 use screens to at least some extent, and 3 of those 5 are quite heavily 3D-based, although they do have a lot of physical set pieces and effects as well. I love a traditional dark ride with physical sets & animatronics as much as the next person, but to be honest, I do think that the 3D element does add a certain level of dynamicness to those rides that I really like! However, I do think that for me to really love a screen-based dark ride and rank it in that top tier, it's got to be a tracked ride system of some form that fuses both screens and physical theming; I don't think a ride that is literally just a screen and nothing else (I'm thinking of things like Simpsons, Star Tours, Sky Lion, and Flight of Passage amongst others here) is really something that would be able to rank in my top tier of dark rides, as much as I do really enjoy some rides of that type. I personally prefer the tracked ride systems that have a bit of physical theming in there alongside the screens, and they're the screen rides that rank among my top dark rides. So basically, I'd actually say that I like screens on dark rides on the whole! Don't get me wrong, I love a good physically themed dark ride with physical sets and animatronics as much as the next person, and a dark ride certainly doesn't need screens for me to like it, but I don't personally identify with the hate towards screen technology that some harbour; I do think screens can really add something to a ride when used well! But what's your opinion on the contentious topic of screens?
  3. Personally, I wouldn't be at all surprised if we see Colossus go before the end of the 2020s, and I'll be stunned if it's not the first of the big thrill coasters to go. It's not an especially popular ride (among enthusiasts, at very least, and none of my family especially like it), it's lost its original USP even within the UK, it takes up a not insignificant amount of land within a park that will soon be tight on space for new rides, and correct me if I'm wrong here, but isn't subsidence causing issues with the ride's footers? However, I would counter that by saying that I don't think coasters necessarily have a set lifespan. For every ride getting removed at 30 years old, there's a similarly specced ride still hanging in there for decades afterwards, and I don't think that a ride hitting a certain age is necessarily an indicator that "[x ride] is due for removal or retracking". I think it's more nuanced than that, personally.
  4. The Nemesis retrack is a weird one, as we're in slightly uncharted territory with regards to the lifespan of B&Ms. And, of course, we don't really have much to go on for what the life span of more modern steel coasters are. I can't be the only one thinking that 30 years is somewhat on the short side as a lifespan for a coaster, especially one from a top tier manufacturer? I don't know, maybe I'm being overly optimistic? I wonder if the Nemesis situation is made worse by the location and the fact it was still one of B&Ms first coasters. Could accelerate potential issues! To get more to the point of the topic though...yes, Thorpe could well be looking down a potential difficult barrel. If we do go for the 30 year mark for coasters, it leaves a lot of potential expensive work to happen in a short period of time. But on top of that, their support rides are also a cause for concern. Rides like Samurai and Vortex are becoming more unreliable, and even some of the smaller rides like Depth Charge and Teacups will see a time when a like-for-like replacement must surely end up being cheaper than repairs? Thorpe is a potential ticking time bomb for maintenance and replacements! I'd expect Colossus would be the first major ride to need major work. Not just the age, but the location and rumours of sinking supports (and the numerous works it has had to supports and filling in the lake around the ride). Whether that results in a retrack for the ride that 'put Thorpe on the map', or a replacement is hard to say. Colossus is clearly still popular. But with Exodus around the corner, Smiler holding the inversion record and the wider audience moving away from a 'more inversions = better' logic, is Colossus a ride of the past? Could the space be put to better use for a newer ride? No wrong answer there of course. I honestly would not be surprised either way if they retrack it or dump it and replacement. But I do think the time is close for it to receive major work!
  5. With the recent news of Nemesis being re-tracked after almost 30 years of service, it's got me thinking about the fate of Thorpe Park's ageing coasters. If we take Nemesis' life-span as a guide, and apply it to Thorpe's coasters, it means they might need major work doing sooner rather than later. Colossus - 8 years from now Nemesis Inferno - 9 years from now Stealth - 12 years from now Saw - 15 years from now (supposedly, although I think it'll need doing far sooner) I'd imagine that Colossus and Saw might need retiring/re-tracking earlier than Nemesis. The reason I bring this up is that this could leave Thorpe in a bit of a pickle.. They had an unusual few years where they invested heavily in new coasters and rides almost back to back, which was great at the time, but it does mean they are all ageing together. Could this mean that Thorpe will soon enter a difficult period where some of their major rides need to be either removed or overhauled? And what would this mean financially, could it affect investment in new attractions again? I might be completely wrong to assume this, but thought it was worth a discussion!
  6. Edward Nygma called He wants his gimmick back
  7. Inferno

    Nemesis

    It’s definitely an interesting one - the ‘normal Merlin thing to do’ would probably have been to either retheme it or replace it with something different so they could get a good return on their investment, as I can’t imagine removing and replacing all the track and supports will be cheap or easy to do at all… Especially as it’s in that huge pit! It almost feels odd that they wouldn’t have got rid of it in favour of a totally new replacement. It’s nice they they realise that Nemesis is an icon as it is. Will be very interesting to see what’s changed when it re-opens.
  8. We've hit a snag. But. It's just a snag. There are some more opportunities. But. Will it be in time. 24 Ding dong, ding dong. ?
  9. Benin

    Nemesis

    Never stopped the Orlando based ones from the distinctive roar. If the choice is quieter Nemesis or none at all there's only one answer.
  10. Last week
  11. JoshC.

    Nemesis

    Fortunately the precedent was set with Hulk, since that was mostly, but not entirely retracked. I imagine there will be something. It's interesting to note that the plans indicate that pretty much everything else will remain the same: entrance, queue, plaza, station and theming are being retained, with some minor cosmetic work to the station. So this is very much 'Nemesis with new track', rather than "NemesIIs". So difficult to market. I expect this will take some time though; it's not work I can see them managing in a singular closed season. So push it with 30th anniversary celebrations and a reopening Sub Terra, and there's something there I guess.
  12. Mark9

    Nemesis

    More importantly, does this make it a new cred or not? It's not a full on new coaster after all..
  13. Glitch

    Nemesis

    Do you think the park plan on marketing it in some form?
  14. Yep, consultation period over and now they review until end of Feb. I'd expect to hear something application wise between late March and start of May.
  15. Project LC

    Nemesis

    An important note in the application is that the track that is being installed will be sand filled. So nemesis will be loosing her roar.
  16. JoshC.

    Nemesis

    Almost full track replacement, with only the original lift hill, station and brake run track to be retained
  17. Inferno

    Nemesis

    Fingers crossed they don’t use the new style vest restraints if this is a rebuild
  18. Wow. It looks incredible. The consultation period is over now isn’t it? I assume it won’t be too long now until we see the actual plans.
  19. On a slightly different note, here's an excellent visual from Jack SIlkstone showing just how Project Exodus looks in context within the Thorpe skyline: It really dwarfs Saw in particular here!
  20. Mark9

    Nemesis

    Makes sense for this to be a complete rebuild. A lot of parks do this for older attractions and Nemesis hasn't lost any of its popularity over the years.
  21. Here's the official news: https://www.efteling.com/nl/blog/nieuws/20220124-nieuw-hotel-en-vernieuwd-themagebied-in-2024 So we'll get a new attraction opening in 2024, with a throughput of 1250pph, as well as some sort of 'theme world', which makes me think this investment might see more than just the attraction. No news on what the attraction is yet, and I'm still a little hesitant to refer to it as a ride just yet. The park will spend 25 million euros on this new investment (for comparison, Symbolica was 35 million) The park will also open a new hotel in 2024, next to the main entrance, so that it will overlook Aquanura (the water show) and the Fairytale Forest. It will have 7 floors, 143 rooms, 2 restaurants and a spa, and represents a 50 million euro investment. For comparison, the most recent hotel offering (Loonsche Land) cost 30 million euros, and the previous (Bosrijk village) cost 52 million euros, but both of those have pretty substantial outdoor bits too, which seems less like with this hotel.
  22. In a surprising yet unexpected position, it has been confirmed that Efteling will be removing their Spookslot (Haunted House) attraction after the summer season. It will make way for a brand new indoor attraction (presumably a dark ride). Source-https://www-looopings-nl.translate.goog/?_x_tr_sl=auto&_x_tr_tl=en&_x_tr_hl=en-GB&_x_tr_pto=wapp Whilst not everyone’s cup of tea with some left a little confused by the attraction, I find this news rather saddening. Sure it wasn’t the best thing there, but it had much charm, character and history. It will be missed! https://youtu.be/1YQlUKLcYcI
  23. Whilst Phantasialand has some outstanding attractions and areas (Taron, Chiapas and likely Fly/Rookburgh) I simply cannot place it above Europa Park. The park is tiny, always feels congested and just doesn't have enough to do as a resort. I'd say this park is fairly overhyped by many enthusiasts. Don't get me wrong it is great still and I'd continue to visit every few years, but if I had a choice of where to go out of Phantasialand and Europa, I'd pick Europa. Europa Park is a complete resort and has such a variety of things to do and whilst the Coasters may not be as good as the likes of Taron they are still incredibly good fun with the likes of Wodan, Silver Star, Blue Fire etc. The fact you can find something new in every corner and can just feel relaxed walking around or hopping on a transport ride (or 3)for hours on end makes it far superior. Then there's the other aspects of the resort from the incredible Rulantica, hotels to explore and Silver Lake Saloon
  24. Had a week off work because of the Corona, decided to do something productive. The idea was inspired Full Throttle (which is probably quite obvious) however this one doesn't slam into the brakes as soon as you get going
  25. Phantasialand Yes it has less rides and a smaller park, but as I have said before..... Taron and Mamba are better than ANY Europa coaster, Chiapas and River Quest are better than ANY Europa water ride and I always think Maus is better than most the dark rides at Europa. Quality over quantity. Europa has some good coasters but doesnt have any that stand out to the point of making me wanna rush back. I was booking flights straight back to Phantasia after Taron. No Europa coaster has that effect on me. I would also appreciate its dark ride collection so much more was it not full to the brim of Disney knock offs. Both are top parks, for me however it goes to Phantasia.
  26. Hi guys. Europa Park and Phantasialand are Germany’s biggest, and arguably most revered, theme parks, and both of them get a high amount of praise from enthusiasts. But I’d be intrigued to know; which of the two do you personally prefer? I’ve visited neither, although I am rectifying that in April with my first visit to Europa Park, which I’m very excited about! But which park do you prefer? A similar thread done on another forum I’m on is currently seeing Phantasialand emerge victorious, but I’m intrigued to see how things play out on here!
  27. I’ve done 2 Madhouses, but I hope to possibly be doing 2 more at some point in 2022 (Fluch der Kassandra at Europa and Haunting at Drayton Manor). I’d rank the ones I’ve currently done as follows: Hex - Alton Towers: Yes, I rank this first just like everyone else does, but possibly not by quite the same margin. With that being said, however, I do absolutely love Hex; it’s easily my favourite non-coaster at Towers, and it might be my favourite UK dark ride (it’s a toss up between Hex, Sky Lion and Ninjago for me)! I think the way they used the Towers Ruins was a true stroke of genius, and one of the finest examples I’ve done of “simple but effective” ambience building, in my opinion; the whole thing has a rather eerie, ambient tone to it that I think is wonderfully done! The story is also very well explained, it’s immersive, and I think it has a rather wonderful sense of drama and spectacle throughout! Overall, I think Hex is a stunning dark ride, and definitely a worthy contender for #1 in this list! Haunted House Monster Party - Legoland Windsor - While I don’t personally rank this quite as highly as Hex, I still think it’s a really strong dark ride! I’m also not sure that comparing it to Hex is entirely fair as it’s a totally different type of experience with different strengths; while Hex hones in on drama and raw ambience, Haunted House Monster Party has a rather endearing sense of fun and whimsy about it that does put a smile on my face! And there’s many things I do like about it; the story is fairly well communicated, the room itself is used very well (I particularly liked the disco lighting that was going off while the ride was going round, the screens on either end and the projections on the bottom at the end of the ride), and I absolutely love the soundtrack! I also think it’s a rather original and fun take on the spooky theme, which I really like! Overall, while it’s not quite Hex for me, I did really like HHMP, and it’s definitely worth a ride if you’re ever at Legoland Windsor!
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