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  1. Today
  2. Power cut at Thorpe, electricity board expect to have it sorted by 1pm. Talk about incredible timing, on probaby one of the busiest days of the year so far... Sending thoughts and prayers to guest services, I don't envy them one bit
  3. Yesterday
  4. Thorpe have put a job advert up for performers for Fright Nights this year: Unsurprisingly hints towards a return of the Amity High show from last year. Whilst the advert does mention scare actors, there is not mention of 'mazes', or indeed any type of possible attraction we could see.
  5. Last week
  6. 2020, it’s been one crazy roller coaster ride and sadly one that hasn’t been particularly enjoyable. It has been rougher than a ride on Saw or Gouderix. With a massive pandemic halting life as we know it, everything has been challenging in general, let alone theme parks. Skip ahead to now and with parks cautiously reopening I would finally get to visit a one again, this time a new one. Fantasy Island in Ingoldmells near Skegness is an amusement located adjacent to a large open air market. Now in the hands of the Mellor’s group, this would be an ideal opportunity to nail the final key U.K. park on my bucket list. On the surface, it might just look like your typical sea side fun fair or something (which it somewhat is). And you might even mistake it for Winter Wonderland if you look at from certain angles. But it’s a good one at that featuring a decent selection of attractions. Like this flat ride which was actually a lot of fun. The drop tower is alright except for the silly short seatbelts! They have an alright log flume, which is actually fun. Rhombus Rocket is one of five park coasters. It might look your standard powered coaster off ride, but this thing really packs a punch and gives off airtime that I didn’t think was possible on such a ride. Easily my favourite U.K. ride type, which isn’t actually a Mack but made by WGH transportation. One of the main attractions is the Millenium. At 20 years it’s still silky smooth and looking fresh after a funky paint job a few years ago. Probability my favourite there although the ride station’s placement on the street is both hilarious and unique. Until a few years ago the entrance was too. The other headliner is Odyssey, a large Vekoma SLC, erm. At 167ft it is the tallest SLC ever made and third tallest U.K. coaster. SLCs have a reputation in the industry of mostly being rough and uncomfortable coasters. This ride is not exception as your head and ears are constantly bashed around as the ride completes it’s circuit. Despite the roughness there was something I liked about this coaster although it may be last of the three ride types I’ve done. If they modified or replaced the train to decrease roughness I think it would be a great attraction. Think I’m dreading Condor if I get to do that. A pyramid building resides in the park’s centre. This houses several amenities from bars, restaurants, arcades and several attractions. The charming interior design reminds me of Coral island and the ‘original’ Dome albeit on a greater scale. There are two dark rides in here, one of them is the Magical Seaquarium. Opening in 1995, it’s certainly a charming attraction with an upbeat soundtrack which synchronises better than some. Sadly a number of effects were broken which given current circumstances probably isn’t a high priority for the park. Although rumours suggest a refurbishment is planned. Toucan Tours is the other dark ride, where you enter an enclosed section with numerous scenes after meandering the pyramid area. It’s quite random but enjoyable nonetheless. Some of the pyramid’s other inhabitants include a few kids rides such a tracked pony ride, a water slide (which was sadly closed when visiting and a Jurassic themed mini golf. The second half was themed noticeably better than the first, however space limitations are likely the result of this. It’s still amazing how much has actually been squeezed into the building since the refurbishment 2/3 years ago. Overall Fantasy Island is a fun and pleasantly enjoyable park, even in the amidst of a pandemic. Usually you’d be free to roam and enter the place from many angles, but for now it is a strict entry system. Operations at the park are alright and everything else including food is to an adequate level too. Although a fight apparently did break out whilst queuing for the Flume. We took a walk down the road where numerous bars, restaurants and amusements were and was pleasantly surprised to see how buzzing and upbeat the place was. Haven’t seen this in years and gave a rich holiday feel. However social distancing was rarely properly seen. Would recommend, but just be careful.
  7. Got stuck on Bubbleworks where we were literally the last boat before the station so couldn’t get off. No evac either. Got stuck on Swarm’s breakrun for a little while during a breakdown. No evac again although I’ve been up Swarm’s lifthill during a coaster climb experience. Shut down on De Vlieglande Hollander on the break run(recurring theme?). Again no evac. Stuck on Helix’s brake run. Mr Fish was on the train behind and got some kind of evac, so I’m very jealous there. Now some more interesting ones: Stuck on Ninjago ride at Legoland, evac’d off from final scene with the help of steps from vehicle. Evac’d from the Dragon brake run at Legoland As a result of working for Thorpe, I have assisted with breakdowns and evacs on rides including Rumba, Storm Surge and Tidal Wave.
  8. Congrats on hitting 200 creds. I know I’m a couple of new coasters off that, which is a great milestone indeed. Park looks alright.
  9. Got evacuated off Tomb Blaster, unfortunately was only on the lift hill. Presumably got some form of Fastrack comp. I'm wracking my brain as to why we ended up with exit passes for Rainbow Magicland @Mark9 that we used on Huntik. Was it just a dodgy ride through where things were broken? Elsewhere I technically had to evacuate Sea Dragons during a Chessie power cut. That was incredibly difficult as you can imagine.
  10. Mine are largely very boring... -Got stuck on Thunder River at Thorpe in the late 90s / early 00s after the power went off. They turned the ride back on and I completed my ride as normal. -Got stuck on Slammer after a cycle for about 10 minutes because restraints wouldn't release. -Got Stuck on Chiapas just before going onto the mini lift that takes you to the first turntable. Staff member came along and shoved our boat onto the conveyor. No compensation for any of these incidents. My one slightly interesting one is being stuck on X's lift hill and subsequently evacuated. But it was all part of a training drill during my days of working at Thorpe; was completely aware it was going to happen. However, no one else on the train was aware, which made it a bit more enjoyable.
  11. Who wants a WORLDWIDE EXCLUSIVE?! Construction went vertical today. Super excitement.
  12. Yeah Tomb Blaster sucks now, I really hope its the next victim of Chessington's vicious assault to refurbish/retheme/replace every aging ride at the park.
  13. Chessington was reasonably well run today in honesty. -Getting into the park is smooth. -They've added some high barriers in some of their queue lines (though not others, like Dragon's Fury). -One way systems around the zoo areas weren't followed; hard to say if they are just leftover from zoo days or should still be followed as no one was enforcing them -Rainforest area looks okay for what it is. My biggest bug bear with the park is how much they're overestimating their queue times. My 75 minute queue for Tomb Blaster was 25 minutes. My 45 minute Gruffalo queue was 15 minutes with a cleaning break. 80 minutes for Vampire was closer to 40, again with a cleaning break. I could go on. I get these things are hard to judge under the best of circumstance, and social distancing measures make it even harder, and they want to account for cleaning time too. But when queue times are 2-3 times over their advertised estimates, I think they need to look at themselves a bit. Also wasn't a fan of the operator of Adventure Tree refusing to dispatch the ride until everyone was stood on a social distancing marker (which are twice the distance they should be because they accounted for the middle row of the cattlepen, but don't use the middle row), but not caring about there being a crowd of people outside the queue not distancing. Could have been handled better. In my opinion, parks should have these social distancing markers and recommend people use them, but enforce masks in queue lines. It's harder to do, but if they commit to it, it's achievable.
  14. Some would say the lack of audio is an improvement on the audio it does have these days!
  15. Pretty lucky to be honest, but the two that stick out to me the most are: Gemini- This one was by far the most odd. Gemini's MCBR really is easy to forget about, so when we halted to a stop on the emergency brakes it shocked me. I'm not sure why the ride stopped, as it was only on one train per side (it was a dead day). But it was amusing, its MCBR is also fairly tall too. Luckily got a free ride access pass from this, which gave me another ride on Maverick. Stampida- It was December, and I remember this ride stopping on the lift hill. It was a heavily rainy day in Salou, and before boarding the train it was chucking it down. The 30 minutes on the lift hill was dreadful, the coaster afterwards was nearly as bad. Thats not the even the worst part, I was in PortAventura! Bad enough by itself.
  16. Jesus Christ this updated version of Tomb Blaster is terrible. Where to start... 1. Shoehorning in a story by having a weird voice say things in scenes adds nothing. I didn't get what the story was as half the time I was focusing on shooting. 2. Turning targets off and not removing them is poor. Having a shooting / interactive dark ride have scenes take place in darkness with a voiceover is even poorer. 3. Where's the audio?! Portions of the ride are in silence or literally just have the voice over. Dark rides should have some sort of background audio at the very least imo 4. The lighting is...okay? Quite a few scenes are lit up too brightly I'd say. 5. The "ending" is bloody dreadful, and again just shoehorned in. 6. Still don't like the new guns (I'm not a fan of those types of guns in general though). The only positive I can say about Tomb Blaster is the fact that you are batched into the building now, which adds a sense of wonder and excitement to entering it (as opposed to just queueing normally through it). But I fully expect that that's just a Covid measure. When the best thing about an updated ride is it's Covid measures, you know you've done something wrong.
  17. Got to see the updated station today, and I was pretty impressed. Organ man (does he actually have a name?) looks great. I had no problem with what they've done with the music and lighting. In general big thumbs up from me.
  18. Gotten pretty lucky with rides. been stuck on the lift for tidal wave for about 10 minutes, and evacuated from Gatekeeper's lift hill at CP.
  19. Thorpe park have updated where face masks are mandatory, in line with new government guidance which becomes effective from 8. August. Guests over the age of 11 will be required to wear a face mask in order to go on a number of rides and rollercoasters, into our shops and arcades or when queuing in an indoor location. All guests will therefore need to bring a suitable mask with them when they visit our attraction. Face masks will also be available for purchase at our attraction should you require one. Only securely fitted face masks should be worn on rides for safety reasons and we would recommend removing face masks on water rides in case they get wet. Face masks are not required for children under the age of 11 or for people with certain health conditions and/or disabilities.
  20. Easy thread for today. What rides have you been stuck on and what rides have you been evacuated from? For example I was stuck on Inferno's break run for twenty minutes once. So.. *coughs* - Icon. Stuck on the break run in the pouring rain for ten minutes. Got given a poncho. Nice. - Detonator. Stuck at the top for fifteen minutes. Had to be winched slowly down. We ate cookies that I had in my pocket. Got comped a free ticket to come back. Cheers Thorpe. - Dragon Falls. Boat stopped at the bottom of lift one. Got an exit pass. - Stealth. Kind of launched but then slowed immediately and stopped on the launch track. Eventually made it back to the station and got let off. - Indiana Jones Adventure. Got about half way through the ride when the house lights came on, walk ways sprung up and slowly got evacuated through the ending of the ride. Makes you realise how steep everything is and how most affects are just black light paintings. Got given a free Fastpass for re-entry. -Peter Pans Flight at DLP - Got to the final scene when all the lights came on. Cast Member in a hat came round declaring we'd lost our pixie dust. No gifts. - Dragons Fury - Numerous block shutdowns. Makes sense when I worked on the thing I suppose. - Autopia at Disneyland California. A car stopped in a bad place so we had to walk the track to get out.
  21. I'm very happy with the purchase as its saved a good park that needed help as they have had some real struggles in the last few years. From what I gather everyone is sceptical as they don't have the greatest track record for investment so only time will tell but hopefully this will mean some investment in rides is heading the parks way, they really need something new and to start replacing all the attractions that have been removed over the last few years having removed Excalibur and pirate adventure and g-storm being one of the parks only thrill offerings investment is sorely needed.
  22. And Day 5 brings an end to the trip, where we spend a few hours at Dennlys Parc, which is about an hour from Calais... Covid MeasuresFace coverings on rides if you're over the age of 11. Some queues had social distancing markers I think, and people kept at a sensible enough distance. The visit was the day after face coverings has become compulsory in shops again across the whole of France, so I expect that the idea of social distancing might have been on people's minds a bit if it was pushed a lot by the media. A long meandering drive meant we arrived to the park about quarter past 10, and their first (smaller) car park was approaching full-ness, and a couple of coaches of young school kids were entering the park. A little bit of a worrying start, but it turned out not to matter as the park was pretty quiet all day, with basically no queues.First stop of the day was Nitro, a Mobius loop coaster where you do both sides in one ride. It's an okay ride, the concept of course being quite novel, especially with a hint of duelling (though I wish it was timed so that cars went over the air time hill at the same time). However, there's a really nasty turn half way through the 'left side' of circuit, which gave a really uncomfortable lateral jerk. Was not a fan. Plus there was little leg room in the front row of the car, making it a bit uncomfortable.We rode it later in the day too, so it's not horrendous, but that was more out of 'needing to drag a bit more out of the park' than really wanting to reride. We did some of their family rides, including their new-for-2020 ride which was a pedal sky car ride called Xotic. It wasn't a very exotic experience tbh. Next stop was a ride on their figure 8 spinner for the +1 (made by a company called Gesotto, who I'd never heard of before - another one for the manufacturer count I guess!). All that led upto a ride on Furio, their Soquet coaster which was by 200th cred. Boom, achievement unlocked right - I'm slightly less basic now...I remember being a younger, very basic goon sitting on 20 creds thinking how cool it would be one day to have 200 creds; a 'bucket list' sort of thing. So it was nice to hit it, feels a bit more substantial than any other milestone I'll probably hit (unless I magic myself to 1000 one day).. I even made a terrible sign and felt like a pillock getting my photo taken. Never again.Furio itself was a bit meh. Not the good level of wacky that some Soquets are. Looks nice though with the treesWith creds done, it was just a case of ticking off rides. One intriguing ride was Squadron 33, which is a mix of an Enterprise and Gerstlauer Sky Fly..As I've said, I hate spinning rides, but I'm also a sucker for doing something a little different and unique (most of the time), and I don't usually mind Sky Flys (though I hate Enterprises..), so I gave it a go. But damn did I regret it. I was able to rotate myself at points - I think! - but the double spinning motion really hit me. It was much more difficult to judge when you'd be upside down. However, you can get some really cool 'drops' if you time your rotations right.Definitely not my cup of tea, but a really solid and different ride in fairness! After recovering and doing gentler rides, we'd managed to squeeze to just past midday, so had lunch at the restaurant near the front of the park. They had "tacos" on the menu, with a variety of fillings (Mexican, doner, vegetarian, etc). I ordered a Mexican taco, and was somewhat disappointed to find that their version of a 'taco' is in fact a panini... Still, was alright for price.It turns out that after lunch I didn't bother taking any more photos, which probably says something about my feelings about the place. The afternoon was spent doing some of their other family rides on the side of the park that doesn't have creds and a couple of rerides. A particular highlight was their water boat ride, where you drive your own dingy around what's effectively a pool, which also has a water gun attached. You get a solid 3 minute cycle to just squirt people, including helpless people in the queue, and bump around. Pure, simple fun - but also very wet! And, in fact their rapids ride was decent as well - also very well, and actually built by, you guessed it, Soquet.. Oh that random French company, you're full of surprises. I lied, I took one photo after lunch...of this pistachio ice cream I had. It was tasty. So enjoy this final photo...The park also had a 'sitting on a rocking chair with a gun in front of a screen and shoot things' attraction, behind their spinner, but it was closed all day. No sign explaining why and nothing on the website, so not sure if because of Covid or if it's just buggered.We managed to drag the day out till just after 2pm, before ultimately deciding to move on. With no creds or nothing of particular fun en route between the park and Calais, where out half 7 ferry would eventually await us, we decided to divert to Cité Europe, the large shopping centre by the channel tunnel terminal, to kill a couple of hours before a stress-free journey home.Final Dennlys thoughts: My trips have a habit of sticking on a smaller park after visiting great parks to end it (my first major European trip saw me end with a visit Bobbejaanland after multiple days after Efteling and Phantasialand, for example). Unsurprisingly, Dennlys felt rather flat after an incredible day at Asterix. The park is nice and has a few cool rides for a family group, but felt a little weak compared to some of the other smaller parks from the trip.And so that's that - thanks for reading!
  23. On the positive side, at least the park has been saved from closure especially amidst one of the most challenging times in the attraction industry to date. The Loopings group don’t appear to invest often in new attractions, but hopefully we might see some new attractions here given how many how shuttered over the years bar Thomas Land.
  24. In 2005, I was fortunate enough to attend an ECC meet up which featured a meal and talk with the Bryant family that owned Drayton and back then, their hopes were high. Hotels, big coaster investments the works. The years have't been kind to the park truth be told and I think when G Force closed, the early warning signs were there. It's somewhat of a shame that its come to this. Their heavy investment at the turn of the millennium with Apocalypse, Maelstrom, Stormforce 10 and G Force showed a park with intent but it never recovered from the Smiler's crash effect on the industry or the death on Splash Canyon. Whilst it will never get that level of investment again, at least jobs have been saved and the park can continue to function.
  25. Maybe. Seems logical in that sense I guess. Just glad it isn't another park going under anyway.
  26. Even if they make this their flagship park (a claim I'm wary of at this stage because that can very easily just be PR drivel), that doesn't mean much. Bung in a second hand Vekoma Boomerang, put a new dark ride in the place of Pirates and put a kids ride in place of G Force and that sees them invest more than they've invested in any other of their parks. So it doesn't take much. It's great the park isn't closing, but I don't expect this to change Drayton in any way.
  27. Isn’t that standard usually? They always retain some in management roles whilst they “integrate” with the values of the parent company and then a year later part ways? Good news for Drayton though.
  28. Yep, only small investments really however they do intend this to be their flagship park so who knows it might get a bit more development than other parks in the chain, but yeah don't expect to see any huge coasters and expensive manufactures being used. As its part of pre pack administration I guess all the debts from before get wiped so may be easier to start making a profit. Interestingly they've kept the original owner on as MD.
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