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  1. Yesterday
  2. Here's a few thoughts from my first visit to Pleasure Beach in 2019, this is based on visits over a few days. The new pre-opening show is a good idea to keep people entertained whilst waiting for the gates to open. Areas of the park look and feel dismal at the moment. The entire FY4 from the back of Alice in Wonderland’s warehouse, empty Mouse site and the monstrosity that is the newly reopened arcade feels like you’re walking through an abandoned theme park that closed 20 years ago. It’s very sad considering the area looked mostly fine up until 2018 and with Icon tidying up south park considerably, they’ve now let north park get worse than south park ever was. It leaves a horrendous first impression on guests entering the park that way, too. The place was fairly busy over Easter, with moderate crowds (and then very busy on the Saturday). Ride availability seemed pretty good (aside from Sunday morning) with Icon and Valhalla being the only rides having significant downtime, even then it wasn't too bad. Extension to 6pm on Monday was nice. Sunday morning was poor with The Big One, Big Dipper and Revolution on (very) late opening whilst Infusion also broke down. Icon also took 25 minutes to transfer a third train on? We managed a ride-count of 17 on Saturday with the park open 10am - 10pm, however this was with us making sure to do the low capacity rides first. For first-time visitors trying to get on Nickelodeon Streak or Avalanche in the middle of the day it would have been miserable. The fireworks were great but I wasn’t keen on the music choices… they’re missing a trick by not using Icon’s score for at least part of the display. The new location was much better from a viewpoint perspective as they weren’t blocked by Icon’s station, but I still disagree with closing rides over an hour early on a “late night riding” event to put on some fireworks. Operations were very mixed. Big Dipper and Grand National were running very well, or in the case of Nash, as well as the system will allow it to. On Saturday we queued 20 minutes for Dipper from outside the queue entrance, and 25 for National from well past the entrance to the steps. Very impressed! Valhalla’s queue shifted very fast on Saturday, but was extremely slow every other day despite having the same number of boats on… weird. Continuing from the end of last year, The Big One’s operations remain dreadful. Dispatch times were very slow, largely caused by Speedy Pass but also the lack of management watching the operations. There were instances when they took 10 minutes to load a full Speedy Pass train, and out of every 10 trains I’d say that 7/8 of them stacked for a considerable amount of time. For a ride that lasts over 2 minutes, that’s just not acceptable. The staff were holding the queue outside the station which I assume was to prevent it from getting too hot, which I thought was a good idea. On Monday however, a quieter day, they were running one of the trains with only two carriages open until late afternoon. With the queue being held outside the station in the morning (meaning it’s more visible on the ramp) and then not in the afternoon, it definitely felt as if this was being done to increase Speedy Pass sales. With crowds on this level it would have previously taken 10 minutes to wait, as by lunch time it’d have shifted the queue to the final two switchbacks. It took us 40 minutes purely down to slow operations, it’s just a complete and utter mess. Pleasure Beach have really taken their eye off the rest of the park since Icon opened and The Big One has suffered hugely, operations have got to rock bottom and Speedy Pass continues to make queueing in the main queue a misery. It isn’t the ride staff’s fault; they try their best. It’s poor management and upselling of a fast pass system which the park knows will have an adverse effect on the operations of their signature ride. On a positive note, PMBO was absolutely flying on Friday and Saturday, reaffirming why I love it so much and still regard it as my absolute favourite coaster by quite some distance. Amazing. Valhalla continues to be an absolute mess. Here’s a brief status report of effects from 3 rides over Easter. - Water curtain over skull entrance worked for 1/3 rides - Trommels not working - Projection audio (Odin voice) on lift 1 slightly louder but still not audible - Projection looks like it needs a new filter/replacing (wire hanging down, picture not clear) - Green popup face not working - Waterfall corridor not working - Blackout doors after backwards drop not closing meaning light leaks in and exposes the workings - Lots of torn and/or missing blackout curtains throughout entire ride exposing maintenance areas - Ice room half-frozen, no ceiling misters - Water vortex soaking the boat - Light on waterfall following vortex switching off too early so effect is missed - Water geysers on either side of the track after water vortex not working - Light leaking into this area as fire exit left open - Maintenance lights left on - Chandelier not swinging - Crow animatronics not fully functioning - No ring of fire - Fireballs in first room following final drop not working (room in pitch darkness) - Only one small explosion in final room - Ride soundtrack loop cutting out and jumping River Caves has also had CCTV put in thoughtlessly over elements of theming as well as awfully implemented emergency lighting. Dark rides are supposed to provide seamless experiences with the back-end hardware hidden away, so it’s a disgrace that Pleasure Beach are so careless and clumsy with implementing these things. They did the same with new CCTV cameras in Valhalla last year. Lots of effects broken in Ghost Train. Alice and W&G were in decent condition overall. Overall, I had an enjoyable time at Pleasure Beach. Some areas had a nice atmosphere on Saturday, with the live music and busy crowds. With that said, the park has lost its buzz for me and the overall impression I got was that it feels like it’s missing something. The vibrance, the classic PB feel, it’s all gone. The park still houses some of my favourite coasters, but on reflection I don’t rate Icon very highly at all. The ride has lost its “new factor” and I’m already growing tired of it. It just feels too sluggish and there are so many places where you *nearly* get force or airtime, but it doesn’t quite have the speed to deliver. A shame. Two of the best assets at the park are still missing for me… Wild Mouse, and Valhalla. I include the latter because with the ride experience offered at the moment, it may as well just be a log flume in the dark. Steeplechase was very good as always. It was nice to be back on some of my favourite rides and seeing people, but I’m not in any rush to return to the park. My enthusiasm for the place is gone.
  3. Does anyone else think it's silly to put a VR overlay on Temple if this is its last year of operation? Like, why reduce the throughput and force it to be closed for a significant amount of the season if it's going the year after rather than just letting it run as is before closing it?
  4. All that lovely new concrete will come in handy for some live scare actors and barbed wire! 👀
  5. There’s a better chance of Merlin selling/closing Thorpe altogether than them investing on retracting and upgrading Colossus. The sad fact is purely because it isn’t seen as profitable and marketable from them. Flamimgo’s ‘potential’ clone may give people even less reason to visit Thorpe, which I’m sure they will combat with further rebranding and painting up basic areas.
  6. Finally! Looks blooming amazing if I can say so myself. Can’t wait to see what theming and detail they can nestle in the next 11 months and counting when the area is finally ready to open! I can safely say Crazy Bats is purely just a ‘quick fix’ until this area opens, or more-so when the Temple complex is demolished.
  7. Colossus is still running so Merlin won't spend money on fixing it... Remember, they only spend it when they HAVE to.
  8. Septuple posting? Must be a record, but it's worth it because FLY'S TRACK IS FINALLY COMPLETE: Saucey
  9. I got to try out Gamefx a few days ago and I had a decent time in there. There was clearly a lot to do, though I do wish there were more Nintendo consoles as I would have to wait for a free NES or N64 whilst there were plenty of PS1s, PS2s, XBOXs available, that appeared to be more of a balance issue (that last comment is biased as Nintendo is my go-to company). But it was fun getting to play some retro games that I hadn't played before such as Mario Kart 64 or Simpsons Hit and Run and I think overall it was a nice event to have at the park to enhance the day. However, I really want to bring up something about VR in general. I had never played a fully interactive VR game before so I decided to get a token and try out Job Simulator, and I must say, it was probably the most fun I've had in a video game for a long time. Literally 10 minutes on Job simulator was so much more enjoyable than the whole of DBGT! And I think it came down to the fact that it felt real due to the high amount of interaction. I was completely unaware that I probably looked liked a complete idiot whilst playing (sorry if all this is starting to dive into other topic areas). Now I've only done 2 "fully dedicated" VR theme park attractions which were DBGT and Galactica, and neither of them felt real at all and many people also seem to find underwhelming (hence why Galactica no longer has VR). This is where I must say that from my point of view VR just doesn't really work unless you properly interact with it. Also, after my last ride on DBGT (which was fully functional aside from a few glitches), I literally have no desire to ride it again. Yes I have ridden it many times now which probably has a huge impact, but that VR game made me realise just how poor the attraction is.
  10. I guess so yeah. But in the same way there's a possibility I could go on to win an Olympic Gold medal in the 100m.
  11. So basically there is a possibility of merlin are buying it to retrack Colossus and fit new trains haha (obviously unlikely given its merlin)
  12. So with jungle escape coming soon in May to fill the once IAC building, had anyone seen or heard anymore about it. There are obviously now boards up around the area showing concept art, but thought this would be a good space to discuss the new upcoming attraction.
  13. It's Intamin. One of the newer 10 inversion coasters, like Altair in Cinecitta World
  14. Anyone know the make of this coaster ??
  15. Last week
  16. I think more transport is a step in the right direction as current buses are a pain in the ar**..
  17. A new bus service to Towers is comming soon for those who don't drive: https://www.derbytelegraph.co.uk/burton/bus-service-to-alton-towers-2787552.amp
  18. I think its probably unlikely they will actually get it but if they do it will be a great addition! I presume this has lap bars so it will probably ride a lot better than Colossus and it isn't like its near anyway. Overall I think it would be a great addition for the more northern theme parks. I would rather have this than a Volare any day of the damn week.. Hero makes Infusion look like fun..
  19. Taiga hype: Construction time lapse featuring the ride's audio Some drone footage. The top hat into the hill thing just looks lush
  20. The first piece of concrete evidence pointing towards this happening: https://www.sinchew.com.my/content/content_2037421.html?fbclid=IwAR25SGFW5k4h9W1n5rISMI44OXeVUXE8QTf3VfCoAxh2dTHXGGyH2yOHvtM The 10 inversion coaster which was meant to open in Brazil but never did, which was then shipped to open in Malaysia but never did is being sold. The exact quote: Though of course it's not necessarily Flamingo, it seems highly unlikely to be for anywhere else. And at a cost of £2.3m (excluding shipping and construction, which I believe isn't as expensive as people may think), that's a proper bargain for such a large coaster.
  21. Whatever's replacing this has an update on the queue times list.
  22. I hate that they spited the Troy song
  23. Its were dragons claw used to be if that helps, opposite side to rage
  24. I am pretty sure there was music before, but I don't really remember it. I think when I went in July last year Troy was still actually playing it's old music. In general, despite the quality of the music if you do hear it, I don't really remember any music from the park aside from D'Werevelervelervelwind and Merlin's Quest of foreverness..
  25. I can’t work out exactly where it is.. is it on the entrance side of the pier?
  26. This is excellent for the park, a bold and not cheep investment. Although I'm a little sad they've come away from knocking up rides in their shed. It's pretty imposing on the front, I don't know how their planning works and what boundaries they can reach before they require permission, but I'm surprised the council are happy with this. The park owners and the council are not exactly friends!
  27. *This blog is getting bumped rip* So I have to admit that during late 2017/early 2018 I was incredibly cynical and skeptical over Wickerman during its construction. the layout to me just looked really mediocre and in a way I just writ off because its layout looked a bit naff to me, I think this was amplified even more due to Wodan being my only experience with GCI and with it being more than double the height and size of Wickerman. " ... So last year as a enthusiast I kinda failed. I only visited Lego, Chessie, and Thorpe, I just didn't get round to going up north and riding Wickerman or Icon. Even worse my only only abroad park was Portaventura.. Yuck.. Thorpe is better than.. This year though I think I am somewhat going to redeem myself. I'm heading to Europa in May and going to Six Flags GMerica and Cedar Point in June, I'm not gonna fail like I did last year.. One trip this year though left me with "would I make it?" and that was Alton Towers. After a bunch of last minute plans I finally headed to ride Wickerman, I would finally be able to form a proper opinion on the ride. So after a 3 hour drive I headed into the park for ERT and a early ride on Wickerman. I have to say it looks pretty sexy from afar.. So I have to admit I wasn't expecting a pre-show, it caught me off guard a little. Overall the pre-show was kinda neat, it certainly was well done but I found it was a little dark for a coaster that has a 1.2 restriction, I also felt on repeat rides it got a little old too.. After exiting the pre-show I was very lucky to be instantly batched to the front row on my first ride, I nearly snogged the guy giving out the rows. So as soon I get off Wickerman I was instantly very impressed- its well paced, fun, full of airtime pops and some fun GCI banks. The coaster is a lot better than I was giving it credit for, its really what Alton needed. The theming around the ride adds to the ride in a fun way (especially in the front row) and the main structure itself looks very cool. The coaster I found had a few minor pops of air in the front but had some pretty aggressive ejector pops in the back, if you want a more intense ride I would say the back is your best bet, especially on the first drop! The coaster runs very much like Wodan, it has a constant fast pace to it and never seems to slow down, its also decently long too. The coaster itself was running three trains on my visit (which is great for a merlin park!) but it did stack quite a bit so don't expect Wodan style capacity. Overall Wickerman is probably my favorite on park and maybe even my favorite in the UK. Its not quite as insane as Wodan but its still a great ride in its own right and is a great ride for those who can't be arsed to go to Europa or Toverland. Wickerman is proof that Merlin can build good rides, hopefully Merlin decide to add more GCI's in the future.. #Thorpe4GCI 8/10 With that last post, I wasn't wrong.. But Wickerman is brilliant for this country and I'm glad I can get my GCI fix closer to home now. 3 rides on this beast only hyped me more to ride Wodan again. Hope you enjoyed the review
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