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Showing content with the highest reputation since 09/20/19 in all areas

  1. 9 points
    MattyMoo

    Save Rameses Revenge Campaign

    Congratulations on the success of your campaign.
  2. 9 points
    Mark9

    Rumba Rapids

    I feel the same way about Thorpe Park sometimes.
  3. 5 points
    MattyMoo

    Fright Nights 2019 - Spoilers

    Was on the Island Like No Other yesterday - all be it with a bit of lurgy/cold whatever is going around, so alas I wasn't trusting my stomach too much coaster wise, I know this is officially a FN's thread but here's my rIDe CouNT anyway: Stealth x2 Swarm x2 Colossus x1 Rush x1 Detty x1 Storm Surge x1 Rapids x1 DBGTROTDWTF x1 TWDTR x1 My mates did Nemmy and Saw - Saw they said was rough as hell, but Nemmy was fab, especially a night ride after a bit of drizzle that was coming down! Everything was walk on really after 2/3pm ride wise - longest we queued for was of course DBGT, my thoughts on said "experience" already made clear in another thread. Stealth had some issues early morning but were quickly rectified, thank the Lord Sanbrooke. Heard a rumour that Sickstone was on park too, didn't get to meet him and talk about all things sick and gassed, gutted tbh. Spotted Powers Towers Productions (TM) in the Blair Witch queue lolz. SO ON TO THE MAZES. Gonna rank these poorest first - going to be quite close to call really as they are all much of a muchness with one exception. 5. PLATFORM 15 (x1) I know people lose their Pop Badges over this maze but again this failed to deliver really for me. Preshow/guided walk is good - the tour guide was good. Too much walking with dead space though from one section to another - I know this is supposed to "set the scene" and tension but it doesn't really work. Poly tunnel far too long with nothing happening. Ending got messed up as you arrive at different times and aren't forced to wait, if that makes sense so didn't really get to see what's supposed to happen. I will say that the Sleeper Express looked quality though - now all Victorian Esque on the sides, that was a marked improvement. Shout out to the lad in the house who spewed up some blood or something in front of us #Immersive 4. DO OR DIE (x1) Bus scene was good, also the entrance now makes far more sense being where it is! The next container was completely empty (after chatting with Josh after I now understand why - whatever went on there was evidently for the elites of press night only innit). The maze felt longer than before to me. Some interaction with the guy in the shrine bit which was good. 3. BLAIR WITCH PROJECT (x1) We were worried we weren't going to experience this due to the 30-40 minute queue as soon as dusk fell - then a number of breakdowns. Not entirely sure what the problem was with the breakdowns as such, it didn't seem like an E-Stop as it was taking far too long to reset and get back to operation, and unless I'm mistaken there's nothing much "mechanical" or technical going on bar a smoke machine and some lights? Anyway, we eventually did it, and like Josh noted, I don't understand how the queue moves quite so slowly. Maze is completely different to previous years, kudos to them for that, far far more effort has gone into it and you genuinely feel you are walking through undergrowth, trees etc. Actors that were present did a solid job but needed more really (which I think is the story of the night). Close one between this and my #2. 2. LIVING NIGHTMARE (x2) One runthrough we had Neagen, one we didn't, though the lad did say "We are all Neagen" in his intro speech, which is a good cop out haha. Jokes aside though - I think not having that at the start is a bit rubbish really, you'd hope they'd have a fair few Neagen's ready for the start of Fright Night's but maybe I hope too much. Enjoyable maze, some good scares, I always think they should have actors on that bus though - maybe we were just unlucky or they haven't been recruited yet? I just think it does what it does this maze and was just good really... 1. CREEK FREAK MASSACRE (x8) Well. We had high hopes for this. And for us at least, they were justified. The setting, staging and sound is great - but the interaction with the cast last night with us two was fantastic. I was wearing my Tulley's hoodie - which to be frank I do on purpose just because I know actors will spot it, and I'll be wearing my Smiler hoodie on Saturday at Tulleys - and they clocked it straight away with "What's that sh** you're wearing" and words to that effect - so on our first runthrough, we were put down the bad wood tunnel. On subsquent runthroughs, we were purposefully held back in "reception" so we would be by ourselves, I was put on the secret balcony bit on one run and split from the group, made to jump up and down and squeal like a pig (lolz) and the actress who was on reception first time, who was later inside the maze on 2nd and 3rd goes, pinned me in a corner and then followed me round by the hand to make sure I was introuced to her all her brothers and family one by one, telling them that I thought Chop Shop was better 😄 Cue actors then taking the mickey out of how they grind the chainsaws on the floor in Chop Shop and repeat the same movements etc. Stuff like this completey makes a maze for me and is a testament to the cast moreso than the maze itself. At one part also I had to hold the hand of the actress who was being cut up with the saw and made to operate the "saw". On our 7th and 8th (!) goes, the reception actor was a guy this time, and our final go was just us 2 and he joked with us - in character - about his voice being shot to pieces cos he didn't have a microphone, and we told him he didn't need to bother with the preshow 😄 - which he still did of course. We were split up on this last run too, and were chased even after we were out of the maze, There was more interaction than I've detailed here but can't remember, but in a nutshell - you were all ruddy brilliant, especially red-lumberjackshirt wearing reception girl! Only negatives were - there was a power cut on Creek Freak, which was a bit concerning, so was down for 20 mins (the actors then just roamed the area which was great!) and sometimes the finale with the chainsaw doesn't quite work with timing because the actor comes from the left and you sometimes beat them to it, if that makes sense - but that to the side, we thoroughly enjoyed the maze, all eight times of it, and like I say - this was more a case of it being a solid maze with a fantastic cast. I hope they enjoyed our interaction/winding up with them as they did with us, totally made our night. Just thought it was a bit nasty saying I should be dead with a face like that tbh 😄
  4. 5 points
    MattyMoo

    2019 Season

    M8 not being funny but SOME OF US don't get invited to the PRESS NIGHT so have to wait and ROUGH IT WITH THE GENERAL PUBLIC WITH A TWO FOR ONE ENTRY VOUCHER.
  5. 5 points
    Precisely, as we were told last year by almost certainly the same people that 2018 was “the best Fright Nights yet”. Look at how that ended... I just hope this year the park don’t just focus purely on the scare mazes and instead look at all other areas which contribute to the event. Things such as park lightning, decorations and audio are just as important I’d say, especially for those not wishing to go in the mazes. Last thing I want to see are X’s lights flashing all over the entrance bridge again... it looked ruddy awful last year.
  6. 4 points
    BritishThemeParkArch

    Duel!

    Hi all, if you're interested in the original Haunted House: I'm doing a Kickstarter campaign to realistically recreate lost scenes from the Haunted House (and two Chessington rides), as part of an upcoming book about attraction designer Keith Sparks and the Sparks studios. More about the book in the video on the Kickstarter page. After exhausting every lead, I traced most the finished Haunted House ride photos to a fire that destroyed most the Sparks archive some years ago. However hundreds of production records, flash photos, workshop pictures and videotapes did surface, meaning we now have reference for almost every detail in the original ride. This is special because the Haunted House was changed a lot within just 2-3 weeks of opening in 1992 (not many know about this because it was changed so fast). We even found outtakes from when the ride was photographed but not the full lighting pictures. Matching the material with technical layouts, it's now possible to recreate the missing scenes with 3D modelling and digital lighting. The renders will appear alongside any surviving real photos and be checked by the original lighting designers. If you've seen something like Virtual Towers Online you'll see how realistic this can look. So why let a fire keep a piece of British theme park history lost forever?! By funding this Kickstarter we can record these classic attractions to complete the book on Sparks. Any further volunteers will also be extremely welcome! We need to beat the target to get the funds, otherwise no donations will go ahead and the recreation project will have to be called off. The book should be ready summer next year but the plan is you wont have to buy the book to see the recreations. Thanks for reading! I can answer any questions.
  7. 4 points
    Matt only collects Cebeebies land themed pop badges although rumor has it that he nearly has the full collection of 22.
  8. 3 points
    JoshC.

    David Walliams World - New for 2020

    This has now been confirmed to be 'The World of David Walliams': https://www.stokesentinel.co.uk/whats-on/alton-towers-world-david-walliams-3434435.amp I'd expect a full Press release from the park today. Actually a pretty good choice for an IP in my opinion. Relevant and contemporary, whilst also having enough sticking power to be a classic. Seems to suggest a brand new ride plus rethemes are coming. Of course, there's questions as to whether the park should be relying on another IP and such. However, if they HAD to go for one, I can't think of any better choice. Also, it's nice this has been officially confirmed, after Walliams accidentally leaked it himself 18 months ago...
  9. 2 points
    MattyMoo

    2019 Season

    Did someone say Top Spin at Thorpe?
  10. 2 points
    planenut

    Stealth

    Perhaps they haven't got enough people to fix it, as I understand it takes many hands to make it work.
  11. 2 points
    Coaster

    Fright Nights 2019 - Spoilers

    I visited Fright Nights on both Saturday and Sunday and experienced each maze multiple times, here are my reviews. - SPOILERS BELOW! - Creek Freak Massacre The new maze for 2019 has a fantastic presence from the exterior, however the queue-line feels a bit sparse with you being able to see the workings of the sign. There are theme music and announcements however I couldn't hear these very well due to there only being two speakers towards the end of the queue. Onto the maze itself, it's very good fun. There is some good theming, multiple routes and the actors really get into their roles. The maze uses some really ambitious effects such as the heat room, the "blade table" with water and the strobe flash rate near the end is excellent and reminiscent of The Asylum's chaotic feel. It felt as though some of the effects were not working as intended, for example the blade was just round, did not move and I believe it is supposed to have a lighting sequence on the theming object itself? Hopefully they are able to rectify this. The chainsaw scares were mixed. Out of six goes in the maze, I had one excellent one where I encountered three chainsaws; one in a corridor, one in the strobe room and one at the end. Unfortunately, the first time I saw three chainsaws however the first one wasn't working. On all four other run-through's I only encountered two chainsaws. I'm not sure whether one chainsaw was broken and they had no spare or whether it depends on how busy the maze is, but I noticed a severe lack of actors (and chainsaws!) towards the end of the evening on Sunday. We walked thorough many corridors without encountering any actors, with there only being a few in the key scenes. This was a massive contrast to Saturday evening where the maze was full of actors who took us aside into corners, split us up etc. The maze is very inconsistent. In my opinion, some more low-level scenic lighting would be beneficial in places such as spotlights highlighting the "good wood" and "bad wood" signs in the first scene as these are currently not visible under show conditions. I feel that the park's marketing let the maze down by building falsely high expectations which the attraction did not deliver. It is not the most intense Fright Nights maze ever - in my opinion. The maze is not intense; it's well themed with some good effects/scares, but even on the best run-through it felt very calm and controlled with the exception of the short strobe maze section. Claiming it to be the most intense Fright Nights maze of all time is an insult to the creators of Experiment 10 and The Asylum, both of which were, in my opinion, far superior and much more intense than Creek Freak IMO. I have also seen it claimed on the park’s website that it’s the UK’s most intense scare maze? Laughable. Overall, Creek Freak Massacre is a solid addition to the Fright Nights line-up and a huge improvement on anything the park did last year. I wouldn't consider it a top-tier Thorpe maze and unfortunately it was let down by it being over-hyped, but it's definitely one of the better ones in recent years and there is still room for improvements to be made. 6/10 Platform 15 I felt that Platform 15 was improved on the whole this year. The actors made much more of the story-line on our walk-through's and there seemed to be a good balance between scripted scenes and scares throughout. Unfortunately, there was light leaking into the long tunnel which completely spoiled the effect and made it far too predictable in terms of where actors were positioned. I could see Saw: The Ride at one point through a hole in the sheets! The new final scene was excellent on the Sunday run-through and genuinely made our group jump! 4/10 Blair Witch Again, a lot more scripted talking from the actor during the early scenes and a new addition of going around and around in circles made it... different. I really liked the long periods of pitch darkness from the original version of this maze and it unfortunately feels too illuminated now and therefore does not have the same effect. With that said, I liked the more creative route this year. 3/10 Walking Dead: Living Nightmare The maze remains largely the same as previous years but with an improved ending. The actors were doing a great job during our goes however I feel the attraction misses the mark somewhere. There is some good theming but nothing particularly stands out, it isn't scary and the strobe maze feels poorly executed compared with others. 4/10 Walking Dead: Do or Die I don't understand this attraction, why are we sitting in a bus, how are we supposed to be scared walking through temporary tarpaulin sheet fencing with bright white floodlights and what are we supposed to be "doing"? The interior of the containers was better than last year and the actors were brilliant once again, but it's just a poor attraction IMO and I really don't think we need two Walking Dead mazes. 2/10 Overall Event and Park Atmosphere Fright Nights feels improved on last year with the addition of Creek Freak Massacre and a reduction in poor quality attractions, however the event still feels a shallow rendition of its former self. Whilst we gained a new horror maze, we lost Saw Alive and are down to just two indoor horror attractions. This is not enough and we found ourselves having to wait until it got dark to walk through the remaining three attractions after doing the first two as both Platform and Do or Die rely on darkness to create a sense of mystery that would be lost during daylight. The event used to have five full-scale indoor horror mazes, what happened? I like how every scare attraction has had an improvement made to it and I have to say that the actors were largely fantastic throughout both days/evenings. It appears as though the park have taken feedback on-board from last year and tried to make changes where they can, which is great. The Amity High show outside Stealth is brilliant and created a fantastic atmosphere around the area. Lighting around the park is terrible with floodlit queue-lines (and mazes!) and hideous emergency lighting left on around Platform 15’s queue which ruined the effect that the scenic lighting would have otherwise created. One particular annoyance was that there is a bright white floodlight shining directly onto the Derren Brown’s Ghost Train entrance sign which destroys the effect it used to have with the blue light shining through and illuminating the letters (similar to the effect The Asylum’s sign also had). How can they build such an elaborate sign only to have such terrible attention to detail a few years down the line? Will we see bright flood lights shining onto the Wicker Man structure in a few years? So, so poor. The park did not feel like Fright Nights was running at all, there was none of the smoke effects in vehicles we have seen in recent years and a lack of coloured lighting as mentioned above. With that said, there was some theming dotted around in places such as old Vulcan Peak queue theming and body bags. It was a shame to see old Big Top theming dumped in a visible location whilst queueing for Do or Die. Nemesis Inferno looks fantastic with the mist working fully and a new orange light, Colossus’s station has also seen some theming added which is great and reminded me of the event’s glory days. There was some good themed audio around the park, more could be done but what was there was good. With that said, it was amusing to hear the original upbeat end-of-the-day track on Saturday night whilst leaving the dome! Overall, I enjoyed my visits to Fright Nights this year and particularly enjoyed Inferno in the dark. Creek Freak Massacre is a solid addition and with improvements could be up there with the best Fright Nights mazes, however I feel that the overall event is still lacking in quality and depth.
  12. 2 points
    JoshC.

    Logger's Leap

    So that Loggers Leap auction was incredible ey guys???
  13. 2 points
    JoshC.

    Jungle Escape

    Where was this said? Not doubting you, just curious as there definitely was no plan for I'm a Celeb to return this year! There used to be a small stage roughly where the query for Jungle Escape is called the Showcase. The space was probably used as a backstage and storage area for any shows before it was used as a maze (and probably throughout the rest of the year when the space was a maze!). On a serious Jungle Escape note, I hope that they make suitable changes next year. It was hardly used this year, which feels particularly wasteful given there's two routes for competing teams. Either make it significantly cheaper (or free and just bookable) or make it much more involved and suitable for smaller groups. That way, it at least uses the space more effectively for the crowds it gets. I still think that there's room for an escape room at theme parks / resorts if done correctly. But right now, Jungle Escape misses the mark.
  14. 2 points
    https://facebook.com/thorpeparkmania/
  15. 2 points
    LukeP_8

    Fright Nights 2019 - General Discussion

    Ye I agree, but what can I say. Thorpe park has become lazy over the past 6 years. The park is going to **** tbh, 2012 was the last new rollercoaster. They need to pull their finger out and work harder, they have been batheing in the IP money and forgotten about us.
  16. 2 points
    Would updating the events in the side column on TPM under birthdays increase exposure?
  17. 2 points
    Press Night is this Thursday. I believe the event has been made more exclusive this year and there will be significantly less people there - both from fan sites and mainstream media. TPM will be there - be sure to keep an eye on our social media channels and website for all views and the latest updates.
  18. 1 point
    Coaster

    Fright Nights 2019 - Spoilers

    This is nothing like the situation that lead to the Wild Mouse's closure. No similarity whatsoever. I agree that a lot of new measures are OTT but in this case it clearly isn't the fault of the guest, if a nail is sticking out of the floor and able to cut into someone's leg in the pitch black I think that is quite serious.
  19. 1 point
    Benin

    Walibi Holland

    So, Untamed then. I've always been wary of the RMC hype train, but it's fair deserved. Can only imagine how ridiculous Steel Vengeance is if Untamed can feel like it's going to violently eject you out the front row at 11am. At night after it rained a chunk it became obscenely ridiculous. Should be illegal really. Didn't mind the shin guards as much as I thought.
  20. 1 point
    Kerfuffle

    On Ride Photos

    Re-surfacing this thread as I'm now happily in a position where I can reveal my handsome mug on this site (damn those social media policies!) Pity back row on Shambhala is undoubtedly the only good thing at PortAventura these days... Funny thing here is not only are the majority of the people behind me under the height restriction for The Walking Dead (seriously)...but one of them has just had their entire photo ruined by my arm. Sorry Swedish kid. Nothing much to say about this one...Valkyria is a VERY good dive coaster. Taking one for the team on Chiapas. Front row is undoubtedly the firing line for wetness but fortunately Germany were also in a heatwave at the time! ...and finally, more or less as a plot twist (but a very fitting one) but this is me on Bob at Efteling (for the last time ever - even if I'd only ridden it twice in its lifetime) along with several of the Planet Coaster community during a meetup back in July.
  21. 1 point
    MattyMoo

    Stealth

    I had to ask @JoshC. to explain that one to me, I confess. Good work indeed.
  22. 1 point
    MattyMoo

    Stealth

    Thought for the day: How long does it take to fix a light? 4/5 on the green scale.
  23. 1 point
    There was no demon projection or anything in the middle section. We literally just waited around in the corner before being ket on to the second train. I remember how theatrical the middle used to be with the actors, the great central set piece and the sense of urgency. All that is gone, and it shows how fragile the overall experience is. I loved Sub Terra and I miss it. That had the theatrics nailed down. Merlin, for all their sins, CAN do theatrics very well. Love them or not, the Dungeons achieve this very well. It is telling in general how atmosphere and pace is needed to keep an experience like this together. The lack of music in particular always bothered me. Why make 90 mins of music and use it only in the queue. Let's do a comparison for a second to a ride that does it right: Hex. To an extent they are similar experiences: they both involve several rooms and pre/mid shows and sit down 'ride' section(s). Hex has a flow to it. Each pre show section builds the tension AND story, and are excellently themed with a sumptuous musically score. Even if you end up waiting a bit to board the final ride, there is music around you as you wait. The ride on it's own would be ok and could stand alone, but really it's an experience that is more than the sum of its parts. Compare this to DBGT. The pre show does not really lead naturally into the hanging carriage and VR segments, and rather than waiting around in a themed area, instead you stall awkwardly with no music. The mid section is jarring now, and merely feels like stalling for time and adds nothing. Again, no music. The VR segments do not stand effectively on their own. I don't think the ride is beyond repair. I don't rate the tech that highly, but with new VR segments, increased theatricality and a story/tension-building preshow and mid section it could be saved.
  24. 1 point
    Mark9

    Flamingo Land

    Please keep it red Flamingoland, I tire of these boring coloured rollercoasters.
  25. 1 point
    Ringo

    Fright Nights 2019 - Spoilers

    Pretty much like how they set Walking Dead ride up to fail by claiming it was “15 out of 10 on the scare scale” and “the world’s scariest ride” if the parks exaggerated less then people wouldn’t have such high expectations...
  26. 1 point
    MattyMoo

    2019 Season

    They've deleted it now... unlike Thorpe to make social media bloopers innit? Also, where is the Fright Nights 2020 thread for wild and pointless speculation, this place has gone to the dogs!
  27. 1 point
    Wicker Matt

    2019 Season

    If no one is visiting the park, then that would explain why they have such low numbers then. I’ll get my coat.
  28. 1 point
    JoshC.

    Legoland

    Coming from Benin, this is a huge achievement glitch.
  29. 1 point
    Benin

    Europa Park

    Spanish > French > Everyone else
  30. 1 point
    pluk

    Storm Surge

    I'd forgotten I'd put myself through this a couple of weeks back. It doesn't spin, there are no pads. The boats are ankle deep in water. They leave the water curtain on in cold drizzly weather. The staff don't care if you sit with your feet up, cross legged, etc. Which is fun I suppose but I'm guessing not compliant with their own operating guidance and asking for an incident really. They've somehow managed to make the position of it even more if a nonsense with the pointless blocking in of X. It sucks. It sucks as hard as it is possible to suck.
  31. 1 point
    Mattgwise

    Jungle Escape

    They also said this time last year I'm a Celeb was returning in 2019.
  32. 1 point
    Impartial? 😂
  33. 1 point
    Yea but he still HAS the 3G, so that’s big news.
  34. 1 point
    First thing that went through my mind last year when I got out of that abomination was “whoever designed and signed off on this should be fired on the spot” that’s how bad I found it!! In regards to park wide theming and audio, yes that was a massive part of why I enjoyed the event in its early years. However, the event has loads to do on its road to improvement and the most important aspect of these events IS the mazes. Once they get the mazes right then they should move onto parkwide atmosphere.
  35. 1 point
    Indeed. Just remember that, somewhere, someone - or many people with Merlin - signed off Vulcan Peak as a passable attraction both at conception stage and then once it opened. Might try and stay away from Freaky Creaky spoilers - the whole ImMErSIVe experience has been ruined already as it was leaked that the chainsaw on the sign outside spins round. On a positive note for FNs 2018 - I thought the roaming clowns that suddenly swarmed around people were good last year.
  36. 1 point
    JoshC.

    Rumba Rapids

    As much as I think it's a silly decision personally, it should be noted and commended that Rumba Rapids will be open throughout Fright Nights this season, after being closed for the event over the past couple of years. It'll close at dusk as has been standard. I guess with Quantum dead and other rides struggling, they don't want to have to have too many rides SBNO. But the sheer lack of popularity the ride has over Fright Nights, coupled with the large number of staff it takes to operate, I question the worth of actually having it open.
  37. 1 point
    pluk

    Blackpool Pleasure Beach

    If it wasn't for the glare of those lights you'd just be able to make out the figure of Mandy in that cab, laughing demonically as she swings the leavers knowing that with every swipe she is not just tearing down wood but also tearing a chunk out of the heart of geeks everywhere.
  38. 1 point
    JoshuaA

    Fright Nights 2019 - General Discussion

    That should pay for Swarm's retheme to X Factor.
  39. 1 point
    MattyMoo

    Fright Nights 2019 - General Discussion

    I'm going to Press Night but I won't be posting anything anywhere about it.
  40. 1 point
    JoshC.

    Fright Nights 2019 - General Discussion

    *clears throat*
  41. 1 point
    Glitch

    Fright Nights 2019 - General Discussion

    Not too sure. The park tend to keep that information super secretive and only invite the most exclusive top tier influencers.
  42. 1 point
    EpicSmatty

    Fright Nights 2019 - General Discussion

    Looks like there's going to be some Fright Nights themed food at some of the outlets this year
  43. 1 point
    JoshuaA

    Energylandia

    Soon as I can go I'm heading out there. Zadra looks like a big enough draw as it is. Probably not a SteVE beater but could be one of the best coasters in Europe.
  44. 1 point
    Coaster

    Blackpool Pleasure Beach

    Blackpool Pleasure Beach was fun today after a 5 month break, I enjoyed getting back on the rides with The Big One being the highlight. Even after riding many coasters elsewhere, The Big One is still very special and one of my favourite rides ever. I am still yet to find a better first drop and the ride was flying round, absolutely incredible coaster and I'll never tire of it. It was running two full trains all day, excellent. Speedy Pass unfortunately continues to destroy the ride's operations by causing the trains to stack and making extra work for the platform staff which then causes the throughput to plummet. The Speedy Passes had been massively oversold today with the queue down to the bottom of the exit path from midday onwards, I saw two full trains of Speedy Passes sent as well as multiple rows in the others. The new outlet in the Sky Force shop is being used to upsell Big One Speedy Passes at the expense of guest experience, it's worse than ever now. It was noticeable that on the occasions where there was a break in SP users, dispatches were much better. Disgraceful that they allow fast pass to slow down the rate at which trains are dispatched whilst also blocking the exit path. The ride isn't designed for it, total mess! On the plus side, the new Big One soundtrack is excellent and the retro feel of it suits the ride perfectly. It adds a great atmosphere around the ride's queueline/station and is a brilliant improvement IMO. I rode Icon once today and didn't enjoy it at all, the layout is good but it's taken much too slowly IMO. I appreciate why a lot of people enjoy the smooth nature of the ride but it's not for me, there are other far better examples of smooth coasters elsewhere. In the interests of saying something positive about it, the soundtrack was nice and loud! Valhalla remains dreadful, however River Caves (interior) was looking fantastic with audio levels good, scenes looking great and most of the animations working. There was some lovely new timed lighting in the first scene as well as a new sound effect and the inside felt refreshed in general whilst retaining the classic feel of the ride. Brilliant! Grand National was noticeably bumpier than on my last ride in April, but I still really enjoyed it. Sat in the back row. Park hours were very stingy, 6pm close on a relatively busy sunny Saturday is no good. Big Dipper and Infusion went down to one train towards the end of the day. The Noah's Ark park exit is looking very tired and could do with some TLC! We had a look at Boulevard Hotel and the staff were willing to take us for a look into one of the rooms, I have to say the entire hotel looks incredible. The park looks and feels worse than it ever has done in my opinion, devoid of any of the character, charm and colour it used to have and many of the rides/areas look in need of TLC. Whilst the staff were fantastic throughout the park, unfortunately Speedy Pass made queueing for The Big One a misery and reiterated to me why I spent 5 months away from the place. It's not good enough when an older Arrow hypercoaster runs 3 trains with 30 second dispatches, the SP system on Big One is an absolute joke. Overall I had a good day at Pleasure Beach and it was great to get back on some of my favourite rides, but IMO there are still many issues which detract from the overall enjoyment of the park.
  45. 1 point
    JoshC.

    Linnanmäki Trip Report

    Finland had never exactly been on my radar; it was more somewhere that I thought "it'd be nice to go there one day", as opposed to a "I'll go there in a few years". Then, Taiga happened, and all of a sudden, my interest popped up dramatically. And so Linnanmäki happened this weekend. I looked at trying to combine the trip with other Finnish parks (like Power Park and Särkänniemi), but given how widespread they are, Finland being the 8th most expensive European country, and time being limited, I had to settle for just the one park. The park was open 1pm-midnight, with it also being the first day of their Halloween event Iik!Week (weirdly, Finnish parks seem to do Halloween events in September, and it was very much a coincidence we ended up going to that too). On a Saturday like this, the park would normally be open 1-10pm, so still very good opening hours. The park is completely free to enter (not even a turnstile in sight), and a wristband for unlimited rides and attractions costs a slightly eye-watering €42. There's options to by 'tickets' for individual rides, priced at the even more eye-watering price of €9, or a 'bundle' of 6 tickets for...€42. Weird system but okay. Taiga I've covered most of my thoughts on Taiga here, but just to sum it up for completeness here too: Taiga is absolutely brilliant. It starts off the day well, and when it warms up, it's a relentless beast. Twists that throw you out of your seat, crazy airtime, ongoing speed. It's stunning. Just sheer brilliance, and POVs don't do the ride justice in any way. The ride has okay operations, with staff asking every single person as they check bars if their pockets are empty and, if not, making them empty them. A small thing, but annoying. Vuoristorata Finnish for 'Roller Coaster', this is a wooden coaster that's been going since 1951, and is a traditional brakeman wooden, with the brakeman at the back of the train. Also is heavily inspired by Bakken's woodie apparently. This is genuinely an utter joy. From the hilariously quick lift hill, to the fun drops and double downs and the pace it manages to keep, it's actually really fun. And at the front of the train, you get some VERY strong airtime. Between this and Taiga, it's a wonder I didn't end up with bruised thighs after this trip. We rode it 8 times during the day, which I think speaks volumes about the quality of this. Kirnu The first ever Intamin Zac Spin. Not a phrase that fills you with joy. I wasn't sure how I'd react to this, and ultimately I didn't enjoy it. The spinning is okay until the end, when it does it's only flip but drops you down head first. The rest of the ride is okay, but still not great. I hate to think what longer versions of this are like. In fairness, we did it twice, so it can't have been THAT awful, but it is significantly less pleasant when you board the station in the backwards facing seats. It's sad to think about how there are such contrasting Intamins in such close proximity. Staff were very insistent on balancing the cars too, which took some time, and we even saw some staff members having to ride it to ensure this balance happened. Those poor souls. Ukko Oh dear. This thing. My first Maurer Sky Loop, and this definitely is up there with one of the most awful experiences I've had on any ride. Whoever thought that a vertical lift hill going back on itself and hanging you upside down was a good idea must have been a bloody sadist. We were sat near the front, which meant we had dreadful hangtime, and it was genuinely one of the most uncomfortable experiences I've had, along with the bad restraints of a Maurer too. Then you do an inversion, seesaw and get off, questioning your life choices. Tulireki The world's only standing Mack E-Motion coaster. What's an E-Motion coaster, I hear you ask? It's basically a coaster where the cars are meant to 'tilt' as you go round corners, thanks to some springs and stuff in the cars. You notice this as you board the cars, as they bounce around a bit. But after that, you hardly notice it at all. Except for the fact that this coaster is uncomfortable, bordering on rough. There's a drop where you literally shunt and jerk back and forth, and I slammed my back pretty hard. Another not pleasant one. There's a couple of other coasters: Salama, a Maurer spinner that doesn't really spin, Pikajuna, a Mack powered coaster which, though not bad, has a long layout and goes round 3 times, making it boring, and Linnunrata eXtra, a custom Zierer built inside an old water tower. Linnunrata has optional VR goggles: I tried them on my first ride, selecting the horror versions (they had 3 choices). It was okay, nothing special, suffers from the same problems all other VR coaster have I guess, but since you don't have headphones, the atmosphere is hurt due to the lack of sound. Without the VR, there's some pretty cool space theming throughout the ride, and it's much nicer than the VR. Would recommend no VR. Outside of the coasters, the park has some really decent rides: Kyöpelinvuoren Hotelli, a very well done ghost train with lots of special effects and surprises, Hurjakuru, a rapids ride featuring some scary waterfalls, an ever-flowing sprinkler tower with fire effects, and a generally decent layout and Kingi, a 75m tall gyro drop tower, which gives good views of the park and Helsinki. (their Enterprise and Ferris Wheel align beautifully at night!) But what about Iik!Week? It was impossible to know what to expect from the event; finding information and reviews online was difficult, and they seem to change everything each year. This year, the event included: -2 Halloween exclusive mazes, rated 13+ -1 Halloween exclusive maze, for families/all -2 overlays of existing attractions, rated 13+ -An outdoor attraction, which was basically a walkway, rated 13+ -A zombie disco outdoor area; with live DJ, bar and actors, rated 18+ -The area where most of the attractions are transformed into a scare zone, again rated 13+ All attractions started at 4pm, except the Zombie Disco which started at 6pm. Despite the park being quite small, this did lead to a 'Thorpe effect' where only a section of the park felt like Halloween, and the rest of the park feeling pretty normal. Anyways, onto the attractions (with spoilers).. Laboratorio (Laboratory) Visitors to the park's harshest site are horribly awaited by the victims of failed human experiments who have been locked away at a research facility. The first maze we did and the one which was marketed as the scariest; this would set the scene for the event. Before entering the maze, you're given a rope for everyone to hold to keep you together; this seemed to just be an alternative to hands-on-shoulders in keeping the group together. A pre-show by a military person explains the backstory, and warns us to stick together, don't touch anything because of radiation, and to walk slowly. The maze itself was very well themed - a surprise from a city park where theming is sparse! Each scene is basically a room from the laboratory, where a failed human experiment is behind a window / cage. The actors themselves also looked great - amazing costumes and make up. But they weren't very scary. One experiment came out of their cage and chased us a bit, and another slammed a door. After barely a minute of slow walk, a sign pointing you to the exit appears, but then there's a monster for one final scare. The monster costume looked stunning, and must have been over 7ft tall. The actor did a really good job given they must have had limited movement, but they were also equipped with what looked like 3 large hairdryers stuck together as a 'weapon', which felt...odd. So yeah, a very short maze with little scares, but with great sets and great costumes and a good number of actors considering. Zombie Tunnel A zombie invasion created by a nuclear fallout haunts amateurs in an old nuclear silo tunnel. Horror lovers have only one way to protect themselves - the green radioactive light source causes the zombies to retreat. Step into the twilight corridor where horror-zombies scare away! The other Halloween exclusive maze takes place in a temporary structure in one of the kids lands in the park (with 2-3 kids rides actually closed for the event). At the start of the maze, everyone is handed a green lightsaber (like a cheap pound shop one) to guide your way, with their in-story purpose being to scare away the zombies that await. These also serve a second, more obvious purpose though - to help you see. The maze itself only seemed to have one light throughout, and was otherwise very dark, so the lightsaber was essential to help you see. The maze was again very short, effectively a horseshoe shape. There were quite a lot of actors (again, all with very good make up), but all bar one of them were stuck behind fencing, and all they could do was slam and growl. It was a very jarring experience, as there's no fear there whatsoever (even a girl who was in our group who looked around 13/14 wasn't the least bit scared). And given the theming for the maze was effectively fences and black tarpaulin, there wasn't much too it. Again, a short maze with little scares, but a fun concept and a good number of actors. Kauhusirkus (Horror Circus) Do you dare to step into the Horror Circus of bloodthirsty clowns? This is an 'overlay' of the park's other dark ride, Taikasirkus (Magic Circus). The ride was open before 4pm without actors, and we tried it - it was a suspended dark ride that goes through different scenes at a circus, with fun animatronics and such. The gondolas turn/spin slightly at different points throughout the ride too, to showcase different points within each scene. There was no audio, though apparently there usually is, which was odd.. After 4pm, the ride has actors (one in every scene, so about 6). The actors are allowed everyone - in the sets, in front of, behind and underneath the cars! The actors, were, unsurprisingly, clowns. This wasn't particularly scary (certainly a push to make this 13+..), but the actors occasionally hid and did (predictable) jump scares, making it a more fun/scary experience. Real highlight was an actor appearing in front of us, then as our gondola spun around, he decided to lay on the floor, as a fun way of surprising us. Again, the actors looked really good, and this was well done. Kammokuja (Abhorrence Alley) The dead spirits have been wandering in the corridors of Kammokuja. There is also a large butcher living in the alley ... An overlay of the park's 3D walkthrough (which was much like a spookier version of Hocus Pocus Hall at Chessington), which basically just included a couple of actors hidden around corners. It was fun, but the actors seemed very restricted in what they could do. For example, one actor literally just appeared from round a corner holding a tray of tea, said in a creepy voice 'Would you like some tea?', and then waited for us to move on with no further interaction. The ending featured a large and loud male actor bashing on a wall brandishing a knife. Probably enough to get younger kids out quickly, but again, this felt a bit tame for a 13+ experience. The outdoor walkway had some clown animatronics, the family friendly maze was just an outdoor labyrinth where the walls were spider webs (no actors) and the scare zone had a couple of sets of actors going round a couple of times. Zombie Disco The reason for this being 18+ was because of the bar; I imagine it makes it easier for serving drinks when you don't have to ID everyone when it's busy. As the park was very quiet, so too was the disco area, which meant it was lacking in atmosphere. However, the actors here did a great job; all interacting with every group personally, spending lots of time with any group there and staying in character very well. It was also nice to see zombies which don't grunt or growl at you, as many theme park mazes resort to. A shout out to the zombie footballer, who at one point started a kick about with people in the area, then proceeded to do several keepy uppies (whilst remaining in perfect character!), and then carried on as if it was nothing. That was impressive! So Iik!Week was a weird one. Clearly the park know their stuff when it comes to doing scary things: the costumes, set design (largely) and acting quality (mostly) were all very good in my opinion. Plus their ghost train is scary too. But it seems like they've held themselves back, like they don't want to create attractions which actually scare people, despite having everything there to do so. I really don't believe a park which has the creative levels they've shown wouldn't be able to get over the final hurdle of actually making something scary. It's a shame, because they've got enough variation to do even one actually scary experience, and then keep the rest more fun. I hope that whatever their reasons, whatever their thought process, they decide to change their mind and do something actually scary in the future. In saying that, I still enjoyed the event, so can't really complain! And that's that! Without Taiga, Linnanmäki would be one of those 'if you're in the area, visit' or 'if you've ran out of other parks to visit' types of parks. It's fun, but nothing standout enough. But with Taiga, they've got a truly exceptional ride, with enough of a supporting line up to be a really solid park which is well worth the visit! How busy was it? Surprisingly quiet! Thanks to some wet weather (which only lasted for a couple fo hours on and off), the park wasn't very busy, and we didn't queue longer than 15mins for anything. By about 8-9pm, everything was walk on. How easy is it to get too? The park is about a 30-40min bus ride from Helsinki airport Is there anything else nearby? Helsinki has a few bits; we did an indoor horror mini golf course, the Helsinki SkyWheel, Helsinki Flying Theatre and Helsinki SeaLife (which is joined onto the park) How expensive is it? Helsinki isn't cheap, and flying out there is a bit costly. We stayed in a hostel, booking a private room for 3 people which cost about €20pp, which helped reduce costs. (and as ever, excuse the horrid photos..!)
  46. 1 point
    Second ever ride on the train for me today, first in its ROTD guise. It's fair to say there have been improvements over the first effort. - The sound is hugely better and isolating - The graphics seem smoother, if just as low quality - The second ride VR section is much better than playstation 1 apocalypse - The post show incident gives the ride its only opportunity to provide an actual scare, and goes some way to delivering it But it is nowhere near enough to save this utter turkey - Throughput is minuscule, queuing is ssllllooooowwwww and not close to worth the reward of riding - The staff approach is all over the place. Real aggressive introduction about phone use, not sure if that is supposed to be a 'character' or just a real obnoxious way to make a point? - The second room 'pre-show' immediately prior to the train entrance is downright bizarre. A stumbling attempt to be jokey, bring someone from the front to the back, do nothing with them, clap them(?), bang a door, go through the door. WOT? A pre-boarding stall I imagine, but just in every way possible from pacing to storytelling to atmosphere to point, utterly wrong. - The 'middle-show' is immeasurably worse. The old concept of being in a tunnel with no obvious way out and simulate a train approaching was actually a really good idea poorly done. Walking into a dark room where nothing happens before being turned round to walk back out of it is a really bad idea poorly done. Getting on and off the train doesn't even make sense in the narrative any more. - The second VR I can't quite get my head around. Augmented reality would have been hugely better rather than pretend augmented reality, but whatever. This breaks the fourth wall of suspension of belief the ride is asking us to make; the whole point seemed to be that the hyper reality of the simulation of being on a train would be the driver behind messing with your mind in that relate-able, mundane situation. You are now looking at people, like you, who are clearly on a theme park ride of a train, not an actual underground train. What am I supposed to do with this in the context of the narrative? - While we are on the second VR, the image quality as a whole is better than it was, but why is the main character we are supposed to scared of so poorly defined? For the most part it is an indistinguishable fuzzy blob floating around the screen about as menacingly as a rain cloud. - The laboured situation and 'acting' to hold people in the post-show goes a long way to ruining an otherwise decent effect. They may as well put up a big flashing sign saying 'wait a mo, something else is going to happen'. There must be a better, more natural way. Overall, there is no getting away from the fact that the whole thing is an ACTUAL TRAIN SIMULATOR. Not a rocket to the moon. Not a flight on an X wing. Not dive in a submarine. Not a time travelling jump in a Delorean. Why? I can get on a train, I don't need it simulated. I want fantasy. There is nothing fantastical about this Ghost Train. I honestly do not think it is rescuable. It's sad, but the whole concept is so deeply flawed I really feel the best thing to do would be to rip it out and start again. At the moment it is just a very expensive way to damage your brand and reputation.
  47. 1 point
    JoshC.

    The Small Parks Thread

    Rode Taiga this weekend. I'll do a trip report soon, but I want to share thoughts on Taiga now.. It is brilliant. Truly brilliant. POVs don't do the ride justice. The ride has some truly amazing moments: great airtime, fun inversions, decent launches and is in itself a long ride. The bit between first and second launch is a bit random. One inversion and loads of corners which keep the speed. Warms up nicely during the day, but aside from the weird out-banked dive loop type thing, nothing special. The second launch gives you a nice woosh feeling as you speed up, followed by a fun top hat. From there, the ride becomes insane: relentless, crazy ejector airtime, fast (and doesn't lose speed!), flings you out of your seat. It's all incredibly smooth and the flow and pacing is amazing. It is just brilliant. Ride operations are a bit weird and slow - staff ask every person if their pockets are empty as checking restraints (and if your pockets aren't empty, you're made to empty them). The ride has a nice style to it with the theming too. Audio is a bit quiet though. Managed the ride 9 times, sitting in a variety of locations and during night time too, and it's wonderful wherever. Can't decide if I prefer front or back tbh.. There's natural comparisons and question to be asked about how this compares to the likes of Taron and Helix. Taron and Helix focus on very different things: Taron on speed and intense whips and turns, Helix on grace and inversions. Taiga is a best-of-both worlds type of ride I'd say: you get the fast elegance of the ride, along with intense whips and some quirky inversions. And it does this phenomenally well. What is 'better' depends on your taste; blending the best of both might not be everyone's cup of tea for example. But all 3 coasters do what they set out to do perfectly. So yeah, tl;dr - Taiga is brilliant. Worth the trip to Finland, easily.
  48. 1 point
    JoshC.

    Walibi Holland

    I was pleasantly surprised by Untamed's restraints. The shin guards didn't affect anything for me, and the lap bar wasn't an issue. Sure, during the aggressive airtime you push right up against it, but that's the same for any ride that has aggressive airtime (even Goliath - Walibi Holland one that is - is like that during the finale). I can see why people dislike them, but I have no issue with them.
  49. 1 point
    HermanTheGerman

    Storm Surge

  50. 0 points
    Coaster

    Blackpool Pleasure Beach

    This picture has surfaced online today; NOTE: This picture does not belong to me.
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