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Showing content with the highest reputation since 05/19/18 in all areas

  1. 5 points
    A cryptic wheel cover and demolition of a bridge, followed by markings on the ground. A pIt of concrete footers. Then a coaster. Even after watching the project for well over two years, it feels surreal standing next to the twisted metal track of Icon and seeing the trains swish around what was previously a lake. Visible from many locations within the park, Icon makes its presence known simply by being there. It may not be tall, but in terms of land covered it’s HUGE. First impressions heading up the ramp seeing the Immelman looming up ahead are impressive, but the approach from the ride entrance side is the money shot. It’s such an impressive sight with the huge entrance structure, glorious soundtrack playing and the smart gold trains whizzing around you and other rides at the park. The queue line is fantastically landscaped with amazing vantage points to watch the ride, and whilst relatively short manages to catch various sections of the ride’s amazing soundtrack. It really is sublime standing there, hearing the launch audio, and seeing a train full of excited riders slowly exit the station before the train is hurled through swirling mist and into the tunnel. Yes, they have finished the fence now! Decorated in style, the ride features various elements of theming such as a garden with named posts of those involved in the project, a small water feature, mist effects and a nice entrance area/viewing platform. Given that Pleasure Beach is an amusement park at heart, I have to give them credit for putting so much effort into the overall experience of Icon, it has really paid off and creates a unique atmosphere around the ride. Entering the station, the soundtrack hits you like a ton of bricks and does a great job of building the hype - alongside the class decoration, lighting and mirrors, it’s one of the best atmospheres I’ve ever felt inside a coaster station. But… is it any good to ride? The excitement builds as you dispatch from the station, with the launch audio gradually getting louder before launching you towards the mist-filled tunnel with “IIIIIIIIIICON” ringing in your ears. Flying through the misty tunnel, an almost dream-like moment of obscured vision is followed by entering the top hat element completely disorientated, before cresting the hill and being treated to one of the best airtime moments I have ever known on a coaster. On the back, you crest the hill slowly before being thrown out of your seat on the way down, whilst there is some ejector as you crest on the front. Diving through the garden for the first time, you enter the inclined loop before swerving to the left, right, then diving underneath Steeplechase and Big Dipper. Whilst I didn’t feel the near-misses on-ride as much as I expected, it’s an engineering masterpiece to fit the track there and the S-turns provide some fun forces before you are taken back over Steeplechase into what I found to be one of the best elements of the ride. The heart-line roll offers a completely different sensation to the beginning of the ride, creating a stark contrast. From fast-paced ground hugging turns, you are taken into some ridiculously comfortable hang-time – the amazing Mack restraints are really used to their potential here, allowing you to hang freely (but comfortably) for a second before “catching” you and throwing you into two small and sudden moments of airtime. Leading you back through the tunnel of mist, I found the two small airtime hills followed by the second launch to be a highlight of the ride. With the station and surroundings a blur as you fly past them, you enter the Immelman. It’s quite something seeing The Big One essentially turn-over, and the element is a lot of fun at the front – at the back, it’s quite simply one of the most insane moments on any coaster. You’re taken from ascending what feels like the start of a loop to hang-time, then ridiculous “sideways-airtime” as you come down the drop, before being thrown into a steeply banked Stengel dive and then into the turn. This is one of the perfectly executed moments of Icon. Coming out of the over-bank and into the airtime hill, you are thrown yet again out of your seat before twisting onto your side into a tight helix. I found the force to be decent here, with a good view of the theming if you’re sat on the left-hand side of the train. Forcing you out of your seat yet again, you twist over to the right to take a majestic dive over the ride’s entrance area before entering yet another unique element. Wonky-airtime. Yep, Icon has it. You’re taken into an off-banked airtime hill, giving the impression that you’re going to be thrown into the totem poles (a fantastic throwback to the park’s past for those who remember, btw!) before meandering into the high-five element and slithering back into the brake run. The high-five element felt quite weak to me; it’s very clever and a true engineering feat, but it didn’t have the impact or sensation I thought it would as a ride experience… although with the Icon exit music becoming audible as the train hits the brake run, I soon forgot about that! After my initial rides on Icon I was unsure but having let the coaster properly warm up, it has become a firm favourite. To me, it’s the definition of a perfect coaster; it’s long, has a number of unique elements, isn’t inversion focused (yet still has two perfectly placed and impactful inversions in the layout) and the airtime is second-to-none. Every element serves a purpose, and the ride is taken so comfortably yet isn’t afraid to throw you around. The decoration is excellent, and the soundtrack is pure bliss; easily some of the best audio I have ever heard at a theme park, The Notable Stranger has done an excellent job. My concerns going forward are the maintenance of audio systems, and effects; the train lighting and mist has already proved unreliable, and the ride has only just been open a week. Pleasure Beach are historically not the best with keeping audio systems in check, but I hope Icon changes this trend. Thanks for reading, a few more photos below Icon is incredible, and offers something that the UK has been missing for some time. Pure quality.
  2. 5 points
    ChessingtonSam

    General Discussion

    New TVs have been put in some of the queues, Ive seen Fury and Tiger Rock so far. Also, Signage 101 with Chessington
  3. 4 points
    Zappomatic

    2018 General Discussion

    Popped in for a few hours today as I had a meeting in Heathrow that was done by 10am and I was really pleasantly surprised! At the entrance staff were doing a good job separating people with bags for security search and the new turnstiles scan passes much more quickly than the old ones. Coasters were all running two trains and Saw had plenty of cars on. Really efficient team on Swarm with no stacking going on, and Nemesis Inferno not too bad but seemed to be having a few issues with restraints. Didn't ride Colossus but this seemed to be struggling to despatch with any urgency. Two boats on Tidal Wave. Queue times were bizarre and it seemed like a lot of people in the park were going round in a huge group; at one point in the day Colossus' queue time was indicated as 50 minutes, and later on Stealth was going out with empty seats while at the same time Nemesis Inferno's queue was reaching the second cattle pen! Swarm's fire effect was going off on every other train, but sadly still no water effects. Also the new fencing in the queue line while sturdy is totally out of theme - seems they got a job lot as the same stuff is used (in different colours) at the park entrance and in a few other places around the park. Stealth's smoke effects are back but still one of the green lights is out. On Saw the indoor drop and the bit with the arrows/air blasts is in total darkness for some reason. Vortex and Samurai both closed but work visibly going on to fix both of them. Generally a really nice atmosphere on park - plenty of people around but mostly small queues and good ops and it seemed lots of people were taking the opportunity to enjoy a beer or an ice cream in the sun. On my visits to Thorpe Park this year even on quiet days it's felt like it has some life and vibrancy and that it's being run fairly creatively (events, promotions, minor refurbs etc) - so why does Alton Towers with its brand new major coaster feel like an exercise in managed decline?
  4. 3 points
    In reality though, The Walking Dead The Ride is just a re-theme with miss-lead advertisement and Living Nightmare Extreme is what, more actors with 'new rooms'. More miss-leading advertisement? And can there be any more less guests in the park than what there is now? MoS looked dead, £5 to upgrade to MoS too? sounds like they cant sell the tickets. I am for one very lost as to why they thought having a Fright Nights exclusive maze open out of Halloween time would be a good idea. And the whole Walking dead stuff really, it'll kill the buzz for Fright Nights as everyone will have had enough of walking dead. The Tv series that is now dropping off. Investing into things that everyone would enjoy and not limiting your target group would have been the better option. I know quite a few families that have decided not to visit Thorpe because they think it's all 'Walking Dead' related. Yet it does have timber tug boat!
  5. 3 points
    Mark9

    Blackpool Pleasure Beach

    Really, really, really enjoyed Icon. Like proper enjoyed it. Had eight rides on it yesterday in the gorgeous sunshine and I just wish we had new age Mack rides everywhere. They're right up my street. It's strange layout is one of its most endearing elements. Whilst Helix and Blue Fire feel quite refined in their layouts, this feels proper Blackpool with a layout that weaves in and out of Big One, Steeplechase and Big Dipper and I liked so many moments. There's three or four big air time moments and my legs feel a bit achey this morning from all the ejector air time. The front is definitely better then the back IMO, that first hill at the front of the train felt like you're being completely chucked out of the train. So good. The hang time from the second inversion or the odd banked turn, the cheetah hunt type moments under Steeplechase, the little hill into the mist that glides into the second launch which has so much air time. I may actually go back to Blackpool again this season just for Icon because I loved it that much. 😍 Was muchly impressed by their operations too. It was only on two trains but it was munching through that queue keeping it at a respectful fifteen minute wait all day. We saw one break down with a failed launch but it was back up and running after about five minutes. I hope this does wonderful things for Blackpool as its a really good ride. A really easy 10/10 from me.
  6. 3 points
    Mattgwise

    Europa Park

    They have handled this situation so well and have worked tirelessly to get as much of the offering back to normal. They really should be commended for their efforts in this awful awful situation.
  7. 3 points
    Coaster

    Blackpool Pleasure Beach

    A full review will be happening once I've ridden Icon more times, but for now I'll just summarise in brief. A very fun coaster with lots of unique elements, the changes in direction are frantic at times and there is lots of airtime to be had. I found that both halves complimented each other perfectly, with one of the highlights being diving through the mist-filled tunnel (you literally can't see ANYTHING) and into the second launch. The ride ran efficiently on two trains both mornings, and I believe they will be running all three at peak times. The atmosphere in the ride station is superb with the audio blasting out, and whilst landscaping/audio installation was still taking place (as the rides doesn't officially open until Friday, this is fine), here are some photos of the decoration around the Icon area. Pleasure Beach have done a great job at styling the ride well with a fantastic entrance feature, small water feature in the rock garden, memorial posts (to those involved in the project) dotted around the layout, and the first section of the queue-line is lovely. Loads more photos can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/TheParkUpdates/ A full review will come in the next few weeks
  8. 2 points
    Good Evening, First of all, if this comes across as odd me organising this meet this was something Marc and Ryan have asked me to do as a favour, having helped out with half the Christmas meet and helping Marc a couple of weeks ago with the Thorpe/Chessington Meet. The date of the event is set as Friday 20th July to Sunday 22nd July. Please take note if you plan to say overnight, it will be your responsibility to book your rooms and unfortunately if you're under 18 we cannot help. If you stayed the night, under no circumstances will TPM get involved and take responsibility with how you stay overnight, the overnight section will be an over 18's event. We are staying at Travelodge Blackpool South Shore (by football stadium). You will need to book the rooms yourselves. Of course feel free to stay elsewhere, but a great aspect of these meets is spending the evenings together and being able to easily meet between activities. Plan at the moment (subject to change) Friday 20th - Arrive early evening, evening meal and drinks, visit the piers/coral island and more drinks. Saturday 21st - Full day at BPB, lunch approx 1pm. Evening meal and strolls down the promenade experiencing nightlife. Sunday 20th - Merlin attractions and/or Sandcastle Waterpark I can give my number to anyone attending and we will have a facebook messenger group going too. We aim to stay together as a group, going to and from each activity, enjoying getting to know people you share similar interests to. Whilst we can't force you to stay with the group it is the general purpose of the meets. The meets are fantastic and great fun and everyone is invited, even if you have never posted before or been to any meet. If it is your first meet, I understand it can be nerve breaking, I was only a newbie not too long ago! Please don't let this stop you from attending. Once you are there you'll be a part of the group in no time. Please PM me or post here to say if you're attending or just want some more details. If you are bringing a mate please also include who they are so they are not known as "plus 1". The events with TPM have all been fantastic and this one will be no different. Attending: Mattgwise Marc Mr Fish Martin Doyle Matt Creek Stuntman07 Mer Marlehorpe
  9. 2 points
    Han30

    Fear on a Ride

    You can do it! Think positive and just go for it - trust me - Nemesis is worth facing your fear
  10. 2 points
    BaronC.

    2018 General Discussion

    This has been worked on for quite a while; good month or two. That news report came out within the last week, so just coincidence. But yes, fantastic to see, and certainly a step in the right direction (and in the 21st century).
  11. 2 points
    Indeed Saw Alive and I’m a celeb were built and intended to be run as year round attractions but are now seasonal. Feels like we keep having the same discussion, actor based attractions are not sustainable long term. How many times do they have to make the same mistake? They insist on yet another actor based attraction outside fright nights while two permanent attractions stand SBNO for most the season. Even if Living Nightmare Extreme returns, Thorpe have screwed themselves for Fright Nights because this is what guests will expect from here on out.
  12. 2 points
    planenut

    Europa Park

    This is a tragedy, for the park and for the public, especially those who happily experienced the entertainment given. As to the wrong humour or words, we can all plead guilty to that sometimes; unfortunate, but not always with any malice intended.
  13. 2 points
    BaronC.

    Alton Towers News

    Odd choice to remove Spinball from ERT, but otherwise all good news. One can only hope that this works out for them and they can bring this sort of operating schedule back for the rest of the year. Or at the very least the summer...
  14. 2 points
    Matt Creek

    Eye Of The Tiger

    Chessington. It is arguably one of the most iconic and notable tourist attractions in the United Kingdom and naturally enriched in facts and history. Opening it’s doors in 1931, Chessington Zoo was born and was once the largest private zoo in England as a result. Years passed by and Pearsons brought up the zoo. When the 1980’s arrived, the zoo was believed to be in decline and Tussauds (part of Pearsons) had the challenge of rejuvenating the attraction to a new generation. Special effects designer John Wardley was one of the key people working on this project, which would transform the failing attraction into one of first proper theme parks in the U.K. In 1987, the attraction reopened as Chessington and was believed to be successful. Built on a relatively low budget, some of the park’s attractions included the powered coaster Runaway Train, cult classic dark ride ‘The Fifth Dimension’ and tradition logflume, Dragon River. It is the latter we shall focus on here (with good reasons to follow). During it’s early years, the Dragon River was richly themed, from it’s giant Buddha, Dragon tunnel and rock work, which dominated the ride’s lifthills and surrounding area. It’s Asian architectural design and landscaping perhaps once regarded the ride as one of most richly themed attractions out there. Some say the water was even dyed once to further enhance it’s then mystic theme. Years later it would became renamed as Dragon Falls. (Above) The ride during days of past when theming was complete. N.B not my photo (Theme Uk) As the years passed, the theme park continued to grow and progress, however Dragon Falls through time became neglected and poorly looked after. In 2005, a large proportion of theming and rockwork was removed but not replaced, leaving the second lift and other surrounding areas to be exposed and naked from their former theming. By the time 2013 further theming was removed, including the rock faces on the main drop and remaining rock work on lift one. Once again, these were not replaced, likely down to being condemned and sufficient budgets not being provided. Around this time, the ride was threadbare of theming on the most part, with the once grand drop area looking like this: Compared to what it had once been, the general state of the ride was bleak, empty and something of an embarrassment. A once themed attraction striped threadbare of it’s once grand and striking appearance. The tunnel was also chopped in half, making a barely dark experience around a ‘back of house’ location. For five seasons, the ride continued to operate in this delapidated state. Apart from a safety upgrade, only the Buddha, Dragon and station received modest touchups. As nice they were, this didn’t do much to help a ride in a shadow of it’s past. Then in 2017, plans came afoot to refresh the ride and surrounding area including Dragon Falls, which would be given a retheme with new features. Joining alongside a brand new Amur tiger exhibit, the ride would form part of a refreshed area Land Of The Tigers. Though not without it’s fault, this would be the biggest overhaul on the attraction during it’s 31 years of existence. whilst zombies and flames invaded other Merlin attractions, Chessington was busy finishing off it’s Tiger area. Eight months after the closure of the original area, Land Of The Tigers opened to the public. Aside the new enclosures, Chessington’s flume was somewhat reborn with a new identity known as Tiger Rock. The new updates drop area for the ride looks tigerrific One of the biggest updates to the attraction is the brand new Tiger rockwork element, which the boats pass under during the final drop. This offers a great new element of excitement and interaction both on and off ride, looking much better than the previous eyesore in the previous years from the ride. One of the best updates (from a personal perspective) is the station. There is a lot more atmosphere in there now, from it’s new soundtrack to the new artwork and lighting displayed on the side walls. I really like how they’ve kept the oriental theming and enhanced it with things such as lanterns. There’s also a cool tiger effect that activates every couple of minutes too, which is an interesting feature. The exterior updates look nice enough too. Whilst not without it’s faults, Tiger Rock joins the theme park and zoo are one. As long as the enclosures meet sufficient requirements, this may be the best way forward for much of Chessington, by becoming immersed in rides complimented by animal experiences. The tunnel features are an original touch, but the fences aren’t the most attractive. The project has seen changes I like a lot, but others not so much. The tunnel after lift 1 epitomises this. The inside is finally back to it’s original length at long last, accompanied by some random effects/models which really complements the experience. However, the exterior looks hideous, ugly and out of place. Whilst a brightly coloured Dragon would never fit within the new theme, they could’ve done more from the hideous mess that awaits there now. Lift two still doesn’t look great especially without any theming. The added fencing on the side makes it look somewhat worse, but is to probably prevent injury from those less able to remain seated. A limited budget from Merlin likely prevented ‘non safety’ enhancement on this section in the first place, which is a shame really. The picsolve unit has been moved, and creating a new ride shop. A small one there too I should point out. Lift one looks a little nicer with the new decorations. Conclusion: Land Of The Tigers has breathed some new life into area and Flume ride, giving it a fresh identity on the whole as Tiger Rock. Whilst not without it’s flaws, the retheme can be seen as a much needed upgrade, from it’s stunning station to the impressive new theming on the main drop. It’s a shame some areas couldn’t have seen more work, such as theming on lift two and tunnel exterior, however I doubt they were offered enough budget to carry those out sadly. Whilst it’s no Chiapas (and was never supposed to be), I like most of what they’ve done which is probably now my favourite U.K. flume ride, which isn’t difficult to be fair. It may not look as good compared to it’s early years, but is much better than the ones between it. Seven Out Of Ten.
  15. 2 points
    Mattgwise

    2018 General Discussion

    So it seems following what I believe was a successful late night opening this Saturday just gone they are opening again until 10pm this Saturday as well...
  16. 2 points
    Benin

    Liseberg

    Almost........There........
  17. 2 points
    - The maze was advertised as having more rooms. - I’m not criticising being sent around alone, I don’t like the fact that there are no warnings at the entrance / before you enter that you may be sent around alone. There were disabled people with wristbands who were quite distressed from being separated from their carers and forced to go alone despite objecting. - My point was that part of the fear is being chased by walkers who would be trying to bite you in the tv show. I said that they would obviously never do this. You lose that fear of being chased when they’re just pushing you around awkwardly. - This topic is titled SPOILERS - It may be simple to get actors at this time of the year but it’s hard to feel the ambience of Halloween on a warm, light summer evening. - Fright Nights was so overrated and overcrowded last year with a terrible preview event, a handful of mazes of which one was only a decent length that had multiple e-stops both times I went. (None at Tulleys) Fortunately it was the first year I went to Tulleys which is a far superior event to fright nights. (With 8 mazes, 9 this year as well as staying open to midnight) I’m certain that unless there are significant changes, I will most definately be missing Fright Nights. Hence this is why I am criticising this free attraction in good time for October.
  18. 2 points
    Yesterday’s trip was great fun. Kudos to Matt Wise and Marc for organising this trip. Double the parks, double the fun. Too many highlights to count, but that group ride on Tidal Wave was tonnes of fun (though very wet).
  19. 2 points
    After a second go yesterday, I really think the ride keeps getting better! First just want to point out a criticism regarding safety. The lights going out in the corridor make it very dark. I assume this caused someone to run into the wall where the folding chairs are in the dark as they were lying on the floor. (They were ok) I’d put some bright black and yellow stripes or something around the corners so you can still see where you’re going. There’s been some tweaks to the exit canteen corridor. Having live actors here makes a huge difference! The horn of the truck was much louder and made you jump when it went off. The last walker sticking out the roof before the exit gives you one good last scare. I think one thing that would make the corridors better would be the sound of a group of walkers playing in the compromised sections of the entry and along the exit corridor. Overall, I genuinely like the ride, just keep making a few more improvements and get some full time actors or animatronics for the canteen.
  20. 1 point
    Matt Creek

    General Discussion

    Well, it’s better than nothing. True Proffesionalism.
  21. 1 point
    Matt Creek

    Blackpool Pleasure Beach

    Yep, because Wicker Man should’ve clearly been operating in cold snow temperatures. Some things do happen from time time to time resulting in things not going as smoothly as they could be. Mack are indeed reliable at the best of times.
  22. 1 point
    ChessingtonSam

    Merlin Name Mania!

    I mean, this was actually pretty spot on.
  23. 1 point
    Benin

    Top 10's

    Intamin could make a ride that literally melts off your genitals and it would be a top 10 coaster on TPR...
  24. 1 point
    Matt Creek

    Merlin Name Mania!

    Sick Bruv: the ride enter an interactive oversized cattlepen queue line and experience countless chavs smoking, spitting, fighting, throwing their food everywhere, punching and sitting on queue line fences. the best part is before you experience the main ride, it will break down.
  25. 1 point
    JoshuaA

    Merlin Name Mania!

    New for Fright Nights this year: The Cabin In The Back Of X- Face unused parts of Q-Line, as you navigate piss-poor theming and good actors. The Bear Witch Project- You know all those bears from CCR? Well they've been let loose. Will you get eaten alive? No Because Health And Safety.. The Big Flop- Do you like blank felt walls? Do you like no theming? Well, this the maze for you. Saw Alive- Do you hate how Merlin add "Alive" to every attraction. Well this is just as bad. Platform 100000- Adding random numbers to mazes make them scarier.. According to Merlin anyways.. Containment- Do you like paying extra? Do you like paying extra for something which is not worth it? FASTRACK BOOTHS- Wanna enjoy your visit without fainting in the three hour ques? Well come and buy your expensive fastrack here, we offer some of the best customer service. And it will only take a hour to get your fastrack!
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