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Showing content with the highest reputation since 05/02/23 in all areas

  1. Alright, here we go. My written review of Ghost Train, as it was opening day 2023. Spoiler-free review: Wow, okay. I'm going to throw it out there and say: it's incredible. Honestly, it's incredible. From the outset I was extremely dubious (as you can see from my earlier posts) that enough would have been changed inside the attraction to warrant this rebrand. To be perfectly honest, I thought it was going to just be a reskinned version of Derren Brown's Ghost Train - but that's exactly what it isn't. Ghost Train manages to fuse eeriness, a little bit of comedy to get you to let your guard down, and then slaps you with more eeriness. What it does, it does very bloody well - especially given the fact that this attraction was not designed to be what it is now. Ghost Train now has a cohesive story from start to finish (something that DBGT was always heavily lacking, and the park trying to shoehorn plothole solutions always just make the storyline even more confusing), and the set design is immense. It's a shame that I live so far away from the park these days as I definitely already want to go back to give it another few more rides before I give a final review, but after already queuing for about 2-2 and a half hours for Ghost Train today... I think I'm alright until the hype dies down a little 😂 Alright, here comes the spoilers. DO NOT READ PAST THIS SECTION IF YOU DO NOT WANT TO KNOW THE STORYLINE. I have also included my criticisms in this section as I didn't want to spoil the story: Overall, it's an incredible attraction and they've finally nailed what they were trying to do all along. Hopefully it sees some longevity, but it really is even more actor-heavy than Derren Brown ever was which is worrying. It seems we were fully staffed today, but will it have the same impact on an off-peak Tuesday? Only time will tell. As I said the other day, do not compare it with The Curse. They are two very different attractions - but as far as this attraction is concerned as it's own standalone thing... it's fantastic.
    4 points
  2. Mark9

    Ghost Train - NEW for 2023

    Awkward. At least it's true to its predecessor in barely working.
    4 points
  3. Spoiler thoughts from me: Some non-spoiler bits, found out during the Press Night: -Kieron Smith, Global Artistic Director for The Dungeons, was described as the "writer and director" of Ghost Train. What they means exactly I'm not sure, but in any case, it means that this has had significant input from someone who is in charge The Dungeons, which are very successful, and what this attraction should aim to be like. -The park acknowledge this will take some time to perfect. As with things like this, there will be a need to be responsive to guest and actor feedback, and things like timings, scripts, etc may need to be tweaked. The park will do this. -Not having the restriction of an IP means it is easier to change / update the story too. -A general consensus from everyone I spoke to who rode it was that it was perhaps the best they could have done given the constraints they had. There's a "ride system" in place, but it is minimal and restrictive, and was designed for a very specific purpose. The building was designed for that ride system. Replacing the ride system is pipe dream worthy at this stage. But what they've with it, and what they've turned Ghost Train into, is (as I've already said), on the higher end of what they could have done. They could have done more, but they've done a good job.
    3 points
  4. ML27

    Ghost Train - NEW for 2023

    I’ve ridden it, It’s good, however it’s not a ride anymore and a lot of the GP will expect a ride or the VR. None which is clear from the outside of the attraction. Great actors, story and effects and sets. It’s good for a couple of years at a push but a waste of space for such a prominent ride. They obviously didn’t design the ride for this, hence why I don’t think it can work for a long time. It’s shoe horned in, long term use the building with modifications to the size. But build ride hardware inside, minimising the physical building being wasted, but unlimited space to build a massive dark ride.
    3 points
  5. When you need to hit the word count on an essay.
    3 points
  6. Mark9

    2023 - World of Jumanji

    Wahoo, now open. Few comments from me. Park did a little opening ceremony, which was nice. Even though Jumanji is open for hotel guests (9am-10am), it was still good for something to recognise the significance of the new area. Short speech done, area opened. So to ride Mandrill Mayhem you need to join a virtual queue. This does create a massive bottle neck right off the bat but 20 minutes later there's no one waiting outside to get their QR codes scanned. Its launch day was quiet in the park with only the Jumanji rides having any significant wait times (for reference, Vampire was less than 10 minutes all day). This ran out around 3:30pm so just as a warning, on a busy day it could run out a lot earlier. The most we waited for Mandrill was 30 minutes and the team working it were doing the best with the limited capacity. They made a point of filling every seat, deliberately holding back single riders to pair them up with groups of three or other single riders. This being an intense, geek heavy day there was a lot of single riders so I wonder if this will continue on a more traditional park day. The station is fine, the thing I like is that unlike the Swarm where you just wait on either side of the station (and one is significantly longer then the other), here you are pre batched and let pretty much straight onto the ride. But this does create a bigger problem where the train is still for several moments as you can't get onto the platform until a staff member opens a gate. There were points that the staff were only one on each side, its a lot of work for one person. Again, low capacity ride being made lower. Trains felt exactly like the other Wing-riders, it begs the question, could The Swarm be a 1.2 metre ride or is there something I'm missing? The ride itself is surprisingly good. I had reservations about this being a proper lower tier B&M but actually its a pretty varied ride experience. The spike for example as you launch out the station is full of hang time particularly in the back part of the ride. The launches feel really nice, sitting between Mack and Intamin. The turns are full of whip. I love the turn coming out of the station heading in(or out) or the zero g roll. It's so snappy. The Zero G roll is really good. It's taken at the perfect pace and is in the perfect location over the entrance to the area. The helix around the monument is surprisingly forceful on the right hand side of the train. The backwards return journey is lovely too. We had 6 rides overall and it was pretty unanimous in that this is a perfect fit for Chessington and a good step up ride for those that want a bit more then Dragons Fury but aren't quite ready for Thorpe. I think one of its main positives is a weird one in that the earlier B&M Wing-riders were very graceful rides, The Swarm for example has a natural flow and each element works in conjunction with the next. It always feels in control. The newer ones such as Fenix at Toverland and Mandrill have jerkier elements and feel less refined weirdly. And I kinda like that. So yes, a nice surprise. It has all the strengths that you'd expect from a B&M in that it's reliable and efficient and is a strong Premier ride for the park. It perfectly fits in next to Vampire, Kobra and Dragons Fury and I'm very happy and hope it brings the park the success to take it through the next decade. Ostrich Stampede isn't great to be honest. Takes way too long to load and only one has twenty seconds of really good jumping energy. The rest is a bit meh with you just spinning around. Mamba Strike was much better and weirdly jerky and seemed to be the busier of the two rides. Both of these rides were doing the job well of support flat rides and makes the area feel more complete and rounded. So to conclude it was a successful launch for a park that really needed the investment. With Croc Drop two years ago, Blue Barnacle, Trawler Trouble and Barrel Bail Out last year and now Jumanji, the ride offering has seen significant and much needed changes and I hope to see this continue. I love Chessington and I do bring out the rose tinted glasses out for it. it has so much potential that has been locked away for what feels like two decades. This needs to be the start of something because Chessington can be a great park again.
    3 points
  7. JoshC.

    Colossus

    Sod it, why not?
    3 points
  8. Whatever theme/style they're going for, it's obviously going to be very light. There's no major theming pieces in the plans. The station building is very simple. That's not to say there'll be no theming, but it's simply going to be minimal. That's fine with a coaster like this too imo. I don't think an Egyptian theme does it for me. Something like that could work well at Thorpe, but not for this. This ride is ALL about the height, tacking on some Egyptian hieroglyphics and whatever doesn't hit the spot for me. Some sort of soaring bird over nature would be much better. Simple, easy to understand, makes sense. Just ticks all the boxes.
    3 points
  9. Hats off to the construction team. Pulling this right back on track. Piling for foundations has commenced… https://themeparkguide.co.uk/news-page/Project-Exodus-Foundations-Begin
    3 points
  10. James

    Thorpe Park 2023

    Hello! A visit this week was the first time I've been to Thorpe for four years which is my longest gap between visits since I started going in 2005 (I lean more towards Alton now) so a few thoughts from me. Some good and bad. Arrival: The absolute state of the security queueing arrangements on the forecourt. Being herded into a cattle pen before you've made it it through the gates is such an unwelcoming to the park. I get why it's needed (sadly) but my god. Park Music: I'm no sound engineer so I don't know how "good" the new set up is from a quality point of view but I thought the new speakers around the park were a welcome additional. I haven't heard WWTP sound so good in the Stealth queue for years. Inferno's queue line sounded decent too. I know a lot of people prefer it but I was so happy to hear the original soundtracks (even stretching back to the 2002 voiceovers on Vortex) instead of the IMA soundtracks. I just wish they'd get Inferno's proper dispatch music back. Park Presentation: The basement in the Dome is quite the glow up from my last visit! Looked really nice, just hope they can keep it that way. The rest of the park seemed in fairly good nick but I really wish they'd put Zodiac out of its misery. If it's staying long term (which I hope it is) please paint it and theme it to how the previous model was! It looks dreadful now. I wish they'd do some proper landscaping on Flying Fish too. Rides: My biggest gripe through is Angry Birds Land. When does the sponsorship end? I can't wait to (hopefully) see Detonator returned to its former self and the clash of themes around the pathway between Tidal Wave and Stealth. Rumba Rapids is such a dull rapids ride, you come off it bone dry and there's no just excitement to it. No theming elements, decoration or even music. I'd like to see revamped with either a volcanic or jungle theme. Just another ride that seems to be sitting in the corner of the park waiting to die. I enjoyed Vortex a lot more than I have previously, I don't know if it's had a proper mechanical overhaul since 2019 or I've just forgotten how it ride but it seemed a lot faster than previously. Probably enough rambling from me. Looking forward to going again and not leaving it as long!
    3 points
  11. Just finished off on Ghost Train. I'm going to be honest, it was slightly underwhelming. I spent the whole ride waiting for something big to happen, and nothing did, it just kinda felt a bit strung out towards the end. If it was a scene in the London Dungeons and other similar attractions, I’d say it would fit very well but as a ride by itself I believe it doesn’t offer enough. If someone wants to spoiler tag this feel free, I’m not sure how much info counts as a spoiler.
    2 points
  12. I just went on it. I have no idea how anyone has given this a good review. It was so bad. I'll do a proper spoiler review later, but in short it felt like a lot of overacting whilst basically nothing happened. The new theming was bare at best. Terrible. I would love to know what people who enjoyed it saw in this attraction, but I am legitimately baffled as to how it could be considered by anyone to be anything above 'dire'.
    2 points
  13. Very very brief thoughts from me as I am exhausted It's good fun. It's an actor led, story driven, Dungeons-esque experience. It's an improvement on DBGT and more rideable, but it doesn't have strong rerideability. It's on the higher end of what they could have done with the ride system in place. I have concerns about how it will run with full groups of paying guests. But that will be seen in time. Theming is good for the most part. Story is clear and straightforward. There's some cool, simple effects. It's up there as one of the better incarnations of the ride (probably joint with the 2017 version when all effects worked for me). It's not perfect, but it's a good, well rounded addition to the park's line up. Fuller review with spoilers to follow.
    2 points
  14. There’s no way I'm going to avoid seeing spoilers until Tuesday… I really want to do the attraction without anything being spoiled as I did DBGT after having watched like 3 youtube vids about it and it ruined the experience.
    2 points
  15. Keep an eye on TPM's social media channels this evening from 6pm...they might be some (non-spoiler) thoughts from yours truly from the preview event!
    2 points
  16. My prediction is that it'll be deemed "BEST DARK RIDE IN THE WORLD" for a few weeks; then some key effects will break, not be repaired and will slowly get mothballed until it closes forever.
    2 points
  17. Please don’t let anyone from Thorpe or merlin see that 😂😂
    2 points
  18. The Voice: The Ride confirmed
    2 points
  19. JoshC.

    Thorpe Park 2023

    Tbf Thorpe could be a lot better if they nicked more of Walibi Holland's ideas, so I'm not against the notion.
    2 points
  20. Thorpe have uploaded this to their pass-holder group! Very minor, but they’ve used B&E across the Merlin estate for Jumanji, Croc drop ect. Now they have arrived, it’s a sign from the move away from the ground preparation phase to the ride building phase! Exciting!
    2 points
  21. They have also uploaded plans for the station. I am happy we are at least getting a stylised ride. It will probably be similar to nemesis inferno. There’s no surrounding theming other than the station which is a volcano, no preshow or anything. But I think we all get the gist of the theme. It’s not as stylised as icon, it’s more themed compared to that. It’s definitely an Egyptian theme, I’m so glad about because as everyone says, we have so many dark themes at thorpe and it’s different to a black track! It’s got much more interesting now
    2 points
  22. ML27

    Ghost Train - NEW for 2023

    That’s the new logo for sure, it’s been used on merch. Unfortunately, the logo would work much more with DBGT due to its Modern vibe and the VR. If you’re trying to distance yourselves away from any VR type ride. It’s not helping. Again, it’s clear where the creative direction from the logo has came from. I don’t know what this ride is trying to be, is it a take on the old style ghost train or is it meant to be a scare experience all year round? I suppose it does feature a train and ghosts so the name is correct, but can’t help but think it may mislead a few into thinking it’s a ride type everyone knows
    2 points
  23. Hello all, long time lurker first time poster here. I’m Peter, 25 years old and from Bournemouth. In addition to riding coasters, I also enjoy learning about the history and development of UK theme parks. I first visited Thorpe Park on a school trip in June 2013, although I couldn’t ride any of the coasters due to the fact I had undergone major surgery on my back a few months earlier. I returned a year later when I finally had the all clear from my doctor and was able to experience an inverting roller coaster for the first time, Nemesis Inferno. Such an amazing ride and still my favourite coaster of all time. To this date, I have completed all the coasters at Thorpe, Paultons and almost all at Chessington (I am yet to experience Dragon’s Fury), as well as a few at smaller theme parks. The next destination on my bucket list is Alton Towers, which I’m surprised I still haven’t got round to yet as my mates always suggest it. I’m not sure however whether it’s better to go this year or leave it until next year when Nemesis reopens. Since it would be a shame to go without riding this iconic coaster, next year seems logical. Conversely, at the rate Towers is closing rides, something else might go before then hence visiting ASAP might makes more sense (and I could always go next year as well!)
    2 points
  24. Fair play to jack, that’s a great piece of work. I actually think it’s great that Thorpe are working with jack by the way. Having an enthusiast working closely with the park will hopefully be helping in terms of giving them some valuable feedback, and makes me wonder if it’s any coincidence that ghost train has had this revamp at all. Let’s hope he fills their heads with plenty of good ideas going forwards
    2 points
  25. I just had a feeling it would’ve been. Props to him though, it is VERY good! Makes you wonder how much creative input he’s had in this entire attraction… 🤔 because he must’ve sat in MMM meetings etc to gauge what to use for creative advertising, so wonder if he’s had any creative input
    2 points
  26. This Smiler takeover at Towers looks fantastic... Particular points to note are the Argos karaoke machine, aeroplane seats (out of shot) with barbed wire on them (completely fits in), bits of old CBeebies tat (Fido dog house). When does it stop becoming an "easter egg" or "a NoD tO sOMEthIng" and not just never buying anything new and just repurposing/throwing in anything they find in the props cupboard? I say right now, personally. And I'm a Smiler fan.... but that stage in front of the Wickerboi just gives me the ick. Shane Sandwich is gonna be rippin' this a new one tonight.
    2 points
  27. Mark9

    Vampire

    Yeah she is getting on a bit now, almost 35 years old. I would love for it to get a bit of love now that Mandrill is open.
    1 point
  28. I think headphones would just make the ride feel more restrictive. They are trying to go for a realistic feeling train (I think) and having to put on headphones to hear the announcements that would come through speakers in a train would just kinda break the illusion in my opinion. Also like you said they would open up lots more technical difficulties and slow down operations due to people having problems with finding and putting on headphones.
    1 point
  29. It will be far less intense than Ride to Happiness.
    1 point
  30. There were no specific VIPs, I'm not calling out anyone. Basically I heard quite a few people on Thursday and Friday giving rave reviews, and then actually experiencing it was very different! My spoiler review is below: In short, I really just don't think a lot happens. The scenery is poor to non-existant and the acting is very repetitive and doesn't build up to anything. It just felt like nothing of any substance actually happened.
    1 point
  31. Unless the experience that I had on Friday was worlds apart from what everybody else has been experiencing since (which I can't see being a thing), I genuinely don't understand the level of hate that the attraction seems to be garnering? Obviously it was never going to be a Ghost Train on the same level of The Curse (hell, not even Ghost Train at BPB!) - we all went into this knowing that the ride system must remain in place because of the way the building was constructed. We all went into this knowing that the virtual reality had been removed. It seems that those that are leaving such negative reviews are forgetting all of these points? The current transit system in place for Ghost Train is built into the building, and is bloody massive. There is no way that they could've removed the old transit system and implemented something else without massive construction - be it taking the roof off and removing everything with a crane, or cutting all of the ride hardware up into small pieces and taking them out that way... both of which would have been time consuming and would have been witnessed first hand. One thing that I can imagine being a pretty large variable is the acting. As the attration is massively actor led, the quality of acting needs to remain consistent throughout - which I can imagine being pretty bloody tiresome when you consider just how emotional the actors need to be for the story to be believable. I'd probably say if you want the best experience, it's best to go on Ghost Train pretty much as soon as it opens. I've said it since Friday and I'll echo my point again, this attraction is absolutely the best that its ever been. Now that's definitely not singing its praises by any means when you consider the dire state that the attraction used to be in before the refurbishment, but they have definitely made the best out of a bad situation. When all of the effects work, this attraction has the potential to be fantastic. Sure, not much reridability, but that's the same with any theatrical performance - once you know the storyline, it won't be anywhere near as impactful. However, if you have good quality actors inside the attraction, that is what will make it reridable. I know for a fact that the actors on my runthrough were absolutely incredible - I had two gentlemen and one of them (I think he had long-ish blonde hair) was brilliant, he managed to be eerie and believable at all times. The risk you take with these attractions most of the time is the cringy GCSE drama level acting, but that's certainly not what I experienced on Friday.
    1 point
  32. It could definitely allow them to advertise it as a FN attraction. Especially as they lost creak freak. I know there are some very minor story based things on the outside on posters and timetables. However, the outside isn’t really themed to the specific story. Could change the stop in the middle once in a while and therefore the story
    1 point
  33. Things are going well then? Can’t say I’m surprised.
    1 point
  34. I’ll be riding it today, hopefully at least a couple of times. I’ve always seen DBGT through rose-tinted glasses (regardless of how bad it rode the majority of the time), so this attraction is already off to a bad start in my head. I’ll have a spoiler-free and spoiler-full review at some point today or tomorrow posted here - I promise not to sugar coat anything and my review will be nothing short of totally honest. That being said, as a big fan of Dungeons attractions (yes, even the Towers dungeons!), I am super excited to give it a whirl.
    1 point
  35. It’s so hard to judge, I want to believe that. However that’s the line from most attraction openings. I trust TPG, however it’s easy to get caught up in the hype.
    1 point
  36. My predictions are: - Heavily similar to dungeons, I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s the same team. - Layout the same, lack of a screen based preshow in favour of actors. Floating carriage gone and just the same shell throughout. - I still don’t know how they are going to do that room with the massive space underneath - Onboard there won’t be any smoke due to extraction of the smoke, it will become hotboxed quite quickly. So effects fairly limited, lighting sequence, 3D sound effects, maybe leg ticklers…. - I would have hoped for screens as windows however we are going to get some blacklight and some UV paint. - Basically the train will be like The Curse At Alton Manor Preshow. - The experience will be less rushed, so the tube station scene may have some graffiti but there are going for more an erie experience. - Scare maze portion could be massive, you’d think related to the grave yard. - I have no idea why you would get back on the train again but as we know you do. - Train scene has similar effects as to what I mentioned above. - Fake shop will still act as a big finale with a scare of sorts. Definitely a one time experience ride, no matter how good it is. I think people will come off saying yeah it’s good but I’ve done it now. Improvement over DBGT, but with what the setup is, you can only improve so much. As if the VR had worked 100% time, I believe DBGT would have been received the same. The detail outside makes me hopeful for this ride, it being fully dependent on actors doesn’t and I don’t think it’s going to become a key part of my day at the park.
    1 point
  37. A Mack mega with spinning seats? Never been done before. Especially in the UK. Oh.
    1 point
  38. Glitch

    Thorpe Park 2023

    Did you get RAP discount?
    1 point
  39. ML27

    Colossus

    Saw this on Twitter thank god…
    1 point
  40. The latin on the sign translates to "Death Is Not The End". Spooky! Shout out to Ministry of Joy easter egg with Join Us reference 😁😵 Also, I LOVE this: Credit to Theme Park Guide obvs.
    1 point
  41. How about an Angry Bird?
    1 point
  42. MattyMoo

    2023 Trip Plans

    Just to confirm I have SECURED my tickets to The ISLAND LIKE NO OTHER via a pack of Kellogs Crunchy Nut Cornflakes, and I am all BOOKED IN for 18th May along with my CAR PARKING TICKET.
    1 point
  43. Fair enough that’s a valid assumption. I’ve only been an enthusiast for about 2/3 years so I’ve never witnessed thorpe build attractions and see what easter eggs and clues they put. Definitely excited to witness the construction of exodus though!
    1 point
  44. I'm not convinced it's Egyptian just yet, I still think it could be a mountain theme. The building is timber clad. The bird and the gold could be for a golden eagle - circling a mountain etc. It would suit the lake and forest setting well. Definitely lots to speculate on though!
    1 point
  45. If you include ride breakdowns, do they just freeze in motion 😂
    1 point
  46. All a bit of a shame really, I personally don’t want a ride with a short life span. This all has the signs of being.
    1 point
  47. Odds on their being a Jack Silkstone video on exactly this in the next few days?
    1 point
  48. Fingers crossed for it being open for my visit obvs. We're going first day of Mardi Gras (Thurs 18th) - park is closed the day before so maybe that would be an ideal time to have a press event for SLKSTN & Co. ....or, the press event will be the day we are there, like with Black Mirror, and we miss the eXPerIENcE by 1 day 😏 ALSO - spotted that Mardi Gras is not showing on the website for 20th & 21st May but I assume that's a mistake, as elsewhere on the website it says "Mardi Gras is back at THORPE PARK Resort! Taking over the theme park every day from 18th May – 11th June – and it’s included with every park ticket." - as suggested by @JoshC. - that could POTENTIALLY be a GST TRN launch weekend now, but that would be quite odd to set Mardi Gras up for 2 days, for it to then sit there unused for 2 days straight away. But... Merlin.... so.....
    1 point
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