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Showing content with the highest reputation since 09/16/18 in all areas

  1. 8 points

    Park Operations

    After visiting the park last Saturday on the 29th September leading up to Fright Nights, I feel now is a good time to voice some big concerns I have with the way several rides are being operated not just across Thorpe, but other Merlin parks such as Alton and Chessington. This problem has been getting worse and worse as 2018 has progressed and up until the start of 2017, this was never an issue before until now. But last Saturday demonstrated this system has now gone too far, and this is regarding the use of priority or disabled passes by guests. Now, I understand this may be a discussion which can be quite sensitive to some readers and I am not criticising or demeaning those who use these passes that have a genuine disability, but I am going to pick at the way the parks manage this system because it has reached boiling point after my experience last weekend and here's why with some examples I've experienced this year and indeed last weekend. Used spoiler tags for each example to keep this post shorter: (Saturday 29th September - Colossus) (August Bank Holiday - Th13teen) (Every visit in 2018 - Derren Brown's Ghost Train) (September 2018 - Vampire) (Opening day 2018 - Wicker Man) Before 2017, this system never really posed any problems or frustrations in the past at any of the Merlin parks, but every time I visit any of the parks now, the number of people I am seeing using these ride access passes has increased dramatically, so much so that in most cases, they are in fact longer than the Fastrack queues and this poses a huge problem. All the main queues for every ride across every park are moving so slowly now that it makes Spinball Whizzer's queue look like nothing these days. What should be short & quick queues on quiet days are now doubling in length for the most part across the majority of rides at Thorpe, and I have noticed this on every visit I have made this year. Staff on most attractions are allocating far more seats to those with a priority/disabled pass to the point where as highlighted with Colossus above, they are now filling entire trains of these people in order to keep the length of them down. With Fright Nights soon approaching where queues will hit their maximum lengths, I am deeply worried many attractions are going to have some horrendous queueing experiences for guests not only in the main queue, but also the disabled and Fastrack ones where they will need to also wait longer because of the quantity of people that are now using these passes. I'm unsure what solution I can suggest to prevent this getting further out of control, but this needs to be brought to attention because the situation is getting worse and worse every visit I make and nobody else is talking about this ever-growing problem shockingly. I need to be careful with how I word this, but something needs to change with the allocation of these passes because right now, I am seeing the disabled entrance as nothing more than just another Fastrack queue given many people through my eyes don't look like they have a disability. And for those with a genuine disability such as being in a wheelchair, I find this incredibly unfair for them, just like the father at the example with Th13teen I mentioned above. I can only ever dream of a queue system similar to the likes of Phantasialand and Europa Park, but understand this will never happen sadly. As it stands, not one of the three queues at Merlin parks is a win for guests, so something needs to change to keep this from degrading and getting worse.
  2. 8 points
    I just laughed for about 12 minutes
  3. 7 points
    I think you probably answered your own question there!
  4. 5 points
    Rather than repeating all the problems I and others have with this attraction, I'll just leave here one extremely major flaw I had with this yesterday on the preview event for Fright Nights (29th September 2018). The fake shop at the end of the attraction wasn't working and so the entire group walked through it without the demon jumping out in front of guests because......... *drum roll*
  5. 5 points
    A scare zone doesn’t specify that it requires theming, it’s an area where you can get scared. And this falls under it. I think you need to stop defending the audio. Someone didn’t like it, it’s personal preference just like you not liking imascore. if it wasn’t finished, it shouldn’t have been published, pretty simple. People would assume it was a finished product. Would you expect to see 3/4 of a movie at a preview screening? You bashed imascore stuff when it first came out at the park and you bashed that, despite it not being finished.
  6. 5 points

    Park Music

    Anyone who's anyone knows that Mr. Nick's natural odour is a beautiful heady mix of rosemary, thyme, mint and a slight hint of cardamom. 😍
  7. 5 points

    Park Music

    Ahh the audio at FN was so much better in the mid 2000s, virtually every ride a different track! Midnight syndicate rules for Halloween! Detonators Humpty dumpty, Charlie and the chocolate factory on Rumba and Asylum/freezer are among some of my favourites from over the years!
  8. 4 points

    Fright Nights 2018 - General Discussion

    Do bears 💩💩💩 in the woods?
  9. 4 points
    Does anyone know if our beloved leader, Shawn Sanbrooke will be at FN's Press Night? Asking for a friend 😍
  10. 4 points
    TPM meets are lots of fun and this one should be no exception. You get to meet people of different ages and opinions, but everyone has one main thing in common, they enjoy theme park type attractions. Its not just sbout getting on tonnes of rides but the social side too. From laugh out loud memories to plenty of banter and shenanigans. Still thinking if I should dress up for this meet up. If yes, what as? Being myself is perhaps scary enough for some people!
  11. 4 points
    The MAP group aren't happy bunnies with regards to the Annual Pass Preview not being exclusive. I can see it being a recipe for disaster only allowing people with MAPs into the mazes with non MAP holders kicking off etc... Or is that just me? Also please tell me it's not just me that's on the MAP group just to check out the sheer ridiculousness levels of entitlement on there.... But then the same could be said for #enthusiasts sometimes I suppose 😀
  12. 4 points


    They also mention in the photo descriptions that a "chair" and "seat" is what's fallen off when that isn't the case - but hey - who needs facts...
  13. 3 points
    In a frankly unheard of twist of events, I'm going to Thorpe on 4th, 11th and the 13th so will be interesting to see the difference in mazes, queue management etc. over those days... the initial reports are a little concerning but will reserve judgement until I experience it myself. (Tulleys on 6th.... shhhh)
  14. 3 points
    Contrary to the over-exaggerated praise I am seeing from many blogs/YouTubers about last night's preview everywhere online at present, if everything from yesterday remains in place and things are not improved upon considerably by the time the event arrives in just a week's time, 2018 is shaping up to be potentially the worst Fright Nights in the park's history through my eyes and here's why. Almost every year I have attended Fright Nights since 2007, I have always enjoyed visiting this event to try some of the exclusive attractions the park offered and most times, these mazes were thoroughly enjoyable as they felt very polished and delivered on what makes a good scare attraction, especially for the likes of Asylum, Big Top and Experiment 10. Back then, the park used to pride itself with the event. However, the mazes last night had none of these qualities at all. Blair Witch being a perfect example. It was horrendously and laughably bad and I kept on thinking "why is this back?" the whole time going through it. As for the audio, my question is "what audio"? If you take away Inferno and Canada Creek, along with the bizarre speech coming from Vulcan Peak's empty queue line, not a single other ride or area had music or ambience which matched the event. Everything was playing it's regular version, so you would scarcely think this was a Fright Nights evening if you were on-site. I understand there are more audio changes on the way but come on now, adding at least something to every area whether it's IMAscore's 30-minute Fright Nights loop, or a bit of Midnight Syndicate would've been an improvement. Not impressed with the audio and frankly haven't been with this event since 2011 in all honesty. Park-wide theming was non-existent other than across the entrance bridge, so clearly this is still not a priority for the park when it comes to Halloween. I still miss the days of 2007 - 2009 when this used to matter to them... As for operations, this was the most concerning area. Even on a preview night they were terrible in terms of queue management regarding Fastrack/disabled guests and I dread to think how much worse they will be when the event is in full swing next week when even more people are attending. I'll post these problems experienced in the "Park Operations" topic with examples. The overall vibe I was getting from last night was the park only cares about having the largest number of scare attractions possible now, not about the quality of the mazes and the event itself anymore. Not a single maze impressed me, the audio was a right mess and very inconsistent, the queue management was awful and there was simply no trace of anything resembling Halloween at this park at all, thus having no atmosphere anywhere. There is no "go-to" maze anymore and I doubt Vulcan Peak or Do or Die will change that when they finally open. It truly saddens me that the park is now going down the route where "more equals better" because last night has proven this not to be the case at all. People everywhere are falling over themselves because of the quantity and as a result, the mazes we are likely going to see this year are going to be both short and poor in quality for many guests, especially in comparison to previous years with excellent attractions such as Big Top, Asylum, Experiment 10 etc. For example, Blair Witch didn't need to come back and I would happily have sacrificed this entire attraction and picked a longer version of Dead Creek Woods over this if it meant delivering a better maze. Vulcan Peak feels extremely lazy as it's just gonna use I'm a Celeb's building and route for the most part, just with some changes inside with the props and theming. Do or Die looks to be extremely short and is just Sanctum under a different name, and as for the misleading advertising for the park to class Terror at Amity High an attraction when it's just actors...... no comment needed. Maybe this is an outdated opinion, but I would much rather see fewer attractions of higher quality than more attractions of less quality as we are now seeing. My worry is when the event arrives next week, people are not going to care about the fact the event might have some very poor mazes and will instead focus on the fact there are (supposedly) 12 attractions altogether, which is more than other competitors like Tulleys Farm for example. I guarantee those with a position of influence like bloggers and YouTubers are gonna keep mentioning this in all their reviews and forget everything else at the event (such as the mazes, atmosphere, audio etc), which is going to be sub-standard. As others have said, it was just a preview night, so things might improve and I really hope they do so everyone can enjoy it. But I'm concerned with the way things currently look, this year's quality control will be at an all-time low for them.
  15. 3 points
    You have just described a scare zone. They weren’t expecting to have one untill pass holders pointed out they actually listed a date back in March for a preview. So had no choice 1. Why not? 2. Don’t be blunt with those who don’t have access to hear or know what the tracks are being created before they are actually played in the park. It was a preview, surely all the tracks should have been “installed” or rather changed over (it’s pretty easy) for this event. No ifs no buts. All that was open should have had completed audio playing.
  16. 3 points

    Fright Nights 2018 - General Discussion

    Just come off walking dead the ride and wow! I think I counted 8 actors just in the exit corridor. It must be in prep for FN as both the pre show and corridor leading up to the station were different too, but I won’t ruin it for y’all.
  17. 3 points

    Next Roller Coaster

    I still feel like they should have called Lumber Jump Loggers Leap. Perfect fit for the ride. Would have been even better if they made a big deal about it and said 'Loggers Leap now open' on social media, with a photo of the logo proudly placed on top of the ride, but not showing said ride.
  18. 3 points

    Park Music

    You will never know the frustration and the ridiculousness of the true story of audio at Thorpe Park. The whole sorry mess, from a long forgotten relationship with a once industry leader in site wide audio systems; to the only governance over what music actually plays across the park being down to whoever shouts the loudest at any given time is just the tip of the iceberg. Fundementally, all there really is to say is that Merlin are not and will never be a production company and as a result have very little industry competency when it comes to professional audio, video and lighting; theatrical technical systems which make such a stark contrast between them and theme park industry leaders, or audio/music that augments and is designed for the experience rather than a complete and underbudgeted after thought. You’ve all enjoyed music in the past that Thorpe Park / Merlin never really had the legal right to play to a mass audience in a commercial environment. You’ve all heard tracks that you can’t find anywhere other than Mania’s old audio libraries or YouTube because they were created in someone’s bedroom. Colossus and Nemesis Inferno? If only you knew. Be grateful for what you have. One day, creative audio will once again be a priority at Thorpe Park and seen as a contributing factor to excellence in guest experience. Until then, literally it is luck of the draw on any given visit. Let’s hope Nick has specified the sample rate of his compositions so that they play at the correct pitch across the island.
  19. 3 points
    Everything feels like it's been done to boast "look how many attractions we have this year" whilst quality isn't so much a priority. I hope I'm wrong.
  20. 3 points

    Fright Nights 2018 - General Discussion

    I think they’ve been spot on this year with how they’ve run the late night events. Didn’t hear AP holders complain when they allowed all guests to stay and ride rides till 10 during the MOS nights - this is the same but in reverse I guess!
  21. 3 points
    Me again! Hi Looks like you will be going the containers this year! Last week I joked about the Tunnel 15 sign, over the past few days that sign has been removed along with the addition of some new theming inside the container. The I'm A Celeb sign has been removed ready for Bag Maze Vulcan Peak. Blair Witch also now exits via the Nemesis Inferno path. For those that love blue pallet photos... get over it more photos at the normal place. See you at the preview next week! https://themeparkguide.biz/news/1525/Fright-Nights-2018-Construction-Summary
  22. 3 points
    They struggle to run 6 scare attractions, so 11 will be interesting. And it does come across as "throw as much crap in as we can" attitude. which is all good, but exactly how many actors will be in these attractions? 6? not going to be that scary...
  23. 3 points
    Don’t like the sound of Dead Wood Creek, someone is clearly trying to bump me off!
  24. 3 points
    They really are stretching the definition of a "maze" this year, it's beyond a joke. Just bring Asylum back tbh
  25. 3 points
    Cedar Creek

    2018 General Discussion

    I’d take a guess, but I’ll wait for things to blow over!