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  1. Hi guys. During the coaster consultations in 2021, Merlin released an attendance graph showing all their parks' attendance figures since the early 1980s. I had some time on my hands yesterday evening and decided to try and extrapolate some slightly more precise guest figures for each park from this graph to try and determine the precise(ish) attendance trajectory of each UK Merlin park from the earliest year listed here (1984 for Alton Towers and Chessington, 1983 for Thorpe Park, 1987 for Windsor Safari Park and 1997 for Legoland Windsor). For some idea, this is the original graph I was working with: https://www.cwoa-consultation.com/proposals?lightbox=dataItem-komw1163 To make things easier for myself, I divided each million on the graph into 8 rows (thus leaving ~125,000 guests per row, as my rather crude MS Paint annotation indicates): As such, I then decided to extrapolate a precise(ish) figure from the graph by looking at what row each park's figure fell within. All of these figures are rounded to the nearest 31,250; I know that sounds oddly specific, but it's 1/32 of a million, and a quarter of one of these rows, so it's the most precise figure that remains easy to determine by eye. It also keeps the margin of error to only 1 or 2 percent in most cases. The precise(ish) trajectories that I managed to extrapolate for each park, including percentage increases and decreases for each year, were as follows: Alton Towers - opened 1980, first year on graph 1984 1984: 1,843,750 (first year, #1/3 on graph) 1985: 1,812,500 (-1.7%, #1/3 on graph) 1986: 2,250,000 (+24.1%, #1/3 on graph) 1987: 2,312,500 (+2.8%, #1/4 on graph) 1988: 2,875,000 (+24.3%, #1/4 on graph) 1989: 2,412,500 (-16.1%, #1/4 on graph) 1990: 1,912,500 (-20.7%, #1/4 on graph) 1991: 1,843,750 (-3.6%, #1/4 on graph) 1992: 2,625,000 (+42.4%, #1/4 on graph) 1993: 2,843,750 (+8.3%, #1/4 on graph) 1994: 3,312,500 (+16.5%, #1/3 on graph) 1995: 2,843,750 (-14.2%, #1/3 on graph) 1996: 2,875,000 (+1.1%, #1/3 on graph) 1997: 2,875,000 (0.0%, #1/4 on graph) 1998: 2,906,250 (+1.1%, #1/4 on graph) 1999: 2,593,750 (-10.8%, #1/4 on graph) 2000: 2,412,500 (-7.0%, #1/4 on graph) 2001: 2,187,500 (-9.3%, #1/4 on graph) 2002: 2,687,500 (+22.9%, #1/4 on graph) 2003: 2,562,500 (-4.7%, #1/4 on graph) 2004: 2,125,000 (-17.1%, #1/4 on graph) 2005: 2,187,500 (+2.9%, #1/4 on graph) 2006: 2,218,750 (+1.4%, #1/4 on graph) 2007: 2,250,000 (+1.4%, #1/4 on graph) 2008: 2,593,750 (+15.3%, #1/4 on graph) 2009: 2,687,500 (+3.6%, #1/4 on graph) 2010: 3,062,500 (+14.0%, #1/4 on graph) 2011: 2,687,500 (-12.2%, #1/4 on graph) 2012: 2,406,250 (-10.5%, #1/4 on graph) 2013: 2,593,750 (+7.8%, #1/4 on graph) 2014: 2,312,500 (-10.8%, joint #2/4 on graph) 2015: 1,937,500 (-16.2%, #2/4 on graph) 2016: 1,750,000 (-9.7%, #2/4 on graph) 2017: 1,875,000 (+7.1%, #2/4 on graph) 2018: 2,218,750 (+18.3%, #1/4 on graph) 2019: 2,500,000 (+12.7%, #1/4 on graph) 2020: 912,500 (-63.5%, #1/4 on graph) All-Time Peak: 3,312,500 (1994) All-Time Low (excluding 2020): 1,750,000 (2016) Peak Within Merlin Era (2008 and later): 3,062,500 (2010) Low Within Merlin Era (2008 and later, excluding 2020): 1,750,000 (2016) Chessington/Chessington Zoo - opened 1931, first year on graph 1984, first year as CWOA 1987 1984: 625,000 (first year, #3/3 on graph) 1985: 562,500 (-10.0%, #3/3 on graph) 1986: 500,000 (-11.1%, #3/3 on graph) 1987: 875,000 (+75.0%, #3/4 on graph) 1988: 1,187,500 (+35.7%, joint #3/4 on graph) 1989: 1,250,000 (+5.3%, #3/4 on graph) 1990: 1,062,500 (-15.0%, joint #3/4 on graph) 1991: 1,437,500 (+35.3%, #2/4 on graph) 1992: 1,218,750 (-15.2%, #2/4 on graph) 1993: 1,531,250 (+25.6%, #2/4 on graph) 1994: 1,687,500 (+10.2%, #2/3 on graph) 1995: 1,875,000 (+11.1%, #2/3 on graph) 1996: 1,812,500 (-3.3%, #2/3 on graph) 1997: 1,843,750 (+1.7%, #2/4 on graph) 1998: 1,843,750 (0.0%, #2/4 on graph) 1999: 1,656,250 (-10.2%, #2/4 on graph) 2000: 1,562,500 (-5.7%, #3/4 on graph) 2001: 1,531,250 (-2.0%, joint #3/4 on graph) 2002: 1,281,250 (-16.3%, #4/4 on graph) 2003: 1,312,500 (+2.4%, #4/4 on graph) 2004: 1,250,000 (-4.8%, #4/4 on graph) 2005: 1,093,750 (-12.5%, #4/4 on graph) 2006: 1,000,000 (-8.6%, #4/4 on graph) 2007: 968,750 (-3.1%, #4/4 on graph) 2008: 1,281,250 (+32.3%, #4/4 on graph) 2009: 1,343,750 (+4.9%, #4/4 on graph) 2010: 1,437,500 (+7.0%, #4/4 on graph) 2011: 1,500,000 (+4.3%, #4/4 on graph) 2012: 1,406,250 (-6.2%, #4/4 on graph) 2013: 1,531,250 (+8.9%, #4/4 on graph) 2014: 1,562,500 (+2.0%, #4/4 on graph) 2015: 1,437,500 (-8.0%, #4/4 on graph) 2016: 1,468,750 (+2.2%, #4/4 on graph) 2017: 1,500,000 (+2.1%, #4/4 on graph) 2018: 1,593,750 (+6.3%, joint #4/4 on graph) 2019: 1,687,500 (+5.9%, #3/4 on graph) 2020: 500,000 (-70.4%, joint #4/4 on graph) All-Time Peak: 1,875,000 (1995) All-Time Low (excluding 2020, including pre-CWOA years): 500,000 (1986) All-Time Low (excluding 2020 and pre-CWOA years): 875,000 (1987) Peak Within Merlin Era (2008 and later): 1,687,500 (2019) Low Within Merlin Era (2008 and later, excluding 2020): 1,281,250 (2008) Legoland Windsor/Windsor Safari Park - opened 1970, first year on graph 1987, first year as Legoland Windsor 1996 1987: 812,500 (first year, #4/4 on graph) 1988: 875,000 (+7.7%, #4/4 on graph) 1989: 968,750 (+10.7%, #4/4 on graph) 1990: 1,062,500 (+9.7%, joint #3/4 on graph) 1991: 1,031,250 (-2.9%, #3/4 on graph) 1992: 968,750 (-6.1%, #4/4 on graph) 1993: 937,500 (-3.2%, #4/4 on graph) 1994: N/A (-100.0%, N/A on graph) 1995: N/A (0.0%, N/A on graph) 1996: N/A (0.0%, N/A on graph) 1997: 1,468,750 (first year as LLW, #3/4 on graph) 1998: 1,312,500 (-10.6%, #3/4 on graph) 1999: 1,500,000 (+14.3%, #3/4 on graph) 2000: 1,687,500 (+12.5%, #2/4 on graph) 2001: 1,531,250 (-9.3%, joint #3/4 on graph) 2002: 1,593,750 (+4.1%, #2/4 on graph) 2003: 1,437,500 (-9.8%, #3/4 on graph) 2004: 1,437,500 (0.0%, #3/4 on graph) 2005: 1,500,000 (+4.3%, #3/4 on graph) 2006: 1,625,000 (+8.3%, #3/4 on graph) 2007: 1,500,000 (-7.8%, #3/4 on graph) 2008: 1,875,000 (+25.0%, #2/4 on graph) 2009: 1,906,250 (+1.7%, #3/4 on graph) 2010: 1,906,250 (0.0%, #3/4 on graph) 2011: 1,906,250 (0.0%, #3/4 on graph) 2012: 2,031,250 (+6.6%, #2/4 on graph) 2013: 2,312,500 (+13.8%, #2/4 on graph) 2014: 2,312,500 (0.0%, joint #2/4 on graph) 2015: 2,343,750 (+1.4%, #1/4 on graph) 2016: 2,187,500 (-6.6%, #1/4 on graph) 2017: 2,312,500 (+5.7%, #1/4 on graph) 2018: 2,125,000 (-8.1%, #2/4 on graph) 2019: 2,062,500 (-2.9%, #2/4 on graph) 2020: 656,250 (-68.2%, #2/4 on graph) All-Time Peak: 2,343,750 (2015) All-Time Low (excluding 2020, including pre-LLW years): 812,500 (1987) All-Time Low (excluding 2020 and pre-LLW years): 1,312,500 (1998) Peak Within Merlin Era (2006 and later): 2,343,750 (2015) Low Within Merlin Era (2006 and later, excluding 2020): 1,500,000 (2007) Thorpe Park - opened 1979, first year on graph 1983 1983: 843,750 (first year, #1/1 on graph) 1984: 1,031,250 (+22.2%, #2/3 on graph) 1985: 1,093,750 (+6.1%, #2/3 on graph) 1986: 1,093,750 (0.0%, #2/3 on graph) 1987: 1,093,750 (0.0%, #2/4 on graph) 1988: 1,187,500 (+8.6%, joint #3/4 on graph) 1989: 1,343,750 (+13.2%, #2/4 on graph) 1990: 1,000,000 (-25.6%, #4/4 on graph) 1991: 968,750 (-3.1%, #4/4 on graph) 1992: 1,093,750 (+12.9%, #3/4 on graph) 1993: 1,281,250 (+17.1%, #3/4 on graph) 1994: 1,218,750 (-4.9%, #3/3 on graph) 1995: 1,125,000 (-7.7%, #3/3 on graph) 1996: 1,187,500 (+5.6%, #3/3 on graph) 1997: 968,750 (-18.4%, #4/4 on graph) 1998: 875,000 (-9.7%, #4/4 on graph) 1999: 906,250 (+3.6%, #4/4 on graph) 2000: 937,500 (+3.4%, #4/4 on graph) 2001: 1,187,500 (+26.7%, #4/4 on graph) 2002: 1,437,500 (+21.1%, #3/4 on graph) 2003: 1,531,250 (+6.5%, #2/4 on graph) 2004: 1,468,750 (-4.1%, #2/4 on graph) 2005: 1,562,500 (+6.4%, #2/4 on graph) 2006: 1,812,500 (+16.0%, #2/4 on graph) 2007: 1,843,750 (+1.7%, #2/4 on graph) 2008: 1,843,750 (0.0%, #3/4 on graph) 2009: 2,125,000 (+15.3%, #2/4 on graph) 2010: 2,187,500 (+2.9%, #2/4 on graph) 2011: 2,125,000 (-2.9%, #2/4 on graph) 2012: 1,843,750 (-13.2%, #3/4 on graph) 2013: 1,786,250 (-3.1%, #3/4 on graph) 2014: 1,843,750 (+3.2%, #3/4 on graph) 2015: 1,531,250 (-17.0%, #3/4 on graph) 2016: 1,625,000 (+6.1%, #3/4 on graph) 2017: 1,562,500 (-3.9%, #3/4 on graph) 2018: 1,593,750 (+2.0%, #3/4 on graph) 2019: 1,500,000 (-5.9%, #4/4 on graph) 2020: 500,000 (-66.6%, joint #4/4 on graph) All-Time Peak: 2,187,500 (2010) All-Time Low (excluding 2020): 843,750 (1983) Peak Within Merlin Era (2008 and later): 2,187,500 (2010) Low Within Merlin Era (2008 and later, excluding 2020): 1,500,000 (2019) To sum up each park's trajectory: Alton Towers may have been top dog for the bulk of the years since 1984, but it has also had the most volatile guest figures. It has had peaks as high as 3.3 million in 1994, but also troughs of only slightly above 2 million in the mid-2000s or even slightly below in the early 1990s and mid-2010s, with a nadir of 1.75 million being reached in 2016. At that point, it was well away from #1 and almost rubbing shoulder to shoulder with #3 park Thorpe. Interestingly, its peak was early, in 1994, and only 2010 has ever come close to that since. Merlin have attained fair growth at Alton Towers; between 2007 and 2019, attendance grew by 11.1%. Chessington started off fairly well, attaining steady growth from 1987 up until 1994, where it stayed at its peak until about 1997. However, attendance dropped through the floor from 1998 onwards, hitting a low of under 1 million in 2007, so it's fair to say that Chessington's trajectory has been far from uniform, although things improved notably under Merlin. Interestingly, Chessington is the park that has thrived most under Merlin, with attendance having grown by 74.1% between 2007 and 2019. Nonetheless, the high water mark was hit quite early on at Chessington, with that near 2 million peak guest figure being all the way back in 1995, and no year post-1997 has yet come close to it. Legoland Windsor has had the most consistent growth trajectory of all the parks. With its low back near opening in 1998, its peak in 2015 and no particularly catastrophic attendance drops (COVID aside), it's grown fairly consistently over the years. It's also a park that has thrived pretty well under Merlin; between 2005 and 2019, attendance grew by 37.5%. Thorpe Park has had a bit of a roller coaster of a growth trajectory. The 80s and 90s were a little bit choppy at Thorpe Park, with peaks of close to 1.5 million and lows of under 1 million. The park really hit its stride from 2001 onwards, maintaining a near perfect growth trajectory right up to the park's 2.2 million peak in 2010. However, things have been a bit of a struggle since then, with guest figures having almost consistently declined since 2011 right back to a low of 1.5 million in 2019. The park has comparatively struggled under Merlin, with attendance having fallen by 18.6% between 2007 and 2019. I hope you find this interesting! If you don't agree with something I've done or notice any errors, however, don't be afraid to flag them to me.
    5 points
  2. Planning Committee will be talking about Exodus on the 5th October and the agenda says that the planning committee will be recommended to grant planning permission!
    4 points
  3. Well, well, well. Deary deary me. I think this was possibly my second (maybe third?) visit to Thorpe Park this year and of course I always have to have my obligatory ride on DBGT. In fact, the ride was a walk-on at about half 12 (the person on the gate wasn't even checking tickets, so I just walked straight though even though I hadn't actually booked!). I rode DBGT at the start of the season, and they had implemented some changes to the second-preshow that I thought were absolutely fantastic. A little more backstory, tying together all of the plotholes and having a member of the infected burst into the room warning people not to ride. Now... I'm not sure if this is just because I visited during the extreme off-peak days... however this second-preshow was skipped in its entirety. Instead, we were directed straight through onto the train after the talk from Derren at the start. Onto the VR section now. I know lots of people have had issues with the VR headsets on here before and I assume I have just gotten lucky until now... however my headset today was absolutely awful. Constantly drifting, sometimes just locking the camera into place so I couldn't even look around (which, might I add, was absolutely horrendous and triggered immense motion sickness every time I tried to look around). I sat down after being directed onto the train and immediately put on a headset where the audio wasn't coming through one of the headphones... so immediately got up and found somewhere else. Other than the technical issues, the first VR section was exactly as normal. Then we de-board the train as normal, and get hurried along into the big train room. Now, as we skipped the second pre-show... we obviously didn't have any 'codes' or anything to give to the actors in this room, which made the entire situation totally pointless. We were taken off the train, directed into a large room where people were just pacing up and down freaking out, the infected come out, and then we get directed straight back onto the train again. No participation from the audience, just straight back onto the train. Look, I totally understand that there's probably a potential lack of staffing... but the whole 'remembering the code to get out of the room with the infected' bit is kind of the entire motif of the ride. Without that, you're basically just watching VR. Anyway, back onto the train for the second and final VR section. Again, VR and audio issues galore. We had the super-extended VR part two (I assume there was some sort of technical issue and hence we were held up), but aside from all of the VR and audio issues... I actually really liked the extended VR section. It's a real shame they don't let this play out in its entirety all of the time. I really don't jump at the jumpscares on DBGT anymore, but some of the jumpscares in the extended VR Part 2 section really got me (and I couldn't even look around because my VR was stuck again!). For part two I had to change my headset three different times during the actual VR segment and had members of staff asking me what the problem was - pretty sure after they got me settled again they radioed in about all of the issues as I could hear people talking on the radio about them... so other people must've had the same problems as me. And then... the grand finale. *sigh* This, for me, has always been the highlight of DBGT... but not today. Nobody made any attempt to direct people's attention to the ouija board and the audio was so low in the fake shop that nobody even knew what was going on. It was just me and my friend observing the ouija board and even when the infected person came out... nobody even looked! 😂 Which brings me on to my biggest pet peeve about DBGT which I've always been very vocal about - the demon costume. It needs to make a return. I don't care how much it costs. Bring it back. Having no mention of a demon in the first VR section, no mention of a demon in the large train room section, and oh! Suddenly there's a demon thing that nobody has talked about walking around the train in the third VR section!... oh and it's gone again. The storyline is totally discombobulated. Either stick with the demon storyline or abandon it altogether. 'Rise Of The Demon' my arse. More like 'The Demon? What Demon? Oh, There He Is! Oh No, Gone Again!' It truly gets worse every single ride. Also... I mentioned it earlier in the year but it's even more apparent now - the Ghost Train shop is virtually completely empty now. Which I can't help but wonder why? Are they just not ordering new stock to the shop because they're planning on closing it soon or do they just not see the point of restocking because it doesn't get a lot of footfall? I can't imagine it being the latter, because DBGT can get very, very busy at times! I'd be interested to hear what everyone else thinks. Sorry for the long one, folks! 😂
    4 points
  4. Really interesting - thank you for posting this! The very obvious and self-inflicted rise and fall of Thorpe Park, and the reputation damage following the Smiler crash are the standouts for me. Its also mad how erratic Alton Towers’ attendance has been over the years compared to the others. I echo what’s been said above - this is evidence that the public want to come and see new coasters and rides - NOT walkthroughs and stupid gimmicks. Semi-regular ride additions appear to increase attendance according to this graph.
    3 points
  5. This would never happen this way. You'd bring him to a pub, you THINK you offered him a drink but in fact you've just signed over your house, life savings and cat to him and you'd be none the wiser.
    3 points
  6. Long Post Incoming. The council have released a document explaining their reasoning as to why the committee should approve the application. It is a rollercoaster of a document, the council talks about how the application is inappropriate for the location it is in. (I will get back to this at the end of the post) The most interesting part of this document is the fact that the council acknowledges that “The timings for the responses from the Environment Agency have largely dictated the timescales for determination of this planning application”. This extract basically says that the EA take 8-12 weeks to respond. We are fed up with waiting and they recognise Thorpe need to open it in 2024 in order to recover from covid. I am glad the council recognise this fact This highlights that even if the EA do respond. The first objection will not be overcome; so eitherway they will have to go to the Secretary of State. The council do not think that it increases the flood risk and the EAs claim does not have substance. As discussed earlier, the development is not appropriate for the area it is built in, so they have to assess it for very special circumstances where they can build in a green belt area These are the reasons why thorpe have to build in this green belt area (the council reviews each one in detail in the document and weighs each one up) They believe that the development outweighs any harm. The council recognises that it is a theme park and in order to expand they need to build on the land which is already existing as part of the themepark. They recommend to the committee that the application is approved under the following conditions (pretty standard, included for reference) plus any conditions the EA have… OVERALL: Glad to see the council recognising that they need to invest more and build more as a themepark and that they recognise that a theme park will always expand on its land and they put certain issues behind them. Now the SOS will have to review the application (most likely) as I’m sure there are a quite a few applications like this, I think it will definitely go to the office of the Secretary of State and there will be a dedicated team for these issues. Looking for a December approval? Who knows, glad to see 2024 the council want it open by. When it does get referred to the SOS, there is a way to view the application status for the public, previous small cases have taken from 6 months to over a year to approve
    3 points
  7. ML27

    Thorpe Park 2022

    Visited Thorpe Park today It was an off peak day with limited capacity on Colossus and Saw. DBGT was not operating (due to lack of actors I assume). it being so quiet, made me take a non-event day in. The park lacks consistency, music all over the place. The place looks dire everywhere aging, the overcast weather didn’t help. But certainly everywhere looked so old and dirty. This closed season, I really want them to focus on making the park consistent. Repairs to paint/wood work and theming. If I visited once a year on this day, I’d feel like Thorpe didn’t care and there was no atmosphere
    3 points
  8. MattyMoo

    Nemesis

    It's official now innit. Bit cheeky for Merlin to phrase it like that though, implying that OMG Nemesis is closing 4 good!!111 - either the work experience social media admin did this, or it's done on purpose to get that sweet sweet footfall. Also - Phalanx... return of Sub Terra confirmed? Or at least "a nod" and eAStEr EGg to Sub Terra.... Would be good to have another dark indoor ride back considering Hex seems to have thrown a wobbler all season.
    3 points
  9. Yes. Because you're no longer a mod the whole place is a nightmare. Just wait until construction and we have daily updates from Monk's Walk showing how one pile of dirt has moved 2m.
    3 points
  10. Stuntman707

    Park Music

    He says "You're stuck in a mechanical device that will crush further into you as you go round. The twisted metal is desinged to give you concussion around the unnecessarily tight elements. If you make it to the end, trust me you're gonna need paracetamol."
    3 points
  11. MattyMoo

    Park Music

    He says "This is my Ghost Train" 👌
    3 points
  12. Tonight is the Press Night for this year's Fright Nights. Naturally spoilers for this year's event will come out. Please post any spoilery things here. Of course, your favourite Thorpe Park centric fan site will be there and posting updates on social media! Keep an eye out as we see if there are nightmares to be unlocked!
    2 points
  13. So I'll post my thoughts here. A review will be appearing on TPM later today (which will feature lots of nice pictures), and there's also some more stuff on our Facebook and Twitter of course. I prefix my review as I do every Fright Nights. Yes, I attended the Press Night, and these feature no queues, usually more actors and a sort of 'best representation' of the event. Of course, the point of these events is for influencers and fan sites to go along and post good things regardless of the quality of the event; that's what the TPM main site review will do. This review is my own, honest thoughts of what's gone down. AND of course, spoilers. Survival Games Let's start with the big new thing. I think the first thing that should be said is how big and imposing this looks from the outside. It's really well done. I like the music outside, and there's also similar music inside. The premise of this might sound a bit deeper or more complicated at first. You're effectively auditioning to join a new social media network, and to do that, you go through 'the Survival Games'. If you survive, you join the social media network, if you don't...well, you're dead. This is featured in the pre show and at the end, but outside of that, there is very little story in the maze. Actors have lines which fit in with that idea throughout, but that's about it. This may sound like a negative, but it's not. If anything, it's a positive. The idea of Survival Games is to be chaotic, and that's exactly what it does. Sticking to a long-winded, developed story throughout would harm it. The maze pre show works very well; splitting everyone off into individual cages, before having people individually 'snatched' away. This could be done even more extremely, but obviously a balance has to be made. You then make your way through various scenes before heading to the 'arena'. This is a huge space which takes up about half the space of the maze I reckon. It's completely free flow, with multiple routes, the ability to double back on yourself and very chaotic in general. Actors are everywhere, and do everything they can to intimidate, scare and disorientate you. It's fantastic. The ending of the maze sees you get put through a hidden door (in a bit which feels a bit Black Mirror Labyrinth esque), before being given one final scare. The finale is nothing original or special, but works in context. I have concerns about how well it operate on a standard day, which I raised with some of those responsible for the attraction, and I feel confident it will be well managed. I'm also a bit lost how this is the park's most expensive maze. The theming isn't anything special (though, like with the story, it doesn't need it). I guess a lot goes on the structure and set up. But even then, it surprises me this was a bigger investment than Trailers, which looks a lot better in terms of theming. All in though, I think this is a great experience, and up there with my favourites. It's just so much fun, with levels of drama and chaos you don't see often in mazes. Trailers There's no difference between last year's version of Trailers. All of the scenes have new posters indicating sequels, which is a fun little touch. That's something I'd like to see continued, as well as having scenes replaced every couple of years (having a Creek Freak room for example, in turn allowing for a chainsaw run out finale would work well!). So yes, don't expect any changes, but it's a solid cast and just in general a very lively atmosphere in there. Creek Freak Massacre Again, no real changes here, aside from a slightly difference script in the pre show which references Project Exodus tearing down the sawmill. I had a fun run, but this has never been something I've rated particularly highly. I hope it gets better received than last year. Scare Mazes: Bottom Line A thing which hasn't been noted really is the line up of these 3 mazes is actually Thorpe's 3 most expensive maze investments (or at least, 3 of the top 4). And those investments shine through. Whilst the upcharging of mazes is controversial, if it does result in new stuff having more money thrown at it and ultimately improving the experience, that's a massive win. I still think the upcharges are on the pricey side. Survival Games is worth the £8 outlay as a passholder (especially if you end up in there for 10-15 minutes like I did). £10 is too much in my books. But Trailers and Creek Freak are closer to the £5 price point for me. The Terminal sigh This. This is a thing. It looks terrible outside; no real entrance feature, and just a group of containers. What is The Terminal? It's an audio experience in darkness, so you wear headphone and have a story told to you, with loads of sound effects playing. And that's basically it. You have a pre show in your group. But it is very much just 'sit down and wear headphones'. There's a couple of extra effects, such as air sprays and vibrations. But for me, it doesn't do it. Don't get me wrong, this will get some people. Two people in my batch were terrified and had taken their headphones off at the end. But for those who are a bit braver, it won't do much. And you have to be truly invested in the experience from the word go to get anything out of it. This would be better with more sensory effects. Leg ticklers. Back and butt prodders. Leg grabs. Yes, I'm literally suggesting they take a page out of the Derren Brown Ghost Train book to improve this. But it needs a lot more. In The Terminal, I experienced the worst sensation you can experience in an attraction. Boredom. That about sums it up. Death's Doors So the new scare zone. It has a concept which sounds cool; knocking on doors and see what horror lies behind them. Obviously this has huge operational problems, and I can see them coming to a head soon. The doors are grouped together in blocks, and presumably one or two actors serve a block of doors. Already seems like a problem. One thing which took me by surprise is how...humour-filled the attraction is. Some of the characters include an evil Easter Bunny, an elf who's decapitated Father Christmas, a wicked Siren, etc. A little bit of dark humour works well, and is something which hasn't been featured in Fright Nights so explicitly before. I don't know if people will really expect it or get it as a result, but it's something which was appreciated by me. This feels like an attraction which has been shoehorned a bit for the 'unlock nightmares' tagline for the 21st edition of Fright Nights. The location isn't ideal. The characters don't quite fit the feel or story of the attraction. The ideas are there, but the execution is off. The Crows of Mawkin Meadow This is much the same as last year and good fun. However, there is the addition of a new route making use of the Saw Alive queue line, which takes you through the ruins of the village within the story. It's a nice idea, but doesn't quite work for me. They've partially draped the queue line, but for the most part, it feels like you're walking through a meshed fence queue. It needs more theming to get you immersed and to buy into the idea. Apparently the park did look at a larger solution of partially removing the queue line, but it wasn't financially viable for this Fright Nights. Maybe next year? Amity vs LycanThorpe High Another good, new, dance set, and the same usual fun. Very much seems the be the last year of this vampires vs werewolves, so presumably they have a plan moving forward for what follows. Look forward to seeing that. Birthday Bash Some good humour here (the addition of a grandma character is a big hit in my books). Again, new show, and again, good. Creek Freaks Unchained Didn't see it, but the roaming van they have used for all the events this year has had a Creek Freaks overlay. Legacy A new fire and light show is taking place on the small side of the Beach. It tested after the Press Event for the first time, and ran last night to the public for the first time. Have yet to see it. --- All in, Fright Nights is a fab event this year. They've built off the successes of last year, and have got a very good trio of high quality mazes this year. There's some lowlights, The Terminal in particular, and some potential issues which may come out during normal operation. But this is once again another great Fright Nights, and I'd really recommend going along this year!
    2 points
  14. Theme Park Fanatic

    Duel!

    @Matt N I suspect the Mad Professors Lab/Zombie scene is being ripped out. This scene was made purely for Duel.
    2 points
  15. We have a TPM article which details things a bit more. But for here... In short: 1. The Officer Report says that the council have been recommended to grant the application. 2. HOWEVER, as there are objections from the EA still in place, if it is granted, the application has to go to the Secretary of State for review. This could result in the council's decision ultimately being over-ruled. The Officer Report basically supports Thorpe with regards to the EA's objections. It's also noted how frustrating dealing with the EA has been, with them taking 8-12 weeks to respond and log their issues, when the park have been very prompt with giving extra details. Indeed, the original expectation was that a decision would be reached 13 weeks after the application was submitted (back in MARCH), and the EA is effectively the sole reason this has not happened. Thorpe are aware of the potential issues that could come about with the application going to the Secretary of State for review. I don't know what would happen during a review by the SoS, how long it could take or any potential issues / delays it could have. But presumably the park and their planning consultations are confident the application won't be rejected in any case, and are just so fed up with the EA at this point that they're pressing forward. This will hopefully mean they won't lose too much ground in terms of construction and still be able to open it in 2024. So exciting times, but still with an asterisk next to it for now...
    2 points
  16. Chiapas > Valhalla Maybe an indoor area with a combination of attractions wouldn't go amiss. Kill off many birds with one stone and get one of those Mack Suspended Coasters and a Flume system. Would be a shame to waste it on a Flying Theatre.
    2 points
  17. Mark9

    Top 10's

    Gosh its been years. Firstly, the top ten new rollercoasters of 2022:- 1. Wildfire 2. Velocicoaster 3. Monster 4. Goldstriker 5. Jetline 6. Kvasten 7. Hagrids Motorbike Rollercoaster thing 8. Flight Deck 9. Wild Mouse (Grona Lund) 10. Railblazer And finally, my current top ten rollercoasters. 1. Nemesis - Alton Towers. The saving grace of the park at the moment. The most consistent ride out there and one of the very best. It will be severely missed next year. 2. Steel Vengeance - Cedar Point. One of the finest rides ever built. 3. Blue Fire - Europa Park. One of my favourite rides and operationally the most perfect attraction. I love it. 4. Untamed - Walibi Holland. A sublime rollercoaster and one I really need to get back to. 5. Helix - Liseberg. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it the last time I rode and its definitely one that gives a beating to your thighs. The ejector air time is something else. 6. Katun - Miribilandia. A near perfect big rollercoaster. Very intense. 7. Wildfire - Kolmarden. I still am amazed that this random Zoo in the middle of Sweden has one of the finest rides in Europe. It stick outs like a sore thumb, but it must be one of the easiest RMC's to re-ride in the world. 8. Wodan - Europa Park. This one just grows and grows. Remarkably consistent and always deliver a fantastic ride. 9. Alpina Blitz - Nigloland. A fantastic ride and severely under-talked about. A really great ride. 10. Taron - This had to make it in there, I find it one of the most exhilarating non looping coasters in the world. Hopefully, with the pandemic pretty much done, there will be a lot more new parks and places visited in 2023. Onwards and upwards!
    2 points
  18. Mark9

    B&M. A 50th cred run down.

    Good morning. With Monster becoming my 351th rollercoaster credit it also has the distinction of being my 50th B&M in total. And as a celebration of my absolutely, 100% favourite rollercoaster manufacturer ever, this blog will be relatively brief and a look through the 50. 1. Nemesis Inferno - 2003. Ah Inferno. Not the bang start but as a ride this has got so much better over the last two decades. Great solid ride. 2. Nemesis -2004. My favourite rollercoaster, one of the best B&M's ever built, in fact just one of the best rides ever constructed. Renewal secures its future for years to come. 3. Oblivion - 2004. One hit pony but it is a great hit. Ironically, one of the best dive machines out there despite the advances the ride type has made. 4. Galatica - 2004. This is okay. One of the weakest in Europe and other of its type are far superior. 5. Silver Star - 2006. A real grower, I wasn't initially a fan but now I find this a really solid crowd pleaser. Capacity and Efficiency to die for. 6. Black Mamba - 2006. I really like Mamba. It does have a weak finale but the theming and excellent makes this a stand out inverter for me. 7. Superman de Acero - 2007. For a long time this was one of my top five rollercoasters. I really like the long layout and darting off into the fields of Spain is actually better then it sounds. 8. Batman la Fuga - 2007. Not the biggest fan of this version. Just a bit meh and its theming doesn't extend beyond the queue and station. 9. Manta - 2011. Wonderful ride, very intense. I love a pretzel roll, give me more. 10. Kraken - 2011. This has grown on me since my initial ride. It's new colour scheme is a bit jerk but nonetheless, a great example of the flourless ride type. 11. The Incredible Hulk - 2011. The refresh has worked wonders and this is a fantastically intense and brutal Sit-down. Really great. 12. Fire Dragon - 2011 (RIP). The better of the two and I was fortunate enough to ride them when they duelled. Much missed. 13. Ice Dragon - 2011 (RIP). I hate JK Rowling. The loss of these two is enough to hate Universal actually. 14. Katun - 2011. An excellent example of an American style B&M but in the hot Italian sun. Fantastic ride and full of force. 15. Raptor (Gardaland) - 2011. A really nice low to the ground wing rider. Love how B&M nailed the concept with their first attempt. 16. The Swarm - 2012. I love the Swarm and the one I've ridden the most. A little short but has aged wonderfully with a very intense helix. 17. Oz'Iris - 2012. Excellent. Near perfection. Varied, unique and different layout and an absolutely perfect zero g roll. Beautiful theming. Three trains What's not to love? 18. Dragon Khan - 2012. An iconic ride. I think this could do with a retracking as legend has it its starting to show its age. Very aggressive ride. 19. Shambhala - 2012. The TPW famous ride, I remember loving this and its fun layout. I'm not PA's biggest fan but this ride alone would attract me back. 20. SheiKra - 2012. Never understood the dislike for this. I really love the absurdly big look of the ride and have always enjoyed it. 21. Kumba - 2012. Retrack please. It rode amazingly but wasn't great when I went in 2017. Absolutely iconic. 22. Montu - 2012. Really not a fan. After the great start, it just meanders around at the end not doing anything particularly special. Batwing is over-rated. 23. Dæmonen - 2013. Very cute. Yeah it's not substantial but at such a short queue and in such a beautiful location its hard to dislike this ride. 24. Medusa (Discovery Kingdom) - 2014. I really liked this car park coaster. Lovely and unique inversions and pretty forceful. Worth going to DK for. 25. Tatsu - 2014. Fantastic ride. It works so well flying above the hills of Magic Mountain and its strange layout really is unique and inspired. 26. Riddlers Revenge - 2014. Another fantastic, long B&M. Unique in one of the last stand ups out there. Really enjoyed it despite the crippling capacity. 27. Batman The Ride - 2014. Ridden backwards so not a true reflection. This was okay but these things should be done facing forwards. 28. Scream - 2014. Under-rated. American B&M's have an advantage in being very long and forceful. This has had a refresh since my visit so looks great now even if its still a car park. 29. Silver Bullet - 2014. Bit meh. It has some nice moments but its a bit too soft for my liking. Rumour has it that it has got a lot better since I rode. 30. Baron 1898 - 2017. Excellent. One of the best rides out there. The story engages me on every level and I could ride it all day. So much fun. 31. Monster (Walygator) - 2017. American style B&M in a field. Very good as only slightly better then Raptor at CP because it has no mid course break run. 32. Mako - 2017. I didn't think this would be for me but it was actually a lot of fun and a really good hyper. The mid course kills the pacing though. 33. Oblivion: The Black Hole - 2018. I liked this. One of the longer dive machines out there and its got a nice bit of decoration around the drop. 34. Flug der Demon - 2018. One of my favourite wing riders. Really nice use of the landscaping to create a varied and interesting ride. Great air time as well. 35. Krake - 2018. Dull. Almost as basic as Oblivion but without the prototype excuse. I like the Krake monster but thats it. 36. X-Flight - 2018. Wish I'd ridden more, we got a front row on the first ride so it probably wasn't at its fastest. Basically the Swarm but longer and more inversions. 37. Raging Bull - 2018. Very unique. Not surprised no more twister style hypers were made as this is a real odd attraction. 38. Superman Ultimate Flight - 2018. Boring. It has one stand out moment in the pretzel and the rest is just meandering around above the ground. 39. Batman the ride - 2018. The original inverter and absolutely fantastic. You can see why this was cloned so much based on the quality of this version. Hasn't aged at all. 40. Gatekeeper - 2018. I love this ride. Instantly re-rideable and instantly iconic over the entrance of CP. 41. Raptor - 2018. One of the more aggressive rides out there. What it lacks in variety it makes up with its just sheer force and speed. Recommended. 42. Rougarou - 2018. This is just alright. I'm not sure if the flourless really adds anything to a layout based around being stand up. 43. Valravn - 2018. Boring. The vest destroys any air time and in a park full of big drops, it's not really interesting or unique enough to stand up. Rubbish capacity as well. 44. Leviathan - 2018. Great first drop, the rest of it is very much meandering territory. Legend has it Fury 325 does the concept much better. 45. Behemoth - 2018. An absolute classic. Very good ride full of airtime, great setting over the river and a really long ride. The seating doesn't add a whole lot. 46. Valkirya - 2018. Aside from being a longer dive machine, the vest restraint just kills it for me. Why it couldn't have the normal restraints, I don't know. 47. Fenix - 2019. I really like this, its one of the more forceful versions of the wing rider. Great setting as well. 48. Flight Deck - 2022. Interesting getting back on an older B&M. It rides really well despite its age and I hope it finds a new home. 49. Patriot - 2022. Will probably be scrapped. Is now showing its age and it isn't the most inspired of layouts. 50. Monster (Grona) - 2022. I adore this ride. How they managed to fit it in is just magic. The elements are just so odd and you get crazy elements of intensity in some of the oddest places. And therein lies my truth. Here's to the next 50.
    2 points
  19. With regards to the partial opening of Old Town: The Construction Management Plan for Exodus did show the queue entrance for Creek Freak to be where Platform 15's was last year, with a bridge over the Loggers trough. The exit would then be a narrow pathway to the old train crossing by Samurai. However, actual construction for Exodus was never planned to really kick off until November. There will be preliminary work that would have happened before, but the key work wasn't meant to start till November. So, technically, there is no delay But with no approval in place, one has to wonder if they've paused the preliminary work. And one has to wonder why they've changed their original plan for Creek Freak's entrance. It could be purely innocent / a FN design choice, but it does raise eyebrows. However, as has been mentioned, I do have concerns about delays. We still don't have approval. It's not set to be discussed in October, so it's likely that approval from the Council - if it happens - will come at November at the earliest. If that's the case, the park are up against it to stay on their original plan. And that doesn't account for any delays that could occur with groundwork, construction, getting parts delivered in a post-Brexit, Russian-war landscape. If the plan was to open this at the start of 2024, it is going to be very tight, and summer feels that bit more realistic. And yes, this doesn't even discuss the need for the park to invest in other rides and attractions too, which is a huge other discussion.
    2 points
  20. Was saying to Josh last night - I think we are looking at Summer 2024 now - at best. If it slips to 2025, then I really don't think Thorpe can get by on just "events" for the next 2 seasons. Like I've said previously - I'd be surprised too if all goes to plan with construction and clearance, bear in mind that Loggers is 30 years old, there will 100% be pipes/infrastructure etc. that won't be accounted for underground, plus throw in the fact it's surrounded by water - not ideal.
    2 points
  21. That shop is HUGE too -almost as if they thought DBGTROTD was the future of theme parks 👀
    2 points
  22. I can only speak from where I stand on it. Massive investment in 2000's is one thing but for that target market (thrill seekers, up for it families), that investment can't just stop. it has to keep going. The park also has to continually re-invest in the older rides to keep everything fresh. Colossus and Inferno in particular are not new rollercoasters anymore and look their age. That isn't acceptable anymore. Thorpe is also obsessed with walk throughs, horror mazes and psychological experiences. None of these are reasons to visit a place, they compliment existing attractions. Somewhere in a board room, the Thorpe execs thought Black Mirror was a revolution but it isn't. Family rides are an issue at Thorpe because they are either over 25 years old at this point or aren't main events. There's absolutely no reason why a family ride could fit the bill in the park but they don't ever pursue it. X was a great example of a short sighted decision. I'm not convinced by Exodus, it's just another thrilling rollercoaster in a park that relies heavily on them already. It will have an amazing first year and then what. How can they sustain it? It's not going to convince anyone that wouldn't already go there for the thrill rides. it's why I think a B&M hyper is a better option, that ride is the ultimate crowd pleaser and has near 25 years of success already. Back in the 00's there was a balance, even if slightly skewed. Things like Eclipse, Flying Fish's refurbishment, Quantum and Tidal Wave appeal far more to a wider range of people. I mention Tidal Wave because even though themed to a catastrophe, it has a fun, cheeky theme to sell it. All of this is just my view and I'm glad I'm not in charge because I don't really know how to rescue Thorpe from its lull.
    2 points
  23. I've always loved that graph. It puts a lot of things into perspective. Nemesis just was the ride that completely changed Towers. Look at that massive jump in attendance, something Towers has never managed to reach since. Wicker Man did a lot of good in recovering attendance after the Smiler crash. Rameses at Chessington was such a hit back in '95 and it remained quite consistent up until Samurai. But the lack of investment and rubbish kids rides really didn't do much especially when big rides weren't forthcoming. The shoddy way Dragons Fury was marketed as well didn't help. Thorpe doesn't surprise me, the massive investments in the 00's was always going to be a problem when it stopped. The new ride doesn't fill me with confidence that they can reverse the decline. It's a plaster to a much bigger issue.
    2 points
  24. Matt N

    Park Music

    From having watched a POV, Billy says something along these lines: ”So, thrill hunters… the game has begun. You are locked into a mechanical device from which there is no escape. Ahead of you are a series of devices that will determine your existence. Time is against you. Live or die… make your choice. Here’s what happens if you lose…” I think Billy might have been either very quiet or off entirely on my last visit, because I don’t remember hearing this speech very well. POV: (Billy’s speech starts at 0:16)
    2 points
  25. https://www.kentonline.co.uk/dartford/news/amp/rare-bees-discovered-on-london-resort-site-272785/ https://youtu.be/EVCrmXW6-Pk (If someone could edit this to embed the YouTube clip please?)
    2 points
  26. So we have some more stuff to go through. Basically, the park have said they have nothing more to add about Objection 1 (the supports being in a bad flood zone), and have given more details about Objection 2. There is also a General Correspondence document from the council towards the EA: In short, it appears that the council are confused by the EA's position (specifically about "Objection 2" I believe), and are seeking further clarifications. As has been discussed in the past, whilst bodies like the EA can object to a development, the ultimate decision lies with the council. They can take these objections on board, but still decide to give approval, provided they give their reasoning. Seemingly, as things stand, the council side with Thorpe on Objection 2. And with Objection 1, it seems that Thorpe have nothing more to say. But, the park do have history with construction in these 'bad' flood zones (Swarm being the key example, which the park have leaned on). Optimistically, one could suggest that the council would be more inclined to again side with Thorpe over the EA in this case too, given the history there. The interesting subplot about this now that hasn't been mentioned really is timing. In the original, full, application, the park said they'd look to start construction in November. Obviously preliminary work would take place before then (and did earlier in the year). There's two things I wonder now: 1. Did the park stop doing preliminary work because of some uncertainty during all this? If so, has that delayed them? If not, why was construction going to start in November, when they anticipated a summer approval originally? 2. The absolute earliest this could be approved now is October, but even then, there's no guarantee it will be considered then. Could this be dragged out long enough that, if approved, construction starts later than planned? Will the park literally be having to play catch up from the word go?
    2 points
  27. Bayorame

    Park Music

    Unfortunately for saws station speakers they have been turn up too loud causing them to distort which is an issue I’m surprised hasn’t been fixed as it’s painful to listen too. With inferno it’s the case of the sound cannons being turn up too high and being partly blown as when the Park Vibes soundtrack was changed they started making these cracking noises. But It could also be because of the cannons age leading to foam rot. It’s a real shame that these issues are still continuing, I’m guessing it’s partly due to the team in charge of audio and the budget for the sound system overall. Swarms station main speakers and the open section of old towns haven’t worked in a while which could be due a amplifier breaking and there not being any money available to fix it. Then again it could be the technicians in charge are mainly focused on more important roles in the park and don’t have the time to be working on issues which could take a while to fix. One thing I did see online is someone asking for the billy doll preshow audio to be fixed in which it was! This also leads to fact park audio is not supervised and no one is checking if things are working unless things are reported. This is a real issue as audio really adds to the experience and it not working is a real shame.
    2 points
  28. JoshC.

    SAW: The Ride

    Saw has 8 cars. It used to run all 8 until a few years back (my memory is hazy...I want to say like 2018/9, but could be wrong there). I believe there was some operational reasoning behind it; the throughput on 8 isn't substantially greater than on 7 for the additional maintenance and engineering costs sounds plausible enough, but I could be pulling that out of my backside. 5 is the bare minimum that Saw runs on. To run it on that on a Saturday is...interesting. It would be very unusual for the park to actively choose to run it on 5 on a weekend imo, especially when the park have been largely very good at running rides on a suitable capacity the last couple of years in particular. But equally, it would be unusual for at least 2 cars to be out of order (depending on if the 8th car is also receiving maintenance as part of a cycle). So yeah, unusual.
    2 points
  29. Matt N

    SAW: The Ride

    I could be wrong here, but I think that it has 8 in total and usually runs 7. That's definitely a number I remember hearing somewhere.
    2 points
  30. RobF

    SAW: The Ride

    Its to regulate the service on reduced ride cars ….. saw is a duel unload, so cant unload 1 car at a time, on 5 cars every 6th dispatch will result in an extended wait to enable the unload. why its on so few cars who knows, off peak strip downs ?
    2 points
  31. Back in the 80's Towers went from garden with the odd slide to a fully fledged amusement park. The locals already lived there and yes it caused massive issues. In the times we live in, things are very different and the locals seem much more forgiving of the noise from Towers. That being said, Nemesis received noise complaints in 2009 because of new wheels being louder. It just makes sense for Towers to get on with its neighbours. They know the value Towers brings to the area but their lives shouldn't be ruined by the park either.
    2 points
  32. Given Doom Town is Shocktobers 1st "10 scare rated" haunt, I am somewhat curious to see how much it differs in style to their 9 scare rated ones. I still firmly believe the use of touch scares would be a nice thing for Tulleys to potentially explore the possibilities of. Even if it is just with Doom Town and possibly even Hellements. On the note of ticketing, I am doing the first night of the year with a fastrack 11 ticket and then the finale fireworks night with VIP. So be interesting to see if VIP is worth the additional price for what one gets in relation to next tier ticket down. As much as I want to be positive about all tickets entitling guests to unlimited haunts, there is a huge alarm going off in my head saying its going to be a nightmare now in regards to the queue management and size of waits on the busier nights. I also feel unlimited somewhat diminishes the VIP value. Those with standard tickets with no fastrack already was up against the tide in trying to get all the haunts done and now coupled with inevitable longer waits due to the fact people can do the haunts as much as they want to, they have next to zero chance getting a now sizeable 11 attractions done in the one night even with marching between them one after the other with zero time inbetween to just enjoy the event atmosphere.
    2 points
  33. I was eh on this year's event, let me review it deeper. The Terminal: This was awful- a waste of £10. It looks bad, it is boring, and has the worst ending to a scare attraction? I like how they are trying something new, but when charging £10 you would expect something fully realized, but The Terminal is a failed experiment and the queueline tonight reflected it. The ending feels like some sort of crappy self help book. Being told to appreciate my friends in a scare attraction? I think if they are to experiment again, maybe make it free timed tickets? I am very sure anyone paying for this did not end the attraction feeling like their £10 was money well spent.. Just poor. Trailers: With the setup I really believe they could of mixed a room up or two, but it is the same, and it looks pretty. My main problem with it from last year is still there- it is simply not scary to me, and this year it felt even less scary as it had seemingly less actors. it just lacks a punch to it, with Trailers I never quite get into my flight or fight- I can't quite word it. I think the summer edition of this maze was WAY better as they used it more for laughs and made it way more camp. But yeah, Meh. CF: I love this maze- actors always seem to know how to work the space and it feels like it is designed for the actors and not against them. The maze was intense as per usual, with buckwheats always being within sight in this attraction. It felt full, busy, and was fun. I have done this quite a few times so I generally know it pretty well now- but I can say it retains the position of being a really good maze. Survival Games: First off I know this has been mentioned by another, low-key superior Josh. But how did this cost so much? The theming does not exist- it is too dark honestly to even see the set, and generally the theming is a oil barrel or two. In ways I do wonder if Thorpe are falling behind a little on the theming front- just look at Doom Town or some of the mazes at Xtreme Scream. Despite this though- Survival Games is a really fun maze, it has a pocket sized Sub Species vibe to it. Seperation, dark rooms, touching. It very much reminds me of Sub Species- which is a positive. I think its honestly a really strong maze for the event, and I hope they can expand on it. I really liked Thorpe Park tonight- but I believe Terminal and Trailers need changing. I also found paying +£30 for 3 mazes and a shipping container with headphones a little too much. With an entry fee I have seen my friends spend too much money on one day- it also kicks that you only get one through, and if you want more you have to pay out even more. The scarezones though were great, and brought much joy. All four were great in their own ways- the high school in Amity seemed to really please families and seemed like some mild fun, the door knocking scare zone was actually a brilliant idea for a scare zone and ended up being something we did while walking across the park- we loved it! So yeah, it was a great night. But I do wonder if the pricing is a little extortinate. + points for good ride ops tonight as well
    1 point
  34. Benin

    Duel!

    My thought is that a lot of the scenery will be old and with low upkeep so lots will be heading to the local tip. They'll likely need a bigger skip.
    1 point
  35. Part of me genuinely always wondered what Derren Brown would say if you bought him to a pub, offered him a good ole drink and asked him his actual thoughts on that ride. But seriously, the best thing Thorpe/Merlin can do with DBGT at this point is to just say "enough is enough" and throw in the towel. Once the budget allows, I am fairly certain the space could be used to do either a more reliable and with that cost effective dark ride or some other form of indoor entertainment that would be better received than Ghost Train has been. I don't think anyone with a shrink of sanity in them would argue the fact that for the money spent on it, DBGT has been nothing short of a disaster. It costs an arm and leg to maintain it and staff it, it hardly ever works fully and from what I can see its reception is mixed AT THE VERY BEST!! So I'd say its time to put the big White Elephant to sleep and start thinking of what new thing can be done with the space.
    1 point
  36. Funny you should mention that because I made a video on this at the beginning of the year: I explained it more in depth in the video but I'll vaguely recap here. My personal rankings are: 7. Flying Fish: Great for a kids ride or for someone who's never ridden a coaster before and wanting to dip their toes in the water... but obviously every other coaster at the park is more thrilling and enjoyable imo so couldn't really place it anywhere higher than last. 6. Colossus: As far as I'm concerned, the worst big coaster at the park. For its age the theming and whatnot is very impressive, but the coaster is incredibly uncomfortable, the restraints are awful and for anyone even slightly above average height will be pushed for legroom. 5. Nemesis Inferno: Granted, Inferno is the better Nemesis of the two. And quite honestly, I do find it enjoyable. However, as someone that sometimes seriously struggles with motion sickness - Inferno has always just sent me over the edge. As a result I'm not able to ride it very often at all, so can't really place it any higher than this either. 4. The Walking Dead: The Ride: I really do like TWD. The pre-show and... post-show? is incredible (by Thorpe's standards). Yeah I get that the actual coaster portion is just your bogstandard Vekoma family coaster, but even the portion where the train 'stalls' and needs restarting just adds to the exhilaration for me. The theming inside of the actual ride portion could use some updating as the zombies just look like your generic fun-fair ghost train style props... but if they ever implemented some actual animatronics to this ride (and proper lighting so you can actually see things rather than 2 second flashes of light) I think it could be insane. 3. The Swarm: The Swarm is incredible. Extremely smooth, the theming is incredible... there really is a lot to love about this coaster. But personally I just find it gets a bit tame and boring in the second half. It's all amazing right up until the helix around the helicopter, and then it totally peters out in speed and intensity. 2. SAW: The Ride: Deciding upon these next two coasters was a real battle. I love everything about SAW. It's got a great queueline, the use of the Billy pre-show is great, some of those tight elements in the layout are insane - it genuinely does feel like a deathtrap (but in a good sense, as that's exactly what the ride is supposed to simulate). Granted it can be incredibly painful and you need to act on the side of caution not to re-ride in too quick succession to avoid a brain hemorrhage, but that's all part of the experience baby! Oh, and I absolutely LOVE that the trim brakes near the end of the layout aren't functional, genuinely. 1. Stealth: Stealth is my baby, man. What it lacks in theming it absolutely makes up for in speed. Stealth takes my breath away every single time I ride and I still get anxiety when I sit down and wait for dispatch. Also... those views you get at the top of the top hat are incredible!
    1 point
  37. It's an awkward one, and I'm not really sure what they can do. I think the ride clearly hasn't been a rip-roaring success (or at very least, a rip-roaring success to the degree that the park were hoping for), seeing as it's still on entry via timed tickets as far as I know (correct me if I'm wrong there...), which would indicate that it isn't the most popular ride. It also doesn't appear to be seen as a headline attraction in the same way as the likes of the coasters, from what I can tell, which isn't too good given its age and the money that was spent on it (£30m, supposedly). The problem is, though; I think it was too expensive for them to just leave or do anything overly drastic to it. To abandon a £30m ride (the most expensive ever built in the UK) after only 6 years in operation would be a huge loss of money. So I'm not really sure they can do anything to it without losing a huge amount of money. In an ideal world, I would get rid of it and put a new family thrill dark ride in there that has wider appeal. Perhaps an Oceaneering system, like Jumanji at Gardaland, would work well? Personally, I feel that its appeal was too niche for such a major headline attraction. I'm not saying that there's anything wrong with parks building horror dark rides, and I admire Thorpe's nerve for doing DBGT in the first place, but I think there is a reason why not too many horror dark rides with scare maze-type elements akin to DBGT exist, and the ones that do exist are mostly lower budget support attractions within their respective parks rather than bank-breaking headliners like DBGT. That reason is that the appeal of that type of attraction (horror, with scare actors and many scare maze type elements) is quite limited in the sphere of the wider theme park visiting populace, and there's only so much reward you can get from horror fans, hence it's not usually worth spending tons on that type of attraction. I'm a young adult who likes a good thrill; I would consider myself a thrillseeker who isn't scared by much hardware-wise, so I'm right in the park's target market. However... I have not done DBGT because horror attractions are not my thing at all (I know this makes me sound like a coward, but I'm not keen on forced participation, and I have a slight phobia of costumed characters/scare actors... I haven't done TWD:TR since it was rethemed for the same reason), and I know that I'm not alone in feeling this. Something like DBGT will naturally be a lot more polarising than something like a roller coaster or a more traditional dark ride, and I think that's part of why it hasn't been a greater success. Ultimately, I think that it was a huge, huge gamble. It was a pretty admirable gamble; it had a really admirable degree of ambition behind it, and its uniqueness is in many ways quite stunning, but it was a gamble that ultimately backfired quite spectacularly. Overall, I think the ride was almost a bit too ambitious in many ways, with the experimental technology seemingly being quite problematic, and its appeal was arguably too limited for a ride of its scale.
    1 point
  38. coasterverse

    SAW: The Ride

    I was there yesterday and I must admit I didn't see anything advertising it. It could've just been me not paying attention, but there were no signs outside of the queueline that stated such. But then again, yesterday it was running on reduced capacity and the main queue were directed up the fast track side of the staircase and the main left side was totally unused for whatever reason, so perhaps Fast Track/Single Rider just wasn't in operation yesterday but that's anyone's guess.
    1 point
  39. My money is on a new Dark ride maybe. The building is the same size as Valhallas... Who wouldn't want another Valhalla like attraction in the country!!
    1 point
  40. Entry to creak freak will be via the normal old town entrance round the left side of “the grill” unit. For Project Exodus is clearly delayed, clearly not what they expected to happen. This is quite humiliating to open this area again, considering it was once said it was “closed”. The area has been cleaned up, clearly expected for the area to be ripped up into a building site. In a few months, it will be a whole year since the consultation. Is it going to happen? Has it been accounted for? Are Thorpe planning a backup?
    1 point
  41. Charlesberg

    Top 10's

    This list is probably fairly similar to my previous list, that’s mainly because up until a recent trip to Plopsaland I hadn’t been to an abroad theme park since 2017. Uni, music (my other main passion in life) and covid have just got in the way too much but I am very slowly trying to push my way back into going to abroad parks. I’m still annoyed my 3 day trip to PA with onsite accommodation and unlimited express passes got cancelled 2 years ago. Anyway, back to the list! It’s a bit of a rough list considering that I haven’t ridden many of the coasters on here for years. Any coaster on here from the US I rode in 2016 which makes up over half the list. Top 15 Roller Coasters: 1. Kingda Ka Probably because my expectations were lowered slightly, but this properly blew me away! That launch has some insane power but also lasts forever! Then when you start going up the tower that also seems to never end! Before anyone comments, I’m aware everyone usually tends to prefer Dragster but I never got to ride that (and who knows how that’s going to ride now…) but I imagine I probably would’ve loved that even more! But in general, when I think of good memories from my life, riding this coaster is one of the best memories I have! 2. Shambhala I haven’t ridden this since 2014 so the placement of this is very rough, but I remember been amazed by it throughout. All the times I rode it in 2012 and 2014 I was completely blown away and the on ride DVD from 2012 looks like I’m having a religious experience! This is a coaster I’m dying to get back on at some point though, it’ll probably change places but I’m fairly certain it’ll stay in my top 5! 3. El Toro Definitely the most intense and craziest coaster I’ve ever been on! I had bruises from the airtime it was that mad! And I must not forget about that first drop in the back row! That drop felt like it had a hydraulic launch on it! I’m aware placing it below Kingda Ka is controversial but whilst it is objectively a better ride, the overall experience of Kingda Ka just stays with me a bit more. 4. The Ride to Happiness I only managed to get two rides in on this, one at the very start of the day then one later on in the day after almost 3hrs worth of queuing (it broke down after we waited around 1hr, got to the station and they made us leave the queue for it to reopen 30 mins later, we then queued another 1hr 10mins for the exact same thing to happen but this time we were stubborn and stayed, it then opened 40 mins later so we got our second ride!). The first it was running a bit slow so it disappointed me a little but was still a great ride. However by the second ride it had noticeably warmed up and now I understood the hype, definitely an all round amazing experience with the theme, soundtrack and out of control sensation. I do really really need to get more rides though so I’ll try and go back again next year! 5. Nitro Having ridden Mako earlier that year, to me it felt almost the same but just slightly better. Solid airtime, good length but then that helix into the mid course was a pleasant surprise! You get halfway round it and you’re like “oh sh**, I can’t lift my arms”. I did only get one ride though so my judgement probably isn’t the best. 6. Mako Unlike Nitro, I got loads of rides in and there’s no other description I can really give other than pure fun! Similar positives to nitro as well as a good soundtrack going up the lift hill and a memorable ending. And this never had a queue when I was there so 16 year old me was in my element back then! 7. Manta Pretzel loop, enough said! But yeah this coaster was probably the biggest surprise of my Florida trip back in 2016! This and mako and interchangeable! You can clearly tell B&M flyers have come a heck of a long way since Air! 8. Cheetah Hunt Let me explain! I only got one ride but it was in the back row and I was riding with a close friend at the time. We were just going crazy and having a laugh the whole way round and since it’s a long time we were enjoying that laugh for a while. So whilst the coaster might’ve been worse than I remember, the one ride experience I had on it was amazing and all I can remember was an extremely fun long ride with some good speed! 9. Taron Also let me explain! Whilst this is probably a far far better coaster than Cheetah Hunt, I also only got one ride on it. It was in the middle row and the person I was with didn’t really like me and was a bit annoyed I’d made him wait 90 mins for it. So again it all came down to the experience as the atmosphere was a bit tense. But it was still a fab coaster and that 2nd launch is hard to top! I do really need to go back at some point, with friends that don’t hate me and not in the middle row! 10. Sheikra Being a huge fan of Oblivion’s drop, this ride for me just takes it a huge step further with the addition of an actual layout after the drop! The Immelmann is fab then the drop off the mid-course into the tunnel then splashdown makes for a great finale! Despite the small number of elements, as a result of the sheer size and reasonable length of the coaster I didn’t really notice that so to me it was a fantastic coaster and one of my favourites in Florida! 11. Anubis: The Ride Out of the few Gerstlauers I’ve down (Saw, Smiler, Rage and this) this definitely stood out as the best to me! Partly because it was perfectly smooth to my surprise but it also packed a punch like no other coaster I’d done before! Aside from that dead spot after the mid-course, every single element delivered and was taken at great speed! And that launch is definitely one of the best I’ve done! This ride is telling me I need to get on some more (good) European Gerstlauers! 12. Montu For me this felt like an invert that was long and had more packed in and as a result is my favourite invert I’ve ridden! It has the intensity and whip of most of the other inverts I’ve ridden but then lasts double the time so of course I’m going to rank this higher! 13. Icon For what Icon lacks in intensity, the stuff it does have isn’t very common in the UK! It’s a long ride, has lap bars (I know Sik has them too, but they’re not nearly as comfortable) and has plenty of good airtime moments! It’s just one of those rides I feel relaxed but excited when I ride it, it’s also very re-rideable. Then Enso (as a single rider) adds the intensity the ride lacks, though it is a bit too expensive so I won’t factor that into the placement on the list. But personally I adore this coaster and consider it my favourite in the UK! I just wish other coasters in the UK could be long (and comfortable!) rides! 14. OzIris I haven’t ridden this since 2013 but this felt very similar to Montu but had some standout moments. The first drop not having a pre-drop really makes it rather amazing in the back! And the water feature is really cool as well! A very solid 2nd place B&M invert for me and arguably has better elements than Montu! But Montu’s length does give it the edge in my opinion. 15. Rock 'N' Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith (WDW) The theming really makes this ride for me! Whilst the coaster itself is probably rather average, the storyline of the ride and the experience of being in a runaway limousine with Aerosmith songs blasting out loud was fantastic! And I didn’t find that rough at all so I was just smiling the whole way round! Never got to ride the Paris version but it looks like they might’ve butchered it now…
    1 point
  42. One thing I would say is that I don't think thrills necessarily only appeal to teens and young adults. Thorpe may have a big selection of thrill rides and quite a heavy focus on the thrill market, but I don't think that's necessarily the architect of the park's recent struggles. A look at my data suggests that the extremely thrill-focused 2000s were very successful indeed, and the park actually rode that wave of success right up until 2011; they experienced sustained growth for the best part of 10 years under a thrill heavy strategy. Park attendance grew by 133.3% in the decade between 2000 and 2010, and the park's growth trajectory was a near perfect upward curve for this entire time. I don't think thrills and teens necessarily go hand in hand perfectly. Appealing to the teenage and young adult market doesn't necessarily mean appealing to thrillseekers and vice versa; the thrill market encapsulates a surprisingly wide range of people. It includes people like older families and adults as well as teenagers and young adults. Appealing to the teenage/young adult market can also be done in ways aside from building thrill rides. I'd wager that Thorpe's issue is one of recent investments and target market rather than ride lineup, in two senses. The first sense is that the park in recent years (under Merlin) has tried to go for too much of a niche part of the thrill market, in my opinion. The bulk of the park's additions within the last decade have not been traditional thrill rides, such as coasters and thrill flats; the only investment that would fit either descriptor is Swarm, which only narrowly makes it into the last decade having been built 10 years ago in 2012. Many of the park's recent attempts at thrill have not been "traditional" thrill rides with wide appeal; the bulk of Thorpe's recent thrill investments have been very "edgy", scare based, horror themed attractions with quite niche appeal. In my view, something like DBGT is aimed at a very specific, niche corner of the thrill market and will have far less universal appeal than something like a roller coaster. Ditto with the likes of Walking Dead; the IP is undeniably popular, but an attraction in the style of TWD:TR will appeal to a much smaller subset of thrillseekers (only teens and young adults, really). These investments undeniably appeal to the teen and young adult market very well, but attractions like these don't really open themselves up to the other (arguably more lucrative) corners of the thrill market, such as older families and adults. The second, and arguably more important sense in my view, is that the park seems to have struggled to target towards anyone in recent years. From Swarm onwards, and particularly strongly in the years following DBGT, the park has given off the impression that it has been somewhat paralysed by indecision about who its target market actually is. It seems to have been a fun family park one minute, but a hardcore horror park the next minute, and then a fresh-faced thrill park focused on coasters the next minute after that. The park arguably hasn't made an overly committal move towards appealing in any particular direction since DBGT back in 2016, and any attempts at appealing to one particular market have not been very sustained. In 2014 and 2015, the park went pretty family-based... before going hardcore horror in 2016 and 2017. The park rethemed X to appeal to families in 2013... before retheming it to appeal to hardcore horror fans, arguably reversing the effects of their prior move and then some, in 2018. The park started 2018 off by saying it was "The Year of the Walking Dead" and appealing to hardcore horror fans... before changing tack mid season and going for a more light hearted vibe with all the Love Island stuff to appeal primarily to teens and young adults. 2019 and 2020 were then relatively family-based... but the park went back to horror with Black Mirror in 2021. I get that it is difficult for Thorpe to pick a target market (I'm terribly indecisive myself...), I get that the park has had many different managers with different ideas in recent years, and I do understand that a public business with shareholders will likely find it difficult to have an overly long term view, but my view is that Thorpe would be a fair amount more successful if they took one particular path, properly ran with it, and made some properly decisive moves towards cementing the park as a destination for that particular target market. I think Exodus could well solve this issue (a 230ft hyper is certainly a pretty decisive move towards appealing to the wide subset of the thrill market who like roller coasters), but it does appear that recently, particular paths taken by the park haven't really been given enough time to succeed before the park moves on, and the moves towards these paths haven't been overly committal. The park in recent years has seemed somewhat "on the fence" about who its target demographic actually is, and quite uncommitted towards any particular path. I feel that if the park were to take one path and properly commit to it, they would be a fair bit more successful. Those are just my thoughts, though. I could be very wrong. I apologise, as I know I probably shouldn't question their decision making given that they have the KPIs and charts and things to back up their decisions and I don't. I also know that I'm being a massive hypocrite talking about indecision seeing as I'm pretty indecisive myself... so I should probably stop there seeing as hypocrisy is not a hill I wish to die on. I fully understand how difficult it can be to make a decision and stick to it sometimes.
    1 point
  43. Matt N

    Duel!

    Hello again @Trooper Looper; welcome over here to TPM!
    1 point
  44. Trooper Looper

    Duel!

    Hey everyone, decided to make an account here to off the same name of my other account on Tower Times forum. I'm sure @Matt Nknows me. On about Duel, I've already said this on Tower Times forum, but I'd like to see them Revert it back to the Haunted House, but gut the zombie scenes like after the trommel, and the Lab Finale. I'd love to see them recreate the Ghost Corridor scare but with more reliable technology. For the remaining HH scenes, fingers crossed the restore them to their former glory with some proper UV lighting. Hopefully it'll be screenless as well From what I've heard outside of John Wardley being involved with the project, the team working on it are REALLY Passionate about the ride.
    1 point
  45. Inferno

    SAW: The Ride

    Interesting! I’ve only ever really seen this sort of thing happening on Slammer, where I believe they had to wait for the air pressure to build each time enough before it could dispatch - resulting in quite a lot of standing around and time wasting during the loading! There was also all the faff trying to balance each side of the arm with the other 🙄 nightmare. Clearly that isn’t the reason for Saw, but would love to know what that was about. out of interest, how many cars does Saw have, and how many usually run?
    1 point
  46. JoshC.

    Legoland Deutschland

    It's just so...weird. Like I could almost understand the decision with Chessington if they wanted the very specific factors of a shuttle, launched, winged coaster, and it was something that B&M were in a position to offer. And then to duplicate that across the portfolio once the R&D and tweaks were made makes sense. But to have junior wings pop up at Legolands, and them basically be...kiddie wing riders is confusing. I mean, Chessington getting a shuttle, launched wing is still confusing too. But yeah, these investments are just so out there and filled with "huh?". I'm really intrigued to see how they develop.
    1 point
  47. Martin Doyle

    Cedar Point

    RIP to that absolutely incredible launch!! Even though Red Forces launch couldnt knock the skin off a rice pudding (meaning weak), I would personally still rather see that launch implemented to Dragster as opposed to ripping out a coaster that is visually iconic not only for Cedar Point but the coaster community as a whole. This could also be good for the rides reliability as its a monsterous understatement to say Dragsters hydraulic launch is far from reliable.
    1 point
  48. jom222

    Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

    Visited Busch Gardens a couple of days ago, mixed opinions on the place. The rollercoasters there were really good and a nice mix of different styles and each had their own stand out features. Bit of a toss up between Iron Gwazi and Cheetah Hunt for the top spot here. What seemed to let the park down though was its overall presentation/condition and staff. A lot of the park needs quite a bit of TLC as it was generally grubby and tired looking. As for the staff, almost everyone we spoke to came across rude or weren’t able to help as they’d been moved to Busch Gardens temporarily from the water park opposite so couldn’t point us to simple things like the closest toilets. Still had a good day though as the max we queued was 10 minutes for Tigris, just hope they take a look at their overall guest experience soon as it’s quite a noticeable difference to somewhere like Magic Kingdom.
    1 point
  49. Mark9

    Bubbleworks

    I remember when Chessington had one of the best dark rides in Europe then they decided they didn't want to anymore and completely wrecked it. Good times.
    1 point
  50. SteveJ

    Galactica

    It was the opposite of a superb job, and it was really not what Air needed to improve the experience
    1 point
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