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Showing content with the highest reputation since 06/13/19 in all areas

  1. 2 points

    The Next Big Thing

    Some people may be aware that a couple of weeks ago, TowersTimes had a Q&A session with Thorpe. An brief summary from someone who attended, found on CoasterForce: So it certainly seems like the 'next big thing' is a while away. It's no secret that Thorpe's non-big things over the past decade have left a lot to be desired, so it'll be interesting to see if they can change that. And also it's questionable whether the park can truly remain fresh and exciting without adding a major new addition for so long. And forgive my pessimistic scepticism, but I see little to be excited about. The park have see-sawed between families and teens/young adults again and again it makes you wonder if they'll ever get the balance right. Saying the park will look unrecognisable in 10 years time is a bold claim which requires a substantial amount of money to back it up (Walibi Belgium are doing something similar and spending at least 100m euros) - and this is during a time when Varney has said that Merlin will be investing less money in theme parks. It all sounds very much like Thorpe have been looking through rose-tinted binoculars and what the future could be like.
  2. 1 point

    Merlin Entertainments

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-48700496 Merlin have, after many years of planning, moved two whales from an aquarium in China to a whale sanctuary in Iceland. Animal welfare is still a developing issue in China, and aquariums/oceanariums with whale shows aren't unusual. Merlin bought the Changfeng Ocean World Zoo in 2012 and rebranded it into a Sealife Shanghai, and committed very early to improving animal welfare and ultimately moving the whales, despite the massive popularity of the show. Indeed, Merlin don't actually list Sealife Shanghai anywhere on the Sealife website, and you have to do some digging to find out that they own/run it. The movement to the sanctuary had hit a couple of delays and was an expensive, logistical nightmare, but is now finally done. I don't know the long term plan for Sea Life Shanghai, but I imagine they're going to continue bringing it in line with other Sea Lifes, and further push education of animal welfare in China.
  3. 1 point

    The Next Big Thing

    I assume going for a family friendly approach will involve getting rid of Walking Dead cred then? Constant reactive decisions aren't helping, and as soon as changes are made and aren't successful in a season (because a massive change like target audience takes time) they'll revert back...
  4. 1 point

    The Small Parks Thread

    And it's what you've all been waiting for, a Taiga POV.. Today was the press event, with the ride opening tomorrow. Unsurprisingly, all reviews have been positive; good amounts of ejector airtime and some good intense moments. The stall inversion after the top hat looks bloody brilliant too. And if that's not enough to whet your whistle, here's the beautiful advert... Heading out here in September and I'm seriously hyped already 😍
  5. 1 point

    Islands of Adventure

    That article did make me laugh, I'm sure Universal would want guests roaming the park and spending money, rather than standing in a queue the whole day. Galaxy's Edge at Disney is much easier to implement a virtual queue system for (it's a glorified indoor motion simulator) than #Hagride (complicated Intamin coaster opening during storm season in Florida). Weather and technical delays could have turned the virtual waiting system into a nightmare with backlogs. Calling the whole process "inhumane" is a massive overreaction IMO, nobody forced guests to wait as long as they did for a coaster. The queue times were heavily advertised, and there's screens outside the park advertising when the ride is at capacity. Universal did a very good job of keeping guests in the queue happy and safe, free bottled water was dished out, toilet breaks were permitted by giving guests leaving the queue a password to get back in and entertainment put on. Regarding capacity, they have been running more full cars (some rows audio was not working, which has now been fixed. and Despite the long queues, guests have been coming off this ride absolutely singing it's praises. It appears Universal/Intamin have struck gold with this ride!
  6. 1 point

    Tidal Wave

    They were fixed two seasons ago, but then broke again (or weren't swithched on). Last season i saw only the sink work on one visit and nothing on the rest. Was just nice to see them all working. The house sets certainly do look worn which is a shame. At least the park are trying to touch little things up and repair things.
  7. 1 point
    Mysta Ghoul

    Tidal Wave

    I think they were fixed couple years back, maybe not, but they're lots of fun. The toilet is pretty busted now though and has a plastic seat sort of stuck on top (used to be a themed toilet like from the 50s) with a perspex cover to stop people, err..! I think the radio on the shelf in the first 'house' used to speak too? The house sets looking pretty worn out these days sadly. It was a brilliant themed area when looked after, the best in park!
  8. 1 point

    Park Music

    Noticing more and more changes recently with music at the park - Detonator platform now plays the queue line music when the rides announcements aren’t playing. Tidal Wave station finally has WWTP back playing in there (it’s been years!) Speakers at the entrance where the security queue is are also much louder now which was much needed!
  9. 1 point

    Park Operations

    Great to see that overall operations continue to be great at Thorpe this year. It has certainly been improved this year compared to the last few years and nice to see coasters consistently opening on more than one train! Also nice that the park was pretty much fully open from 9:30am despite advertising as open from 10am.
  10. 1 point

    The Swarm

    Good to see the Helicopter water skim finally working again - noticed over the past few weeks it’s been worked on slowly, the pool at the fire truck has also been cleaned out so hopefully that will be back up and running soon. Just be good to get the tower sound effect working again now and the TV’s!
  11. 1 point

    Jungle Escape

    It's odd isn't it - it's almost as if people come to a theme park, and expect to pay an entrance fee and everything is covered other than food and drink. Strange.
  12. 1 point

    2019 Season

    So me and my other half have just got back from a 4 day trip - one day at Chessington and three at Thorpe. Very mixed trip which I’ll summarise in bullet points. - Operations at Thorpe were (for the most part) very, very good. Two trains on all the major coasters (and TWD) every day and rapid dispatches. Chessington really needs work in that area though! - Our ride on DBGT wasn’t bad, pretty much all of the effects were working well and it had hardly any downtime whilst we were on park. Only reason we went on though is because we had an hour of fast track for it included with the hotel stay, otherwise we wouldn’t have bothered. It’s bad that, for a ride that was supposed to be so re-rideable, we see pretty much absolutely no reason to go back on anymore. It needs to go. - BounceZilla is a complete and utter monstrosity and we thought it looked mortifying for all involved. I’d imagine it’s probably quite fun, yes, but this should not be at Thorpe Park imo. - Jungle Escape has flopped harder than anyone could have expected. We didn’t see anyone queuing or going in, or even glancing at it, whilst at the park. Considered giving it a go, but didn’t think it was worth the £10pp upcharge for what seems to more or less be IAC in sheep’s clothing. - Went in GameFX for 45 mins or so when it was raining yesterday and was moderately impressed. Good variety of consoles and games, and plenty of them to go around. The VR experience also looked good fun. It was pretty quiet though, on a busy day when it was pouring down outside. Evidence that maybe people don’t want to go to a theme park and play video games? 🤔 - TWD:TR has improved since last year imo. Not sure why or how, but I enjoyed it a lot more this year. Much better experience with live actors than without for me personally as well. - Quantum still looks a week or two away from finally opening this year to me. We watched it being worked on and it was tested a few times (that we saw), but it isn’t making a great sound when sent on it’s full cycle 😕 - Best ride on Vortex that I’ve ever had, it’s running so well this year. - Old Town looks as sorry as ever. I’m not going to even bring up SBNO rides as everyone already knows the situation! - I’ve always had a soft spot for Thorpe Shark, however after this visit I think the park desperately needs a proper hotel. We stayed in a tiny Travelodge room after Chessington and it felt so, so, so spacious compared to the shipping containers. - I’ve not been to Chessington before but I think I preferred it to Thorpe, which I didn’t think would happen considering the target markets (not that anyone, including Merlin, knows what Thorpe’s really is). Better theming, better atmosphere, better maintenance. However Thorpe definitely wins on the operations front. - Impressed with the 40th anniversary merch on offer. They should be doing more to commemorate it than selling new stuff though. - We left 2 hours early today due to the queue times. Our fault for (mistakenly) booking during half term but there you go! Apologies for the long post! Just some thoughts on what will probably be my only visit this year. My second to worst visit that I’ve ever had unfortunately.
  13. 1 point

    The Next Big Thing

    2020: A Mack Wild Mouse themed to Operation Yewtree 2021: A children's playground with year round live scare actors 2022: "The Thorpe Park Dungeon" 2023: The Octopus Garden rides return in the Saw area 2024: The whole "resort" falls apart from neglect, Merlin assure everyone that they are looking into options and that despite nothing being open, there are tons of events to look forward to on the beach this summer, including The Cannibal Holocaust Experience and the return of Love Island (which got cancelled in 2022) 2025: The Thorpe Housing Estate The worrying thing is that whilst I'm exaggerating, it's not by much. Merlin really do need to go.
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