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Showing most liked content since 04/13/18 in all areas

  1. 8 points
    Mark9

    The Walking Dead - The Ride: SPOILERS

    I bet people can't wait to ride this indoor rollercoaster at midnight, it's going to make a big difference.
  2. 5 points
    Flipper

    Wicker Man - New for 2018

    Disagree. Yes Alton are running on a shoestring budget but they're still trying to recover so it's expected. But that aside; they're trying. Yes there's lots of downsides, but look at Nemesis. It's looking great and they've invested into its future. Something keeps occurring around Sub Terra so we can only hope there's a future plan for it. There's murmurs of work being done to Cloud Cuckoo Land to bring the area back and re implement CATCF as an attraction (albeit without the Charlie IP). Yes things aren't great but with a park like Towers it doesn't phase me the staggered openings as most guests are heading straight for Wicker Man anyway, and its no different in my view as Blackpool's staggered openings. I'm just thankful that we've now got a more-or-less full ride line up again (bar CATCF and 4D as we know ST is dead) and that cuts were made in Splash and Tree Top Quest over the theme park experience. Thorpe is doing good in my opinion. They've made the entrance look acceptable from something very run down and grubby; they've tried with TWD - and I'm still happy its not VR on a ride, plus I haven't ridden it yet - and their operational calendar is amongst the strongest it's been for years with late night openings in Summer, and frequent 6pm+ closes. Great hotel rates to drive footfall which reflect the product offering in price and the return of the Annual Pass deal which is welcoming for the general public. And I'd argue good for Chessington too. Yes there's flaws, but again, they've not had a bad start to the season. People are very quick to highlight the negatives but aside from Tomb, the park isn't looking too bad. I for one am excited for Land of the Tigers, and I think this year they've really tidied up the park somewhat, to a degree I've already visited twice and usually I go once a year. I 100% respect, understand and see your viewpoint. But I feel there's too much negativity for the parks which are all trying really damn hard to recover, rebuild, and carry on after having budgets slashed left right and centre, when on reflection, we've seen Towers add one of their best coasters in the last decade, whilst refurbishing attractions back to a fresh state; Chessington bring a needed area refurbishment with new experiences to help themselves grow; LEGOLAND riding on the back of Ninjago: The Ride with the Haunted House breaking ground finally; and THORPE utilizing assests they have to hand in the form of Walking Dead and looking at their marketing and operations to grow themselves as a park.
  3. 4 points
    Martin Doyle

    Cedar Point

    I will be absolutely shocked if I come off this in August and it has not EASILY become my top coaster!! It just looks like it has it all!! Height - Check Intense Drop - Check Speed - Check Airtime - BIG check length - Check Near misses - Check Pacing - Check (that video makes it look near flawless in its pacing) it really does look like it will be the perfect roller coaster. However the proof in the pudding will be in the eating so I will await actually riding it in August before placing it amongst my best coasters. However if it is as good as it looks then we have one of the best (if not THE best) coasters in the world on our hands
  4. 3 points
    ProudToServe

    Park Music

    They were all repaired before the opening of 2017 season. Their current state, who knows now. The 2016-2017 SS team had plans to continue the repairs to the park wide audio during 2018. Let's hope the new team will have the drive to keep on top of it.
  5. 3 points
    Just got back from my brush with The Walking Dead, thoughts... Firstly and I cannot stress this point enough, I don't think they should have done this to X. Rave X was a genius idea and the perfect family friendly roller coaster that Thorpe needed so badly in it's line up. The removal of X in my opinion at least was incredibly short sighted and ill advised. Therefore, no matter how good or bad Walking Dead is, in my eyes, the decision to replace X with it, was a mistake. So how was The Walking Dead then? Was alright. Exterior Queue This was almost exactly the same as it's always been, but now with loud Fright Nights style music and a cheap looking watch tower, no complaints, no praise. Preshow This was hilarious. Chris Hemsworth delivering comedy gold while a jombie chews some glass on a flat screen TV behind you. Footage of jomies invading Thorpe Park that made me literally laugh out loud. Then more hilarity from Hemsworth and off you go. It was cheesy, it was a dumb, I quite enjoyed it. Preride Corridors Literally the same X corridors but this time with 80 percent less rave. It reminded me of a heavily discounted Platform 13 at Walibi Holland. Sirens, a sense of urgency, people running and screaming but nothing at all happening. It could be worse but it certainly wasn't as good as it could be. Needs more jombies. Coaster At the air gates, the staff member was smashing their height stick on the floor to scare people, someone needs to tell him that they are 1) expensive and 2) if damaged it won't accurately tell you heights any more, but hey, you scared a bloke, so well done I guess! Not going to lie, I quite enjoyed the actual coaster portion. All 4 block sections are laughable, in a good way! First one, plastic jombies light up, I hope that's a reference to when XNWO had those weird plastic robots on that section, either way, it amused me. Second one, nothing at all, followed by Chris Hemsworth shouting. Third one, 3 flat screen TVs of jombies licking glass, while Chris Hemsworth makes the train judder about, suddenly triggering me to need the toilet. Fourth one, something about a generator, then a jombie lights up, the end. Hilarious. It's the inbetween, fast sections that are slightly impressive. The jombies lighting up and lunging at you as you speed past reminded me a lot of the fantastic Raptor Attack and Revenge of the Mummy. Also the theming on some of these fast sections looked to be of quite a good standard. Postride The train rolls into the station and the offload host goes bats**t insane, flailing like a madman, almost tripping over and screaming at you to get out. Then you're in a canteen or something and a loud noise goes off, neither of which made sense to me but some people screamed, so I guess it's fine? After this you walk through the old X exit corridors, except for the addition of 1 section now having rubber things you need to push through and strings that tickles your head as you do so, one of said strings slapped me in the eye, so if mildly unpleasant was the goal, they succeeded. Then you just walk out via the old exit. I can't help but feel this ending is lacking something. Were jombies meant to be attacking me at every turn but said effects/actors were missing? If the answer is no then the ending is rather disappointing, I was half expecting to be put in my place for the rest of the attraction making me laugh, but said big ending scare never came. Talking of scares... I'm a HUGE wuss when it comes to scare attractions and normally won't do them at all unless a cred is attached. So I have to ask, if this scaredy cat came off with nothing but comedy to report, where the hell did this 15/10 crap come from? To summarise, The Walking Dead is fine. I enjoyed it for what it was. If you go in with low expectations and the mindset of having a laugh, then like me you'll probably walk away mildly amused by the whole experience.
  6. 2 points
    Kerfuffle

    Planet Coaster

    Back in December I completed my most complex attraction to date - 'Mysteria: The Legend of The Manor' is a trackless motion platform dark ride themed around the chilling legacy of Batzville Manor and the disturbing secrets hidden within...complete with a complex backstory for which I could be here all night going through it. Over the past few months however, extra details have gone into the ride, mostly on the exterior - inside however has seen some extra "lodgers", from a skeleton pianist to a couple of ghouls locked in a game of chess for what seems an eternity. Before and after shots of the entrance facade. Spot the differences! ...and today I installed a ride with a simple, easy to understand theme. The theme of 'Galloper Express' speaks for itself, as you take on an out-of-control stagecoach ride through the canyon all while a wild gunfight rages around you. Hold onto your hats!
  7. 2 points
    Mark9

    Wicker Man - New for 2018

    Europa is becoming a bit of a lazy comparison these days. It's the best theme park in Europe, possibly the world so is there much point saying Europa do this, Europa do that when Merlin are never going to be at that level. Saying they should aim to be that also isn't ever going to happen. The UK theme park market is stagnating and whilst I love the Wicker Man and I think Icon will be excellent, its a temporary positive and I think 2019 will be back to normal. Ooh go on then. Big Thunder Mountain smoke effect as well as the water splashdown, off. Snow Whites hand which has been broken for at least a year off, half of the last room on It's a Small World not working, water effects in Adventureland off, Cheshire cat's eyes off and no water effects on Alice in Wonderlands maze, R2 D2 stuck looking one way in one room, robot covered in tarp in the next room on Star Tours, no fire on Frontierland entrance sign. This is why Merlin shouldn't do the effects thing too often because they don't have the budgets to maintain them. When someone said the fire on Swarm was still on I was taken aback.
  8. 2 points
    OlivusPrime

    Unpopular Opinions

    What a bizarre discussion. It's all fair and well for a theme park fan to say "You should really plan your day fully in advance/work your way around the park in a specific order", but who honestly expects a member of the general public to be that forward-thinking and knowledgeable about the park's operations when anticipating what should be a leisurely day out at a park? I can't speak for everyone, but the only modus operandi I tend to stick to when visiting a park is to leave the newest attraction(s) until later in the day, but Towers' operating schedule has basically done away with that unless you're of a very specific age group/demographic. I have never, particularly in off-peak season, had to plan out a schedule of rides prior to visiting a park, and I'd say there have only been two occasions where I've done a noticeably disappointing number of rides, one of which would have seen no benefit at all from forward-planning. Visitors are paying more than they ever have to enter these parks, and yet Merlin are maintaining cuts that are very clearly having a big impact on a substantial number of guests' days out. Expecting people to accommodate this by putting a schedule on, or in any other way restraining a relaxed day out that they've paid for, is ignorant and against much of what theme parks were intended to be in the first place.
  9. 2 points
    Mattgwise

    Cedar Point

    This ride seriously looks insane. Cannot wait to ride it (and the rest) in late August!
  10. 2 points
    ChessingtonSam

    Wicker Man - New for 2018

    Just remembered I never really shared my thoughts on Wicker Man, so here goes: As some of you will know I get R.A.P so I didnt get to experience the main queue. From the disabled access queue, though, the ride looks amazing, and very intimidating (I was absolutely bricking it looking at the second drop haha). The audio is absolutely fantastic here, I assume it was the third track throughout the queue I've been hearing about, and I wish it was on the Internet. The audio in the baggage hold area is great also however with my ASD I'm fairly sensitive to loud noises and I didnt appreciate the sudden loud music when the doors open, I guess it fulfilled its purpose though haha. Now, I wasn't going to experience the pre show anyway, but it's not like that mattered because someone with a small child who had already experienced it just walked right through and shoved open the doors to the station, so nobody got to see it anyway. I think they should put up some signage and such to prevent this from happening in the future. This also messed everything else up, there were 4 people on our train, and nobody waiting for the next train when ours dispatched (the pre show operator's reaction was priceless though haha). The station, while great, imo is too scary for younger kids. My nine year old sister was in tears just because of the audio (she didnt go on the ride). Now, the actual ride. Probably worth mentioning this was my first wooden coaster altogether. First time round, I was pretty scared and also pulled the restraint down far too tight, and I think I was sat wrong, so my, ahem, Illacus felt like it was being torn to absolute shreds on the ride (something which I think was actually caused on Dragon's Fury). The second time round though, I loved it, for pretty much the same reasons as everyone else. For those reasons, at least until I ride some other bigger coasters, Wicker Man sits at #1 for me, joint with Galactica. Also shoutout to the staff on the ride, they are absolutely brilliant, especially the one who went out of his way to take care of my little sister, even giving her earplugs and offering her water and the like. Another standout was the guy who took me and my dad out of the baggage hold and through a "restricted access" door straight on to the ride, so we could avoid the pre show. I realise this was a wall of text and I wish I had a whole load of nice photos to share - but, I don't. So here's a photo of the statue and also a game - spot me.
  11. 2 points
    Martin Doyle

    Wicker Man - New for 2018

    No need to panic!! The fire will be fixed and then we will get either of the following. 1. Seasonal operating of the fire effects (Easter and then May half term followed by the summer holidays and then scarefest and fireworks) 2. Fire going off on every third train!! 3. Fire effects after 11pm!! No need to worry whatsoever!!
  12. 2 points
    Terry Terry

    Fear on a Ride

    When conquering fear on a ride you will start to realise that the stuff you’re afraid of is the reason you ride the ride. As scary as it may be, that’s only a small part of it, the other part will be your body taking in the amazement of the experience. Over time that fear will become excitement and you will look forward to a ride which could be terrifying. You won’t need to think “well a ride I’ve ridden is more terrifying than this ride so I think I’ll be fine” and instead you’ll be thinking “now that’s a step up from anything I’ve ever done, sign me up!”. You will also get to a point where you embrace intensity, so rather than opting for the inside seat and least intense row, you end up going for a more adventurous row (back or front) and shotgunning the outside seat. That’s basically the main goal which even took me plenty of fear conquering. A way to maybe conquer your fear is to really think about the end result and how much more exciting your life as an enthusiast will be. At that point you can then go further, to theme parks in exotic places (gives a good excuse to travel the world) to rides in unusual locations.
  13. 2 points
    Marc

    Wicker Man - New for 2018

    It’s not turned off, it’s broken, it will be fixed - but don’t let that get in the way of merlin bashing
  14. 1 point
    Mega-Lite

    Dymchurch Has A Cred!

    While online searching for a new best friend, I stumbled on something much more important, Dymchurch has a cred! Immediately I put plans in motion to ride this beast... This Sunday just gone was the day of reckoning and it began with having a Mc10:35, I'll admit I don't see the appeal or even understand the logic but for about 2 minutes I felt one with the youth of today and that's priceless. From said McDonalds it was a one and a half hour drive to Dymchurch, which is in the arse end of Kent if you didn't know and as always, this drive was quite a memorable one. On the M20, I was viciously tailgated by no less than 3 Belgium registered 4X4s, all 3 of them with damage front and rear, implying I was not their first victim. Now I know Plopsa and Bobbejaanland are God awful and I've made my opinions on them very public but Christ, is murder really the answer? On the up side, if I did die at least I wouldn't have to get a mortgage... I left the safety (or lack thereof) of the motorway at Ashford and from there on was at the mercy of the sat nav. As previously mentioned my sat nav hates me, so of course things went to hell quite quickly. For the last 15 MILES of the journey, I was driving on single track dirt roads, shouting so loudly at the sat nav I may have disturbed the sheep in the adjacent field. For the last 6 MILES of the journey, I had 10 women in bright pink shirts cycling infront of me, taking up the whole dirt road, refusing to pull over and let me pass. For the last 4 MILES of the journey, the women were still refusing to allow me to pass and now a white van was tailgating (I didn't see if he was Belgium), honking and shouting abuse, if Mr Garmin isn't already dead, he's just made my list. To end it's reign of terribleness, I wasn't taken to the car park I asked for and was instead taken to a dead end housing estate, where the locals stared in disgust as I did a 3 point turn on a man's driveway and wheel spun away, still shouting at the sat nav. None of that mattered though, as I finally found my way to that car park, paid for parking, avoided the sketchy man scratching his balls in public and went out to explore the great town of Dymchurch. It turns out, Dymchurch might be the most deprived place I've ever visited. This is all I managed to find on my walk to the amusements, 3 charity shops, a sweet shop, the smallest Tesco's in the World, a pub and a restaurant. I don't know what I was expecting really but my plans of "going round town" after getting the cred were now spited. Undeterred I walked into the amusement park with my head held high. Much like Dymchurch the place, the "park" was absolutely tiny and had nothing else of interest to me apart from the cred, they used to have a really screwed up looking tiny log flume that looked worth a go but sadly that's long gone. I paid my £2.40 (I've got your back Benin) and went to experience Dymchurch's first ever cred and what a beast she was. A brand new wacky worm, with a tyre driven lift AND station (no more push starts!). It would be fair to say it wasn't running as well as some other wacky worms I've ridden but I'll put that down to it still bedding in. After this I visited the smallest Tesco's ever before getting back on the road and heading to Thorpe. Thanks for reading.
  15. 1 point
    Mega-Lite

    The Small Parks Thread

    The Zacspin ruined my excitement.
  16. 1 point
    Flipper

    Legoland

    Nexo Knights Kingdom Castle... sorry I keep picking on you I don't mean to. It will be known as Haunted House. Just the same as it's known as Atlantis over Atlantis: Submarine Voyage. It's solely to reflect what it's all about. I don't think Ghost works whatsoever.
  17. 1 point
    Coaster

    Wicker Man - New for 2018

    I'm already classing 2018 as a negative year in all honesty. We've gained Wicker Man (a fantastic coaster) and Icon (hopefully another fantastic coaster), but we've lost one of the most wonderful coasters ever to grace the UK lineup. No new coaster can make up for that, IMO. In addition, there's Alton operating on a shoestring budget (a park opening a major new coaster shouldn't be operating a schedule which sees four major coasters open at 11am), Blackpool cutting hours, the less said about Thorpe the better and I can't even face visiting Chessington. We've got two new coasters but the negatives still outweigh the positives, IMO.
  18. 1 point
    Martin Doyle

    Phantasialand

    And there was me thinking I was the only person on the planet who thought both of these!! I do love Chiapas to bits but Ripsaw falls final drop truely is a thing of beauty....and you actually get wet on the ride!!!
  19. 1 point
    BaronC.

    Phantasialand

    Nemesis > Black Mamba and Chiapas is the best thing to ever grace this earth. But since you love Taron so much I'll overlook that
  20. 1 point
    alexander

    Phantasialand

    - Taron is quite possibly the best coaster I have ever ridden. It has everything. - Black Mamba > Nemesis - Chiapas is exceptional but I prefer Ripsaw Falls overall. - River Quest is wild. Like wtf was that. - Temple of the Nighthawk needs to be binned. - Maus au Chocolate is great. - Europa > Phantasia [/fin]
  21. 1 point
    alexander

    Toverland

    I really loved this park. The staff were super friendly and the park, whilst small, is super well themed! Troy is amazing and their spinner beats most Spinners I’ve ever been on to be honest. The Vekoma Bike is definitely an interesting one. The new areas opening looked stunning when I visited (from what had been completed). Gutted I’m missing the opening of them in July.
  22. 1 point
    They were lights on a stick!
  23. 1 point
    Matt Creek

    Wicker Man - New for 2018

    Comparing Merlin to Disney in some ways is a bit like comparing Tesco to Waitrose. There’s some similarities between the two, but the latter generally offers a more premium price and one could argue is more upmarket. Whilst Merlin will never be up there with Disney, there’s no doubt that they can create quality attractions. Swarm, Wickerman and Gruffalo first come to mind. However what’s affecting these are limitations in budgeting, marketing and structure. The parks desperately need a complexion of themes that are upbeat, comical and mysterious. Less-so modern day dark/abandoned and bright garish themes. I understand the demographic have previously asked for these, however what was hot topic five years ago may be relevant today. Budgeting is another thing, as the parks typically only get funding for new attractions (investment levels rotated), basic maintenance and ‘essential’ safety improvements. Sometimes the parks really have to push for extensive upkeep (see the TLC scheme) which should never have to happen like this. The under prioritised upkeep from Merlin is the real reason little things like Vampire’s chandeliers and mothballed/removed rides have been happening. Merlin have the full ability to run all parks as high-level leading european Parks. Whilst they may not necessarily reach the heights of say Efteling or Phantasialand (which are operated differently), they have the potential to be near their league if they willing to pull out the right stops. It’s such a shame they choose not to and continue to tighten already stiff budgets, just because they want to make a massive profit, please shareholders and build dozens more Legolands. The parks themselves have a difficult fime through such limited budgets, however there are people who work in these parks that are definitely trying the best they can, even though they are basically expected to clean a toilet with just a broken toothbrush and almost empty cleaning bottle.
  24. 1 point
    Robert.W

    Duel!

    I rode Duel mulitiple times on Tuesday and Wednesday of last week. Overall, I'm actually very pleased with all the changes and improvements. The façade looks much better with the ivy trimmed back, and the new outdoor music really sets the spooky atmosphere well. On to the queue inside, the new portraits, while they are just a little too bright, are still a nice addition, giving the queue something new for guests to look at. The new queue and station music is nice too, even if I was a bit disappointed to see they had removed the old announcements in the station. On to the ride itself, there were certain scenes which had improved dramatically! The first scene with the moving walls and thunder looked much better than before. Another was the Screaming Heads room, the actual heads looked much fresher, and the overall effect was a much better experience than before TLC. Another of the areas which I really enjoyed was the garden scene, where the new lighting has been very effective in my opinion! I was also very impressed on how many of the effects were working too, although, on some of the later rides on Wednesday, one or two of the effects had seemingly been turned off or had broken. One of the best things to come from the TLC has to be the new soundtrack though. It's just what the ride needed, and anyone who isn't sure of it now, I'm certain you'll grow to like it. It really is much more atmospheric, and I found it worked very well, along with the old sound effects, and certainly wasn't too quiet, which I have seen some criticism of. If there was one thing I'd change about the soundtrack, it would be that I would bring the old spider soundtrack back to the giant spider scene, as I always thought that worked pretty well, and was actually surprised it had been removed in the first place. All in all, I'm very pleased, and with further tweaking as the season continues, I'm sure it'll only get better and better! (And I can't wait for them to get that Trommel Tunnel working again!)
  25. 1 point
    Benin

    Alton Towers General Discussion

    Perhaps, the wording is awful though and it's a stupid thing for any social media account to say to a prospective guest... Should've just said something about "if you need to change the date on your advance ticket please contact such and such"...
  26. 1 point
    Marc

    Alton Towers General Discussion

    Usually there’s a re-validation fee to change the date (£5 I think) - judging by the late reply I guess the responses got them to think twice on this one! I still don’t think the original reply came across how they intended it mind!
  27. 1 point
    Matt Creek

    General Discussion

    Typically for most ‘Coaster type rides’ in Merlin parks, RAP users will normally be positioned at the back row or last two rows (subject to the size of the group and train). Normally it will just be one group or wristband per train (subject to the user’s severities). Unfortunately sonething does not seem to be adding with Merlin’s use of the RAP system, as the queues and way they are managed seem to be rathe out of hand or late. Too often, there are cases of the RAP queue overflowing on busy days, where it reaches a point where users may wait around 30 minutes to ride or the RAP allocation has to be increased until the queue drops down. This is a lose-lose situation because it means some RAP users will become uncomftable (especially if they hate quieting) and/or main queue users will complain about the allocation. The staff receive regular abuse as a result of this. There definitely needs to be revised system for this, because the current one does not seem to work. Somehow a system which means that only those who require additional needs or cannot queue in any circumstances. Unfortunately there is no easy path and no matter which way they go about this, there always be angry voices complaining, which is not massively surprising. I don’t think this is a one size fits all situation. I should point out, not all disabilities are visual and the amount of people who use wheelchairs (or other forms of mobility support) are lower than you think. Too often in society, non wheelchair users ( who have a disability) get looked upon negatively if they park in a disabled parking space.
  28. 1 point
    Matt Creek

    X

    Regretibly never made the talk, but from what I’ve heard and seen looks like it sounded like it was a massive success. Have just watched a video of Phill’s talk and found it excellent. Very informative, polished and featuring some astounding facts. It’s amazing how much of a major project this was for the original owners, from groundwork down to promotional image. I never knew the entrance was originally intended to be located at the back and the fact there was very briefly a retail shop as well. Fingers crossed we can see more events in the future from both parties. Unless it’s already been posted, here’s a video of Phill’s amazing talk on the history of Project X.
  29. 1 point
    Off the top of my head, I think Gerstlauer refurbished the Jet Star II when Towers sold it. So it may be possible to still get a used Jet Star II or III. Though I think it’s highly unlikely we’d ever see one at Thorpe. I wish someone would take Knightmare though! It’s still rusting away at Camelot.
  30. 1 point
    If fans have loved X so much, then the walking dead ride would have been placed between the swarm and the lakeview tent, as an enclosed roller coaster (Schwarzkopf Jumbo Jet model is my guess). And then X would have been kept for many years to come (even for the dance scene from the peanuts movie as a makeover). So what do you think of my opinion?
  31. 1 point
    MarkC

    Football

    Rumour has it the Craven Cottage corporate hospitality menu was changed just before it was served. They added more pie in the last minute.
  32. 1 point
    Project LC

    Unpopular Opinions

    When I rode maverick it did have the stealth restraints so atleast the park noted the issue and tried to improve it, although it was still a wonderful ride even with the stealth otsr. The horseshoe roll followed by the second launch is just my idea of perfection.
  33. 1 point
    Flipper

    Wicker Man - New for 2018

    Sam it’s great to hear you enjoyed and braved the Wicker Man. It’s a top ride for me too now at Towers. My brother has ASD/Autism so I can appreciate how difficult it is to find the confidence to try these rides. Wicker Man really is fast paced; and if you can do that and Galactica (and you’ve done Thirteen?) I would totally give Rita a go on your next trip; followed by Nemesis and Oblivion and Smiler. You seem to be like my brother deep down you enjoy the rides but you’ve gotta jump that hurdle! :-)
  34. 1 point
    JoshuaA

    The Walking Dead - The Ride: SPOILERS

    I think I'll find more intensity in checking my facebook news feed than this at midnight..
  35. 1 point
    Mattgwise

    The Walking Dead - The Ride: SPOILERS

    It is quite risky putting an event like this on given the amount of downtime the ride has had of late.
  36. 1 point
    GetEchoes

    Wicker Man - New for 2018

    To be fair we don’t know the reason for removing the beams. It could be that the wood needed to be re-treated to stop it rotting and with the weather it wasn’t done in time so removed as a safety thing. You have to bear In mind everything costs the park. Why would you remove it if you didn’t need to. Look st the old Canada creek railroad. The barriers are still in place. It’s never going to be used but it costs too much to remove them from the ground. Sometimes everyone is a little quick to judge and say Merlin or Thorpe are bad, ruining everything. Maybe there are operational reasons for stuff like this. Business isn’t so simple and why would you do something if you didn’t need to.
  37. 1 point
    Flipper

    Wicker Man - New for 2018

    Not the clearest photos but just grabbed these from Google (credit to their sources which I didn’t take note of sorry) Also sorry posting from phone so IDK how they’re gonna upload.
  38. 1 point
    Imagineer

    Wicker Man - New for 2018

    FML.
  39. 1 point
    Stuntman707

    Wicker Man - New for 2018

    To be fair, they had to stop using blood red water around Nemesis. It was built before water around rides had to be retained and treated separately, (Hence the pool filters around The Swarm) therefore the red water was seeping into the surrounding environment.
  40. 1 point
    This week I had my first ride on The Walking Dead Ride (or X version 3 (or 5/6)if you prefer). Queue line is pretty much completely outdoors and seems to be your standard ‘rundown’ cattlepen. At first this may sound somewhat of a bad thing. However given this potentially cleans up the queue distribution (Main,Fastrack,RAP etc.) and the theming/setting, this may be one of the better uses for a cattlepen. The bagroom is now just before the indoor part, which is around where the ole bagroom many years ago once was. There is a pre-show, which neither great or terrible, but does it’s job to setup the purpose of the safe zone. The former queue/walkways have been rethemed to like emergency corridors, with flashing lights and bits. There didn’t seem much noticeable from when it was X , at least as lighting is concerned. We arrive at the station, which is noticeably darker and gloomier. The new setup means there is almost no queue which is nice. The trains remain the same (the two person rule unfortunately remains, but they probably have little control over that). For the ride itself, gone is the upbeat vibe and replaced a dark apocalyptic one. There are numerous parts of theming representing zombies and other items. There are a few screens, but no noticeable animatronics, which is a shame really. The third stop has returned, which features new effects such. Whilst this makes the ride’s pacing a little strange, it somehow works as the last part of the ride feels like zombies chasing you. The action doesn’t finish on the exit corridor, which now features a few effects and darkened areas making it gloomy and misleading. It’s almost like a scaremaze in one sense. After passing the bagroom, we take a strange detour on a path leading us into the megastore. Whilst this is a good upselling tactic, the route feels long winded and deliberately out of the way. The back pathway appears to have been removed, although it would’ve been a dead-end anyway. In Summary, there are some things I really like about this retheme and some things not so much. I like that the park are trying to turn it more into an experience, there are some decent effects and this is one of the better ‘low investment’ year addictions. Most of which in the last 5-10 years have felt rather far-fetched. However, the attraction has resulted in ‘yet’ another dark apocalyptic theme, bringing that number now upto five, six if you include Tidal Wave (which is arguably a more upbeat theme). The park desperately more than ever needs more upbeat/mysterious themes and seems to have somewhat lost one through this retheme. I also think the ride doesn’t need to be a 1.4 and more like a 1.2 or 1.3. After all that, I haven’t decided whether I prefer X or TWD, but there are things I like about both attractions. The park have done quite well here, but now need to focus on more upbeat themes.
  41. 1 point
    Coaster

    Unpopular Opinions

    My point is that you shouldn't HAVE to go a particular way around the park in order to achieve more than 2 rides in a day. Whilst planning your day will of course mean you get on more rides, it's pretty shocking on Alton's part that people are coming away having only been on a handful of rides in the day.
  42. 1 point
    Mega-Lite

    Unpopular Opinions

    No mate... Like always you've completely missed the point again, but I'll help you out, I'm nice like that. I was giving an example of how my day played out, a day in which I wasn't rushing and was only really there for the Wicker Man. The entire point of my post, was to show, it is infact possible to leave Alton Towers with not much above 2 rides to your day. As I said before, I spoke to a member of the GP who was having an even less successful day, a man who wasn't just there for Wicker Man, a man who paid full price to get in, a man I'm sure would love to hear he's doing it wrong from someone on the internet who didn't even bother reading the full post. As for your plan. I'd rather not walk to the entrance and use up most of my energy before the day has already started, done it once before (didn't like it) and I wasn't in a rush on this day. Most of the GP automatically assume they have to use the monorail anyway, so we'll just write this one off. I have an Annual Pass (for now anyway) and could have just slithered in, but my brother needed to pick up his cheapo annual pass ticket (which you can't print at home, as they need to see me and my pass as proof), so your logic is make my brother pay more just to get on more rides in a park I've done hundreds of times? Judging by the queues, 40% or so of the GP buy/collect their tickets on the day, so another mute point. Smiler had a 90 minute queue at opening (I've ridden it many times before so f**k that, also I got it walk on later). Rita, Nemesis, Craplactica & Thirteen weren't open yet. Oblivion and Spinball are crap. Wicker Man is what I came for and because it's the new hip thing, it's what most of the GP head to first. Wicker Man was up and down like crazy throughout the day, if I followed your plan I'd almost certainly not have got to ride it twice, this was the ride I went for, so I made the right decision I think. Where in your master plan did you factor in an almost 3 hour unplanned breakdown and evac for Wicker Man? Alot of people were in that queue and lost almost 3 hours of their day, I guess they should be punished for doing it wrong? Get off your high horse and put yourself in the shoes of those there on the day before making fruitless comments about how everyone was doing it wrong...
  43. 1 point
    Coaster

    X

    The eXpo:/2018 event was good, enjoyed the talk from Memories of Thorpe Park and the old ride train, signage and information were nice to see! It's nice when a park puts in the effort to say farewell to a popular past attraction - not that I'm looking at any other parks in particular.
  44. 1 point
    MattyMoo

    Alton Towers Quick Questions

    I messaged Alton Towers about this and they said that marked up merchandise was better than nothing
  45. 1 point
    TraX

    Alton Towers General Discussion

    Well, it’s better than nothing.
  46. 1 point
    Coaster

    Alton Towers General Discussion

    Actually, that could be their new slogan; "Alton Towers - it's better than nothing"
  47. 1 point
    Chessiekid

    next big thing

    I made this to fit on the island behind swarm and stealth, its based on the idea that a monster lives in the the lakes around the island and has a loose pirate theme, sort of a throw back to the old treasure island. I also added a log flume to replace logger that could also be expanded upon theme wise. Anyway I think something like could be really fun and fill the airtime sized hole in Thorpes line up.
  48. 1 point
    Mark9

    'Wicked' Man.

    The Worst GCI in modern history. Wicker Man will be **** we all know it. Doesn't look very interesting, not very fast at all. Just three ways Wicker Man has been described over the closed season on this forum. There's a wealth of material, of people lining up to give the first modern woodie in the UK in 22 years a good kicking. The point where coaster enthusiasts have already ruled themselves judge, jury and executioner on a ride way before anyone had even had the chance to ride. Here we are a good two weeks later from the preview event and I think there's proverbial egg on peoples faces. I remained quietly optimistic, keeping expectations in check. What I expected was a well paced, fun, mildly thrilling family wooden ride and that's exactly what I got. I knew this wasn't going to be Wodan, it wouldn't be the airtime machine that Megafobia or Tonnerre De Zeus are. But what I did get was the best rollercoaster Merlin have ever built.. Now before you decry my last sentence as hyperbolic nonsense, understand something. I love a thrilling rollercoaster but what I really love is an inventive, interactive, original layout. I love getting on a ride, hearing the people around me screaming, loving every moment, hitting the break run and then shouts of amazement, the joy that emanates from the riders. Hit the break run on Nemesis, Inferno, Swarm, Oblivion and you hear nothing, just complete silence. It's just another steel rollercoaster going through the motions. But for the first time in a long while I heard something from a UK ride. People love the Wicker Man. They can't believe that such an old looking ride (bare with me) can deliver thrills, excitement on such a scale. Europeans and Americans are used to the thrill of a wooden rollercoaster but the UK has forgotten that wooden rollercoasters are more then a match to their steel counterparts. For me, this is the first time that Merlin have hit the nail on the head and got it right. So why is it so good? To start off with, I like how little of it you can see from around the resort. There was a lot of discussion around Alton's limitations and how they get around them and Wicker Man is another example of that. The way the ride seems to work on several different levels to gather pace and momentum is right out of the Nemesis/Smiler handbook, the way the ride descends to the bottom of the Flume lake, or the oddity of the lift hill, the way the ride dips through the Wicker Man structure three times, each time getting more and more intense or the way the compact layout eeks out the ride length perfectly. The queue line which features very few switchbacks and naturally uses the terrain to get you close to the structure or the balcony which overlooks the majority of the ride giving great photo opportunities. The mercifully brief pre-show which I thought was perfect for the ride, telling us the story without getting bogged down in details. At its core, this is a very simple story on a pretty basic woodie but the ride is more then the sum of its parts. The soundtrack which I really like slowly builds up in drama the further into the queue you go. This feels like the kind of ride that you couldn't get anywhere else, tapping into legend in the same way that Hex does. This is right out of the Towers rule book and is all the more stronger for it. At the moment the rides biggest issues are operational. The park hasn't really got to grips with how to run it yet with very slow dispatches and numerous breakdowns. It only ran for two hours on my visit (didn't help that Nemesis was down all day, curse you Towers) and when Wicker Man was running trains didn't seem to go out very quickly. I don't think the way rows are labelled is very clear in the station either, the darkness and moodiness of the station means people can't see the numbers hanging above their heads and numerous times people were just wondering back and forth lost. If you've ever ridden a GCI woodie you know what to expect here from the Millennium flyer trains. They are comfortable enough to ride in whilst durable enough to take it when you go slamming from side to side on the rides cornering. I won't cover the ride in too much detail as frankly it differs massively from front to back but what I will say is that when this thing beds in, those back row seats are going to be absolutely fantastic. Our first ride was row 5 and then onto row 8 and the difference was staggering. I have two main worries. The first is the effects. Lets face it, Merlin are hit and miss with this and as you can see from the Smiler most of it no longer works. No sprayers, no screens, no car wash. The effects on Wicker Man tell a story far more then the Smiler and the danger of the Wicker Man structure having no fire or smoke must be pretty high; I'd be surprised if they still work by June. That's ignoring all the smoke effects before the lift hill, on the first drop tunnel, in the break run. If Towers want this ride to continue to have the positive reaction it currently has, it is essential they stay on top of this. That being said, I think the strong layout helps but on an effects driven ride, that can only do so much. My second concern is the rides longevity. Wooden coasters aren't steel coasters, they need consistent maintenance to keep them from getting too rough, too shaky, too unbearable. I question whether Merlin can give this ride the love it needs five years, ten years down the line. Based on their track record with Colossos for example, they let that go SBNO for two years. I don't want to see that happen with Wicker Man, in my view it's the closest to perfection Merlin can ever get. So its safe to say, I'm a big fan of the Wicker Man and I call it a triumph for the UK industry. When people were lining up to rip it to shreds, I stayed positive and optimistic and whilst I don't want to say I told you so, I told you so. My biggest hope that comes out of this wooden ride though is that parks like Paultons, Drayton, Flamingoland, hell even Thorpe and Chessington look at what can be done with a ride like this and build their own. The wooden ride genre is big in America, China, all across Europe and yet here, they are seen as dangerous and unsafe. Telling people I work with that I was going to Towers to ride a wooden rollercoaster, they thought it was a disaster waiting to happen. I can only hope that the Wicker Mans success leads to more and more and who knows what that could lead to. Thans for reading and as for a score, Wicker Man is a solid 8/10. I can't wait to get back up there. Next time I'll be Enthusiastic Icon.
  49. 1 point
    chrisj0509

    Park Music

    Been one of them "lurkers" on here since 2006 (!) but wanted to say, love the new park music. Sounded great on park, love the CD. BUT... the removal of the Colossus music is a big loss to the park. Truly iconic, its replacement is far too wishy-washy. Felt it didn't work on park - any intimidation and drama the original had has gone. Works perfectly well as area music around the flat rides but not strong enough as the coaster's theme track. Strange decision..! I just hope the track isn't extended to Vortex which was still using its modified Colossus theme it's been using since 2002. Fits Vortex as perfectly as it does Colossus. Really hope the park listens and reverts the Colossus theme back, while utilising the new version as part of the wider Lost City area music as the majority seem to suggest, but we'll see! The new Nemesis Inferno track on the other hand is very good! It's essentially the same but extended/embellished. The original track was great, but was always far too short for the queue line.
  50. 1 point
    pluk

    Park Music

    - Love that video and the insights it gives - Love the whole concept of bring the park audio together with a consistent identity theme tune - Like that the classic ride themes have been incorporated into the new themes, if they had to be updated. Inferno and Collosus especially were strong enough already though, should have left them alone tbh. - Adore the opening countdown, have seen it myself and didn't know it was a thing - Unfortunately I don't like the actual theme they have running through it, sounds kind of childish somehow, like it would fit in better at Chessington. It doesn't have much sense of drama, as a melody, and worst of all it's very forgettable.
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