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Showing content with the highest reputation since 01/10/20 in all areas

  1. 3 points
    ChessingtonSam

    Phantasialand

    I've been here around 15-20 minutes and not even been in the park yet and I love this place. Ling Bao is excellent, and the whole place makes you feel so welcome. Is this what Europe is like?
  2. 2 points
    Stuntman707

    2020 Season

    Waiting for Thorpes 2020 attractions alongside Towers new area, Chessingtons new area and Legolands new attractions like...
  3. 2 points
    JoshC.

    Phantasialand

    @Hethetheth makes a fantastic point about why Phantasialand are able to invest in greater depths compared to Merlin parks. But even then, it's not just Phantasialand that are able to do this: look at the likes of Liseberg, Hansa Park, etc - independent parks that are able to invest in large amounts on a regular basis. (I'm ignoring Europa and Efteling because of their other means of incoming). A better question to specifically ask is simply how are Phantasialand able to invest ridiculous amounts of money? Klugheim was said to cost something in the region of €60-70m. Rookburgh is rumoured to be a larger investment. Maus au Chocolat (2011) and Chiapas (2014 but should've been 2013) cost another €60m between them. The Deep in Africa land (2006) was another €30-40m. That's insane, and beyond anything that most companies could invest in several parks, let alone one company in one park. How they manage it is still mysterious. The park is owned by the Löffelhardt family, who co-started the park originally. Clever entrepreneurship meant they were able to continue to invest. They also bought Mirabilandia in Italy (they were in charge at the time the park added key rides like Katun), before selling it in 2006 (which no doubt was a big helping hand) in the future. From there, it's simply a case of having ownership that knows how to do business and how to cleverly invest in the park. There's a lot of passion within too which is great. In some ways, I guess their situation could be likened to what we're seeing at Energylandia. They're owned by someone who is wealthy and already has a great deal of experience in running a business, but also someone who is deeply passionate and wants something they can be proud of. The difference there is they very openly receive EU grants and the like to help accelerate their development, and are going for size and quantity over details and quality (of theming). The amount the park have invested on new rides between 2018-2020 probably could have seen them invest in something of similar depth and quality to any of Phantasialand's investments if they wanted to. Let's not pretend that the UK are the only place that is thrifty. Everywhere in the world is. The trouble is, Merlin have dug themselves into a hole. They set high prices and then give out a ton of promos. So of course people in the UK are then going to dig for the best deal. They'll naturally end up complaining that something doesn't represent a good enough value because, simply put, they've be trained to think they can always get something for next-to nothing. Merlin give tickets away because they chose to. Now they do it because they have to. This is a very common tactic. Have a low entrance cost and hit visitors with high secondary spends. Look at Vue cinemas - many of them have decreased their standard price significantly (my local one is £5 for any film). But then they can hit you with upgraded seats, high costs of drinks and snacks, etc. And people are more willing to do that because they feel they've 'saved' money for their ticket to watch the film, even if they haven't. Heck, even Phantasialand do this over their winter event. They usually have strong price integrity, so their pre-book online price is only a couple of euros cheaper than buying on the gate, and have very few promotions (and their entrance price is high, around €50). But over Winteraum, especially later in the event, they sell tickets online for €24. Why? Because during the event, they have lots of pop up stalls serving various food and drink (almost like a mini Christmas market), which are extremely popular. People spend a lot of money there and the park recoup any losses they may make from reducing the entrance price. I'd hardly call any of those parks competition. Drayton is dying. Blackpool ticks along, but when they invest in a brand new coaster, don't market it and then don't see suitable increases, you have to wonder how big a threat they are. And the Yorkshire parks are hardly competition when they barely invest (bar this year). Towers sees the most investment because Merlin know it's their crowning jewel. It's the UK's biggest park. It's the park that can easily get the highest attendance. It's well known abroad. It has hugely popular and well-known rides like Nemesis and Smiler. Plenty of legitimate world records / firsts that people are actually intrigued by. Towers receives the most investment because it's the safest bet to get a return. I don't get how you can laugh at Paulton's as being a competitor? They have made very wise investments and continue to do so. They're improving and growing constantly. They're a very legitimate threat to Chessington, whether Merlin admit that or not. Thorpe is different because of its target market. But it's clear to see that its numbers have been falling and popularity has decreased. It and Chessington benefit from location of being so close to London. But Thorpe needs to really push the boat to remain in a profitable state, because they're really sliding. It's a similar situation to where Chessington were 5-6 years, except Chessington were at least slowly retheming rides to bring them to standard.
  4. 2 points
    Glitch

    Merlin Entertainments

    We un-immerse you from an immersive experience..
  5. 2 points
    Ivsetti

    2020 Season

    Thorpe Park Mania be like: 5:11 - 5:18
  6. 1 point
    Theme Park Fanatic

    Rumba Rapids

    Does anyone believe the rumour that has been going around the theme park community lately. People have been spreading rumours regarding Rumba Rapids being reverted back to Thunder River as it was prior to the 2002 Ribena Rumba Rapids sponsorship that has since expired resulting in the simple name change too Rumba Rapids. Please share your opinions and thoughts about not just this rumour but the general long term future of this Thorpe Park classic!
  7. 1 point
    Millennium Force is rubbish though.
  8. 1 point
    Hethetheth

    Phantasialand

    I wonder if it also had anything to do with profit, cash and spreading themselves thin. Merlin might be 2nd largest in size to Disney, but that doesn't mean their profits and cash are proportional. If Phantasialand makes money it is spent on Phantasialand. If Merlin parks make money it has to be spread out and budgeted across numerous other parks, and I would surprise me if that money was proportionally lower than that of Phantasialand. E.g. if Phantasialand makes £1 million then it gets to spend it on itself. If Merlin makes £10 million, but has 20 parks (for the sake of this analogy) then each has the equivalent of £500k, but Merlin might choose instead to reinvest that in their 21st park instead. With the above example Merlin are still 'larger' and more profitable than Phantasialand overall, but not per park.
  9. 1 point
    Glitch

    Phantasialand

    Merlin Parks aren't just able to invest money at will, without a business case, which is what they did in the early 2000's era. Currently Merlin's interests are in Asia as that's where the emerging markets are. If the British consumer, spent more money in the parks, and stopped complaining about the excellent value of the MAP looking for the cheapest options to the point of Merlin practically giving tickets away, share the fun, trade, promos etc, then perhaps they would invest more into the UK markets but currently Lego is the asset with the greatest return, hence why it will be getting a new land next year. On the second to Disney comment, it's the truth however you have to look at the business as a whole for example the Midway clusters and Legoland parks generating millions in weekly revenue.
  10. 1 point
    BLASPHEMY!! 😮 Nah I can see your point. Don't get me wrong some rides they have given us have been straight up masterpieces but people do sometimes seem to forget they have also given us their fair share of duds...... The long lines and crowds are also a major pain but each time I go to a Disney park, I just resign myself to the fact I'm going to have to deal with long lines.
  11. 1 point
    Enthusiasts who move the goal posts. Example of what I mean being what's going on at Kings Island. For years their visitors demanded they get a Giga coaster and yet as soon as they get a Giga coaster in the form of Orion, they moan about it non-stop because of its stats!! I guess some people just like to complain.
  12. 1 point
    Mark9

    Phantasialand

    Technically no. Because that's a Chinese themed area... But yes, a lot of European parks go all in on theming and immersion. Phantasialand is one of the best.
  13. 1 point
    Wicker Matt

    Phantasialand

    Ah Ling Bao, marvellous hotel and probably one of my favourite places I have ever stayed, let alone in a theme park! The theming, the ambience, surroundings, food, drink. Even the smells and music. It’s just a whole new experience to visit. Sure it isn’t cheap but the escapism is surreal. Heck even, walking out to the Chinese square in the middle of the night seeing Taron loom in the distance. You are literally staying in the park overnight!
  14. 1 point
    https://www.thesun.co.uk/travel/10734560/chessington-new-rides-2020/ Images from Chessington via The Sun
  15. 1 point
    MattyMoo

    Closed Season

    Second rockin' tug incoming.
  16. 1 point
    MattyMoo

    2020 Season

    Don't know about you guys but I love all my Deno clothes, bloody good lad he is. One of the huge success stories of 2019. EDIT: Just been on boohooMan x Deno page and they don't have any stock left, bad times.... ahem https://www.boohooman.com/mens/collections/boohooman-deno
  17. 1 point
    TPJames

    Phantasialand

    The crowd calendar on that website is based on previous dates, however it doesn’t have any data from last January so the predictions are likely to be very inaccurate. I’ll also be there Wednesday-Friday and we booked those dates as was expecting it to be quiet, but the park has been getting progressively busier towards the end of wintertraum so may be busier than normally a midweek school day would be. If last thursday and friday are anything to go by though, it shouldn’t be too bad.
  18. 1 point
    Glitch

    2020 Season

    This gem of a video was missed last season.....
  19. 1 point
    JoshC.

    Phantasialand

    Definitely due to visiting midweek. I was there Friday and the park was significantly quieter (queues no longer than 30mins) compared to the weekend. The park is of course extremely busy during the 12 days of Christmas, then dies down again for their open weekdays afterwards, but the weekends hugely pick up again.
  20. 1 point
    Derren Brown's Ghost train....enough said
  21. 1 point
    JoshC.

    Phantasialand

    Went to Phantasialand this weekend and just, damn, I always forget how incredible this place is. Firstly, Rookburgh: no photos from me. However from the outside there's little to be seen since the last update. The glimpses are saw though are exciting. Next, Crazy Bats - the VR experience that at one point Phantasialand said they'd never get. It's a weird one: the VR headsets are good, and comfy - the first VR coaster I've ridden where I haven't needed to hold onto the headset. And the film itself is good. It's humour-filled, well done, has some nice tricks and fun to watch. But I did come off feeling a bit queasy (something VR hasn't done to me before), as did everyone else in my group. I think that's at least in part down to the sheet length of the film. The other issue, unsurprisingly, is the throughput. It's completely destroyed. A ride that could easily churn out 3-4 trains without stacking now just manages to send 2 with no stacking (which for a 4 minute + ride isn't good). And the first and last car were out of use throughout the duration of the visit (I don't know if that's a permanent thing or not, but that takes out 8 people a ride). And the clever conveyor belt cleaning system they had seems to no longer be used either, which is sad. The really surprising thing, though, is the popularity of Crazy Bats. The public were lapping it up. It regularly had the longest or second longest queue on park. People were willing to wait over 2 hours to ride this. Now 2 hour waiting times aren't uncommon for UK rides, sure, but in Germany you rarely see those sort of waits, except on exceptionally busy days. It's crazy. So clearly this has worked for the park. And that brings me onto the next point: the park was hugely busy this weekend. I've visited this weekend in January for the past couple of years, and whilst it's been busy, it's never felt mad. This year, however, it was heaving. The park coped very well and queues were all manageable. But it was a massive shock to the system to see how busy this tiny park gets, whilst still managing to deliver incredible experiences. People were queueing to get into the viewing area of the park's finale show (which, tbh, is a bit naff) an hour before it started! But yeah, despite the busy-ness, the park was brilliant. I can't recommend their winter event enough.
  22. 1 point
    Martin Doyle

    2020 Season

    I personally would also love to see something replace the beach as it is a sizeable area with some potential but I agree that the whole old town section needs some serious action. Two rides just sat there dead when that whole area could easily fit a much overdue new coaster. Far as I'm concerned, everything from slammer all the way through to the back end of loggers leap represents a massive space to develop so I'd rather see that action happen than the beach go at the moment. Walking through the old town area was just getting borderline soul crushing last season.
  23. 1 point
    Glitch

    Hyde Park Winter Wonderland

    Excellent video from the op cabin of Hangover, nice to have this in English for a change.
  24. 1 point
    JoshuaA

    2020 Season

    As I said, there is much more urgent areas in need of life- Loggers and Old Town being worse than Amity Beach by miles. Amity Beach I think at least needs some kind of change in the future, that could be a bulldozer, or it could be a refurbishment. X No Way Out was Thorpe first big main coaster and a part of their history, didn't make it suck any less.. Hence why they changed it. And yeah man, my enthusiast agenda really doesn't mix with your Merlin-fanboy agenda lol
  25. 1 point
    Glitch

    2020 Season

    If anything its going in the other direction, thorpe have advertised for lifeguards, so your beach is going nowhere besides its part of the history of thorpe park. Apologies if that doesn't fit your enthusiast agenda.
  26. 1 point
    Mattgwise

    2020 Season

    I wouldn't call it an eyesore, I like what can be seen coming out of the dome think its one of the best entrances/views to a park seeing everything as you step through right in front of you with taller rides at the back and side. Maybe I'm different because I grew it with it always being there so it has nostalgic value.
  27. 1 point
    MattyMoo

    2020 Season

    Some sort of 2020 teaser (for the new RMC) should be incoming soon shortly? Chessie and Alton have obviously shown their hands for 2020...
  28. 1 point
    Coaster

    Blackpool Pleasure Beach

    Attendance was down 5.8% in Icon's first season, however the loss was 1.2 million compared with 1.6 million the previous year. https://www.blackpoolgazette.co.uk/business/losses-fall-at-blackpool-pleasure-beach-as-poor-weather-reduces-visitor-numbers-1-10189718 In my opinion, it's very concerning that after such a long wait for a new coaster, it didn't draw in any more guests. Improved turnover could be attributed to things like all the new merchandise, increased fees etc - but if the overall gate figures are down in the year a 16 million pound coaster opens... I don't think things will improve until the park stop blaming external factors and start focusing on what they can actually do to improve.
  29. 1 point
    He does now. I also appreciate the last post before Josh C was 10 and a half years ago.
  30. 1 point
    JoshC.

    Detonator: Bombs Away!

    The seatbelts serve 2 main purposes: Purpose 1 - In case of an evacuation, it gives greater control to staff. 'Please don't undo your safety belt', etc. Purpose 2 - A visual check for guests to know they're secure. As time has gone on, Purpose 2 has become more redundant as guests generally know they're safe. But 20-odd years ago, seeing a seat belt was a big thing. Purpose 1 only truly matters when there's people sat in the seat. Plenty of parks around the world don't bother doing seat belts on empty seats. And within Merlin, it's a ride-by-ride thing. This is not an example of H&S standard slipping. The only thing that's extremely shocking here is the amount of time you must have dedicated to try and find another crazy thing at Thorpe to complain about.
  31. 1 point
    Martin Doyle

    Walibi Holland

    Having had 30 rides on Untamed, I can now safely say that in my opinion it is easily the best coaster in Europe and was it not for the excellence of Steel Vengeance then it would have been my number one all together. This coaster is seriously incredible from start to finish and I mean “from start to finish”. The ride does not relent from the second you come off that chain lift until the second you hit those breaks. The pacing this ride has is flawless. I am a huge fan of Wildfire, but one thing that bothers me with it is the fact that there are several moments on it where it loses its momentum massively. Those issues are not present with Untamed one single iota!! It is none stop action the whole way round. Like Wildfire, it DOES get better as the day goes on. Unlike Wildfire however which is underwhelming on its first couple of hours of opening until it becomes a beast in the afternoon after warming up, Untamed is STILL incredible regardless of what time you ride it. However whilst it is incredible when it opens, by the time I was getting my night rides on it the damn thing felt like it was trying to eject me from my seat in the back row and all the way into the heart of Amsterdam!. As a result, the night rides on offer from Untamed are simply unmissable. The elements on this ride are unworldly. The first drop may not be particularly tall but man does it back a serious punch. The inversions on this ride are well taken and offer some pretty incredible hang time especially the first and last inversions. The airtime moments are aggressive and very much reminded me of being back on Steel Vengeance. For those who don’t have either the time or money to go to Cedar Point to ride Steel Vengeance, believe me when I say that this ride is the closest you will get to Steel Vengeance without actually flying across the Atlantic to experience Steel Vengeance and that is largely because of the relentless airtime on offer with Untamed. The finale of this ride is sensational. The airtime hills with all the headchoppers around followed by that barrel roll which gives incredible hangtime really do absolutely steal the show with this ride. In terms of the coaster layout, I can’t for the life of me find a single flaw. In terms of the whole “restraints” debate with Untamed and indeed RMC in general I will say this. Yes after 30 goes I myself was in some pain, but that pain was no different to other coasters with masses of airtime and I felt no pain on my shins at all. Obviously other body types will have that issue though whereas fortunately I do not. I do wish the shin guards was not present for the sake of other riders enjoyment but personally the shin guards cause me no comfort at all having now ridden 3 RMCs. For those of you still sceptical on how good these rides can be and want to know if the “hype” is real, seriously get yourself on a flight (or Eurostar!!) to Amsterdam and go and ride Untamed. The coaster layout is flawless and is just the most amount of fun you could have on any coaster on the continent. I mean it’s not like we are getting an RMC hybrid on these shores anytime soon!! RMC have really worked their magic again in converting Robin Hood into Untamed. I know a lot of people are against what RMC do to wooden coasters so I’ll just voice what I personally think on the matter. RMC do NOT convert true classic wooden coasters. They convert relatively modern wooden coasters so I do think it’s a total myth that they “destroy classics!!”. If RMC did convert true heritage wooden coasters then I personally would be very against that. Hypothetically speaking if Blackpool announced they was changing Grand National or Big Dipper into an RMC then I would be the first to protest it as those rides are true classics with a long history and as such should be preserved. If RMC ever changed the likes of Wodan or Troy then I’d also be uncomfortable with that as those two are amazing modern day wooden coasters that deliver great experiences. IF however Portaventura announced Stampida was getting the conversion, I would be on the first flight out there when it opens. Because it’s a dire ride and does not have the same heritage as true classics. To those who think RMC are “killing wooden coasters” I ask you this. What exactly did the likes of Gwazi, Robin Hood and Mean Streak actually contribute to the industry? They did not have long histories, they was universally disliked in the community and generally was seen as awful rickety rides. So what did they have going for them that should have given them a stay of execution?. In short, rides like the Blackpool woodies should NEVER have the conversion because they are treasured heritage, rides like the modern good GCI and Intamin wooden coasters shouldn’t either because they are great whilst sticking to what made wooden coasters great to begin with. However, the likes of Gwazi,Robin Hood and Mean Streak are fair game as far as I’m concerned. Untamed - 10/10
  32. 1 point
    Benin

    Walibi Holland

    So, Untamed then. I've always been wary of the RMC hype train, but it's fair deserved. Can only imagine how ridiculous Steel Vengeance is if Untamed can feel like it's going to violently eject you out the front row at 11am. At night after it rained a chunk it became obscenely ridiculous. Should be illegal really. Didn't mind the shin guards as much as I thought.
  33. 0 points
    Ivsetti

    Phantasialand

    out of interest why are Phantasialand able to invest ridiculous amounts of money but Merlin, "2nd only to Disney" not?
  34. 0 points
    For me its people who compare everything to Disney like its the best thing since sliced bread. The GP seem to view Disney with rose coloured glasses, they seem to forget about the overcrowding, long queues, overpriced crap, and how the park really is no different from the same crap we experience at your average theme park.
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