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  1. I agree in all you say, But Cbeebies was very cleaver BUSINESS WISE (not creatively) as it plays into pester power - just like toy adverts. Young kids see an advert or learn there's a 'cbeebies land' somewhere - and immediately will want to go! Parents often associate CBeebies with pacifying their kids - so also buy into it! The problem is, visitors are drawn in by the marketing - visit, have a less-than-satisfactory-time, will will therefore not return in a hurry. Also CBeebies shows are also fairly short-lived - meaning the need to change-out attractions fairly regularly!
  2. I don't think it's quite the same, you might have a point in the broader sense, but fairy stories have been interpreted my countless people over the course of history - including Disney of course! Myths, legends, folk stories, and certain literature can be interpreted in countless ways - whereas a registered IP of a specific contemporary show/product/franchise has pre-made perimeters to work with creatively. Originality doesn't mean it has to be a completely new idea! in fact being too Abstract could work against it -it's more about bringing a fresh approach to a story or genre - a good example of this is last years opening of 'Avalon' at Toverland - not a new idea at all..... Merlin the wizard etc etc BUT they managed to pull off something that feels fresh - with an accessible backstory. And of course IPs can work the other way around and be generated by the parks themselves - take POTC for example - that originated from a Disney ride - and has gone full circle to now being a ride-based-on-a-film-based-on-a-ride at Shanghai! Those IP's are generated through creativity within the parks - as apposed to clutching at straws of popular media etc
  3. Analysts sifted through more than 550,000 customer reviews of around 100 Merlin attractions. They also examined a monitor that tracks average queue times at theme parks. They found a continued decline in average reviews across Merlin’s Midway Attractions brands, which include the Blackpool Tower and Sea Life Centres. Merlin also operates Legoland and resort theme parks including Alton Towers, Chessington and Thorpe Park. UBS raised the alarm six months after it first expressed concern about increasingly negative reviews at the company’s city centre sites. “We now have greater concerns that this trend could be the result of poor investment and operational decisions, with cost-cutting and a focus on new business development potentially leaving the core profit drivers of Midway under resourced,” the analysts said, as they hung a “sell” sign over the stock. They have also turned bearish on Legoland. While conceding its strong brand and potential for roll-out in markets such as China, they cited weak like-for-like growth in 2018 and a significant decline in average reviews at Legoland Windsor. Dampening investors’ hopes of a recovery, the note sent Merlin shares down 17¼p, or 5 per cent, to 327¼p. another similar article here:- https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/212322/merlin-entertainments-skids-lower-as-ubs-cuts-its-rating-target-and-estimates-on-concerns-over-midway-customer-review-data-212322.html?fbclid=IwAR2H2CX85q7Ibz-JiHGDh0b_kKiFG1NICaVsjTuHhVLub4vPW3h6I9e4MNA
  4. relevant too:- https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/merlin-dips-amid-concern-it-could-be-losing-its-spell-pggwtqk5j
  5. Successful parks with no or minimal IP :- Efteling, Europa (has some carefully considered and integrated IPs), Toverland, Phantasialand, Hansa Park, Tivoli Gardens, Grona Lund, Lisberg to name a few I have nothing against IPs in theme parks in theory - I mean I love Disney parks which are one giant IP BUT there is a Balance, and I don't think the future is or has to be IP based just in the same way virtual reality isn't becoming the way forward in theme parks either. IP's work well when they are considered and integrated and carefully chosen - such as Arthur at Europa - I haven't even seen the movie its based off - yet it's one of my all time favourite rides - because the IP is so visually strong, and had huge scope for immersion. I personally feel Merlin are taking many missteps because they are concentrating on throw-away IPs, with everything done from a marketing perspective as apposed to a design perspective, nothings done for the long-haul. They are also letting old areas and rides rot, with minimal spending to maintain the rest of the parks to create a Value WHOLE experience for its guests, they are constantly removing value as apposed to adding to it (theming, detail, quality signage, planting etc etc). Also where has the distinct themed 'lands' concept gone? - Gruffalo in 'Transalvania' (dark forest I know, I know) and DBGT next to I'm a celebrity next to Walking dead at Thorpe. Chessington is loosing it's 'ADVENTURE' in its namesake! And I know originality and Imagination isn't dead - because all you have to do is look to Europe, Even Parc Asterix, which is one huge IP Integrates original ideas INTO its IP! I still experience the same sense of magic visiting certain parks that I did as a kid at Chessington in the 90's, it really has nothing to do with age! That's what I feel is lost - any sense of magic at Merlin parks. Theme parks used to be places to Excite and inspire the imagination - not have it spelled out for you in very generic, Homogenised ways, they were there to be an alternative to television and media - not an extension of them! However at the end of the day I can UNDERSTAND Merlin, because they are a different type of business to say Hansa park which is Family owned. Merlin is a money making machine I get that, however I can state how disappointed I am with Merlins product, and still believe they would still thrive if they where run under differing management perspectives with a more design and quality based ethos! but they have their ethos that must be working for them ££ wise so.........
  6. Went the first time in Nov and fell I Love with Disneysea - it just has that atmospheric magic and sense of place that is in the air and palpable. The park itself is it's own 'mega-attraction' and what I mean by that is I could spend a full day there not doing a single ride, and I could still have a great day, soaking it in, exploring etc.
  7. I feel like I remember seeing some old plans of the family coaster that was planned for 2001 to replace wicked witches haunt, but due to budget restraints ended up being detonator! And for some reasons I seem to remember it possibly being a family launch coaster or a booster bike type coaster. Does anyone else know of any details of this project? or they whereabouts of such plans or even discussions regarding this?
  8. Yay to europa - Only europa would replace and not 'erase'
  9. A, when other enthusiasts are anal about a rides current name when it used to be called something else - I.e. AIR will always kind of be 'AIR' to me - but if I call it that I get snapped by others ' you mean Galactica' - yes okay okay - or 'the haunted house'......'YOU MEAN DUEL' - well yes - whatever! does it really matter in the grand scheme of things? B, when others say a ride 'IS ****' - no YOU think it's **** - which does not objectively make it ACTUALLY ****.
  10. I'm so sorry to hear this! Roodie is one of life's good guys! donated! My thoughts are with him and his family and friends.
  11. Does anyone remember the Fantasy Dome - it was a fantasy walk-though attraction - in a Dome funnily enough! There's hardly anything about it online, anyone have any memories - or even better pictures of it! Another was Blackbeards Pirate Adventure - which was another walk-through on the ship that used to be next to the pier (now the undercover area) - that was fun in its own tacky-ish way - loved it!
  12. I would say about the international meet - As much as I love Phantasia - I think it's worth waiting till next year (2019) for F.L.Y. I think an Efteling/Toverland combo would work really well.
  13. Phantasialand and Europa Park are quite a distance from one another a better park combo would be Efteling-Toverland-Phantasialand Or Europa Park with Tripsdrill
  14. Adventure island 1 Chessington 1 Legoland 1 Walibi Belgium 1 Plopsaland 1 Parc Asterix 1 Movie Park Germany (inc Halloween event) 1 Heide Park 1 Hansa Park 1 Phantasialand 1
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