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Everything posted by mrmonkey

  1. Harsh! I like them - but Merlin have a imagination void so I'm not surprised. Theme parks should be a break from the the real world - and we shouldn't equate 'does the job' to them - there should be interest and imagination! I miss the days of nice interesting sounding names like 'Phantom Fantasia', 'Miss Hippo's Fungle safari', 'Mr Rabbits Tropical Travels' 'Safari skyway' 'Professor Burp's bubbleworks etc.
  2. You are right, and thats the sad fact, as a park (and merlin as a chain) expectations have fallen. They used to be top tier parks in the UK (with Drayton, American Adventure, and Camelot being second - and maybe Pleasurewood hills, Flamingoland etc as forth tier Now there feel third tier - and the presentation isn't any better than something Crealy could do! - a Shame
  3. Exactly this. When other parks are exceeding expectations - 'does the job' I.e. 'meets expectation' - doesn't pass muster I'm afraid! Is this really what the 'best' theme parks in the UK can come up with And its not simply a budgetary issue - many small attractions win at adding little details, or quirky elements, or little 'in jokes' for parents to spot, or employing local artists to create a unique piece etc etc - I mean add some fog machines ffs or fibre optic twinkles - something! also nothing moves! not even that dark ride section at the end! if this was flamingo land, Crealy, or even Drayton Manor then fair enough - would be a good fit! But this is Chessington and considering it's Pedigree - is another flat note! An example of what can be done - take a look at the K2 coaster/dark ride (and other developments) at karls erlebnis-dorf in Germany!
  4. After watching POVs of the new rides and area all I can say is 'awful' - so cheap and static. ok it's clean and neat (for now) but the lack of budget is so apparent Theming is garden centre standard, and so......dull, boring enough for children, painful for parents!
  5. Bell was a nice ride experience to be honest, a lot of fun, but 8 people (or is it 6) every 2 minuets just isn't sustainable for the park and its growth.
  6. The only idea that came to me was an Egyptian themed coaster - finally giving the pyramid building some context - have the maze-like queue catacomb passages,archeological digs etc - then basically use the existing coaster to create a poor-mans 'Revenge of the mummy' - using similar effects they have at the moment but with a mummy-theme - smoke blasts , mummy animatronics etc
  7. The thing with Parc Asterix is that 2 of its 3 'big' coasters aren't up to par.. Goudurix is universally reviled - and often near the top of peoples lists of rough coasters and Tonnerre de zeus is a very divisive coaster (some hate, some like) but its seen better days nevertheless.... I personally thought it was horrible!! This is why I think it doesn't make it into peoples top 5 or even 10 parks in Europe Aside from what I mention - I think Parc Asterix is very well themed and has a Good overall level of immersion - its smaller rides are the best part - especially the log flume and mad house! And osiris is in my top 2 B&M inverts!
  8. Some more of the two fabulously themed Gerstlauer Fluch von Novgorod & Karnan VID_20190522_151316.mp4 VID_20190522_101238.mp4
  9. Such a pretty park, I really do love this park, and can't help feeling in an alternative universe Thorpe could have ended up more like this (maritime exhibits, vintage attractions, gardens, architectural facades, family feel etc) They even have an onsite woodcarver and signwriter that you can look in on (last picture).
  10. Some more photos from my trip of the newly themed Scottish area including the station for Nessie - a 39 year old Schwarzkopf coaster! So lovingly themed and accomplished, which will be added to and completed in the next couple of years.
  11. Highlander Is a great addition, and thats coming from someone who doesn't really like drop towers! I rode it on 'super tilt' mode, this means it drops in the tilted position! The views are amazing and the drop is quite a rush, its probably not that intense/forceful, but it was forceful enough for me considering I was s**ting myself about the hight and the build up (they keep you up there for ages). VID_20190522_141831.mp4
  12. mrmonkey

    Your Thorpe Park

    Well I know - but as Everything I'd like to see is so Pie-in-the-sky and unlikely anyway I thought I'd go all out with the fantasy!
  13. mrmonkey

    Your Thorpe Park

    Thorpe's almost too far gone for me! there's so much I'd want to scrap and start again lol! So much of it isn't my taste anymore. Thematically and stylistically I'd go for something between Toverland and Hansa Park, and re-instate a more Nautical aesthetic Remodel and extend Rhumba Rapids - using some of land/lakeland area behind it towards the old treasure island site - It would be super themed and include a drop - and would be the first rapids in the Uk to feature a drop, think infinity falls at Seaworld - but engineered to be not so wet for this British climate! Scrap tidalwave and build a PULSAR (Walibi Belgium) clone in its place with an old victorian waterworks steampunk/industrial theme. Retheme Stealth to a steampunk, rocket/teslar theme Get rid of the 4D theatre and install a themed funhouse in its building aka Hotel Tartuf/Fiasco Scrap Colossus, walking dead, DBGT and storm surge, samurai, detonator, Angry birds land, jungle escape, Quantum etc etc. Replace Colossus with a new-gen Vekoma such as Lech coaster! Re-theme the old Canada Creek area to 'Sherwood forest' re-open loggers leap, create a medieval village, re-theme SAW to a castles and turrets/torture Chamber theme like Fluch Von Novgorod at Hansa Park, also install a next gen steeplechase coaster themed to jousting, as well as a high ropes course themed to Robin hoods hideout etc. Re-theme Swarm to 'dragon-fly' with a huge thatched station - with a much more 'natural' and whimsical themed area, taking inspiration from Toverlands 'Avalon' area and taking advantage of the lakeside setting! Build an out-and-back B&M hyper-coaster that extends over the bridge and along the the side of the car-park skirting the lake and back - in a similar way Silver star does Build an RMC at some point! Finally build that hotel on the lakes edge where the old cement works used to be including a waterpark similar to Plopsaqua
  14. 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!
  15. 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
  16. 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
  17. relevant too:- https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/merlin-dips-amid-concern-it-could-be-losing-its-spell-pggwtqk5j
  18. 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.........
  19. 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.
  20. 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?
  21. Yay to europa - Only europa would replace and not 'erase'
  22. 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 ****.
  23. 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.
  24. 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!
  25. 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.
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