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Everything posted by mrmonkey

  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
  15. Tell you what - Put me down - need to catch up with peeps I might just join you for the meal and onwards - WW remember people - no alcohol for secret santas or otherwise - due to bag checks at WW!
  16. if you drive - car hire would give you more freedom - or even take your own car via ferry most people do 'cluster' trips - so I'd actually recommend doing a few smaller trips:- Phantasialand, Toverland and Efteling (Tag on Walibi holland if you want) is one! then theres Europa - which you REALLY NEED MORE THAN ONE DAY! - 2 days at Europa then one day at tripsdrill - that's another good pairing. Then North Germany/Scandinavia is a good cluster - Hansa, Liseberg, Grona lund, Tivoli, If your going to do a long road trip - Then Efteling-Toverland-Phantasia-MovieParkGermany-Heide-Hansa would be a good one perhaps finishing with a ferry etc over to Sweden from North Germany! Then you have PortAdventura - Which I'd recommend just doing on its own with a Barcelona Trip - taking in Tibidabo city amusement park too! Then there's Disneyland Paris and Parc Asterix - easily clustered around Paris As for accom I've only stayed on-site at Hotel Matamba at Phantasialand and its SOO worth it! I would recommend May time mid-week for Visits (google the countries school holidays - and avoid) Also Sep/ Oct time- mid oct you might get Halloween events which is a bonus - again - go midweek and avoid school holidays! Don't Miss:- Phantasialand is Fabb.... but others are correct that its customer services aren't up there with others - also it's a small park in terms of area - so when its busy it feels horrible! so definitely go midweek out of school or public holidays. Europa Park is my Fav! But some thrill seekers often booboo it as it has no 'best of its type' headliner coasters - but its just a very fun, friendly, MASSIVE park, loads of charming dark rides etc. Its the only one I'd say is Essential for more that one day - however if you just want to do the coasters, then one day is fine! If you don't stay at the onsite hotels - definitely check out their bars/restaurants...quality!! Efteling:- Again if your a thrill-seeker coaster enthusiast- and that's all that matters to you, you may be disappointed - However this is again a beautiful park with Disney-standard theming - The flying Dutchman is my fav ride in the whole world! Hansa Park - People often forget this Park - But don't - its beyond fabb and friendly and has two of the best and unique coasters in Europe! It's also beautiful and charming, has quality food - and lots of things to 'explore' such as a free high ropes course! I've yet to do Liseberg - but this seems to be one not to miss! PortAdventura - I've yet to do - but the world seems to compare everything to Shambala - so I'd say its not to be missed! (I'm hoping to go early next year).
  17. Well like I previously said - Hansa Park is faaaab! - I think TPM could have a lot of fun there!..... could be paired with Heide Park - or indeed Liseberg - as Sweden isn't that far - theres also Hamburg Dungeons! Phantasialand and Efteling is another good paring - perhaps making it a hat trick with Toverland - if their new themed area/coaster are open! I really want to get over to Tayto park too - could in theory be done in a day flying into Dublin (or just one night).
  18. Well we spent 11 hours on the park - and didn't do everything - despite no queues longer than 45mins, we wanted to do a show but didn't get time and missed out at least 5 or 6 main rides. Also didn't get time to explore (such as the aforementioned high ropes course), also the food is properly decent - and worth sitting down and enjoying! The only differing factors was it was the Autumn festival - and we saw the parade and fireworks! I'd definitely recommend visiting at that time of year! Like Europa park - it's a place to just 'be' and explore - and not run around just doing all the coasters! However I would agree a Heide combo would be sensible if it came to it (especially if they fix Colossus - which a little birdie tells me they will)
  19. Not sure if this is the right forum because it's just a suggestion - but thought I'd highly recommend Hansa Park for a TP trip, which I visited last weekend! It's fantastic and really hospitable to groups (CEO greetings/goodies/ERT) AND discounted entry! The Park is very deceptive in how much there is to do.....there's LOADS - definitely a two-dayer - and some TOP rides you want to do again and again! I also think its great for groups - because you've got all these side attractions to play on and be silly on to have a laugh for example - free high-ropes courses (no uncharge). Also because Karnan:- that is all!! - It gives Taron a run for its money in top 5 European coaster status! Lastly - Hansa kind of reminded me of the good parts of Thorpe in the mid-nineties (landscaping, pleasant, verdant, colourful, clean, family-run charm, lots of water rides, attempting to be quasi-educational, Popular Park Mascots etc etc ) BUT with awesome rides and coasters on top of this! also they have on site 'lodges' as their accommodation - where you need a min-number of persons to book one! Just a thought to put out there.
  20. Yay - if its the 7th I can come to this!!! put me DOWN!
  21. Love the new Artwork, looks like it fits in so well with the park! lots of landscaping, use of water and organic shapes!
  22. Can confirm Heidi is fab! somewhere between Joris en de drake and Troy in intensity........ ALOT of fun!
  23. SPOILERS! Rode this a couple of weeks ago, a really fun and interesting family coaster, not all that intense, but fun and quite long (combination of lift hills and launches) the 'whats in the shed' effect is nice but not brilliant, the backwards section is probably the most intense! Nice landscaping but feels a little unfinished (the she in question has bare and exposed supports which spoil the illusion - a very merlin-eque mistake...... hopefully they will add rock work in the future! But overall a positive addition to the park! osiris Is also Fab!.... on a par with black Mamba! another highlight was the Menhir express log flume.... my 2nd fav log flume in Europe after chiapas! Their Madhouse (which has about 4 pre-shows) is FAAAAB too.
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