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About BaronC.

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    I am Lez Cougan

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    Theme Parks.

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  1. Energylandia

    Exciting dirt picture from the park's Facebook... Boring track picture from SkyScraperCity... Track is similar to that of Flying Aces at Ferrari World, which makes sense since this is a 4 per row train design..
  2. Top 10's

    That reminds me, I never posted my updated Top 10... 1) Taron, Phantasialand 2) Helix, Liseberg 3) The Swarm, Thorpe 4) Nemesis, Alton 5) Balder, Liseberg 6) Joris en de Draak, Efteling 7) Troy, Toverland 8) Black Mamba, Phantasialand 9) Baron 1898, Efteling 10) One of Nemesis Inferno, Thorpe, Goliath or Lost Gravity, Walibi Holland Anubis at Plopsaland has dropped off the list. The main reason being it's only really enjoyable in the front row; other two are rough. Baron really dropped down the list this year, after aging in a way that made me like it less. 10th place changes a lot. Really depends on my mood as to which I'd rather ride the most. Goliath and Inferno were my 9 & 10 last year, so that says something. And a top 5 new for me... 1) Helix, Liseberg 2) Balder, Liseberg 3) Van Helsing's Factory, Movie Park Germany 4) Lisebergbanan, Liseberg 5) Heidi - The Ride, Plopsaland Liseberg have some good creds ey?
  3. Gardaland

    Following from the recent announcement that Merlin acquired rights to the Peppa Pig IP everywhere in the world aside from the UK, Gardaland are getting a Peppa Land for next year... It'll be very close to the entrance.
  4. New for 2018

    I wouldn't read anything into the plans referring to it as X:\NWO. As far as the council are concerned, it is the X:\NWO building, so that's what the park will have to refer to it as on the plans. It's just like how the Angry Birds theatre is listed as Pirates 4D!
  5. Walibi Holland

    So Walibi Holland is still in it's phase of trying to make brash, in your face, marketing work.. This year, they went through a bit of a rebrand, getting rid of their 'f#!k slow, #HardGaan' (go fast) slogan for a more friendly 'Dare to get real'. But according to the park, that hasn't worked and they had a bad year this year. So they're currently looking at the following new slogans for the park... 1) No chill! 2) The thickest kicks 3) Scream it out 4) Walibi, holy s#!* 5) Waaaaaaalibi! All pretty brash and underlying tones there. Makes me glad Thorpe at least realised the fat head thing was a dead end...
  6. The Small Parks Thread

    The French baby brother of the Walibi parks, Walibi Rhone-Alpes, is getting a Gerstlauer (presumably Infinity) coaster for 2019... It'll feature the first vertical lift in France and a "special surprise" at the end.. This represents continued major investment at the small park, which added a Gravity Group woodie last year and are spending €5m on a new family area for 2018. So things are really big at the moment. It's great to see Walibi doing great things with their parks...mostly. There's this and Belgium is getting it's €100m overhaul from next year. But Walibi Holland is still stagnating a bit bar Lost Gravity and some paint, and the investments elsewhere make their rumoured S&S free spin coaster for 2019 look very much like a short straw.
  7. TPM Awards 2017

    If there was an award for spammiest member, if win it fit this thread alone, but.... THERE IS ONE WEEK TO GO. MAKE SURE YOU VOTE! (even if it's just to shut me up) THE END IS COMING
  8. Oh yes, different countries/cultures/parks will always see different expectations for queue times and such. But for some parks, of which Thorpe is one, it is a useful way to get a rough indication for popularity in my experience. It's by no means an exact science, but definitely of use if used appropriately. As a crude example, you could tell that Sanctum at Fright Nights wasn't very popular as it struggled to get long queues, especially compared to the rest. Why that is, you can't say (plenty of different reasons could be possible - location, lack of general marketing appeal, public didn't care, poor reviews and word of mouth, etc), but you can use it as a way of getting the gist of things.
  9. New for 2018

    A couple of new documents have been included on the planning application giving a bit more detail on the exterior queue. The outside queue spans to the small concrete walls opposite the toilets, which is where the entrance will be. The exit for the ride is in the same place, but because of the queue, it looks like the only way to leave the area is under Storm Surge towards Donut Factory. Frustrating that it effectively blocks the pathway and turns it into a 1 way system, though thinking about it it does at least mean that the entrance is more obvious (many people always missed the entrance completely).
  10. It depends on how you measure popularity. Because the throughput on it isn't the highest (not helped by varying capacity and shutdowns), it's ridership numbers will never be as high as the coasters, for example. But if you discounted the major coasters, I'd assume it's the most ridden attraction. One thing I always use to gauge popularity is how long people are prepared to queue for something. If the general public see a 2 hour queue and go 'I'm happy to wait that', I see it as something that is popular since people are happy to invest that wait time for what they think will be a quality end result. Ghost Train regularly kept long queue times and the public were prepared to wait long times. Obviously it's a skewed way of looking at things since it's new, people are prepared to wait longer, they've likely heard horror stories about wait times, etc, but it's something. Be interesting to see the situation in a couple of seasons. In terms of how the ride is being rated, I believe it largely improved. In particular, it was rated scarier than last year. So in that sense, Merlin will see it as something that's improved. And even if it doesn't feel like it to some, reliability was a whole lot better this year.
  11. Thorpe Shark Hotel

    There's equally this which no one picked up on... Derren Brown's Ghost Train: Rise of the Demon De Brilliantly Great Trans-international: Ride of the Decade
  12. SW8

    It is a paint by numbers style and theme for Towers now. And I guess that's a by-product of Merlin wanting everything to have instant success and return on new investments, and seeing that those things have worked. But trying to look more positive, it does appear like they're going for something more akin to Hex, which is a bit riskier and could have more pay off long term. I don't really blame Merlin for sticking to dark themes. Even amongst enthusiast communities, the dark themes across all parks are the ones which arguably capture the most discussion and spark the most imagination. So Merlin are just responding to demand. I'm sure if they produced a high quality ride with a very loose theme/style (say something akin to Shambhala), everyone would lap it up, but all they see and hear is that people want theming, and people respond to darker themes best, so that's what they'll go with. Maybe I'm just so used to, and understanding of, Merlin's take on things I'm just happy and willing to take what we get, which is why I'm less bothered by the excessive dark and drab things around.
  13. SW8

    It feels like they're trying to take inspiration from Hex and Th13teen in terms of theme and style. If they can translate that into the ride's area and queue without going too over the top or too scary, then I think it'll work well. But finding the balance with that sort of style is difficult, and there's a good chance that they may not get it right first time. So that's a big risk on Towers' part...
  14. The Future of Rumba Rapids!

    As far as I'm aware, there isn't any plan for any more theming to be added to the ride. They tweaked it a bit last closed season with some paint and a slight tidy up of the area, but there was never plans for it to go much further than that, I don't think it will.
  15. Heide Park

    The cost of the repairs is slated to be around a double-digit million pound number, so it's more like the cost of a new major addition than a couple of minor investments. I wonder what would happen if Merlin decided to splash the cash on it; would it be at the expense of new ride/rides, would they use it as an excuse to retheme and remarket as a new ride or what?