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About JoshC.

  • Birthday 04/06/1994

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  1. And it's open: I read a statement whereby the park claimed it had 300k guests on its first day. Somehow I don't think so..
  2. And another Making Of video.. This series has probably been my favourite construction video series in recent years!
  3. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-48700496 Merlin have, after many years of planning, moved two whales from an aquarium in China to a whale sanctuary in Iceland. Animal welfare is still a developing issue in China, and aquariums/oceanariums with whale shows aren't unusual. Merlin bought the Changfeng Ocean World Zoo in 2012 and rebranded it into a Sealife Shanghai, and committed very early to improving animal welfare and ultimately moving the whales, despite the massive popularity of the show. Indeed, Merlin don't actually list Sealife Shanghai anywhere on the Sealife website, and you have to do some digging to find out that they own/run it. The movement to the sanctuary had hit a couple of delays and was an expensive, logistical nightmare, but is now finally done. I don't know the long term plan for Sea Life Shanghai, but I imagine they're going to continue bringing it in line with other Sea Lifes, and further push education of animal welfare in China.
  4. You say that like it's a bad thing? A poor man's Helix is still at least a good ride, possibly very good. And supposedly this only cost half of what Helix cost (likely cos it isn't built on a massive hill), I'd still take that!
  5. Some people may be aware that a couple of weeks ago, TowersTimes had a Q&A session with Thorpe. An brief summary from someone who attended, found on CoasterForce: So it certainly seems like the 'next big thing' is a while away. It's no secret that Thorpe's non-big things over the past decade have left a lot to be desired, so it'll be interesting to see if they can change that. And also it's questionable whether the park can truly remain fresh and exciting without adding a major new addition for so long. And forgive my pessimistic scepticism, but I see little to be excited about. The park have see-sawed between families and teens/young adults again and again it makes you wonder if they'll ever get the balance right. Saying the park will look unrecognisable in 10 years time is a bold claim which requires a substantial amount of money to back it up (Walibi Belgium are doing something similar and spending at least 100m euros) - and this is during a time when Varney has said that Merlin will be investing less money in theme parks. It all sounds very much like Thorpe have been looking through rose-tinted binoculars and what the future could be like.
  6. June is the month of POVs... https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10157148899100822&id=25556630821 Looks decent, though a shame that the final set of brakes makes the spike pointless.
  7. And it's what you've all been waiting for, a Taiga POV.. Today was the press event, with the ride opening tomorrow. Unsurprisingly, all reviews have been positive; good amounts of ejector airtime and some good intense moments. The stall inversion after the top hat looks bloody brilliant too. And if that's not enough to whet your whistle, here's the beautiful advert... Heading out here in September and I'm seriously hyped already 😍
  8. Some extra hype with a back row POV...
  9. Nice to see it back (wasn't working Friday so obviously very recently fixed!). On a different note, has anyone else experienced a juddery ride on Swarm this year? I've had 4 rides this year (both in inside and outside seats), and have noticed a judder / bounce every time; usually after the billboard and up to the final inversion. Made the ride significantly less enjoyable every time!
  10. Did this the other day with a group of people who had no idea what to expect from it. General consensus was it was 'good', but felt like it missed the mark in a few places. Weirdly as well, the final scene played (all audio and effects), but the demon didn't appear. Certainly felt flat and even those who had no clue what was happening realised that something was missing. Hopefully a one off mistake and not a regular issue..
  11. I guess I should have worded what I said differently. Opening a ride / part of a park 3 hours early is an incredibly difficult thing to do which isn't always going to be feasible. Of course, given the popularity of Harry Potter, it's something which should have been seriously considered, but I don't think it's 'bad' thing against the park that they couldn't; just a 'not good' thing. Hagrid never soft opened. It had its press preview and that was it. The plan had been to soft open it (I believe around the beginning of June), but there have been plenty of issues which stopped that happening. I did hear there was a possibility it may not even open on time. And since opening, there have been quite a lot of teething problems and it's still running on reduced capacity. It shouldn't be a surprise that an Intamin with 7 launches, omnimover station, special track features and the possibility of running 14 trains is having teething issues. But that would normally be ironed out during a soft opening. So it's a lose-lose situation for everyone at the moment.
  12. An interesting take on things. I certainly don't doubt that the park could have done more to reduce the queue time, but in fairness: -Opening a ride 3 hours early isn't exactly a feasible thing to do -It's sometimes better to not introduce added complications like virtual queues at first -Weather was affecting ride availability, which no doubt contributed to the high queue time -There were many rumours about the ride actually being delayed, and a murmur that it's fortunate this opened on time. That could explain reduced capacity/number of trains Certainly not saying it's good or excusable, and I've no doubt they did it for a marketing thing, but I don't think it's all as doomy and gloomy as that article makes out. On a side note, this whole investment supposedly cost $300m. Just wow.
  13. Fury at Bobbejaanland is testing... It already looks really fun!
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