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About JoshC.

  • Birthday 04/06/1994

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  1. As far as I know, it's only done once a season. I don't know if there's a number, but it also makes sense to do it around now rather than July / August simply because the park is quieter and it affects less people. Doing it in summer would cause bigger issues / complaints
  2. Yes I know, Hyperia has barely just opened, but it's only natural sooner or later to ask the question "What comes next?" If we were to rewind 20 years ago, Tussauds had a clear investment cycle strategy for Thorpe, with a major investment coming every 3 years. That carried on into the Merlin era, before being tweaked to every 4 years. Obviously, we all know the story from here. Swarm didn't give an instant increase in visitor numbers, so the powers that be at Merlin deemed to some form of failure (despite the several flaws in that logic). Thorpe tried something different with DBGT and that, frankly, flopped. 2020 was at one point pencilled in to have a major investment, but that was cut when Merlin decided to pull tens of millions of pounds of investment from their Resort Theme Parks. But obviously things have changed in the last few years. Merlin have been taken over. We have a new CEO, and new board members. And with that, there seems to be more investment coming into the theme parks again, slowly but surely. And a fresher wave of optimism has come. So, more to the point of the topic. When do you think we'll see the next major investment at Thorpe? Arguably any new attraction could be classed as major, after years of very little new things, but of course I'm talking of a something along the lines of a new coaster or similar. Could a 3-4 year cycle be back? Could it depend on Hyperia's success? Or even the rest of Merlin's success? And even more importantly, what would you like to see? Blue sky or realistically, this is the place to share your thoughts. --- For me, I think one thing is clear: Thorpe should stick with coasters. There's no harm in them becoming a roller coaster park at this point. It's what the public want. They're not going to compete on the international stage in terms of immersive experiences, nor would they with Universal if that comes to the UK. That's not to say they should stick car park coasters here, there and everywhere, but for major attractions, they should stick to coasters. Part of me thinks an intertwined family coaster / log flume would be perfect. A 1.2m family coaster would be a perfect addition, although of course it doesn't have to be tame (RMCs tend to have 1.2m height restrictions for example). And I think the park need a solid, new water ride, and a log flume hits the spot. A more modern one with restraints will no doubt appease the Merlin H&S folk too. Yeah, that suggestion goes against my 'stick to coasters' idea somewhat, but it does also solve a glaring gap in the park's line up.
  3. We're just over 3 months to Fright Nights 2024 and we don't have a thread? We're slipping guys... Nothing is confirmed for the event, so for now, everything is speculation / what you want to see... My Predictions The return of the 3 mazes Trailers, Survival Games and Stitches Return of Lucifer's Lair and Amity High (in some incarnation) Something new in Death's Doors' location Mysterious new attraction The glaring omission here is The Crows. I would love to see them return in some way, and I think the scare zone works well. But the simple issue is for now: Hyperia. The area is being used for Hyperia's extra queue. Do the park expect that by Fright Nights, their busiest time of the year, they wouldn't need that extra queue? If that space is used for a FN attraction, where would they sensibly contain people? It just seems like a massive headache. Obviously it's difficult: maybe by October they wouldn't need it. But they'll need to make that decision, at latest, by August really. So they've got time to see how it goes. But if they're regularly needing that area over the next month or so, I reckon they have to pull it this year. As for something new, this is a tricky one. I'm behind the park charging for mazes; I think we've seen improvements in the quality of mazes (at the very least, the budgets have increased). But a 4th upcharge maze stretches things a bit; can the park appropriately staff 4 upcharge mazes worth £10 a pop, as well as scare zones and shows? Might be tight. That's not to say they won't do that though. However, I'd rather the park try something different. Obviously we saw them do that a couple of years ago with the audio experience which flopped massively. But something that isn't a standard, upcharge maze is worth a shot. Maybe a proper alone experience? Or a more intimate show (like the Exorcism show at FEAR)? Or, maybe be wild, and do a smaller, but high-throughput / constant conga-line, free maze? Give people a taste for the mazes without them having to pay. I don't know, I'm just throwing ideas out here, but I think it's time for something different.
  4. Was there today. It opened late (about 10.50), ran a couple of times, had to do a couple more test runs, then ran again. It closed again just after 12, with a train stuck at the top of the lift hill. Was about an hour before they were able to send that train again, with the queue line cleared and the announcement that it is now testing for the rest of the day. With current testing, they are purposefully sending the trains so that they stop atop of the lift waiting for the block to clear. I've never seen a ride test like that, so it's curious. I have to say, in-queue communication is lacking a bit. They seem dead against doing live announcements / having staff communicate in person, instead going for a pre-recorded "Hyperia is experiencing a technical delay" message, which plays every 10-15 minutes it seems. Another thing I've noticed with current operations is they seem dead against batching in any other way that isn't batching row by row. Rows weren't being double batched today, we asked to go for the back row (no one else was in it). Batcher was very insistent we couldn't and sent us to row 6. Second time that's happened for me. No big deal really, but find it confusing why they're so regimented on this, when it doesn't affect the operations. Also, still unsure why they haven't built a front row queue in the station as of now, and were dead against opening it with one. In more positive news: my ride in pouring rain today was lush (albeit stung like a good'un).
  5. I imagine we're looking at it being for the launch cable replacement, although they had usually got that down to a day. Guess we'll wait and see!
  6. MattyMoo is known for breaking rides, not getting to them after they've been broken.
  7. If they had the price point at £500 it would have sold out just as quick. And therein lies the issue.
  8. Yeah, I think that since the poor communication to guests at the park during Saturday's closure, they've handled and communicated this in the best possible way. Judging by the fact Saw was closed an extra day compared to the original plan, it would suggest they're around 24 hours behind their initial schedule. If testing goes to plan, I think it's not too out there to claim it will be open by Monday. But obviously, anything can happen at this point.
  9. As will those hoping to ride next Tuesday, ey Matty?
  10. From my understanding, this isn't related to the current closure of the ride. Despite it not being planned, the park are taking the opportunity to continue working on the area where possible.
  11. Real shame this. The organisation and communication was great on Friday. Obviously things go wrong and rides can break down / have issues at the last minute, but the way they handled and communicated it yesterday is just poor. It highlights a bigger issue of "MAPs don't need compensation" too. It's a pretty narrow view that if you have a MAP, you can just return whenever, so don't need compensating. Even a free drink voucher would be something to make it feel like you're not getting kicked in the teeth.
  12. So if I don't write my review tonight, I probably won't at all. Equally, I am very tired and have an early start tomorrow, so forgive me if this is patchy or brief. I'll preface this with my usual press night statement: I know some people will say "oh, you're opinions are biased, you have a vested interest to be positive" or "you're a Thorpe goon, of course you'll only say positive things. My review will be as honest and truthful as positive, based on my experiences. I've been at pretty much every Thorpe press event since Swarm's back in 2012. In the past, I've told managers to their faces when I think something is rubbish. I've congratulated people for successes. I've said when something has disappointed me, surprised me or just 'not been my cup of tea'. I was able to get 3 rides during the course of this evening. All of them were back row, and one of them was a night ride. I wanted to mix it up a bit - especially to get a front row experience - but it's just the way it worked. I will say I found the evening a bit frustrating, with the initial opening being a bit chaotic, although I appreciated the effort for an opening ceremony. I'm sure tomorrow will be smoother, as the set up and organisation is a bit different, but tonight was a bit clunky. So anyways, the ride. The lift hill is quick, especially in comparison to Big One. But it still feels like an eternity going up. And seeing the park beside you and how you tower over it, is really something. And when you're stood very close to it, you realise: this is tall. The drop. My god the drop. It feels like you're being thrown out to the ground at the top. You stay out of your seat during the twist, which adds to the feeling you're just going to die frankly. The non-inverting Immelmann is fab, giving a nice pop of airtime. The outerbank dive is fab. You are genuinely out of your seat the whole time, as you slowly twist upside down. Such a weird sensation, but so very cool. Quickly going into the stall, you're again left hanging (literally). The water splash effect does have trims which does notably slow you down, but it doesn't slow you down so that you feel like you're going significantly slower. Think of it as a "gentle press on a car's brake" type of trim, rather than a "harsh car brake" trim. Towards the back, if you stick your hands out, you get a bit wet. The outer banked airtime afterwards offers some surprising ejector. After my first ride, this was actually a highlight, for how surprising it was. After multiple rides, it's not the highlight, but still definitely a highlight. The airtime into the brakes is fine. Maybe not the strongest ended, but still a nice pop The brakes roll the train into the station very slowly For me, this is my favourite UK coaster I think. I still need time to digest, and I'd like to ride it in other rows too. I also hear the front row is a completely different beast (a lot "floatier" rather than "intense / aggressive"). But yeah, this is a fantastic ride. It doesn't feel too short, as it packs a lot in, and hitting the brakes is that sort of "omg" moment, as you process it all. Could it have had another element after the water splash, perhaps to negate the need for a trim altogether? Possibly, but it doesn't harm the ride. I didn't notice a "Mack rattle" during my rides. However, I do think it has the potential to do so, and could end up riding rough in the future. That will come down to how this type of Mack ages, and what Thorpe do to look after it. There is a neat little dispatch sequence as the train leaves the station: https://twitter.com/ThorpeParkMania/status/1793709598886822387 Other bits: Mack employees are naturally very happy with the result, and generally and genuinely all love it The ride warms up a lot during the day. During testing phases, it could be take 42 seconds to complete the circuit in the morning, and then drop down to 31 seconds by the afternoon / evening Operations are good on two trains. They removed one to help alleviate pressure on engineering for tomorrow. There were a few shutdowns this evening, partially due to some issues with gates, and also due to someone flying a drone around the ride. Operation on one train is slow. The plaza looks quite nice. It needs some polishing off, but it's good. The ride area, however, is definitely unfinished. It needs tidying up, planting to go in, etc. But in any case, it was always going to be a couple of years before this really looked nice. There will be an opening ceremony / shows for the first few days as a minimum. It's a nice little thing There's some boards around the ride area telling the story of Hyperia, sort of. They're nice, but the backs of them are plain and easy to see around the area, and stick out like a sore thumb https://twitter.com/ThorpeParkMania/status/1793701505725530465 Overall, Hyperia is a fantastic addition for Thorpe Park, and for the UK. It's exactly what the park needed. I really enjoyed it, and it's a "Top 10%" coaster for me. I'll leave you with my first ORP (me on the left):
  13. And a new thread, for discussion of the ride, and any 'spoilers' of the station interior, is set up here:
  14. Hyperia officially opens tomorrow, ending a 12 year drought of new coasters at Thorpe. Tonight is the press launch, which means there will be plenty of reviews about. As such, for anyone who doesn't want the station interior spoiled - or doesn't want to hear people's views - we'll have this thread here. We'll keep the other thread for construction / archiving. I'll post my views on Hyperia here tonight, and look forward to reading plenty more tomorrow!
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