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About JoshC.

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    I am Lez Cougan

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    Theme Parks.

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  1. JoshC.


    Over the past few years, China has very much burst onto the theme park scene, with many parks being built from the ground up and seeing substantial coasters added. It's probably fair to say that some of B&M's, Intamin's and GCI's best-looking coasters over the past few years have ended up in China. And that investment doesn't seem to be slowing down, so here's the thread to discuss all things China! I'll start with a few good looking things... (All images sourced from VHCoasters on Facebook/Twitter unless said otherwise) Daxing East / Great Xingdong Tourist World Guizhou, south-west China Opening in 2018, this park features a tilt coaster, SLC, spinning coaster and dive coaster all from Golden Horse, along with a few other smaller coasters... Tilt coaster Dive coaster On top of that, they've got an 11 inversion coaster (basically same as the standard 10 inversion coaster, but with an extra vertical loop) that will be opening soon... Guangzhou Wanda Guangzhou, south China (near Hong Kong) For those that don't know, the Wanda name is one of the biggest in Chinese theme parks, and indeed in Chinese entertainment in general. They're a massive thing in cinema, hotels, shopping centres, etc - if you visit China, chances are you'll come across / use something owned by the Wanda group. Fun fact though - Wanda sold all 7 of their open theme parks, plus 5 others under construction / development, to another Chinese group - Sunac - in October last year. So there could be some name changes afoot soon.. Anyways, the thing that makes Guangzhou Wanda so special is their duelling Intamin semi-shuttle launch coasters, Dual Dragons. One track is inverted, the other a standard sit down, and they share the same vertical loop... \ Definitely one of the crazier coasters out there! Wanda City Jiangsu, east China (just next to Shanghai) Another Wanda park, also scheduled to open this year. This includes a crazy themed B&M wingrider which is almost 200ft tall.. And some concept art, for comparison.. This park will also feature a Mack Blue Fire clone and a family thrill coaster too. I think that's enough to whet the Chinese whistle now, but there's plenty out there which I've probably forgotten about, missed or don't know about.. Look forward to seeing what else comes from the east over the coming years..
  2. JoshC.

    Walibi Belgium

    To celebrate world popcorn day, Walibi are doing a bit of advertising for Popcorn Revenge in Belgian shopping centres... Loving the terrible punny names. I don't think the scenes in the ride will be inspired by those particular IPs (I believe it's more generic). In saying that, who wouldn't love to shoot popcorn in a Walking Dead universe?
  3. JoshC.

    Jobs at Thorpe Park

    Merged with the existing thread. The official rule for working at Merlin is that you do not post anything about the business on social media. This includes posting anonymously, etc. The rule is essentially the same for other companies too. In saying that, there are plenty of people who no doubt bend those rules. Especially in this day and age where social media is so important, staff posting about work (in a positive light) is probably a good thing. You only have to read between the lines of certain members' posts to see who those people are. Also, I'm sure that rule is pretty much thrown out the window these days given one of Thorpe's marketing team runs their own theme park fan site and regularly cross advertises the two... There are a fair few people here who work in the industry, or have done (hello!). The big points you'll hear from anyone who has worked in the industry are... -Pay. Pay is pretty minimal, regardless of department, until you reach very senior figures (at which point, it grows pretty exponentially). Working at a theme park / in the industry is a labour of love. -Staffing. Most theme parks are seen as summer / weekend jobs for people, so usually attracts people who aren't that dedicated and could leave at the drop of a hat. That's true even for giants like Universal and Disney. That puts added pressure on those who do it out of a labour of love. -Atmosphere. People working at parks, especially younger ones, will regularly mention how fun it is, how they make lifelong friends, etc. Working at a theme park, even through all the bad things, can be amazing. In my experience, many people have a romanticised view of working at a theme park before they get there, especially theme park enthusiasts. You truly don't know what's it like until you've been there and done it.
  4. A fair point. But equally, one would hope / expect that they're able to dedicate 4 people a day to getting Ghost Train open. Indeed in the interview, the engineer says he works pretty much exclusively on the ride! The video talks about checking all theVR headsets, etc. I don't think they'd need to check them on a daily basis, so I imagine they're talking about it during open season. Which yeah, weird for a 'what we do over winter' series. Is the whole thing not very prototypey though? Is there any other thing that has to cope with a large number of computers whilst moving the way Ghost Train moves? There were definitely oversights and design flaws, but at the same time, if you're choosing to forgive one issue down to it being a prototype, then you may as well forgive pretty much all its issues. Presumably the ride you're talking of is Ninjago (based off the entire list of one other UK dark ride that could fit that description). Ninjago has been done multiple times throughout the world, and the ride system itself has been used in other ways too. I imagine a lot of the back end stuff is based off similar rides too. Obviously makes it easier to iron out flaws, etc. 16 hours, minimum, is a lot, and no doubt that large period of time was extended down to poor design, not enough invested in improving the system, etc. But given everything it has to do, and the issues, I don't think it's that crazy a number.
  5. Engineers usually start at 6am, so with 4 engineers working on the ride, in theory it's possible to complete the 16 man hours of maintenance by 10am. The problem is that the 16 man hours is probably a minimal figure, and it takes longer due to them find problems, etc. For context, I believe the major coasters usually take 8-10 man hours every day. (Complex) Dark rides in theory should require a similar, or even more, man hours to check since they can have things like multiple triggered effects to go though and check. 16 hours is a very large number, larger than many things, but I don't think it's ridiculous. As I say, the main issue is that it probably takes longer than 16 hours because they always find problems which need fixing..
  6. That area is the maintenance area. The areas the train passes through are pretty much just blank spaces.
  7. JoshC.

    Walibi Holland

    Next episode of Making Of Untamed series is up... Key takeaways: 40 degree lift hill, at a height of 36.5m 80 degree, 35.4m drop Mini airtime hill after first drop
  8. JoshC.

    Next Roller Coaster

    The worst part is that this has been their most liked and commented Facebook post since December 27th (a Throwback Thursday to Stealth's construction). Given the amount of social posts they do, it's concerning. I've said before how I don't like their social media strategy of posting stupid 'funny' things. It just doesn't work. Obviously we'll never know how many people are truly interacting with their posts, but based off pure interaction numbers, it's not good. Comes across as cheap and desperate. Makes you wonder if they've simply been told "you need to get X number of interactions this year", and they're just putting quantity over quality. And then throwing darts aimlessly until they get lucky and hit the bullseye.
  9. Little bit of insight about the engineering checks involved for DBGT. Interesting for them to be open about it, given how secretive they tried to be over it in the past. Almost like they've given up caring? Also, no idea why they decided to do the silly flicker from Part Seven to Part Six, given that they did Part Six last week. Achieves nothing..
  10. JoshC.

    Your Thorpe Park

    One thing which I think Thorpe should consider is turning Stealth's top hat upside down. I'm being deadly serious here. Though no doubt very difficult and rather costly, I'm sure it's not outside the realm of possibility, and within a similar budget to some of the park's other crazy investments. But from a marketing standpoint, it's an absolute win. You get a new ride experience to market. You get a world record of the highest upside moment on a roller coaster - a meaningless record, but something a lot of people would lap up. You can do a mrawS with it, and if/when the novelty wears off and they lose the record, change the track back. And from a ride experience point, it's pretty damn good too. Inverted top hats are fun. And hanging upside down at 200ft would be great. The view you get at the top of Stealth is decent, but nothing to exactly scream about. So yes, it's a crazy idea which is partially inspired by the park's philosophy of world records and instant returns. But I genuinely reckon Thorpe should look down that route and do it if it's possible.
  11. JoshC.

    Annual Pass renewal opening times in Jan

    It usually would have done by now, or at the very least the park would have announced times. Best bet is to contact the park to see if / when they are doing it this year.
  12. JoshC.

    The Alton Towers Dungeons - New for 2019

    I guess it depends on what the charge is. For example, a £5 charge for a 30 minute mini Dungeons experience is reasonable enough in my eyes. I guess it also depends on the size of groups, etc, as to how much personal interaction you'll get too.
  13. JoshC.

    The Small Parks Thread

    Bobbejaanland have released concept art for their new Gerstlauer triple launch...
  14. JoshC.

    The Swarm

    After the rumours of lift hill chain issues over Fright Nights, Swarm has received a new chain this winter (much like Inferno). Whether this was always the plan, is anyone's guess...
  15. Can hardly blame them when not even Merlin knows the difference...