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About JoshC.

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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. JoshC.

    The Small Parks Thread

    Bobbejaanland have released concept art for their new Gerstlauer triple launch...
  4. 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...
  5. Can hardly blame them when not even Merlin knows the difference...
  6. JoshC.

    CBeebies Land

    Towers are introducing two Frog Hoppers into CBeebies Land this year, adjacent to Mr Bloom's Garden Plans - http://publicaccess.staffsmoorlands.gov.uk/portal/servlets/ApplicationSearchServlet?PKID=127678 They will be second hand (not quite sure where from though). Presumably this spells the end of the Frog Hopper in Cloud Cuckoo Land, and leaves a question of how wise it is to dump all the children's attractions in one area.
  7. JoshC.


    I don't know how long Vogel wasn't running three trains. The last time I rode it was July 2017 and it was eating the queue like no tomorrow. If it had been for a significant period of time, then it wasn't that noticeable to operations. If it wasn't for that long, it's good they were able to sort out a solution so quickly.
  8. JoshC.


    Some fabulous insight from Efteling on how they're planning on reducing queueing and waiting times... https://www.efteling.com/nl/blog/backstage/20190114-kortere-wachtrijen Highlights: -Longer opening times -Better flow at main entrance and car park -New system on Vogel Rok to allow 3 trains to run -Purchasing of a 5th train for Joris in case one requires maintenance -Introduction of SRQ on Flying Dutchman, following successful introductions on Bob, Baron, Symbolica, Joris and Python -New version of the app that notifies you when a queue reaches a certain length -Since last year, they've adopted the UK way of closing queue lines (IE at park close, not closing them so the ride stops running at park close). This isn't as common in Europe as you'd expect +More The park are still preserving with their version of Reserve n Ride, making further adjustments. I've yet to use the system (visiting only on extremely quiet days since it's introduction), but it was experienced some problems during its time. It's nice to see them learning and trying with it, but I wonder if they're clinging onto false hope trying to get it to work.
  9. JoshC.

    2019 Season

    Damnit, I was going to post this joke. And it works better for me since it's my 25th this year
  10. JoshC.

    Hocus Pocus Hall

    Efteling (and to a lesser extent, Hansa) has stuff around fairytales / legends which are very well known in their market (will get to that later). If we're being pedantic too, you could argue Phantasialand have at least dabbled with external properties, with Michael Jackson lending his name to Colorado Adventure, and with the Charles Lindbergh hotel being a thing. Slightly different I know, but it shows they acknowledge there's some form of strength in using something external to help them. My point is, even with those you've listed, it's still a minority of large, successful parks. And I fully expect the number to decrease over time too. I personally am all for the idea of themed lands. But that doesn't seem to be Merlin's direction quite so much now. They more seem to exist for reference to location. I've nothing against the idea of not having coherently themed lands (plenty of successful parks don't do this across their whole park). In some ways, it can be a positive, as it means you don't have to shoehorn in themes, and have greater scope. But yeah, maybe they should let go of the highly themed names if that's their direction. This is the thing, as I've said, the industry is changing (or perhaps even already has). Theme parks across the board can see there is a great deal of success to be had be extending brands into their parks. It's fine if people don't like that, but just because people don't like something, it doesn't mean it's necessarily wrong. But, does it really matter if it's a natural change? Why ask what people want when you can tell them what they want to suit you? Of course, this shouldn't make standards drop, overshadow originality, etc (which is the bigger issue here), but if you an make a change, just do it. Agreed. But IPs can and do have long term value, if the right one is chosen. There's definitely questions about some of Merlin's choices and their longevity, but theres plenty which are fine, and I don't think many parks outside of Merlin are really making questionable IP choices. Agreed. I absolutely hate the 'there can be no risk' style of thinking, and that is definitely stifling Merlin as a whole. The flash-pan IPs definitely reduce the risk, but carry little long term benefit. But the correct IP with appropriate work is fine. This is something I was going to mention in my previous post, but wasn't sure. Fairytales, etc. are a weird one. There's no third party to deal with to say 'you have to do this, that', but equally you're still bounded but keeping within that story's general realm. Do you really have much more creative license working with a fairytale than you do with an IP with a good working agreement? Arguably, the difference won't be that much. I really don't think that's how it would work. With young children (the target market for CBeebies), parents will want security in knowing that their children will like it. I don't think as many parents will see adverts for CBeebies Land and think it's a quick cashgrab as you think. They may think that when at the park and seeing the prices, but that'd basically be the same regardless of the IP. This is where the whole risk thing comes in - Merlin could have taken a risk to create something internally, but ultimately saw an IP as the safer option. My problems with CBeebies Land is that many characters they've used are human (making a lot of meet and greets impossible, which should have been key), and it's an IP that children outgrow. A young children's area still had the ability to cater to a slightly older audience if they're done right. Maybe Towers wanted to avoid that, but I personally feel like that's a missed opportunity.
  11. JoshC.

    2019 Season

    A subtle nod that this year is the park's 40th birthday on their most recent Facebook post... One hopes that they're deciding to capitalise on this, with some sort of event or something. Even a pin badge would be a step in the right direction..
  12. JoshC.

    TPM Guildford Meet Feb 19

    Should be available for both dates, but the Sunday sounds appealing!
  13. JoshC.

    2019 Season

    To be fair, they have been relaying grass down.. The map will be done in layers. Restaurant names and logos will be one of the last things added. However, to support the theory, the Burger King in that location is no longer mentioned on the Thorpe Park app, which also doesn't include I'm a Celebrity, nor Sticky Sisters (which appears to not be returning as it's been removed from their website also). I must stress that I don't think it means anything immediate. However, one cannot deny that the removal of multiple things in one area gives some hope..
  14. JoshC.

    Thorpe Park Rides & Attractions Game 2018

    Now THAT sounds like an interesting, hilarious and potentially highly argumentative controversial game. I love it.
  15. JoshC.

    Is Nemesis the best Invert?

    It's because everyone is still reeling from the FOUR INVERSIONS