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Everything posted by JoshC.

  1. The Nemesis retrack is a weird one, as we're in slightly uncharted territory with regards to the lifespan of B&Ms. And, of course, we don't really have much to go on for what the life span of more modern steel coasters are. I can't be the only one thinking that 30 years is somewhat on the short side as a lifespan for a coaster, especially one from a top tier manufacturer? I don't know, maybe I'm being overly optimistic? I wonder if the Nemesis situation is made worse by the location and the fact it was still one of B&Ms first coasters. Could accelerate potential issues! To get more to the point of the topic though...yes, Thorpe could well be looking down a potential difficult barrel. If we do go for the 30 year mark for coasters, it leaves a lot of potential expensive work to happen in a short period of time. But on top of that, their support rides are also a cause for concern. Rides like Samurai and Vortex are becoming more unreliable, and even some of the smaller rides like Depth Charge and Teacups will see a time when a like-for-like replacement must surely end up being cheaper than repairs? Thorpe is a potential ticking time bomb for maintenance and replacements! I'd expect Colossus would be the first major ride to need major work. Not just the age, but the location and rumours of sinking supports (and the numerous works it has had to supports and filling in the lake around the ride). Whether that results in a retrack for the ride that 'put Thorpe on the map', or a replacement is hard to say. Colossus is clearly still popular. But with Exodus around the corner, Smiler holding the inversion record and the wider audience moving away from a 'more inversions = better' logic, is Colossus a ride of the past? Could the space be put to better use for a newer ride? No wrong answer there of course. I honestly would not be surprised either way if they retrack it or dump it and replacement. But I do think the time is close for it to receive major work!
  2. JoshC.


    Fortunately the precedent was set with Hulk, since that was mostly, but not entirely retracked. I imagine there will be something. It's interesting to note that the plans indicate that pretty much everything else will remain the same: entrance, queue, plaza, station and theming are being retained, with some minor cosmetic work to the station. So this is very much 'Nemesis with new track', rather than "NemesIIs". So difficult to market. I expect this will take some time though; it's not work I can see them managing in a singular closed season. So push it with 30th anniversary celebrations and a reopening Sub Terra, and there's something there I guess.
  3. JoshC.


    Almost full track replacement, with only the original lift hill, station and brake run track to be retained
  4. On a slightly different note, here's an excellent visual from Jack SIlkstone showing just how Project Exodus looks in context within the Thorpe skyline: It really dwarfs Saw in particular here!
  5. Here's the official news: https://www.efteling.com/nl/blog/nieuws/20220124-nieuw-hotel-en-vernieuwd-themagebied-in-2024 So we'll get a new attraction opening in 2024, with a throughput of 1250pph, as well as some sort of 'theme world', which makes me think this investment might see more than just the attraction. No news on what the attraction is yet, and I'm still a little hesitant to refer to it as a ride just yet. The park will spend 25 million euros on this new investment (for comparison, Symbolica was 35 million) The park will also open a new hotel in 2024, next to the main entrance, so that it will overlook Aquanura (the water show) and the Fairytale Forest. It will have 7 floors, 143 rooms, 2 restaurants and a spa, and represents a 50 million euro investment. For comparison, the most recent hotel offering (Loonsche Land) cost 30 million euros, and the previous (Bosrijk village) cost 52 million euros, but both of those have pretty substantial outdoor bits too, which seems less like with this hotel.
  6. I think moving it isn't really practical; it's based in fixed building and wasn't designed to be moved. The cost of moving it would be effectively the same of building a new maze, at which point, it makes sense just to do something different. Given the new ride is planned to be a 2024 ride, and construction isn't starting until late this year, I don't have a problem with them using the maze again this year. It's not getting in the way of investment. And it helps spread out Fright Nights investments: have a new maze this year to act as a Platform 15 replacement, and then a new one next year for a Creek Freak replacement. Then they can put more money into new mazes, rather than spreading the budget thinly. From a creative standpoint too, there's extra opportunity to use the Old Town for Fright Nights if minimal construction is taking place then, which I see as a potential bonus!
  7. I guess I haven't worked it particularly well. But here's the thing, I've had two rides on Grand National and they were not at all 'rough'. From my experience, I genuinely cannot see why people would call it rough, for example. Perhaps I was just lucky. Could say something similar for my first ride on Goudrix. It was great, if a little intense. But nowhere near as rough or uncomfortable as people described. So again, from my experience, I genuinely could not see where the hate comes from. That was until my second ride, where I had a complete opposite experience. I can only go off my experiences. Me saying "I don't get the hate" for a ride isn't to invalidate the experiences of others. Obviously people do hate it and have their reasons, and some ride it incredibly rough. Fair enough. But simply, my (limited) experience doesn't help me understand why people do hate it as much as they do.
  8. Goudrix was literally 50-50 for me. One ride was smooth and enjoyable, the other was nightmarish. First ride was in the front of a car, the second in the back of a car, but I would refuse to believe that that was the sole reason for such wildly different experiences. As for rides a like more than others: Grand National - Not rough at all, don't get the hate. Lost Gravity - This is genuinely absolutely fab. The Swarm - Has a special place in my heart And rides I like less than most: The Smiler - Horrid painful ride, won't ride it again. Olympia Looping - In the context of being a travelling coaster, it's a spectacle. But the ride is not enjoyable.
  9. The planning application did state that it would be repainted grey, so one would imagine that has to be done before they can get on with testing. I don't know the ins and outs, but I would imagine that since it is specified in the plans, they would have to get that painted sooner rather than later. The park was hit incredibly hard by Covid, running a reduced line up and with bare bones staff levels. It shouldn't be forgotten that they have the zoo side of their function too, which would have received very little support, and where all their money was focused on. I personally still think 2022 is optimistic for it to open the rate it's going. Simply put, no. Quantity does not mean quality, and the park's quality is pretty low. Looking at those 5 thrill rides... Kumali: Pretty good invert Mumbo Jumbo: Average Hero: Atrocious. Velocity: Fine family coaster 10 looper: Let's assume we can stick that in the 'pretty good' to 'great' category. Obviously this is a tainted viewpoint from an enthusiast, but even to a wider audience, that's going to be the general consensus. You can easily argue that Thorpe, Towers, Blackpool and Fantasy Island have stronger coaster line ups in terms of quality. Heck, come next year, you could possibly throw Chessington into that conversation too. Don't get me wrong, it's good to have a big and varied line up, and Flamingo have one of the widest in the UK I'd say, especially since there's something for everyone. But they're nowhere near the conversation of have the strongest UK line up
  10. Nothing confirmed yet, but it's been known that the park are planning to get a new version tilt coaster from Vekoma. A test model is currently being built at Vekoma's headquarters, so Energylandia's one could feasibly open in 2023.
  11. That's the key here. If the park is doing well, and better than expected even, with this new market and direction, they may as well continue with it. To me, it's a nail in the coffin of T'Ultimate, which is already something that's going to be costly to re-open, and against the park's current direction. Just wish the park would confirm it at this point. But obviously good to see any park performing well, especially at this time.
  12. Whilst I think £39 is very expensive for the February event, I doubt that many visiting Pleasure Beach then are 'once a year' guests tbf. They're obviously capitalising on the big enthusiast following that are visiting then, and just in general being the first park to have big thrill rides open in the county. As I say, the price is very steep all things considered. And there will no doubt be people who do visit then only going once a year. But the amount of people who do visit for a yearly trip at that time of year and are going for Pleasure Beach solely for a theme park trip are probably minimal. Was only a matter of time before the park started squeezing more money out of guests.
  13. JoshC.


    Now here's something out of no where: Legoland have shared a glimpse into the future, stating their intent to apply for plans for an adventure golf course, with a "new roller coaster investment" on the horizon too: https://www.windsorobserver.co.uk/news/19849032.legoland-windsor-plans-build-new-adventure-golf-course/ They're citing the potential threat of London Resort a reason for these investments: An adventure golf course will certainly add to the park and resort in a worthwhile way. I honestly think that more and more resort parks should have adventure gold courses - compared to most theme park attractions, even a good quality one is only a comparatively small investment. They are low cost in maintenance, cheap to operate in terms of staffing and you can justifiably upcharge for it. Plus, I think a Lego-themed mini golf just sounds like a great idea. The "new coaster investment" is interesting. I've heard rumblings of a B&M going to Windsor. Personally, I think that's just rumours coming from people seeing the Legolands in China and putting 2 and 2 together to get 5. And I would have laughed the idea out the window a year ago. But with Chessington getting a B&M, and obviously multiple B&Ms in the Chinese Legoland parks looking likely, it's not the craziest suggestion right now. Legoland Windsor has many planning obstacles, and they're low on usable space. Even with the focus on the younger market, they do need another family coaster imo. Their recent dark ride additions have been very 'for all the family' orientated, so having a new coaster catering for that market isn't out of the question. But yeah, will be very interesting to see what they do. I do wonder if there have been an internal shift in philosophy about the likelihood of London Resort, given it's been quoted as a need for investment multiple times. Again, my opinion would be that they're still not worried about it, and still pretty sceptical that it will ever open, but there's certainly no harm in them playing off it to push through new investments. Out of all the UK Merlin parks, Legoland has seen some of the most consistent and well thought-out additions over the last 7-10 years really, so this isn't anything new. But it's good it continue under the changes at the top of Merlin (even if it's not a surprise!).
  14. Thanks for the update. The stuff happening down Platform 15 is odd, in that I wouldn't have thought it's stuff that needs doing any time soon. Wonder if they're just harvesting bits for re-use in the future, doing work for the sake of work or something else. Rocky Express is usually one of the first things deconstructed for winter maintenance, so the fact its still in one piece is a sign that it probably won't be returning in a relocated position. Honestly, I just imagine it will sit there until it's time to rip it up. As for Lumber Jump: It is very difficult to see from Monk's Walk, but you can see the top of it (though I assume you've been down there enough to know how to see it ). If it can't be seen, that's at least a sign something is being done with it. The park have at least acknowledged during the consultation process for Exodus that they need new rides to stop visitor numbers declining. Presumably they know that a singular roller coaster isn't enough too. With the increase in investment across all Merlin parks, I'm hopeful we'll see something. I'm expecting that 2022 will be another event-focused thing, with ride relocations and/or rethemes being a thing. 2023, meanwhile, would be a great time for a new ride - draw people in with an actual physical new thing, and then capture their attention further with the construction of their big new coaster to make them want to return for the year after. That would then compliment the pre-existing and established event schedule too. Whether that happens is another matter.
  15. If Parm Pap starts posting Smash Mouth lyrics, the world will melt down Also fits the area...the Old Town swamp and all that. Give the ride Big Dipper seating too and it can be like riding on Dragon. Oh god, I think I actually want this to happen now...
  16. Throw in an animatronic over-sized hand and crystal ball being juggled on the lake and a Labyrinth-themed Fright Nights attraction and then this will be the best thing ever.
  17. It's true that this and Colossus will be similar, in that they are coasters which will have 'standard' trains and a 'standard' lift hill (assuming, of course, there's no surprises like spinning cars or whatever) I wouldn't be surprised if this is being geared up mid-to-long term as a "like-for-like" Colossus replacement. When Old Town and the island behind Swarm are eventually taken up, you're not left with much room for expansion, so do have to consider removals and replacements, and Colossus would be the first choice in terms of major coasters. Project Exodus would be a similarly iconic coaster for the park, and similar in terms of maintenance. (If anything, probably easier to maintain, given the problems the park have had with Colossus' supports around the lake) At the same time, it's not hard to imagine Colossus staying for a good while yet. It is *the* coaster which put Thorpe 'on the map'. It's still pretty popular. And who knows, with a retrack, it may become smoother (and be a cheaper alternative than completely ripping it out and building something new). So yeah, it's very 50/50 - I genuinely would not be surprised either way if we see it here or not by the end of the decade.
  18. For all my sins, Thorpe Park. Though even then, there's plenty of people who love it more than me. I have a big soft spot for Walibi Holland, even with their brash, in-your-face marketing. I just can't help but smile every time I even think about one of my visits. In terms of small parks I have a big liking for, I'll sing the praises of Plopsa Coo and Parc du Bocasse till the cows come home.
  19. Part of it was down to the fact that's where the space was, and that's where investment was going. The Canada Creek Railway was introduced when they introduced the Canada Creek area (including Loggers Leap). It wasn't just a means of transportation, it was also an attraction in its own right, and looping round Canada Creek and giving that - albeit minimal - interaction with Loggers Leap helped too. The area by Rumba and what's now Inferno had other attractions, and didn't really have the space for a train station, train storage shed and a turnaround. It should be remember that the farm was just that - a farm! It had animals and restaurant. It wasn't noisy or disruptive in any way. If Thorpe Park didn't exist, no one would bat an eyelid at that area being used as a farm. It should also be remember that when Thorpe Park opened, it wasn't really a theme park. It was a leisure park, which slowly developed into a theme park, with rides added in at certain periods. A farm in that location made perfect sense in the context of what Thorpe Park originally was. At the same time, having it far away from everything else made sense. It was a place for animals and for quiet, away from some of the louder and busier leisure activities at the park. I don't think the plane exhibits were in any different parts of the park than what exists now. They were located in various parts of the park, including what is now The Jungle, where Vortex/Zodiac are, and parts of where Loggers Leap are. When Loggers Leap an Canada Creek were introduced, some parts of the lake were infilled to create the area. This might be the separate lake that was spoken about. It was separate. Treasure Island opened in 1983, so pre-dates CCR. Before CCR opened, one could take the waterbus to the Farm, or you could walk there. To walk there, you would go alongside the lake, from what is now roughly between Rumba Rapids and Inferno to the Farm. About a third of the way along was the station / entrance for Treasure Island. You can see a pathway in the video @Mattgwise posted. When CCR opened, you could still walk to the Farm, and I believe walking was the only way still to get to Treasure Island. Yes, the park own them. Treasure Island could function as a ride site, Thorpe Farm almost definitely not. Here's a very crude picture: Roughly speaking, everything within the yellow region is - in some loose definition - Thorpe's, or of Thorpe's responsible. Everywhere within the red region (up to the yellow line) is pretty much where the park are allowed to develop rides currently. That's not to say that the park couldn't develop outside that region, but it would require a lot of extra work and changes with the council. As you can see, Treasure Island lies within this region. Back when Treasure Island was an attraction, The Swarm island didn't exist, nor did the straight patch of land above it. In the mid 2000s, the park decided to build an engineering facility building (which is one of the buildings directly above where "The Swarm" is written, just under one my crude yellow lines). The new land helped create a service road to connect it towards the back of the park in an easy way. The Farm is outside of this development region. The park currently use it as storage and work space for some teams (such as Landscaping and Waste Management). At least one of the buildings there is listed too, so can't be demolished. There is some stuff that's also just kind of chucked there (if you've seen the Big Top documentary from Jack Silkstone, you'll see that the clown entrance feature has pretty much been dumped there). Again, it's not impossible for it to be used for something low key or quiet, but highly unlikely. The park certainly has gone through several transformations over the decades. Especially in enthusiast circles, there's more and more people who weren't born when Colossus opened, and that was truly the turning point for the park becoming a thrill park. So there's lots of people like yourself who will never know Thorpe as anything other than a thrill park, and it's really strange. If you're interested in learning more, there's a fair few sources out there, albeit less stuff pre-Tussauds Thorpe Park Mania: We have an okay selection of history / archive bits, albeit a bit more recent stuff... https://thorpeparkmania.co.uk/ Memories of Thorpe Park: Memories of Thorpe Park have a good range of stuff too... https://memoriesofthorpepark.co.uk/ / https://www.facebook.com/MoTP.uk/ Thorpe Park Nostalgia: If you're on Instagram, this is a great account to follow from someone who worked at the park and shares lots of stuff from the later 90s/early 00s... https://www.instagram.com/thorpeparknostalgia/ And obviously, feel free to ask on here too!
  20. Going back to the name, I hope we see a simple, crude name that milks the height. There's the likes of Fury 325 and Intimidator 305, for example, which have their height included in the name. This exists in part to take the UK height record, something which is very hard to envision being broken any time soon (after all, Big One's record will have stood for 30 years by the time this opens). Something along the lines of Rampage 236, Bolt 236 or whatever. Just a simple noun followed by the height to get it across. It's not something that lends itself to a heavily themed ride, but then, this isn't the type of ride that needs that. It's funny, because in the past, I've never liked the ideas of names like that. But I dunno, it just feels like it fits for this.
  21. There's also a handy bit of info here: https://memoriesofthorpepark.co.uk/treasureisland.html I'll follow this post up with more later, but again, Memories of Thorpe Park can give a nice bit of info about Thorpe Farm and CCR: https://memoriesofthorpepark.co.uk/thorpefarm.html https://memoriesofthorpepark.co.uk/ccr.html
  22. One which came to mind is the grabber machines round by Ghost Train, which has loads of 'Easter Eggs', including the forward reference to Exodus: All listed here: https://justanotherthemeparkblog.wordpress.com/2021/07/02/every-easter-egg-on-thorpes-graffiti-machines/ (courtesy of yours truly ) A fun one from the link @Inferno posted: Stealth's sign being 'wrong'. Yep, in 2006 it was advertised as going from 0-80mph in 2.3 seconds, and then in 2007 it was "upgraded" to go 0-80mph in 1.9 seconds. I don't think anything happened, so was just either marketing spiel, or a change in the way they measure it. As another plug, every year on social media, TPM do an advent calendar, which usually mentions loads of these fun Easter eggs too! Now I'll rattle off some I can remember which haven't been mentioned... Swarm -The helicopter had its last flight approx 2 weeks before arriving at the park -On the toilet block, there's Roman numerals written above the entrance: LCXII. As Roman numerals, that's nonsense, but it's actually saying LC12, which was the codename Black Mirror -In the section after the bright tunnel (with the screens where your avatar is being drained), there are codes above each screen, such as JB1, KH2, etc. These are initials of people who were involved in the project. -The screen before the mirror maze has letters "BML X:\NWO" written on it; a nod to X:\No Way Out Walking Dead: The Ride -There's a 'workforce board' in the pre-show room (on the left as you go in). This has names of everyone involved in the project, in one way or another -There's lots of replica props dotted between the pre show room and load room. Trailers The whole maze is an Easter egg to old stuff Derren Brown -When you exit the train the first time (onto the tube platform), the information boards are set to the time 06:05:16. That was the original advertised open date for the ride. -On the exterior of the building, the year 1871 is written. This is 100 years before Derren Brown's birthday, to reference the supposed Victorian-era theme.. -Also in the tube platforms, along with the fracking posters, is a poster resembling Derren Brown's trick or treat cards from one of his old TV shows -I believe that the old second VR scene (where you were stopped on a bridge above a street) was designed to mimic a road in Action, though I'm not certain of this. -The station building is modelled off a Victorian-era built, train depot near Willesden Junction -The floating carriage is modelled off a real carriage: Consulting my notes, it's a North Eastern railway clerestory bogie composite coach no.3071, first built in 1903. To be continued...
  23. Fun little thing that hadn't twigged for me: the final airtime hill and brake run run exactly where Loggers Leap's lift and drop are:
  24. In part, I expect they are saying this to appease locals who are concerned about traffic levels. They want to go "we're investing in something new, it's to stop us losing guests, not to get us more guests". The logic being that people are coming but not coming back, and a new ride is needed to get them to come back. Another reason to say this is simply because it's not realistic. In 2019 (the last year we can accurately compare with), the park were over 500,000 visitors short of that number. There's very little chance that any ride would bring that extra number of people in. I mean, the park was very busy every peak day. There were no significant problems, but I think it should be remembered that operating at that level continuously then requires more staff, more maintenance, etc. I'm not saying the park were struggling to cope then, but I think given the current set up of the park, they would struggle if they did get half a million extra visitors in one year. Any park at a similar scale to Thorpe would too.
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