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Everything posted by JoshC.

  1. Some constructiony updates via Everything Fright Nights... The Crows of Mawkin Meadow is receiving some hay Creek Freak Massacre is going through tech rehearsals: Work is going on round Old Town for Creek Freaks Unchained: Somewhat tacky addition to the Platform 15 entrance: Saving the most interesting one for last: There's been some work towards the side / back of the building for Trailers. This has recently been themed, and very much seems like this will be the entrance of the maze. That would make it the first time the entrance for an attraction in that building wasn't by the main corner by the pathway.
  2. A passholder preview event has been set for Thursday 7th October with all attractions available. All passholders get free entry (regardless of exclusions) and 50% off mazes (presumably make the trio ticket £12):
  3. Just shows how meaningless - and perhaps farcical - the Golden Ticket Awards are.
  4. Hey there. Here's the locations of all of the photo points: Stealth: At start of launch Swarm: Just after the billboard Saw: Just after airtime hill Colossus: After 5th inversion (double corkscrew); it's near the queue line entrance so you should be able to see it Nemesis Inferno: Just after the final inversion (corkscrew); again, you should see when in the queue as well Rumba Rapids: Near the water tower at the end (though currently the flash isn't working on that) Tidal Wave: Bottom of drop Walking Dead The Ride: Spoilered just in case you don't know about this surprise Flying Fish: Turn into the first helix (you can't miss it)
  5. As of yesterday, construction and preparation has turned up a notch for Fright Nights: Seemingly the Saw Alive pathway will be the location of the Crows scare zone: Old Town is being partially shut off for Creek Freaks Unchained: I am also under the impression that much of Trailers is complete now, which is a good sign of course.
  6. It is basically the same voice as heard on Detonator which says something along the lines of "Bavarian Bingo has been activated..." (along with other stuff). It then plays the Chicken Dance song, which goes into one of the Bavarian versions of the Thorpe Park tune. The actual tune of the Chicken Dance song into that Bavarian version is cool in itself, but the randomness I'm less a fan of, especially when it can be very jarring with the music and announcements of the ride itself. Would rather musical overlays or nothing new, not an awkward blend of both.
  7. Went to the Oktoberfest event this weekend. Marked improvement over last year's event. The main area from last year remains and is more or less the same. The tented picnic area in Lost City is also an Oktoberfest tent, with beer and entertainment. There's live music and actors around these areas from 12pm, along with the food offerings available. There's themed music around the rides again, along with the random 'Bavarian Bingo' which takes over rides randomly. Not a fan of that; would prefer something a bit more streamlined, but I guess it's cool all the same. I think Rumba (sorry, Oompah) Rapids has new audio over last year which is better. Detonator audio is the same as last year and I still don't like it. The main problem I have is that the actors the park have speak with terrible German accents. In the sense that they're meant to be terrible. They act as caricatures of Germans. It's "'Allo! 'Allo!" level of humour, and is extremely cringey. It's really, really not my thing. Maybe it's something the masses react positively, but it simply doesn't work for me. But yeah, as I say, a marked improvement from last year. Some good entertainment. Just drop the cringey accents please.
  8. And the final maze, Trailers: The 'never ending loop' thing makes me wonder if this will feature some sort of multi-route / repetition throughout the maze. The theme is a nice idea and I've seen other places make this sort of concept work. And I also think this is where these play a part: These are probably the 'films' which are shown at the SuperSpark Cinema, and throughout the maze, you enter into a scene of each one. This then combines a nice mix of Fright Nights throwback whilst keeping things fresh (and makes things easy to follow for people unfamiliar with old mazes too). I think the main concern I have there is space. The Jungle Escape space isn't that big: I reckon it's similar to Creek Freak Massacre, if not, smaller. So it's by no means small, but not huge either. So fitting in 8 scenes (plus the inevitable pre show, and an ending scene) is a challenge, especially if you want to make sure the maze flows coherently too. I think being upcharge and putting people in small groups will be a huge help, but that still isn't an answer to many of the concerns.
  9. Being a Tuesday during term time it should be reasonably quiet, even with the Oktoberfest event going on. Probably worth starting the day at Colossus as that gets the longest, slowing moving queue out of any of the major rides, and working your way around. Then decide from there whether you needed Fastrack, though I doubt you will.
  10. I should stress that I'm not saying Asylum would be poorly received. But just as a general thought experiment, would it be as highly regarded? When it first opened, and even really up until it closed, it was something different which had a very obvious style unlike many other mazes. But it's a style which has been recreated and mimicked many times over all around the country, and even within Thorpe. Would a maze which is a stretched out version of the ending of Creek Freak Massacre (or a version of Big Top's strobe maze...or a version of Walking Dead's strobe maze...) hit the same high notes for the masses? Maybe it would, maybe it wouldn't. 2011 and 2013 were, in my opinion, some of the best Fright Nights out there. More importantly, they are head and shoulders above most other years too. I'm not suggesting that recent years were better than some of the best years ever. But if you go back to say, 2008, when you had Asylum, Hellgate, Se7en and Curse, you only had one consistently well received maze, which was Asylum. Hellgate ticked along, but was a rather basic maze which never hit great heights. Se7en had settled into the line up at that point, but was nowhere near its peak. Curse was suffering from first season syndrome. Personally, I think you could replace those mazes from that year with Platform 15 and the Walking Dead mazes of 2018 and the event would be a similar quality. It's easy to look back and remember things fondly, or forget about some of the bad things. I really enjoyed Se7en, and some of the runs I had in its final year were some of the best runs I've had in any maze. But equally, I had some proper duds of a run in years prior. That's in part the nature of mazes too. But I do think it's easy to gloss over some of bad points of years gone back. It will be genuinely interesting to see what people's views are like in 10 years time. Will there be people remembering fondly the likes of Blair Witch, Platform 15 and Living Nightmare? Here's a fun question: Do they need to do 20 years justice? Does it matter that it's the 20th anniversary, or is it just something that the park are cashing in on for an advertising and merchandising stand point because fans made it a big deal? For the 10th anniversary, the park opened a new maze which had a 10 at the end, and had some roaming actors. Did that idea really do the 10th anniversary justice? If yes, then what the park are doing is more than enough. If no, then why does it matter, when 2011 was one of the best years of Fright Nights regardless? Not quite sure what you mean here. If you're suggesting that the maze could be related to something else beyond itself (ie a new ride), I mean, I guess it's possible. Towers have done it a couple of times. At this stage though, I think all we can really read into it is that because it's the big new maze, they want to push it separately.
  11. I think there's a lot of rose-tinted specs with regards to some of the old Fright Nights attractions. I've made my comments on Asylum quite clear in the past, but just as a general thought experiment. Imagine if Asylum (and Freezer) never existed, and this year the park opened up a maze which was 90% chain-mesh fencing with strobe lights, featuring a chainsaw runout at the end. I'm sure it wouldn't flop, but would it be as well received now as it was 10-15 years ago? Or would many find flaws in comparison to many other mazes? Mazes such as Hellgate, Se7en and Curse took a while to find their feet. Hellgate really was never that good or sparked that much interest. Se7en and Curse only really more consistent positive reviews in their final year or two and, despite their well-themed interiors, were mocked for being in white tents. The park had plenty of misses and underachievements too. My point here is simply that it's easy to look back and say Fright Nights was better in the past, etc etc, but saying so certainly glosses over many things. I think the set up for this year is good on paper. 3 mazes, 4 scare zones, 2 shows and roamers. Good mix of themes too. The number of mazes is a difficult balancing act to get right, especially going down the upcharge route. But, at the very least, both Platform and Creek Freaks are decent length mazes (which can be stretched out time-wise if you are in smaller groups). That's a good thing. I'd like to see the event develop and experiment with one high throughput free maze and the rest upcharge to give that extra choice.
  12. Yep, there's certainly one more maze to come. The website certainly makes that clear: https://www.thorpepark.com/explore/theme-park/fright-nights/ Humorously, the name of the image with the question mark is titled "Nice try"; a nice stopper to anyone who checks those things for a little hint. Line up looks promising. Some immediate thoughts: Maze upcharge - Will have to wait and see on costs before a full judgement, but I don't have a problem with the idea in principle. Creek Freaks Massacre - Good to see it return. Wasn't my cup of tea, but I know the masses liked it. Creek Freaks Unchained - Happy to see that return too. Good duo there. Platform 15 - Interesting to see it has received the 'End of the Line' tagline in the title. It's final year, perhaps? Vampires vs Werewolves - Yeah, good idea to merge these to one. Should have been like that last year really imo. Crows Scarezone - Nice idea. Bit confusing having that AND the Crows roaming. Curious about the location of the zone and what exactly will happen there. Swarm Invasion - Has potential. Hopefully it gets more actors and some extra bits. Birthday Bash - Seems like it will be a generic clown thing, but can be fun. Legacy - Nice idea. The stage location is awkward, especially with Ghost Train open again Mysterious new maze - Still confused why they're holding off on announcing that. I just hope whatever they're planning is worth the extraness.
  13. Hasn't logged on since 2014, last post before this May 2015...
  14. Yes, I certainly think that's the plan! I thought Breakout might have been a reference to Containment, as that's what the original victor wristbands said (as well as the original-planned name of the experience I believe!) and Nightmare on Staines Street a reference to Living Nightmare. Beyond the Chair I'm less sure about, though the dentist thought is a good shout. Maybe that will be a nod to the new maze though? There's another teaser, doesn't seem to feature anything of interest though:
  15. The rethemed Flock n Shop, Superspark, which is being used to advertise Fright Nights in some aspect, is open. And there's some TVs in there:
  16. So Flock n Shop, which hasn't been open much (if at all?) this year is currently no more: Whilst it's interesting to note that the QR code goes to the Fright Nights page, I wonder if this is the beginning of the end of Angry Birds Land? It's been around a good long while and the brand is very much not big any more.
  17. There's a lot of mini references to previous mazes there - the walls have posters for some mazes for example. I'm sure the longer you look at it (and with a large enough resolution), you'll end up finding other little nods and such too.
  18. I really do wonder why they've chosen to go for (seemingly) a launched, shuttle B&M wingrider. If we take a look at it from the marketing perspective, this coaster ticks the following boxes: -Chessington's first coaster with an inversion -Chessington's first launch coaster -The world's only multi launch / swing launch wing coaster -The world's only shuttle wing coaster -Potentially first Jumanji coaster / land That's a lot for the Merlin higher ups to get their motors' running. So the question is, how did this come about? Was it: 1. "We're finally going to invest in a new coaster at Chessington. It's been a while, so chuck as many firsts into it as possible, and the people will come! ... A launched, shuttle, B&M wingrider with a big IP with multiple firsts, plus being the first inverting coaster at the park...brilliant!" 2. "We're finally going to invest in a new coaster at Chessington. It's been a while, so let's do a TON of market research and see what the people want. ... Wait, you want a launched, shuttle wing coaster with an IP...o-okay?" The thing is, neither option would surprise me. But, if it's the former of those option, it's a huge risk. And every single cautiously concerned comment highlights that, and could very well be echoed with a wider audience. If it's the latter, that's much more interesting. It's still a huge risk, and something on paper that sounds good doesn't always translate to success in real life. But it could also show that us as enthusiasts simply over-think these things too much. If that's really what the wider audience are saying they want, then so be it, right? In any case, I'm still amazed and confused by the choices here. I have a hundred questions, and only time will be able to answer them. One thing of note is that concept art for Legoland Sichuan also suggests that a similar style ride could come about. Are Merlin and B&M working together on something weird and different? Who knows. Still, in any case, this is projected to have a maximum theoretical throughput if 720pph. It won't get that, and will probably end up averaging around the 500pph mark. That's simply not good enough for what one should hope to be a new headline attraction for the park.
  19. Hey, Tulleys did a funny. I reckon this can be chucked in with 'the rest'.
  20. 1729 has hit the nail on the head about Platform. It's a maze which stands all year around, bar the tunnel which I imagine can be set up in a day. Yes, they've done little tweaks to it (and big tweaks in 2017), but once built they can pretty much just leave it as is and just doing a yearly maintenance check on it. It's certainly not the best received maze ever, even in its best, 2017 state, but it does the job. It also had an expense initial outlay, so they'll use it for what it's worth. However, I have heard murmurs that the village section in the maze has been torn down. If true, that indicates that some more substantial work is happening. It doesn't surprise me, as I was under the impression that the creative team behind the maze at the time (who have since moved on, etc) it was built had bigger plans for the maze and intended to keep growing it, and the village was more a short term thing which was built to last several years. So maybe it's needed the work. Obviously, all Chinese whispers and murmurs, but take it for what you will. Also, whilst I don't think there's much to go on, it has been noted that there have been removed trees around the Loggers / Platform route. It could mean nothing. But if it is happening for a future development (or something else, like the trees round that are at risk of being unsafe), then maybe the park don't want to spend money reinvigorating / changing Platform too much only for it to close down shortly thereafter. This is the overarching problem Fright Nights has had though for a while. Ideally, they need mazes permanently set up (a la Creek Freak, and in the past, Saw, Living Nightmare/Cabin, Asylum, etc) which can survive the elements. Things like Platform 15 and Roots of Evil (curiously not listed as returning)/Blair Witch are obviously permanently set up, but struggle under the elements and need more maintenance. Even something like Experiment 10/MBV were good as they were at least straightforward to set up. The issue with mazes in tents is that you either have to have a tech crew who can build them from scratch (whilst also doing everything else, and prepping the other mazes), or get an external company to do it all (which is expensively, especially if done yearly). Realistically, I feel like for this year's Fright Nights we can expect the Jungle Escape building to be transformed to a maze, maybe a Roots of Evil replacement and some scare zones. -The Jungle Escape building is a prime location for a maze, and it will help majorly with set up to have another indoor permanent maze. -Roots of Evil was a bit meh and the location can only do so much. 2018 was a logistical nightmare with Vulcan Peak and Blair Witch, so maybe they'll avoid 2 mazes there. -Scare zones were good and successful last year, so they need to return. I do wonder how much Covid has affected plans for this year. Despite the size of the park, I imagine they would still be hesitant to commit to big money spending for something which may not come to light / be disrupted. But equally, leave the decision too late and you then have to rush stuff / can't get the right people in. It's difficult. I'm surprised the park didn't decide to delay the 20th anniversary in some sense. In the grand scheme of things, it means very little, but enthusiasts and the park's marketing team have pushed it a lot and expect an extra layer of something special. Maybe they could have said "Last year was the Fright Nights Fearstival, not Fright Nights itself. So this year is the 19th Fright Nights and so next year is the 20th edition, blah blah blah...". That way, they could look at committing to a more secure world (or at least, more adjusted world) and more secure event, where they could spend more money. But heyho, it is what it is.
  21. I agree that it should be reliable, but for context, a non-complete list of things which could cause shut downs in Labyrinth: -People in distress -Broken screen / projector -Bad Internet connectivity -Doors not opening/closing -Lighting issues -Cleaning I don't know what its reliability has been like, or how good that is in relation to its target. But it certainly should be reliable. The thing with Thorpe mazes in particular (and likely Merlin mazes too) is that any minor problem usually requires the attraction to be shut down and cleared of guests. Then a tech crew would need to arrive, who usually aren't based at the maze. It's a process which is long (because of Merlin's H&S checks), and is felt during shutdowns. Obviously a good team working would minimise the period of downtime, and good regular maintenance (plus a good, well-designed initial attraction) would reduce the number of closures in the first place.
  22. Farmyard Flyer is built and testing:
  23. And it seems we have a whiff of a teaser: I fully expect this to relate to a new Fright Nights attraction. Far too early to have any idea what sort of story / experience we're in for, but allow me to do some shameless speculation: -A maze utilising Haunted Lantern technology (like Mine Tours at Towers). Themed around a building where the power is out because of mysterious reasons blah blah and you only have a torch to help you see. (Haunted Lantern tech is very clever as it basically means that guests carry around a torch/light source, but it only works at certain points in the experience) -The cheaper route would be to have a maze which is largely pitch black. Same idea as above, but no Haunted Lantern tech. -A maze incorporating electric shocks. I don't think it will happen, but there's form here. Tulleys had a maze like that for one year. Thorpe looked at having electric shocks in Scene 2 of Saw Alive (electric corridor). Sounds like a H&S nightmare, and there's reasons why it's not mainstream, but not impossible. Obviously two vague tweets is nothing to go by, but if this is indeed for a Fright Nights maze, it's great to have another permanent indoor maze space again.
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