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Paul

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Everything posted by Paul

  1. I've just watched a POV from this season on youtube, having not been on the ride myself since 2010. What the heck has happened??? It is completely bare, void of anything interesting and just looks terrible! (Obviously I know watching a youtube video is nothing in comparison to being there in person, but still!). Just another reason why I haven't visited Thorpe since 2012 and have absolutely no intention or inspiration to again. So sad, used to be one of my favourite parks growing up.
  2. I'm a bit late to the party on this one. Went to Chessington recently and can't say I'm particularly impressed with Tiger Rock. This however is based on the fact that I much prefer the zoo/animals being in a separate area of the park entirely, and the theme park being a completely different part. I'm not really a whole fan of this whole idea of integrating the zoo. I've never liked Busch Gardens for the same reason. The whole Land of the Tiger area lacks theming, and the ride areas just look bare and sparse. I LOVE the new soundtrack in the station however, although this would have worked perfectly with the old Dragon Falls. To me, it's still Dragon Falls, and always will be. The Tiger head over the final drop is far too big; a huge part of what everybody loved about Dragon Falls was the fantastic view for spectators. That has largely been ruined by the huge tiger's head covering the majority of the drop. I would much rather the tigers had been added to the zoo section of the park, the whole Mystic East area simply brightened up, given a new lease of life, and Dragon Falls remain as it was, with the fantastic addition of the new soundtrack. There are some new elements that I like, including the added lights/sounds in the tunnel. Although not executed particularly well, the thought of using the tunnel to create more of an impact is a good one. I just wish it had been thought about a bit more and executed a bit better. Overall, I love the soundtrack and the attempt at making the tunnel more exciting. Other than that, bring back Dragon Falls.
  3. Is the ability to walk the monorail route from hotels to theme park new for this year? If not I've never noticed it before. I thought it was a great addition - one day we had to use it as the monorail was broken but the other days we chose to use it for the exercise! I'm surprised they haven't had it longer.
  4. During my Alton Towers trip last week I finally got round to riding Galactica for the first time. Before I launch into my review, I've just got to comment on that recent newspaper article about riders being stuck on Galactica upside down for 30 minutes in the searing heat. I was there, not on the ride, but was in Forbidden Valley at the time. Tuesday was boiling yes, but Wednesday wasn't even hot. It was a much cooler temperature, very cloudy. Can't have been more than 24/25 degrees. And yes, they were facing down, so would have actually been in the shade, even though it was a cloudy day. And the ride stoppage was about 15 minutes. So the whole article is not only an exaggeration, it's just lying on most counts. Media rant over. As for my ride on Galactica, it was a mixed experience. No matter the quality of the actual ride, the whole experience was ruined by the painfully slow boarding process. It was a quiet day, and so the ride was only running on one station. (I presume this is the case for quiet days only?!) Not only was it painfully slow watching every train have the goggles cleaned and put away, only to be taken out again when the next riders board, but the queue line now moves at an incredibly slow pace. The queue when we joined was just past the new photo point, and we were queueing for 45 minutes until we got on. The second time we rode Galactica on Thursday, the queue was just up to the food and drink vending machines, and we were waiting for over an hour. The actual ride was quite impressive. As a new experience to me, I thoroughly enjoyed the ride and it did offer a brand new experience. Arguably yes much of what I experienced could be experienced in a simulator, but the added effect of being on a rollercoaster (ride forces, wind etc) really created a great unique experience to AT. Once again the positive experience on the ride was let down by trains being held outside the station for up to 5 minutes, causing most people to end the ride with an uncomfortable rush of blood to the head, arms and legs while they wait to get off the ride. This was really unfortunate, as it did deter me from riding again. I only did as everyone else in my group wanted to. I presume this problem will go when two stations are open in peak seasons (I really hope that will be the case - the ride would be an absolute nightmare on one station in the summer). So as for the ride, it was a fun, new and exciting experience and that I really enjoyed. It's just such a shame that it has become such an inefficient ride in terms of throughput. Having said that, the staff were working their socks off and were boarding as fast as they could. It's a real shame that even with that hard work, the installation of VR on the ride has created such a lengthly ride process. Logistically there may be reasons why this wouldn't work, but while queueing I couldn't help think that they could have one station for VR and one without, so that if you didn't want VR you could head straight to that station and have a reduced queueing time? I presume the percentage of people wanting to use VR heavily outweighs those not though...
  5. Paul

    The Flume

    What was the actual reason behind the closure of The Flume? Was it solely due to SW8, or was SW8 planned because the Flume needed to close? Personally I'm not happy about the decision at all. Alton Towers doesn't need another coaster, and needs more water rides. With the recent departures of Charlie and The Flume, the park now has just one water ride, which really isn't that impressive for a park of AT's size. Yes the flume was looking quite sad, but an upgrade could have made it into a really great log flume attraction.
  6. Most people who do stand up during the ride don't really think about it - it's a natural instinct to get away from a big wave of water, which I understand. Then there are some people who deliberately stand up for whatever reason. Either way, if they want to dramatically reduce the risk of people falling in then seat belts are the only way forward. Every other type of ride has restraints (nearly, anyway), so why not rapids?
  7. Why do the waterfalls create a safety hazard? I presume because people often stand up/try to move seats to avoid getting wet? If that's the case, then removing the waterfalls won't solve the problem. People often stand up/move seats throughout the ride at any point, particularly when they see that their seat is heading towards a particularly large wave or current. If they want to stop people standing up, they need to add some sort of restraint to each seat on the boats. As long as there is a chance of getting wet, people will always stand up. I'm not saying that's the right thing to do; obviously it's a water ride so you can expect to get wet when boarding. Hopefully the increased signage will help. Correct me if I'm wrong - don't some rapids rides have seat belts? I seem to remember Popeye and Bluto's barges in Universal had seat belts when I went several years ago? It's not a huge thing to implement and if it's going to save lives then I'm all for it. Sadly no amount of signage or ride op announcements are going to stop people from standing up or trying to move seats during the ride. If we need to stop standing up, which we do, to avoid this kind of terrible thing happening again, then the only real option is to physically restrict people from standing up with seat belts. People might say it's all health and safety going mad, but if incidents like this are happening then something needs to be done.
  8. Paul

    Th13teen

    There are some moments of good airtime on the ride - the first main drop through to the dark section is great. After that I think the ride could end and I'd be just as happy - the dark section doesn't really do anything for me. If it was a taller first drop with a longer track twisting and turning through the forest, it would be a much better attraction I think.
  9. Paul

    The Smiler

    I don't really remember much airtime - my head was so dizzy from all the constant inversions I don't remember much else!
  10. Has anyone played Extraordinary Golf this season? I know they were doing some work on it, any notable improvements? I always love to play this but have noticed it has become tired over the last few years. Particularly with the Flume hole always seeming to be having work done when I play!
  11. Glad you had a good day! I've always loved Quantum, it's so deceptive. I always missed it out due to it looking too 'tame', but it really packs a punch! Same with Zodiac - it's a really strange sensation but a brilliant little ride!
  12. Retheming Old Town to something that would accommodate Timber Tug Boat would be pretty pointless, considering there are other areas of the park that would already perfectly accommodate that ride!
  13. 'Upgrade' used very loosely then!
  14. That's understandable, but a huge shame. Removing the trees removes most of the theming that the ride had!
  15. I haven't been to Thorpe in ages, but just watched a video of Rumba taken just a few weeks ago this season and was absolutely shocked at how terrible the ride looks now. I don't know whether all the trees were chopped down this season or a previous one, but the whole ride looks so bare and uninspiring. What with this, tug boat, and many other things, I can honestly see myself not being too disappointed if I never get round to visiting Thorpe again. It's not a dig at Merlin, I personally love Alton and Chessington and visit them both regularly, but Thorpe seems to have slipped way down. I know Rumba Rapids was never the best rapids ride in the world, but just 5 years ago it was bright, colourful, scenic, and generally an enjoyable ride with a sense of character. Now it just looks abandoned, lacklustre and frankly miserable.
  16. I know I'm echoing a lot of posts on here already, but it is a completely ridiculous place to have put the ride. I don't see a problem with the ride itself, and as many people have said, it is already themed PERFECTLY to slot seamlessly next to Tidal Wave or around that area. But to plonk it in the middle of Old Town, where it has absolutely no relevance to the area whatsoever just baffles me. Maybe they should rename Old Town to 'Miscellaneous Land'? It's such a real shame - Canada Creek used to be my favourite area of the park by far. It used to have a charm and character that none of the other lands offered. With Loggers, CCR and Calgary Stampede gone, the area is completely unrecognisable for the gem of a land it once was.
  17. From what I've seen so far, this ride looks great! I will always have a soft spot for the old Bubbleworks, but forgetting that and looking at this as a new attraction, I am very impressed with what I've seen. Can't wait to ride it for myself!
  18. Do they not do bounce back when you are in the park anymore? I was there last year and could have been sure I saw posters with 'Come back tomorrow for only £___', I just can't remember what price they were, or if indeed I was imagining it and had seen them in another park. Thanks Matt!
  19. Does anyone know how much bounce back tickets were for next day park entry last year at Alton Towers? Or indeed how much they are likely to be this year?
  20. From a marketing point of view, promoting that they've given one of their attractions a lick of paint is as good a technique as any and does work in creating a buzz. Although we agree that these are things the park should be doing anyway, there is nothing wrong with promoting it if it's going to make people talk about the park in a positive way. The general public (non-geeks) aren't generally going to see this kind of promotion as a cover up for not investing in major attractions, but as a positive improvement to the park. In fact, many people would consider this as even more positive than a new attraction, that AT are looking at the little aspects that many would forget, rather than just thinking about rides rides rides. Of course, this is not the case for geeks, but those who visit the park once a year or less and are not overly critical of the ride line-up would generally view the promotion of a fresh lick of paint as a great thing. After all, a day at a theme park is about much more than rides. It's the whole experience, from food and drink to theming and aesthetics.
  21. At what point do we find out that the Go Jetters Vroomster Zoom Ride is a painted Rocky Express?
  22. I agree - so many of my childhood memories of Thorpe Park (which was my favourite place for many years) are purely of Loggers Leap! However, I do agree that it was looking incredibly tired the last time I rode it. In the most ideal world I would have it replaced with an updated water ride, still based around the Canada theme. It worked so well in that area with the trees and the lake. I've not been to Thorpe Park for so long, (early 2012 was my last visit I think), but the saddest part is that I haven't missed it at all. 10 or so years ago I would have made it a priority to visit every couple of months, but the fact I haven't been for nearly 5 years without really realising says a lot about where the park has gone in my estimations. A good theme park, for me, regardless of target market or audience, is all about balance. The best theme parks in the world for me have a perfect balance when it comes to the rides that they offer. This means in a park with 20 attractions let's say, 7 should be coasters, 4 water rides, and 7 flats, and 2 shows/experiences. I'm sure many will disagree, but the point is a nice balance between ride types. Removing Loggers Leap will leave 3 water rides (well, last time I rode Rumba Rapids I wouldn't really class it as a water ride... is that thing still running??). 4 if you include Depth Charge, which I don't. What the park needs is a really strongly themed water ride, whether a flume or a water coaster, that utilises the space and theming that Canada Creek held so well. Whether wooden or not, in my opinion, Thorpe just doesn't need another coaster. I visit Towers a lot more regularly and the closure of the Flume is another sad situation. Although yes, the flume was incredibly poorly themed and tired, I would have got rid of it but replaced it with an exciting, well themed water ride, not a coaster. Towers is definitely lacking a seriously good water ride. Thinking about it Chessington only has Dragon Falls and The Gruffalo - do Merlin just not like water rides? Personally it's my favourite type of ride at a theme park.
  23. When I usually visit Alton Towers in early June, 10.30am-4.30pm is more than enough time - with the queues in those off-peak days usually being non-existent, I can usually get round the park having done everything by 2pm. Having said that, for any days where queues are more than 15 minutes, the reduced opening times are ridiculous. Plus, as someone already rightly said it takes ages to walk between rides, not like Thorpe where you can pretty much see every ride from wherever you are in the park. I've got to say though, days where I can get round the park having done all the rides by 2pm are not exactly leisurely! The new opening times for this season mean that guests will really have to rush around the park with any chance of getting on all the rides they want to.
  24. Having read through this topic I was really interested to see what the new "improved" Tomb Blaster was like. I must say, I wasn't expecting much, but I really was impressed when I rode it yesterday. The new targets are easier to shoot, and the guns are more comfortable to hold and easy to shoot in my opinion. Everything seemed a lot more energised and exciting. I would say that there is too much light in places - the UV lighting is so bright that you can see the walls, ceilings, fire escapes and access doors which are extremely visible to the point that my attention was attracted more to those than what it should have been on - the actual features of the ride. Despite this, I really enjoyed the experience and rode it multiple times.
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