MattyMoo reacted to Mitchada04 for a blog entry, Colossus: The Power of Steps!
Can I have your attention please, due to some people climbing the lift hill the ride is currently unavailable.
We have E-Stopped the ride, padlocked it and thrown away the key!
And left the trains stranded.
On Colossus, each wheel unit is inspected heavily every seven days. Fact
Colossus is dirty, also fact
And up we went! Trying to be all artsy but the ride was sinking which made it hard (fact! They blast air into the ground to stop this)
I love the shots you get from these walks! Plus the VIP hosts are always lovely!
The chain is actually huge. I always forget how huge
The lift hill wobbles a lot too, which adds a great thrill element!
Saw facts! The ride didn't have the lift system in place to evacuate at first, this was something Thorpe helped design with Gerst and is known as the Thorpe Amendment and is now used on all post Saw eurofighters
There is also a hawk noise effect that sounds every 20 minutes. This was put in to try and scare off the pigeons. It doesn't have that effect, but the sound effect still works!
London skyline just about
The engineers decided to run a train on Inferno. For the fun of it clearly
Sun breaking through and Ghost Train shed! Few things on it.
They have a 6 year contract with DB then it will be reviewed. It's cost can't be published yet as it isn't finalised as they're still paying for all the delays, tweaks etc they're having to do. It initially was set out to be £25 million ish, it's more now due to the issues and could keep rising till next year! They also built a cherry picker into the building not on purpose. Good job. It can join Smiler's one.
Other bits: IAC is on a 3 year contract so runs out end of 2017, possible retheme for 2018 attraction. Next year is probably a flat ride of some sorts. They have begun weight testing on the island behind Swarm for the next big ride and working on the plans. A coaster seems to be most likely apparently. AB contract is also up sometime soon but they want to keep that one, especially as the film got okay reviews!
Read and learn guys
Night night Colossus!
Next time... Florida
MattyMoo reacted to saffy for a blog entry, Thorpe Parks twitter blocking
Thorpe park apparently have been blocking people who tweet Thorpes twitter about the new ride. (WC16) Even if they are correct or not (about the theme), Thorpe instantly blocks them meaning other viewers of Thorpes tweet are not able to see what the person commented. I just think its slightly unfair, people should be allowed to guess what the new rides about? Without being blocked? People are technically not doing anything wrong... just guessing their opinions of what the ride could be. I just think Thorpe blocking them on twitter seems slightly unprofessional, after all its their own fault that the teaser pictures for the new ride got leaked.
MattyMoo reacted to JoshC. for a blog entry, The Story Behind Detonator
As we know, next month will see Thorpe Park give a slight retheme to their 115ft drop tower, Detonator. A general shift in target market has to led to the perhaps knee-jerk reaction to bring in a family-themed area, and the easiest way to go about that would be an IP. So we have 'Angry Birds Land', and Detonator will become 'Detonator: Bombs Away'. Who knows what this slight retheme will bring? Well, we will find out in little under a month's time anyway.
With most eyes focused on the future, I've decided to turn my head and look back on the past. Detonator opened 13 years ago and is a staple thrill ride within the heart of the park. The ride and its overall experience have remained pretty much constant, so the ride's history seems far from exciting. However, the circumstances in which the ride even came to the park and the behind the scenes stories are far more interesting...
The story starts on a Friday afternoon, in July 2000. A smoker discarded their cigarette into some bushes, which quickly started a fire; 'The Thorpe Park Fire'. Slight damage was done to Mr Rabbit's Tropical Travels. However, substantial damage was done to the nearby Wicked Witch Haunt ride.
Wicked Witch Haunt was so severely damaged it could not be saved; the building was completely destroyed. Of course, the ride needed replacing. At this time, there were very few major rides at Thorpe, and the multi-million pound, record-breaking Colossus was in its planning stages. So the ride had to be cheap and not steal the limelight from that. Also, Thorpe were still very much a family-park, with a big focus on family rides. So the ride had to appeal to a large audience.
The park's first choice was, however, not Detonator. Instead, it was this:
Photo from Wikipedia
It was a standard Vekoma SLC! The photo shows Traumatizer at Pleasureland Southport, and was later moved to Blackpool Pleasure Beach and named Infusion. The ride is a family roller coaster, very simple, nothing too special or exciting. Plus, it was quick and easy to construct. At the time, it would have fit the park perfectly. The plans were very quickly rushed together and submitted to the council (in fact, Traumatizer was used to judge noise levels for this new coaster). And, from what I can gather, they were approved. Unfortunately, the plans themselves are not online at all, so the exact look, location of the ride is unknown to me! But why was no such coaster built?
Well, very simply put, it came down to troubles with the energy supply! The plan was to get the ride opened for summer 2001. However, associated costs with the ride and power supply for the ride (whatever that means) meant it wouldn't open by then. So the plans were shelved.
At this point, we're in October 2000. The 2001 season would start in March; a mere 5 months away. So Thorpe's management decided to go for a drop tower. Due to the naturally thin structure, it would have little 'visual pollution', it was quick to construct and, though quite thrilling, did temporarily fill in a missing part of the park's line up at the time. Note - temporarily. The original plan was the have the ride operating for 1 season, then replace it with what another coaster. This is why Detonator 'broke through' Thorpe's height ceiling of 100ft - it was only meant to be around for a year and it was under special circumstances!
Everything was all approved and everything was all good. Detonator opened at the start of the 2001 season, along with Zodiac and Vortex (funnily enough, Vortex opened rather late and the park were investigated by Watchdog for misrepresentation. Oops). Colossus was under construction and was hoped to put Thorpe Park 'on the map'. Behind the scenes, plans for a new roller coaster, namely Nemesis Inferno, were well underway.
However, something unexpected happened. Detonator was popular. Really popular. In fact, it averaged "over 9 out of 10" on customer reviews. No park can afford to get rid of a ride that is THAT popular. It had to stay. So the utmost was done to ensure allowed for the ride to stay. Fortunately, the layout allowed for this to be the case.
There was still one more problem though. The ride only had temporary planning approval. By the end of 2001, they would have to take it down. So an extension to this application was sought after. It was by no means a guarantee approval would be given, due to the fact the ride was tallest on park. But, fortunately, the ride was approved for another, temporary, 5 years.
Why only 5 years? Well, Detonator was not in Thorpe's long term plans and it's a fairground ride. Could 6 years of constant operation be too much it? Would it maintain popularity for 5 more years? Would it fit in with the park then? The park weren't too sure.
Of course, the ride stayed, and the park applied for permanent approval of the ride, which was granted. In fact, the MTDP at the time even indicated a second drop tower joining Detonator, but alas, it never happened.
Detonator is, in terms of G-forces, the most intense ride on park. It's regarded as one of the better drop towers in the world and works so well within Thorpe Park. Yet the ride only arrived due to a series of accidents and misfortunes that the park had to get over. Had those accidents never happened, the park could well be very different and - in my opinion - worse off. Would we ever had gotten Inferno if a Vekoma SLC was put in place? Would said SLC still be here today? Would Thorpe be as popular as it is now? Who knows! All I know is that, 13 years later, Detonator remains a favourite to all. How nice, ey?
May Detonator stand tall for many more years, regardless of theme...
Disclaimer: I cannot guarantee 100% accuracy behind this information. A lot of the information was deduced from past planning applications and, in some cases, such applications were not always complete. Should there be any information which you believe to be incorrect, please feel free to leave a comment and say so!
MattyMoo reacted to Mark9 for a blog entry, 2013 - A Retrospective
2013 has not been the grandest years for theme parks in the country, more like a cheap table wine that you pick up for cheap at Tescos. From obvious budget cuts and rides standing but not operating for an entire year at Chessington too The Smiler trying to throw everything and the kitchen sink at passers by, it is clear that the Uk industry has stagnated somewhat in 2013.
And yet, shockingly and surprisingly, despite not adding anything substantial, Thorpe Park has come out as the clear winner by a long shot. From much better reliability park wide, to improvement in effects up-keep and new events, the park has clearly embraced social media and openly interacts with guests more frequently. This all in turn with a slight shift in target audience, Thorpe has the potential to be the park of 2014 as well if it can keep the ball rolling with ideas that are fresh and innovative.
So where did this begin? Ah, I know, March time. I had booked a whole week off of work so that I could visit Thorpe for its opening weekend, take a look at how The Smiler construction was going and have a go on Zufari whilst enjoying old family favourites such as Runaway Train, Dragon Falls and Vampire. It wasn't to be. A refurbishment list made itself apparent, a lot of these rides were not to be open due to the park not able to maintain rides for a quarter of a century and Zufari was postponed by a week. No matter. As temperatures continued to drop, three successive trips to Thorpe occurred, one for the Swarm media photo day with Thorpe Park Mania, one before a meet weekend and another on what was to be the coldest trip of the season. On all three days, somehow, Slammer worked continuously, we even had a ride in the snow which is pretty surreal, I'm sure not many could say they've done that. Despite the freezing temperatures, the only rides closed all day were Colossus and Saw. A Trip to Chessington could have given you a ride on Bubbleworks and Tomb Blaster if you were really lucky. Alton also impressed during March, the emptiest I had ever seen it. Surprising sights such as only two people on Air at 4 in the afternoon is very different to the usual sights.
New Coasters - 142. Wodan - Europa Park
With the sun out, birds singing and all but one ride open at Chessington (for now), it was back with my theme park shoes and off on holiday. Instead of staying with the UK, it was back off the Europe for my favourite theme park so far. Europa Park is an utter joy to be had. Even though we spent three and a half days there it just isn't enough to fully embrace the joy of a theme park that is run professionally and efficiently with show after show, ride after ride and a park that has full pride in everything it provides for its guests. Ride highlights included Blue Fire being as good if not better then I remembered, the wonderful Euro-Mir and the very impressive, relentless Wodan. We stayed in the sublime Bell Rock resort and scored Eurovision one night, toured the hotel the other and had a delicious cocktail on our final night. Thursday night it was back off to England for a days rest and then onto the next trip, Denmark.
New Coasters:- Dæmonen - Tivoli Gardens
Odin Express - Tivoli Gardens
The Caravan - Tivoli Gardens
Rustcherbanan - Tivoli Gardens
Vandorm - Bon Bon Land
Vild Svinet - Bon Bon Land
Hunderprutterutchebane - Bon Bon Land
Tornado - Bakken
Rustchebanan - Bakken
Mine Train Ulven - Bakken
Racing - Bakken
Vilde Maus - Bakken
Mairehønen - Bakken
Piraten - Djurs Sommerland
Skatteøen - Djurs Sommerland
Karlo’s Taxi - Djurs Sommerland
Thors Hammer - Djurs Sommerland
Juvelen - Djurs Sommerland
Jungle X-Plorer - Legoland Billund
X-Treme Racers - Legoland Billund
Dragen - Legoland Billund
Timber Ride - Legoland Billund
Lynet - Farup Sommerland
Mine Expressen - Farup Sommerland
Flagermusen - Farup Sommerland
Pindsvinet - Farup Sommlernad
Falken - Farup Sommerland
On our arrival it was a sweltering 16 degrees (hot for Denmark) but throughout the week, the weather would fly up and down. It is a very odd climate indeed. We spent the first night celebrating Denmark's win of Eurovision and throughout the week we would hear that music blasting out of car windows. We even got to see the winning act perform live at Tivoli. The major highlights off the trip were the first Rustcherbanan at Tivoli Gardens, which is a truly wonderful attraction and deserves to be appreciated for its sheer beauty and smoothness, Piraten and Juvelen at Djurs Sommerland which were equal in the fun and thrill stakes, Polar XPlorer at Legoland Billund was a very fun ride, as was Lynet at Farup Sommerland. With the good comes the bad and Bakken was truly atrocious with the diabolical Tornado symbolising everything I think wrong with the modern day Intamin company. Not enough refining, too much trying to please a park on a sub-standard product. The Rustcherbanan at Bakken had also been seriously ruined by KumbaK with magnetic breaks destroying any element of momentum that the ride tries to build.
I left Denmark feeling very sad, it is a wonderful country, if not for its coasters then for its feeling of freedom, liberty and forward thinking Danes.
New Coasters - 170: The Smiler - Alton Towers
And after what felt like a life time of waiting, The Smiler finally got itself going and very swiftly, a trip was planned with my non coaster friend. The Smiler is a great ride. Ok, so it can't upstage Nemesis or Oblivion but I still maintain it is a great ride with a bit of a kick in it especially towards the end. You could say I've been lucky, every time I've visited, it has been open and whilst seeing break downs galore whenever I enter the queue, I've always been fortunate enough to ride. Even with it throwing bits off quite frequently. For my 25th birthday, it was off to Thorpe where I got my last ride on Slammer before its annual four month closure. It was a beautifully sunny day with minimal queues. And still it wasn't my best trip to Thorpe this season.. but that is coming. Shortly after my birthday, spent a weekend at Towers for some Smiler loving. The end of the month saw the Inferno ERT even for TPM members where we got to walk through some of the ride area and some lucky pups got to have a little walk up the lift hill.
This was a relatively quiet month with a solitary trip to Alton Towers where yet again a substantial ride count was halted by the troublesome Smiler eating up so much of the day.
Now this was the trip of the season. Thorpe hosting its summer late night events. I know some got rained on and the organisation is not as strong as it could be. But during my trip I can safely say I had the best Thorpe I've had for some time. The park was busy enough during the day but with the later hours, I got a chance to properly relax and appreciate my time there. With the joyous hot weather as well, it didn't feel like a theme park in the UK with rubbish weather and even worse opening hours. It felt like I was in sunny Florida or Italy with some great friends from TPM. I came away pretty blown away by how great the trip was, testament to how much Thorpe has grown and increased in confidence during the season.
New Coasters -
Space Mountain: Mission 2 - Disneyland Parc
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad - Disneyland Parc
Indianna Jone et le Temple du Perile - Dienyland Parc
Casey Jr - Disneyland Paris
Crushs Coaster - Disneyland Paris
Rock ‘N’ Rollercoaster - Disneyland Paris
RC Racer - Disneyland Paris
Tami Tami - PortAventura
And so with the weather starting to deteriorate it was off to Disneyland Paris, a place I have never been before. I did enjoy it and found it far more relaxing and stress free then the pressure kitchen that is Disney World. It helped that the parks were very quiet with 5 minute queues on Space Mountain, Thunder Mountain and Tower of Terror being seen throughout the visit. Dreams was a real highlight, seriously great entertainment and needs to be seen by as many as possible. The final trip, two weeks later was PortAventura which unbeknown to me was the start of its Halloween events. Now, I really don't like Halloween events. I know they are extremely popular but I don't find them scary in the slightest despite the actors best efforts. For me, the important thing for the trip was to get my ride on Tami Tami and to fully enjoy Shambhala and Dragon Khan. Which I certainly did, getting more then my fill on both these coasters. Baco, lived up to its awful reputation, set last year but maintained fully in 2013. Is it worse then Tornado? They are both awful and nasty.
My year was finished off with a Fright Night finish at Thorpe. I don't do mazes but with it being quiet during night, it was nice to get a few night rides on Inferno, Stealth and front row Colossus.
And with that the year off theme parks is over. 2013 was not a great year for the UK admittedly. So much potential completely left untapped with Smiler not being as reliable as required and Chessington letting down every single guest that walked through its doors with its sheer incompetence. I used to be a major Chessington fan but frankly its no longer worth the effort. Full of low capacity rides that are either falling apart, closed or so low on staff that it takes five minutes to load a boat. Hence my lack of visit in 2013.
Here's to a full on 2014 for everyone and thanks for reading (if you did).