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About RobD

  • Birthday 11/25/1992

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    Furius Baco, Rush, Stealth, Samurai
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  1. RobD


    Ah, the age old swing A/sing B height thing. Okay. So, it's basically done this since 2007. Swing B outperforms swing A, which means the computer goes a little crazy when B peaks much earlier than A at just over 90 degrees (anyone noticed how the first of your 4 full height swings on B is significantly higher than A?). The computer then has a paddy and desperately tries to re-sync the swings by powering A as much as it can, and basically doing nothing with B, thus why the ride ends up with A performing better. By the end of the ride, everything is out of sync and it looks a mess. It did this up until 2011 when the piping that delivers the air to the piston was replaced with titanium rather than a plastic. The ride briefly did better, before returning to it's current, terrible state that it was in towards the end of last year. The usual suspects for loss of pressure are the piston seals, a little like that in a car or on bike forks. If the seals are damaged, some air escapes, the ride under-performs, but, with the consistent nature of the issue I would question whether it is in fact that A get's less compression than B. The short of it is, everything in the book has been done over closed seasons to try and rectify this and it seems to be an on going experiment to try and replace whichever element of the ride is causing the poor performance of A. In regard to ride cycles, it always has been and remains 4 full height swings. The only exception is if the operator stops the cycle, which does occasionally but rarely happen. Don't expect a fix anytime soon, and in the meantime, enjoy the rare days where you get one swing only, as that's when Rush does it's best.
  2. I still cannot get over how much of a dire excuse for a hotel this is. It's abysmal that a theme park which tries again and again to pitch itself as a world class attraction offers it's guests the same accommodation as an asylum seeker attempting cross channel travel. Does the park add to the authenticity of the exeprience by having night time 'thrill patrol' raids on rooms or something? Remember your visa's folks... But seriously, I mean, just look at the entrance, cheap fencing and a concrete path. It's just horrific. The rooms emulate that no personal space feeling you've had all day in queues and basically have the same facilities as a caravan, and are STILL ludicrously overpriced. I have never stayed, but the point I'm getting at here is I never would; the accommodation does not sell itself to me at all, in all honesty I'd rather take my own tent and stay in a campsite, and as so many people have pointed out, with many other hotels locally, why on earth would anyone pay a premium to stay in a hotel which doesn't even have internal corridors? I just think it all reeks of cheap tackiness, no matter how they try and disguise it you're still staying in accommodation that isn't fit for purpose; the concept of this type if hotel is for pop up events where it really is basic. Yes it might be nice for a shipping container but it's still just that. And just for the 'Let's defend everything TP does' crowd (how you can is beyond me), just take a moment to compare this offering with that of other world class players; PortAventura, Alton Towers, Universal, Disney, even Six Flags, and come back to me on this one.
  3. So a quick Rob review. Here we are again, the best time of the year for theme parks, and Thorpe Park are once again hitting us with a theme based event. Maybe I went with false optimism, but I was hoping desperately there would be a vast improvement on last year. There was not. No park wide themeing. Not a sign of Halloween, and the only real effort made was to change every rides start announcement to a horrendously cheesy film director doing the stereotypical scary/cringey laugh and saying lights, camera, action. It was shamefully poorly produced, annoying to hear on every ride, and just screamed of no effort. Music wise there was no significant music change and, quite honestly they may as well not even bother anymore, without the extra themeing or effort to make each ride somewhat unique. How I miss Rush as a playground swing with chalkings, fake cob web, and test dummys thrown into the bushes As for the mazes, I'll make this brief...(in no particular order) 1. Asylum Very very good. Better scares, high intensity and a strong improvement on last year. 2. My Bloody Valentine Excellent. Very intense and also fast paced, the actors were on top form and delivered a fantastic performance. They portrayed the story exceptionally well and did a fantastic job of making the pickaxe guy scary, as he wasn't in your face at all, very withdrawn until the final scene, built the intensity very well indeed. 3. (Now it starts getting a bit rubbish). Saw Dire. Just dire. As it always was, inconsistent, ineffective and a bit wtf. For instance, the actors one minute screaming in traps the get out of these horrendous traps to behave like mental patients before voluntarily returning to said traps. Anyone not in a trap behaved like an asylum patient on holiday to the saw boat. Dire, pointless, and the lighting does not work (too bright). 4. Cabin in the Woods A top class lesson on how not to scare act. Every actor was far too in your face,there was no variety. It got to the point where I just felt like pushing them out of my way, every single actor, literally, just walked right up to me and stared me in the face (like they were going in for a kiss), it was boring and not even close to scary. A total shambles. Theme wise they had made a good effort,but was totally let down by the storyless maze and samey acting. 5. Blair Witch Project Worse maze in the park. Infact maze is an overstatement. It's a straight line path with a few actors who get in your face. I didn't jump once and the final scare was none existent, although I dis enjoy seeing all the old rumba boats and heaters they had gone to such extreme efforts to hide, stored at the back of inferno. All in all, the mazes were very varied. Two strong ones, 2 weak ones, one that is neither a maze nor scary. 4/10 As a Halloween event, fright nights has sunk to its lowest in my opinion, 2/10. It's so upsetting really because at one point 2007/2008), this was without a doubt the UKs premier Halloween event.
  4. See, in the most part I'd just slate Thorpe for it's inability to operate rides efficiently, that and it's superb ability to let twice as many guests in as it really should. I would agree queue times are not bolstered for fastrack sales, it's laziness/forgetfulness/irrelevence. To be quite honest, on busy days, there is no point paying any attention to queue times anyway, as any ride which shows anything more than 20-30 mins less than the others of it's type (so lets say, NI: 90, Stealth: 100, SAW: 90, Swarm: 60), you can guarantee by the time you get to the Swarm, the queue will be closer to 100 anyway... It's all down to how small Thorpe is, and how little variety there is. Unlike at Alton, where people get busied by the gardens/walking around/transport rides/family attractions, Thorpe has 100% Thrill seekers, going for, basically, 10 main rides. Too many people, too few rides.
  5. Oh I know about the dome, but the background audio in the lost city 'flats' area was always the lost city ambiance, alas no more, if it's all chart, basically engulfing the whole area. I'm assuming it's fair to say Rush has no more than pre-recorded announcements this year, if the clips I've heard on here are anything to go by. (Refering to the lack of 2005/2006 music used in most seasons prior).
  6. Vortex music? Zodiac music? Rush's own soundtrack, dome music, a gradual winding down of specific area themes, and ride sountracks over the years as Blackpool style one big neutral (none) theme engulfs the park. It's not a criticism, just that's the direction Thorpe are heading, they want to be an amusement park, not a theme park.
  7. Cry. Well, we all knew it was coming, it's just a real shame that Thorpe Park have had to sacrifice what was some of the best composed theme park music out there. Ah well, if you want a theme park, Europe is just a Ryanair away.
  8. RobD


    I think people might be reading into the extent of this a little too much. Samurai wasn't given a refurbishment last season, it was pretty much left as is. It ran excellently over the last two seasons, but now, you could be faced with, for instance, a gear box failure. It's expensive to fix and will take time to be delivered, it's perfectly possible they just took the decision, with that in mind, to begin the closed season work sooner, whilst the weather is still good and before you get the issues of winter, such as snow, which brings work to a grinding halt. Just to touch on a few points regarding fairground rides in theme parks; Lightw@ter Valley own and operate a fairground topscan. Reliability wise, it is excellent, sequence wise, it's somewhere between Samurai's cycle 1 and cycle 6, intense, fast, but not insane (not fairground). The ride, as a type, yes, is designed to be operated less than Samurai is, but, fairground rides are still absolutely shagged when they operate for a few weeks, and for anyone who has ridden a fairground top scan, you will know the difference in performance. With regards to Samurai being a park model; yes, it is, you only need to browse the internet a little to see two different types of the ride are on offer, the main difference being the permanent console, different platform arrangement and more permanent fencing, along with the different control system allowing recorded cycles. The simple answer here is somewhere between Thorpe don't look after their rides, and Tussauds were too innovative The Samurai sat at (or, until last week, sat at) TP has to be one of the oldest models in the world. It's naturally going to break with time, but, of course, it's from a reputable manufacture, known for quality and reliability. To expand; no fairground rides face these sorts of issues, and the reason for that is, when problems happen on the fair circuit, it's the show mans livelihood that is passing by. If Samurai was on a fair circuit, and currently at, say, Hull fair, I would bet money that, what ever Samurai's issue, either it wouldn't have arose in the first instance, or it would have been fixed in a matter of days. Show men will and do pay extra for the speedy response needed, a good example of this would be, for anyone who watched Channel 5's show 'Fairground Attractions', the attitude of the owner of the Zierer Star Shape 'air'. It had a minor gearbox/drive system failure whilst at winter gardens in Hyde park, his attitude was to fix it ASAP, because without it, he looses money. Obviously this doesn't apply to Thorpe Park mechanics, to them, if it goes down, it goes down, because realistically, what effect will having no Samurai make to gate figures? Budgets also play a role here, if an area has a certain budget, what comes first? Keeping Colossus and SAW working, or fixing Samurai at their expense? If Thorpe looked after the ride properly, the issues would never arise. The ride would be stripped far more often (which can easily be done over night, to cite fairs as an example, except Samurai only needs the pods and counter weights removing to get at all the working parts, which makes the job even easier). But do they? No. IT's the cheap fix; keep it going, keep it going, keep it going, oh look, it's knackered. Does it need fixing? Cost:Benefit ratio... nope, not yet. And just to address getting a new model; why? Would there be any real benefit at all? The ride structurally is as robust as they come; in fact the only metal fatigue ever found on them is near the base, first detected on Samurai and rapidly fixed across all models. So all that is left is electrics and motors. Motors are far cheaper than a new ride, and electrics are more than likely sound anyway, they tend to be renewed periodically and don't face major issues. The ride control system could also be renewed, but again, its a fraction of the cost of getting a new structure. A proper refurb would be all that is needed; replace all the electrics, replace the control system and plc, and fit a whole set of new motors. Then you have a working ride... just as emerged at the start of 2011. The problem isn't the Mondial Top Scan we call Samurai, it's how the ride is maintained. What you need to think here is, is Samurai a problem? Not from the point of view, 'I didn't get my cycle 6 on Samurai, my day is ruined', but from the point of view, have people stopped coming because it's broken? Have people complained? Have we lost any money? It's all business, it's just Merlin do a better job at letting you know that than the likes of Lightw@ter Valley, where every ride is needed, day in, day out.
  9. Furius Baco, because it's trains are all part of the theme, it's such a lovely little neglected ride, it's 85% a sympathy vote :')
  10. RobD


    Certainly hasn't for cycle 6 or 4. Both from riding several times and staff I know, the general concensus amongst all is it's still the same.
  11. RobD


    Squealing pistons is good! Basically, it means it's all shiney and new. Lap bars not locking isn't a major issue, just slows everything down, staff are the main problem there really. It has had a major refurb this year, so will be practically brand new mechanically speaking. Great to hear it's performing well, finally! It had a whole assortment of troubles until 2009 really, it was only then it really got reliable. Don't try and draw any conclusions from overhaul = accident.
  12. RobD


    So, can anyone say if Rush is running noticably better since it's major overhaul this closed season?
  13. drip drip drop

  14. ^ True, an effort is better than nothing, but there is only so many times you can do the same thing, just, based around a different creature. Sub Terra is fair, I'll reserve judgement until I ride it, but, it is nice to see them using the original story. As for The Swarm's limb business, personally I'd say it is the cleverest so far. The others (haunted Storm surge, for example) have no relevence, however, this does; one of the key elements of the Swarm is the near misses, and by putting it in the news, it really highlights this to the public and makes them more aware of the near misses, subconsciously almost making everything that bit closer. Shame it didn't achieve the hype it could have. Then there was the morphsuits 'swarming' the London Underground. Almost seems to have gone forgetton how irrelevent and utterly shambolic that was.
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