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  1. The Walking Dead: The Ride - New for 2018

    Whenever a situation like this arises, you always have to think back to when Nick Varney revealed he didn't even know about the atrocious Fanta sponsorship of Oblivion and how it had been handled. It's very clear that development decisions are being made by people who don't actually visit these parks or keep track of their investments, hence why a half-decent family coaster which got a clean up just a few years ago is now going to get another shoe-horned IP - and perhaps the most desperate attempt yet...
  2. The Walking Dead: The Ride - New for 2018

    You're going to need a taller watchtower to see past the abomination in front of X...
  3. The Walking Dead: The Ride - New for 2018

    omg You've genuinely cottoned on to something... Of course! Why didn't we think of it before? It's genius! X was made to travel forwards for this very reason! They were waiting for a particularly low-investment year, when they would turn it backwards once more... And now, hey presto, a new World's First experience for 2018!! I think Merlin have this World's First thing down much more than we give them credit for, and this is the proof.
  4. I suppose what I mean is that the variety of technology on show in DBGT is impressive, but its implementation in regards to telling a coherent story is deeply flawed. It may or may not contribute to the trends of VR or live attractions, but lessons need to be learnt in regards to blending innovative tech with an engaging and cohesive story, as many of the other attractions nominated do far better.
  5. Sounds like a big corporate pat-on-the-back circle-jerk to me, anyone who has a grasp on decent storytelling or technological integration wouldn't even nominate DBGT for such an award.
  6. Your theme park merch

    Hey folks, I'm having a big clear-out of all my stuff, and I've chosen to shift some of my theme park merch. I thought I'd offer them on here before throwing them to the eBay hounds - I'm happy to let them go for free if you're willing to pay the postage cost (which ought to be little over £3 in most cases, via 2nd class). Take your pick - I've got resins of Nemesis, Nemesis Inferno and Vampire (the Nemesis and Vampire ones are early editions I think), an old Stinger frisbee from Paultons Park, some LEGOLAND Windsor Top Trumps and (not pictured) the Merlin Thrill Rides (Alton Towers/Thorpe Park/Chessington) Top Trumps (the pre-Smiler edition). All of them are in great condition, though the frisbee has a few points of wear.
  7. Park Music

    To be honest, after visiting the park for the first time in a while a few weeks back, I can't identify this new Island theme, and I'm the kind of person who usually pays a lot of attention to audio. That being said, I didn't spend too much time in the flat ride area of Lost City or the central part of the Jungle, which apparently are the areas that implement it most. If anything this new audio should be kept as area music, replacing tracks that are so identifiable with certain rides and have been for so long is a bad idea.
  8. Logger's Leap

    What, was Inferno too choked up to show?
  9. Alton Towers General Discussion

    Unfortunately all public bus services to Towers have recently ended until Scarefest. It's a little more expensive to get the train to Uttoxeter and it adds an extra 30 mins or so to our journey (coming from Shrewsbury), are the taxis that much cheaper? Edit: Most of the Uttoxeter services are similarly priced - most services from either are about £20 or more one-way. To be honest I'm looking more for a tried and tested/reliable service than a cheap one.
  10. Alton Towers General Discussion

    Anyone got advice on getting a taxi from Stoke station to Alton Towers? I'm looking at a bunch of companies on the internet but it's difficult to know which are truly reliable, especially when me and a friend are travelling a fair distance.
  11. FINALLY got to ride Derren Brown ride Ghost Train today, having read and heard very little since its original construction. Overall it unfortunately seemed like a missed opportunity, but my take-aways were: Even if it's a slow start to the ride, the "illusion" angle of the preshow is infinitely more interesting than the generic horror-fest that the rest of the ride becomes. Brown picking up one of the trains was also the only "how did they do that?" moment of the ride besides the carriage, proving that sometimes the simplest effects and tricks can be as involving as bombastic action, or more so. Interior theming was up to a decent standard. The delivery of information was too delayed. Entering a train station to witness Brown's illusion is fine, as is seeing a suspended Victorian carriage following this, but why are we suddenly in an Underground carriage? And now that I've put on the headset (again, why?), who are "Sub Core", and what do they have to do with anything that has preceded this? All of this is eventually answered but the plot feels irritatingly vague and meandering in the meantime, and not for tension-building reasons. As I previously mentioned, the "horror" didn't work for me at all. There wasn't any subtlety to its use - the only point at which my imagination could have played with my expectations was when the smoke/demons/whatever fill the tunnel, and even then you feel so distant from it thanks to the relatively bright lighting in the room and the actors taking the foreground. I don't feel I need to go into why cartoon demons walking up and down the carriage and a little girl screaming at you lack subtlety, especially when the carriage is so starkly lit in the former case, and the less said about that bonkers, "how do we end this?!" finale the better... The ride gives us another example of VR being used as far too vital a technological component than should be relied upon in a ride. A broken effect means you risk shattering the illusion, broken VR means you've lost the ride. On the second section of my first ride I had to keep wiggling the cable to get (some) audio, and on my second ride I got to experience a set where I had to look away to hear the character and one which didn't stay on my head and kept resetting to the neutral position. VR is an interesting technology, but don't implement it into theme parks until you can guarantee that it won't be a constant problem. The gift shop trick was neat, it reminded me of some kind of Twilight Zone-esque "something's not right" moment the first time, but on repeat rides it loses its novelty. On the whole, it's less an attraction that I'd alter to correct, and more one that I'd start from scratch. It's very clear that someone decided Brown's approach to an attraction might be too conservative and that the target audience for the park expect obnoxious scares, and hastily retooled an illusion concept into a bizarre attempt at horror. That being said, it isn't horrendous - a couple of neat illusions, some good theming inside, one or two surprises - but it's unfortunate that so much hype and expenditure went into something that turned out so confused.
  12. 2017 Season General Discussion

    Never realised the weather was such an issue at Thorpe, it wasn't particularly bad today yet rides all over the place were being affected. Stealth was closed all day and The Swarm opened for about 30 minutes before closing for the remainder of the day. With this coinciding with a number of the park's rides being closed, for operational convenience or cost-cutting, the lineup was pretty dire. At two points during the day there were 8 rides on the park open: the first time it was only Nemesis Inferno, Flying Fish, X, Derren Brown's Ghost Train, Tidal Wave, Rocky Express, Storm in a Teacup and King Pig's Dodgems. If the park didn't have an indoor attraction and a water ride sitting unused and another of the latter sitting derelict I'd excuse this, but as is this is pretty poor. Of course, it didn't help that one-train operation was stuck to throughout the day, even with all the guests piling onto Inferno when it was the only thrill ride operating. Having not been there for a couple of years though, I appreciate the upkeep done to the entrance area, but I'm eager for this level of care (or more) to be given towards Colossus, Nemesis Inferno, Calypso Quay (or whatever it's called now) and Canada Creek (ditto), all of which continue to decline without investment.
  13. NUS Extra Valid for Student Offer?

    I've recently finished university but my NUS Extra card is valid for a few more weeks. Does it count as an acceptable student I.D. for the student offer?
  14. Logger's Leap

    It wasn't the best water ride I've been on, but compared to the rest of Thorpe's offering it's a masterpiece. Tidal Wave is one-note (albeit well executed in terms of theming and spectatorship), Rumba Rapids is a bog-standard rapids turned hopelessly generic and tame, and Storm Surge doesn't count because it's too phenomenal for us normie humans to comprehend.
  15. Galactica

    I rode Air front-row for the first time this year, and honestly it felt reasonably better than the other rows when it came to spectacle. I'd rather have a clear view than a row of feet in front of me whenever I look forwards.