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Zappomatic

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  1. Food outlets and kiosks around the park (but not inside the Dome) now serve Illy coffee, from freshly ground beans. No more disgusting Nescafé! Also pleased to say that most of the Coca Cola Freestyle machines offer water for free. Goes through the same filter and chiller as the other drinks so tastes great.
  2. All of the wood in the station needs sorting out. The fake wood panelling on the walls is totally warped, and the top of the balcony on the left hand side of the station is likely to give quite a few people splinters this season. It's in its seventh season now so not that new any more, and Merlin aren't exactly known for choosing the right materials for the job. Also noticed quite a few fence posts and panels in the queue line marked with yellow paint, presumably earmarked for replacement. I'm baffled as to why the station speakers have been replaced with inferior ones as I don't recall the old ones having issues last season. None of the TVs were working on Saturday and the whole area felt pretty dead.
  3. Definitely limited boats on Saturday but the staff were doing a good job of filling the boats. Pleased to say that the doors don't make the ride even less wet than it was previously! Not sure if it's due to changes or the fact I was in a boat full of adults but the bottom of the boat scraped a few of the underwater pipes/logs when I rode.
  4. It was a shame to see that despite all of the park's winter maintenance videos, there was still plenty of old litter and gum around the park from last season (or even older). The indoor part of Saw's queueline was full of dust bunnies and pigeon poo, and Nemesis Inferno's volcano was a disgrace! Could they really not find the time to get someone onto that with a scraper during the closed season?
  5. Anyone yearning to hear Midnight Syndicate tracks being used for a Haloween event should head to PortAventura - the area music for Far West and Meditteranea features the tracks heavily (quite weird walking through from the Hotel Gold River at opening time when the place is deserted)
  6. Really good, silly fun! Also liked the references in the missing posters (eg. Mr Rabbit - last seen: Tropical Travels)
  7. Kebabs can be rather tasty and it's definitely improved by asking them to leave the pita bread out. You get quite a lot of food for the money. I think Fin's has upped its game this year too, consistently decent pub quality (especially their fish and chips) and they have improved their beer selection.
  8. They really need to clean the glass in the pre-show! The effect is ruined by the thick layer of dust and the odd spit-mark - would it really take much time and money to sort that out?
  9. Rather enjoyed having absolutely no queue for this on Saturday night!
  10. There's not a lot of places that will sell you a pint of Goose Island for £4.40, that's for sure.
  11. Alcohol prices at Thorpe Park are actually pretty reasonable, by London standards.
  12. Popped in for a few hours today as I had a meeting in Heathrow that was done by 10am and I was really pleasantly surprised! At the entrance staff were doing a good job separating people with bags for security search and the new turnstiles scan passes much more quickly than the old ones. Coasters were all running two trains and Saw had plenty of cars on. Really efficient team on Swarm with no stacking going on, and Nemesis Inferno not too bad but seemed to be having a few issues with restraints. Didn't ride Colossus but this seemed to be struggling to despatch with any urgency. Two boats on Tidal Wave. Queue times were bizarre and it seemed like a lot of people in the park were going round in a huge group; at one point in the day Colossus' queue time was indicated as 50 minutes, and later on Stealth was going out with empty seats while at the same time Nemesis Inferno's queue was reaching the second cattle pen! Swarm's fire effect was going off on every other train, but sadly still no water effects. Also the new fencing in the queue line while sturdy is totally out of theme - seems they got a job lot as the same stuff is used (in different colours) at the park entrance and in a few other places around the park. Stealth's smoke effects are back but still one of the green lights is out. On Saw the indoor drop and the bit with the arrows/air blasts is in total darkness for some reason. Vortex and Samurai both closed but work visibly going on to fix both of them. Generally a really nice atmosphere on park - plenty of people around but mostly small queues and good ops and it seemed lots of people were taking the opportunity to enjoy a beer or an ice cream in the sun. On my visits to Thorpe Park this year even on quiet days it's felt like it has some life and vibrancy and that it's being run fairly creatively (events, promotions, minor refurbs etc) - so why does Alton Towers with its brand new major coaster feel like an exercise in managed decline?
  13. Sticky Sisters was open today - not sure if it was their first day, seemed to be a number of manager-types lingering about. I tried to queue up to ask if they did annual pass discount (presuming not as it's not a Merlin outlet) but the queue set up Bush BBQ had is gone and the two cashiers weren't attempting to serve people in order so I gave up. Ended up with a lamb doner from Amity Kebab - huge portion which I struggled to finish despite a good proportion of it ending up on my face rather than in my mouth!
  14. That Flying Fish resin looks unfinished, as though they forgot to apply blue paint for the logo and the supports.
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