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    Music, playing the trombone, computers, golf, theme parks.

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  • Favourite ride
  • Favourite Theme Park
    Blackpool Pleasure Beach

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  1. Blackpool Pleasure Beach

    Positive news about Icon aside, this has just come to light on the Blackpool Pleasure Beach website; Please note: Big Dipper ride will be closed Monday – Friday during April and May excluding bank holidays. Please note: Carousel, Veteran Carousel, Alpine Rallye, Pleasure Beach Express, Grand Prix rides will be closed Monday – Friday during April and May excluding bank holidays. Please note: Bikini Bottom Bus and Dora’s World Voyage rides will be closed Monday – Friday during April and May excluding bank holidays. Words absolutely and utterly fail me. First they demolish the Wild Mouse and handle it terribly, then they close the park 1 (or on some occasions, 2) hours earlier than the advertised "earliest ride closing time", now this. It's clear that BPB have zero concept of customer service. A park which treats its customers with such contempt is never going to be a success, even with a new coaster opening. Just for reference... BPB might have good rides, but as an organisation they're absolutely terrible.
  2. Wicker Man - New for 2018

    I'm not blaming the parks independently as much, as I fully appreciate that they put a lot of effort in with the budgets they're given. The underlying issue is, IMO, under-funding and a lack of care from Merlin in relation to Towers, Thorpe and Chessington. Nemesis is looking great at Alton (albeit missing its blood waterfall, the station is stunning) but it's an exception to an otherwise very poorly operated park IMO. Wicker Man is truly an outstanding coaster for the UK, but the operations elsewhere leave a lot to be desired. Regarding staggered openings, they're operated differently to BPB - whilst Pleasure Beach doesn't open the majority of rides until 10:30, there are only two (Valhalla and Grand National) which open at 11am - different to having four major coasters across different areas opening at 11am IMO, plus it's something that never used to happen at Alton apart from for the water rides. A huge budget cut. Whilst Thorpe may have improved some things, ride availability was atrocious the afternoon and evening of the pass-holder event, nearly every ride we approached was either down or going down as we got to it. Loggers and Slammer are both still sat there festering. The opening times are indeed looking great throughout the summer, a huge improvement. I can't comment on Chessington this year as the ride operations and standard of service experienced on our one visit last year means that a return visit is totally out of the question at present.
  3. Blackpool Pleasure Beach

    Bring it on!
  4. Duel!

    I found that the bat and screaming head scenes don't work at all now, the lighting used means the supporting poles are much too visible and the entire effect is lost.
  5. Wicker Man - New for 2018

    I'm already classing 2018 as a negative year in all honesty. We've gained Wicker Man (a fantastic coaster) and Icon (hopefully another fantastic coaster), but we've lost one of the most wonderful coasters ever to grace the UK lineup. No new coaster can make up for that, IMO. In addition, there's Alton operating on a shoestring budget (a park opening a major new coaster shouldn't be operating a schedule which sees four major coasters open at 11am), Blackpool cutting hours, the less said about Thorpe the better and I can't even face visiting Chessington. We've got two new coasters but the negatives still outweigh the positives, IMO.
  6. Alton Towers General Discussion

    Well, I suppose that response is better than nothing.
  7. Liseberg

    I'm crossing my fingers for the end of August!
  8. Wicker Man - New for 2018

    Oh I completely about Valhalla, and have said enough on the sad state of affairs there in the BPB topic... a once world-class dark ride left to rot. With the exterior, propping the original facade up with old PMBO track was never going to have any longevity (yes... they actually did that!) - if they'd done it properly in the first place we'd still have the original skull, wonderfully crafted exit shop and exterior theming.
  9. Park Music

    Are show services still around at Thorpe, out of interest? https://www.thorpeparkmania.co.uk/articles/20-07-2017/Show+Services+Q+and+A Would be good to see Tidal's audio system restored.
  10. Nemesis Inferno

    One positive from the Annual Pass evening was that the mist was absolutely fantastic on Nemesis Inferno, with both areas on the volcano working (first time I've seen it in years) and the tunnel completely full. Brilliant.
  11. Tomb Blaster

    These supposed "UK-leading" parks should be aiming for guests coming off their rides in absolute amazement - it's the difference between "WOW - that was amazing, I'm going to tell everyone about how great it was" and "ehh, it was a fun laser ride I guess." Should people really forget about a dark ride the minute they step off, or should it be something that captures their imagination and drives them back to go on it again and again because of how amazing it is? Every ride in the park should aim for the highest standards possible IMO. I always find it ironic that the company is called "Merlin" yet they've drained their parks of the magic they used to have. Whilst the majority of guests may not critically analyse Tomb Blaster in the same way we as enthusiasts do, I'd suggest they would be much more impressed with it if it was maintained as a themed experience.
  12. Wicker Man - New for 2018

    If it's genuinely an unavoidable issue than that's different, but taking into consideration Merlin's track record of maintaining thematic elements and effects, I don't think it's unreasonable to assume this is more of the same. Look at the former world-class dark rides in decrepit and unimpressive states, error screens on The Smiler's projectors, clear water in the "blood" waterfall, theming torn out of ride stations (have you SEEN The Swarm's station this year - it's a disgrace), scenes missing from a £30 million pound dark ride in its third season and generally poor maintenance of anything that isn't essential ride hardware. Nemesis' station is an exception to all this - it's stunning after the refurbishment.
  13. Fear on a Ride

    Nemesis is probably the best for inversions, seeing as it flies through them and is more about the intensity - you definitely don't get hang-time like on some of The Smiler's inversions. I remember being really nervous before my first ever inversion (on this Pinfari thing https://youtu.be/ffnWABe-0Yc) but they really aren't as bad as they look - they're massively overrated IMO.
  14. Food Outlets

    BBQ though
  15. Wicker Man - New for 2018

    So apparrently the fire effect is broken/switched off already... Words fail me. And people wonder why there is such cynicsm surrounding Merlin.