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pluk

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  1. Like
    pluk got a reaction from Inferno in 2023 - New Rollercoaster and Amazon Rainforest Themed Land   
    I think it's safe to say it didn't come about how it should; by someone who knows what they are doing designing an excellent ride and the theming and marketing evolving around that. The tail wags the dog at Merlin.
     
     
    And this is the real crux of it, why I'm negative on the project overall rather than indifferent. However good this ride actually is that throughput is absolutely not good enough. Regardless of any other consideration, the whole thing should be back to the drawing board on that point alone. 
  2. Like
    pluk got a reaction from Inferno in 2023 - New Rollercoaster and Amazon Rainforest Themed Land   
    There's sooo much this park needs, but I'm at a loss to understand why they think that includes a (relatively) low capacity 1.4m coaster with another vaguely jungle theme. 
     
    Everything about it is so odd.
  3. Like
    pluk reacted to Charlesberg in The Swarm   
    I was on park yesterday and controversially I actually quite like the new audio for the Swarm.
     
    Honestly the old audio was pretty monotone and ngl after 8 years of hearing it on end I’d had enough of it. The variety in the new audio and having the queue audio be completely different to the station really adds to it imo.
     
    Also I loved the cheeky use of Dies Ire in the station audio (classical music nerds will know).
  4. Like
    pluk reacted to Glitch in War of the Worlds Immersive experience   
    What do you get if you mix the London Dungeons, Derren Brown's Ghost train and a £70 (average) price per person ticket?
    Glad you asked....
    You get a 2hour, 20 odd scene story rendition of Jeff Wayne's War of the Worlds, an excellent story with a premise of these metal alien human killing robot machines, as seen in Woking. As a fan of the story seeing the arena show and music maybe 3 times now, it was  refreshing to see the concept transformed into an interactive experience promising VR, simulators and live actors. 
     
    But why do I compare to the Ghost train and dungeons?
    Well because many of the scenes were a bit like something I had experienced in the London dungeons before and the attraction relied on using the bulky VR headsets 4 times throughout the attraction including the finale, and as with VR the technology can be very hit and miss.
     
    With a £70 pp price tag this isn't your average MAP holder group attraction, I'm sure they would be complaining about the price alone, but that does mean the groups are smaller around 12 say and are generally engaged with the story rather than focusing on what they can complain about to report back to the 1000's of followers on the MAP group.  
     
    Oh and one last thing before I go into spoiler mode, @Martin Doyle and @Mattgwise would be proud to know that they give you robber style masks to cover around your eye's, for what I can only assume is to block out vision to the unthemed ceilings or perhaps a Covid protocol for VR.
     
    If you do go let me know your thoughts, ok in spoiler mode...
    (I still don't know how to add spoilers so sorry)
     
     
     
    THINGS I LIKED:
    A really well themed bar greeted you on what looks to be an office block building in the heart of the city of London (Ledinhall Street) The artillery man scene was excellent as a peppers ghost effect somehow transformed a live actor into a ball of fire. Excellent use of mini planetarium style cinemas to project a scene in 360. Props, we used a telescope with projections to look at the planets and see the red mist come in. A slide Isolation booths + VR, now this really did up the scare factor, you started in isolated booths, pretending to be a confessional in a church, the alien then comes and sets fire to the church and starts to probe people, heighten by the litter picker effect of staff prodding you and the scream's around making you know what is coming... I really think Thorpe could do something like this to make DBGT a better attraction. Engaged cast, really passionate about their roles.  
    THINGS I DIDN'T LIKE SO MUCH:
    Some scenes were carbon copies of what you would get at the Dungeons for example sitting around a table in the pitch black etc... they could of been a bit more creative. An over reliance on VR including the finale which was a balloon ride / motion simulator, by this point I was getting a bit sick of faffing around with a headset and would of preferred a live action finale. Ended within obligatory green screen photo, that will be another £25 please....  Price, not worth £70+  So overall is was a bit of an upmarket London dungeons with new technology, hopefully Merlin will go, test it and incorporate it into their concepts or even do one better and buy the place, hopefully making it a bit more affordable.
     
    Tickets and images are available here: https://thewaroftheworldsimmersive.com/
     
    Overall: 7/10
     
     
  5. Like
    pluk got a reaction from MattyMoo in Derren Brown's Ghost Train: Rise of the Demon   
    Changing the uniforms and adding a line of text to DBGTROTD is akin to giving a man a bucket on the titanic.
     
    Got to be time for a WWH style electrical fault some time soon so we can get three more thrill flats instead of whatever this is.
  6. Like
    pluk got a reaction from Inferno in Merlin Entertainments   
    So Thorpe suffered the indignity of falling below Chessington for the first time in a long time just before the pandemic hit. Shocking really considering the state Chessingron is in.
  7. Like
    pluk got a reaction from Inferno in Derren Brown's Ghost Train: Rise of the Demon   
    Changing the uniforms and adding a line of text to DBGTROTD is akin to giving a man a bucket on the titanic.
     
    Got to be time for a WWH style electrical fault some time soon so we can get three more thrill flats instead of whatever this is.
  8. Like
    pluk got a reaction from Inferno in New for 2021 - Black Mirror Labyrinth   
    My first thoughts (from POV, I'm no VIP) is that if this sort of set up was used as the entrance and exit of X, with effects of comparable quality during the ride, that would make one complete, excellent attraction rather than two slightly lacking ones we now have.
  9. Like
    pluk reacted to JoshC. in Derren Brown's Ghost Train: Rise of the Demon   
    Oh my, this thing.
     
    I rode it today, and I think for the first time, I really regretted it.
     
    Timed tickets
    I don't know what happened earlier, but they didn't seem to work. We had 2-2.30pm entry, got in the queue at 2.30, and weren't on the ride till 3pm. People with 2.30-3pm time slots weren't being let in until almost 3pm, for reasons I will never understand.
     
    Operations
    It seems to be 10-15 people per train (a far cry from the 58 capacity)
     
    Pre show
    It's nice to experience this without being smashed in with 50 other people. Audio seemed a bit clearer too. 
     
    Pre show 2
    Before going into the Hanging Carriage scene, there's a spiel from an actor. It's pretty bad, as it feels like it was written by someone in a minute who was told to try and tie up all the plot holes. It ham-fists an explanation for the Victorian-tube carriage transition, the need for the VR and loads of other stuff. But it's just awkward.
     
    Scene 1
    The usual
     
    Scene 2
    Audio seemed better and louder (felt particularly strong from behind the train fronts), but the new script trying to tie everything together feels awkward again. Asking people for a code to escape (given in pre show 2) just feels bad.
     
    Scene 3
    We seemed to be in some sort of short shutdown / delay. This would usually be manageable with the holding sequence, but it seemed to be shortened down? I swear in the holding sequence, a demon would pick up loads of the characters you can see and drag them away. Ended up waiting for a while, even getting a 'please remove your headset' message for a while, before setting off again.
     
    The motion base wasn't working, so no fun gentle rocking as we fell to oblivion. The video message from Derren played on the screens afterwards, but no audio.
     
    Scene 4
    This is incredibly awkward now. With no Picsolve green screen photo point in the queue, it makes no sense why we're looking at photos. The new story means the actor says something about a finalising some parts of our experience to make sure we're all okay or something. There's no effort to get people to look at the ouija board. The demon scene happens (yay, at least that's there!), but it feels awkward when everyone is away from it and not invested in it. Oh, and the floorboards don't shake.
     
     
     
    Obviously I had a bit of a bad run with a shutdown and broken effects. And it's nice to see they've tried something, and improved some audio. But the new story doesn't work and it feels like a dreadful attempt at trying to be clever, when really all it does is make you cringe. It's a shame as there has always been so much potential with this, and this is a step in the wrong direction in my opinion.
     
    A good point to raise though: all the staff throughout the attraction were good. They were doing the best they could with the tools they have. The script and story is dodgy, but the actors do what they can with it. The ride hosts seemed friendly. Whether this is because the attraction being open is still a novelty and it's like 'new ride vibes' is hard to tell. But for now, credit where it's due, fair play to them for that.
     
    Really and truthfully, I do think they should have taken the hit with this. Kept it closed forever more, blamed Covid, paid off the rest of the contract with Derren and just taken the loss. I'd rather it sit dormant for a while and be an elephant in the room, than give people the half hearted, shell of an idea, experience it's giving now.
  10. Like
    pluk got a reaction from EpicSmatty in New for 2021 - Black Mirror Labyrinth   
    My first thoughts (from POV, I'm no VIP) is that if this sort of set up was used as the entrance and exit of X, with effects of comparable quality during the ride, that would make one complete, excellent attraction rather than two slightly lacking ones we now have.
  11. Like
    pluk got a reaction from Glitch in New for 2021 - Black Mirror Labyrinth   
    My first thoughts (from POV, I'm no VIP) is that if this sort of set up was used as the entrance and exit of X, with effects of comparable quality during the ride, that would make one complete, excellent attraction rather than two slightly lacking ones we now have.
  12. Like
    pluk got a reaction from JoshC. in New for 2021 - Black Mirror Labyrinth   
    My first thoughts (from POV, I'm no VIP) is that if this sort of set up was used as the entrance and exit of X, with effects of comparable quality during the ride, that would make one complete, excellent attraction rather than two slightly lacking ones we now have.
  13. Like
    pluk reacted to JoshC. in New for 2021 - Black Mirror Labyrinth   
    Oooooh, I think I get the honour of writing the first full Black Mirror Labyrinth review online. What an exclusive!
     
    I should start by giving a disclaimer: Yes, I attended a preview event which invites celebrities and influencers, and the intention of these events is for such people to share positive thoughts about the experience. If you want to see that stuff, check out TPM's social pages, and a review will be live on our website later.
    What follows is a balanced reflection of my genuine thoughts of the experience. As always, whenever I attend these events, I try to give my feedback to staff/managers/creators too, good, bad, or ugly...
     
    Slight spoilers follow.
     
    ---
     
    "It's...interesting"
    That was my immediate reaction. It doesn't sound very positive, but it's also not very negative either.
     
    I guess a good way of describing it is a grown up Hocus Pocus Hall. And that's not a bad thing. It's a multi-route experience, with dead ends and multiple special effects. There is a mirror maze in there, yes, but that is just one part of the experience. Your name and face is used at a couple of points too.
     
    The story is that the Labyrinth is an AI creation which has become self aware. It's stolen all its information about you, and now wants to 'delete' you. So the premise is original, but slightly Black Mirror in tone.
     
    It's a fun experience with some quirky moments. We got lost a few times. We became disoriented. There were some moments which were a bit of a surprise. There's nothing special, but it all works and flows pretty nicely.
     
    After having done the experience twice, though, I'm not clambering to do it again any time soon. That's just the nature of this experience - there's not enough multiple routes to keep it completely fresh each time, and it is kind of 'one and done'. That's not a bad thing really, as it is an enjoyable enough experience in its own right, but I don't think it's what Thorpe need right now.
     
    Some assorted Q&As:
    -Is it scary? No. And I wonder if that will lead to complaints with people expecting a FN like maze...
    -What is batching like? You're batched in your household group exclusively. And it seems like it will be a group every 90 seconds.
    -What would batching be like without Covid? It seems like there's space for 12 people per group normally. That would give a throughput of 480pph in theory. Bog standard for a Merlin maze really.
    -What are Covid rules like? This is a weird one. You have to remove your mask whilst your photo is taken (this is for a special effect). And inside you naturally end up touching things as you find your way round, and you may come into close contact with people due to the non-linear route. I expect this may make some people feel uncomfortable. 
     
    Some fun facts:
    -Figment Productions have been involved with parts of the experience
    -The experience was rethought and had extra money put into it last year, since they had extra time
    -Though nowhere near as much was invested as in a new ride, a lot more was invested in this compared to a Fright Nights maze (about 7-10 times the budget of a maze I believe)
    -There's a couple of little Easter eggs about (and some I probably missed)
     
    There's a couple of photos on TPM's Facebook, I won't post them here because effort.
     
    So all in all, the premise of the experience is interesting. As I say, it's not something I'm itching to get back to doing again, but it's a fun experience. It's another indoor experience for the park, which is needed, but ultimately it is very much a 'one..possibly two... and done' type thing, which is perhaps not what the park needed.
     
    I'm very much worried about how this will cope with the crowds. It seems like an operational headache. However, given it's going to be Timed Tickets for a while, and it should be pretty reliable, hopefully it means physical wait times are minimal for now, if done right. So definitely worth giving it a crack when you're next on park.
  14. Like
    pluk reacted to Mark9 in New for 2021 - Black Mirror Labyrinth   
    I get the viewpoint, I just disagree with it completely. There's no way the Smiler and the Wicker Man soundtracks for example blend into one just because they use ITHOTMK briefly. I don't think there's an argument you could use to make me believe those two rides are bland with no identity. 
     
     I just quite like the use of the park theme in the attraction soundtracks. The island like no other theme is actually really nice to listen to in general and I weirdly prefer it in that Black Mirror snippet then the entrance one.
  15. Like
    pluk reacted to Glitch in New for 2021 - Black Mirror Labyrinth   
    I Disagree.... long rain HOTMK
     
     
     
    Side note, it's a shame that Alton Towers can't play this mix at 9:30 AM every morning before gates opening to get everyone to dance along too and hype everyone up for a day full of adventures.
     
    It also works as excellent marketing, in the UK at least if you hear HOTMK what is the first thing you think of?
  16. Like
    pluk reacted to Mark9 in New for 2021 - Black Mirror Labyrinth   
    Closed by 2023 is all I could think of to be honest.
  17. Haha
    pluk reacted to ChessingtonSam in Tomb Blaster   
    In a truly shocking turn of events, Tomb Blaster is... exactly the same.
     
    https://twitter.com/ChessingtonBuzz/status/1394256497517993986?s=19
  18. Like
    pluk got a reaction from JoshC. in 2023 - New Rollercoaster and Amazon Rainforest Themed Land   
    I can't believe for a second they'd go for a B&M wineries, it just feels all wrong.
     
    I'm sticking my money on a variant of that S&S prototype with the flicking out seats that looked a lot like it could be developed into a winged coaster.
     
    Not much money mind, because it probobly won't actually be anything that exciting.
  19. Haha
    pluk reacted to JoshC. in 2023 - New Rollercoaster and Amazon Rainforest Themed Land   
    Where have I heard these things before? Let me ask my buddy, Derren:

    "I don't know Josh, I just don't know..."
  20. Like
    pluk reacted to Coaster in Paultons Park   
    Paultons was indeed excellent on Sunday.
     
    Tornado Springs is a stunning new area and Storm Chaser is an incredible addition to the park.  I really like how it's a coaster of two halves, you get the calmer first half with views around the park, then you dive into the helix which is packed full of force before the final few turns throw you around a bit before you reach the brakes.
     
    Genuinely, I think it's the best Mack coaster in the country.  It left me with a real "wow" feeling when I hit the brake run on every ride, and had me eager to get straight back on.
     
    As others had said, it does outclass the other rides in terms of throughput, but it also looks very promising for the park's future.  Just a brilliant, delightful area and the very best of UK parks at the moment.
  21. Like
    pluk got a reaction from Coaster in Elmer's Flying Jumbos   
    Hello last spring.
     
    Surprised it wasn't mentioned after this post, but the theming element is no longer missing although you'd be hard pressed to notice it wasn't. Really, it is tiny sitting atop this ride, the scale is all wrong. It just looks bizarre, with some big sort of padding thing below it and a relatively tiny motif on top. The base has colourful stones in sections, but this is full of detritus from the trees so just looks messy. The ride itself is also quite broken, with a couple of elephants (including the yellow one I found myself on) very obviously not able to make it more than a couple of feet off the ground.
     
    When small but IP led retheme investments are this bad you know something is deeply wrong at the heart of what is happening here.
  22. Haha
    pluk reacted to RobF in Elmer's Flying Jumbos   
    The ride cant seem to lift much weight these days.... ( I'm not saying your big lol) more that any elephant with an adult doesn’t go full height
  23. Like
    pluk got a reaction from JoshC. in Elmer's Flying Jumbos   
    Hello last spring.
     
    Surprised it wasn't mentioned after this post, but the theming element is no longer missing although you'd be hard pressed to notice it wasn't. Really, it is tiny sitting atop this ride, the scale is all wrong. It just looks bizarre, with some big sort of padding thing below it and a relatively tiny motif on top. The base has colourful stones in sections, but this is full of detritus from the trees so just looks messy. The ride itself is also quite broken, with a couple of elephants (including the yellow one I found myself on) very obviously not able to make it more than a couple of feet off the ground.
     
    When small but IP led retheme investments are this bad you know something is deeply wrong at the heart of what is happening here.
  24. Like
    pluk got a reaction from JoshC. in Chessington General Discussion   
    Walk on Vampire fun times!
     

  25. Like
    pluk reacted to Han30 in Chessington General Discussion   
    Not really much help but I’ve been today and had one of the best days there in a long time - staff were lovely, social distancing far better than Thorpe in my opinion and it just looks like it’s had a lot of TLC.  We don’t often venture into the zoo areas but really enjoyed seeing the animals.  The only downside which isn’t the parks fault is that we had to eat outside but once restrictions are lifted that is sorted.  Also flying jumbos is much prettier with the repaint and new music 🙌
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