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Everything posted by SteveJ

  1. The recovered popularity of Alton Towers suggests that it's just a few loudmouths online, repeating garbage they read whether they believe it or not
  2. I still think "It will completely change what theme parks can do" with that smug face is one of the all time classic theme park moments in this country
  3. How it is today, rushing past the train in a blocky room where you only see the floor beneath you for a few seconds (if you bother to look over the side while you get the chance), is really not the best way the illusion could have been designed. It may not be possible to stand directly underneath, but they designed themselves into a corner with the whole thing really. There's always other techniques when it comes to illusion to give the impression there's more than there really is. With DBGT its the other way round, things are so badly thought through that you actually miss the best bits. For all that effort and an amazing concept, how it turned out is almost pointless in my opinion. Much like the whole ride.
  4. It was the opposite of a superb job, and it was really not what Air needed to improve the experience
  5. Legend has it the new divisional director and marketing director have been fired or quit only 1 season after the previous. They are already hiring for a new marketing director. What's going on with Thorpe?
  6. Awful storytelling then if you have to look online or read some words on a poster. I'm convinced some people at Merlin must be deluded when you see how many of their attractions have self indulgent "backstories" that actually manifest in nothing, other than some screens, a preshow video and some signs. The best hook that ride had was not the Sub Core energy story (whatever it was) but the whole Derren Brown mental illusion Victoriana thing, which amounts to nothing after the preshow. I disagree that the queue has any atmosphere, it's horrendous! Loud tinny music blasted into your ear for ages while you walk around a switchback squeezed around the back of the building.
  7. I don't know, I thought it was rubbish from day 1 and so did most people who went in it apparently.
  8. It's been suggested the drop tower will be another second hand ride, if so, no, not really a proper investment. Bears a striking resemblence to Detonator. I guess we'll find out.
  9. It will give young kiddies a shot at a log flume, but a second-hand low capacity filler is the very last thing Chessington needs at this point.
  10. I agree, we shouldnt actually believe hype and should just go in with an open mind whatever it is. Creek Freak was good for what it was. In this case I think the 'most intense maze ever' thing thankfully wasnt much present around the park, more just a silly post online. So luckily it's not in most the public's minds unlike other hyperbole claims Merlin like to make
  11. This guy is gonna grow up and realise just how much he was played as a puppet for a company that gives no four letter words about him. I also think it really showed the difference (compared to efforts in recent years) having Towers/MMM guidance on the new maze. Shows you don't need to blow on an IP to get a popualr and effective maze, you just need good ideas and little bit more spending to make it work. It was a very decent maze for Thorpe!
  12. That sounds much better, but in such a small space with so many people in there (presumably there were far less people in batches on the press night you went) then nobody will be able to see it. Leaving it just as a flashy light and some banging. It just doesnt make up for the long tunnel of nothing that comes before it, even though the middle part of the maze I really liked.
  13. What was Platform 15's ending? Shoved into a shed as an actor mumbles some questions, then someone bangs on a window and a strobe light goes off. Then everyone slowly walks out confused. Did something go wrong on my run or something? It was incredibly bad.
  14. Are you being sarcastic? I have to ask haha. Like I say I think there are loads of more fun and better coasters out there, but it definitely seems to be an unpopular opinion.
  15. Sure, although I brought up the whole attraction and area when I said it was dull, so if "incredibly themed" you mean ignoring everything other than constant Disney style decoration around the track then no. But now that would be picking things apart and anaylsing. As a decent themed coaster where it actaully adds something to the experience, there are far better even in the same park. Nemesis —The quarry setting is incredible and is what creates half the fun, all of which had to be created for the ride as we all know. You get right down into it, explore over and under the ride before youre even at the station. The waterfalls and the ride over pools, the music, it all comes together for a really exciting ride. Hey it even has some junkyard theming but actually adds some style, not just token vehicles parked on flat ground. Nemesis' landscaping beats The Swarm's car park-coaster style by miles. Eve just looking at it, the ride is an impressive picture. Nemesis Inferno—Simple but good, you queue around some jungle planting then up into a volcano. It sets you up well for the ride. Starting the station at high level then immediately into the tunnel is a great kick off to the ride, really pacey. The interaction with the surrounding paths is great. Very different to The Swarm's pretty piecemeal, empty plaza. Colossus—Well, it used to be much better when it was half over the water, and the station is very cheap. But the bridges over the ride mix things up and hide how formulaic the layout actually is, adds some fun interaction. The planting, music and waterfront queue was originally very good. Felt much more substantial than the Swarm ever did. Black Mamba—A real labyrinth of the coaster through the landscape, buildings, paths. The queue deeper into the village and into the cave is a brilliant set up, keeping a lot of the ride quite secret. Incredibly detailed too. Brilliant moment starting and finishing in complete darkness, very memorable. Taron—Whoever says the theme is dull must be one incredbly jaded enthusist! If we're talking about The Swarm being "good enough for the public" then are we really suggesting the same public would shrug their shoulders walking around Taron? Wicker Man—Miles better, has a lot more character than Swarm, the area is a lot more interactive, the coaster is quite thrilling and fast. Ironically many enthusiasts who love The Swarm scorn Wicker Man for being a pretty average GCI (fair enough, but its still lots of fun) despite the public clearly loving Wicker Man and the theme. Raptor Attack—Yes its a dead simple coaster but I actaully think its more fun and the trail down to the ride is a whole lot more creative than The Swarm's pavement. Baron—Probably the only one on this list where the coaster alone is same as Swarm for me, but the brilliant theme is what makes the difference. Cool preshow, simple and good, great station setting, adds a lot to the ride.
  16. Total mediocrity wins out again then, because a few sparse objects, shipping containers and broken TVs scrape by as 'good enough'. No wonder we are so far behind many other parks in Europe and people are steadily not bothering to go back to Thorpe Park for the cost. If you enjoy it then good but it's not as amazingly themed or a special ride as fans often make out.
  17. Usually Id agree completely, fans do tend to look into things far too much while theyre not at the park and then start unpicking what makes it fun. Some of my favourite rides are far from 'perfect' or dont 'make sense' and sometimes that makes them even better! But what I mean about the Swarm is, theres no hook there in the first place. Other than the first element, which is also more forgettable than it looks. The whole area is lifeless and boring. The gist of it is... what? It's some fences, some TVs with a cringey video on, a white blob station, what is it? Even the name 'The Swarm' is vague and bland. It has a cool upturned ambulance and that's by far the best feature in the area, you can see this the way the public interact with it too. It has no identity or anything else memorable. This was all my gut reaction, even after giving it a go with an open mind and gone back on it a couple times. So Ive not really thought any deeper about The Swarm because I dont care about it, I really dont get the appeal.
  18. Icon was unfortunately very disappointing, it feels like it would be great if it was just faster! Blue Fire I think is also a little overrated. Taron on the other hand is lightning, absolutely incredible all the way through for me, perhaps one of my favourite coasters ever. Although that one isnt really an unpopular opinion!
  19. My big unpopular opinion seems to be that I think the Swarm is rubbish. I'm really surprised that it's so admired. You dont hear fans say it's just a decent coaster, people often say its one of their favourites! Fair enough, but I'm really baffled. The layout is boring, slow, short and the drawn out turns have a really uncomfortable, sustained G force that just gives you a headache. It looks bland and dull, a grey loop stuck out the back of the dome on some dirt. It could have been so much more. People say it's amazingly themed, but it's just some old trucks parked about the pavement, fences and a hideous station building that looks really weird. Doesnt conjure any atmosphere at all, just a featureless white blob of a building. The theme is so patchy that I get nothing from it. The Swarm is a terrible name but it doesnt seem to fit what was made anyway. A swarm of attacking creatures? More like a solitary fighter jet doing stunts in the air, that looks like... a metal alien? I'm sure there was some tacky 'backstory' for the cobbled together features we ended up with, but nothing that actually translated to the ride experience. The queueline video is all kinds of awful and it would improve the queuing experience massively if they just turned the screens off! lol I remember being very excited to go on the Swarm when it opened, I was really looking forward to it until the moment it finished and I realised that was all it was. There are hundreds of more thrilling, spectacular or just fun coasters out there. But I'm definitely in the minority!
  20. This is the part that confirmed this thread must be a joke Lol, there was a Bubbleworks campaign in 2016? That would have been about 10 years too late to save Bubble works...
  21. Both rides were in severe need of maintenance (or by now total replacement). They both shut at the same time when they could be pushed no more. They're like old cars that havnt been looked after as well as they should have if they wanted to keep them running this long. Bucaneer will only be 'returning' if they buy a new pirate ship. That really isn't Merlin's style unfortuantely, but who knows, maybe they will! I appreciate that the plans for this drop tower look way better than a slap dash replacement. It could be a great replacement for Rameses now that it really has reached the end of its life. Or will it turn out like Tiger Rock, Scorpion Express and Room on The Broom... a good idea but done way too cheaply?
  22. SteveJ


    They are free to trial things, and we are providing the feedback. There's only a problem with trialling things if they dont listen to feedback. Plus this idea sounds like its such a bad fit that they may as well trial painting Nemesis pink, putting VR on The Blade, getting Durex to sponsor Oblivion, etc It was fine in the past because it was maintained properly in the past. If you remove or don't maintain the lighting that was designed to guide people on cue then they're not going to realise an entrance has opened up, and they don't understand that they're supposed to move forward. If there is a group that still refuses to budge, use a pre-recorded announcement to tell them to move forward. It's really basic operational show stuff, there's not been some kind of cultural shift that means people no longer move through dark rides. It's the same story with all of Merlin's dark rides, bad maintenance. Hex on the whole has seen better days, and people no longer respond to it as well as they used to. It needs a proper refurbishment to get it back to its original standard. The lighting was bodged a fair bit in the TLC redo (people woudlnt have noticed specific changes, but you probably noticed it isn't as dramatic anymore, with lights going up and down at random.. meh). The cinema video needs a technical update too, find an inventive solution to keep the video but make the room more interesting ie Wickerman's preshow. Easy! But it won't happen sadly.
  23. SteveJ


    Oh yes, I forgot, but that was just a temporary unadvertised staff idea for Scarefest (basically enthusiastic staff dressing up) one year. A bit of fun for Halloween I suppose, but not a big change really. Duel Live was better, was advertised and had the different music, guns turned off, etc. The actors were alright, didn't add a huge amount, just banged things really. But it was turning the guns off and putting music in that made it feel so much better!
  24. SteveJ


    Sounds absolutely horrendous and worse than I heard before. This kind of thing often happens whenever new rides managers come in and think they're being creative geniuses and following the footsteps of Walt Disney by adding in rubbish like this where it doesnt need to be. If it started because of people not following into the vault quick enough then that never used to be a problem in the past. If I remember the spotlight on the vault curtain stopped working and then presumably removed during the Hex TLC thing. Hex has never had actors before, there were some rumours that it used to when it opened but this was people mis remembering. Only operational staff dressed in restoration gear.
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