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SteveJ

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  1. Like
    SteveJ got a reaction from mrmonkey in New for 2020 - Rainforest Area w/ Junior Log Flume   
    Is it too much to expect the same park to be as good as it was 20-30 years ago, especially for such a basic investment as a small childrens area retheme? Especially when prices have generally gone up
  2. Like
    SteveJ reacted to Martin Doyle in Rant   
    I am really getting quite sick and tired of seeing enthusiasts moaning and crying about POSTPONED trips to theme parks this year thanks to the pandemic.
     
    Look, I know this page is ofcourse a forum dedicated to a theme park and I myself am very proud of being an enthusiast. However, I do feel some enthusiasts on social media really need to look at what's going on in the world before they go on an Ian Beale style "IVE GOT NOTHING LEFT" sulk about postponed park visits. People are losing their jobs and with that, the abillity to make a living to pay the bills. More importantly, many people are losing loved ones to this virus. So with all that happening, I personally find it hard to feel sympathy to a bunch of people who are crying over not being able to visit parks that will STILL BE AROUND when all this is said and done. Those who are losing loved ones do not have that luxury. I have a friend who lost her nan recently and was not even allowed to attend her own nans funeral. So yes, forgive me if I find it hard to feel sorry for having to wait a little longer to ride the likes of Shambhala,Taron, Zadra,Taiga and Iron Gwazi or going to flaming Disneyland Paris.
     
    Rant over. Again I know this doesn't apply to all enthusiasts but I am seeing enough of it to really get on my wick.
     
    It's not just postponed park trips. It's also the sulking over canceled festivals and concerts. People should check their priorities as far as I'm concerned.
  3. Like
    SteveJ reacted to JoshuaA in The Walking Dead - The Ride: SPOILERS   
    The Walking Dead is a coaster that IMO worked best in its X format, because to put it simply, it is a family coaster.
    Even when it ran backward and in the dark, it was a tame ride that had lower ridership as the height restriction stopped families from riding and the ride was too tame and the ride was also uncomfortable.
     
    X fixed this, ditched the stop and start breaks, lowered the height restriction so pretty much anyone could ride it, and consequently was a lot more popular among the GP.
    TWD right now is IMO the second most expendable ride at the park. The ridership seems to be criminally low, the past few visits during peak times this coaster was completely walk on when other rides had 2 hour waits. It is not a bad ride at all, but it certainly has failed to keep people coming back to it. I do enjoy the ride, but I do think retheming X was a stupid decision as this ride will always be a family coaster. Even when you throw barbed wire around it and cover it in zombies.
  4. Like
    SteveJ got a reaction from JoshuaA in Derren Brown's Ghost Train: Rise of the Demon   
    Yeah it's not had an actual themed area since those, I was saying that in agreement to the previous post that it's just loosely themed, so it doesn't particularly matter that the themes don't 'make sense' next to each other. As long as they look good and it makes for a nice park then that's just the park's vibe.

    I don't think the public go into Thorpe Park for any reason than to enjoy the park and the rides, it should just focus on being good at that. It's more like Blackpool Pleasure Beach really.

    Wheras the moment guests step into Efteling they're in a beautiful theme park with so many surprises and areas to explore, totally different appeal. The themed 'areas' might not have a big Merlin style archway saying "Welcome to ____ land" but that doesn't matter, each corner of the park is a little different and the attractions all sit next to next each other nicely.

    Each park is different style when it comes to how they theme stuff, I wish Thorpe would stick to  what it's best at really and clean itself up. It could really be great fun
  5. Like
    SteveJ got a reaction from pluk in Derren Brown's Ghost Train: Rise of the Demon   
    I don't think I've seen anyone say a park "needs" themed areas to be a theme park. (Also every inch of Efteling is themed so I dont know what you mean there)

    Like you say it's all about enjoyment. What I mean is, Thorpe Park makes for a terrible immersive style Phantasialand theme park, whenever it tries and fails to be that, but as a more simple stylish, throwaway kinda theme park it could be great fun!  (that's kind of how it was in the past as a family park anyway)

    Currently it's a very bad, not very enjoyable mish mash. The park is very grubby and uncool but tries to look slick and stylish. They try to force 'themed areas' and themed experiences when there aren't any, rather than focus on making the park look appealing or have any identity. A few surf boards and painted wood doesn't make a great park

    Some of the ride themes are ok on their own, but most are depressing, cheap and all shoved together in a weird mess

    I really don't know why they thought Derren Brown was a good idea for Thorpe, it was the last thing all that money needed spending on in my opinion.
     
  6. Like
    SteveJ got a reaction from MattyMoo in Derren Brown's Ghost Train: Rise of the Demon   
    Funny how just 1 year later those "early days" were gone and the graphics infinitely improved. Swap out "early days" for "cheapest option" and you'd be more correct
  7. Like
    SteveJ got a reaction from pluk in Derren Brown's Ghost Train: Rise of the Demon   
    Funny how just 1 year later those "early days" were gone and the graphics infinitely improved. Swap out "early days" for "cheapest option" and you'd be more correct
  8. Like
    SteveJ got a reaction from PJ. in Derren Brown's Ghost Train: Rise of the Demon   
    I can see that leg ticklers wouldn't really work, you'd see them as you board before the lights go out (they're just flexible tubing). The screens, fog and all that are what's interesting,  I wonder how much was actually installed before being removed or just mothballed.

    There must be a solution to using the ride system to its full potential as a simulator ride. It's the designers' job to come up with a solution and make it work as an experience, but it would take money not a quick rehash with some actors. Also as far as I know (might be wrong) Simworx built it without VR in mind to be rolled out to other parks in the future. It would be a shame to waste the  ride system which was by far the best thing about the ride in my opinion.
  9. Like
    SteveJ reacted to JoshC. in Derren Brown's Ghost Train: Rise of the Demon   
    Also, speaking of the SImworx website, the page they have dedicated to Ghost Train still has some lovely PS1 graphics...
     

     
    Looking back you do really have to wonder what was going through everyone's minds to sign that off.
  10. Like
    SteveJ reacted to JoshC. in Derren Brown's Ghost Train: Rise of the Demon   
    Simworx were the turnkey provider for the experience. My understanding of the situation is that they were approached for the project (after Merlin and Thorpe had a good experience with them with Shrek in London and Angry Birds 4D) and were asked if they felt they could provide what was wanted, since it was a very unique project. I'm sure at the point when Simworx agreed to the project, VR had already been decided / was in the closing stages for been confirmed.
     
    I've heard differing stories about why Severn Lamb were bought in. As Marc says, they designed the trains, but one version of events I heard was they were bought in because they had experience building trains, so were better to provide more realistic-looking carriages. The other version is that, despite saying they would, Simworx didn't want to design enclosed carriages (most of their carriages are open in design) so they sub-contracted Severn Lamb to do it. Similar conflicting stories exist about why Intamin were bought in. 
     
    On top of that, you've then got Figment Productions designing the VR and having their own needs for executing it. They very much worked closely with Merlin/Thorpe and probably had little contact with Simworx/Severn Lamb. So it's not hard to imagine a situation where Figment were telling something to Merlin, who told something to Simwork, who told something to Severn Lamb, and the original message getting muddled along the way. Basically, it's all a mess.
     
    The ride system that Simworx did could still be replicated elsewhere without VR, I guess. At one point during Ghost Train's construction there were murmurs that Merlin wanted a similar experience for Gardaland. The question is why would anyone want it. If you took the generic immersive tunnel set up (ie huge screens outside the carriage) and modified it to Ghost Train's style, it just sounds like a nightmare. And just not an enjoyable experience. It could probably be scaled down with a longer track circuit, but again the question is why.
     
    If you look through Simworx's website, there's not a lot of theme park projects they've worked on, especially recently. A lot of their recent stuff is on a small scale, with a lot of concepts for ideas too. Given how much competition there is for dark rides, cinemas and stuff like that in the theme park industry, it does make you wonder if simply they're not cut out for making large-scale theme park attractions. They certainly had some potential, and parks did go to them at first, but when most aren't, there's surely a reason behind it.
  11. Like
    SteveJ reacted to Marc in Derren Brown's Ghost Train: Rise of the Demon   
    Ahh my bad - the windows were initially supposed to mist up I believe during different points so you wouldn’t see what’s behind the scenes if you didn’t have VR on - but the reflections from the windows would mess with the VR so they were in the end just covered up.

    I believe simworx ultimately manages the entire project but the most part of it was built by different manufacturers - probably not helping ultimately in all the problems.
     
    I don’t think the VR was added late as a marketing gimmick - the concept of a train with screens in the window wouldn’t really work on ghost train as you’d be awkwardly looking at a screen somones sat infront of - unless you only had people one side but that would end in a ridiculously poor throughput.
     
    Yeah there was problems with VR contributing to the delay but by no means is VR it’s only issues - it’s a shame really as when the entire experience works as it’s meant to I still do think it’s good, it could have varied a lot more had it been a success to keep it fresh - it’s just so rare the whole thing works as an entire package. 
  12. Like
    SteveJ got a reaction from Ivsetti in Tomb Blaster   
    The "revamped" Tomb Blaster is marginally better than the broken down version before, but not as good as when Tomb Blaster first opened and still a dull, naff attraction. The hype this revamp is getting is starting to get ridiculous. The new music is good, shame theres no great theme tune like before but it adds something at least. The 'story' thing adds nothing at all and is not what the ride needed.

    The whole train looked bored. There's still loads not working and some cringey choices with some moments


     
  13. Like
    SteveJ reacted to Glitch in General Discussion   
    From reviews it seemed like a generally successful day for Chessington, bar the 1 hour queue for RAP, ironic do people really need these or just see them as a free fast track, same with carer passes, I wonder if people just see that as free entry nowadays.
     
    On another note I saw a post about allowing a full train of RAP users to drop queue times, is this not theoretically an operations nightmare if something went wrong, I thought you were only allowed 1 RAP holder on any ride at a time for safety and evacuation issues.
     
    Doesn't seem like these issues will go away soon now either with  RAP passes being valid til the end of 2021.
     
  14. Like
    SteveJ reacted to JoshC. in Tomb Blaster   
    If you have to say that, it usually means it is a biased opinion...
     
    Also how in earth you can use a 12 second video of mostly pitch black to judge the quality of the ride's upgrades is beyond me.
  15. Like
    SteveJ reacted to Benin in Tomb Blaster   
    I'm not too sure that there's much competition for "best UK dark ride" these days. Especially when the usual winner is currently closed.
  16. Like
    SteveJ reacted to JoshC. in General Discussion   
    2020 park map is available here:  https://www.chessington.com/media/msbjs1wa/2020-park-map-theme-park-zoo-sea-life.pdf
     
    It's interest to note that Blue Barnacle, despite being an entirely new piece of ride hardware with a new theme, isn't in any way being marketed as 'new' or even 'returning' for 2020, which is refreshing.
  17. Like
    SteveJ reacted to Kerfuffle in Bubbleworks   
    The fact the focus was on the Imperial Leather Bubbleworks and not Professor Burp only made it more agonising. </3
  18. Like
    SteveJ got a reaction from Matt Creek in Vampire   
    Hmm I really beg to differ though, I think it had lost all entertainment value by then and doubt any of the public would remember it much. An empty warehouse with an organ setpiece at the end and some B&Q floodlights. You may as well have had the station outside.

    When a day ticket to Phantasialand costs almost the same as Chessington, is there really any excuse for how poor Vampire got? Imagine if Wicker Man ended up like that in the future (and Vampire's preshow was originally better than Wicker Man's too) and people just shrugged. Is that really what guests shell out for at a Merlin park?

    Also, we have so much more opportunity available now than Chessington did in 1990, it's strange that something 30 years ago has not been improved on. But I suppose it's a credit to how good the original music and station were for the time.
  19. Like
    SteveJ got a reaction from Marc in Vampire   
    Just to clarify in that post I meant the ceiling floodlights that were before this, in reply to what Josh was saying about the state it was in before this revamp. The new lighting has had effort put in, actually the positioning is great, but what it's doing.. not so much

    And although the repairs are much appreciated,  those things about syncing the soundtrack & lighting, repairing the animatronic etc, it should never have lost sync in the first place or the organist been left like that so long. Probably been left broken longer than many people on this forum can remember!
  20. Like
    SteveJ reacted to Ringo in Vampire   
    They took over 12 years ago though...
     
    It’s good to finally see work being done though
  21. Like
    SteveJ got a reaction from Coaster in Vampire   
    Hmm I really beg to differ though, I think it had lost all entertainment value by then and doubt any of the public would remember it much. An empty warehouse with an organ setpiece at the end and some B&Q floodlights. You may as well have had the station outside.

    When a day ticket to Phantasialand costs almost the same as Chessington, is there really any excuse for how poor Vampire got? Imagine if Wicker Man ended up like that in the future (and Vampire's preshow was originally better than Wicker Man's too) and people just shrugged. Is that really what guests shell out for at a Merlin park?

    Also, we have so much more opportunity available now than Chessington did in 1990, it's strange that something 30 years ago has not been improved on. But I suppose it's a credit to how good the original music and station were for the time.
  22. Thanks
    SteveJ got a reaction from HermanTheGerman in Vampire   
    Hmm I really beg to differ though, I think it had lost all entertainment value by then and doubt any of the public would remember it much. An empty warehouse with an organ setpiece at the end and some B&Q floodlights. You may as well have had the station outside.

    When a day ticket to Phantasialand costs almost the same as Chessington, is there really any excuse for how poor Vampire got? Imagine if Wicker Man ended up like that in the future (and Vampire's preshow was originally better than Wicker Man's too) and people just shrugged. Is that really what guests shell out for at a Merlin park?

    Also, we have so much more opportunity available now than Chessington did in 1990, it's strange that something 30 years ago has not been improved on. But I suppose it's a credit to how good the original music and station were for the time.
  23. Like
    SteveJ reacted to Benin in Vampire   
    Nice to see people taking constructive criticism well on here as per.
  24. Like
    SteveJ got a reaction from Ivsetti in Vampire   
    Not in my experience (though I'm not speaking specifcally about Chessington).  You'll usually always get better results from external designers— that's not because in house teams are necessarily bad or anything like that. But in-house teams usually have less resources, are pushed for time looking after the rest the park, and their perspective always skewed by working at the park day in day out (and influenced by wanting to impress their work mates rather than delivering to a client!). Anway, that's another discussion.

    But, if you are listening to feedback Chessington, and I do appreciate the effort, Id love for the lighting to be less totally randomised, because the effect just gets numbed under the "hey look at me!" DJ mash. I get you're going for a more colourful style, but if it built up more with the music and didnt try to use every colour under the sun at once, it could be much better.
  25. Like
    SteveJ got a reaction from Ringo in Vampire   
    You know that nobody is suggesting only the original team from 1990 are allowed to do it, the original station we mean.

    But putting that aside, the revamp is good, if not as nearly good as it's been originally. It's very DJ, but if youre gonna do that you may as well go all the way with the music as well. The improvements are limited to just the organ area, well that's as much as we're gonna get I guess. The fixed animatronic is the best part, good on them.

    Remember stuff like this is normal in most theme parks, where it would have never gotten into the state it was in these last few years anyway. But enthusiasts are always hungry for some "changes" to get excited about after closed season!
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