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  1. Do you mean to suggest Thorpe Park made a loss by not meeting that visitor target? I dont know how well they did that year but I'm sure the additional annual cost of operating The Swarm was relatively small Parks make most their profit from in-park expenditure on food and retail rather than tickets. Thorpe built new coasters in quick succession in the 2000s to increase the capacity of the park and increase the draw, to bring numbers way up, but eventually you reach a plateau. I think Merlin found that they'd already reached that point when Swarm didn't reach much higher. However it probably wouldn't have meant the Swarm was not financially viable, it just meant it didn't increase attendance to the heights they (ambitiously) wanted. I would argue they spent too much focus on endless big new rides without thinking about the park on the whole. It wasnt sustainable and you end up with today's poor value for money putting off returning guests. They have actually increased park attendance without increasing the space much, ending up with overcrowding and long queues.
  2. I actually really like that moments are in complete darkness, it's been a long time since a UK attraction has been passed off like that, but the amount of people being sent through an open corridor in a hurry (encouraging you to run) sounds like it could easily cause problems like that. If it was a bit different and used different techniques the darkness could work well.
  3. None of the things you mention have anything to do with either Black Buccaneer not being ready, the way either park assemble their rides, or this new ride being assembled in one day. "Tired engineers in the dark" will make no difference. Both rides have to get the exact same safety certification in order to open. Assembling a ride slowly makes no difference to its safety, knowing what you're doing and attention to detail makes the difference. If it didn't get the certificate, then it would have to be redone anyway.
  4. Well here's a story, I actually enjoyed Walking Dead! But I don't think it will be successful (and apparently hasnt been). The reason is, entertainment has once again been sidelined in favour of marketing formula. The formula is broken. "Every ride must have a world first or an IP" is broken. The ride before this had a wider appeal and attracted an age group much more fitting for the experience. X No Way Out was never designed to be a super scary ride and it never could be. It had a scary edge because of the weirdness and darkness, but it was more than that and could be enjoyed by older kids and young teenagers. By making it themed to a violent horror show, it puts off people who don't like it. Those who do like it will be disappointed, because it's just a dressed up family coaster with some corridors. And those who've never seen the show may be put off by the promise of "actors touching you" and 'extreme' horror (which doesnt really exist). So who are you left with? Who is this ride for? Once again the IP formula shoots the park in the foot. Add to that how poorly designed the entrance and surrounding area is means nobody can find it. So nobody's going in! The ugly barbed wire opposite the sorry remains of Octopus Garden and a big cartoon sign saying "Poop deck" is just the most hilarious thing Ive ever seen. Possibly worse than Legoland's Haunted House as worst Merlin entrance ever. The preshow is total garbage. But after that, the simple fact that something happens during the ride now (like was always intended to) suddenly makes this a fun ride. X was calling out for this for about 20 years! It's insane that it took this long. We now have animations and moments during the stopping points, which creates a memorable ride. The sound design is fantastic too! But again this appeals better to a younger audience than Walking Dead fans. The effects are mostly good and very well timed (although a couple are pretty hokey and I dont like the TVs). This would have worked really well as a family haunted ride, but people expecting extreme horro will just laugh. I enjoyed it, but it should have been done properly. Shouldnt have been IP, should have happened 20 years ago and should have used the preshow rooms instead of just endless corridors. Then it could have been a family staple for Thorpe Park, rather than another Merlin 5 year failure.
  5. Wumbamillio


    To be fair to Merlin, I think in this case the ride's closure is not their fault. "Apprently" it's Vekoma having some quality control troubles. I have no idea personally but am told reliably.
  6. Wumbamillio


    I managed to do Haunted House before it shut for the near future. How this ever got approved shows how little Merlin care at the top (theyve had over 5 years planning this ride and it's turned out THIS badly?) What was already the Pathway From Hell now had this new ride with its entrance/exit backing on to it, seriously the most congested part the park! It's insane. A lot has been said about the 'warehouse' already but seriously, it's shockingly bad. You see the big black warehouse from the moment you look out at the view from The Beginning. Walking towards the ride, you see the box long before you get a proper view of the 'themed' front (which is also very cheap and boring). The "children wont see it" excuse is nonsense The queue is one of the worst cattlepen queues Ive ever seen. The development has totally obliterated what used to be a much needed landscaped buffer space in this part the park. Once looked very nice with the stream running into the lake, lots of models and the train skirting around. Not anymore! The actual madhouse ride is fun and all the kids have a good laugh, which is great but largely thanks to the classic appeal of a madhouse. It's so much better than a drop tower would have been! The party theme is fun and I think it's great they added a colourful twist, but there's absolutely no surprises for kids. All the parents were gearing their kids up for a spooky adventure, only to be greeted with en empty room and some TVs. The preshow is weirdly long considering nothing actually happens. We have a boogie with some disco balls but it reeks of "all the effects planned for this area were cut". There's nothing remotely spooky about the attraction and you feel like you're just in a metal box the entire time. Maybe this won't be so obvious for kids, but design this lazy it takes away so much fun to be had for kids in a good dark ride. The rest the park has made a steady effort to clean up and improve this year, some parts look very refreshing. But on the whole the place still feels tired and soulless. Everything is shoved in. Music will randomly fade out and change as you're walking through an area, suddenly drawing your attention to it. There's so little actual Lego or animations now, other than in Miniland. A very different park to what it used to be. I'm sure there are only going to be more giant warehouses added filled with TVs in the years to come.
  7. I dont know of anything to suggest they're knackered. In theory they could keep going for a long time but who knows. It works best as a family ride and they skuppered that recently, as a thrill ride it's rubbish. It could go back to being a family ride after the stupid contract runs out but the whole thing is just awkwardly placed in the middle of the park. They could do with redeveloping the whole area like you say.
  8. There was a video about a computer virus added for one season only in 2005, nearly 10 years after the ride opened and after most the original design had been removed. There was never supposed to be a story to the ride
  9. Yeah, the rust & ponchos thing is well known for Inferno and nothing to do with vinyls "recently renewed". A poncho for falling vinyl? Does that even make sense anyway! Anyway, what's a bit of vinyl flapping around going to do even if it was true, they don't given you protection for all the sunglasses, etc that fly off coasters most days. These are very lightweight small things I once did Inferno in the rusty rain on first day opening, it stained my jeans forever, it was pretty funny though
  10. With a bit of love I think Inferno could get back to looking pretty spot on! Ok it wasnt supposed to be much of a heavy themed ride but it was really nicely done for what it was and fairly simple to get it back.
  11. Here's a fun fact, that 'queue ambiant track' that YouTube peoplez often say is the original actually was added in about 1999 ish I remember. It was fun but really horrible, I remember the screaming women, whip cracking and heavy breathing, don't think that would sit well with families today, haha!
  12. No the whole track is playing and has all the parts, as far as I know it's literally the original track but without the zoning yet? The sound in there has sounded thin for years. We can't know for sure why, it could be a number of reasons, the park just need to sort it. Sad how it got this poorly maintained and opens year on year in such a state.
  13. Yeah it tries to tell a story, but like I said it just wasn't worth it, it slows it down too much. There are many ways to do a walkaround and thread a theme through it, and build up to an ending. It should just be an interactive experience with every room a bit different until it builds to an ending. Maybe have the preshow, free flow and then stop guests in a finale room. Whichever works best. The way Room on the Broom does it at the moment (and the tiny rooms) just didn't entertain. They should have looked at the space and the limited throughput, and thought 'ok let's thread the story differently'. Hocus Pocus Hall got really run down because it hadnt been looked after properly for 15 years, it was rubbish by the time it closed. But it was still more entertaining because it just let kids run around and press buttons, look in windows and sit on a fart chair. Rather than stand and watch a small TV or a white room with one thing moving in the corner. It looked more colourful and detailed, it had its time but now its replacement is very bland for most part. Although I liked the new preshow better and the 'dragon' was a bit more memorable for kids.
  14. Room On The Broom is awkward and has no fun factor. The beginning scene and the kids bashing the fire flies was as excited as they got. Hocus Pocus Hall was more stupid and fun, and I think that worked better really. You didn't have to stop in each tiny, cramped room to watch a barely-moving animation or a TV. Yes, stop and watch a TV. Why? The new stop and watch format means you awkwardly need to have a staff member stopping everyone from just walking past. In a corridor, people's instinct is of course to walk down it. It means the queue is now incredibly slow too. It's just not worth the slow pace you end up with. It could have been really good, but the way it's turned out it feels like it's barely an attraction.
  15. I visited recently.. Well what did I expect. The original audio track in there is great, but of course the sound system is so busted (probably speakers that are a million years old and parts blown) that it makes no real difference anyway. It used to be really good in there! The old queueline 'scenes' through the windows have also been boarded up. The station is as bare and sterile as ever, no real lighting or detail anymore. Thank god the rubbish ceiling LEDs have stopped changing colour. I don't go in looking for problems like some inspector, I just go in and can't help remember how fun it used to be. What's entertaining about it now? It's just 'there'. It's gone from a -3 to a -1 . Will Merlin spend proper money to restore The Vampire for the thousands who ride it every day? Probably not.
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