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  1. Wumbamillio

    Logger's Leap

    I'm sorry but we really don't need any more people or companies try to flaunt their Princess Diana association just to try look virtuous. If Princess Diana ate a pizza somewhere once they'd have probably tried to rename themselves Diana Pizzeria by now. Maybe that's unfair to say because it's true the pictures of her on Loggers Leap were more well known. But really all that matters is that millions of people a year enjoyed riding Loggers Leap. That's true for most of it, but I'm almost certain a lot of the mechanical plant would need replacing or heavy servicing by now. Machines don't work well if left unusued for so long especially out in the elements. That's why every year they left it, the less likely it became. The alterations being deemed "not worth it" is highly debatable. That was always the way Merlin were going to see it and it's their cynical policy towards any attraction without 'new PR' value, which is (let's be honest) sadly all those holding the pursestrings care about, not guest experience. I'm sure Thorpe Park wanted it back and wanted the money to get it up again, but couldnt convince Merlin. Sadly this is the trick Merlin pull time and time again. I hear it reliably that Bubbleworks (and by the look of it Hocus Pocus too) was deliberately made to be worse by essentially banning (already low budget) projects to fix the effects in its last years, but still granting it to be badly relit in bright LED for its final season—looked horrendous! And of course the claim was "lost their magic". That way the new rides would seem better by sheer comparison, no matter what they were (wasn't hard anyway after the Imperial Leather revamp!)
  2. Wumbamillio

    What was X:/ No Way Out like pre-2007?

    X NWO was an interesting ride. Really not much left by the time it changed to X. Even then X was just a very minimal change but with a new fun factor having some audio and lighting in the coaster area. There were no animatronics, the robots were static. The light you mention was UV which always makes white glow such as teeth. XNWO was a pretty convoluted concept which never quite worked as intended, but there was originally a lot more to it than the totally empty, bad experience it was in the 2000s. A whole lot more audio and the pre-ride walkaround. I always liked the 'theme' for a coaster, something different. Could have almost been the 'industrial zone' from the Crystal Maze but just never had the money for it. It was never a classic ride but a fun experiment, more of a children's coaster. If I remember hearing it was originally 1.2m? Might be wrong on that but it was definitely not supposed to be a hardcore thrill coaster or really that "scary", just disorientating and strange. There was no story, the theme was nothing to do with a computer either (other than the name, which was just a 'current' name for the day). Had it been done a bit better it might have been great fun and lasted longer. Lots of misinformation was spread about it online in the 2000s I remember, that there was orignally some kind of "plot" about an evil computer. In 2007 some TVs were added with a cheaply made video telling about the "X super computer" going wrong, it was funny but pointless and removed within a year.
  3. Wumbamillio

    'I'm a Celebrity' Maze

    I appreciate this is your POV but this just seems like typical Merlin delusion to me. Merlin have proven many times how out of touch they are with the public, I really don't think it enters their minds what people respond to other than what their statistically skewed KPIs and surveys tell them. Of course we don't hear about everything that goes on, which is a shame because there are plenty of stories. For years they held that mantra about a wooden coaster in a UK park, when finally they built one it was very popular. Replacing its last big all-round family ride (in a park that desperately needs a major family ride) with a ticketed Dungeon attraction is not knowing how the public respond. They have no clue what they're doing with Thorpe Park. Wasting their most expensive project ever on a ride that doesn't know what it wants to be and was largely rejected by the public is not "getting the most out of the UK audience". Labouring a declining park with a ride that costs so much to operate and a bunch of fad IPs is not knowing what entertains the public. Until recently they squandered Chessington's development with their weird ideology that it's not allowed a new coaster because it's a family park, and not allowed new rides unless they have animals shoved in somehow, so denied practically everything for years. It's long been obvious to everyone Chessington needs a new coaster to absorb the queues, restoring old rides and fresh new ideas. If British people went to Phantasialand, Efteling and Europa Park would they not enjoy it as much as a Merlin attraction? Many non enthusiasts I know who've visited those places told how amazing it was, they havnt been to nearby Thorpe for years. All that Merlin care about the British public is to monopolise them and hype them up so that they can fleece them of more money. Hence IPs, just broker a deal with something that's already successful. IPs have been around for years, even at the time these parks were being built and that didn't stop them becoming popular. I believe the British public can be a cynical bunch and Merlin certainly know how to mislead them, but sooner or later they wake up to the overpricing, the poor value for money and commercialised parks. I think they're more ready to enjoy whatever's thrown at them than Merlin give them credit for, so long as it gets the fundamentals right and is entertaining, then word of mouth spreads. Merlin have proven time and again they have no idea how to do this other than roller coasters or IPs. Merlin monopolised the market, "hey ho that's business". No, you can make great business out of entertainment without monopoly. If anything monopoly is a way to get away with shoddy business because you own the whole market. I hardly call that business, just domination and shouldn't be shrugged off as 'just the way things have to be'. Merlin is also an extremely inefficient business underneath the hood.
  4. Wumbamillio

    'I'm a Celebrity' Maze

    Enough of the older public would remember them, they were enjoyed by the public for 10-20 years. Their rides were still a big chunk the park until not long ago. Going back a bit further and they were a big part of the park. But should Thorpe bring them back for a 40th anniversary? Not really, it would just be nostalgia for the sake of it. It's not a family park anymore. If the park had held on to any of its past character like Europa Park or Disney, then it would be great.
  5. Wumbamillio

    2019 Season

    Is this the same Thorpe Park social media/PR team that gave that IAAPA presentation on how to engage with fans?
  6. Exactly, because all the enthusiasts knew to expect it because they saw a CGI image of it, on a made-up background, from an exaggerated angle that didn't exist in the ride. Merlin continue to prove they care a lot more about advertising than the actual rides they build. There was also a lot of nonsense said about it by some enthusiasts wanting the attention. I remember being told it would change theme parks forever and was going to make Disney and Universal quake in their boots (haha). Although I'm not trying to tar everyone with the same brush or blame people for being excited, I was excited too. The scene as-built is not impressive or even noticeable, there is zero showmanship. When you set a big centrepiece like that it's all about the architectural approach which was just not thought about, very sad because like you say if you bother to look closely, it's actually a very good illusion and effort went into it. Whatta waste! I kind of find DBGT fascinating though about how not to do an ambitious ride concept. All the mistakes they made were the same mistakes that plague most of Merlin's projects but this time on a bigger than ever scale. I'm glad it was made rather than not made but it's a kind of tragic tale of a great idea struggling to make it.
  7. Wumbamillio

    2019 Season

    Ah you're right, I didnt think of it that way. Although thats more worrying if these tweets are being sent by more senior people who potentially do have some influence over the park then!
  8. Wumbamillio

    2019 Season

    It doesn't mean anything, it's just somebody being paid £8 an hour to reply to tweets who has no say over the park at all.
  9. That is exactly what I meant, sorry that my post wasn't clear. Hence why it's a good thing the public you spoke to didn't correctly guess that the train had itself moved and thought it was the room revolving around them or something. They don't know how they ended up somewhere else. A behind the scenes video making the point about how impressive this ride supposedly is and how the illusion actualy works would therefore defeat the point I think. But since the end result doesnt work anyway, I guess the park dont care that much anymore sadly.
  10. I thought the point was that people didn't 'dont know' how they ended up in a different place because the train was supposedly fixed in place. So knowing that the train does actually move is like being told the room moving around you in Hex. (Obviously if you work it out it's still fun if its a convincing illusion.) It only dawned on me that this was the point of the illusion a few hours after I went on the ride the first time, because of the confused way the ride plays out. You're rushed on to the train from an awkward side-angle where you don't see the illusion. Not a single guest gets any impression that the train is floating or chained in place. It just feels like walking on to a train platform and getting on a train. So when the train does then 'move' you just accept it. When you get off in the other scene, you just accept it. Also no surprise that it's changed to a tube train, because you were more used to the modern interior than the retro exterior you (briefly) saw earlier. Lazy set up so no payoff. Then you unceremoniously get back where you started. The addition of a Facetime video of Derren Brown saying "Btw look behind you and you'll see you're back where you started" because the experience is so badly planned guests actually need to be told where to look/how to react didn't really solve the problem. Exactly, but even the layout of the building wasn't thought about with this 'reveal' in mind so it already (literally) boxed itself in a corner. I get the impression the ride hardware was the real prototype (and the engingeering for the train crash effect I suppose), not the use of on-board computers & VR which was been done many times before and basic oversights were made. I agree having that number altogether in the way Ghost Train moves is novel, but it's not all that different to Ninjago (even the prototype Ninjago mostly worked well and didn't require anywhere near those manhours to start up). Merlin should have given so much more development to this if they cared about getting it right. They deliberately went for cheapest contractor instead of best value, gave inadequate time/money to R&D such a complex product (not necessarily Figment's fault). Then just blamed everything on their contractors as usual.
  11. Wumbamillio

    Merlin Entertainments

    Haha no offence to out of touch hipsters everywhere, but after going in to DBGT with an open mind and usually loving attractions rides like this, that is exactly how I feel and seemingly anyone Ive chatted to as well (enthusiasts and non enthusiasts). The arrogant attitude Thorpe Park still have about it, like in the recent behind the scenes video ("nowhere else in the world does anything anywhere near the scale of what we do"), is just plain silly. You don't entertain people by forcing this 'impressive soundingness' on them. They know it's their most complained about attraction by a long way, so why don't they dial it back a bit? Hopefully Merlin has learnt from their mistake..! Could have been awesome in different hands.
  12. Wumbamillio

    Merlin Entertainments

    This is very true these major problems couldn't have been foreseen by enthusiasts, but they should have been by the project managers. I study building design/production and project management, I'm not an expert but I can say these are certainly bread and butter for any project. Same for a lot of Merlin projects, these things are known about but corners are cut relentlessly. Same for Ninjago's lack of air conditioning at Legoland – cut from the budget to save money and now we have staff fainting in summer and cheapo air cons added at the park's expense. But anything to cut MMM's project budget. Or countless other scenarios at Merlin parks, that later cost them more. But the irony with DBGT is the project budget was so ludicrously high anyway, they could have rebuilt half the park with that! As well as cutting corners and not value-engineering their projects, Merlin are extremely wasteful. "Efficient with capex" they are not, unlike what Nick Varney believes they are. But probably more important than all of that is the entertainment factor. DBGT is a pretentious, unentertaining load of nonsense, designed by self-congratulatory out of touch hipsters. (haha) Despite all the problems behind the scenes, it had the beginnings of a great theme and should have at least been fun! I totally agree the core idea and the way the illusion works could have been phenomenal. But it missed every single opportunity to entertain, and squandered that amazing train system.
  13. Wumbamillio

    Merlin Entertainments

    This is very true, you have to invest to maintain attendance rather than grow (once your park reaches a certain threshold) and then grow your profits by accumulating them year on year. Unfortuantely if you have a company only interested in short term growth rather than sustaining its existing parks, you get the kind of decisions Merlin makes. They do better than any random investment company would, but still create a constant battle between themselves and its own parks, with no proper vision for the parks and anything without PR newness just abandoned. What about the fact they are great value for what they offer and are opening more entertaining family attractions than their rival Legoland? Surely the TripAdvisor reviews reflect the popularity of the park, not the other way round? You shouldnt have been ridiculed, but still nobody really could have known how poor it was at the time. Once the whole "totally unique experience, guests will spend 20 minutes through the whole experience, etc" was announced I began to have a strong feeling and question whether Merlin could pull this off. The core ride idea was something special, but it was very poorly produced and planned. Should never have gone slap in the middle of Thorpe Park of all parks. It's an icon of how dysfunctional and hypocritical Merlin are, but nobody on the outside could have really known it at the time.
  14. Wumbamillio

    The Alton Towers Dungeons - New for 2019

    Cbeebies Land is nothing on what Toyland Tours and even Charlie were for a big family attraction. If Cbeebies Land is now meant to be the new standard for family offering, we know British parks are in the toilet
  15. Wumbamillio

    The Alton Towers Dungeons - New for 2019

    The more that is revealed about this project the more soul-suckingly mediocre it becomes. If it were included in the ticket I'd gladly give it a try with an open mind, but I can't even do that. Not going to play Merlin's brainwashing game by paying extra for something I've done many times before anyway. The Dungeon "brand" has been watered down year on year until it's become just another easy to reproduce tourist trap. You could have the same kind of horror/humour experience far better for less price elsewhere. This was the last thing the park needed.