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  1. Wumbamillio


    There are plenty better locations than this for the attraction. Year on year Legoland loses its lush setting and any respite between the loud/crowded areas by building over every single landscaped patch possible. There will soon be no transition, just big attractions squashed in next to each other. That area by the driving school is already extremely crowded. The train also runs right behind the warehouse. Very typically cheap of Merlin to just leave the rear end exposed too – Legoland didn't do that with the Dragon castle 20 years ago and that was when the park was much smaller.
  2. Wumbamillio

    2018 General Discussion

    "I hate nitpickers" lol
  3. Wumbamillio

    Tomb Blaster

    Who's to say this wasn't their plan all along with Tomb and Bubbleworks? It's either that or sheer idiocy on the part of who looks after the attractions. Either way, Chessington and by extension Merlin's budget strategy don't care for quality or for entertaining the many thousands of paying guests who go through these attractions every day. An absolutely insulting and ridiculous situation. The ride is a joke and an embarassment on what it used to be! Oh yes I'm sure they have tried to remove its queueline. The only alternative is a cattlepen shoved in the available space on the ground. Trust only Merlin, "second largest entertainments company globally", to not be able to 'do' first storey queuelines or look after them properly.
  4. Wumbamillio

    Wicker Man - New for 2018

    I don't think this is the whole picture at all, I think it's just an ideology that inexperienced or unimaginative marketing people abide by, because it's the one tried and tested method when it comes to theme parks. The Smiler sidelined it's "world first" tagline and had one of the biggest public responses of many Merlin dark rides. I think the reason it's done so much today is just because it's Merlin's policy, it's believed to be some kind of guarantee for a wide response and has flopped many times. This kind of inescapable marketing strategy also encourages the public to simply expect a world's first tagline, the same way they've come to expect coasters simply to have loads of loops and nothing more (see the poor online response to Icon's layout - despite it being one of the best UK coaster layouts!). Marketing ought support and advise a project's development, rather than lead it blindly. Otherwise all we'd see built in the UK are more repetitive looping coasters, which is actually not what the public would enjoy the most when it actually came to riding.
  5. Wumbamillio

    Wicker Man - New for 2018

    Merlin definitely understand how stupid people can be
  6. Wumbamillio


    I think that was probably just an off hand comment Duel doesnt need a squeezed in backstory, just needs to be good and fun and I hope that's the approach they're taking!
  7. Wumbamillio


    The ride really NEEDS appropriate music to be at its best, the Duel theme is good and I like it, but it doesnt suit the ride one bit. I question whether anybody actually knows it well from the ride or more likely from listening to it online. Whether the music will be worthwhile though remains to be seen - they're going with their 'in house composer' so its risky (read: low budget!) but I think I've heard this guy's work is very good and he does most the scare mazes now. The lighting however... you can't tell completely from a work in progress, but the UV LED is bound to end up looking like Tomb Blaster's terrible redo. It's not true blacklight, and most the UV artwork in those scenes have long since gone anyway??
  8. Wumbamillio

    Wicker Man - New for 2018

    But if I read the situation correctly, theyve actually budgeted for a restaurant and then cut it, so only if they've gone far over budget on the coaster would this make sense. Hopefully it wasn't just another budgeting trick to have a side project granted budget from Merlin's financiers that Alton Towers can then 'conveniently' cancel and use the money elsewhere?
  9. Wumbamillio

    Madame Tussauds London

    From when I last experienced it about 10 years ago, sounds like it's gone waaaaayyyy downhill and become 'just another midway', but still decent. Shame Spirit of London was noticeably broken - it's an amazing ride, one of the last intact fantastic things from that ambitious Tussaudsy era!
  10. Wumbamillio

    Doctor Who

    From what I can remember, I agree with your list! Although I thought Heaven Sent from series 9 was a great episode that took me by surprise. The premise of series 10 was also really promising (love me retro Cybermen and John Simm's Master returning WITH BEARD) but the dodgy writing and completely rushed stories just made it feel bland again for me. Something Ive seen in a lot of entertainment now, it wants more to impress you by how 'clever' it is, plot twisting back and forth until you can't trust anything that's happening on screen, rather than taking the time to weave a good story. And we're told constantly that this dude The Doctor/Sherlock/Jack Sparrow/whoever is so brilliant and that the situation is so perilous, without the characters' actions on screen actually justifying this at all, most the time people are just standing around talking backstories and explaining the plot.
  11. Wumbamillio

    Doctor Who

    I really liked the 'down to earth' writing of the Russel T Davies period, but by End of Time it had lost touch. The End of Time was one of the cringiest things I'd ever witnessed with my family on TV (when I was still young and really into Doctor Who). That being said, I really liked Matt Smith's first series, it felt like it became much more creative for a bit. But I felt it quickly lost any storytelling heart and became a horribly formulaic show designed as fanservice to the growing Cult of Doctor Who. With repetitive catchphrase tropes for the Doctor and the same kind of "BE IMPRESSED" writing/direction that plagued Sherlock. Now that the Doctor is a woman, I hope they take it in a fresh direction and not use it as some kind of underlying feminist political agenda. Capaldi is my favourite actor to have played the part, but like much of the way his character was written, his send off was rushed and a wasted opportunity. Such a shame. I'm too old for the show now, but whenever I catch a glimpse (of what used to be my favourite show) I'm surprised at how esoteric and way up its own bum Doctor Who has become. It's like it's designed to satisfy a horrible warring fandom of nerds, full of in-references, catchphrases, overblown production and 'fan fiction' esque storylines...
  12. Wumbamillio

    Park Music

    Posters above arent wrong about IMAscore's composing style either, they tend to use preset MIDI beds and sequences with cliched tunes added over the top, and go for an impressively glossy (for theme parks) but still very cliched sound (which is technically very easy to do these days with the right software). They're a brand first and composers second, they have the resources to do big orchestras and high production but not the uniqueness. If they do have the talent, they certainly prefer to sell the same quick, big sound over and over to UK parks. It's clearly what Merlin parks want and it's part of a bigger focus of brands over product quality. I loved The Smiler score when I first heard it, it was so fresh and captured the awesome edge of that ride's theme, but then when I stood in the concrete queue for hours and heard that tacky "Ha ha ha" circus chorus, it really hammered it too far on the nose. The public often look visibly bored with it by the hour mark. Since then they've repeated the formula more and more. Digital music is now SO easy to do with the right set of tech, that things were always going to end up marketing & brand led, unfortunately. There are many freelance composers who could produce the same or a better sound than IMAscore, but IMAscore have found a niche to inhabit in the theme park industry and obviously have very persuasive sales reps. There was a lot more atmosphere and charm in the older composers, but it was more effective while on park, whereas parks today seem to want the music more for promo videos, etc. We'll never get a Hex again, or even a classic fun sound like Prof Burp's. Colossus' theme still used a preset drum loop, but it was dynamic track, a unique feel for the ride and great melody. The redo of Colossus sounds glossier produced but the only good parts are those lifted from the original melody.
  13. Wumbamillio

    Park Music

    That's not how theme park music is commisioned or contracted, it's usually always bought outright by the parks, so IMAscore likely own no (or little) aspect of the music. Unless this is a new deal where they've retained the sales rights to the music and its simply on contract to Merlin. Either way, Merlin will have come to an arrangement for them to be allowed to sell it, and will be receiving significant royalties from the sales of these CDs, because it's their intellectual property. That's just not true, the public respond very well to themed audio, they just don't get hooked on it and want to listen to it at home. If you watched a movie with no musical score or a poor score, it would obviously feel flat and have no atmosphere. But you wouldnt necessarily want to go home and immediately buy the movie soundtrack, you don't have to be a film enthusiast to enjoy the effect. This "only enthusiasts care" attitude much of the industry has today is a complete misunderstanding. Ride soundtracks were always a big deal in the past, but the standard dropped in the mid 2000s in the UK, just because parks weren't commisioning much for a while.
  14. Wumbamillio

    Park Music

    There's nothing wrong with hardcore fans enjoying the music at home if they like it that much, but selling soundtracks for merchandising can often lead to the kind of OTT music being produced to sound good on headphones and not so much as part of an experience. I think we've already started to see this creep into UK parks, eg DBGT where the music already sounds like just some trailer music played through a queueline tannoy as if "Insert dramatic music here" was written on the plans. Like I say nothing wrong with selling it if hardcore fans want it. It's often done in other parks. But it NEEDs consideration and restraint. I worry that if Merlin see £££s then thats it, all park soundtrakcs can be streamed or sold online and then people will be hearing it more on YouTube than they do in person at the park! Which totally takes away the unique effect of the experience. Their recently left head of show services seemed to have the right motivation that its the sound systems and effect of the music on park that matters the most. So I hope that doesn't get neglected in favour of selling it as a commodity.
  15. Wumbamillio

    Wicker Man - New for 2018

    Its all to do with their very corporate interpretation of market data. Most fans Ive seen online & on social media are actually demanding more energised and creative themes, and less dark themes if anything! Same with Thorpe Park. They know the public respond well to intimidation when it comes to big coasters, which is true. But you can do a bold or edgy theme without it needing to be bland and grey. This is what they don't seem to get. Even within the world of Merlin, The Smiler already proved this - they went through many of the same 'abandoned warehouse', 'dark', edgy themes before suddenly at the last moment it was changed into an energised, exciting and still intimidating concept. The public LOVED it! This Wickerman theme seems like they looked at the woodland setting (it was originally going to be in the valley forest), watched the Wickerman movie and then thought 'that fits'. You can even do a dark & spooky forest theme much more creative and original than this, and I'm sure the designers are capable of it, but the company choses not to as usual. To be honest, I don't think the vast majority of their market research says the public want richly themed rides at all. That's something the public like when they see it, if its done well, but they tend not to actually ask for it. That's at least something Merlin intepret right, otherwise we'd just get more Ritas. But again the public responded hugely to the 'out there' (for Merlin) Smiler theme, and that wasn't dark in the same tired formulaic way. They pretend to be the most creative company on earth, but in the world of theme parks they're just cheap and bland.