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  1. New for 2018 - Tiger Rock

    Really it's just a redecoration with an easy rebrand to sell it as something bigger than it is. The ride will probably feel exactly the same, sadly. Good that the drop zone will no longer look awful, but it should never have got into that state in the first place. It will be a huge insult to paying visitors if the tunnel is not properly sorted during this refurbishment. It has been terrible and embarassing since they removed the second half, so all the back end of various buildings are exposed, and the waterfall effect gone missing, and the dragon falling apart.
  2. General Discussion

    Hocus Pocus is chromadepth. They can easily be bought from a supplier such as this one. https://the3dmarket.com/collections/chromadepth/products/chromadepth-hd
  3. SW8

    That's ok I wasn't referencing your post "it is very easy to tell his dislike for Merlin. " Again why is dislike for Merlin an "agenda"? Why are we required to like a place we're paying to visit if we don't like the product? It's very reasonable to not visit (or at least go in with low expectations), considering the consistent poor quality and disappointments of many projects in the past, and the product Merlin tends to offer. Optimism is fine, but saying others have an agenda is jumping the gun. The problem with Merlin is that there is very little alternative for big theme parks and themed rides in the UK, so you can't just choose to visit somewhere else like you would with any other product. That's more reason to be vocal. Yeah there may be some people with a closed-minded agenda, unfortunately, if they're constantly criticising with no justification behind what they say. But I mean more in general .
  4. SW8

    I doubt anyone has an actual agenda against Merlin, most fans all visit their parks. As paying guests we need to vocalise what we feel is poor or standards dropping (as long as we can reason it), as well as what we enjoy. If we don't like how the parks are heading, visit less/ stop visiting, then as a business they will have to listen. If you think there's nothing wrong with the Merlin parks, then keep visiting, but don't accuse others of having an agenda (unless they're just criticising unreasonably). Merlin is one of the biggest leisure companies in the world, it doesn't need sympathy!
  5. SW8

    You seem to have far more of an agenda than anyone else? At least this 'Merlin project' is panning out very different from most others, which I'd expect to be a good thing - time will tell I guess. But you can't blame people for being concerned by the underwhelming prospects so far. Going in with low expectations but an open mind is better than going in with high expectations, only to be treated to Merlin's cheap formulaic usual. I'm not expecting much from the Wickerman after years of disappointments that have all ended up the same way. But I will love to be pleasantly surprised when it opens, if I am enticed enough to visit. It will be something different for the UK, and that can only be good.
  6. General Discussion

    This says it all! Yeah Chessington in the 90s was a big hit with the public, with fans, with everyone. It was the park's best era in many ways and the current management /Merlin could learn a lot from it if they dropped their corporate preconception. Bear in mind Merlin's resort theme parks overall make a loss (even with the addition of hotels), while Tussauds' parks were very successful, that even on the hard-nosed business side the 90s were the best period for it. Chessington ought to be less proud of their falling apart, bland Zufari and cheapo repaints of old rides and learn a thing about the success of their past. Still we're not in the nadir, that was 2006-7, but it's tacky and extremely poor value for money now, in my opinion. Literally a joke that they have run out of glasses stock.
  7. The Gruffalo River Ride Adventure

    It's not necessarily better or worse than BubbleWorks, they were two very different rides. (Talking about the real BubbleWorks here when it was actually entertaining, not the Imperial Leather advert nothing-actually-does-anything-anymore version) Gruffalo is aimed more at just the younger children, BubbleWorks had a wider range of appeal to families. The Gruffalo is more of a relaxed fairy grotto rather than the wildness & surprises of the original BW. It's a shame it doesn't really entertain with energy anymore, but that disappeared from the ride a long time back. Gruffalo's pretty generic but it isn't bad, the team appeared to do their very best given Merlin's usual inadequate theming/effects budgets and rushed time scales. It's average but it definitely isn't bad
  8. SW8

    The Vampire (in its better days when it was ACTUALLY properly creepy) was my favourite ride when I was 9... It depends how the horror style is done. I Also think lots of enthusiasts are getting wound up over nothing with whether SW8 "fits in" with Mutiny Bay. I certainly agree a theme park shouldn't be jarring changes between rides with themes that don't go together. But The Flume site was always set back from the rest the area, and since when was Mutiny Bay a particularly interesting theme anyway ? Would a "pirate" themed wooden coaster really be very good? Pirates is literally the most generic theme in the box! What will make SW8 good is if it is designed well with fun features and atmosphere, not thinly spread token theming with a humourless grey theme like The Swarm or Saw
  9. The Swarm

    Is that a clue? AR on the Swarm would actually be a good idea, of all the coasters lacking something and without much of a strong identity, this is a good one for a proper 'upgrade' I think.
  10. TPM Awards 2016 - The Results

    I just saw I got some awards and hadnt checked this properly,... sorry I'm not ungrateful! Thanks for the appreciation, I promise to be less moany in response!!
  11. Vampire

    It was awesome when Chessington built sizeable rides that were surprising, inventive, bold, that bit different for families. It was always fairly simple but had a great fun edge and quality, not cheap imitations and very commercial/sentimental. The park has really been thrown to amateaurs and has no real direction now. Well it's been that way for 15 years. Sad that Vampire is now so cheap feeling and DIY, it's really a big tombstone for the early ambitious days of the park.
  12. SW8

    It's because the ride will be disappointing for thrill seekers, because the plans for a wooden coaster were so compromised, so it's more a family thrills coaster. So for once they're playing it safer with the promotional stuff before the ride actually opens.
  13. SW8

    Not related to the coaster, but.... The Secret Weapon thing is quite silly now, a label which never meant anything until Thirteen came along, when Merlin realised it could call every coaster a "secret weapon" as if part of a franchise of rollercoasters, no matter what the coasters actually were. The Smiler was called a SW before the final coaster type or location was even decided on. SW1 and SW2 never got beyond drawings stages either, were never put to the Tussauds board, so their forced inclusion to suit the non existent "Programme" is silly. It was a bit of fun for the last few years, now it's been turned into another misleading promotional thing to keep geeks in check, just like "Towers Loving Care".
  14. Vampire

    I think to add in some extra line about the new gates or a new rule theyve introduced. Instead of the hissy internet download they're playing now, the station music used to have the organ part (solo) playing from the actual organ, in sync with the rest the music (the original mix) coming in for the chorus through the rest the station. All that setup is gone now. Today the downloaded station music is now played all through the queue from cheap speakers too, so you are long since bored of it before you even reach the station anyway! When guests are paying this much, this completely amateaur approach to themed audio takes a very jaded & clueless attitude, same with what happened to Tomb Blaster in 2016. It's criminal how pathetic Vampire is now when it used to be brilliant. Terribly lit, stripped back scenery, wobbly organist and the once cool music now feels token and lame. But they will never spend the money to professionally restore the ride, even thought 80% of it is there and Merlin can easily afford it. So it'll carry on feeling DIY, homemade props in the queue here and flashing LEDs on demo mode there.
  15. Park Music

    I've always felt it was really underwhelming, a flat square pavement with 'bits n bobs' parked on it. A very blocky, bland 'church' which is a less atmospheric station than Colossus or nemesis Inferno - and they were pretty simple steel-box jobs to begin with. The ambulance upended is cool because it's not just a token vehicle parked behind a fence, and the joke telephone box I suppose. The plane is featureless and looks like it's been carefully lowered into place, on a little mound of earth they scraped from the trench they dug for the track. The billboard pretty much sums it up. There's nothing iconic about the place and only looks 'devastated' in the most boring interpretation of what could've been. It's all very 'average', so I guess it is the perfect theme for the coaster! It has the kind of formulaic theming that would probably please UK enthusiasts these days, but not grab the imagination of anybody else - and unlike others it doesn't have a good enough coaster at its core to make up for it this time.