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Wumbamillio

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Everything posted by Wumbamillio

  1. By jamming a (pretty overblown) theme down your throat and trying very hard to be dramatic as you walk down a concrete path to nowhere. Honestly the old music had more character at the end of the day. The amount of times a new park marketing director (or whoever) comes in and says, 'you know what will turn around this park? New font, new catchphrase and new music!' It's just papering over massive cracks at the moment.
  2. If it wasn't durable to last then should have been replaced, but I doubt they got granted the money to do that. The Swarm, now that your PR value has gone, welcome to the list of rides Merlin no longer consider worth maintaining!
  3. A bit like Gruffalo compared to Prof Burp's, these dark rides are decent but their appeal narrowed down to 'little kids' rather than something that can be enjoyed by a range of kids.
  4. I think as far as guests are concerned its just an attraction at Alton Towers that you have to pay extra for. It's like Merlin are franchising their own 'brands' within their own theme parks, like calling the park's aquarium 'Sea Life'. Merlin are all about brands. Now they're using brands to make people pay extra and as an excuse to not come up with new attractions. I think that's the worst aspect of it, even if the finished result had been really good, it's just another step in the death of new ideas and taking creative 'risks'. I thought Wicker Man would prove otherwise, but all they did was copy that theme for Heide Park and turn it into another 'formula'! I heard there might be a backdoor arrangement that Merlin's midway division part-funds the Towers Dungeon to exclude from the park's operational cost. So yes, but how budgets are divided internal to Merlin doesnt really matter outside the company.
  5. Merlin have enough money to build as is, the profit from Dungeon will be going straight into the bank. It's probably ticketed to cover costs of the actors. They managed to build big projects for 20 years without replacing free major attractions with ticketed ones. If the lighting and sets did their job right, you'd be naturally misdirected and wouldnt notice what you're not supposed to anyway. Guests shouldnt' have to actively focus on only where the lighting 'wants' you to, it's a subliminal thing. Not unless you purposefully turn around and look where you wouldnt think to, which I don't think is what the poster was doing. If the sets are done in such a way that you notice these things, then something's up. It won't be a major complaint from guests obviously but it all adds to the overall experience
  6. Wow, either they're exaggerating or Dungeon makes Charlie seem like a dream To be fair to Charlie, the first scene was great and had some nice style, it was everything afterwards (most the whole ride) that was like an empty building! I've tried to avoid anything but have heard noises such as "Ehhhh", "Ummmm" and "Well" in various degress of averageness . Apparently it's better than it could have been given the copy-past concept, at least that's something
  7. Errrrrrr Why was this done? Steel columns usually stay covered in most buildings, if they needed to inspect them and remove the cladding couldnt they have put it back? Looks awful!
  8. Ahhh, I don't know, I say leave em up, it's a little surviving clue to the past! They've removed the signage
  9. Wumbamillio

    Legoland

    Well fair enough! Personally I disagree, even without me caring about Laser Raiders (or much about Lego), I thought the change there was super refreshing and much more in the style of Lego. If I could find a photo of what it looked like in recent years I would, most the paint had peeled right off and it looked god awful! It was one of the worst parts the park. I'm not trying to put words in your mouth if you genuinly dont mean that. But even right there, in the same sentence you just accepted it by saying you only notice if you look for it. What I mean is, it may not be 'as bad' as the impression some get online, but it's still unacceptably poor and I don't think Merlin care whether trees will help cover it or not! It's not an enormous change but it shows at least they recognise the park needed work. It's only paint and signs so far, but hopefully it's the beginning of more. Simple things like painting the ugly concrete walls of the rapids really help too. I think kids and the many regular visitors will be much more impressionable over things like this, even if they didn't know what it looked like before.
  10. Wumbamillio

    Legoland

    It was really lacking colour, life, much had peeling paint (especially Laser Raiders) and many models were looking very tired. Lots of vinyl signage has been replaced by 3D (or at least more interesting) signage. It's not a drastic change, but it's a lot more extensive than you make out to be fair. It's little things that aren't meant to be noticed individually but all add to an overall improvement. If it continues like this the park will be MUCH improved. Out of interest have you visited any of the other Legoland parks? (the pre Merlin ones, but even some of those are better) Windsor used to be much like those others, the difference since then is kind of shocking and sad. Those trees behind the harbour havnt grown much in the last 20 years, I'm wondering how much more theyd have to grow to hide that huge horrid shed. It's pretty much the worse shed I've ever seen in a UK park. It's not a crime against humanity but the more this kind of thing is widely accepted as 'not that bad' the more in the gutter UK parks will become.
  11. Wumbamillio

    Thorpe Farm

    Only if this is the theme music
  12. Wumbamillio

    Slammer

    Kind of a crazy piece of engineering that it was pneumatic, amazing but didn't work long term. Pretty cool that we got two quite prototypey flat rides at the park in one year, which you really don't see most anywhere else. Rush was always the much better sensation and location though.
  13. And there you have Merlin's entire business model! At least you've changed from "Merlin never claim theyre better on quality", to admitting they actually do and it is nonsense. I get your point, it's obviously not true so people shouldnt believe it to be — but why does that mean we should defend the use of the phrase? If we all know it's marketing drivel, why defend it? Forgetting the bluster of social media, there is a valid point being made against them over stuff like this. Merlin's obsession with brands and how they only invest according to brand at the cost of most anything else (especially evident in this attraction) shows they put a lot more behind such decisions than just 'silly marketing speak'. They knew the 'second to Disney' slogan would stick when they planted it. Often their sloganeering and advertising becomes more than company spin, and becomes manipulative nonsense. Look at the lies in all their adverts. I'd rather have a theme park industry with less media brainwashing of the public and more fun to be honest. This is the Towers Dungeon thread, we're discussing Merlin rolling its midway brands rolling into Alton Towers so I think it's relevant. My comment there was about VFM than prices alone. Hyde Park is overpriced too like you say, but it's much greater VFM because it's more entertaining, diverse, surprising and creative than most Merlin parks today. Similar ticket prices get you into places like Europa Park too, where there are far more attractions and far more quality.
  14. Is written on a website not public domain? Having pride in your company is different to making up ridiculous hyperbole (when you already monopolise the market and actually get people to believe this stuff). You've started out saying it's not a valid argument because Merlin have "never stated it refers to quality", then when pointed to a direct quote saying not just Disney but beating everyone in the world on quality, you then change to say its just hyperbole to be ignored (as well as direct quote from Varney to investors, a video that shouldnt contain "meaningless words"). So if your argument boils down to 'well obviously it's not true' (fair enough), then how come you have a problem with people pointing out it's not true? People are only throwing Merlin's own ridiculous words back at them, I don't see how that's exaggeration on their part. Yeah exactly, it's very indicative of Merlin's deluded mindset and that's obviously what people mean in general when they mock the phrase. It may be an easy shot to mock "second to Disney", but think it's just hilarious how Merlin don't even try to hide their arrogance anymore.
  15. But do you see the contradiction here? I think you just accept it and don't see anything wrong with it, whereas others do. It is a valid point people make, I say people shouldnt just accept spin and hyperbole from a company screwing guests over with poor value. They should ask for better than what Merlin thinks it can get away with at high prices forever. If anything people use the second to Disney claim to poke fun at the flaws in Merlin's entire operation, not just criticising one statement they make. If Merlin stopped trying to convince people they were the best at themed accomodation, produced the best quality/most innovative attraction projects "in the world" and trying to brainwash its staff, then there'd still be all the other problems. It's just that their attitude is nicely summed up by the "second to Disney" contradiction. They will make even more noise about it once they "catch"/"stomp"/"crush the mouse" or whatever nasty variant of that phrase they're on to now.
  16. Oh trust me, nobody believes it. Come on, even if you have sympathies with Merlin, we're scraping the barrel of excuses for their arrogance now! They covet and dismiss Disney all the time internally. It's never taken out of context and it's not nitpicking at all. In my view it's just people waking up to Merlin's real ways. If it's just silly hyperbole, why is it stated sincerely to every staff member, written on websites and spoken in serious videos about the company? Thank goodness they don't advertise it to the public openly, unlike ALL their other questionable '___ in the world' public claims about their rides.
  17. Yes they do. "No other company on the planet delivers projects of such quality, with such value, within the timescales achieved." MMM website http://magic.lmcpreview.co.uk/ (click Read More) MMM of course is the organisation that produces and markets all of Merlin's attraction developments, including the Alton Towers Dungeons. Also, it has regularly been used in staff inductions, promotions, etc to make out they are "second to Disney" in any sense. I rarely see it specified as being only about attendance anymore. Yes, attendance is how they originally based that claim, but they have been using it disingenuously since. Along with many other ridiculous statements they make (eg that Spring update video), Merlin seemingly DO believe they make some of the best attractions in the world. So please don't be tired of the point being raised, Merlin themselves raise it allll the time so you can expect a valid counterargument! But do you think this is going to turn out anywhere near as good as Wicker Man? When it opened, I think quite rightly Wicker Man was a big hit with the public and enthusiasts alike. Yes there was a lot of cynicism beforehand from some, but mostly about the layout. Fair enough, because it's very short compared with the many other wooden coasters that were cancelled at Alton Towers. Other than that, the rest was just speculation and people being (understandably) disillusioned with Merlin after other recent developments that were nothing like Wicker Man. Maybe not "easy money", but they do it for the reason of spreading their own brands and guaranteeing marketing success by using a pre-existing concept (and therefore guaranteeing profits, according to them). But as usual, they are even internally dysfunctional, and you're right it will cost them more in the long term. They keep proving they don't care about the long term of their parks.
  18. Because it looks (equally predictably) rubbish. No need to defend trash, it's not like Merlin actually care about this other than making easy money. They know they can pay for nothing, do a half arsed job and people will still go along with it. Most the criticism of it I've seen online has been done with humour of disbelief anyway. You don't have to like everything by default for fear of being seen as "negative". True there's always some who will complain regardless, but just look at this. Seeing how people will defend the rubbish being fed them by Merlin (they're capable of better, look at Wicker Man), more because they have something against people's opinions than because they actually like the attraction being made, is sadder in my opinion. If they made anything entertaining and original, I'd be all over it in positivity!
  19. Rides are relatively expensive to run but compare DBGT to any other ride on park, for staffing maintenance, parts, etc. They gave themselves an enormous slippery slope there. Merlin/Thorpe are definitely not thinking about operational costs when they make these decisions, so I don't think that's any reason why old rides are closed. More usually rides means more theoretical capacity for your park, so you can grow your park and get more people through the door, so more money! That's the usual model anyway. Thorpe have plenty of other space to expand so there's not much case for removing old rides. That certainly wasn't the reason Loggers Leap was closed. So yes you can keep adding new rides to a reasonable extent. As long as you're not adding DBGT, and that you're maintaining your old rides well enough to avoid a big gridlock situation where it now costs a big lump sum just to keep an old ride open. Slammer was a bit different though, it always was unreasonable even with maintenance.
  20. I get that appeal, but really does Storm Surge have that? When I think of my rides on it, I remember tarmac, gravel, dirty primary colours, sitting in a puddle... Oh god I'm getting flashbacks
  21. The trick is that you've queued for hours to go on it in the vain hope it has been "continually invested for years to come" when it hasnt
  22. It would be behind the bins, access road and maintenance areas, not a great site. It would be mostly hidden from view (well, maybe thats a good thing but not for ridership!) and that old Miss Hippo space could be put to much better use. Octopus Gardens needed redevelopment. Or if it went the other angle as on the plan, it would ruin views of Inferno which is actually one of the better parts the park.
  23. Wumbamillio

    Legoland

    The park is looking a LOT better this year, it's a genuinly great move. If only more Merlin parks could get this as a minimum.
  24. You've misinterpreted my post a bit, this is always the nature of planning in its earliest stages, it's not rushed or low effort if its just a desktop study. I was just pointing out that a picture on a map doesn't necessarily mean that much in planning terms. At most they would have visited Monks walk to check the measurement of the site. It was probably only included to show that Octopus Garden was the best out of some very poor locations. It would be an obvious (I hope) nonstarter having Storm Surge placed by Monks Walk. Although I'm hopefully not as negative as you make out, yes, I think that many things Thorpe Park have done in recent years have been rushed and amateurish. I do try to only post about things I've had some perspective on (ie not talking out of my bum!) but am always open to hearing from others if they have a different point of view. I'm always open to them changing their ways but I've watched Thorpe Park go from one of the best to the dumbest parks in the UK that's for sure. Would love for it to be more professionally run, but I doubt that will happen through Merlin. Storm Surge remains a beacon of total naffness for the park and I will never forget the hilarious day it opened.
  25. From a planning perspective, I think those locations were just literally all the locations the ride could physically fit, decided by someone from their desktop and maybe a few measurements on site. Probably to make the case for the only viable location being Octopus Garden, the best of 3 very bad locations. Like you say I dont think any more was really considered. The PR stunt was totally a PR stunt, probably after somebody told the PR person what Monks Walk was and they threw out a story in 5 mins that went all over the world for some reason.
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