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Everything posted by Wumbamillio

  1. Are you being sarcastic? I have to ask haha. Like I say I think there are loads of more fun and better coasters out there, but it definitely seems to be an unpopular opinion.
  2. Sure, although I brought up the whole attraction and area when I said it was dull, so if "incredibly themed" you mean ignoring everything other than constant Disney style decoration around the track then no. But now that would be picking things apart and anaylsing. As a decent themed coaster where it actaully adds something to the experience, there are far better even in the same park. Nemesis —The quarry setting is incredible and is what creates half the fun, all of which had to be created for the ride as we all know. You get right down into it, explore over and under the ride before youre even at the station. The waterfalls and the ride over pools, the music, it all comes together for a really exciting ride. Hey it even has some junkyard theming but actually adds some style, not just token vehicles parked on flat ground. Nemesis' landscaping beats The Swarm's car park-coaster style by miles. Eve just looking at it, the ride is an impressive picture. Nemesis Inferno—Simple but good, you queue around some jungle planting then up into a volcano. It sets you up well for the ride. Starting the station at high level then immediately into the tunnel is a great kick off to the ride, really pacey. The interaction with the surrounding paths is great. Very different to The Swarm's pretty piecemeal, empty plaza. Colossus—Well, it used to be much better when it was half over the water, and the station is very cheap. But the bridges over the ride mix things up and hide how formulaic the layout actually is, adds some fun interaction. The planting, music and waterfront queue was originally very good. Felt much more substantial than the Swarm ever did. Black Mamba—A real labyrinth of the coaster through the landscape, buildings, paths. The queue deeper into the village and into the cave is a brilliant set up, keeping a lot of the ride quite secret. Incredibly detailed too. Brilliant moment starting and finishing in complete darkness, very memorable. Taron—Whoever says the theme is dull must be one incredbly jaded enthusist! If we're talking about The Swarm being "good enough for the public" then are we really suggesting the same public would shrug their shoulders walking around Taron? Wicker Man—Miles better, has a lot more character than Swarm, the area is a lot more interactive, the coaster is quite thrilling and fast. Ironically many enthusiasts who love The Swarm scorn Wicker Man for being a pretty average GCI (fair enough, but its still lots of fun) despite the public clearly loving Wicker Man and the theme. Raptor Attack—Yes its a dead simple coaster but I actaully think its more fun and the trail down to the ride is a whole lot more creative than The Swarm's pavement. Baron—Probably the only one on this list where the coaster alone is same as Swarm for me, but the brilliant theme is what makes the difference. Cool preshow, simple and good, great station setting, adds a lot to the ride.
  3. Total mediocrity wins out again then, because a few sparse objects, shipping containers and broken TVs scrape by as 'good enough'. No wonder we are so far behind many other parks in Europe and people are steadily not bothering to go back to Thorpe Park for the cost. If you enjoy it then good but it's not as amazingly themed or a special ride as fans often make out.
  4. Usually Id agree completely, fans do tend to look into things far too much while theyre not at the park and then start unpicking what makes it fun. Some of my favourite rides are far from 'perfect' or dont 'make sense' and sometimes that makes them even better! But what I mean about the Swarm is, theres no hook there in the first place. Other than the first element, which is also more forgettable than it looks. The whole area is lifeless and boring. The gist of it is... what? It's some fences, some TVs with a cringey video on, a white blob station, what is it? Even the name 'The Swarm' is vague and bland. It has a cool upturned ambulance and that's by far the best feature in the area, you can see this the way the public interact with it too. It has no identity or anything else memorable. This was all my gut reaction, even after giving it a go with an open mind and gone back on it a couple times. So Ive not really thought any deeper about The Swarm because I dont care about it, I really dont get the appeal.
  5. Icon was unfortunately very disappointing, it feels like it would be great if it was just faster! Blue Fire I think is also a little overrated. Taron on the other hand is lightning, absolutely incredible all the way through for me, perhaps one of my favourite coasters ever. Although that one isnt really an unpopular opinion!
  6. My big unpopular opinion seems to be that I think the Swarm is rubbish. I'm really surprised that it's so admired. You dont hear fans say it's just a decent coaster, people often say its one of their favourites! Fair enough, but I'm really baffled. The layout is boring, slow, short and the drawn out turns have a really uncomfortable, sustained G force that just gives you a headache. It looks bland and dull, a grey loop stuck out the back of the dome on some dirt. It could have been so much more. People say it's amazingly themed, but it's just some old trucks parked about the pavement, fences and a hideous station building that looks really weird. Doesnt conjure any atmosphere at all, just a featureless white blob of a building. The theme is so patchy that I get nothing from it. The Swarm is a terrible name but it doesnt seem to fit what was made anyway. A swarm of attacking creatures? More like a solitary fighter jet doing stunts in the air, that looks like... a metal alien? I'm sure there was some tacky 'backstory' for the cobbled together features we ended up with, but nothing that actually translated to the ride experience. The queueline video is all kinds of awful and it would improve the queuing experience massively if they just turned the screens off! lol I remember being very excited to go on the Swarm when it opened, I was really looking forward to it until the moment it finished and I realised that was all it was. There are hundreds of more thrilling, spectacular or just fun coasters out there. But I'm definitely in the minority!
  7. This is the part that confirmed this thread must be a joke Lol, there was a Bubbleworks campaign in 2016? That would have been about 10 years too late to save Bubble works...
  8. Both rides were in severe need of maintenance (or by now total replacement). They both shut at the same time when they could be pushed no more. They're like old cars that havnt been looked after as well as they should have if they wanted to keep them running this long. Bucaneer will only be 'returning' if they buy a new pirate ship. That really isn't Merlin's style unfortuantely, but who knows, maybe they will! I appreciate that the plans for this drop tower look way better than a slap dash replacement. It could be a great replacement for Rameses now that it really has reached the end of its life. Or will it turn out like Tiger Rock, Scorpion Express and Room on The Broom... a good idea but done way too cheaply?
  9. They are free to trial things, and we are providing the feedback. There's only a problem with trialling things if they dont listen to feedback. Plus this idea sounds like its such a bad fit that they may as well trial painting Nemesis pink, putting VR on The Blade, getting Durex to sponsor Oblivion, etc It was fine in the past because it was maintained properly in the past. If you remove or don't maintain the lighting that was designed to guide people on cue then they're not going to realise an entrance has opened up, and they don't understand that they're supposed to move forward. If there is a group that still refuses to budge, use a pre-recorded announcement to tell them to move forward. It's really basic operational show stuff, there's not been some kind of cultural shift that means people no longer move through dark rides. It's the same story with all of Merlin's dark rides, bad maintenance. Hex on the whole has seen better days, and people no longer respond to it as well as they used to. It needs a proper refurbishment to get it back to its original standard. The lighting was bodged a fair bit in the TLC redo (people woudlnt have noticed specific changes, but you probably noticed it isn't as dramatic anymore, with lights going up and down at random.. meh). The cinema video needs a technical update too, find an inventive solution to keep the video but make the room more interesting ie Wickerman's preshow. Easy! But it won't happen sadly.
  10. Oh yes, I forgot, but that was just a temporary unadvertised staff idea for Scarefest (basically enthusiastic staff dressing up) one year. A bit of fun for Halloween I suppose, but not a big change really. Duel Live was better, was advertised and had the different music, guns turned off, etc. The actors were alright, didn't add a huge amount, just banged things really. But it was turning the guns off and putting music in that made it feel so much better!
  11. Sounds absolutely horrendous and worse than I heard before. This kind of thing often happens whenever new rides managers come in and think they're being creative geniuses and following the footsteps of Walt Disney by adding in rubbish like this where it doesnt need to be. If it started because of people not following into the vault quick enough then that never used to be a problem in the past. If I remember the spotlight on the vault curtain stopped working and then presumably removed during the Hex TLC thing. Hex has never had actors before, there were some rumours that it used to when it opened but this was people mis remembering. Only operational staff dressed in restoration gear.
  12. Hex is a great attraction, I love it. It's a brilliant exhibition of the ruins, it gets it just right and leaves a great impression. But it's really very basic, some props in the Towers ruins with a tried-and-tested ride type as a finale. I'm not wanting to downplay Hex, it's perfect, but I find it a bit overblown whenever fans say it's one of the best themed attractions in the continent. Definitely the best themed madhouse. I think its atmosphere is the best thing about it (because of the Towers). But there are way more detailed, creative, well crafted, entertaining (whichever way you want to cut it) dark rides out there on their own merits. Not necessarily bigger or more flash. I think enthusiasts put it on such a high pedestal because most great dark rides in Europe are for families. Hex has a more serious tone because of its incredible real life setting and enthusiasts like this. I first did Hex when I was young and I thought it was great, it was much better when it was newer too (some of the subtleties lost in recent years). But that's mostly owed to the incredible Towers I feel. It's a shame to overlook the incredible craft and creativity that's gone into better dark rides out there at parks like Efteling for example. By the way, dont let me rain on your parade @ChessingtonSam , since you've just done it first time. It really is great. I'm more talking about the pedestal it gets put on by many enthusiasts in the UK.
  13. Wot. The doors on the other side are meant to be shut. That's very funny, how could you not realise you were meant to sit down haha
  14. They already have automated fire doors between scenes (or at least Hocus Pocus did and it would be part of regulations for this to as well) so it would actually be pretty simple to have gates or something along those lines. The reason is probably cost. I think it would be awkward but would at least make the format work, ideally they should have ditched the stop and watch format altogether and just have a jolly good walkaround
  15. This is interesting, I know its creative designer Andy mentioned in a video that it was always intended to be automatic with timed scenes, but that they were running it manually for a run-in period to "get the timings right". But when I did it in Spring, it seemed like the staff member was vital because how else would people know how long to spend in each scene? It was still all laid out like a walkthrough so it encouraged you to just walk straight through. The staff member leading you around lasted a lot longer than Merlin planned for so it seems like even they realised this, until there came a point they had to cut the cost. This whole attraction is pants. I cant imagine why it was designed this way, with too much focus on stopping to tell a story than actually occupying guests' interest. Either arrogance from MMM or forced on them by the IP owner (another reason to not rely on IPs). Otherwise, it could have been really nice.
  16. I LOVED Bodger and Badger and the chessington series is the only one that's never been shown since broadcast
  17. Wumbamillio


    That's a MUCH better location, a big dead spot (ever since Jungle Coaster shut) and puts the building on the perimeter, I really hope they're learning they cant get away with Monster Party levels of carelessness forever!
  18. Thinking back to my first time on it, I made sure to go in with an open mind. I had no idea what to expect, the park had done a good job of keeping it all secret and ambiguous, but once we sat on the train things started to go very quickly downhill. I couldnt believe this was actually the ride, with a complete absence of any mystery, suspense (or Derren Brown). Just the same old 'Merlin horror attraction' tropes that reminded me of Saw Alive or the Dungeons, or Sub Terra. When we got to the scene, I was feeling more excited, the set got large and it felt like we were in for a big moment. But it turned out to be more lame shouty acting and an underwhelming effect. Could have been great, but wasnt timed/lit right, and there wasnt much more to it—I mean we all knew there was gonna be a train crash as soon as it started. Is that really all they could think of? And then, it was straight back to the VR boredom of the first half. Suddenly it was all over and everyone awkwardly, silently (no spontaneous applause as had been said!) shuffled to the exit. I wondered if I'd done the same ride as everyone who was raving about it. Was I just being cynical? Id gone in ready to be surprised and would have really enjoyed a good, new dark ride. Very strange experience, that's my personal memory of it all anyway.
  19. Wumbamillio


    They're doing one count better than Chessington then, which still hasnt got a new coaster after 15 years! I may discover whether it's abysmal or not but I feel more inclined to go visit parks like that than most UK parks at the moment. All down to value for money. It was a bumper year for the park, but then why have all their other IP attempts at Thorpe since been such big flops? The entire park was in a different situation. They're now feeling the pinch after years of too much focus on short fads instead of long term redevelopment and improvement. On the subject of IPs. Merlin have just tried to suggest in their interim results that its Legoland performances have been disappointing because the Lego Movie 2 didnt bring in the extra guests expected. But they'll still build more and more Lego Movie attractions anyway, becoming even more reliant on the performance of other media rather than build the quality of their own parks. IP popularity can be used to boost parks in the short term but overusing it like Merlin do will just come back to bite you.
  20. When this is what we ended up with, you think back to all the rubbish that was spoken about DBGT on its launch. So many enthusiasts coming out telling everyone it was near enough better than Universal, the best attraction "the UK" had ever produced, "that I couldnt help but clap when it finished". I even had some enthusiast friends who were scorned for not having done it yet as if it was a duty to go see it the moment it opened, as if Thorpe Park was a charity and you had an obligation to support the greatest ride ever made. Honestly... All this was said about the original version too. I wouldnt be surprised if all those people were just getting free tickets from Thorpe to say whatever the park wanted.
  21. Fantastic! And the park looks so wonderful.
  22. Ingenius. Why didn't they think to hire you to make the ride?
  23. That's not how big companies work. As a huge multinational (with more parks), they have a much bigger pot of money to spend on their parks than when they just had the 2 or 3 parks in the UK. More parks= more money overall, more money for each park (unless they're not running their business well). Tussauds only had Chessington and Madame Tussauds as big players when they wre installing things like Vampire, Bubble Works, 5th DImension, Dragon River. It was hugely successful, the most successful 10 years the park ever had after that. Those are exactly the kind of new attractions the park is in desperate need of now. Yet we havnt had a proper new ride added (not a replacement but an expansion) since a disk-o in 2010. It should be proportional. Chessington is not a giant park, it doesnt need a giant expansion like their big international parks. It just needs to not be totally neglected anymore. The problem is more Merlin's business model, they go for the easiest option to make money with the lease investment, which is the midways. They probably wouldnt even be in theme parks or attractions if they had their way, 'too expensive' in their eyes. It's just where Nick Varney ended up.
  24. Put it this way, I'm kicking the park for only responding to what people want when it gets them easy money. Any other park reaching 40, even small ones, would at least do something and make an event of it, bring people in. This is surely the main thing people want when they ask for 40th celebreations. But as expected, it was all cancelled bar the merch. Other than that, it is funny how people will spend money to buy a logo for something they never knew or did, although I udnerstand people like to collect this stuff. Nostalgia sells. I might as well go buy a t shirt for a 1981 post punk US tour that I wasnt born for just because I like the record.
  25. It looks good for some anniversary merchandise but what a shame all the park are doing to celebrate is grab some extra cash off fans.
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