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Matt Creek

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About Matt Creek

  • Rank
    Remembering Icons
  • Birthday 07/03/1993

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    Thorpe Park Resort
  • Interests
    Face It Alone
    Interesting stuff

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  • Favourite Theme Park
    Europa Park

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  1. Matt Creek


    I expect they will keep Vampire going for as long as possible, due to what many have said above. Were Vampire to ever be removed, unfortunately they would not be replace it with anything on the same scale, due to strict planning laws. It literally doesn’t help that the park is literally encompassed with green belt, which makes building anything on a noticeable scale extremely difficult. Thry even had to dig down for Zufari because NIMBYs complained of the giraffes being too tall. As lost as Vampire is structurally Sound, I cant see it going anywhere. Ideally a refurbishment is what it’ll get (whilst staying to it’s golden roots). Another updated set of trains would be nice. I wonder if the Sansei Vekoma purchase makes a new generation Swinging coaster possible?
  2. Matt Creek

    Top 10's

    Here’s my collection if you like. 1/ Shambhala 2/ Nemesis 3/ Black Mamba 4/ Baron 1898 5/ Nemesis Inferno 6/ Silver Star 7/ Swarm 8/ Oblivion 9/ Galactica/Air 10/ Dragon Khan, Only 10, I guess. Should probably try and visit more parks. Parc Asterix, Garda and Tivoli Gardens next I suppose.
  3. Matt Creek


    What I love about Phantasialand is, you know what they are adding, but you also don’t know what they are adding. That probably makes no sense. Those Tower structures look strongly intruiging. Could they be large theming packages or something else? A hotel, theatre, enclosed attraction? We may not know for some time. Every project seems more fascinating than the last here.
  4. Matt Creek

    Logger's Leap

    Inall fairness different parts of the world/Europe certainly have different responses to safety. As Baron’s anaology is concerned, in some places, they know not to drive at 80 mph. They may stay at 79 Mph for a fair bit of time but still don’t exceed. Those who reach 80mph and blow up are just seen to be silly and shouldn’t have driven at 80 mph. In places like the UK, there are several warnings not to drive at 80 mph,but people still do regardless of being told several times and things then happen. Those concerned focus on this and blame the car providers, despite warning the warning the drivers not to drive at 80 Mph. This is inline to the U.K. side of things. It’s certainly accurate that many people forget their brains when entering the parks, where even simple things like finding where to put bags and finding the toilets seem to become remarkably more difficult for some reason.
  5. Matt Creek

    Wickerman- A Hot Topic

    The Wickerman marks a noticeable and remarkable change from previous Secret Weapon coasters. Not only does it aim more towards older families (over thrill-seekers) but it doesn’t feature a ground breaking element (if one can excuse their previous claims. It’s made out of wood too by the way. This review contains spoilers. Now enthusiasts, fans and the like have been wanting a wooden roller coaster at Towers for years. Previously with little success, until now. Cross Valley was cancelled and for years, Wooden coasters were deemed unmarketable. It perhaps doesn’t help the majority of U.K. park goers only have Blackpool and Stampida (at a push) as notable comparisons to wooden coasters. As time passed, the idea of a Woodie gradually warmed up. Attraction designer John Wardley had always wanted a Wooden coaster at Towers. A Wallace and Gromit themed coaster was just one of many ideas. Years later and the concept for the then labelled SW8 was announced and met with mixed reviews. Many were let down and concerned by the ride’s apparent small and mundane layout, whilst others were concerned of the ride’s theme. Construction progressed and again marked a remarkable difference from previous SW projects. Whilst the others were somewhat more secretive, the park in this case almost wanted more to know of what was to arrive. Windows, posters and video teasers frequently appeared, giving visitors what this future attraction may deliver. After numerous unfortunate weather delays (which seems to be a recurring issue with SW rides), Wickerman opened to the general public. Aside from it’s reliability it was met with mostly positive reviews and some saying it was the best thing at the resort to date. Being the first Woodie in the U.K. since 1996 and at a Merlin park, many could regard the ride as highly successful. But how? The ride doesn’t feature a notable world’s first? The Wickerman does not need a world’s first element, the ride is a complete package. An experience. It all begins from the moment you enter the queue line entrance, welcomes by a sign that is effective and blends in without being too garish or generic. There may be Pirate attractions around the corner, but the ride fits in almost like it has always belonged there. One may argue, too many newer attractions uphold bland and repotive queue lines, frequently resorting to ‘the cattle-pen’ layout. Not Wickerman. The ride’s queue gradually progresses up hill, managing to showcase the ride whilst seeming to head away from it only to become nearer. This queue line style is reminiscent of Tussauds designed rides such as Nemesis and Colossus. The noticeable theming such as buntings and different zoned audio in places, is a welcoming addition. As we become nearer, we reach a baggage hold and then enter into the pre-show room. The show isn’t the longest but delivers a short but sweet delivery into setting the scene and storyline. We now enter the station itself, where the pens (gates) await to open taking the next riders onto the train. The thematic announcements, lighting and styles combine nicely to the already impressive setting and atmosphere. The ride takes a slight drop out of the station through a 180 curve and we pass with some speed before reaching the lift hill after another 180 turn. It’s not the tallest by any means but still looks impressive height wise. We then enter another curved drop (this time enclosed) before we gradually drop. The ride from here features numerous hills, helixes and turns as the train races around the circuit. Several times interacting with the impressive Wicker statue (filled with smoke and fire effects). It’s not the longest, fastest or tallest but makes for one exciting ride. The ride ends after a final small banked curve and enters the first of two break runs. Numerous times smoke and light effects activate, as the train slowly returns to the station through an enclosed tunnel, the third one in total. The ride’s trains are immaculately themed, replicating a Wickerhead and can carry upto 24 riders per train. There are three in total resulting in a theoretical throughout of just over 950 people an hour, which isn’t a bad throughout. The shop is also surprisingly well themed (and looks even better in person). It features plenty of Wickerman merchandise, from your usual T-shirts, trains and keychains to the more unusual Wicker models and wood pieces. How does it stand amongst other Woodies? Balder has airtime, Wodan has theming with relentless pacing and Joris has the fun racing elements with niche features. The Wicker feels like a complete experience attraction and feels like it takes some elements from these. The ride’s first drop features some surprisingly good airtime (especially towards the back), there’s some great theming and impressively forceful areas within the attraction too. One could argue it weakens towards the end a little. However it still offers a highly enjoyable layout. John Wardley is said to have made some improvements to the first drop of the ride. As it currently stands, the ride is now my favourite Wooden coaster in the U.K. and joint second favourite in Alton Towers. It may be the most immersive attraction to open in the U.K. since Hex. Honestly speaking, the ride would not look out of place if it was located in Efteling or Phantasialand. Unfortunately this is where these comparisons end. 2018 for Towers is a high-end investment year and the park should be in top form. If only this was the case. The park still continue to face operational cuts as parent company Merlin see the park as struggling despite numbers gradually returning. This has resulted in mothballed kiosks, staggered openings, reduced hours and deductions to capacity. Even baggage holds have disappeared. On my second day visiting, four of the main coasters broke down simultaneously, resulting in longer queues and complaints. Whilst this could have been an unfortunate coincidence, it does question whether there have been further staff reductions. I don’t recall witnessing this on previous visits. Not to this level anyway. It was also a 4pm close, which felt too early as lots of people were still around after 5pm. The Rapids also seemed short of boats and the monorail no longer allows people on the platform unless the train has stopped. This has reduced the capacity significantly. Europa Park have managed to reopen their rapids after a major fire and relocate most of the food offering. Meanwhile at Towers, we still have Toadstall and Sub-Terra closed after 2-3 seasons and food outlets remaining closed on super-peak days. I understand both parks have different structures, but it is disappointing that Towers is being financially starved and limited in such a year. Just to please faceless shareholders, turn an even bigger profit and build Legoland clones. I do also worry how Wickerman will age after it’s first couple of seasons, especially considering Merlin aren’t known for great upkeep. Will the baggage hold still exist? What state the pre show holds? How re-rideable will it be? The state of The Smiler, does not hold much reassurance. The ride looks rather grotty and many effects remain broken. Just one effect is still working in the projection room. I’d like Towers and Merlin to prove me wrong with Wickerman. Right, I think it’s time to go back to the positives. The conservatories and Pagoda look competitively better after their restorations. Duel seems a noticeable improvement in most areas, whilst there is still room for improvement, it is believed to be a working project. The staff also seemed particularly friendly too. Wickerman is an excellent coaster and will hopefully pave the way for great things in the U.K. all Towers need to do is maintain and look after it. All we need is for Merlin to give Towers more budget and put them off budget cuts. Wickerman Nine Out Of Ten 2B669A04-336E-45CF-B0A8-F89E9166BA41.jpeg
  6. Matt Creek

    Wicker Man - New for 2018

    Now that makes perfect sense. When I visited, the pre-show had difficulties on two of the four rides I witnessed, both of which were at the end of the day. On the first time, the curtain was missing (revealing the surprise somewhat from the beginning), whereas the second time the curtain never rose and ruined the effect. I'm not sure which is worse (probably the second one), but it’s a shame to have seen these malfunctions (especially as a result of guests who cannot keep their hands busy for one minute). The U.K. is perhaps one of the worser countries for guest vandalism. I think Wickerman is a great ride for Towers and U.K., but I do worry what the state of the ride will play in years to come. Will the smoke/fire effects still be working around the Wickerman, will the pre-show still maintain that surprise element and will things like the bag room (like others before) end up disappearing. Merlin don’t have a great track record for maintaining rides and effects, just look at Smiler. I mention this only because I want the park/Merlin to get better and not to bash them for fun.
  7. Matt Creek

    Logger's Leap

    I think it comes as no surprise that Loggers will never operate again, as sad this may have been. Loggers Leap was a popular water attraction with visitors of all ages, including families and thrill seekers (wanting a break from the white knuckle rides). The wetness level was spot. The ride was also an iconic for the late Princess Diana, who enjoyed the attraction during her visit to Thorpe in mid nineties. Despite it’s significant position in the park, the ride unfortunately wasn’t looked after in it’s later years, as it was starting to look neglected. The surprise drop in the dark was removed in 2013 due to the roof being regarded unsafe. Three years later, the ride suddenly closed under the vague guise of ‘redevelopment’. The ride remains closed likely down to neglect and the requirements of a safety upgrade. It is believed Park management would like for the ride to reopen in the future (through a rigorous upgrade and refurbishment). Unfortunately however Merlin have likely not given the park any/enough budget to realistically carry this out, which is a great shame to witness. The park should’ve really been given the money to keep the ride operating in safe and reliable manner, although they have chosen not to. Unfortunately Loggers follows the fate of other such atttactions, Black Hole and Pirate Adventure. Where they remain standing for years to come until demolition.
  8. Matt Creek

    Europa Park

    I think it’s perhaps an observation of how one park can run a rapids almost as usual after a huge nearby fire whilst the other it seems business as usual, despite running noticeably fewer boats than it should. Which could potentially be as an overreaction to various events. Merlin can run the rapids properly and safely with all running vehicles, however they choose not to. Unfortunately, if a similar fire happened at a U.K. park, the efficiency to reopen and replace attractions in the vicinity would take considerably longer, it’s not all the park’s faults as I think safety laws are considerably stricter here than they are in most of Europe. I also don’t think it helps when there’s an attitude with “if person XYZ gets injured on a ride in Europe, it is their fault because they didn’t follow instructions” whereas in the U.K. it is more like “if person XYZ gets injured on the ride, it’s the park’s fault because it happened”. Anyone remember the Chessington fire? The park was closed for several days then, however the timing of Year perhaps helped make it more practical to reopen on Boxing Day.
  9. Matt Creek

    Alton Towers General Discussion

    Went on Wickerman today and thoroughly enjoyed it more than expected. It’s not got the longest or most impressive layout, but is a great machine and the offers the park a much needed woodie, experience and ‘family thrill’ attraction. Full review to follow at a later date. Whilst there were lots of things I liked ( besides Wicker) like the Duel and Gardens TLC, there were some things there I can’t be as positive with unfortunately. The amount of closed F&B units and retail spaces was quite shocking, especially when you consider a park the size of Towers and it’s corporate owner. Five of what was once nine outlets are now closed/mothballed between Katanga Canyon and Forbidden Valley. This has put considerable strain on others that remain open. Some rides also remain in a questionable state. Smiler’s aesthetics leave something to be desired and almost everything in the projection room is broken. Congo also seemed to be running a few boats around, which considering how busy and nice the weather was disappointing. Towers arent Europa unfortunately, but Merlin could definitely do a lot more for the park than what they currently do, which is a shame to see.
  10. Matt Creek

    Next Roller Coaster

    The chances of Merlin currently getting an RMC are equivalent to Ripsaw, Loggers and Skyway reopening at the end of this summer. In other words, virtually impossible. Unfortunately, with the recent such incidents and corporation with financial struggles and safety exaggeration that will not happen. Shame really, but there are hopefully still other options they could go for.
  11. Matt Creek

    Blackpool Pleasure Beach

    Mouse’s issues were definitely a H&S issue, as the ride was having so many safety issues. Some say the removal was largely contributed as a result of the previous insurance being revoked, and being unsuccessful in finding a new insurer. Unfortunately we do now live in a time where Park safety is under so-much focus, especially in the U.K. especially when things can appear online in seconds and the media immediate slam the parks when things happen, even if it was not the park’s fault. I would love love to see the mouse area redeveloped with a completely brand atttaction in the future, along with the arcade and former Trauma building. A family coaster/dark ride and/or flats could utilise the area well.
  12. Matt Creek

    Ministry of Sound - getting in

    You will be asked ID upon the gates of entry, so you will need to provide either a driver’s licence or passport. Guests attending MOS club night must be 18 and over. There will also be thorough security searches before hand where liquids will be confiscated including water.
  13. Matt Creek

    Europa Park

    This reminds me why Europa is my number one park. Roland and the Mack family are truly dedicated in what they do, focusing on giving their visitors the highest possible experience in tip-top condition. Very few parks out there would be able to reopen a rapids ride just two weeks after a devastating fire which shows just how amazing they are. In most park’s it would be miraculous having it reopen this season, let alone weeks. Sources also say, Pirates will be returning after the tragic fire, which implies an updated and improved version of Batavia could well be returning in the future. Source- Michael Mack Twitter
  14. Matt Creek

    2018 General Discussion

    I think it’s a very good move for the park to do this, as it now offers a changing place for those who require it. Not all disabilities are visible, but things are progressing gradually. Let’s hope they can further enhance and adapt things so things become even more inclusive to those with disabilities.
  15. Matt Creek

    General Discussion

    Well, it’s better than nothing. True Proffesionalism.