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Exodus Matt

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  1. List is subject to everything. Mostly finance and time off work. Uk wise, will probably visit most/all Merlin parks. Chessington is a must and Thorpe park is imminent no doubt. Might visit Paultons and maybe Blackpool as well. In terms of abroad, got Disneyland Paris coming up later this month and a trip to Liseberg probably too. Hoping to get the Madrid parks done for that new Batman coaster and also visit Stockholm & Finland too, to mop out the parks there. Energylandia will probably resurface some point in the year along with Phantasialand for winter perhaps. Belgium, Garda and Heide are longshots but we shall see. Might do some more non-park trips too. Nothing long haul this year I expect.
  2. Urgggh. We know not much about this silly retheme. All we know is that it will be spooky themed and it will probably be better than Derren Beowns Ghost Train. Need I say more.right.
  3. Yeah, well the thing with the Dungeon is where exactly is it actually part of? Dark Forest? David Williams? The outer edge of the universe? It’s any ones guess really given it’s just there in part of its own misshapen area. CATCF was part of Cloud Cuckoo, until its fated post-Smiler mothballing. I don’t see anything happening to the driving school, not with three substantial investment plans underway in the next few years, but I could be wrong. And if anything happens before 2025 maybe they’ll just close and mothball it, like they did in 2016. The David Williams area just wasn’t really thought up well and feels very half-baked.
  4. I think it’ll be a good few years before we see anything substantial happen to this area and even then, I’m not holding my breath. Problem is that each rehash of the area just seems to have been done on the cheap without adding anything original and if anything eradicating further charm from the place. Cloud Cuckoo wasn’t perfect, but at least it felt more consistent than what we have now. A stringy Williams area next door to an upcharge dark Dungeon with a bit of Cloud Cuckoo residue stuck on the side.
  5. Not gonna lie, training it to the park is not as straight forward as some places such as Efteling and Phantasialand. But it is doable if you know what you’re doing and don’t go on the express. You can get a bus to Basel railway station and then get connecting trains to Offenbach, then Ringsheim. Then get the park shuttle bus from there. But that may have changed from when I did it a few years ago.
  6. I’ve only ever stayed off-site, but there are plenty of options throughout the village of Rust. Ranging from hotels, B&Bs and guesthouses. Most of which are 15 minutes or less walking distance from the park. Sites like booking.com and Expedia are worth looking at. M with tickets they usually sell them as one or two day tickets.
  7. I guess the difference between the first two is that at least worthy replacements are on the way for those. Now back to The Ultimate. I experienced the attraction twice in 2019 in my first (and probably last) visit to the place. It was a unique ride, in both pacing and location but certainly not with its faults. It was rough, bumpy and what must’ve been the world’s slowest lift hills. The park was almost deserted then (bar a few school trips). Its demise and planned demolition is no surprise at all, because it was seemingly reaching the end of its serviceable life without a substantial hardware upgrade, which could’ve happened I guess. Had funds been there. Covid like many things maybe fastracked this by a few years. A new woodlands development is certainly an inferior replacement.
  8. Either that or part of Derren replacement.
  9. It’s definitely a creek massacre. I look forward to watching things progress.
  10. I guess you could say it’s no longer the future of theme parks.
  11. I’m pretty sure one of those names didn’t derive from a coaster in another park. Interesting names for sure.
  12. Why does that funny promo image remind me of something? 🤔
  13. Most of the above is agreeable. I absolutely adored my numerous rides on Iron Gwazi last October and the ride definitely packed a punch. It definitely isn’t a Steve beater, but is somewhat level pegging with Zadra in many respects. Although that ride may still have it by a fingernail. It might be number three on my RMCs and Florida coasters, but it sure is a stunning ride. And no doubt a hundred times better than its previous carnation.
  14. Exodus Matt


    Things I might like to see: More dramatic dispatch sequence- lights change, theme music, nemesis voice return of the red waterfall, through revised system to stop the leaking problem train lights homage to the original track That is all. No silly pre-show because that would just ruin the throughput and not really add to the experience.
  15. Well, who knows what the park is going to replace it with? Could be a small round ride, could be another coaster. Could be a B&M for all we know. But ones thing for sure, it won’t be an ageing flat ride from a Merlin park or Drayton.
  16. Yeah, I don’t think it’s coming back.
  17. And there you have it folks. The future of theme parks!
  18. The logo is fine if I’m honest. Maybe fine pick it in some places but nothing extremely drastic. The track record of recent logo redesigns in U.K. parks in recent years has been mostly disappointing. Drayton and Light-water’s for example are bland and characterless, unlike their previous designs.
  19. Welcome to part 2, my list and ratings will now continue. 7/ Busch Gardens Home to three excellent B&Ms, a good RMC and other mostly decent rides that complement the lineup. Busch Gardens was one of the parks I was most anticipated about. Well, the rides I can happily say met their expectations. Montu is a fine invert and Sheikra is probably my favourite dive coaster. Iron Gwazi may be the lower of the three RMCs, but it’s still awesome. Cobra’s curse was disappointing but the water rides weee good. Now, for some reason or another, there felt like something missing here, and for once I don’t think it’s the rides. The place seemed to lack atmosphere for some reason, like there was nothing there. I don’t know why this was the case, but would controversially say some of the UK parks are better in that regard. Secondly, the operations. Bad, maybe not terrible but still bad. Most coasters were stacking with 4/4.5 minute dispatches that make Merlin’s look like Europa Park :o. The food was ok, but probably the weakest of all the parks out there. It’s a one day park that can’t be overlooked if you are into decent rides. But I was perhaps expecting a little more. 6/ Sea World Busch somewhat didn’t fully meet my expectations. But Sea World kind of exceeded them. To some, there will always be controversy held against this park, due to the Orca captivity. However one must remember the park’s mission to preserve and help such wonder lis creatures. Moving on, the park is certainly taking the right direction now, by focusing more on themed rides and experience to distance itself from it’s original roots. The calibre of attractions are mostly good. Mako is absolute bliss, Kraken definitely one of the better sit down loopers and Journey To Atlantis a well rounded attraction. Mantis wasn’t my favourite coaster, but it packs some interesting elements and Ice Breaker is just one slightly flawed train design from being an ideal family coaster. Must get on Infinity Falls someday! 5/ Universal Studios Now, this is where it starts to become more difficult, because basically the top 5 is full of parks I largely adore. The first (and original) of the two Florida Universal parks. The studios packs a lot into it’s action filled park. Unlike Islands Of Adventure, the park doesn’t feel like it has too many contrasting themed areas, although they do exist. Diagon Alley is definitely the flagship area of this park, with it’s stunning theming, shops, entertainment and culinary treats. Escape from Gringotts is a phenomenal attraction from the moment you join the line until when you exit. I think Diagon Alley is better themed than Angry Birds Land. Sorry Josh! The rest of the park is hit and miss I guess. You have older classics rides which feature greater theming and details, then you have the newer stuff which is a lot more screen based. Men In Black was Fun and the ET ride was lovely. Revenge Of The Mummy was adorable and I enjoyed the Simpsons ride for what it was (I like the show). Transformers was ok, but there are better out there. Don’t bother with Fast & Furious, it makes Derren Brown’s Ghost Train look like Rise Of The Resistance! Maybe. 4/ Epcot Weirdly enough, Epcot was probably the Disney park on this I was most excited for. It’s basically a park of two halves. Future world which houses the majority of the park’s attractions in pavillions and world showcase, which I will get back to in a second. The selection is strongly varied. You have the classic attractions which are seemingly more educational and the newer items which are more tied to their catalogue of popular IPs. A blend I think works perfectly well. Spaceship Earth (not to be confused with Eurosat) is a highly educational attraction and charming one at that. It reminded a little of the Spirit Of London, which was likely inspired by this resultantly. Guardians Cosmic rewind was incredible and felt like a mix between Crush’s coaster and (the Paris) Rock N Rollercoaster. Mission Space was intense but better than expected and I largely enjoyed Test Track. Living with the land was interesting but maybe drags on a little. I felt slightly disappointed with Soarin to be honest. I ran out of time for Figment. World showcase is the more unique and picturesque area of the park, featuring numerous themed areas to several countries of the world. Each area is unique, beautiful and even features cast members from that region working there. Numerous places serving food and drink are also there. The pizza in Via Napoli located in the Italy Pavilion was sublime. Numerous attractions also operate within World Showcase. Frozen Forever After is a highly sophisticated attraction which features stunning animatronics and set pieces. Even if one isn’t a Frozen fan, it’s worth it, so don’t let it go (couldn’t help myself). Ratatouille is almost identical to the one at the Studios park in Paris but still good. The Cabalerros boat ride was an uplifting attraction. 3/ Disney’s Hollywood Studios We’re on the final three. There’s something I like about parks themed to movies and this place is no exception. This park has clearly seen much expansion and redevelopment in the last 5+ years and I would guess most of it may be for the better. Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge is more than just an area, featuring some stunning theming, effects and places selling unique beverages. Blue milk was rather nice but pricey. Rise Of the resistance is nothing short of a masterpiece and Smugglers Run is also enjoyable. The rest of the park isn’t too over shadowed either. The original tower is just spectacular in every way and I hope it’s left alone. Toy Story Land is a pleasant area, Slinky makes for an excellent family coaster and Midway Mania is fun. I prefer it to Maus if I’m honest. Star tours is wonderful and surprisingly doesn’t look out of place despite being another Star Wars ride, Muppetvision is a joyous show. Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway is a genius modern dark ride which perfectly balances screens and physical effects yet almost feels overlooked by the other wonderful additions in this park. Rock N Roller coaster was alright, but it isn’t a patch on the one that used to be in Paris. Shame. Whilst the park seemingly gets longer lines and potentially lacks some ‘filler’ a lot of the attractions are actually worth their wait IMO. 2/ Animal Kingdom One of the more relaxing parks you’ll find in Florida. Animal Kingdom may lack the ride selection of other parks have, but it compensates this with some stunning shows, theming and rides. Avatar Land is one of the most stunning areas ever created. Flight Of Passage is super immersive, I loved it and I’m no massive Avatar fan. The boat ride was nice enough too, alongside exploring the whole area. Kilimanjaro Safaris is both entertaining and educational, to levels Zufari wishes it was. Dinosaur is a great dark ride that I think sometimes gets overlooked by the others and the Kali rapids are mostly decent. Now, Expedition Everest. The ride looks good, the setting, the theming is all very nice. The ride? I’ve got to be honest was disappointing. Don’t get me wrong, there are worse coaster out there (much worse), but for me it just didn’t do much and rides like Slinky Dog and Big Thunder I personally preferred. It has some good shows, I liked Tough to be a bug and the entertainment in the Harambe area. All it really needs now is another major roller coaster to fill in the gap the Primeval coasters left and the park will be great! And before I announce the winning park, here’s some of the other bits and pieces there are to do, besides the parks. Old Town Kissimmee- An old western style town with shops, bar, restaurants and more. It’s very American and very lively, however I wouldn’t recommend the Pizza Hut at all. Disney Springs- It’s basically a giant shopping outlet, but somewhat Disneyfied. It has a vast selection of shops and restaurants ranging from Lego, Planet Hollywood and Raglan Road (an Irish pub). Theres also several Disney based stores there including the giant World Of Disney. More substantial than say the Disney village at DLRP, but maybe lacking the charm. City Walk Universal- Universal’s answer to Disney springs but substantially smaller. Has a nice vibe and outlets, Voodoo Donuts are nice and I do like a Hard Rock Cafe. Icon Park- Not a bad place to chill, assuming no crazy people are holding protests but otherwise nothing special. All your usual Merlin midways nestled under one roof. I wouldn’t bother with the 7D dark ride unless your trying to kill time. The adventure golf 2 minutes away is decent though. I didn’t do the Kennedy Space centre, nor Legoland Florida. I know some of you will be disappointed by this. And now, our winning park is (drum roll). 1/ Islands Of Adventure This was probably always the park I was most excited for, but yet it still managed to exceed my expectations. This place basically has everything I want in a theme park, thrilling roller coasters, immersive dark rides and more whilst perfect nestled within several immersive lands. Plus Mythos, my favourite theme park restaurant without a doubt. I love Veloci-coaster, which is easily my favourite non-RMC coaster and perfectly blends itself as something between Helix and Taron. Hogwarts is a beautiful area with a stunning dark ride and magical coaster which now makes for an excellent tribute to one the films best characters (RIP Robbie Coltrane). Pop eye is without doubt the craziest yet stunning rapids out there and I also adore the Jurassic River Adventure, even if it is starting to show it’s age in places. I’m not the biggest of Marvel fans, but Spider-Man was amazing and you could say I’m something of a fan myself. Hulk I enjoyed, but for a 6 year old B&M, it was a little bit rougher than I was expecting, which concerns me slightly. Kong was ok and Zeus’s landing is fun for what it is. Sadly got spited by Dudleys. Dream trip, complete! Maybe I’ll return one day. Maybe.
  20. I CALL BINGO! Chessington is anyones guess at this moment in time, but what we know for sure is that we are getting Jumanji (which according to the press is a whole theme park) and the ‘proposed’ water park. I don’t see Tomb Blaster (2.1) getting a retheme or replacement for at least several years, but I could be spectacularly wrong. There’s a better chance of Alton Towers buying Apocalypse to replace Enterprise, than there is of Thorpe reopening Rocky! Lets be honest, Scorpion is probably at the end of its life, but that’s not to say they will get rid of it immediately. After all, there are still some older powered coasters still running.
  21. Creek’s Orlando Adventure- Park Ranking Orlando! A prime tourist destination and a paradise for lovers of theme parks. After nearly 5 years of waiting, I was finally able to experience this wonderful place. In what is without doubt my favourite park trip to date. Having experienced numerous attractions out there, rather than write full on reports which might be longer than the upcoming Avatar sequel, I’ll just condense it into a rating list. Where I’ll focus on the main aspects. Right let’s begin. 13/ (Un) Fun Spot Orlando Probably the most depressing and underwhelming park experience I’ve experienced to date. Lack of atmosphere with next to no crowds, tonnes of rides closed with staff who are clearly bored. The GCI & inverting afterburner ride were fun, but everything else was largely forgettable. We were done in just over an hour and happy to leave. 12/ Fun Spot Kissimmee Definitely the better of the two fun spots. This one had crowds,atmosphere along with more rides running. The sky swing is better here, but it’s all about the sky coaster, which is the tallest you’ll find out there. It was honestly the craziest thing I have ridden in my life, but awesome too. Sadly their wooden coaster Mine Blaster has aged like curdled milk and is remarkably rough, very concerning for a 5 year old ride. They should rename it Spineblower by this point! Almost as bad as the Pizza Hut in Kissimmee. 11/ Typhoon Lagoon What this place may lack in slides, it makes up for in vibes. The wave pool is nothing short of incredible, alongside a soundtrack comparable to WWTP radio in some ways. The lazy river is highly enjoyable and decent in length and the slides generally good all round. 10/ Volcano Bay Right, the first water park and major attraction. Volcano bay with it’s theming, setting and interactive features should be something of a stellar attraction. That’s before considering the vast selection of slides, the drop ones at the top of the volcano are great. Now there’s one slight problem deterring this places rating, the mismatch of the Tapu tapu system. On paper, this should be a blissful development helping one to have an easier and enjoyable day at the place. Unfortunately in reality, it’s something of a mess, unreliable system with errors and loop holes making what should be a more chilled attraction more stressful. Want to ride the water coaster? Get there first thing or you may miss on your lifetime trip! Edit/ My second visit was generally better, but I still lay by the fact that Tapu needs improvement. The water coaster was actually underwhelming if I’m honest but still fun. 9/Aquatica Ok, I see the visible confusion seeing this as my favourite Florida water park. But I can explain. Typhoon Lagoon has the quality and Volcano Bay has quantity, whereas there’s something of a compromise here. Highly enjoyable slides, including the iconic dolphin ones, a decent wave pool and several fun lazy river courses and overall good vibes. The place is also much more relaxed than say Volcano Bay, so can rightfully say it’s eligible for a rest day. And now we get onto the main parks. 8/ Magic Kingdom Magic Kingdom, the busiest and (arguably) most iconic theme park in the world. Disney’s flagship attraction; Supposedly. If you enjoy fast thrilling rides and experiences, this place isn’t really for you and the likes of Universal, Sea world and Busch Gardens would definitely be much more appealing. But anyways, the park certainly has a vast selection of attractions crammed into it’s ‘first floor’ park space. The classic attractions are pleasant enough for what they are, but Paris ones are arguably better. Big Thunder Mountain lacks those extra ‘frilly’ sections, POTC is more condensed and It’s A Small World lacks the grand facade amongst being plonked opposite the ridiculously popular Peter Pan’s Flight. Haunted Mansion was great though. Now for it’s flaws, this park still has its upsides. There’s much more to do than the Paris park and the staff are definitely friendlier. Splash Mountain was highly enjoyable even-though they are clearly running it into the ground. I didn’t get chance to do Jungle Cruise unfortunately. The one concerning thing though here was the surprising amount of wear and tear, especially for a Disney park. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve seen far more rundown areas, but when there numerous broken effects, chipped/worn queue lines/buildings and places around it doesn’t go down well. Buzz Lightyear was an absolute mess with it’s broken animatronics and ceiling that looked like it needed decorating. Chapek needs to go! Spited by this one, May well need to go back after all. Part 2 coming real soon.
  22. I miss Orlando already. Top 10 Theme Park Restaurants: 1/ Mythos-Islands Of Adventure 2/ Via Napoli-Epcot 3/ Yak & Yeti-AnimalKingdom 4/ Rutmoores Tavern- Phantasialand 5/ Polle’s Kitchen- Efteling 6/ Lombards- Universal Studios 7/ Toothsome’s Emporium, Universal Orlando 8/ Silver Lake Saloon, Europa 9/ Lisebergbanen Restaurant, Liseberg 10/ Mel’s Diner, Paultons Orlando blog coming up.
  23. Massive shake up time for my top 10’s Coasters: 1/ Steel Vengeance 2/ Veloci-coaster (IOA) 3/ Zadra 4/ Mako 5/ Iron Gwazi 6/ Taron 7/ Oziris 8/ Hyperion 9/ Nemesis 10/ Wodan Dark Rides: 1/ Tower Of Terror (WDW HS) 2/ Rise Of The Resistance (WDW HS) 3/ Forbidden Journey 4/ Symbolica 5/ Amazing Adventures Of Spiderman 6/ Pirates Of The Caribbean (DLRP) 7/ Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway 8/ Avatar Flight Of Passage 9/ Fata Morgana (Efteling) 10/ Dinosaur Water Rides: 1/ Chiapas 2/ Popeye IOA 3/ Splash Mountain 4/ JP River Adventure 5/ River Quest 6/ De Vlieglande Hollander 7/ Fjord Rafting 8/ Tidal Wave 9/ Kali River Rapids 10/ Journey To Atlantis Parks: 1/ Europa Park 2/ Universal Orlando 3/ Cedar Point 4/ Animal Kingdom 5/ Phantasialand 6/ Energylandia 7/ Hollywood Studios 8/ Epcot 9/ Efteling 10/ Alton Towers
  24. Right, so went to Fright Nights 22 last weekend. Here’s my thoughts. Survival Games/ Something of an original idea, especially with the “game show” type element. One of the better mazes this year, especially with the cage thing at the start and multiple routes inside. Creek Freek/ Still my favourite, the actors were on form when we went and the props and setting help too. Going to miss this maze. Trailers/ I enjoyed it, but it just seems to be missing something now, especially since the newness has worn off. Wasn’t awful but just not my favourite now. Deaths Door/ An interesting and unique concept, given the actors go in/out of doors, but could maybe be implemented better in the future. If it returns. Meakin Meadow/ Enjoyable, but the second route just feels like it’s been bolted on for the sake of it. It feels like you miss more of the action that way. Amity high/ Fun, lively, musical. Makes a nice break from the mazes indeed. I didn’t get chance to do the terminal or legacy. If they return next year maybe I’ll give them a go. I do enjoy Fright Nights, but as always the usual criticisms arise, better lighting, music balance (why isn’t it as good now) and other bits and bobs. I really think they should revert back to 10pm closings, at least for some days because 9 doesn’t feel like there’s enough time to take in the action or do night rides.
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