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About Marhelorpe

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    Terrain Matters
  • Birthday 05/24/1995

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    • Electronics. ⚡️
    • Technology. 🖥
    • Roller Coasters. 🎢
    • Furry Fandom. 🐾
    • Bowling. 🎳
    • Golf. 🏌️‍♂️
    • Reading. 📖
    • Military Aircraft Displays. ✈️

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    Helix - The Next Level
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  1. Marhelorpe

    Fright Nights 2018 - Spoiler Thread

    Yup, Colossus' station audio I really liked, especially with the voiceover used. Had a mysterious feel to it all which I loved. Nice work! Inferno was definitely playing FN audio in the queue and station so that ride was fine. Rides such as Detonator, Samurai and Vortex were all playing their regular audio day and night though. Also, Andy Birds Land was playing WWTP too which was a bit confusing, though think it worked. The Director was being played inside Inferno's Pizza & Pasta Buffet restaurant on a loop which sounded as though it was from last year's park-wide non-IMAscore loop. As for WWTP, I did notice a few changes such as the song choice and voiceovers in-between each track which was a nice touch, but through my ears, a fair amount of the songs used I'm certain are from the regular playlist and had that happy and jumpy 50's/60's vibe to it all. During the day before 3pm it worked, but at dusk and night, it didn't work at all and clashed with Stealth's dispatch audio in my view. That's the issue I had.
  2. Marhelorpe

    Fright Nights 2018 - Spoiler Thread

    Alright, I have now had two visits to this year's Fright Nights, the first on the preview night and the second last Saturday (13th October) and have finally tried almost the entire lineup minus Fanta's Twisted Carnival and the Screamplexx Cinema. I said a few weeks ago I predicted this was going to be the worst Fright Nights ever and 2 weeks later, I still stand by that statement as the entire thing has become a former shadow of itself and quite honestly, a joke. How can an event reach such a low after having some fantastic years and attractions in the past? Everything this year screams "quantity above quality" around every corner now where the mazes themselves were average at the very best, the audio management was incredibly inconsistent, the park lighting looks horrendous and there was virtually no atmosphere at night anywhere across the park. Here are my mini reviews for each of the attractions Fright Nights have this year which I've tried. These are my honest thoughts and I'm not holding back exactly what went through my mind when experiencing each of them. Spoiler tags used not to hide what happens, but to reduce the size of this post as I've got a few things to say about this year other than the mazes: Saw Alive: 4/10 Platform 15: 4/10 Dead Creek Woods: 3/10 Living Nightmare: 3/10 Blair Witch: 3/10 Sanctum Do or Die: 2/10 The Big Top: Showtime: 2/10 Vulcan Peak: 0.00000000001/10 So yeah, as you can see from the above reviews, all of the mazes were awful this year with some being so bad it makes 2010's Dead End Terror Zone look scary. As for other parts of the event, the park lighting this year was absolutely horrendous with bright white lighting everywhere across the park from Inferno, to Old Town, Dead Creek Wood's entrance where you can't read the flipping sign and Stealth. There were temporary lights installed in a few places, but unlike last year's nicely coloured stencil-shaded ones, these were all multi-colour changing LEDs going through all colours of the rainbow, similar to those approaching Swarm's area. It looked horrendous, and the ones used across the bridge were even worse, reminding me of the inside of X. Since when were disco lights associated with Halloween?! As for the audio, I was optimistic about this year after hearing some of the preview clips found online from Nick Hutson as I was hoping we would see each and every ride having their own theme like it used to be when Midnight Syndicate ruled the park. Whilst some rides sounded great, Colossus' station especially which was my favourite, I noticed it was only some the coasters which had theme changes, no other rides across the park had them, so every single flat ride like Rush, Samurai, Vortex etc were playing their regular themes all day and night. As for Amity Cove's playlist across Tidal Wave and Stealth, it sounded identical to the regular one and did not work well at all in my opinion, especially at night. I understand the intentions behind why a FN dedicated playlist was made, but it failed in my view. I could also hear the director voice overs a few times across the park too in a few places. Why is he still being played across a Walking Dead themed Halloween event? I keep on stressing this every year but Thorpe, for goodness sake, can you just bring back the Midnight Syndicate tracks used in 2007-2009 when the whole park used to sound amazing at night? This was what made you stand out from Alton and Chessington years ago during Halloween. Give every ride and area a consistent audio track to play, play themed announcements once again and less manual ones, only use the linked park-wide audio system for opening/closing nothing else and most of all, sort the damn system out. There are so many inconsistencies across the park with the audio this year that it's a joke. Are you all-in with regular audio like in 2010, or all-in with Fright Nights audio like in 2007-2009 Thorpe? Make your mind up. Last comment to make is the park-wide theming. It's nice to see it in some areas like the entrance, Saw and Swarm but again, it is still not at the levels this event once used to be a while ago and likely never will. Just hoping one year we can see park theming being a priority for this park once again, but realise it's never gonna happen. Won't stop me calling them out on it every year though. Last year, I wrote these comments for 2017's Fright Nights: It took a lot for me to attend this year's event as I was adamant about not going after the poor experience I had last time, but decided to give it a try anyway in the vain hope something has improved, but no. Nothing this year is better than last year and has solidified my opinion about this event - I'm done with it. I'm honestly done. I cannot cope with seeing what this event has now become after knowing and experiencing it during a different era in the late 2000's when it used to be a fantastic event. Back then, the event and park used to pride itself as being one of the best, if not the best Halloween attraction in the country, but now it's just a commercialised piece of rubbish where sticking a famous IP on the name with poor marketing saying there are "6 new attractions" and making each and every maze a botch job seems to be enough to please guests these days just to they can get a few cheap scares. What happened to originality, dedication, imagination and effort? It's now become painfully obvious that whilst Merlin and Thorpe are capable of turning out a product for guests at this park, they are not capable of turning out a product that is well done anymore. The fit and finish this event once had is now dead and is just a distant memory for those that remember and indeed experienced it during that time. I've given Thorpe 5 years now ever since the Lionsgate takeover in 2013 to get their act together with this event and whilst during that time a few little gems like Big Top and Cabin in the Woods were made, the rest of the other attractions made ever since that year have frankly sucked and none of them have ever reached the levels of Asylum, Experiment 10, Se7en, Hellgate and even The Curse. The focus of this event between 2013-2017 was all about the IP and the mazes nothing else, so audio, park theming, lighting and other factors started to degrade gradually, but 2018 has shown the park don't seem to give a damn about the quality of their mazes anymore either. It feels as though they believe only putting an IP on their product and having the biggest number of attractions is enough for guests to be happy these days, when in truth, it is not. I've documented problems this event has had over the last few years in posts on this forum and are honestly tired of talking about it now by repeating the same things over and over again constantly, because it seems to be an endless battle I am fighting for here. I genuinely really want this event to be brilliant for all guests, so new ones can experience the delights and thrills of what this park is capable of during Halloween for those of us that remember how amazing this event used to be, but cannot do that right now. People deserve a great product when they are forking out good amounts of money to attend this event and currently, they are not. Understandably, I know I rail on against Merlin and Thorpe an awful lot on this forum and are probably boring many readers with it by now, but want to establish I am not a hater and are not "bitching" for the sake of "bitching". I say these things because I care and believe people deserve a better product from the park, whether they know it or not and I want people to speak up about problems they are seeing or experiencing to let the park know when something isn't right. I commend the reviewers above for voicing their concerns about this year's FN and encourage others thinking similar to do so as well, as this year is an embarrassment on many proportions.
  3. Let me guess, they couldn't find an actor again? 😂
  4. Marhelorpe

    Hocus Pocus Hall

    Just remember, this is all better than nothing...
  5. Marhelorpe

    Park Music

    Had a listen to the previews and I gotta be honest, but I like what I'm hearing! Sure, it doesn't top the days of Midnight Syndicate pre-2012, but it's far better than what I've heard ever since the Lionsgate takeover in 2013 and the Walking Dead loop from last year. Great to see each ride have their own identity once again for this event.
  6. Marhelorpe

    2018 General Discussion

    A sign outside the dome said this deal stands up until 10:30am, which I assume is last admission for guests into Fin’s, so does go into the day just a little bit. Pretty good offer though!
  7. Marhelorpe

    Park Operations

    I’m not sure when you rode Colossus that day, but I can say with absolute certainty when I queued there was a period in the early afternoon where the merging point was not being used and no staff member was present, causing a longer queue and people to use the ride exit as their Fastrack/disabled entrance. But something I’ve noticed quite recently is Saw and Inferno have now combined the disabled queue with the Fastrack one if you look at the entrance signs. Whilst on paper this might sound good to keep there being only two queues for each ride, isn’t that a testament to show just how many people are now using the RAP’s?
  8. Marhelorpe

    Park Operations

    After visiting the park last Saturday on the 29th September leading up to Fright Nights, I feel now is a good time to voice some big concerns I have with the way several rides are being operated not just across Thorpe, but other Merlin parks such as Alton and Chessington. This problem has been getting worse and worse as 2018 has progressed and up until the start of 2017, this was never an issue before until now. But last Saturday demonstrated this system has now gone too far, and this is regarding the use of priority or disabled passes by guests. Now, I understand this may be a discussion which can be quite sensitive to some readers and I am not criticising or demeaning those who use these passes that have a genuine disability, but I am going to pick at the way the parks manage this system because it has reached boiling point after my experience last weekend and here's why with some examples I've experienced this year and indeed last weekend. Used spoiler tags for each example to keep this post shorter: (Saturday 29th September - Colossus) (August Bank Holiday - Th13teen) (Every visit in 2018 - Derren Brown's Ghost Train) (September 2018 - Vampire) (Opening day 2018 - Wicker Man) Before 2017, this system never really posed any problems or frustrations in the past at any of the Merlin parks, but every time I visit any of the parks now, the number of people I am seeing using these ride access passes has increased dramatically, so much so that in most cases, they are in fact longer than the Fastrack queues and this poses a huge problem. All the main queues for every ride across every park are moving so slowly now that it makes Spinball Whizzer's queue look like nothing these days. What should be short & quick queues on quiet days are now doubling in length for the most part across the majority of rides at Thorpe, and I have noticed this on every visit I have made this year. Staff on most attractions are allocating far more seats to those with a priority/disabled pass to the point where as highlighted with Colossus above, they are now filling entire trains of these people in order to keep the length of them down. With Fright Nights soon approaching where queues will hit their maximum lengths, I am deeply worried many attractions are going to have some horrendous queueing experiences for guests not only in the main queue, but also the disabled and Fastrack ones where they will need to also wait longer because of the quantity of people that are now using these passes. I'm unsure what solution I can suggest to prevent this getting further out of control, but this needs to be brought to attention because the situation is getting worse and worse every visit I make and nobody else is talking about this ever-growing problem shockingly. I need to be careful with how I word this, but something needs to change with the allocation of these passes because right now, I am seeing the disabled entrance as nothing more than just another Fastrack queue given many people through my eyes don't look like they have a disability. And for those with a genuine disability such as being in a wheelchair, I find this incredibly unfair for them, just like the father at the example with Th13teen I mentioned above. I can only ever dream of a queue system similar to the likes of Phantasialand and Europa Park, but understand this will never happen sadly. As it stands, not one of the three queues at Merlin parks is a win for guests, so something needs to change to keep this from degrading and getting worse.
  9. Rather than repeating all the problems I and others have with this attraction, I'll just leave here one extremely major flaw I had with this yesterday on the preview event for Fright Nights (29th September 2018). The fake shop at the end of the attraction wasn't working and so the entire group walked through it without the demon jumping out in front of guests because......... *drum roll*
  10. Marhelorpe

    Fright Nights 2018 - General Discussion

    Contrary to the over-exaggerated praise I am seeing from many blogs/YouTubers about last night's preview everywhere online at present, if everything from yesterday remains in place and things are not improved upon considerably by the time the event arrives in just a week's time, 2018 is shaping up to be potentially the worst Fright Nights in the park's history through my eyes and here's why. Almost every year I have attended Fright Nights since 2007, I have always enjoyed visiting this event to try some of the exclusive attractions the park offered and most times, these mazes were thoroughly enjoyable as they felt very polished and delivered on what makes a good scare attraction, especially for the likes of Asylum, Big Top and Experiment 10. Back then, the park used to pride itself with the event. However, the mazes last night had none of these qualities at all. Blair Witch being a perfect example. It was horrendously and laughably bad and I kept on thinking "why is this back?" the whole time going through it. As for the audio, my question is "what audio"? If you take away Inferno and Canada Creek, along with the bizarre speech coming from Vulcan Peak's empty queue line, not a single other ride or area had music or ambience which matched the event. Everything was playing it's regular version, so you would scarcely think this was a Fright Nights evening if you were on-site. I understand there are more audio changes on the way but come on now, adding at least something to every area whether it's IMAscore's 30-minute Fright Nights loop, or a bit of Midnight Syndicate would've been an improvement. Not impressed with the audio and frankly haven't been with this event since 2011 in all honesty. Park-wide theming was non-existent other than across the entrance bridge, so clearly this is still not a priority for the park when it comes to Halloween. I still miss the days of 2007 - 2009 when this used to matter to them... As for operations, this was the most concerning area. Even on a preview night they were terrible in terms of queue management regarding Fastrack/disabled guests and I dread to think how much worse they will be when the event is in full swing next week when even more people are attending. I'll post these problems experienced in the "Park Operations" topic with examples. The overall vibe I was getting from last night was the park only cares about having the largest number of scare attractions possible now, not about the quality of the mazes and the event itself anymore. Not a single maze impressed me, the audio was a right mess and very inconsistent, the queue management was awful and there was simply no trace of anything resembling Halloween at this park at all, thus having no atmosphere anywhere. There is no "go-to" maze anymore and I doubt Vulcan Peak or Do or Die will change that when they finally open. It truly saddens me that the park is now going down the route where "more equals better" because last night has proven this not to be the case at all. People everywhere are falling over themselves because of the quantity and as a result, the mazes we are likely going to see this year are going to be both short and poor in quality for many guests, especially in comparison to previous years with excellent attractions such as Big Top, Asylum, Experiment 10 etc. For example, Blair Witch didn't need to come back and I would happily have sacrificed this entire attraction and picked a longer version of Dead Creek Woods over this if it meant delivering a better maze. Vulcan Peak feels extremely lazy as it's just gonna use I'm a Celeb's building and route for the most part, just with some changes inside with the props and theming. Do or Die looks to be extremely short and is just Sanctum under a different name, and as for the misleading advertising for the park to class Terror at Amity High an attraction when it's just actors...... no comment needed. Maybe this is an outdated opinion, but I would much rather see fewer attractions of higher quality than more attractions of less quality as we are now seeing. My worry is when the event arrives next week, people are not going to care about the fact the event might have some very poor mazes and will instead focus on the fact there are (supposedly) 12 attractions altogether, which is more than other competitors like Tulleys Farm for example. I guarantee those with a position of influence like bloggers and YouTubers are gonna keep mentioning this in all their reviews and forget everything else at the event (such as the mazes, atmosphere, audio etc), which is going to be sub-standard. As others have said, it was just a preview night, so things might improve and I really hope they do so everyone can enjoy it. But I'm concerned with the way things currently look, this year's quality control will be at an all-time low for them.
  11. Marhelorpe

    Park Music

    If this means every area and ride across the park is once again getting their own individual identity and audio, just like it used to be pre-2012 when Midnight Syndicate was used and not just a 30-minute Walking Dead track like in 2017, I'm all for this! 😀
  12. Marhelorpe

    Fright Nights 2018 - General Discussion

    Right, so with this new announcement today, this is what we have for Fright Nights 2018. Italic ones mean they are "new", or something: • Saw Alive - ticked off as done for 2018 earlier this summer. Not unique to FN. • Platform 15 - average outdoor attraction with a long tunnel again. • Living Nightmare - again, ticked off earlier this year during summer. Not unique to FN. • Containment - more than likely the same rooms as before with a +£10 charge. • Do or Die - Sanctum with a different name. Simples. • Blair Witch - why is this back again? Never thought it was that good. • Terror at Amity High - Dead End Terror Zone meets Amity Cove? • Vulcan Peak - I'm a Celeb meets The Passing? • Screamplexx Cinema - 99% certain it will just be Walking Dead scenes coupled with the occasional Lionsgate film. • The Big Top: Showtime - I don't know whether to laugh or cry at the best attraction in 2016/2017 becoming this... If you factor in Do or Die just being a revised version of Sanctum, the return of Blair Witch and cancel out the scare zones and cinema, the only genuine new maze for this year is Vulcan Peak, which is frankly just gonna be "I'm a Celeb: Extreme Edition" with bags on your head to hide yourself from the frighteningly glaring faces of contempt from Ant and Dec. Still not hyped or excited about this year one bit.
  13. Marhelorpe

    Fright Nights 2018 - General Discussion

    So is it safe to assume this "reveal" means that there is no sign of the Big Top returning then?...... *golf clap* This looks like it's gonna be the first Fright Nights since 2008 where I'm not gonna bother going this year. The one and only thing left which drew me back to this event for the last couple of years is now likely gone. I guess the Figaro Bros. couldn't continue with another year of "crazed debauchery" it seems. 😂