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About Marhelorpe

  • Rank
    Terrain Matters
  • Birthday 05/24/1995

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  • Favourite ride
    Helix - The Next Level
  • Favourite Theme Park

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    • Electronics
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    • Killer Roller Coasters
    • Furry Fandom
    • Ten-pin Bowling
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    • Military Aircraft Displays

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  1. I was still told twice, including by a shop manager they sold out of them entirely in the park, not because they recommended not to buy them due to lack of syrup. As a result, not one person on park today can even buy one, let alone use it... So either way, this much is certain - the park are intentionally misleading and lying to their customers.
  2. That is not what I was told by what looked like a manager in the gift shop in the dome I approached earlier this morning. They told me they ran out of capsules to sell and because of that, they have turned off the machines across the park for all users. Asked more staff and they told me they were told to keep them turned off all day in Inferno's shop too. Staff in the Megastore said they sold out of the capsules too. Are you seriously saying every single refill point in the park had run out of every drop of syrup in one day? I doubt that hugely. They should still be available, even if there is limited availability of syrup in the machines (but again, I was told otherwise twice).
  3. Pretty much yes. If you're someone who has bought one of these capsules on a previous visit, if you turn up today with it, you wouldn't be able to use a single freestyle machine because they ran out of capsules to sell for other guests. I ain't bothering getting one of these capsules at all if this is how the park wants to run the system.
  4. Warning to all those with the new freestyle refill capsules - if the park sell out of the capsules on any day you visit this year, they will shut down all the refill points across the park for all those who do have them because they "don't want to encourage guests to think they can be used due to no stock being available to buy at the park"............?! Also, Tidal Wave at opening time was on one boat today for 23C temperatures on a bank holiday. Yay!
  5. I'm in on one condition - we do Blue Walls: The Maze Room on the Broom first!
  6. Then again, given it takes just 24mph gusts of wind to apparently "stall" Mr. Monkey's Banana Boat Ride and force it to close, hearing that the vinyl flame stickers on Inferno's trains falling off is enough to close that ride down is completely believable these days.
  7. I gotta say, the weekend over the 6th/7th April when I visited again was vastly better compared to opening weekend back in February. Had a fantastic time! Everything running near-full capacity for Saturday, short queue for everything, plenty of re-rides on Icon and lovely sunny weather. Couldn’t have been a better day! As for Valhalla, I’ve never been a huge fan of it since my first ride on it earlier in 2018, and especially after being evacuated off it back in February. But it was performing pretty damn well on the Saturday with more effects working which I hadn’t seen before, and the water vortex tunnel was absolutely brutal. Go so wet going through it that it made Tidal Wave look like nothing in comparison. Really good run on it! Oh, and Icon of course was as great as ever. The only room for improvement they could do is to get the ride opening times on their entrance boards accurate, because a fair few rides opened at 10am, but their boards said 11am, Nickelodeon Streak being the prime example where we didn’t know it was open until asking a staff member in the station.
  8. Given that on the annual pass preview day a couple of weeks ago the park still had all those revolting temporary LED rainbow lighting rigs out from Fright Nights near Tidal Wave and Old Town etc which had been sitting there all over winter, and that many of their rides that day still had 10pm closure times on their entrance boards, I honestly think the lack of signage for Saw Alive and Containment is down to pure laziness frankly. Someone working on-site will one day twig they forgot to put them back up I reckon and they will reappear soon. But as for the billy puppet being placed into Saw's queue line, that's a little strange. Either Saw Alive is closing properly now, or they might be renovating the interior of the maze slightly (finally) and needed the rooms clearing of props so were like "sod it, lets just put him in the queue line and station area for the ride as extra theming".
  9. "With coasters like no other"......... then transitions to Tidal Wave......... False advertising like no other!
  10. Never before have I ever witnessed something more ironic than this... Funny how so many can join a cattle pen queue this long to get a RAP but can't wait 5 minutes for Flying Fish...
  11. Alright, I've had a day to think over what these dungeons are like after experiencing it last Sunday and are going to be brutally honest with it now after the experience I had and will present my opinion of it as a paying customer who dedicated nearly an hour of their 10am - 5pm day on this thing; not as a theme park blogger who is in Merlin/Alton's good graces and paid zilch to experience it. Contrary to all the positive reviews that are going around right now for it from all the theme park bloggers/vloggers/YouTube "celebrities", I'm sorry, but this is without a doubt the worst Dungeon I have done and I would go as far to say the worst attraction Alton Towers have ever given us in the 21 years I have been visiting this place year-on-year since 1998, and that's saying something. It goes almost entirely against what makes all the other Dungeons enjoyable attractions and it falls flat on delivering a comprehensive experience for guests with no proper thought or imagination put into the product and here's why. All the other Dungeons I have experienced immerse you properly into each scene with details and theming across every corner, from the flooring, walls, scenery and the actors. Despite many of them having bare roofing such as the London one for example, you tend to forget about it all with every scene and focus your attention on the actor and surroundings, as per you should, so this missing detail never really posed a problem for me with the others. With the Alton Towers one however, the very opposite occurs. For every scene you go through, I kid you not, there are flat black walls literally everywhere you look from the sides, behind you, the ceiling and even amongst the theming where the actor stands. It look horrendous and every room made you feel like you were in a big black box that had been assembled quickly and cheaply with timber wall panels. There was no texture to any of them, no deformation and no disguising of the walls in any room to make you feel as though you are in a dungeon. It just looks incredibly lazy and cheap and no attempt whatsoever was done to immerse guests 360 degrees unlike all the other Dungeons. The entrance to the attraction I still hold the view looks disgustingly ugly and cheap. Whilst in-person it looks a little better than through a screen, you can tell it was built on a budget with the randomly placed barrels and crates outside the entrance, along with the temporary fire torches fenced off. Most unforgiving of all is there is still an entire section of the entrance to the left in front of the lift towers with nothing but a giant 30ft black wall. Clearly the park ran out of wooden supports to cover this up properly during construction, so their solution to this problem was to pop down to the local B&Q and buy 50L of Dulux EasyCare Rich Black paint to cover up the shadows of the deceased Oompa Loompas peeking through the 2D windows. I'm guessing with the amount of black walls inside the attraction they had plenty to spare to cover this up too... Take a look here at what I mean. Taken on Sunday 24th March. It's so revolting to look at: As for the Black River boat ride, it's the same story - paint every wall black and leave it. The ride follows through the same route as Charlie, but believe it or not, it's now even barer than before with very little decoration or theming present in any portion. There are a few projectors on flat walls as you go round showing the shadows of victims being tortured, a couple of water jets to get you wet, a single animatronic which just bobs up and down ever so slightly in a cauldron, a single projector on a mannequin head and a single oddly-placed smoke machine. That is quite literally it for 4 minutes straight. There are no proper special effects anywhere inside, many zones had no audio playing, there are just black walls and tunnels for 80% of it and most unforgivable is the park were too lazy to remove the old theming from Charlie such as the water wheel in the station and the mirrored section towards the end where Sonic used to be on Toyland Tours. There is so much empty space and wasted area on this ride now that it makes Charlie look like a masterpiece compared to "Black Walls - The Ride". It's so, so bad. From here, it's pretty much your bog standard Dungeon attraction where there are various scenes stolen copied from other existing ones. Each scene did have its little twist added to the script referencing Alton Towers instead, but 95% of it was exactly the same as all the others. The Plague Doctor was 100% the same as the London one (though with very few effects) and so was The Torturer. The Judge scene was a little different but followed the same procedure - 3 people chosen, 1 found guilty after just saying where they were from. The Highwayman was identical to Ms. Lovett's pie shop mixed with Sweeney Todd at London where it used identical sound effects and audio and had the moving chairs with prodders. Lastly, the Haunting for the last scene was pretty good overall I will admit with some nice use of lighting and sound effects, similar to Witches of Warwick. Was a decent finale. As for the acting though, I've gotta hand it to those in there, they did a fantastic job in every scene. The actors performed brilliantly with plenty of adult humour which I liked and were interacting with guests very well. In fact, I would go as far to say the actors Alton have for this Dungeon are better than any other I have done before, so well done for hiring the right people! But that all aside, even though the acting was brilliant, the rest of it was a total mess. The biggest problem I have is the fact so many areas of the attraction consist of nothing but black walls everywhere in every scene and it's the dominating and most noticeable feature of every room. Each scene I would say is 70:30 in favour of black walls to theming and it looks really rushed in many areas, especially the transitions between each scene which once again are just black walls with no theming or detail put into them either. It is quite literally one giant yet claustrophobic rectangular black box one after the other for the majority of the experience. With the other dungeons, you at least have stuff to see, hear and feel which the London one is especially good at. But for the Alton Towers one? The only thing you can smell is the fumes of freshly coated black Dulux paint mixed with touching the sloppily finished un-sanded walls, and flooring which still has outlines of Charlie's theming and fencing present. It really is genuinely like this inside. The thing to bear in mind is that this is an attraction every guest unless you are an AT Premium Pass Holder will need to pay £5 for in order to experience, and I am telling you right now, I was really cheesed off my money went on this experience after finishing. There is no way in hell this is worth the upcharge the park is enforcing, because you can get a much better Dungeon experience across any other corner of the country for free compared to this if you are a MAP. It's completely unjustifiable in my view given there is a serious lack of quality and finish present in this version and you are frankly better off getting two medium Costa cappuccinos in Forbidden Valley for your fiver. Now, you might say "it's not finished yet hence the black walls", but I would then question why the heck are the park charging customers for a half-baked product if it's evidently not ready? Either open it when it's 100% right (yeah, just like DBGT remember...), or have some decency and not charge guests at all for it until it is fully completed. Lastly, I want to emphasise on a point @Martin Doyle made above a few posts ago. You might be reading and hearing many great reviews out there for the Alton Towers Dungeon right now from all the big and famous theme park fans out there with a massive following, but please take what you hear from them with a massive grain of salt. These are the same groups of people that praised Thorpe Park's Fright Nights last year with some going as far to say it was the "best Fright Nights yet", so it's obviously evident some of them are in Merlin's good graces when writing their reviews and are restricted on what they really think about it. Instead, I implore you to focus your attention and effort on those who have actually paid the £5 admission for this attraction and dedicated an hour of their time in the park for it. These reviews are far more credible and realistic through my eyes as they tend to speak their mind properly with no filters in place and aren't towing the company's line of being overly-positive about everything Merlin creates. To summarise my experience of the attraction, it would be this - a lacklustre, short-sighted and rushed mess that made Charlie and the Chocolate Factory look phenomenal in comparison. Still, it is better than nothing right?............Oh wait, black walls are nothing............ Alton Towers Dungeon - 3/10 EDIT: I rest my case when saying Alton are trying to make this thing look amazing by getting all the famous theme park bloggers and YouTubers onboard the hype train. This video has nothing but the MAP holders group, theme park vloggers like Shawn and bloggers like Cupcakes & Coasters giving their opinion:
  12. I concur with Coaster above, today really was brilliant! For a preview day, I gotta give credit to the park here as I was honestly surprised by how well things were being run and the availability of the attractions for guests, especially when Stealth unexpectedly opened in the early afternoon. I'd go as far as to say this has been one of the best preview events the park has held yet. All coasters minus WD were running full capacity, including Colossus on two trains and Tidal Wave on two boats which is something rarely seen these days! The staff running the coasters were on fire too with frequent and fast dispatch times. No messing around or delays this visit anywhere across any ride. Staff were friendly and cooperative when DBGT broke down and all of them seem enthused, which is a promising start to the season. Probably the most surprising thing for me was walking into a park where every minute between 10am - 5pm, the coasters did not remove any trains on their circuits due to small queues later in the day, which has become a terrible habit of this park lately. Instead, by 4pm, I was riding a train on Colossus with only 6 guests and loads of empty ones. Same for Inferno too. This is what I like to see! As for the changes and things I noticed across the park, there are some questionable cosmetic changes made inside the dome I really don't think highly of, especially given it's just black walls everywhere now and PVC posters in front of the store instead of a glass display window as an example. It looks so incredibly dull in there without the old theming anymore and no massive widescreen projector will ever excuse the decision to do this. Also, there were some areas of the park which clearly weren't looked over properly during the winter, as the LED lighting rigs from Fright Nights are still standing next to Tidal Wave, Loggers Leap and IAC. Why are they still standing? It looks really lazy. Colossus in-person looks awful with the land filled in under the vertical loop. They could have at least turfed the ground with some grass or plants couldn't they? Least the original audio was back on it today which was great to hear! It honestly suits the coaster so much better than the IMAscore version. Swarm's station was also quite bad, as whilst they painted the steel supports after removing all the cladding surrounding them, they didn't paint the footers right down to the ground and as a result, bare silver metal is still visible near the floor on all the supports. It looks really bad and like a botch job. But most of all, my biggest concern about what I saw from today was a seriously worrying lack of upkeep with their audio and SFX, because it was incredibly inconsistent in some areas and many effects have not been fixed since the end of last season. This is something I have noticed Chessington and Alton Towers are also suffering from currently so it's not unique just to Thorpe. Here is a long list of every little observation I made from today for each ride. Used spoiler tags to keep this post from getting too long:
  13. “Angry Birds 4D Experience - Suitable for all ages, meet here for education TED talks” Ooooooooh, is TED coming to Thorpe? Big thumbs up from me if they are this season!
  14. One white elephant down, another left to go at Thorpe Junction... Am a little bit saddened it's gone since Galactica was my first ever experience of the VR platform and remember being pretty damn impressed by it at the time, but accepted by the end of last year it's time was up, especially given the headphones used in those headesets during 2017/2018 was appalling quality and volume-wise. Just as long as the theme and audio for Galactica remains, it's not a huge loss through me eyes. I see absolutely no reason why the theme should revert back to Air as some are now saying. It's still the same ride no matter how it's dressed up!
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