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About Martin.C

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    Do my eyes look OK to you?
  • Birthday 05/24/95

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    The study of electronics, technology, roller coasters, squash, golf, reading and military aircraft displays.

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  • Favourite Theme Park
    Alton Towers

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  1. Park Music

    See, I disagree with that. Playing the same tune or segment multiple times on several attractions and areas does not excuse for a longer track. If anything, a longer track should provide an opportunity for the composer to create lots of new, original, innovative and unique audio, which we have thankfully for the most part been seeing over the last few months across the park. But at the same time, that does not mean the same 30-40 seconds should be used at least 4 times for Lost City, 5 times for The Jungle, endless repeating for X, constantly for Shark Hotel and several times for the others. It doesn't matter whether a guest has visited the park once or 10 times in a year, there should be a strong sense of variety and originality across all areas for them to appreciate and enjoy, but this move is straying away from that objective slightly. It seems to me that whilst this new audio is finally giving the park an identity, it is in return causing each attraction to begin losing their individual one at the same time. By the way, if this is all coming across as though I hate all the new audio, it isn't. In fact, I think the majority of it sounds excellent in comparison to what it was before, especially for the entrance, dome and Jungle areas of the park! But I believe it's important to point out and hope the park do not lose sight and forget the importance of each ride/area standing out from the rest with it's own character and identity. Seeing Lost City and Colossus merge together back in August with the same audio was when it started to become a problem and I fear The Jungle's track at some point will replace Inferno next given they share similar themes and proximity to each other.
  2. Park Music

    By all means, establishing an identity for the park with this new tune is great and it's good to see it finally get one just like Alton and Chessington do and I fully support the idea. But the problem is at the present stage, it is being used too much across their attractions and is in some ways detracting originality and character from each area/ride whilst simultaneously making it more repetitive to listen to, especially compared to what was played previously for each of them. The way Alton and Chessington do it is the right approach. Most of the time they place their themes amongst the rest of the track in a subtle way that is not too noticeable for listeners but it's still there regardless. That way, each area still retains it's character and originality without another melody dominating or overshadowing the rest of the music. This is why the entrance is the perfect place to use it several times since most people only pass through the gates once at the start/end of the day and don't queue potentially hours listening to the same track over and over again. For Thorpe however, not only is their version played countless times at the entrance, but X now uses it as it's main theme, Colossus now shares the same audio with all of Lost City, Shark Hotel I swear is nothing but this tune and The Jungle's audio features it at least 5 times on the same loop I'm sure over and over again. When you are standing or queuing in these areas for a while hearing this everywhere you go across the park in the same day, it can get quite repetitive. Sure, all the new audio tracks might be statistically longer in length and sound better, but does that mean they are all less repetitive as a result? In the case for Lost City and Colossus, it clearly isn't. If each attraction/area which has undergone changes this year only plays the tune on loop at very most just once or maybe twice very similarly to how Galactica, Spinball and Smiler do it and fill the rest of the loop with new and original audio, that would've worked much better. Make it's use subtle, not obvious.
  3. Fright Nights 2017

    It was on an endless loop with no stops in-between. In the middle of the announcement groups were being shown through the flaps.
  4. Fright Nights 2017

    That judgement was based upon the fact as soon as my group turned the corner into the strobes, the next one was right on our tail behind us. And then after circling through the strobe section once in 30 seconds, looking back at that archway, another group of around 12 goes through. This all happened in the space of less than a minute and caused a lot of congestion inside with lots of stoppages despite the actors guiding everyone through. Around 3 groups went into that maze in less than a minute. How did I see all this? Because that first corridor has a massive white light shining inside and leaking into the strobe area around the corner, so I could see these figures of people passing through constantly. Then to top it all off, after getting off and going back round to see the queue, they were sending groups of 10 through on average every 20-30 seconds after that which would explain why the queues suddenly shrunk afterwards. I know what I saw and it was overcrowded inside last night with too frequent dispatches of groups, especially compared to previous nights this year.
  5. Fright Nights 2017

    Yesterday reminded me why you should never attend this event on a Saturday in the middle of October. It was a joke. Swarm was by far the worst out of all problems last night. What could have easily been just a 40 minute queue turned out to be over 2 hours long in the early hours of the evening for the following reasons: 1. Pretty much every train going round the track had at least between 6-8 empty seats due to single riders or odd numbered groups. No organising or grouping from the staff was being used here. 2. The staff in the station as Ringo above mentioned were more interested in having chats with their colleagues during the loading stages of each dispatch than getting those trains going round the circuit at a relentless rate. 3. The ratio of the main queue:Fastrack was 50:50 and the number of people using it just for Swarm alone was absurd. On top of that, nobody next to the baggage hold was monitoring the number of people going through the fastrack queue at one point which explained why the main queue went to a near standstill for nearly 20 minutes. Other problems from the night were prevalent too. Big Top was overcrowded inside, especially during the first half of the maze with the strobes as groups kept going through at a constant rate, so much so that I estimate about 40 people were in that section at the same time on the second run. Why you might ask? Because staff were guiding guests completely through the first fortune teller scene, meaning it was an endless stream of people going through with no holding zones, as well as a missed scene from the attraction. And as for Fastrack, last night just goes to show you even a price hike still isn't enough to stop it being sold in large quantities. The queue pen outside Depth Charge to buy the stuff was overflowing by the time the sun was starting to set for the remainder of the evening. As result, the entire Fastrack queue for Big Top was full all night, an endless number of people were pouring through Swarm's Fastrack queue, Colossus was the same all day and night and Platform 15's Fastrack queue I swear was longer at one point compared to the normal queue. People's feedback online social media is just as valid as anybody else's out there regardless of what platform or rank they have, so I wouldn't write them all off as being OTT or exaggerated. If people fork out over £35 minimum for entry to discover they must queue over 2 hours for a 40 minute queue on Swarm, find lousy operations on all main rides, broken or missed scenes from the scare mazes and to be persuaded the only way to enjoy the night is to shell out more money on Fastrack which ironically had a massive queue all night to get, they have every right to complain and call the park out on it.
  6. Park Music

    Pretty certain in that video it's a combination of three different area tracks mixed together, as part of it is played from both the Dome and Donut Factory. Sent from my SM-G950F using Tapatalk
  7. OK, I'm down for the meet but not Containment thanks! May need to leave a little earlier too depending on the scheduling of Sunday train services. Sent from my SM-G950F using Tapatalk
  8. Fright Nights 2017 - Spoilers!

    Wouldn't say tonight has been awful in terms of the quality of the mazes due to lack of actors, more like dissapointing compared to earlier in the week when in Big Top they were at the top of the game. Hopefully every day of the event can be performed the best it can from here onwards. I would say however ride operarions were worse than Friday with everything bar Saw and X on one-train operation all day and night, 12pm openings for several attractions including "future for theme parks" DBGT, and audio slop still present all over the rides and park.
  9. Fright nights annual pass night

    As a note for those attending, they are NOT giving out wristbands in the evening and there is no need to leave the park at 4pm or just after to dish out the non-passholders in the park. Staff at the entrance said in order to access a maze or what rides are open, you need to show either your ticket on Eventbrite through your phone or with a paper print of your ticket at the entrance for each attraction at 4pm. Considering it's about to rain this evening at Thorpe and everything's on one train operation at present, this could get interesting.
  10. Fright Nights 2017 - Spoilers!

    Had no idea that was the case and that's the first time I've heard that before. Obviously not attending the BTS tours is why. Sanctum might be a bit of fun for most, but is it worth queueing more than 10 minutes for considering you are likely going to ruin your shoes as a result on a wet evening? No way. At least Dead End Terror Zone from 2010 had a dry floor and never seemed to have a queue, despite it's poor execution. I implore you to go through it again and listen to the difference in quality next time from the first half to the second half. Some are smaller than others I agree, but they sound worse as a result and it did sound as though they were being overdriven. I went through four times in one night on this and noticed it every time, especially when you approach the 3 different rooms towards the end. Yes, I am thinking of the right one. I said the second third of the maze was completely black with nothing at all. No actors. No smoke. No audio. No lighting. The first section DOES have all of this which I am not denying, all I'm pointing out is this dead area about half-way through where you cross the bridge over the lake. Neither is Samurai. Neither is Stealth. Neither is Lost City. Neither is Amity Cove. Neither is Inferno. Neither is Old Town. Neither is Colossus, but they all played in their stations/area either the park-wide playlist or the Director's announcements to fit with the Fright Nights theme. Swarm falls victim to this too. Would've expected at the very minimum something like the audio inside the pyramid to change to fit the event, just like it used to years ago.
  11. Fright Nights 2017 - Spoilers!

    Care to elaborate on why that might be please? Not everyone has inside knowledge. The point I was making was besides from the quality control of re-using these containers being low, which would explain the fact Experiment 10's logos were still visible on them, same as when it was MBV as well, was that Sanctum would have been far more entertaining if it was an experience making use of these containers instead of being an open-zoned walk-through attraction on a muddy surface with lacklustre scenes. Simply placing them there for use as nothing else but for walls and signage to me seems a wasted oppurtunity.
  12. Fright Nights 2017 - Spoilers!

    So I attended the first 'proper' day of Fright Nights on Friday the 29th September and was there from opening until closure to get the full package, especially with a £10 charge for standard pass holders. But unfortunately, in a nutshell, if it wasn't for Big Top, I would have to state this has got to be one of the WORST Fright Nights I have been to for a few years now. Not the worst, but it certainly stoops down into the bottom 4 since 2008. What I'm about to share was what I experienced myself, so I understand opinions may be different to others who were also there the same day. My rating of the event is a combination of the quality of the mazes, the management of the event and the park operations since I don't think of Fright Nights as just simply mazes and nothing else. To me, it means more than that. So I'll start with the main focus and get onto the scare attractions: Big Top - 9/10 It's great to see this back after last year and the changes made are absolutely welcome. The intro with the fortune teller involves the use of a projector through a crystal ball onto the screen and the speech is definitely loud enough to hear it properly this time, so it's a good start. Once down the corridor, you enter the first half of the maze which has a different layout this year, but is a lot more disorientating this time with smoke so thick you can't see more than 1m in front of you! First run I was in there for a solid 6 minutes before fining the right route out as a result. Once you're out of the proper maze section, this is where it's all new. You immediately go through a small mirror maze in a zig-zag pattern with flashing lights similar to earlier. Once out, there are all these confined spaces and corridors you need to pass such as the clown's room, caged inhabitants, props from last year and a section where you choose one of three rooms, all lead through different rooms similar to Cabin in the Woods beginning before rejoining near the end again for the finale of the chainsaw corridor. What made this easily the best maze was the quality of the actors inside as there were so many in the 2nd half all over the place interacting with guests it was great! And on my second run, the chainsaw corridor had two of them in there which really got me nervous with how close they were being revved to my face. You can tell the actors in this maze were having lots of fun over the evening and some played alongside the soundtrack's beats which was really good too. The only issue I had with it was to do with the quality of the speakers used during the 2nd half of the maze because at the start, you get some very powerful, bassy and loud ones whilst in the maze section, but once you leave that, they all gradually get smaller and naturally start to sound worse. In the last section, the speakers were crackling as a result as they were being overdriven. Wouldn't surprise me at one point if one of them goes. Also, I was irritated by the open roof again, so some light was still leaking inside during the day and in other areas of the maze. But apart from that, best maze of the event and had loads of fun inside! This just goes to show you don't need an IP to make the best attraction. Learn from it, Thorpe. Living Nightmare - 6/10 When hearing Cabin in the Woods was leaving, it was pretty damning for me as I happened to really like it, even during it's final year. So when it was announced this would be replaced with a maze themed on the Walking Dead, I was very skeptical because as someone who has never even touched a single episode of the show, I was worried I wouldn't understand a single reference inside, but I did get the gist of what was happening though. First disappointment however was the batching corridor where you wait your turn to go through the maze. When it was Cabin, it was pitch black inside with these patterns on the walls with a soft floor representing soil and leaves. Now though? It's back to standard concrete flooring and brightly lit with no audio inside like Hellgate used to years ago. Oddly however, some of those patterns were still present from Cabin? Bizarre decision to make and the build-up was non-existent this time. Bad start. Now onto the first room itself and this just felt as though it was forcefully put in as it's nothing other than a photo opportunity with the character telling you what's going on and what awaits ahead (again, I have no knowledge of the franchise so forgive me for sounding so vague here). He even as some have pointed out swore a couple of times which surprised me, not that I didn't mind. Now from here, you enter through what I presume is a hospital wing and the level of detail in here is brilliant. From all the rooms with the beds, equipment, roofing, lighting and theming to make it feel derelict really was done well here. There was only one actor in this entire section however, so it did feel a bit scare-less. Once leaving the hospital, you go through a bricked tunnel which was very wide and high to another room with a staircase for use by the actors. There were a few strobes inside with a single actor on the stairs and that was it really. Also, why was this bit open-roofed? Besides from venting possibly the smoke inside, that cheapened the effect slightly, similar to the entirety of I'm a Celeb. And lastly, there was the strobe maze section which wasn't a maze, just a walkthrough with actors against the wired fences with flashing strobes and you pass through a bus with all these dummy props of people, including the driver. Didn't have much of an effect on me as it was blatantly obvious they were all inanimate objects and none were actors. Felt like a wasted opportunity here. And once leaving the bus, a quick reminder from the guy at the start you must pass through these doors which is the end of the maze. My overall impression of this in a nutshell which I though once it finished was 'Is that it?' because it was far, far too short to deliver anything scary, jumpy or build tension and some of the rooms were so wide and open it lost some of it's effect. Partly why I liked Cabin so much was because of these claustrophobic sections as you couldn't see what was ahead most of the time. But theming wise, it is very well done inside (minus the open roofed areas) but simply didn't deliver on scares anywhere. If there's a comparison to be made to another attraction, think of this as the Sherlock Experience at Madame Tussauds, only loads shorter and with a few flashing strobes. Platform 15 - 6/10 I never did this last year because whenever I visited, the queues were monstrously long for what seemed upon initial impressions a walk behind Loggers Leap. Buy thankfully, after finally trying it, it was better than what I was lead to believe it was like. The start from where you leave the station down the first pathway was done well despite the beautiful steel walls to hide Loggers Leap. The amount of water mist used down this pathway was really thick and provided a good effect when walking down in the dark and looking behind to not see anything but lighting. The actor led us step-by-step down this pathway until reaching the first flaps (or Logger's lift hill) and from here, we were left as a group to find our own way through. From here onwards, there were some good uses of sound effects and lighting when heading up to the dilapidated Canada Creek train which was nice to see again after all these years and the synchronisation of the audio with the fire effect coming from the funnel was well done here as it certainly made me jump the first time! There were a couple of actors too staring at our group the whole time which became unsettling at one point which was good. However, from here until reaching the house, it falls apart. The next third of the walk was just empty pathways with almost no lighting, actors, smoke or audio present and it just felt too much like a walk in the woods, so points are lost here. Once reaching the house's front however, this is where the best parts occur. You walk through a tiny house which was nicely detailed inside with a couple of actors and a very gory scene of innards all over the worktop and sink. Upon leaving the house, there are a few zig-zag walls to pass before entering the tunnel and this was where it got good. The tunnel inside was pitch black with not a sight of a light anywhere for about 3/4 of the run. This coupled with some really effective sound effects worked well as it certainly got me nervous in case something wasn't ahead I couldn't see. A couple of actors as a result were hiding in the tunnel and out of nowhere shocked the bleedin' life out of me and the rest of the group, as it was timed with one of the sound effects perfectly. Finally, when reaching the end of the tunnel, the room turns a bright red colour full of smoke and the sounds of a train from behind you before leaving to go outside again. Not the best finale for a maze it must be said. Overall, Platform 15 is a nice idea and has it's good moments, but was far too long, open and empty to really deliver anything special, though I will say the use of lighting, audio and visual effects worked well throughout. SAW Alive - 4/10 I'll keep this short: It's exactly the same as last year. And the year before that, and that, and that, and that...... Moving on! Sanctum - 2/10 Oh man, where do I begin here other than saying it's Dead End Terror Zone V2.0? I wonder how many remember that from 2010 as I certainly still do! This was laughably bad. The first insult was they reused some perfectly good shipping containers which were once for Experiment 10 and My Bloody Valentine. Heck, the logos were still present on one of them and both were superior in almost every measure to what this atrocity is. Secondly, who's genius idea was it to put an outdoor walkthrough attraction on a sandy gravel pathway... in AUTUMN?! I would've at least expected something like wooden floorboards to at least be used on this somewhere to avoid getting your shoes and jeans ruined for the rest of the day. Thirdly, it felt cheap. Really cheap. Though, not as cheap as Dead End Terror Zone I'll give it that. The walls were ineffective between each section, the props used I'm certain the majority are recycled from previous attractions and the scares were non-existent from start to finish. Fourth and lastly, why? I got the impression from this considering there was so little substance to it all that it was a last-minute decision for the park to boast "We have TWO NEW MAZES for 2017, not one!". If there's an attraction which should not make it to next year, this should be it. If it returns, regardless of what hype might surround it, I'm not interested next time. Now I know this is not a Fright Nights exclusive attraction and is open year-round, but I'm going to count it on the scare attraction list anyway since it's still relevant to the event: Derren Brown's Ghost Train: Rise of the Demon - 4/10 My biggest fear with this after how it performed back in early October last year during Fright Nights was the same thing was going to happen again this time despite the 'upgrades' it has received over winter where almost nothing worked properly inside. Thankfully, this wasn't the case, but over half of everything still wasn't working the way it should and problems arouse all three times it was ridden. The pre-show was decent enough with the audio noticeably turned up a bit finally, but they were still playing the shorter version of the show despite it being a 0 minute queue by the evening. Also, a few of the bulbs above are still broken and have not been replaced yet, something you would think should take a few minutes to do with a ladder and the correct light bulb... Also, that obtrusive industrial fan was still on all day, destroying any build-up in this room all three goes. Up the stairs and thankfully on all three occasions there was only a 1-2 minute wait here before being lead into the warehouse even though the ride experienced it's normal routine and broke down twice before boarding. Once inside, the train on all three goes had a fair number of the headsets broken, including one where the foam pad for the right speaker was missing. I mentioned it to a member of staff who moved me to another seat, but he left it for use and didn't bag it up. Not sure why... But the content itself for the first half worked fine, despite the headset on one go thinking I was standing up in the carriage the whole time. Once in the middle live-action section, just like the condition it was in last year, the moving train was not working again! *slowly claps* I have visited a few times in the last few weeks and I reckon that hasn't worked for nearly 2 months now, so that's really bad performance for a 'groundbreaking' investment. Nevertheless, can't say I was too surprised it was broken either. The second half worked great all three times with the exception of the audio quality on two goes being either too quiet or corrupted with all this static noise present on the left speaker. Mentioned it to staff again, moved seats but still left it for use for another guest and wasn't bagged up. I began to wonder how many of the other 50+ headsets in the carriage were broken but weren't bagged up in order to increase the number of guests able to ride at the same time. The ending as ever was the same and as entertaining to watch, though the floor has stopped moving again after briefly doing so back in early September. Lastly, something in the shop made me laugh. Those jarred heads where the photo screens are were all off because an error occurred. It even had the error message in each jar at the bottom. Also, the fortune teller Derren was still down. Overall, I would say it has performed much better compared to what it was like in October 2016, but there are still tons of errors and inconsistencies across the attraction which should not be there for a ride only 14 months old since it's opening day. Sadly, I don't think it will ever 100% work in it's lifetime, but thing like the broken tunnel effect, broken light bulbs and glitchy headsets still being used are inexcusable at this point. As for the positives across the park, these are the highlights: • The park lighting was better with more colours and the use of stencils for some of the areas was welcome. • Park-wide audio was nice as it incorporated parts of the Walking Dead's theme with the island soundtrack. Hearing the 30 minute track back, I am certain the entire thing is 100% composed by IMAscore. • Plenty of smoke machines were used across the park such as next to Tidal Wave and Inferno which was nice to see and created a good-looking atmosphere at night. • The use of Fastrack was thankfully very little which helped all the queues move fast, especially for the mazes, so that price increase seems to have made an effect already. However, I must report that overall, this was a very badly managed event day for several reasons. Here are a few key ones that aggravated me hugely: • Little to no effort in park-wide decorations visible in the park past the entrance bridge. Sure, there are a few scattered in places like next to the Dodgems, Swarm, Stealth and Big Top but that was it. Really disappointing the park is still not taking decorations as seriously as it used to back in the late 2000's where the park and it's rides looked fantastic during the event. Heck, adding coloured lighting on the bridge's mesh above your head would be an improvement! • The management of what I consider to be a key element of Fright Nights is the park's audio from every corner, as it was incredibly sloppy this day. I'll discuss it as a separate topic later. • All coasters minus Saw, X and Inferno were all on one train for the entire day and night, despite me thinking this was a routine I was told was stopped earlier this year. It became incredibly frustrating with Swarm especially because not only were the staff dispatching the trains at incredibly slow speeds, but the entire station was ram packed with people everywhere from the stairs, to the loading gates and other walkways. What would easily have been just 10 minutes if both trains are running became a 25 minute queue in the end and it drove me mad nearly, especially with the awful new dispatch announcement used. Thorpe Park, if you are reading this, for goodness sake, stop this ridiculous operation of your coasters. It shouldn't matter what day of the week, time of year or circumstance it is in. If your rides can run two trains (minus Colossus), do it! • Lots of the little closed rides across the park like Storm in a Teacup and Lumber Jump were closed all day, along with about 50% of all food and drink stalls too throughout the entire day and evening. Whilst it was a quiet day for the most part, I didn't appreciate having to trek all the way from Old Town after Platform 15 to Amity Cove to get a hot drink in the cold weather. • Why does X still play disco music during a Halloween event? I would've expected something spooky to at least be playing inside, as nothing screams Halloween more than Darude - Sandstorm. Now, I mention audio will have it's own topic because it was an utter mess throughout the day and night. Bear in mind these do not point to the broken speakers still present in the park, but more on what they were playing more than anything: 1) Upon entering the park at 10am, I was confused as to why the IMAscore Fright Nights audio track was playing everywhere, because every previous year is done where the regular park/ride themes are played until the event begins at 3pm, so it really confused me at first, but didn't necessarily mind it. However, what did irritate me was about 2 hours later around midday, it all changed back again to regular park audio in Lost City, Old Town, The Jungle, Stealth, Tidal Wave and the entrance and dome. Huh? I get the impression someone must have forgotten to change it back from media event last night to the regular audio and took them about 2 hours after park opening to realise this. 2) The levels of inconsistency I noticed on every ride with what audio should play for it's loading, dispatch and ending themes was very noticeable. E.G. 1: Samurai before 3pm was using it's regular loading and dispatch themes, but it's ending theme was the Fright Nights one? E.G. 2: Colossus' queue and plaza was playing it's newish Lost City theme, but the station was playing the Fright Nights dispatch theme and it's regular loading ambience? E.G. 3: Stealth's queue and plaza was playing WWTP radio and the station was playing the regular sound effects, but the launch was the Fright Nights one? E.G. 4: Detonator was playing in the queue and platform all day it's regular Angry Birds theme, even at night? E.G. 5: Zodiac was playing it's regular music during dispatch, but Fright Nights in the queue? I understand some rides play Fright Nights music even during the day which is understandable, but to see some half-regular, half-Fright Nights like Samurai for instance? That's really sloppy work and was never an issue historically for the event over the years. Sort it out Thorpe as it was bad. 3) Those rides which did have Fright Nights announcements like Colossus and Stealth were all using the Director's one from 2013, 2014 and 2016 which was confusing as I thought the whole Movie Studios theme and Lionsgate IP finished last year? Was it cheaper for the park to recycle old audio and not invest in newer, more relevant dispatch announcements on the Walking Dead, or even better, bringing back Midnight Syndicate music once again? I know audio might not seem that much of an importance for many who visit a theme park or a Halloween event, but to me, it does. And when it is screwed up this badly like it was in my experience of the event, I notice it easily and get irritated by it all. I don't care how complex an audio system might be, the park should have been prepared properly for audio changes and it is completely inexcusable. So there we are. That's my experience of the event. Going back to what I said at the very start, if Big Top wasn't available this year in the superb state it was in, I wouldn't even bother with Fright Nights this year for those considering going. The Walking Dead theme was hardly prevalent at the park besides from Living Nightmare and Sanctum was a pile of rubbish. The other mazes like Platform 15 and SAW Alive were all average but nothing special. The management of the audio was clumsily managed and inconsistencies were present everywhere with it. Operations for the coasters were awful with queues reaching nearly an hour for Swarm on one train all day and night, and Derren Brown's Ghost Train is in a bad state once again. I will give credit where it is due though. The park lighting was fab at night with all the colours and silhouettes used over them. The use of park-wide smoke across several areas made the park look really good at night. One of their mazes I would argue is the best ever historically for a Fright Nights event, and lastly, all of the staff were nice and friendly throughout the day and evening. But sadly, this doesn't make up for the awful experience I had and as a pass holder who paid a £10 premium instead of the regular £5, I cannot say this was a value for my money and I feel incredibly sorry for the poor folk who might be shelling over £20 for entry as a pass holder later in October. Now, some would argue you get all the mazes included in that price compared to Alton Towers who charge per maze, but I would put back to you if Big Top wasn't available this year, I would be more than happy to pay extra for a quality scare maze at Scarefest or Tulley's Farm than experience four mediocre ones at Thorpe Park, each with 2 hour queues. It will take a fair bit of persuasion to visit this event again later in October. Unless the park are prepared properly next time, I would find it difficult to justify another £10 premium again. Fright Nights 2008 - 7/10. Fright Nights 2009 - 8/10. Fright Nights 2010 - 4/10. Fright Nights 2011 - 7/10. Fright Nights 2012 - 6/10. Fright Nights 2013 - 7/10. Fright Nights 2014 - 8/10. Fright Nights 2015 - 5/10. Fright Nights 2016 - 7/10. Fright Nights 2017 - 6/10.
  13. Fright Nights 2017

    Seeing a price increase is no shock really and if theoretically this reduces the number of fastrack sold for guests as a whole, I can’t see an issue with it. However, people are going to buy it at any price regardless, so it’s just a question of how many and if a limit per day will be imposed this time. The bigger concern I have is the fact most major coasters now have three main queues - normal, fastrack and priority, as well as a considerably reduced ride lineup compared to 2016. Just as long as the queues aren’t managed like the mazes were in 2014 with the old Reserve ‘n’ Ride system and operations are the best they can be with everything on full capacity, it should be OK.
  14. TPM PortAventura Meet September 2017

    Really, really glad I made this meet as it was fantastic! Minus the weather upon arrival and the return flight, everything worked out very well and I'd like to thank everyone for the experience and special thanks to Ryan and Marc for helping to keep everything run smoothly! Here are some of my pictures from the meet, Red Force being the highlight of the trip, alongside Shambhala once again: (Perfect weather, which was lovely and hot too!) (A familiar sight once again. ) (Furius Baco's final turn.) (Yep. You get soaked on Tutuki Splash!) (The perfect coaster twins. ) (Two of my favourite things - Shambhala and the Spanish climate.) (Best photo opportunity for Shambhala.) (Such a nice skyline!) (Rumba Rapids on steroids essentially.) (Polynesia.) (Stampida's entrance). (The Bird Show with a talking yellow-crested cockatoo!) (Hurakan Condor dominating the area of Mexico.) (The entrance to a moderately quiet Ferrari Land.) (Red Force standing proudly over everything.) (This thing's absolutely huuuuuuuge!) (Oh, look! Projection mapping that works really well inside the queues for the simulators!) (Overview of Red Force and the Thrill Towers at sunset.) (Couldn't resist a photo with caballero Woody!) (And, of course, the complimentary on-ride photo from the visit - Red Force front row for the first time! ) Had a wonderful weekend. Here's to the next one!
  15. SW8

    For what is clearly going to be a family coaster, that is a very bizarre decision to theme it on yet again another dark and gloomy IP, just in case we haven't seen it enough with Merlin as a whole these last 7 years with almost all new investments made at their parks. All I can hope for now is that this isn't over-hyped and underdelivered like Thirteen was at the time with it's ludicrous marketing campaign. As for what is hopefully plenty of fire effects, it might sound nice and promising, but given the track record of many other effects across Merlin breaking within a year and some of which are never fixed again, I ain't building any expectations for a flawless and consistent pyrotechnic show. Really was hoping more than anything they were going to theme this with the rest of Mutiny Bay.