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TPJames

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    Phantasialand

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  1. It’s just, I wouldn’t be surprised by the time fright nights are supposed to begin, (with the way things are going), if the parks were forced to close again.
  2. To be honest I wouldn’t be surprised if merlin cut their losses and scrapped the Halloween events now before it’s too late.
  3. From the official gov website: Businesses selling food or drink (including cafes, bars, pubs and restaurants), social clubs, casinos, bowling alleys, amusement arcades (and other indoor leisure centres or facilities), funfairs, theme parks, adventure parks and activities, and bingo halls, must be closed between 10pm and 5am. This will include takeaways but delivery services can continue after 10pm (from 24 September). Theatre and cinema performances are the only two exempt and can run over the 10pm curfew, but the bars/kiosks must be shut down by then. So yes, guests will have to be out of the park by 10pm, so it will affect ride/maze close times; as they will probably have to shut the queues earlier due to how popular the event is.
  4. Fright nights is advertised until 9pm but queues have been hitting 2-3 hours lately (it’s a joke) so there’s no reason it would be any different during fright nights, arguably the busiest time of year. I’d imagine rides with a queue longer than 60 minutes would have to close the queue-line early(based on the approx queue time) so that the last ride has ended by 10pm and guests are on their way out of the park. Logistically might seem quite complicated but is the process for european parks such as Phantasialand and efteling. Thats if the event can run at all of course, I wouldn’t be surprised if hospitality was cut by this time next month with the way things are going again.
  5. What a way to p*** off your guests even more, when they are already giving you 1 star reviews on TripAdvisor.
  6. TPJames

    2020 Season

    Thorpe park have updated where face masks are mandatory, in line with new government guidance which becomes effective from 8. August. Guests over the age of 11 will be required to wear a face mask in order to go on a number of rides and rollercoasters, into our shops and arcades or when queuing in an indoor location. All guests will therefore need to bring a suitable mask with them when they visit our attraction. Face masks will also be available for purchase at our attraction should you require one. Only securely fitted face masks should be worn on rides for safety reasons and we would recommend removing face masks on water rides in case they get wet. Face masks are not required for children under the age of 11 or for people with certain health conditions and/or disabilities.
  7. I am sceptical that they will get another large investment, at least not in the near future, as covid will have set merlin back financially yet again, just like they were set back after the smiler incident. This financial set-back and the fact that money gets prioritised to other merlin park’s first, I wouldn’t expect the park to get a major addition until at least 2025 now. I’m fully expecting another 4-5 years of filler attractions and more SBNO rides. If merlin ever sell a park off Thorpe park is undoubtedly the first they will get rid of. There becomes a point when it’s cheaper to sell the park off than to maintain all the issues they’ve caused over the last 8 years. What happens when rush, vortex, zodiac, Colossus and samurai all die at similar times? I can not see merlin pumping in the money for those high volumes of maintenance or for new developments, they will be left SBNO or the park will sell itself off to a new business owner, and hopefully a better one.
  8. TPJames

    2020 Season

    Yeah of course “thrill” parks are going to attract more teenagers, look at parc asterix and Phantasialand, they also attract very large teenage crowds. But on the same day as the recent incident at Thorpe park, my friends were also verbally abused by a gang in a queueline. Not once have I ever experienced or seen any sort of verbal or physical abuse at another theme park. Maybe I’ve just got lucky, but then again I wouldn’t expect to have to experience abuse in a theme park setting, there just seems to be high volumes of it at Thorpe park lately though. I would argue that retheming X and addition of DGBT are not family additions at all, you could argue that the new Canada creek rides are (the boat and frog hopper) but they were hardly advertised in the way the new “horror” experiences were, and most people don’t even know that area of the park probably even exists. The marketing focus has been on fright nights, and the two new horror rides over the last few years.
  9. TPJames

    2020 Season

    I mean someone got their jaw broken at ministry of sound a few years back as they were beaten up by a gang.... Not saying there was anything park security could have done about that, but these kind of incidents do happen at this park, and that's just down to the audience the park and merlin are trying to attract to the park at the end of the day. Shift the marketing and target market. of the park and make it more of a family park and bring it back to what it once was, and these type of violent incidents would stop happening. I don't know many other theme parks in Europe which have had multiple incidents of violence within 10 years. They need to either a) up the security levels or b) shift the target market back to what it once was under Tussauds ownership; these incidents have only happened since merlin came along and shifted the clientele entirely.
  10. TPJames

    2020 Season

    Unfortunately, Thorpe park just attracts these type of people nowadays, and unfortunately these “yobs” probably would have attacked the other individual knife or no knife (although knife is considerably worse and I’m shocked security is relaxed as it was yesterday- my friends walked into the park without any security checks whatsoever). There’s no doubt that this is down to merlin and Thorpe parks management which has transformed Thorpe park from what was once a quaint family park in the old days now to what they call is an “island like no other”. Well this island like no other relies on no investment, retheming rides to horror themes and making it the local dump for yobs to hang out and smoke. What happened yesterday was truly tragic and shouldn’t be happening anywhere, especially not in a theme park, but these people getting involved in these attacks are not any different to these attacks happening in gangs around London. The real way to make something like this never happen again is for merlin to put the money into the park that it deserves, transform it back to the family friendly park it once was, take a more upmarket approach and the yobs will stop visiting and stop being aggressive with other visitors (a gang was very violent towards my friends yesterday after they asked them to take a step back and stand on their social distance marker in the queue). Never have I ever been to another theme park with as many chavs, gangs and smokers as there are now at Thorpe park. I would say parc asterix comes second to Thorpe park on attracting the worst clientele, but when I visited parc asterix had the most strict security measures which stops these kind of incidents happening, and there’s also a lot of families at asterix, which there aren’t at Thorpe. At the end of the day Thorpe either need to step up the security levels to airport style security or rebrand the park and bring it back to its former demographic ie. families so these gangs stop visiting the park.
  11. TPJames

    2020 Season

    Marc, it’s great you are so positive and it’s always great to get a positive opinion and outlook on life! Unfortunately I just cannot agree. Blackpool has had a really successful opening day (bar issues with the big one due to wind) whereas merlin parks have been a bit of a shambles across the board. I’m tempted to say there’s been more rides closed than open today, and when the closed rides aren’t advertised on the website in advance, that’s pretty unprofessional in my opinion. Chessington and Legoland posted a list of what’s going to be open and closed, whereas Alton and Thorpe left their customers in the dark as to what would be operating, then Thorpe had all water rides shut, and towers had 2 major coasters closed. We can argue indoor rides are closed due to social distancing but at the end of the day I think indoor rides being closed is just down to budget cuts- out in Europe parks have indoor rides open so I don’t see why it should be any different over here. In terms of covid mitigation, which is really important right now, merlin have done a pretty good job from what I’ve seen. But it doesn’t cover up the fact that parts of towers and Thorpe have been neglected and just not maintained, this was an issue pre-covid but is surely not going to be helped by the pandemic as any budgets left for park upkeep and refurbishment have probably been lost in the 3 months of the parks not being open. And to combine the abundance of SBNO rides today across all the merlin parks, it’s pretty poor. When I checked the Thorpe park queue times at one point today there was only 10 rides open and 14 closed, and because of this queue times are elevated too which means people are in close proximity for longer. I also struggle to see how chessington is operating on a 10am-4pm opening hours, that’s just shocking to be honest I can’t believe they can get away with that- not related to Thorpe though. So yeah in terms of covid measures, they’ve done a good job but there’s been way too many unadvertised ride closures today across Thorpe and towers and the parks are just looking really neglected. The pandemic isn’t going to help with this as merlin now will be struggling financially along with every other business out there. I just wish we had some more competition in terms of uk parks to give merlin that extra push in terms of investing in park maintenance, theming and upkeep.
  12. TPJames

    2020 Season

    I reckon they weren’t bothering to do paper maps this season anyway. Lots of time and money saved if they don’t have to design and print thousands of maps for guests. Leaflets can be designed and pieced together much quicker. Would just be more sensible to have a sign telling guests no paper maps rather than handing out leaflets though.
  13. TPJames

    2020 Season

    In terms of preparing the UK parks themselves with distancing markers and the like, unfortunately the government just aren’t giving the businesses enough notice. This could be exactly the same regarding the date they are allowed to re-open on. Until the government confirm an official date and exactly the measures that need to be in place, the parks just cannot move forward with staff training and setting up the parks. A big factor of the upcoming staff training is going to be enforcement. Training the staff to enforce the new distancing rules and try and make sure guests stick to them as much as possible. With the government potentially reducing the 2m rule to “1m plus”, it is impossible to train staff regarding enforcement rules until the new distancing rules are exactly clarified. There is no point setting up distancing markers in shops, queuelines and restaurants until the parks know whether it is 2m or 1m. Staff may also have to be trained to enforce that guests wear a face mask, if this is a condition of the 1m rule. Until the government inform merlin and other UK park owners more, it is impractical for training to take place. Therefore, it was probably premature to announce a 4th July opening date without an official confirmation. Training and setting up the park for a 4th July opening is going to have to be a quick turnaround and it’s not something that should be rushed when all the new hygiene and distancing measures need to be factored in.
  14. The event will definitely have to take place as a "temporary theme park" rather than a funfair. All funfairs have now been cancelled until at least November in Germany and it's inevitable it will be the same here. There's absolutely no way winter wonderland would be able to take place in the regular formatting and big changes will have to be made, for example distancing markers, hygiene stations, limited capacity and as you say pre-book only. I wouldn't be surprised if there were no beer tents and live music too. As for what attractions come across. The majority of the showmen in all countries have been really struggling throughout this time with limited financial support and not able to host any events. I think the demand for a position at winter wonderland would actually be higher than ever from the showmen as they will be desperate to make some turnover. Winter wonderland is a very established and popular event and I imagine the demand for pre-booked slots would be high. Therefore I also imagine the demand for a position for the attractions would also be high. However, no one knows whether this virus is seasonal etc and what will happen with a second wave. If everything is locked down again in the winter months, winter wonderland wont happen at all. But if they are able to open, they could perhaps be very successful as a "pop up theme park" rather than a mass gathering set-up. If international travel is possible come October and there isn't a significant second wave or lock down, I think the line-up of attractions could be as strong as usual. Would definitely see Olympia looping coming back onto this soil if they are able to do so, as they can turn a big profit here.
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