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  1. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-york-north-yorkshire-48461611 A boy has been airlifted to hospital after an incident at a theme park in North Yorkshire. Yorkshire Air Ambulance confirmed the boy was transported to Leeds General Infirmary from Lightwater Valley, near Ripon. His condition is not known. North Yorkshire Police said it had been called to reports of a "medical incident" at 11:30 BST and officers remained at the scene. Eyewitness have suggested the boy fell from a ride at the park. A witness on Twitter has since said the boy fell 20-30 feet from the Twister rollercoaster!
  2. Chessington have announced that The Vampire will be open during the "Winter's Tail" Christmas events. Seems strange that they plan to run it when the temperatures could be quite low and also obviously no large maintenance planned this winter. https://www.chessington.com/christmas/
  3. Tidal Wave broke down today, which according to the Daily Fail left "thrillseekers stuck for 20 minutes in 86c heat!" Surprisingly, there is no mention of "the Smiler incident" in the article. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5909841/Thrillseekers-stuck-Thorpe-Park-rollercoaster-ride-86F-heat.html
  4. ...Causes Daily Mail to run with an overly dramatic headline and horror stories, mostly lifted from Twitter. A power cut in the local area (not just the site) caused rides to cease at Chessington today, which led the staff to execute their well rehearsed evacuation plans. All guests were freed from rides within 30 minutes. Naturally, The Daily Fail have reported that it was almost an apocolypse and that Chessington had "no contingency plans in place". http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5795863/Chessington-World-Adventures-power-cut-leaves-parents-enraged.html It seems to me in reality, that they handled the situation very well. The power cut was outside of their control and they are offering tickets for people to return at a later date.
  5. Anyone got any ideas when they are going to release the annual pass day tickets? They've been saying "very soon" on their website for 10 days now!!
  6. I went to Chessington last Saturday and I have to say, I was hugely disappointed. Hocus Pocus Hall was open, but we had an announcement on the way in that the Goblins had made off with the 3D specs so we just had to walk through without any of the effects. I know it's better than closing the attraction altogether, but what reason can there be for not having the 3D specs available? We went on Zufari, and it really is shocking now. I know they'd cut the audience interaction a couple of years ago, and to be honest I don't miss the Goetze stuff in the queue, but the actual ride is so poor now. There was no sign of the Flamingoes as we first started and the truck whizzed straight past. We arrived where the Giraffe were and there were 2 Giraffe feeding, which was nice. No sign of the Zebra or Ostrich though. On we went and were able to just see a Rhino the other side of a fence, almost hidden by a tree. There were a few Blesbok to our left, but we didn't stop to take a proper look. In the cave; we just went straight through. No lightning or waterfall, just straight through and unloaded. Whilst I know you can't account for all animals being available or visable, the experience itself has become rushed and it is unattractive. I'm fortuante to have ridden it when it was better than it is now, but if I rode it for the first time on Saturday after queuing for 45 minutes, I'd wonder what the fuss was about and question where the aminals are! I used to love going to 'Chessie', but I have to say I feel quite sad when I am there these days. There is so much needed to improve the park and whilst I have only been a MAP holder for 6 years, the decline in the park in the past 3-4 years is alarming.
  7. Went to Alton Towers at the weekend. I'm sad to say that I feel it's lost so much spark these days. Yes, we can all see "SW8" is coming along nicely, and I do feel it will be very impressive. But we wandered over to "Cloud Cuckoo Land" and there is virtually nothing left over there! Charlie and the Chocolate Factory went a couple of years ago, and this year, Ice Age 4D and the Twirling Toadstool have also gone. The loss of Charlie & the Chocolate Factory and Ice Age are obvioulsy down to IP deals now expring. But surely there has to be a plan by Merlin for when things like this happen? What will happen when the Gruffalo IP expires at Chessington for example? We are left with a carousel, the driving school and the frog hoppers (which have been moved and sit right outside where the Ice Age attraction used to be - which incidently has been painted in horrific bright colours) and the whole area just feels empty now. The Runaway Mine Train was also closed all day Saturday, which didn't help matters. They have a couple of new attractions in Cbeebies land which seemed very popular as wait times were 60 minutes. I went on Galatica. The VR set I was using was very blurry. I tried tightening and twisting the focus wheel but it didn't imrove matters. I realised that the viewfinders were wiped between rides with what looks like a damp cloth. This leaves the VR blurry and spoiled the experience for me. All-in-all, I felt really disappointed on Saturday. It is a 3 hour drive for me to get to Alton Towers. I used to think it was worth it, but I left feeling really disappointed on Saturday and sadly won't be rushing to get there again this year!
  8. Photos released of the new Slinky Dog Dash rollercoaster ride at Hollywood Studios.
  9. Just got back from a 2 week break in Orlando. The Avatar: Flight of Passage ride is superb. Naturally, the queues are horrific (they were hitting 220 minutes almost every day whilst we were there!) but most people will say it's worth the wait. Think of Soarin' upscaled 1000% and you are getting close. The ride is visually brilliant, and the attention to detail is great. Unlike Soarin' you sit on what essensially looks like a bike (similar to the seats on Kobra at Chessington for instance), and this is the "Banshee", which you fly on. Thay have installed pads on the side of the seat that give you the feeling that the Banshee you are sitting on the back of is breathing as you are flying around Pandora! All-in-all, I was hugely impressed with it.
  10. Went Thorpe on Saturday and the maze was open. There were 2 differences that I noticed when I was there. Firsty, the bridge you cross as you first enter the attraction (just before 'Holey Moley') now vibrates. I can't remember it doing that in the past! Secondly, we were ushered from the 'Chambers of Horror' straight past the section where you have to sort out the washing and were shown straight in to Kiosk Kate's section. I thought it was a staffing issue until I realised someone was standing by the door and had given one of the guests the bag of Dingo Dollars to hand over at the Kiosk! Surely she could have managed the section where you have to sort the laundry? The queue was only 20 minutes long so it can't have been to get more people through quickly!
  11. 8 Penguins have been killed by a Fox at Chessington.. http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/horror-chessington-world-adventures-fox-10866364 The park have closed Penguin Bay as they are "remodelling" the area!
  12. When you say refurbished, do you mean most of the theming removed to be followed by an announcement of a forthcoming competition for new theming, that never actually took place?
  13. Daily Mail (yes, not the most reliable source) reporting that Glatica got stuck for 30 minutes today, on the hottest day of the year so far! http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4625830/Dozens-thrillseekers-stranded-air-Alton-Towers.html
  14. The Facebook page - Chessington Buzz have said that Chessington have removed all details regarding a new ride for 2016 from their website. Speculation is that it's been pulled and there will be no new attraction next year!
  15. Went along today, my review as follows: Firstly, the car parking was shambolic... There has been a bit of rain over the past 48 hours, and as we arrived and were sent to the "Leopard" field to park, there were cars slipping and skidding on the grass. Once you parked, you then faced walking along a very muddy and slippery path, just to get to the end of the car-park! The car park tracks are also very badly damaged with deep pot-holes, and it's only a matter of time before someone's car is damaged by one of them! The queue to get in (pay and collect day tickets) is HUGE... Trick or treat wood: did this twice, was lucky to get the 'trick' side first, and the 'treat' side on the second occasion! The 'trick' side was far better. The 'pixies' spent a bit of time making fun of everyone, and the whole process seemed a bit slower. The 'treat' side was rushed and felt like they were just trying to move us on! Considering how much space there is in that pen, it's a shame it was quite bunched up and we were able to hear the other groups! It is a decent attraction for the children as it didn't scare them (apart from the tree people!) so it's an 'OK' attraction. Curse of the lost Tomb: what a shame! Everything was going so well, they were building the tension nicely, and there were a good few moments which made up jump a bit, but the finale was so rushed and before we knew it we were in a gift shop in Wild Asia!! I thought on the whole, this attraction was quite good - I think it could do without the drama student over-playing the lost girl routine, and showing everyone her husband and daughter on her phone (especially as she is only about 18 years old anyway!!) I don't know where they get the 10 rooms from. From what I can gather, there were 6-7 rooms at most. And the ending is horribly rushed and you are quickly out of the attraction and in to the shop! All-in-all a decent attraction that even some kids would be OK to go in to with their parents! As mentioned above, there was far less theming this year than there has been in the past! No Market Square show at all which was a real shame! Every now-and-then, they would wheel a cart out, and kids would be given the opportunity to put their hand in to a box to try to find a (plastic) spider. Upon success, they would get a CWOA pop-badge! Hardly makes up for the lack of entertainment! On a final note, I had the privilege of being 'rescued' from The Vampire, after it stalled at the base of the second lift hill!!! We were flying along as normal, then just ground to a halt before our ascent up the second hill. After a couple of minutes an announcement was made that engineers were on their way... After about 15-20 minutes waiting, a team of staff and engineers came along and released us all manually and led us out through a gate, where we were give a handful of fast-track tickets and an apology! The fast-track tickets were valid for 2015, and as I am not going to Chessington again this season, were no use to me and my friends/family, who had also been stuck on The Vampire! So a further wait of 35 minutes at Adventurers Services ensued as we had to queue up to then request them to extend the fast-track passes. Which, to be fair, they did! Vampire was still down an hour after we were 'rescued' and were leaving the park... This led to horrific queues elsewhere in the park... Fury was 120 minutes, Kobra was 70 minutes, Scorpion was 70 minutes!! All-in-all, a mixed bag today. There are clearly areas that need improvement, but that will take time, and money! And in some respects, a bit of common sense! Was nice to get a freebie "Cadbury's Scream Egg" on the way out though! That was a bit of a highlight for some of us unfortunately!
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