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Matt N

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About Matt N

  • Birthday 07/31/2003

Previous Fields

  • Favourite ride
    Mako (SeaWorld Orlando)
  • Favourite Theme Park
    Europa Park

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Forest of Dean (UK)

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Matt N's Achievements

  1. Matt N

    Nemesis

    According to a recent interview from John Wardley, the ride will reopen with “greater storytelling” and more special effects and theming: I’ve got to say that that sounds pretty promising to me! I’ve always felt that Nemesis’ theme could be conveyed more clearly to the first time rider, and that compared to some of the newer themed experiences, it lacks the finer details in places to really help further the storytelling, so I was quite glad to read John’s hint. I have faith that whatever John is hinting towards will help to enhance the storytelling and make Nemesis’ story clearer as I said above.
  2. If you want my honest opinion, I’d guess that it’s unlikely to be any of the rides you listed, but I guess Cliffhanger going to Camel Creek might not be out of the question.
  3. Hi guys. As many of you may know, rapids rides have grown to be a rather contentious topic within the UK industry in recent years. Following the incident on Splash Canyon at Drayton Manor in 2017, the safety of these attractions was brought into question by the HSE and the parks operating them. As such, most water effects were removed, the prevalence of staff around the rides increased, and safeguards such as doors and higher backs were added onto the boats. This was not where the matter ended, however. The HSE released the results of their inquest into the Drayton Manor incident in 2021, and this inquest contained a number of safety measures for parks to implement on their rapids rides long term. These suggestions included the things already mentioned above, but it should be noted that this HSE inquest also emphasised the need to make riders’ risk of death from drowning very clear. The HSE said that parks needed to install frequent signage around the rides and their queues warning of the risk of drowning, and platform staff also became required to perform a strongly gesticulated safety spiel to each group talking about the risk of drowning before the ride. This subsequently meant that an emphasis on risk education and incident aversion was substantially amplified on UK rapids rides for 2022, and any notion of effects returning seemed to be put on the back burner, in the short term at least. Increasingly, some enthusiasts are beginning to argue that the situation with rapids rides in Britain is untenable. Many say that the new safety measures are so overbearing that they almost make rapids rides not worth operating anymore. I'm hearing terms like "glorified lazy river" and "boring" thrown around to describe many rapids rides in the UK these days, and even Adventure Cove River Rapids at Drayton Manor, which was newly rethemed for 2021 in accordance with these guidelines, does not exactly buck the trend effects-wise compared to other UK rapids rides. As such, questions are beginning to be asked about the long term future of rapids rides in the UK. People are wondering whether this type of attraction continues to be a viable fit for the UK theme park industry given how much circumstances have changed since many UK rapids rides were first built. With this in my mind, my question to you today is; in your opinion, what does the future hold for rapids rides in the UK? Personally, I don't think revered rapids rides being permanently consigned to history in the UK is necessarily a foregone conclusion, but I do feel that getting a revered rapids ride into the UK again would likely require the construction of a brand new one. To have special effects put back onto a UK rapids ride, I think seatbelts would have to be included, and to justify those, I think you'd need to design a rapids ride very differently to how any of the current UK rapids rides are designed. This is because on the current UK rapids rides, the risk of the boat capsizing, relative to the risk of someone coming out, is too high for seatbelts to exist. Whereas on a more thrilling rapids ride with larger boats, the risk of coming out is higher and seatbelts are therefore justified. I do think a new rapids ride could well be built in the UK at some point with some of these slightly more thrilling features, but I'll admit that I'm not sure if other types of water ride, such as a water coaster or new-gen log flume, might be more feasible for the modern UK market. But what do you guys think? What do you feel that the future holds for rapids rides in the UK?
  4. I'm back again! A new Merlin consultation can only mean one thing... a new version of the attendance graph updated with 2021 attendance! Here is the new graph for your viewing pleasure: I've had a play about with the new graph, and I've managed to extrapolate some figures! I should firstly note that I have restated a few of the previous figures following closer examination of this new graph. I apologise for my earlier error; the mistakes have been rectified in my opening post. The most notable thing I discovered are the 2021 figures for each Merlin park, as well as some seemingly altered 2020 figures and the 2022 figure for Chessington. Final 2020 Figures Alton Towers - 968,750 (-61.3%) Legoland Windsor - 687,500 (-66.7%) Thorpe Park - 562,500 (-62.5%) Chessington - 500,000 (-69.8%) 2021 Figures Alton Towers - 2,343,750 (+141.9%) Legoland Windsor - 1,562,500 (+127.3%) Chessington - 1,281,250 (+156.3%) Thorpe Park - 1,218,750 (+116.7%) Interestingly, Chessington also had a 2022 figure given. In 2022, the park received 1,468,750 guests, a change of +14.6% on 2021. Now we have this information, we can work out... which park recovered the best from COVID in 2021? There are multiple metrics by which we can establish this. The first potential metric to use is the percentage increases in attendance that each park registered in 2021... Percentage Increases Chessington - +156.3% (1,281,250 in 2021 vs 500,000 in 2020) Alton Towers - +141.9% (2,343,750 in 2021 vs 968,750 in 2020) Legoland Windsor - +127.3% (1,562,500 in 2021 vs 687,500 in 2020) Thorpe Park - +116.7% (1,218,750 in 2021 vs 562,500 in 2020) This metric would suggest that Chessington had the strongest recovery while Thorpe Park had the weakest recovery. However, this is not a perfect metric. This is because the parks' attendance decreased by marginally different amounts in 2020; while all parks were under the same COVID restrictions, some parks were affected more than others. For instance, Chessington's percentage decrease in 2020 was nearly 70%, while Alton Towers' was barely above 60%. This is important because if a park is coming from a more diminished base compared to 2020 in the first place, then its percentage increase is bound to be higher. A more reliable metric to use is the net percentage decrease from 2019 to 2021... Net Percentage Decreases Between 2019 and 2021 Alton Towers - -6.3% (2,343,750 in 2021 vs 2,500,000 in 2019) Thorpe Park - -18.8% (1,218,750 in 2021 vs 1,500,000 in 2019) Chessington - -22.6% (1,281,250 in 2021 vs 1,656,250 in 2019) Legoland Windsor - -24.2% (1,562,500 in 2021 vs 2,062,500 in 2019) This metric would suggest that Alton Towers had by far the strongest recovery in 2021, while Legoland Windsor had the weakest. Alton Towers' recovery in 2021 was miles stronger than that of all the other parks; Alton's 2021 attendance was only 6% lower than its 2019 attendance, while Thorpe Park's was close to 20% lower, Chessington's was over 20% lower, and Legoland's was nearly 25% lower. Why this could be is anyone's guess... I'm certainly stumped by it, as every park was hit by the same COVID restrictions in 2021. It should be noted that 2021 was still not an entirely COVID-free season, however, as the parks opened nearly a month late and attendance was still somewhat capped until July. With this in mind, 2022 attendance, when it is available for all parks, may be a better indicator... for what it's worth, Chessington's 2022 attendance remains approximately 11.3% lower than its 2019 attendance, so even in 2022, it has not recovered as strongly as Alton Towers managed to in 2021. Finally, I should remind you that all of this data is viewable in a Google Sheet: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1T3bmW5I9gyq6AgqogFJ6xSppi8vRw-y2SWoRZPpfdzg/edit?usp=sharing I hope you find this interesting! I know I certainly found it interesting to compile... I'll hopefully see you again some time soon when the 2022 attendance is made available for all parks!
  5. I’ve got a good one… I’ve always been a bit underwhelmed by the 2003 cross valley coaster plans, and I’m glad that we got Wicker Man instead. I’m aware that that’s probably a blasphemous comment, so I apologise, but I must admit that while the cross valley coaster would admittedly have been huge, it didn’t have much to it aside from two big drops, whereas Wicker Man has a bit more to it and has loads of really fun airtime pops and twists and turns.
  6. I have to say, I agree with this one. I always leave Thorpe feeling like I’ve had a slightly more balanced day than I do at Alton Towers, and I personally feel that Thorpe Park, particularly where flat rides are concerned, have a more fleshed out and compelling non-coaster lineup than Alton Towers. Here’s one of my unpopular Thorpe opinions; in terms of individual ride theming, I actually think Thorpe Park beats Alton Towers on many fronts.
  7. I don’t personally see too much of an issue with the current logo myself. In my opinion, it’s fun, original and inviting. Admittedly, it might not be the most reflective of the park’s current brand identity, but I quite like it myself, and I’m not really sure what better logo they could replace it with…
  8. On the topic of Sub-Terra, I think this video that Alton Towers themselves posted is an interesting watch that could potentially be hinting towards a Sub-Terra return of some sort: I know it talks about Nemesis, but the bits about “new head of the Phalanx John Dalton” and “reports of inside corruption” definitely seem like they could be hinting towards some sort of new storyline and rebirth for what was Sub-Terra. I also found the “there’s more to this story than meets the eye” intriguing… What do you guys reckon?
  9. There are suggestions from Chessington Buzz that we may also hear something about Scorpion Express/Mexicana at the consultation, and that Scorpion Express could be on the chopping block to prepare for whatever is announced at the consultation: If it is being removed, then it would appear that I owe @Theme Park Fanatic an apology... they've been banging that drum for months, perhaps even years, but I myself genuinely thought it was likely to return. I sincerely apologise for not giving your idea more consideration.
  10. Matt N

    Nemesis

    That's my theory... it would be backed up further by the fact that they've blocked off paths near to Sub Terra with "Danger: Hazardous Materials" signs, as per Skyscraper on TowersStreet: Source: https://towersstreet.com/talk/threads/nemesis-general-discussion.5260/page-101#post-386326 To me, that possibly drops the strongest hint yet that something is likely to be happening with Sub-Terra for next year... EDIT: False alarm... apparently it was just someone reusing a construction picture from 2011.
  11. This is very exciting, in my view! An indoor waterpark is not an insignificant investment, and given that there are currently slim pickings waterpark-wise in the South East, I'd argue that it's also quite a shrewd one from a business perspective. As I said, there are few waterparks in the area, and the indoor factor will also give Chessington a second gate attraction with good year-round and all-weather appeal. Furthermore, a waterpark would considerably bolster Chessington's credentials as a family short break resort. It could have a lot of potential in this area given the considerable population in its immediate catchment area and lack of nearby competition! (While LLW has nice-looking hotels, it doesn't really have any second gate activities as such, and none of the other parks in the South East have an overly substantial, if any, accommodation and resort offering for families) I should also note that Jared, the administrator on Chessington Buzz (who first dropped hints about an indoor waterpark a few months back), has suggested that there may be multiple attractions discussed in this consultation rather than just the one individual attraction, so the park itself may well see an additional investment to supplement this as well. Take that with as much salt as you like, but given CB's excellent track record for accurate rumours, I trust Jared implicitly.
  12. Matt N

    Duel!

    One thing I would say to you is that “modernisation” might not necessarily be a bad thing, in my view. Modern technologies available nowadays can pull off all kinds of things that were never possible for the original 1992 ride, and having things like screens and projection mapping integrated into a ride in moderation can definitely enhance it, in my view. I know that “screens” are seen as the ultimate evil by many dark ride fans, but I believe that when implemented well, screens as well as technology like projection mapping can really enhance a dark ride. I am a firm believer in everything being good in moderation, and that extends to screens and multimedia in dark rides. Many brilliant dark rides integrate screens and multimedia heavily, but they don’t rely solely upon them; they marry them with plenty of physical scenery, and it works really well to provide a good, rounded dark ride experience that’s modern, yet has lots of attention to detail and charm. I agree that it would be a bit of a waste if absolutely every scene was replaced with a screen and nothing else. But I feel that having some screens and projection mapping integrated in with new, more advanced animatronics and plenty of physical scenery could elevate the ride onto another level and make it a modern, rounded experience while still maintaining its original overarching concept and the things that made it great.
  13. I think you might be onto something there; a now deleted comment on AS' Facebook post from an Attraction Source admin said that "those familiar with the situation say that it is replacing an existing attraction", for what it's worth. Take that with as much salt as you like, but I trust that anyone associated with Attraction Source is likely to be a fairly reliable source (AS is connected with a number of parks in a semi-official capacity), and I also find the fact that this comment was later deleted rather telling... could this person possibly have told a little too much about the truth of what's happening?
  14. Hi guys. I have very exciting news for you all this afternoon! According to Attraction Source, Chessington is holding a public exhibition showing off a “new attraction” on Wednesday 16th November: https://www.facebook.com/213894828494/posts/pfbid0298cGVxYnMfoovWQpQqqzfcgNkxuW9Scqmez8dJMMRmGj1QR8X29epFeWzG3AXCdjl/ Little else is known other than that, but details will apparently be revealed on the 16th, and there will be a public consultation period running until the 30th. Isn’t this exciting? I wonder what it could be; I’ll admit that I wasn’t expecting another major investment at Chessington so soon after Jumanji, but I guess it would make sense seeing as I’ve heard reports of Chessington receiving £60m of CAPEX between 2022 and 2026…
  15. Matt N

    Duel!

    I must admit, I also had this thought. It wouldn’t be outside the realms of possibility for Towers to market a new attraction using a scare maze, and the theme of The Invitation, from what I’ve heard, also sounds as though it might fit a haunted house-style ride…
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