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Matt N

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About Matt N

  • Birthday 07/31/2003

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

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  • Location
    Forest of Dean (UK)

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  1. Are they making the lake bigger, by any chance? I only wondered because if that is the lake’s final size, the splashdown is further up the site than I’d imagined…
  2. This isn’t related to opening, but I had a random thought about Ghost Train. Could the ride potentially employ UV paint in some capacity? Thorpe’s teaser video potentially hinted at this, with words suddenly appearing on the side of the building when the grim reaper-type figure appeared: And The Curse at Alton Manor’s pre-show utilises a similar effect: Could we potentially see a similar trick employed on Ghost Train in some capacity?
  3. Well, I rode this for the first time today! I'll admit that I initially struggled to coherently review the ride, and my actual first ride itself was a bit of a blur, but having watched a few POVs of the ride, I can better process what happened, and I now feel more at liberty to talk about it in a bit more depth. Be warned; this review does contain spoilers of The Curse at Alton Manor. If you do not want spoilers, read no further. Let me start with the area. Gloomy Wood looks brilliant; given that they haven't changed much, the area feels weirdly fleshed out and lively compared to how it did before, and I'm a big fan of the darker colour scheme that they've adopted with the facade and area buildings. It looks great! As the ride was walk on when I did it, I didn't get to see an awful lot of the outdoor queue, but what I did see looked very nice. I particularly liked the copious amounts of smoke; this made it feel very ambient! Moving onto the indoor queue; this hasn't changed a huge amount, but has been spruced up somewhat to fit the new theme. The vestibule looks very similar to how it did before, but they have added some cloth over the theming items to make it look like it's been "repossessed". The more notably different room is the Drawing Room, which, although quite similar to how it was before on the face of it, does feel notably enhanced to me. There's now a pre-show telling the story of Emily Alton, and this culminates with some brilliant projection mapping and a really surprising reveal of UV paint all over the walls, showing what seem to be Emily Alton's deranged ramblings. I thought this was a very clever effect, and set up the ride very nicely! Let's move onto the ride itself. Now as I said, I found this to be a bit of a blur when I physically rode, and as stupid as it sounds, I had to watch a few POVs to actually process it. It is a lot to take in, and as someone who's a bit of a weakling when it comes to horror stuff, I did find the first ride a bit overwhelming. With that being said, I do feel that the ride is a definite improvement on its predecessor Duel, and in terms of production value, I think it's a nicely done ride overall, although there are odd things I'd improve. I won't do a scene-by-scene breakdown, but some key points of interest include: I thought that projection mapping was used to great effect within the ride, and I felt that it definitely did add something. The Trommel Tunnel is working again, and I have to say that this effect did surprise me! I'd never actually experienced this effect in a working state (I.e. spinning) before, and I never really understood what people thought was so great about the Trommel Tunnel. I have to say that its use within The Curse at Alton Manor definitely proved me wrong on that front; it is a surprisingly convincing effect, particularly when paired with the spinning clock at the end, and it was probably one of my favourite individual effects in the ride! The mirror scene that replaced what was previously the Skeleton Corridor now houses a very clever effect, wherein you seem to disappear from the car and Emily Alton "replaces" you. I thought that this was very clever! The ending is an excellently executed jumpscare; I have to admit that I audibly shrieked when the massive Emily head suddenly appeared! Paradoxically, the ride feels very similar to how it was before, yet also very different, if that makes any sense? There was perhaps more reuse of old scenes from the previous iterations than I was expecting, but I think that this mostly works well because the park have made these scenes befitting of the new storyline; they feel very different to how they were before. There were some surprisingly impressive physical sets built new for the ride; I was particularly impressed with what they've done with the Attic scene. I've heard people mention the dark area between the Trommel and the Attic scene. I think the audio does still make this area feel quite unnerving, but I do get what people mean when they say that it feels a bit unfinished. I think it could do with an extra something to properly finish it off; maybe some UV paint like in the pre-show and exit corridor, or some light flashes? The other scene that I don't think entirely works is the Screaming Heads scene. I'm not entirely sure how it fits into the ride, and it feels a bit out of place to me. As I said above, I do think that it's quite an overwhelming attraction overall. When combining the noise, the darkness and the jumpscares, it is quite a lot to take in. Although with that being said, that could just be because I'm not the biggest horror lover and it was my first ride on a ghost train-style attraction; I felt similarly about Duel the first time I rode that. Overall, I thought that it was a nicely executed ride; Merlin Magic Making have done a very good job given the budget and timeframe, and they have definitely improved upon Duel, in my view! If I'm being completely honest, however, I didn't exactly come off feeling entirely blown away. I'd stop short of saying that I was disappointed, because as I said, it is a very nicely done ride with high production value overall, in my view, and my initial gut reaction upon exiting could well be due to my initial struggling to process it all. I did only have 1 ride, after all. I must admit, though, that I'm not sure the ride entirely lived up to some of the hyperbole being thrown around for me. It's a very nicely executed ride overall, but it's not my favourite dark ride in the UK and I would still say that I prefer Hex within the park. That could be down to it not being entirely my sort of thing, it could be down to the fact that I felt a little overwhelmed by it on my first ride, or it could be down to the fact that I only got 1 ride on it, but for whatever reason, I'm perhaps not feeling as enamoured with it and enthralled by it as many others seem to be. It's nice and it's well executed, but I'm not quite gelling with it like everyone else seems to be for some reason; I don't deny that they've done very well, but I'm not quite on board the hype train like everyone else seems to be. I apologise if I come across a bit cynical or moany here, but I'm just being 100% honest about how I personally felt about the attraction on my ride. Nonetheless, it is a nice ride overall, I'm sure that it will be tweaked and improved with time, and Alton Towers should be really proud of what they've pulled off!
  4. 26th March 2023: Alton Towers Day 2 We had our second day in the park today! And it was an interesting one, with some new stuff experienced today that we hadn’t done yesterday! We started out somewhat earlier than we did yesterday, arriving at Alton Towers at around 9:30am for entry into the park at around 9:45am: For our first ride, we headed off down Haunted Hollow to a certain new ride that none of us had ever done before… The Curse at Alton Manor The Curse at Alton Manor was closed for most of the day yesterday, so I was hoping to get it in today. Thankfully, the ride was open, and it was also pretty much walk on! As such, I didn’t really see much of the queue, although I did get a brief look at the new indoor queue, which I thought was quite neat! So, how was the ride? Well, I’ll keep it spoiler-free for now… in part because I don’t think my review containing spoilers would go into an awful lot more detail at this stage! I thought it seemed like nicely done ride, but I did perhaps find it a little overwhelming on my first ride; it is a lot to take in, and being a bit of a weakling with horror stuff, I spent most of the ride either on edge or jumping out of my skin! It was all a bit of a blur for me! My mum went round the ride terrified, as evidenced by our on-ride photo (she was always frightened of The Haunted House and Duel, so this wasn’t too surprising), but my dad said he was “underwhelmed”, saying that “it’s nice, and better than Duel, but the marketing over-egged it”. I’ll watch a POV later and see if I can do a more in-depth review with some spoilers, but that’s about as much as I’ll say for the time being: After The Curse at Alton Manor, we headed onto our first coaster of the day… Galactica Galactica was on an advertised 0 minute wait, and it was a ride that my grandad hadn’t ridden yet, so we decided to take a ride. The queue time board was pretty true to its word, with us waiting very little before entering the station! But how was the ride? Well, we were seated in row 3, and I must admit that I found it a bit uncomfortable. Galactica isn’t a favourite of mine, and today’s ride did seem like one of the more uncomfortable I’ve had on it; I’m a bit sceptical about whether flying coasters are really my sort of thing. As for my grandad, he said that the experience was “different” and that he found the ride “less intense than some of the others”: After Galactica, we were initially going to go on the Runaway Mine Train, but the queue was spilling well out of the entrance, we decided to steer clear and go on a different ride… Wicker Man Wicker Man was on an advertised 50 minute queue, so we decided to have a go on it. The queue time was ultimately somewhat overstated; we waited around 35 minutes to the pre-show, and we were even on the ride within 40-45 minutes, which is always a bonus! So, how was it? Well, I was seated in row 6, and it was phenomenal; the airtime was stunning, the speed was incredible, and it was overall an incredibly fun ride! My grandad seemed to really enjoy it too, as he had yesterday; he even bought himself a Wicker Man hoodie from the shop straight after our ride, which must surely be a good sign: After Wicker Man, we noticed that a certain non-coaster staple had opened for the first time this trip… Congo River Rapids Congo River Rapids had just opened while we had been on Wicker Man, so we decided to have a ride on it. The queue was fairly short; we were on within just a few minutes, which is always good! So, how was the ride? Well, it was decent; I got a somewhat wet back, there were a few fair waves, and my grandad seemed to enjoy himself! The ride was also spiced up somewhat this time by a jazzy new soundtrack, complete with an Australian announcer making various enthusiastic remarks during the ride; this was a fun touch, but I must digress that the irony was palpable when the announcer encouraged us to “face these waterfalls head on!” just before the waterfall section, even though there were no waterfalls running: After Congo River Rapids, we decided to try the other ride in the area… Runaway Mine Train Runaway Mine Train’s queue looked visibly shorter than it had done earlier, so we decided to give it a go. The queue ultimately took around 25-30 minutes, which I wouldn’t say was too bad at all, personally! But how was the ride? Well, I was seated in row 10, and I thought it was great fun; it is a guilty pleasure of mine! My grandad thoroughly enjoyed it too; his first words to me upon getting off were “That tunnel bend was absolutely mental!”: After our ride on the Runaway Mine Train, we sat in the Mutiny Bay Courtyard and ate our packed lunch for a bit before asking my grandad what ride he fancied doing next. To our surprise, he said “I’ve done all the others, so I want to try The Smiler!”. As such, we headed over to… The Smiler As my grandad wanted to give Smiler a go before we left, we obliged his wishes and joined the queue. Unusually for The Smiler, the queue was only advertised at 30 minutes, and while it wasn’t quite this short in reality, it only took around 40-45 minutes, which is honestly quite a short queue for The Smiler! So, how was the ride? Well, we were seated in the back row, and I personally found it a fair bit less pleasurable than yesterday’s ride; it was rougher and also seemed notably more nauseating for me. My grandad initially seemed a bit overwhelmed by the experience when we hit the brake run, but later remarked that he did thoroughly enjoy the ride, saying that he found it “absolutely mental”! He also remarked that going upside down was nowhere near as bad as he’d feared it might be, saying that he dealt with inverting far better than he’s dealt with spinning things in the past. However, he did say that he was glad that Smiler had been his final ride, declaring that “doing that first might have terrorised [him]!”: After The Smiler, we headed to one final coaster that was on a very short queue… Oblivion Oblivion was on a mere 10 minute advertised queue time, so I, for one, couldn’t resist one final ride! My dad and my grandad joined me, and the advertised queue time seemed pretty accurate; we were on in no time! But how was the ride? Well, we were seated in the back row, and it was absolutely sublime; I had a loose restraint, so I got some impeccable airtime, and the sense of speed in the hole seemed particularly amazing today! My dad and grandad also seemed to enjoy it, and overall, it was a brilliant way to close our Alton Towers trip, in my view: By this point, it was heading towards 3pm, so we decided to head home. As it was quiet, we took my grandad on the Monorail to head back to the car park, which was certainly a welcome sit down after all the walking and standing during the day! After we rode the Monorail, we got in the car to head back home and our trip to Alton Towers ended. On the whole, this was a brilliant trip, in my view! Yes, it started off slightly rocky yesterday with the rain and the long Thirteen queue, but today was brilliant, yesterday afternoon was an improvement on the morning, and I overall thoroughly enjoyed seeing my grandad’s first reactions to Alton Towers and theme parks in general! He said that his weekend had been “fabulous”, and while he admitted that Alton Towers probably wouldn’t be somewhere he’d want to revisit too frequently and that he hadn’t become a “convert” like me, he didn’t rule out potentially visiting a theme park again in the future and said that he'd thoroughly enjoyed his weekend. His favourite ride of the trip was Wicker Man, but he also leant an honourable mention to The Smiler, which he deemed "absolutely mental"! Thanks for reading; I hope you've enjoyed this trip report! I'm not sure when I'll next be writing one or where it will be from, but I hope to be writing another one soon!
  5. 25th March 2023: Alton Towers Day 1 Hi guys. Today was an exciting day; it was my first visit to Alton Towers of the season! But this visit was particularly exciting for a different reason… my parents and I brought my grandad along with us for what was not just his first ever visit to Alton Towers, but his first ever visit to a theme park full stop! Yes, he’d never set foot into a theme park or ridden a roller coaster prior to this morning, but after seeing Oblivion on the TV, he expressed great keenness to visit, so my parents and I took him as a 70th birthday present! We set off from Gloucestershire at about 7:15am this morning, and we arrived in Alton Towers at about 10am, making good time for entry into the park at about 10:20am: When we entered the park, we decided to make a beeline for Oblivion, as that was my grandad’s key bucket list ride. “I need to do Oblivion first in case it’s the only one I do!” he said! However, when we got over there, it was closed, so we had to change tack: Instead, we took a look at the queue times, and went to a different ride that was displaying a short queue time… Rita Rita was only displaying a 10 minute queue, so we decided to give it a go. My dad felt that as Rita “is short and doesn’t really do much aside from being fast”, it was a good one to start my grandad off on. When we joined the queue, the advertised time quickly went up to 45 minutes, but we decided to persist regardless, and it ultimately took about 55 minutes. Interestingly, my grandad was absolutely perplexed about why people were screaming on the ride; he asked “what on earth are they all screaming for?”. So, how was the ride? Well, I was sat in row 4, and I thought it was awesome; the ride was relatively smooth, and it had awesome airtime and speed! As for my grandad, he seemed to enjoy the ride, and said that it felt a lot faster and more exhilarating than it looked from off-ride; he did, however, quickly retract his previous criticism of the screamers: After Rita, we decided to have a go on the other roller coaster in the area… Thirteen Thirteen had just opened and was on an advertised 45 minute queue, so we decided to take a ride on it. This initially seemed like a sound move; with rumblings circulating that the ride was still unable to operate in the rain, we wanted to do Thirteen quickly so that we could get it in while it was dry. This decision later proved to be a grave error… as in spite of the queue not looking exceptionally long compared to previous visits (albeit far from short), we waited for 105 minutes in total, and the heavens well and truly opened while we were waiting. On the plus side, the rumours that the ride was still unable to operate in the rain were untrue, as I saw it running in a rather heavy downpour with my own two eyes! So, how was the ride? Well, I got the front row, and it was great fun; there were some fun twists and turns, the odd pop of airtime, and an indoor section that never fails to deliver! As for my grandad, he simply turned to me at the end and said “Well, I wasn’t expecting that… I almost wet myself!”. On a positive note, he also got off and said to me “These roller coasters are rather addictive things, aren’t they? When you get off one, you just want to go straight on another one!”; he was really starting to enjoy the rides by this point: After we got off Thirteen, the rain became truly biblical, so we camped under a tree to try and escape the rain. After a few minutes had passed, we decided to take shelter indoors for a longer period of time, so we had a go on… Hex Hex was located nearby, so we decided to take cover on there for a few minutes. It appeared as though everyone else in that area had the same idea, as the queue quickly spilled out of the building and we later ascertained that it was advertised at 30 minutes. I think that’s the first time I’ve ever queued through the entire building and seen the queue line videos on Hex! Nonetheless, it ultimately only took about 15 minutes, and we were in the first pre-show quite quickly. So, how was the ride? Well, I have to say that it was excellent; it was my first ride on there since 2020, and it felt like everything was working and in absolutely top notch condition, and I noticed things I’ve never noticed in that ride before! Overall, it was brilliant, and I think my grandad found it interesting too: After that, we decided to head for another roller coaster… Wicker Man Wicker Man was on a 50 minute advertised queue, so we decided to give it a go. This was another one that my grandad was particularly keen to ride; he said he wanted to ride the ride after having completed the Wicker Man jigsaw puzzle that we gave him a couple of years ago (which I ascertain was quite difficult; he complained about every piece being the same shade of black/brown!)! The queue time was somewhat understated, ultimately taking 70-75 minutes. So, how was the ride? Well, I was sat in row 3, and I thought it was as brilliant as always, with an awesome sense of speed and loads of brilliant airtime! My grandad was particularly impressed with Wicker Man as well, stating that it was “the best ride yet” and “definitely better than Rita”: After Wicker Man, we noticed that a certain bucket list ride for my grandad was finally open, so we made a beeline for it… Oblivion When we had just stepped off of Wicker Man, my dad noticed that Oblivion was open and on an advertised 15 minute queue, so seeing as it was the main ride my grandad wanted to ride, we headed over there. We were greeted with a surprise when we got there, as the queue had risen substantially to 50 minutes rather than 15, but we joined it nonetheless seeing as it was my grandad’s most anticipated ride and me and my dad both really enjoy it too. The queue ultimately didn’t take 50 minutes, instead taking 35-40 minutes. So, how was the ride? Well, I do absolutely love Oblivion, and for me, it was as excellent as it always is, with a phenomenal sense of speed in the tunnel and some sublime airtime while plummeting down the drop! My grandad was blown away by the experience; he called it “barmy” and “utterly insane”, and looked in disbelief at how exhilarating Oblivion was; it was certainly the ride photo he looked the least unfazed in, anyhow!: After Oblivion, it was getting close to the 5pm ride close, but I managed to sneak in one final ride… The Smiler The Smiler was on an advertised 40 minute queue, but as my grandad didn’t quite seem up for The Smiler, my parents stayed off it with him and I went on it via the Single Rider Queue. This queue often produces very good results as far as waiting time reduction goes; today wasn’t quite as good as some occasions, as I waited 20 minutes, but that was still a significant reduction on the advertised queue time of 40 minutes! So, how was the ride? Well, I’m not normally the biggest fan of The Smiler, but I have to say that that was the most enjoyable ride I’ve had on The Smiler in quite some time! I was seated in the front row, and it was actually really quite good; the inversions were fun and floaty, the ride wasn’t quite as intense and nauseating as it sometimes is, it was reasonably smooth for the most part (even the ending wasn’t that bad today)… I can’t really complain too much! It’s still not my favourite coaster by any means, but overall, The Smiler was a pleasant surprise today, and a very good way to end the day! On a side note, the operations were outstanding; the average dispatch interval was barely over a minute, and the staff were really hammering the trains out: After The Smiler, we headed out of the park and back to our hotel in the local area. So, that sums up the first day of our Alton Towers weekend! While I’d be lying if I said that it was my greatest ever day at the park in terms of ride count, and the weather at points of the day did detract somewhat, I still had a great day, and I loved introducing my grandad to the park (and theme parks full stop) for the first time! I asked him what his thoughts to his first day were as we left, and he said that it was “awesome” and “even better than [he’d] ever hoped that it could be”; I was very gratified by that response! His favourite ride overall was “easily” Wicker Man (he called it “superb”), but he seemed to enjoy everything we did to some extent, which I was glad about! Thanks for reading! I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this report, and I’ll be back at you tomorrow with the report from our second day on park, which will cover some of the things we didn’t do today (hopefully including a ride on The Curse at Alton Manor, which none of us have done before…)!
  6. Hi guys. As of late, I’ve heard it mentioned that Thorpe Park is aiming to pursue more of an “amusement park” style vibe, with the themed areas being de-emphasised. The park allegedly even said this themselves in a recent post in their Facebook group. But in the past, the park has aimed to pursue theming more, with the themed areas being more strongly marketed and more themed rides being installed. With this in mind, I’d be keen to know; what is your stance on Thorpe Park’s alleged new direction? What path do you think the park should take with regard to themed areas? Personally, I’m not too upset that Thorpe Park is moving away from themed areas. While there are admittedly some very heavily themed individual rides at Thorpe Park, I would never have said that the park had any real cohesive themed areas; compared to somewhere like Europa, a typical Orlando park or to a lesser extent somewhere like Alton Towers, I would have said that Thorpe Park lacked easily definable themed areas. If I didn’t know any better, I would have struggled to separate areas like Lost City, Amity Cove and Calypso Quay, and indeed the park’s own grasp on these themed areas has seemed very tenuous at times (for instance, X was always listed as being within Lost City even though its entrance was within Amity Cove, and Samurai is in Old Town even though its theme and aesthetic arguably lend themselves more to Lost City). Often, the things within Thorpe’s themed areas have had very little thematic relation to each other, and at times, I felt that the themed areas were little more than a token gesture. I do also agree somewhat with Thorpe Park’s argument that the park is too compact to make proper themed areas work properly. Because everything is within reasonably close range of a number of other themes, I think that it’s hard to make a whole themed area work compellingly. And in a park like Thorpe, I’d also argue that focusing too much on themed areas could constrain creativity when it comes to devising new rides. The park has never seemed overly focused on immersing guests into themed areas, instead focusing on immersing guests into themed individual rides, and I’d far prefer that they do that well than try and fit things into arbitrary themed areas. And besides, not every park needs to be strongly themed; personally, I would have said that Thorpe Park’s strengths lie more in thrills than theming, and if that’s the case, I don’t really see an issue with them pursuing theming less. But what are your thoughts on this? Do you agree with the park’s move away from themed areas? Or do you feel that the park needs to keep the themed areas in mind?
  7. While I admit that no flat ride was directly replaced by a roller coaster, I’ve often heard it said that in many cases, roller coasters indirectly replaced flat rides in terms of things like staffing and maintenance bills. By that, I mean that when a new roller coaster has been built, the park have had to sacrifice a flat ride to get it built. I also wasn’t talking exclusively about flat rides either. For instance, I’ve heard many say that removing The Flume in favour of Wicker Man was a terrible move, but I think that seeing The Flume go was a price worth paying to get Wicker Man even if it did mean that the park had one less non-coaster.
  8. Based on the rage in Alton Towers fan circles about the recent demise of Enterprise, I’ve got a potentially very blasphemous Alton Towers opinion… while I don’t deny that the park could probably do with a new flat ride or two at this point, as well as a new dark ride in the form of the Dungeons boat ride reopening, I feel that the reduction of the non-coaster lineup at Alton Towers was overall a worthy price to pay for the strengthening of the coaster lineup.
  9. I must admit, I’m not too sure on that exterior at the moment… if they’re changing the theme/time period, then fair enough, but I do think that the old Victorian aesthetic was a bit more aesthetically appealing myself. I think the white and blue looks a bit strange on that wooden wall. If it is an undercoat, though, it may look better when finished. I’m intrigued to see what this is like. Due to a personal dislike of this style of attraction (I have a bit of a phobia of scare actors), I won’t ride it myself, but I’ll be intrigued to see what they do with that ride and what the general reception is, particularly seeing as the VR headsets are not returning…
  10. I wouldn’t be surprised if something was still happening to it… there are fair rumours of a retheme among those “in the know”, and construction work appeared to be happening in the shop at the end of 2022.
  11. Perhaps “family-friendly” was the wrong phrase. I was more meaning that I feel that Thorpe Park should try to aim for a slightly wider cross-section of the thrill market than they currently do. The thrill market is wider than teenagers and young adults, and if they installed more attractions that would work for families with older children (aka 1.2m in height and up), I think that that would go a long way in terms of helping to widen the park’s appeal while also keeping it appealing for its current thrill-seeking clientele and not reinventing the wheel too much. Older children and adults may not necessarily want super intense thrill coaster after super intense thrill coaster, so I do feel that things like a thrill coaster with slightly wider appeal could really benefit Thorpe Park. I agree that going full-on family friendly may be counterintuitive given the competition within both the immediate area and the wider UK, but I do feel that Thorpe Park could benefit if it focused on a wider portion of the thrill-seeker market than it currently does.
  12. Hi guys. I was scrolling through the Project Exodus thread, and I noticed that in some of the most recent posts in there, people were talking about the other things Thorpe Park needs to sort after Project Exodus is completed. With that in mind, I thought a thread discussing the things people would most like to see done at Thorpe Park after Exodus might be interesting. So, what do you think most urgently needs sorting at Thorpe? Personally, I'd like to see the following happen at Thorpe Park in the not-too-distant future: Either the installation of a new dark ride with universal appeal or a more family-friendly retheme/rework of Derren Brown's Ghost Train. I feel that Thorpe could really do with a dark ride with greater universal appeal; I had hoped that this might come with WC16, but the ride that Derren Brown's Ghost Train ultimately turned out to be is/was arguably far too niche in appeal to add much to the park's lineup for most. The installation of a non-inverting thrill coaster of some description with a lower height restriction. I think that Thorpe could really do with a non-inverting, 1.2m height restriction thrill coaster to heighten the park's appeal for older families and add a little more depth to their coaster selection. I think something like a GCI wooden coaster would fit the bill nicely. The retheme of The Walking Dead The Ride back into a more family-friendly theme. As much as The Walking Dead The Ride looks very well done, I do feel that retheming a Vekoma junior coaster to such a blatantly adult theme was perhaps a questionable move, and I think that making that ride a little more family-friendly again could widen the park's appeal and offer more for the older family market. In general, I would like to see the park focus less on things with overly niche appeal going forward. I've used the phrase "niche appeal" quite a bit within this post, but I do feel that Thorpe Park's recent undoing has been focusing on things that don't have especially wide appeal, even within the thrill market. Within the wheelhouse of thrills, things like thrill coasters and thrilling flat rides have fairly wide appeal, but the sorts of things that Thorpe Park have been doing in recent years arguably don't have a wide appeal in the same way. Things like DBGT, Walking Dead, Black Mirror and such appeal to quite a limited cross-section of the thrill market, and I feel that focusing on thrilling things with wider appeal could reverse the park's fortunes without necessarily reinventing the wheel. I have no problem with Thorpe installing attractions like that from time to time, but these types of niche attractions have been the park's primary focus for the best part of a decade now, and I do think that things with wider appeal should be the absolute bread and butter of the park's additions. But what do you think that Thorpe Park needs to focus on after Project Exodus?
  13. Oh wow... the excitement is really starting to heat up on Project Exodus now! Seeing Logger's Leap and Rocky Express gone does look very strange, as for all the years I've been visiting Thorpe, that area has always been relatively sleepy and calm. I cannot imagine a 236ft tall coaster in that bit of the park at all, and while it's very easy to dismiss something as "not being that big" when you're viewing renderings and such, I think Project Exodus will look truly ludicrous compared to everything else around it when it's been erected! As for the ride itself; I will make no secret of the fact that I feel that something non-inverting and with more of a focus on traditional straight airtime, such as a B&M Hyper Coaster, would perhaps have filled more of a discernible hole within Thorpe Park's coaster lineup and the overall UK industry, and if I'm being completely honest, such a ride would also have aligned with my personal taste a bit more. With that being said, the Mack Hyper Coaster as a proposition is certainly growing on me the more I look at it. While the ride layout doesn't have many straight airtime hills per se (only the one at the end), and perhaps doesn't look like the flat-out UK airtime machine that I and many others were yearning for, some of the inversions and other elements look very cool and could provide some high quality negative g-forces. To be frank, all of the elements look like they could really deliver. The first drop could potentially be top-class, the Immelmann looks awesome if the similar element on Icon is anything to go by, the outerbank into an inversion looks very unique and could be a really inspired element with some good negative g-forces if the fast roll on Blue Fire is anything to go by, the dive loop could provide some nice hangtime, the overbank could provide some interesting sideways forces and the airtime hill into the brakes could have some good airtime. Overall, it looks like an excellent layout with no dead weight or elements that don't really deliver. It certainly looks like a very unique hyper coaster, and I think that it has a very inspiring layout design. While it won't be the longest hyper coaster on Earth by any stretch of the imagination, it won't be shockingly short either (around 40 seconds from lift hill to brakes, and 6 elements in total excluding the first drop, which I wouldn't say is terribly short by any means), and the layout looks like one that plays to the strengths of a shorter ride duration. With a very intense combination of show-stopping elements, and no real "dead space" if you like, Exodus looks like it could suit being short. I reckon it could be like the Wodan of hyper coasters, where it's not the longest coaster on Earth, but doesn't let up at all and leaves people coming into the brake run suitably amazed! When all is said and done, though, it's just exciting to see a 236ft tall coaster being built in the UK!
  14. It would appear as though Derren Brown’s Ghost Train may have reached the end of the line after 6 years of operation, as all references to it have been removed from the Thorpe Park app: I’m quite surprised that DBGT has met its end this early, if it is going, but I guess the signs were there at the end of 2022, what with the construction work happening in the shop and the limited quantity of merchandise left. If the rumoured £30m budget is true, surely that would make it one of the most expensive theme park attractions ever per operating season? Given that it operated for 6 seasons, that would peg its final cost at £5m per season…
  15. I think that's likely to be bots rather than anyone on here doing it as a joke. It's an easy and valid mistake to make, but it can unfortunately have those types of consequences.
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