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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. It’s funny you should say that, because Chessington Buzz reported back in April that the ride is rumoured to be closing at the end of this season for a Nemesis-style retrack, reopening in March 2025 for its 35th anniversary: Take this with as much salt as you like, but Chessington Buzz seem to be very reliable for predicting Chessington’s future plans, for what it’s worth.
  2. According to Theme Park Insanity, Thorpe Park have stated in their pass holder group that they are taking on board feedback regarding Ghost Train: https://www.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=pfbid02A84hB12ci1nW1vtTL1h24okGHmwk1Xe9fNn2iV1LTKmjgyiHmgwSBZb8KxUNpjN8l&id=100063806040092 Some of the key things they have said include: They are currently working to optimise the experience, and they are still fine tuning the effects and such. They are aware that Ghost Train is no longer primarily a ride and will try to stop referring to it as such. The implementation of timed tickets on Ghost Train is being considered to improve guest experience and throughput efficiency.
  3. On the flip side, however, Nemesis Sub-Terra’s new logo still uses the modern Nemesis font rather than the original one. I’m not sure if that’s necessarily indicative of anything, but I imagine it could mean something. If they were resurrecting the old Nemesis logo, surely they’d have updated Sub-Terra’s logo accordingly?
  4. I agree with the first point, but in terms of the second point; will Exodus necessarily be any more intense than, say, Ride to Happiness, which solely uses spinning trains?
  5. Out of interest, does anyone know how much involvement Derren Brown himself actually had in the design of DBGT? The PR material always inferred that he'd been very heavily involved in the design of the ride, but I've heard rumblings that most of the finer details of the experience had already been decided upon prior to Derren's arrival, and his role was merely as a marketing figurehead for the attraction. Indeed, I've heard rumours that Derren himself actually wasn't very fond of the attraction at all... Does anyone know how much involvement Derren Brown actually had in the attraction's design and development?
  6. I think the issue that this project always faced is that once you removed the VR and got rid of Derren Brown, there was only so much you could have done to improve the ride without spending huge amounts of money completely gutting the building. Unlike most dark ride systems, the ride system was very bespokely tailored to DBGT and the very specific sequence of events that happened within it. With something like Duel, for instance, the ride system itself had no particular quirks that were tailored to The Haunted House as it was per se, so Merlin were able to make The Curse at Alton Manor into a pretty different ride without performing any overly radical work. With DBGT, on the other hand, the very design of the ride system meant that the same basic structure of the original attraction would always need to be followed. Riders would need to sit on a train, be rushed out of the train for a live action sequence of some sort and then sit on another train to return to the offload station. And with the design of the ride vehicle not really providing much scope for added physical theming due to the VR being the originally intended vehicle for storytelling, that made the park's options very limited in terms of what they could actually do with the train portions in particular. With this in mind, I think it was complicated for Thorpe Park to make a new ride out of it because in the absence of a huge budget to demolish the whole thing and start again, the basic building blocks of the ride experience would always have needed to remain exactly the same, which would have limited the park's options massively.
  7. From what I ascertain, the green belt at Chessington, or more specifically the planning restriction rigmarole that the park deals with as a result of the green belt restrictions combined with the noise-related grievances of local residents, was pretty much the sole reason for Tussauds even expanding their theme park offering past Chessington in the first place, let alone bringing Thorpe Park into the mix. From what I gather, Tussauds’ original intent was to expand Chessington and turn it into the market-leading theme park in the UK. However, the installation of Vampire in 1990 caused great dismay among local residents due to noise, so as such, the local council vowed that they would never allow a ride on that scale to be built again. When considering the noise complaints combined with the green belt restrictions, it became evident to John Wardley and Tussauds that Chessington could not become the market leader that they had hoped it would be, so they instead looked to build their market leader elsewhere. The original intent here was to build a new ground up theme park, with various site options including Woburn Abbey and Corby Steelworks being considered, but various difficulties with this meant that Tussauds instead decided to gain market dominance within the UK theme park sector by purchasing Alton Towers. They purchased Alton Towers, developed it into a market leading UK theme park, and the rest is history. However, Tussauds still wanted a thrill park in the South, and that’s where Thorpe Park comes in. During the mid-90s, Thorpe Park was Chessington’s key competitor in the family stakes, and they arguably had a tamer offering than Chessington from what I’ve read, but they had far looser planning regulations. With this in mind, Tussauds decided to buy the park because it offered the double whammy of allowing them to operate a thrill park in the South while simultaneously eliminating Chessington’s closest competitor in the family stakes. As such, Tussauds bought the park, added loads of thrill rides, and the rest is history. I apologise for the long ramble, but I thought it would add some context. In terms of how it relates to the question of “was the green belt around Chessington the reason why Thorpe Park became a thrill park?”, I would argue that the timeline of Tussauds’ theme park portfolio in the UK would make the answer to that question an emphatic yes. Or even if it wasn’t the sole reason, it was at very least a significant contributing factor. The reason Thorpe Park became so aggressively thrill-focused from the 2000s onwards was because if they hadn’t, Tussauds would have had the issue of the two London parks (Thorpe and Chessington) stepping on each other’s toes, and history would suggest that two parks owned by the same company in a shared market with a shared target demographic can often end with one eventually cannibalising the other (see examples such as Cedar Point/Geauga Lake for reference). As such, Tussauds needed to differentiate the parks, and with the overbearing planning regulations at Chessington, it made the most sense for Chessington to be the family park and Thorpe to be the thrill park. So with that in mind, I think you could most definitely claim that Chessington’s green belt is a key factor in Thorpe Park being a thrill park today. If those green belt restrictions did not exist at Chessington, I wager that we would most definitely have seen more intense thrill rides at Chessington. The construction of Vampire, a pretty intense thrill ride for the time, in 1990 would suggest that this was Tussauds’ original intent, and had Vampire been less poorly received by the locals, I wager that we would have seen more investment of a similar nature. Whether Thorpe Park would have diversified to become a thrill park to compete with this is another question entirely, but the park’s prior history of having generally been tamer than Chessington would suggest that they may well not have done had Tussauds not gotten involved. If Chessington had targeted thrill seekers more comprehensively, Thorpe may well have stuck to targeting families, in my view. It is an interesting thought to consider, though!
  8. It varies. Project Stealth ended up being the final name of Stealth, whereas Project Dylan was simply named after the project manager's cat in the case of Saw. Normally there is some relation, though.
  9. I wouldn’t expect a hugely elaborate theme for this. Very few hyper coasters are heavily themed; they’re such big rides that it’s quite hard to theme them effectively, and the expense of building the ride hardware alone is huge. I’d expect something along the lines of Mako at SeaWorld, where it has a light theme and style and a couple of nice little items, but nothing overly elaborate. And to be honest, I’d be perfectly happy with that.
  10. New documents have been uploaded to the council website... and they reveal that Exodus will be gold at its base, fading to white at a height of 28-33m similar to Stealth:
  11. It's excellent to see that construction is progressing at a good rate! The more happens with this, the more excited I get. I was originally a tad disappointed that Thorpe didn't choose more of an overt airtime machine, but as time goes on, I'm growing increasingly convinced that the layout will be excellent and quite unlike anything ever seen before! And to be honest, I think there could be more airtime than I'd previously anticipated, even if the airtime the ride provides isn't "straight airtime" per se.
  12. I’m not sure I’d necessarily expect theming for Exodus. The planning application stated that “the ride structure itself is the theming” or something along those lines, and hyper coasters are rarely heavily themed anyway. At most, I’d expect something along the lines of Mako; a light style, but not an especially overbearing theme. With the type of ride this is, I don’t think a lack of theme should really be an issue; the height record in itself is a big selling point, and as I said, hyper coasters are not a ride type typically known for having heavy theming. It would be nice if the ride had a mild theme, but at the same time, I wouldn’t overly mind if it had no real theme either. Of the UK Merlin parks, Thorpe Park probably has the least commitment to theme, and with the park’s current focus being on “thrills”, I don't think it really matters for them to head down the amusement park route, personally.
  13. In fairness, I doubt that Alton Towers have “decided” that The Curse at Alton Manor and Hex can’t operate together. I imagine it’s more likely to be very poor luck, and a wild coincidence, that the two haven’t operated alongside each other very reliably.
  14. 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…
  15. 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?
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