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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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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Forest of Dean (UK)

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Matt N's Achievements

  1. Jack Silkstone has confirmed in his livestream that it’s been unanimously approved by the council! It still needs to go to the Secretary of State due to the EA’s objections, but this is still a huge step!
  2. For what it’s worth, DigitalDan is saying it’s been approved: If true, that’s very exciting news indeed!
  3. Have we heard anything from the committee about a decision? Or are we all waiting on Jack Silkstone’s livestream to hear the news? I checked Runnymede Borough Council’s website less than an hour ago, and nothing had been added, but that could have been changed since…
  4. Matt N

    Duel!

    My thought is that they could be significantly altering one of the scenes. Which scene is anyone's guess, but I definitely think they're building at least one brand new scene in there somewhere.
  5. Hi guys. Thorpe Park has 7 different roller coasters which are arguably a big part of what makes the park what it is today, but surprisingly, we don't appear to have a topic ranking them and discussing our favourites, so I thought I'd make one! With that in mind, my simple question to you this evening is; how would you rank Thorpe Park's coasters? Which is your favourite? I'll get the ball rolling with my list (the bold bit after each comment is my rating out of 10 compared to the other coasters I've ridden, as well as the ride's ranking within my overall count): Nemesis Inferno - This never used to be top, but I've got to say that it's grown on me a fair amount over time! The forces are solid without being too excessive (no unpleasant grey out moments here!), the ride holds its pace well throughout, it's smooth, it has some nice inversions, and overall, I just think Inferno is a really solid coaster! I never fail to enjoy it, and it always offers a solid inverted coaster experience, in my view. As for the Nemesis comparison... I'm in the minority who actually prefers Inferno. I find Inferno to keep its pace more consistently throughout, I find that it hits a nicer sweet spot intensity-wise (I find the grey out in Nemesis' helix a bit unpleasant), and Inferno is also smoother. Overall, though, Inferno is a very solid coaster in my view! 8/10, #13/91 Stealth - Coming in at a close second, this is a ride I do really like! Stealth might be a one trick wonder, but it does that trick very well indeed, in my opinion; that punchy hydraulic launch never fails to deliver, and there's some decent airtime to be had over the top hat! It also felt a fair bit smoother on my recent visit; I don't know if they've done something to it for 2022, but the roughness that was there in 2021 seemed mostly gone aside from a fairly mild rattle, which enhanced my enjoyment of the ride a fair bit compared to last year! It is a great ride! However, there are a few reasons why it's not higher. The first is how short it is; I love what the ride does, but there's just so little of it. Even compared to a fellow one trick ride like Oblivion (firmly in my top 10!), it does seem like a bit of a "blink and you'll miss it" type ride, which will inhibit how highly it can rank for me. The second one is comfort; I'm not a huge lover of the ride's restraints, and I'd like it a bit more if it had different ones. The final one is consistency; I've done the ride on the front row, and it is legendary (you'd be surprised by just how much difference the front row makes to Stealth)... but none of the other rows hit quite as hard. Even though the ride goes very fast and you definitely feel the force of the launch, you feel somewhat shielded from the sense of speed in the other rows in a way that you don't on the front. One quality I really rate in rides is consistency, so Stealth does suffer for me due to the fact that it has quite a distinct "magic seat" that outweighs all of the others. Still, it's a cracking coaster, and one I always enjoy! Although perhaps controversially, I actually prefer Rita of the two British Intamin launch coasters... 8/10, #15/91 The Swarm - Swarm is good fun, but a slightly sad one to write about for me. Swarm is a coaster I enjoy, don't get me wrong... but I've gone off it somewhat in recent years. It spent a 2 year stint as my all time number 1 before I rode Mako in 2016 (well, technically Montu, but Mako was its more significant successor on the same trip, a day later), and it spent many years as both my favourite Thorpe coaster and one of my favourites in the UK. It's my most ridden coaster outside of Alton Towers. In terms of what I love about it; I think the winged seating position produces such a brilliant sense of speed, and I think some of those elements are terrific (that first drop where you rush towards the ground, and that final inversion that flings you out of your seat over the station, are just pure ecstasy, in my view!). However, I've been increasingly finding a few niggles with the experience that are becoming harder for me to overcome with time, hence why the ride has slid down my rankings over the years. The first is the smoothness, and overall consistent delivery; the ride isn't as smooth as it used to be, and while the inner seats are still fine for the most part, the outer seats seem to jitter a fair bit these days, which does detract a bit for me and make the ride lose points for consistency. The second is the intensity; I almost consistently grey out for multiple seconds during the low turn over the water, and while I know some enjoy this sensation, I personally find it somewhat unpleasant, and it does detract from my enjoyment. The third, and probably most pressing, niggle for me is the restraints. I used to love the B&M vest restraints, but as I've aged and gotten bigger, I've grown to not particularly like them. I'm not a fan of how rigid they are and how they tighten throughout the layout; I find that the tightening can sometimes really take away from the experience, and take the sting out of some of the ride's best elements (that sublime inversion at the end can certainly have some of the sting taken out of it by a tight restraint, as was the case on my last ride in 2022). Overall, Swarm is a fun coaster that I do enjoy for some of its stronger aspects, but various niggles are keeping it from ranking any higher for me these days. 7/10, #23/91 Saw The Ride - Saw is a weird one for me. There's many elements of it I really like; the airtime is absolutely smashing, the dark ride section is great, and the pacing is really good! However... I can't rate it overly highly because it's just so rough in places. Admittedly, my last few rides haven't been too bad, hence why the ride doesn't fare too badly placement-wise at the moment, but there are some very prominent headbanging moments on it that detract from the ride fairly significantly for me, namely the transition from the first drop into the Immelmann and the dive loop after the MCBR. These can leave you with a real headache if you ride the ride on a bad day, and they're pretty unpleasant moments of roughness even on a good one. The ride can also be fairly rattly in other places, and I always come off it feeling somewhat battered and bruised, even on one of the ride's better runs... which is a shame seeing as I actually really like the layout itself. The roughness doesn't seem to have been quite as bad as in the past recently, though, hence why it doesn't fare too badly compared to where it has ranked in the past... my recent rides have been a spate of "good" runs. 5/10, #47/91 The Walking Dead The Ride (last ridden as X) - I haven't actually done this since it was rethemed to The Walking Dead, so I'm basing this review off of one ride back in 2014, but I remember X being a perfectly fine, if not earth-shattering, family roller coaster. It was perfectly adequate as a family coaster, but nothing about it really stands out in my memory 8 years on. 4/10, #56/91 Flying Fish - This is a perfectly fun little powered coaster; not one of the stronger powered coasters I've done, but for what it is, I think Flying Fish is a perfectly fun ride; it has some nice speed in those helixes, and it's overall not a bad little family ride! 4/10, #67/91 Colossus - I've ridden this numerous times as of late really wanting to like it, but I never seem to enjoy Colossus at all. From my experience, it is excruciatingly rough to the point where I never fail to walk off with a headache and very bruised ears, and I don't like the cars/restraints at all; I'm not particularly tall, but I find them hard to get in and out of, and I find the restraints really clasp to my thighs and leave me feeling pretty uncomfortable. Roughness and cars notwithstanding, I'm also not a fan of the series of slow heartline rolls that make up a considerable percentage of the ride; I find the slow hangtime uncomfortable, and I tend to just cling on and wait for the rolls to end rather than enjoy them. It's a shame that it's so rough and uncomfortable, because the ride looks stunning, and even though the second half isn't my cup of tea regardless of the ride comfort, I think the first half actually has real promise! Sadly, though, I don't enjoy Colossus at all; it's easily one of my least favourite coasters of all time. 1/10, #90/91 I apologise if I come across overly negative or nitpicky in some of these reviews; I try to be a balanced, constructive and generally positive reviewer, but I also strive to be 100% honest about my opinions and experiences. I do think Thorpe has a good coaster selection, but strangely, none of their coasters are among my very favourites. Hopefully Exodus will change that! But how would you rank the Thorpe Park coasters?
  6. It's an awkward one, and I'm not really sure what they can do. I think the ride clearly hasn't been a rip-roaring success (or at very least, a rip-roaring success to the degree that the park were hoping for), seeing as it's still on entry via timed tickets as far as I know (correct me if I'm wrong there...), which would indicate that it isn't the most popular ride. It also doesn't appear to be seen as a headline attraction in the same way as the likes of the coasters, from what I can tell, which isn't too good given its age and the money that was spent on it (£30m, supposedly). The problem is, though; I think it was too expensive for them to just leave or do anything overly drastic to it. To abandon a £30m ride (the most expensive ever built in the UK) after only 6 years in operation would be a huge loss of money. So I'm not really sure they can do anything to it without losing a huge amount of money. In an ideal world, I would get rid of it and put a new family thrill dark ride in there that has wider appeal. Perhaps an Oceaneering system, like Jumanji at Gardaland, would work well? Personally, I feel that its appeal was too niche for such a major headline attraction. I'm not saying that there's anything wrong with parks building horror dark rides, and I admire Thorpe's nerve for doing DBGT in the first place, but I think there is a reason why not too many horror dark rides with scare maze-type elements akin to DBGT exist, and the ones that do exist are mostly lower budget support attractions within their respective parks rather than bank-breaking headliners like DBGT. That reason is that the appeal of that type of attraction (horror, with scare actors and many scare maze type elements) is quite limited in the sphere of the wider theme park visiting populace, and there's only so much reward you can get from horror fans, hence it's not usually worth spending tons on that type of attraction. I'm a young adult who likes a good thrill; I would consider myself a thrillseeker who isn't scared by much hardware-wise, so I'm right in the park's target market. However... I have not done DBGT because horror attractions are not my thing at all (I know this makes me sound like a coward, but I'm not keen on forced participation, and I have a slight phobia of costumed characters/scare actors... I haven't done TWD:TR since it was rethemed for the same reason), and I know that I'm not alone in feeling this. Something like DBGT will naturally be a lot more polarising than something like a roller coaster or a more traditional dark ride, and I think that's part of why it hasn't been a greater success. Ultimately, I think that it was a huge, huge gamble. It was a pretty admirable gamble; it had a really admirable degree of ambition behind it, and its uniqueness is in many ways quite stunning, but it was a gamble that ultimately backfired quite spectacularly. Overall, I think the ride was almost a bit too ambitious in many ways, with the experimental technology seemingly being quite problematic, and its appeal was arguably too limited for a ride of its scale.
  7. For anyone interested, documents have been uploaded to the EIA application. Here’s a link to the EIA letter: http://publicaccess.staffsmoorlands.gov.uk/portal/servlets/AttachmentShowServlet?ImageName=313746 The project description describes a 4,000m2 aluminium warehouse, which will be up to 75m*57m in ground space dimensions and up to 20m tall. That’s very tall for a dark ride… for some idea, Sky Lion’s building is 13m tall, and DBGT’s is 10m tall. I also feel that the building is too large in terms of ground space for something like a flying theatre; Sky Lion is actually very compact, and takes up less than 1,000m2 of ground space, so even a double theatre version probably wouldn’t be any larger than 2,000m2 or so. This is 4,000m2; larger than any other dark ride building on park (Duel, the current largest, is about 3,000m2), and also larger than DBGT (2,306m2 according to the planning application). Would a flying theatre, even one with 2 theatres, really take up that much ground space? It could be a dark ride, but my money is on an indoor family coaster of some sort; the building area could definitely accommodate one, and a 20m building height sounds more “coaster” than “dark ride” to me.
  8. The public exhibition was today, and TowersTimes was there to grab some info: The project is being codenamed Project Horizon. The building housing the ride will be 71m*46m, which equates to 3,266m2. There will also be an additional 40m*10m extension at the front of the building, which will take the overall building area including everything to 3,666m2. For some idea, that is Towers’ largest dark ride building by a fair margin; Duel, including the indoor queue line, is about 3,000m2, possibly less. So this ride will be Towers’ biggest dark ride building by a margin of at least 20%. Little else is known other than that. I think an indoor coaster could still be a fair possibility myself. Many are suggesting a flying theatre, but I think the building is too big for one myself; Flight of the Sky Lion takes up under 1,000 square metres of ground space (it’s surprisingly compact), so even if Towers got a second theatre, it would be no bigger than 2,000m2. This is over 3,000m2, closer to 3,500-4,000m2 including the entrance and queue line, so unless Towers built an inordinate amount of theatres (unlikely, in my opinion - even the Florida version of Soarin’ only recently added a 3rd theatre, with all the other Soarin’ clones having 2, so I’d be very surprised if Towers built the amount of theatres needed to make up over 3,000m2 of ground space), a flying theatre would take up too little ground space to fulfil the dimensions provided by Towers. What do you guys think?
  9. I struggle to find figures for Paultons, but most seem to suggest around the 1 million mark (I think I read 1.1 million somewhere, but don’t quote me on that one). I think Chessington’s capacity struggles are compounded by a combination of the fact that it’s on the MAP (I seem to remember hearing that Chessington is considered one of Merlin’s most valuable assets due to how many MAP visits it attracts) and the fact that it’s in London with a huge population on its doorstep. The graph suggests that figures spiked fairly significantly in 2008 in spite of no especially significant investment that year, which I think could have been at least partially caused by the conception of the MAP. By comparison, Paultons is more remote in location and doesn’t have a similarly lucrative annual pass product to boost its figures. Based on my own experience there, I’d also wager that a notable percentage of its visitors spend their time mainly in Peppa Pig World, which could help the queues stay low in the rest of the park.
  10. One thing I would say is that I don't think thrills necessarily only appeal to teens and young adults. Thorpe may have a big selection of thrill rides and quite a heavy focus on the thrill market, but I don't think that's necessarily the architect of the park's recent struggles. A look at my data suggests that the extremely thrill-focused 2000s were very successful indeed, and the park actually rode that wave of success right up until 2011; they experienced sustained growth for the best part of 10 years under a thrill heavy strategy. Park attendance grew by 133.3% in the decade between 2000 and 2010, and the park's growth trajectory was a near perfect upward curve for this entire time. I don't think thrills and teens necessarily go hand in hand perfectly. Appealing to the teenage and young adult market doesn't necessarily mean appealing to thrillseekers and vice versa; the thrill market encapsulates a surprisingly wide range of people. It includes people like older families and adults as well as teenagers and young adults. Appealing to the teenage/young adult market can also be done in ways aside from building thrill rides. I'd wager that Thorpe's issue is one of recent investments and target market rather than ride lineup, in two senses. The first sense is that the park in recent years (under Merlin) has tried to go for too much of a niche part of the thrill market, in my opinion. The bulk of the park's additions within the last decade have not been traditional thrill rides, such as coasters and thrill flats; the only investment that would fit either descriptor is Swarm, which only narrowly makes it into the last decade having been built 10 years ago in 2012. Many of the park's recent attempts at thrill have not been "traditional" thrill rides with wide appeal; the bulk of Thorpe's recent thrill investments have been very "edgy", scare based, horror themed attractions with quite niche appeal. In my view, something like DBGT is aimed at a very specific, niche corner of the thrill market and will have far less universal appeal than something like a roller coaster. Ditto with the likes of Walking Dead; the IP is undeniably popular, but an attraction in the style of TWD:TR will appeal to a much smaller subset of thrillseekers (only teens and young adults, really). These investments undeniably appeal to the teen and young adult market very well, but attractions like these don't really open themselves up to the other (arguably more lucrative) corners of the thrill market, such as older families and adults. The second, and arguably more important sense in my view, is that the park seems to have struggled to target towards anyone in recent years. From Swarm onwards, and particularly strongly in the years following DBGT, the park has given off the impression that it has been somewhat paralysed by indecision about who its target market actually is. It seems to have been a fun family park one minute, but a hardcore horror park the next minute, and then a fresh-faced thrill park focused on coasters the next minute after that. The park arguably hasn't made an overly committal move towards appealing in any particular direction since DBGT back in 2016, and any attempts at appealing to one particular market have not been very sustained. In 2014 and 2015, the park went pretty family-based... before going hardcore horror in 2016 and 2017. The park rethemed X to appeal to families in 2013... before retheming it to appeal to hardcore horror fans, arguably reversing the effects of their prior move and then some, in 2018. The park started 2018 off by saying it was "The Year of the Walking Dead" and appealing to hardcore horror fans... before changing tack mid season and going for a more light hearted vibe with all the Love Island stuff to appeal primarily to teens and young adults. 2019 and 2020 were then relatively family-based... but the park went back to horror with Black Mirror in 2021. I get that it is difficult for Thorpe to pick a target market (I'm terribly indecisive myself...), I get that the park has had many different managers with different ideas in recent years, and I do understand that a public business with shareholders will likely find it difficult to have an overly long term view, but my view is that Thorpe would be a fair amount more successful if they took one particular path, properly ran with it, and made some properly decisive moves towards cementing the park as a destination for that particular target market. I think Exodus could well solve this issue (a 230ft hyper is certainly a pretty decisive move towards appealing to the wide subset of the thrill market who like roller coasters), but it does appear that recently, particular paths taken by the park haven't really been given enough time to succeed before the park moves on, and the moves towards these paths haven't been overly committal. The park in recent years has seemed somewhat "on the fence" about who its target demographic actually is, and quite uncommitted towards any particular path. I feel that if the park were to take one path and properly commit to it, they would be a fair bit more successful. Those are just my thoughts, though. I could be very wrong. I apologise, as I know I probably shouldn't question their decision making given that they have the KPIs and charts and things to back up their decisions and I don't. I also know that I'm being a massive hypocrite talking about indecision seeing as I'm pretty indecisive myself... so I should probably stop there seeing as hypocrisy is not a hill I wish to die on. I fully understand how difficult it can be to make a decision and stick to it sometimes.
  11. The interesting thing I noticed about Nemesis’ opening year is that the park was unable to sustain those guest figures into 1995. Chessington, Thorpe and Legoland all managed to sustain their peak figures for a good few years after they were initially attained, but the peak stimulated by Nemesis was literally a one year only event; seeing as 1995’s guest figure was exactly the same as 1993’s, it’s fair to say that Towers was literally back to square one in Nemesis’ second year, and that any attendance growth it stimulated was short lived. The peak generated by Thirteen (the only other time the park has ever exceeded 3 million guests) was eerily similar; attendance shot very high for the ride’s opening year, but these gains were entirely wiped out by 2011, with 2011’s attendance figures being exactly the same as 2009’s… Out of interest, what do you feel that Thorpe’s “bigger issue” is? And why do you not think that Exodus will solve it?
  12. From having watched a POV, Billy says something along these lines: ”So, thrill hunters… the game has begun. You are locked into a mechanical device from which there is no escape. Ahead of you are a series of devices that will determine your existence. Time is against you. Live or die… make your choice. Here’s what happens if you lose…” I think Billy might have been either very quiet or off entirely on my last visit, because I don’t remember hearing this speech very well. POV: (Billy’s speech starts at 0:16)
  13. Matt N

    Duel!

    Hello again @Trooper Looper; welcome over here to TPM!
  14. Hi guys. During the coaster consultations in 2021, Merlin released an attendance graph showing all their parks' attendance figures since the early 1980s. I had some time on my hands yesterday evening and decided to try and extrapolate some slightly more precise guest figures for each park from this graph to try and determine the precise(ish) attendance trajectory of each UK Merlin park from the earliest year listed here (1984 for Alton Towers and Chessington, 1983 for Thorpe Park, 1987 for Windsor Safari Park and 1997 for Legoland Windsor). For some idea, this is the original graph I was working with: https://www.cwoa-consultation.com/proposals?lightbox=dataItem-komw1163 To make things easier for myself, I divided each million on the graph into 8 rows (thus leaving ~125,000 guests per row, as my rather crude MS Paint annotation indicates): As such, I then decided to extrapolate a precise(ish) figure from the graph by looking at what row each park's figure fell within. All of these figures are rounded to the nearest 31,250; I know that sounds oddly specific, but it's 1/32 of a million, and a quarter of one of these rows, so it's the most precise figure that remains easy to determine by eye. It also keeps the margin of error to only 1 or 2 percent in most cases. The precise(ish) trajectories that I managed to extrapolate for each park, including percentage increases and decreases for each year, were as follows: Alton Towers - opened 1980, first year on graph 1984 1984: 1,843,750 (first year, #1/3 on graph) 1985: 1,812,500 (-1.7%, #1/3 on graph) 1986: 2,250,000 (+24.1%, #1/3 on graph) 1987: 2,312,500 (+2.8%, #1/4 on graph) 1988: 2,875,000 (+24.3%, #1/4 on graph) 1989: 2,412,500 (-16.1%, #1/4 on graph) 1990: 1,912,500 (-20.7%, #1/4 on graph) 1991: 1,843,750 (-3.6%, #1/4 on graph) 1992: 2,625,000 (+42.4%, #1/4 on graph) 1993: 2,843,750 (+8.3%, #1/4 on graph) 1994: 3,312,500 (+16.5%, #1/3 on graph) 1995: 2,843,750 (-14.2%, #1/3 on graph) 1996: 2,875,000 (+1.1%, #1/3 on graph) 1997: 2,875,000 (0.0%, #1/4 on graph) 1998: 2,906,250 (+1.1%, #1/4 on graph) 1999: 2,593,750 (-10.8%, #1/4 on graph) 2000: 2,412,500 (-7.0%, #1/4 on graph) 2001: 2,187,500 (-9.3%, #1/4 on graph) 2002: 2,687,500 (+22.9%, #1/4 on graph) 2003: 2,562,500 (-4.7%, #1/4 on graph) 2004: 2,125,000 (-17.1%, #1/4 on graph) 2005: 2,187,500 (+2.9%, #1/4 on graph) 2006: 2,218,750 (+1.4%, #1/4 on graph) 2007: 2,250,000 (+1.4%, #1/4 on graph) 2008: 2,593,750 (+15.3%, #1/4 on graph) 2009: 2,687,500 (+3.6%, #1/4 on graph) 2010: 3,062,500 (+14.0%, #1/4 on graph) 2011: 2,687,500 (-12.2%, #1/4 on graph) 2012: 2,406,250 (-10.5%, #1/4 on graph) 2013: 2,593,750 (+7.8%, #1/4 on graph) 2014: 2,312,500 (-10.8%, joint #2/4 on graph) 2015: 1,937,500 (-16.2%, #2/4 on graph) 2016: 1,750,000 (-9.7%, #2/4 on graph) 2017: 1,875,000 (+7.1%, #2/4 on graph) 2018: 2,218,750 (+18.3%, #1/4 on graph) 2019: 2,500,000 (+12.7%, #1/4 on graph) 2020: 912,500 (-63.5%, #1/4 on graph) All-Time Peak: 3,312,500 (1994) All-Time Low (excluding 2020): 1,750,000 (2016) Peak Within Merlin Era (2008 and later): 3,062,500 (2010) Low Within Merlin Era (2008 and later, excluding 2020): 1,750,000 (2016) Chessington/Chessington Zoo - opened 1931, first year on graph 1984, first year as CWOA 1987 1984: 625,000 (first year, #3/3 on graph) 1985: 562,500 (-10.0%, #3/3 on graph) 1986: 500,000 (-11.1%, #3/3 on graph) 1987: 875,000 (+75.0%, #3/4 on graph) 1988: 1,187,500 (+35.7%, joint #3/4 on graph) 1989: 1,250,000 (+5.3%, #3/4 on graph) 1990: 1,062,500 (-15.0%, joint #3/4 on graph) 1991: 1,437,500 (+35.3%, #2/4 on graph) 1992: 1,218,750 (-15.2%, #2/4 on graph) 1993: 1,531,250 (+25.6%, #2/4 on graph) 1994: 1,687,500 (+10.2%, #2/3 on graph) 1995: 1,875,000 (+11.1%, #2/3 on graph) 1996: 1,812,500 (-3.3%, #2/3 on graph) 1997: 1,843,750 (+1.7%, #2/4 on graph) 1998: 1,843,750 (0.0%, #2/4 on graph) 1999: 1,656,250 (-10.2%, #2/4 on graph) 2000: 1,562,500 (-5.7%, #3/4 on graph) 2001: 1,531,250 (-2.0%, joint #3/4 on graph) 2002: 1,281,250 (-16.3%, #4/4 on graph) 2003: 1,312,500 (+2.4%, #4/4 on graph) 2004: 1,250,000 (-4.8%, #4/4 on graph) 2005: 1,093,750 (-12.5%, #4/4 on graph) 2006: 1,000,000 (-8.6%, #4/4 on graph) 2007: 968,750 (-3.1%, #4/4 on graph) 2008: 1,281,250 (+32.3%, #4/4 on graph) 2009: 1,343,750 (+4.9%, #4/4 on graph) 2010: 1,437,500 (+7.0%, #4/4 on graph) 2011: 1,500,000 (+4.3%, #4/4 on graph) 2012: 1,406,250 (-6.2%, #4/4 on graph) 2013: 1,531,250 (+8.9%, #4/4 on graph) 2014: 1,562,500 (+2.0%, #4/4 on graph) 2015: 1,437,500 (-8.0%, #4/4 on graph) 2016: 1,468,750 (+2.2%, #4/4 on graph) 2017: 1,500,000 (+2.1%, #4/4 on graph) 2018: 1,593,750 (+6.3%, joint #4/4 on graph) 2019: 1,687,500 (+5.9%, #3/4 on graph) 2020: 500,000 (-70.4%, joint #4/4 on graph) All-Time Peak: 1,875,000 (1995) All-Time Low (excluding 2020, including pre-CWOA years): 500,000 (1986) All-Time Low (excluding 2020 and pre-CWOA years): 875,000 (1987) Peak Within Merlin Era (2008 and later): 1,687,500 (2019) Low Within Merlin Era (2008 and later, excluding 2020): 1,281,250 (2008) Legoland Windsor/Windsor Safari Park - opened 1970, first year on graph 1987, first year as Legoland Windsor 1996 1987: 812,500 (first year, #4/4 on graph) 1988: 875,000 (+7.7%, #4/4 on graph) 1989: 968,750 (+10.7%, #4/4 on graph) 1990: 1,062,500 (+9.7%, joint #3/4 on graph) 1991: 1,031,250 (-2.9%, #3/4 on graph) 1992: 968,750 (-6.1%, #4/4 on graph) 1993: 937,500 (-3.2%, #4/4 on graph) 1994: N/A (-100.0%, N/A on graph) 1995: N/A (0.0%, N/A on graph) 1996: N/A (0.0%, N/A on graph) 1997: 1,468,750 (first year as LLW, #3/4 on graph) 1998: 1,312,500 (-10.6%, #3/4 on graph) 1999: 1,500,000 (+14.3%, #3/4 on graph) 2000: 1,687,500 (+12.5%, #2/4 on graph) 2001: 1,531,250 (-9.3%, joint #3/4 on graph) 2002: 1,593,750 (+4.1%, #2/4 on graph) 2003: 1,437,500 (-9.8%, #3/4 on graph) 2004: 1,437,500 (0.0%, #3/4 on graph) 2005: 1,500,000 (+4.3%, #3/4 on graph) 2006: 1,625,000 (+8.3%, #3/4 on graph) 2007: 1,500,000 (-7.8%, #3/4 on graph) 2008: 1,875,000 (+25.0%, #2/4 on graph) 2009: 1,906,250 (+1.7%, #3/4 on graph) 2010: 1,906,250 (0.0%, #3/4 on graph) 2011: 1,906,250 (0.0%, #3/4 on graph) 2012: 2,031,250 (+6.6%, #2/4 on graph) 2013: 2,312,500 (+13.8%, #2/4 on graph) 2014: 2,312,500 (0.0%, joint #2/4 on graph) 2015: 2,343,750 (+1.4%, #1/4 on graph) 2016: 2,187,500 (-6.6%, #1/4 on graph) 2017: 2,312,500 (+5.7%, #1/4 on graph) 2018: 2,125,000 (-8.1%, #2/4 on graph) 2019: 2,062,500 (-2.9%, #2/4 on graph) 2020: 656,250 (-68.2%, #2/4 on graph) All-Time Peak: 2,343,750 (2015) All-Time Low (excluding 2020, including pre-LLW years): 812,500 (1987) All-Time Low (excluding 2020 and pre-LLW years): 1,312,500 (1998) Peak Within Merlin Era (2006 and later): 2,343,750 (2015) Low Within Merlin Era (2006 and later, excluding 2020): 1,500,000 (2007) Thorpe Park - opened 1979, first year on graph 1983 1983: 843,750 (first year, #1/1 on graph) 1984: 1,031,250 (+22.2%, #2/3 on graph) 1985: 1,093,750 (+6.1%, #2/3 on graph) 1986: 1,093,750 (0.0%, #2/3 on graph) 1987: 1,093,750 (0.0%, #2/4 on graph) 1988: 1,187,500 (+8.6%, joint #3/4 on graph) 1989: 1,343,750 (+13.2%, #2/4 on graph) 1990: 1,000,000 (-25.6%, #4/4 on graph) 1991: 968,750 (-3.1%, #4/4 on graph) 1992: 1,093,750 (+12.9%, #3/4 on graph) 1993: 1,281,250 (+17.1%, #3/4 on graph) 1994: 1,218,750 (-4.9%, #3/3 on graph) 1995: 1,125,000 (-7.7%, #3/3 on graph) 1996: 1,187,500 (+5.6%, #3/3 on graph) 1997: 968,750 (-18.4%, #4/4 on graph) 1998: 875,000 (-9.7%, #4/4 on graph) 1999: 906,250 (+3.6%, #4/4 on graph) 2000: 937,500 (+3.4%, #4/4 on graph) 2001: 1,187,500 (+26.7%, #4/4 on graph) 2002: 1,437,500 (+21.1%, #3/4 on graph) 2003: 1,531,250 (+6.5%, #2/4 on graph) 2004: 1,468,750 (-4.1%, #2/4 on graph) 2005: 1,562,500 (+6.4%, #2/4 on graph) 2006: 1,812,500 (+16.0%, #2/4 on graph) 2007: 1,843,750 (+1.7%, #2/4 on graph) 2008: 1,843,750 (0.0%, #3/4 on graph) 2009: 2,125,000 (+15.3%, #2/4 on graph) 2010: 2,187,500 (+2.9%, #2/4 on graph) 2011: 2,125,000 (-2.9%, #2/4 on graph) 2012: 1,843,750 (-13.2%, #3/4 on graph) 2013: 1,786,250 (-3.1%, #3/4 on graph) 2014: 1,843,750 (+3.2%, #3/4 on graph) 2015: 1,531,250 (-17.0%, #3/4 on graph) 2016: 1,625,000 (+6.1%, #3/4 on graph) 2017: 1,562,500 (-3.9%, #3/4 on graph) 2018: 1,593,750 (+2.0%, #3/4 on graph) 2019: 1,500,000 (-5.9%, #4/4 on graph) 2020: 500,000 (-66.6%, joint #4/4 on graph) All-Time Peak: 2,187,500 (2010) All-Time Low (excluding 2020): 843,750 (1983) Peak Within Merlin Era (2008 and later): 2,187,500 (2010) Low Within Merlin Era (2008 and later, excluding 2020): 1,500,000 (2019) To sum up each park's trajectory: Alton Towers may have been top dog for the bulk of the years since 1984, but it has also had the most volatile guest figures. It has had peaks as high as 3.3 million in 1994, but also troughs of only slightly above 2 million in the mid-2000s or even slightly below in the early 1990s and mid-2010s, with a nadir of 1.75 million being reached in 2016. At that point, it was well away from #1 and almost rubbing shoulder to shoulder with #3 park Thorpe. Interestingly, its peak was early, in 1994, and only 2010 has ever come close to that since. Merlin have attained fair growth at Alton Towers; between 2007 and 2019, attendance grew by 11.1%. Chessington started off fairly well, attaining steady growth from 1987 up until 1994, where it stayed at its peak until about 1997. However, attendance dropped through the floor from 1998 onwards, hitting a low of under 1 million in 2007, so it's fair to say that Chessington's trajectory has been far from uniform, although things improved notably under Merlin. Interestingly, Chessington is the park that has thrived most under Merlin, with attendance having grown by 74.1% between 2007 and 2019. Nonetheless, the high water mark was hit quite early on at Chessington, with that near 2 million peak guest figure being all the way back in 1995, and no year post-1997 has yet come close to it. Legoland Windsor has had the most consistent growth trajectory of all the parks. With its low back near opening in 1998, its peak in 2015 and no particularly catastrophic attendance drops (COVID aside), it's grown fairly consistently over the years. It's also a park that has thrived pretty well under Merlin; between 2005 and 2019, attendance grew by 37.5%. Thorpe Park has had a bit of a roller coaster of a growth trajectory. The 80s and 90s were a little bit choppy at Thorpe Park, with peaks of close to 1.5 million and lows of under 1 million. The park really hit its stride from 2001 onwards, maintaining a near perfect growth trajectory right up to the park's 2.2 million peak in 2010. However, things have been a bit of a struggle since then, with guest figures having almost consistently declined since 2011 right back to a low of 1.5 million in 2019. The park has comparatively struggled under Merlin, with attendance having fallen by 18.6% between 2007 and 2019. I hope you find this interesting! If you don't agree with something I've done or notice any errors, however, don't be afraid to flag them to me.
  15. Hi guys. As of late, I've noticed that roller coaster names seem to have become a lot more divisive than they used to be. From tongue twisters like Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure to nods to modern slang like Sik, enthusiasts are increasingly beginning to question some of the decision making that goes into naming roller coasters at times. So the question I ask you today is; if the names that parks are churning out are sub-par, then what unused roller coaster names do you feel would be better? What are some of your favourite potential roller coaster names that haven't been used? What names do you think would sound really cool if applied to a ride? I'll get the ball rolling with some of my choices... Zenith - I think this would make a really cool name for the tallest ride in any park, or more generally, something like a hyper or giga coaster. The word quite literally means “highest point”, and I think it rolls off the tongue quite nicely! Gargantua - Again playing into the theme of big rides and bigness, I also think that Gargantua would suit a tall ride well. It’s a play on the word “gargantuan”, and I think that taking the “t” off the end makes it sound really cool, almost like some sort of big ruling deity or something! Torchwood - This might sound a bit random, but I think this would have made quite a cool alternative name for Wicker Man at Alton Towers, and I think it would suit any ride that blends wood and fire and capitalises upon that for the theme (a la Wicker Man). It’s sort of a play on words on how wood that’s set on fire is “torched wood” (although I might be reaching a bit with that one…), and to be honest, I just think it sounds cool and rolls off the tongue quite nicely! Cataclysm - I think this would be a cool name for any ride themed to disaster, the apocalypse or any sort of destructive beast or similar. Cataclysm means “a disastrous or seismic event”, and any sort of disaster or destructive creature, as quite a few rides seem to lean upon for a theme, certainly would be a cataclysm! And to be honest, I just think it rolls off the tongue quite nicely! We have lots of rides called “Tornado” or “Cyclone”; maybe this would make a nice change? Catalyst - I know it sounds similar to the name above, but I reckon this would make a cool name for a launch coaster or something. A catalyst is something that stimulates a chemical reaction, and I reckon that it would suit a launch coaster pretty well, because a launch moves a train pretty quickly! And it just sounds cool… Inferna - I think this would have been a really cool alternative name for Nemesis Inferno at Thorpe Park, and I think it would suit any ride themed to something like a fire dragon or anything to do with fire or heat (like Inferno is). It sounds similar to Inferno, but is a slightly different version of the word with the “a” instead of the “o”, and I just really like it! Euphoria - I know this doesn’t really lend itself to a theme as such, but I quite like this one as a more simple name, because I think it sounds cool and I also think it sums up the feelings of thrill and excitement that a roller coaster is designed to provide! Keeping to a similar train of thought, I also think that Ecstasy would be a cool name too! To be honest, there are also a number of scientific and computational words that I think would make really cool coaster names…. not for any particular reason, though; I just think they sound cool! Things like Ion, Xeon, Ryzen… actually, I guess there’s only 3 I can think of. I know my naming skills aren’t brilliant, but that’s what I could come up with. But what are some of your favourite unused roller coaster names?
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