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Everything posted by Mark9

  1. Yeah she is getting on a bit now, almost 35 years old. I would love for it to get a bit of love now that Mandrill is open.
  2. It will be far less intense than Ride to Happiness.
  3. 'Nothing is ever as good or as bad as the first reports of excited people' This has become my mantra in life. If I had walked onto half the rides and dark rides with the level of hype/hate thrown on them, I don't think I'd like anything.
  4. Best part of Sub Terra reopening was the reopening ceremony and the subsequent video released by Towers featuring a blink and you'll miss it glimpse of someone with the old nemesis logo on a jacket. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9FPhhEWqnQE If Merlin put as much effort into their day to day operations as they do their marketing, we'd have the best theme parks on the planet. I don't know any ride anywhere like Nemesis that has had this much love and attention for a retracking. I only beg that Merlin get Nemesis Inferno in on the act. It's an odd admission now that Sub terra has become one giant Nemesis campaign.
  5. Awkward. At least it's true to its predecessor in barely working.
  6. Visited last week, probably the quietest I've visited a theme park since before the pandemic. We were waiting in stations for ages for other guests despite everything being on one train. It was also very wet with it pretty much raining all day. Despite this, every ride was operational and there wasn't a single ride closure. And thats a lot of rides. Hyperion - Mostly on the back and front once. Really great ride. There's a tiny rattle on the edge but really enjoyed it. Aside from one air time hill which is dire, the rest is a speed machine and that first drop is fabulous. Zadra - Another power house. The more RMC's you ride, the more you realise they are all pretty much the same with minor differences. They are still excellent and well worth your time. This is probably my least favourite of the five I've done. It's just not as strong as the others albeit, the lack of running and the temperature probably had an effect. Abyssus - Sleeper hit, this was my favourite of the rollercoasters at Energylandia. Full of ejector air time, forces, really long layout. I've seen more criticism of this ride than the other three which I don't think is warranted as actually, this is a really solid, entertaining ride. To be honest though, these three rides compliment each other really well and are a good triple threat. The quality really falls off massively. Speed - Intamin water coaster. Yeah this was fine but we were soaked anyway from the rain. Various vekoma rides. So many. So many doubles. Various SBF rides. I mean they serve a purpose. So many rides. More rides that you can shake a stick at. Aqualantis for example has about eight rides tucked away all over the place. So yeah.. we had a good time. This is an efficient park with staff that are fast and safe, prices are affordable, everything about it should secure its future for decades to come.
  7. B&M Wing-rider special. 1. Gatekeeper 2. Flug Der Demon 3. Fenix 4. Mandrill Mayhem 5. The Swarm 6. Raptor 7. X Flight
  8. Wahoo, now open. Few comments from me. Park did a little opening ceremony, which was nice. Even though Jumanji is open for hotel guests (9am-10am), it was still good for something to recognise the significance of the new area. Short speech done, area opened. So to ride Mandrill Mayhem you need to join a virtual queue. This does create a massive bottle neck right off the bat but 20 minutes later there's no one waiting outside to get their QR codes scanned. Its launch day was quiet in the park with only the Jumanji rides having any significant wait times (for reference, Vampire was less than 10 minutes all day). This ran out around 3:30pm so just as a warning, on a busy day it could run out a lot earlier. The most we waited for Mandrill was 30 minutes and the team working it were doing the best with the limited capacity. They made a point of filling every seat, deliberately holding back single riders to pair them up with groups of three or other single riders. This being an intense, geek heavy day there was a lot of single riders so I wonder if this will continue on a more traditional park day. The station is fine, the thing I like is that unlike the Swarm where you just wait on either side of the station (and one is significantly longer then the other), here you are pre batched and let pretty much straight onto the ride. But this does create a bigger problem where the train is still for several moments as you can't get onto the platform until a staff member opens a gate. There were points that the staff were only one on each side, its a lot of work for one person. Again, low capacity ride being made lower. Trains felt exactly like the other Wing-riders, it begs the question, could The Swarm be a 1.2 metre ride or is there something I'm missing? The ride itself is surprisingly good. I had reservations about this being a proper lower tier B&M but actually its a pretty varied ride experience. The spike for example as you launch out the station is full of hang time particularly in the back part of the ride. The launches feel really nice, sitting between Mack and Intamin. The turns are full of whip. I love the turn coming out of the station heading in(or out) or the zero g roll. It's so snappy. The Zero G roll is really good. It's taken at the perfect pace and is in the perfect location over the entrance to the area. The helix around the monument is surprisingly forceful on the right hand side of the train. The backwards return journey is lovely too. We had 6 rides overall and it was pretty unanimous in that this is a perfect fit for Chessington and a good step up ride for those that want a bit more then Dragons Fury but aren't quite ready for Thorpe. I think one of its main positives is a weird one in that the earlier B&M Wing-riders were very graceful rides, The Swarm for example has a natural flow and each element works in conjunction with the next. It always feels in control. The newer ones such as Fenix at Toverland and Mandrill have jerkier elements and feel less refined weirdly. And I kinda like that. So yes, a nice surprise. It has all the strengths that you'd expect from a B&M in that it's reliable and efficient and is a strong Premier ride for the park. It perfectly fits in next to Vampire, Kobra and Dragons Fury and I'm very happy and hope it brings the park the success to take it through the next decade. Ostrich Stampede isn't great to be honest. Takes way too long to load and only one has twenty seconds of really good jumping energy. The rest is a bit meh with you just spinning around. Mamba Strike was much better and weirdly jerky and seemed to be the busier of the two rides. Both of these rides were doing the job well of support flat rides and makes the area feel more complete and rounded. So to conclude it was a successful launch for a park that really needed the investment. With Croc Drop two years ago, Blue Barnacle, Trawler Trouble and Barrel Bail Out last year and now Jumanji, the ride offering has seen significant and much needed changes and I hope to see this continue. I love Chessington and I do bring out the rose tinted glasses out for it. it has so much potential that has been locked away for what feels like two decades. This needs to be the start of something because Chessington can be a great park again.
  9. I love your optimism.
  10. So you're saying we shouldn't expect OzIris excessive theming then =(
  11. Yeah thats cool. I Like gold as a colour scheme.
  12. Dunno if anyones keeping up with this but things continue to get worse in Florida. A bit of history. Before Disney World was built and just after the land was purchased, the Reedy Creek area was set up. It's essentially a private council that maintains everything in the Disney World area such as roads, plumbing etc. In 2022 the Republican govenor , Ron De Santis, started setting up his stall for his Presidential campaign by setting up increasingly far right motions such as attempting to ban abortion in Florida, banning Trans people from using their preferred gender in public bathrooms and banning LGBT and Black/race history in schools. The last one is what has ignited a state versus private company issue within Florida. After weeks of no comment, Disney spoke out against the 'don't say gay' bill. Described as retribution, De Santis since has used the full power of government against Disney World. The Reedy Creek improvement district has been overturned and has become the Central Florida Oversight District, essentially run by the De Santis governor with new rules and laws put in place that specifically target Disney World. In the last few weeks Disney has sought to sue De Santis. They have stated a private company should not be punished for expressing their first amendment rights, ie free speech. De Santis is counter suing. Meanwhile specific laws are going in against Disney such as harsher and more frequent inspection of Walt Disney Worlds rides in comparison to Universal, Sea World and Busch Garden. A new law in the last day passed specifically targets the monorail system for example. Regardless of the conversation around how powerful a private business should be, this has all come about because of the rights of minorities. I'm sad that Universal, Busch and Sea World have said nothing. Without Disney, these companies would not be making the profit that they currently do. It's a huge driver for the state.
  13. We should continue to compare Merlin to premium theme parks as that is how they price themselves. Ryanair don't price themselves like they're BA.
  14. What annoys me more is that Merlin food used to be pretty good and pretty affordable. But its completely the reverse now and the crap you get is no where near worth the money. I'll pay the premium for good food but I'll spend as little as possible if I know the food is questionable. And as I'm more then willing to shovel out $80 for a meal at Tiffins in Disney World, the fact that I really don't want to spend £10 for a burger and fries at The Burger Kitchen says a lot.
  15. Mark9


    Supports are being installed, track has started to arrive. Ginger and Brown from twitter posting pictures of the installation of the track.
  16. I'm sure Sony are impressed that Merlin are completely incapable of negotiating with the engineering team and stopping these strikes.
  17. An absolute crime that Parc Asterix only has five pages of discussion whereas Port Aventura has 26. Anyway.. Toutatis is great. Top notch. I was worried about the pacing of the thing, especially as similar like Taron and Taiga are very well paced. Nothing to worry about though, this is a very fast rollercoaster with the most aggressive ejector air time I've experienced so far. Those little launch dips are just fantastic. The rest of the ride is also very pleasing and we had about 8 rides on it over two days. I didn't have a favourite seat preference. Loved the front and back equally. Definitely my favourite Intamin, traditionally, I'm a bit luke warm with their rides but they've really made a step forward since Taron. Oz'Iris, is excellent. It's just the best B&M inverter out there right now. It combines the whippiness of Nemesis with the weird floaty air time of one of their hypers. There's so much air time on Oz'Iris or zero g feeling, it's very odd to describe because aside from Monster, no other inverter rides like this and it's absolutely joyful. It's a shame that only Banshee and Monster were built after Oz'Iris, because actually, Oz'Iris feels like a proper evolution of what B&M were doing before. Managed eight rides, should have done more. Pegasus Express is lovely, we had three rides and really enjoyed each one. Chessington should really be getting something like this, not a wing rider but I digress. High capacity, lovely moments, fast and snappy. Really accessible for everyone. Tonnerre 2 Zeus was odd. Should have really re tracked the whole thing as there's a significant difference between the old and the new. It makes it a very mixed ride. I still enjoyed, but I also felt like there's a missed opportunity here. I don't like the trains. Really chunky, giant restraints that reminded me of Maurer Sohnes X car ones. A lot has changed at the park since I went in 2017. Every rollercoaster now has a batcher (before it was a free for all), operationally everything was on point and the staff work bloody hard to fill seats, even when the ride is walk on. Twice on Oz'Iris, they were making us run through the queue to fill two seats. Literal walk on. I don't know if we hit a quiet day as Toutatis queues were all over the place. From 90 minutes, to 20, then back to 45 and down to 15 then up again.
  18. Mark9


    Don't be silly, they only do things like this for rides that people actually care about.
  19. Nah, I don't believe that. Have you seen how awful all their signage is. Yikes.
  20. Reality is a lot of AP holders are RAP holders. Therefore know how to exploit the system. And on busy days like Easter and Halloween, this will happen every single time. I don't think it can be fixed either, unless you made the queues wheelchair accessible and severely limited what qualifies for RAP and even then, I don't think Merlin would do it. Also, the really awful reliability and operations at the park are making this process 10 time worse.
  21. The 5 minute queue time will be seared into that board by the end of the season.
  22. Frankly they aren't interested in creating memorable experiences from a management level. There's no care for what the parks actually are, what they are supposed to be. It doesn't matter how fantastic Dragons Fury looks for example if you cannot get on the thing. They are heading for massive issues if Mandrill doesn't deliver the usual B&M efficiency and reliability. But even then, that one ride is not going to be enough when the rest of the park is like this.
  23. Rattlesnake did open and it was displaying an 140 minute queue. Which is possible as when I went it was on a three car operation. It's unbelievable incompetence. Something is fundamentally wrong with the Merlin parks.
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