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Found 10 results

  1. Good afternoon all! I’m excited to announce the details for our Legoland meet! As always, the date of the meet is voted by you, but we have set the provisional date to Saturday 20th May. You will have 1 week to place your votes, with polls closing on Tuesday 18th April at 19:00. The plan for the day is as follows: 9:30-10:00 - Meet by the Lego Dinosaur at the entrance plaza 10:00 – Park gates will open and we will enter the park, working our way around the rides in whichever order people decide. If you miss this time due to transport/general lateness you can contact me and we will arrange to meet you. 13:00-14:00 – We will stop for some lunch where you can go and eat where you like, we will arrange to meet up again at 14:00 for the 2nd half of the day and the official group photo 14:00-18:00 The park closes at 6PM on this day so we will continue riding the rest of the attractions until park closes. Not everyone will want to do the same rides as everyone else, so please can we ask if there’s a ride you do not wish to go on that you patiently wait for the rest of the group whilst they ride. If you are coming later in the day then please do let me know so we can arrange to find you when you arrive. If you are wanting to attend the meet, please post below and make sure you vote for all the dates you can attend. Also if you are bringing a friend, please state their name so we know who they are on the day. See you on Saturday 27th May! Attending: BaronC Han30 (Maybe) Josh3103 (Maybe) Marc Mitchada04 Mrmonkey Mr Fish Ryan Stuntman707
  2. In 1996 within the Berkshire countryside, a defunct Safari park was invaded by bricks. Bricks that would mark the way for Legoland Windsor which would become the second Lego theme park in the world after Billund. Home to a boating school, driving school, Lego model village, A pirate log flume and more, the park was truly a unique place especially in it's early years. Twenty Years on, the park is now part of the Merlin machine currently operating six (and counting) Legoland parks and discovery centres. Through this ownership the park has experienced much change (for better and worse), experiencing rigorous expansions of larger updated attractions. However one could argue as a consequence the park has lost much of it's charm, seeing smaller features neglected or removed and a spike up in the park's commercialism. Something that can be seen from the many walking adverts and upselling,the use of shouty IP's and rise of the hotels (consequently ripping out two prominent rides). Now I think I have probably come across relatively harsh against the park. Yes it doesn't quite have the hardware of other parks out there; yes it can get packed with young families and is not to everyone's taste. But this is Legoland Windsor, the UK's most popular and successful park which now welcomes over 2.2 million guests a year despite its last E-ticket ride being over 5 years ago. It may not beat (or come close) to the likes of Europa, DLRP and Efteling, but Legoland retains a strong soft spot for me, being one of the first major theme parks I visited and the place responsible for my interests in theme parks (and Lego). I have fond memories of the many trips I have taken here since first visiting in 1997. From squirting everyone on the train (and getting karma through a leaky tap) to my fascinations with the sadly long gone Magic Thestre and Explorers Institute attractions. With much fanfare going towards a ghost train, 2016 may be a low investment year at Legoland, but the park is far from quiet. As new for this year, the resort finally takes advantage of the success of the Lego Movie by releasing a brand new film based on the shenanigans from the original movie. The movie wouldn't be the Lego Movie (no pun intended) without the lovable cast from the original film, including Emmet, Wyldstyle, Benny, Metalbeare and of course, Uni Kitty. The feature film see's the cast enter a fictitious theme park operated by President Businesses's brother Risky Business, who has built a specific attraction for each character. Then in true Lego Movie style, this turns out to be a trap with Risky Business planning to capture the cast for a terrible park show. However things eventually end well with the characters eventually visiting the real Legoland. The Lego Movie 4D has to be one the best cinema shows I've ever seen. It retains the charm and humour the original film boasted on and features many poke in the back moments to current trends, from the original film to even some tongue and cheek Disney references. It's a film that shouldn't be missed on any visit. 4.5/5 (not 10). Also new for 2016, the Star Wars Miniland gets a hefty extension. Early on the season, it appeared the original Millenium Falcon entrance feature had been removed. But I'm happily to announce it has been repaired/replaced which is great to see. After experiencing the original sections of the attraction, you are greeted with a series of heavy well built Lego Star Wars ships which lead into the new main section. This a great transition and works rather well. More impressive models (displayed on the side of the area). We then enter into the main area, which features a series of scenes based on the Death Star battles in the films, including the trenches. And a mightily impressive Death Star model. The size and scale is remarkable. The whole of the new area occupies space previously occupied by the Star Wars store (and Lego Racers store long before). It is certainly a fantastic addition and features many interactive elements, from ships flying around the model to numerous smaller animations being depicted by lights and push buttons. The Star Wars store has also seen some modifications, with the tills moved to the old display case and the shop moving forward to space previously wasted as a result of lost space. The Model Maker workshop area has also been updated (which I'm yet to see). 2016 has also seen the addition of another new eatery, Farmer Joe's Chicken Company, replacing the Duplo Buffet restaurant. The facade area is themed quite well (if a little blocky) but I suppose it fits the Duplo area well. I didn't try the food here, however I believe it's similar to the fried chicken company at Chessington and Towers. As as nice as it looks, it's a shame the park now lacks (non quick service) table restaurants as since the Burger Kitchen conversations, it really just leaves Knights Table, Hilltop cafe, Merlin pizza buffet and the hotel restaurants. Meanwhile perched in a hidden corner resides Loki's Labarinth, the park's maze, which is one of the few quiet areas in the park to escape the crowds. But not for very much longer sadly. Very soon, the whole maze will be completely removed to make way for a brand new Ninjago dark ride. I would strongly recommend visiting Legoland very soon if you wish to take in this attraction before it's removal as in Legoland fashion it's likely to close forever before the end of this season! The maze's removal will also mark the end of the remainder of the Amazing Mazes, which the attraction was previously part of until the other mazes were demolished in 2007 for Viking River Splash. Elsewhere in the park, another attraction has already become extinct making way for the park's second hotel. Dino Safari. The ride was the last ride installed when the Lego had full park ownership (now 30%) and marks the final nail in the coffin for the original Adventure Land. As exciting and detailed the new hotels appears from the concept art (amongst being a fan of castles), I can't help feel the location isn't ideal, with the elaborate Atlantis on the left and airy Legoland hotel on the right. Not to mention the loss of another ride and the likeleihood of costing £400 pn. Still I'm sure it'll be a hit with the park's audience and may hopefully ease some of the strain from the park's nightmare car park situation. At least segments of the original ride still live on (although in static model form). And though some things in the park may have become a little bland recently. There is still magic to be found. And wonders to behold. Some of which are small with details. With Hidden gems. And others larger than life. Which is like Christmas for most seven year olds. Happy Birthday Legoland, here's to twenty years of awesomeness (and hopefully another twenty). It may have changed for better and worse in its due course, but it's still my Legoland, the park I've enjoyed as a child and still enjoy today. Raise a glass of Brickcola
  3. In my opinion this looks like the best LEGOLAND, and definitely the one I want to visit the most. I love the look of Polar X-Plorer, the Ice Pilots look quite good, Ghost look not bad, Viking River Splash looks almost too good, The Dragon looks good, the Pirate Splash Battle looks good, and so does Pirate Boats. On my list of foreign parks I HAVE to visit!
  4. Good afternoon all of you wonderful people! I'm very excited to officially announce plans for our meet at LEGOLAND! It's a busy period so I'd imagine it'll be smallish but those meets generally mean you get to spend some quality time with people & great for those who want to try their first meet and intimidated by larger numbers! There will be another optional Ice breaker game named, could be Lego Bingo if people want that back (details sent to those attending) The meet is on Monday 25th May 2015. As voted by YOU The Outline of the day will be as follows: Meet by the Lego Dinosaur at the entrance plaza before you go down to the Hill Side Tram between 09:30 and 10:00 am opposite the entrance by the green. As soon as the gates for the rest of the park open we will go into the park. If by any chance you happen to miss this meet point due to travel arrangements or just plain lateness you can either a) phone or text so we can arrange to meet you or meet up at the second meeting point later in the day. This first part of the morning we will make the most of the quiet park and churn out those rides. Once the park starts to fill up a little bit more we will calm down slightly and then have a chill for 15 minutes around the lighthouse by Wave Surfer so if for whatever reason you could not get there for opening you can meet us at 11:30 am if you had not arranged to meet beforehand via phone. Please bear in mind we will leave without you if you are late as it’s not fair on time keepers! A couple of members have found out this on previous meets. We will then continue visiting the attractions and we will try our best to get on all the attractions people wish to ride, which will be arranged before the meet. One thing that has been annoying in the past is the decision making on where to go next and then the group changing their minds if a queue is above a certain level. This just ends us up in the past riding less as we spend a lot of the time deciding where to go. I know not everyone will want to do some of the rides at Legoland, but at the end of the day Legoland is more than just the rides. If you decide to not come on please be polite and wait for everyone to come off and chat to other members whilst you are waiting. Or go off and do another attraction as long as you’ll be back after the group has finished riding the attraction. If you are going I will be talking to you beforehand to see what attractions you are most keen to do so I can make sure I can arrange the day so that everyone gets a chance to ride what they wish to ride. Please respect other people’s wishes who wish to ride certain things that you yourself may not be too keen with. During the day,around half 1, we will stop for a bite to eat where you can go and eat where you like and we will arrange where to meet after everyone has finished eating. (Who knows we might all want to eat the same thing anyway ) After lunch we will group together for the Official Group Photo for the meet and continue going round the park and riding the attractions people want to do until the park closes. I will be handing out my phone number for everyone who is attending the meet that day, should there be any problems. We aim to stay together as a group for the day, going from one activity to the next, enjoying getting to know people you share very similar interests with, the idea is to just go with the flow and enjoy the day with some awesome people. There will be many photo’s in the day being taken I’m sure and the possibility of a few video clips. Whilst we cannot force you to stay with the group, it is the general purpose of these meets! You will have my number (and some of the senior teams) if you become split so by all means use it. The meets are a fantastic laugh and everyone is invited, even if you’ve never posted before or been to any kind of meet at all. If it's your first meet, I understand it can be nerve breaking - but we were all there at one point so know how it feels, please don't let this stop you from attending. Look at previous trip topics to give yourself a taster - Once there you'll be part of the group in no time! Once again, everyone will have my phone number so please use it on the day If anyone has any issues or concerns or even nervous about coming, feel free to post here, or PM myself and I will get back to you as soon as possible. If you feel like my response is taking too long another member of the team will be more than happy to help. We will all try and help you out as much as we can. Please PM me or post here to say if you’re attending. If you are bringing a mate along with you, please also include who they are so they are not known as ‘Plus 1.’ The events with TPM have been fantastic this year and this one will be no different. Names will be added to the list once the date for the trip has been confirmed. Attending (19) Alpengeist Celia Mae Coasterdude CWOAFanMalcolm Equoaster Horcruxer InfernoMartin J.S217 Londoner Matt Creek Mer Mr. Fish Peaj Phill Pritchard Rocket Sawyer & Shinequa Scarycoasterboy Toofpikk
  5. It has got to that time of year again! First Year Legoland is getting this game as I think it deserves to take part But otherwise same as ever: +1 and -1 each turn you must wait three turns or 24hrs before your next go, whichever is the sooner ride removed on 0 and all others reset to 5 List is the rides that are advertised on the Legoland Website to avoid over lengthy un-fun voting Will be interesting this year to see how all these rides place! What will be the best ride this season? To start us off I will be doing: +1 Laser Raiders -1 Thunder Blazer On your Marks, Get Set, Go!!! Aero Nomad (5) Atlantis Submarine Voyage (5) Balloon School (5) Boating School (5) Desert Chase (5) Digger Challenge (5) Dino Safari (5) Dragon's Apprentice (5) Duplo Train (5) Duplo Valley Airport (5) Fairy Tale Brook (5) Fire Academy (5) Hill Train (5) Jolly Rocker (5) Kinght's Quest (5) Laser Raiders (6) Lego Star Wars (5) Loki's Labyrinth (5) Longboat Invader (5) Miniland (5) Orient Expedition (5) Pirate Falls Treasure Quest (5) Pirates of Skeleton Bay (5) Raft River Racers (5) Scarab-Bouncers (5) Squid Surfer (5) Spinning Spider (5) The Dragon (5) Thunder Blazer (4) Vikings' Rivers Splash (5)
  6. With closed season no more than 3 weeks in and the blues, I was in major need of a major themepark kick to keep me going during this bleak season. Seeing as many are off (or even been already) to Disney Land Paris , something which for me is sadly not an option (at least at the moment (roll on 2015)). Apart from Winter Wonderland & the midway attractions (places I'll hopefully get to see next month), there was one other option left. Legoland Christmas event. Arriving just after 12:30pm (as a full day here isn't really required), my party and I headed towards the Hill Train area where after checking our tickets in the mostly unrecognisable Sweet shop building, we boarded the Hill Train where the overly enthusiastic station master helped us move the train with some magic words down to the wonderland that lay below! Above is the map of the park and what was open during the day. 14 attractions were opened up to guests including Laser Raiders, Spinning Spider and The Dragons Apprentice [amongst others]. There was also an elves workshop and Santas grotto for kids and several shops and restaurants also open too. Heading first to the Egyptian area and taking a ride the shooting ride Laser Raiders then Scarab Bouncers, we had now entered the park wonderland, however there wasn't too much to see greatly apart from the tree as it wasn't dark yet and the weather wasn't great. Several Caroulsel rides followed And a ride on the Big Wheel. Followed by numerous other attractions and the like, before having a sit down festive meal at the Knights Table. The food was pretty nice here, whilst certainly not the best it was still good quality. They even had some Christmas music playing inside which had it not been clashing with another nearby P.A system playing another somg wouldve made the perfect Christmas dinner atmosphere. And here's the castle area, which was home to the Grotto which was located around the pathway near the bug Dragon. Sadly the ride wasn't opened for the event. After doing a few more rides, my party and I took the train back to the top for some Christmas shopping in the Big Shop, wander through the Star Wars Walkthrough and claiming our free drink (given with the ticket) which was a needed relief before heading back down to the main park again where it was getting dark and really came to life with its beutiful lighting. And here is some of the many views of the Christmas lights you can see, and this is before we've even got in to the main park too. Snd this was the furthest point of the park accessible as Lego City and places beyond were off access during this event, infact theres a few bits of work going on in the area and the train's carriages were all missing. '241111_852667978117233_7606062392746846913_o' to? - See more at: http://s798.photobucket.com/user/mattthemepark/media/Facebook/Legoland%20Christmas%202014/241111_852667978117233_7606062392746846913_o.jpg.html? "]http://s798.photobucket.com/user/mattthemepark/media/Facebook/Legoland%20Christmas%202014/241111_852667978117233_7606062392746846913_o.jpg.html] But if you think this section of the park looks great at night, just wait until you enter the Castle area! The area is just so magical at night. If it had any more magic, it could almost be Disneyland. The park was really quiet when I went. So quiet not just could you get on a ride without queuing, but quite often have it to yourself [which was very often the case when I was here that day]. I also managed to ride Dragons Apprentice 3 times without even having to queue up and all by myself. I received 7 laps each time I rode meaning [Yes that's right], I got an impressive 21 laps on the ride without even leaving my seat, which is something you definitely couldn't do in main season, even on the quietest of days [which of course there are few]. Due to all the festive magic, we all stayed right until the end of the event which closed at 6pm. After taking the incline on the Brickmas Express back to the Beginning [which is the only way in and out of the park on these events], we headed towards the exit seeing yet more loverly park christmas lights. And we shall end this update on a Buzz [because he is Disney[. So, what were my thoughts? Legoland have done a fantastic job this year decorating the park in magic lights and making it look all festive and beautiful, not to mention all the christmassy atmosphere and getting a decent chunk of the park up and running to guests which is far better the previous years where only the shops are open [with perhaps just one ride too]. We had a great day out which due to the atmosphere and lack of guests felt far more relaxing than a normal day at Legoland which is something I thought I would never say. Staff there were absolutely fantastic and really helpful and not just were there no queues for pretty much everything but quite often we would get whole rides to ourselves and be the only ones on there, which was such a fantastic experience plus also getting night rides on just about everything [which you could never do during the main season even during fireworks]. This was such a good event and definitely kept the closed season blues at bay and hopefully one day we will see the return of a near full lineup at the park for christmas events [like back in the early days 99-2000]. All I could ask for more to make this event the perfect trip would be for the big Dragon to be open and perhaps a show. The Big Question- Is it worth the money? The answer to this question is Yes! Whilst at first glance, paying almost £19 for pass holders to get in to the park during the winter season to only experience around a quarter of it's attractions does sound quite steep and expensive, the park offers quite a lot to guests. This includes, 1 14 rides and attractions open 2 Free hot drink 3/ beautiful park lights and atmosphere 4/ night rides 5/ no queues to any rides [you have them to yourself] 6/ much more relaxed day 6/ no queue when leaving the park 7/ park discounts 8/ festive activities So if you fancy any other theme park based activities this closed festive season [apart from Winter Wonderland etc.] and can't go across sea to the likes of Euro Disney. I would recommend visiting Legoland for it's Christmas event.
  7. After accomplishing a sufficient amount of work at uni, I thought it was time for a visit to Legoland Windsor. Supposedly my home park (as this is where my pass is sorted), this would be my first visit to the park for 2014 to see what changes had taken place and to check out the new (re-themed) attractions at the park. In the near distance lies Pirate Shores, the re-themed Pirate area of Legolañd and also the area's 3rd retheme since it's existence. I was rather impressed with the parks recent additions such as the hotel, Star Wars Walkthrough and Duplo Valley and hoping this years updates would continue that good standard. After entering the park, here is the entrance to Pirate Shores (formerly Pirates Landing). The sign looks bright, striking and an improvement of the pirate landings one. The support structure remains the same though. Apart from the slightly changed sign, the first change to notice in the area, is a new selection of models located just in front of the Jolly a Rocker. They're ok I guess, nothing too striking however a pretty good addition theming wise. And now it's time to try out the first re-themed attraction, Pirate Falls- Treasure Quest (formerly Pirate Falls), the 2nd re-theme of the park's log flume ride (however not much actually changed on the 1st). First we are welcomed by This bright new sign welcoming us to the entrance to the ride. The queue area for the ride. This section has seen a number of changes including the rebuilding of the queue shelters. Whilst having a similar design to the original ones, these make look nice and fresh compared to the old ones which did look a little worn. That being said, the empty area in the middle of the queue looks rather dull at the moment, which used to be home to building blocks for kids previously and despite some theming being added, it just looks a mess, dirty and unfinished. The shaft above the drop has also been completely rebuilt in the same style of the original, which was good to see (as the old one was starting to look pretty worn). And finally (it's difficult to see from here), some new models. Almost every model on the ride has been replaced for the retheme, making the ride almost new again. But Here's The Big Question, How does it compare to the original theme? Despite being re-themed in 2010, most of the ride remained the same and though many models were looking rather worn and some effects not always working, the ride was still very entertaining with its humour, creative storyline and animated figures. Unfortunately, I cannot really say the same for the new one as what's been delivered in the new one compared that above can only be described as dry and bittersweet. The ride's new storyline is less amusing, diverts off to pointless characters and situations which don't add to the storyline and lacks any kind of humour. The animatronic side is just as disappointing as there are few things animated in the ride compared to the old one which in comparison to the ride now was flooded with them. Scenes such as pirates mistreating a monkey being replaced with the (apparent) protagonist and antagonist of the new story fighting, which whilst sound effects are included, not a single movement is included in this scene. Whilst there are numerous new water effects on the ride such as squirting skull heads (after the squirting mice) and frog fountains at the drop (Legoland love their water) plus a new piratey soundtrack and improved audio around the ride, this sadly cannot make up for the disappointment in the rest of the ride. It's almost like they had loads of ideas for the re-theme for the ride to start, but then suddenly lost motivation and effort to finish the ride, gave up and just plonked everything in, Compared to Fairy Tale Brook's re-theme, the ride is quite a let down. The only good points are the new audio and sound system and that the ride now looks fresh and new (except a few areas). Overall rating, 3/10. Moving on disappointing Treasure Queuer, it seems Burger Kitchen has now invaded Legoland. Gone is the Crossed Ribs BBQ, an awesome restaurant that sold food similar to Calypso BBQ and existed at the park from day one. Seeing that it looked little more than a metal shed when being built, the facade they've used to conceal it isn't bad and makes it fit in the surrounding area much better. Which is a pity they couldn't hide it from above, even painting it brown would've done the job. The inside isn't any better either. Whilst Crossed Ribs was never (what I call) heavily themed, it was at least more related and coherent to a pirate setting. This interior and design though, has as much coherence to pirate shores as much as Tesco or Primark does. Whilst the area so far isn't that great, let's take a look at the new play area they're building, which doesn't appear to be open yet. And is still under construction. Not a single part of the new area has even been constructed, plus there's still some leftovers from the old (and removed) Rat Trap still in existence. Apparently the play area was supposed to be open for April. However by the looks of things, that will probably be closer to June. Meanwhile in Lego City, Burger Ranch has also been replaced by- (wait for it), another Burger Kitchen. Personsly I think it looks horrible outside, it ruins the character of the area, doesn't connect the remaining rock theming and just sticks out like a sore thumb. Whilst the indoor section is perhaps marginally better than the interior of Pirate Shores, I'm not that impressed by it, although I suppose the fact there's more undercover seating is good for when's there's heavy rain at the park. Amity Fish and Chips at Thorpe (in comparison) looks much better than either of these though and that isn't perfect either. Elsewhere in Lego city, the Xbox gaming zone has had a makeover. Whilst I've never been a fan of the gaming zone (and never will), I can say this a slight improvement over the old one. A big improvement would be to rip it out and bring back an awesome walk through similar to the Magic Theatre! We finish this update with a look at the miniland area of the park, one of the few parts of Lego that are still magical and done right. Miniland is such a nice place to visit whilst at the park, the buildings and creations the model makers have built are excellent. It's a shame this area doesn't always get the love and attention it deserves. However, hopefully those years of neglect will be coming to an end, as part of the area (now completed) will become a brand new Paris area in miniland (although it looks like it has replaced a former area). The attention to detail is incredible and it looks very well done. So far this looks like the only thing the park has done right this year. Hopefully it will look very nice when completed. Overall, although I had a good day when I went, I felt rather let down and disappointed by all the new changes to the park this year except the Paris miniland. Pirate Shores has replaced all the soul and character of the area with bland generic pirate settings, the burger kitchens just don't fit in and the Xbox zone is still an a X box zone, if I wanted to play on an Xbox, I'd just play on one at home instead of using it at a themepark. Legoland was always a park I associated with good theming and upkeep in it's years open (though far from the likes of Disney) and the park always had a 'mostly' well kept look at the best of times. However this appears to have changed for the worse in 2014 with many effects not being fixed and repaired and new outlets with little to no theming appearing. It's saddening to see one of your loved childhood parks ripped of soul and character and not just blandly themed burger kitchens and life-less theming replacing once amazing theming on one of your favourite rides, but also things like the giraffe model being removed from the train just for a marginal increase in capacity and the toilet signs (previously Lego figures) replaced by a more simple and generic design replacing them (m for male f for female). "]http://s798.photobucket.com/user/mattthemepark/media/DSCF1274_zpsaed4990e.jpg.html] Overall unless you have an annual pass and/or live within less than an hours distance of the park, I would perhaps not bother visiting Legoland, for 2014 at least. I've always been a big fan/supporter of the park, but most of he changes at the park for this year are just so disappointing and the park sadly at the moment is little more than a corporate money pit and not really worth entry at half price (forget full price). If you're thinking of going to Legoland, visit Chessington instead as it's much better!
  8. After a hectic 2013 season, I though I would give a general analysis in how each Merlin park has in my opinion progressed and retracted in terms of ride line up, reliability, marketing and also general park handling. Thorpe Park Positive changes/ X revamp, such a great family dark ride now, 5 points Greater relaxed atmosphere 2 points Swarm backwards, more intense 1 point Park wide events such as summer nights 5 points MOS 5 points Fright Nights 3 points Improved operations 1 point Inferno running more powerfully 1 point Snoozebox accommodation 1 point Fright Nights return to 10pm closings 2 points //Total 26 points // Negative changes / Swarm backwards confuses the queues and row 6 should still be forwards -5 points Car park now £5 -2 points Loggers tunnel being removed -2 points Slammer being SBNO for half the season (which if it happens again next year should maybe be removed (coming from a big fan of the ride) -2 points Total -11 points Overall progression in 2013, 15 points (15%) Summary, Thorpes best season since 2006. Alton Towers// Positive changes,/ Installation of the Smiler, a multilooping coaster which lasts over a minute, 14 points Marketing of the Smiler 8 points Impressive fireworks 2 points Scarefest 2 points Oblivion repaint 1 point Total, 27 points// Negative changes/ Smiler breaking down every other day and injuring guests -13 points Guests services not handling problems -5 points Ride re liabilities not being great this year -8 points Ride operations not as good as previous years -5 points Smiler can be rough in places for a new ride -4 points Total// -35 Overall progression in 2013 -8 (8%) Summary, towers worst season since 2011, Chessington // Positive changes/ Zufari, a ride that incorporates both the zoo & rides, 10 points, Creaky Cafe 3 points Jumbos refreshed 1 point Haloween Hocus Pocus 8 points Total 22 points Negative changes Dragon falls theming removed - 4 points Runaway train closed 5 points Ramesis closed (not all their fault) -1 point Burger Kitchen looks horrible -2 points Park operations declined, -3points Vampires operations dire & no 3rd train -3points Summer was a mess at the park -5 points The park was like a building site this year -1 point No zoo days (until Christmas (with no rides open too)) -5 points Total -29 points Overall 2013 progression -7 points (7%) Summary, worst year at Chessinton since 2001. Legoland // Positive changes/ Duplo area refreshed 8 points Fairy Tale Brook refreshed 5 points Park entrance reprinted and made slightly more presentable 2 points Park capacity limit lowered slightly 2 points Big a Shop refurbished 1 point Star Wars miniland improved 1 point Hilltop Cafe1 point Total/ 21 points Negative changes, The new china film is quite bland -2 points Fairy tale Brook's new audio sounds detract the ride -2 points £2.50 is too much for soft drinks -1 point Total -5 points, Total progression 16 points (16%) Best year since 2012 That's my overall opinion of the 2013 season, feel free to debate.
  9. Good morning all of you wonderful people! I'm very excited to officially announce plans for our meet at LEGOLAND! I was a bit doubtful of Legoland but after the fun relaxed success at Chessington and after hearing there is interest for it - I'll give it a shot. After the success of Empire at Chessington - there will be another optional Ice breaker game named Lego Bingo (details sent to those attending) The meet is on Saturday June 22nd 2013. As voted by YOU The Outline of the day will be as follows: Meet by the Lego Dinosaur at the entrance plaza before you go down to the Hill Side Tram between 09:30 and 10:00 am opposite the entrance by the green. As soon as the gates for the rest of the park open we will go into the park. If by any chance you happen to miss this meet point due to travel arrangements or just plain lateness you can either a) phone or text so we can arrange to meet you or meet up at the second meeting point later in the day. This first part of the morning we will make the most of the quiet park and churn out those rides. Once the park starts to fill up a little bit more we will calm down slightly and then have a chill for 15 minutes around the lighthouse by Wave Surfer so if for whatever reason you could not get there for opening you can meet us at 11:30 am if you had not arranged to meet beforehand via phone. Please bear in mind we will leave without you if you are late as it’s not fair on time keepers! A couple of members have found out this on previous meets. We will then continue visiting the attractions and we will try our best to get on all the attractions people wish to ride, which will be arranged before the meet. One thing that has been annoying in the past is the decision making on where to go next and then the group changing their minds if a queue is above a certain level. This just ends us up in the past riding less as we spend a lot of the time deciding where to go. I know not everyone will want to do some of the rides at Legoland, but at the end of the day Legoland is more than just the rides. If you decide to not come on please be polite and wait for everyone to come off and chat to other members whilst you are waiting. Or go off and do another attraction as long as you’ll be back after the group has finished riding the attraction. If you are going I will be talking to you beforehand to see what attractions you are most keen to do so I can make sure I can arrange the day so that everyone gets a chance to ride what they wish to ride. Please respect other people’s wishes who wish to ride certain things that you yourself may not be too keen with. During the day,around half 1, we will stop for a bite to eat where you can go and eat where you like and we will arrange where to meet after everyone has finished eating. (Who knows we might all want to eat the same thing anyway ) After lunch we will group together for the Official Group Photo for the meet and continue going round the park and riding the attractions people want to do until the park closes. I will be handing out my phone number for everyone who is attending the meet that day, should there be any problems. We aim to stay together as a group for the day, going from one activity to the next, enjoying getting to know people you share very similar interests with, the idea is to just go with the flow and enjoy the day with some awesome people. There will be many photo’s in the day being taken I’m sure and the possibility of a few video clips. Whilst we cannot force you to stay with the group, it is the general purpose of these meets! You will have my number (and some of the senior teams) if you become split so by all means use it. The meets are a fantastic laugh and everyone is invited, even if you’ve never posted before or been to any kind of meet at all. If it's your first meet, I understand it can be nerve breaking - but we were all there at one point so know how it feels, please don't let this stop you from attending. Look at previous trip reports to give yourself a taster - Once there you'll be part of the group in no time! Once again, everyone will have my phone number so please use it on the day If anyone has any issues or concerns or even nervous about coming, feel free to post here, or PM myself and I will get back to you as soon as possible. If you feel like my response is taking too long another member of the team will be more than happy to help. We will all try and help you out as much as we can. Please PM me or post here to say if you’re attending. If you are bringing a mate along with you, please also include who they are so they are not known as ‘Plus 1.’ The events with TPM have been fantastic this year and this one will be no different. Names will be added to the list once the date for the trip has been confirmed. Attending (10) Cornflakes Darkadder312 Han30 JamesC Marc Matt Creek Mr. Fish Peaj Phill Pritchard Rocket
  10. Day 7 – Legoland Billund Now here was an interesting one, the Merlin park of the group, a park that is usually a burden to visit in the UK, how would the original fare? Would it be smothered in adverts? Would it be full of low throughput rides? Would we hate it for being part of a massive corporate entity? Answers are found and more… After once again navigating the emptiness of Denmark and a surprise car park appearing out of nowhere (next door to Billund’s own airport) we had arrived and awaited our entry accompanied by two children and a burdenously annoying theme song. Eventually it opened, and we walked the entire bloody length of the park to arrive at the 2012 Polar Land, and Polar X-Plorer. This was to be the intriguing comparison to Thirteen, purely due to the freefall aspect, how would Zierer’s attempt stand up to Intamin’s extremely good system? We walked straight through the queue (the cattlepen of death stood on however) and onto the front row of the very comfy trains, and set out on our exploration of the local van-yard behind the park the Artic, and the ride’s surprise appeared. From the first drop to the mountain is actually extremely good and forceful… Grey out forceful in fact. Where did this come from? The first half was such a shock that our entry into the mountain turned into a complete jarring. Unthemed, relatively empty and a broken screen whilst being completely surrounded by the drop system, when the drop itself happened it was ok, but lacked the theatre and quickness that Intamin’s offers. The trundling out finale past some static figures didn’t improve much and eventually you pass the penguin enclosure wondering what happened? To put it blunty, the drop system is crap in a comparative sense to Intamin’s. The fact that it is hidden and allows for a variation of drops is a real plus point to it, allowing the pre-mentioned theatre and surprise to really take a hold. Maybe Verbolten does this better due to the pure darkness, but Polar fails to use the system to its potential, the trundle out of it making a real mockery of an exciting and impressive first half. The ideal family ride would be the first half of this with the second half of Thirteen it was agreed amongst our group after a second go on the back, where the system is even more blatant than before. A right shame in the end. 6/10 Unsure of our next destination, we spotted the Fire Academy next door to Polar Land, without a queue, something rarely seen ever. So we took the advantage and went 2 on 2 once more on it. Perhaps myself and Nicky took it slightly too seriously after the Fussball defeat, but we were back at base long before Mark and Holly had put out the fire. Overall I would say how much fun it was, if slightly tiring in the end. I would love to do this with a full on enthusiast take-over, then it really would get silly. Next was the Temple, the Laser Raiders of the park, but a Mack Omnimover instead. WHY ARE THE OTHERS MADE BY SALLY CORP? Anyways, it was essentially the same as the others, with the usual array of things that move but with slightly grander sets and a decent finale room. Wanting more Mack fixings, we went on X-Treme Racers, another Wild Mouse but an actual Mack one, rather than a Maurer clone. Very jolty and rickety throughout this one, but at least tonnes better than the old Jungle Racer in a box. Completing our Legoland staples, Jungle Racer was actually next, but was a WaveRider this park around. Usual affair here, with waterbombs placed slightly out of reach of the riders, making them absolutely pointless. We then realised we had missed the Ice Pilots Academy back in Polar Land, and knowing that it would have a low throughput, we ran back and went on it before we strayed too far away. It was to be my first experience of a KUKA Robo-Arm ride of any form, having not been on Potterland yet, and the aspect of designing your ride (Read as, press the buttons randomly) was an intriguing idea. We started off slow (Speed 2), picked our moves and on we went to an extremely random and fun experience. So we headed back around and hit up Speed 5 and went X-Treme (as Lego would put it). The differences are quite telling, the transitions are faster and the motions wilder, but still not beyond the realms of too intense for the core audience of the park. A real surprise but with only 20 people max a go, it’s no surprise why these things are so rare, even if they are incredibly random and good fun. When all 5 in one section are going it is a mesmerising experience to say the least. We had a quick look at the Penguins whilst in the area as well. Back on park, it was time to return to the Legoland staples, and the Dragon coaster, which also returned us onto the path of the Mack. Strangely, this is a powered coaster, which automatically means a single train. WHY LEGOLAND? It still however retains the traditional dark ride section which felt longer and larger than our Windsor counterpart. In addition, the powered system of the ride came into play well on the transition from dark ride to coaster, providing a decent launch into the outdoor layout. It would be better if a second train were to appear on this. Maybe it does? Either way a decent coaster helped by the crazy ride host who singled out Mark and his Viking hat being Swedish and from Djurs. Upon exiting we realised that the stunt show was about to take place, so we took our seats and were allowed to enjoy an action heavy, dialogue-less romp around the mini-castle set, featuring (unsurprisingly) lots of people landing in water. It was a simple story to follow, but very entertaining, owing to the simple stunt gags they used and the old ‘suspension of disbelief’. I would certainly say that people should catch this (and the pre-show entertainment) if they’re ever at the park. Next door to the show was Viking River Splash, an Intamin version of the ride which is accentuated by the massive lift and drop combo. It’s similar to the other versions, with some scenes practically cloned in but a very different (and dizzy) layout allows it to give its own version of events. The lift and drop is a brilliant finale to have on it as well, and we all fully enjoyed our go on it. We broke for lunch at a Fish and Chips place, where you got (as a basic meal) 3 pieces of cod and a tonne of chips. Denmark <3 After lunch we faffed about what to do next and we elected upon the Pirate Boats, which ended up being a surprise dark ride (and you’ll never guess the ride it was ripping off). It was actually good if very dark at times due to the way in which the lighting was timed to go off between boats, either way I like dark rides that appear from nowhere and this one is no exception, even the duck enjoyed it. The final coaster of the day was Timber Ride, another Zierer coaster, which was well landscaped and themed but that was about it. We wondered over to the 4D Cinema to see when the Chima show was on, and had ages, so we elected for the Atlantis attraction. About the only Merlin thing in the park (no, serious), this is a walk-through Sea-Life with crap pre-show (we and the Danish family with us walked out) and a very well themed experience, with lots of buttons that activated bubbles in various figures. There were also Spider-Crabs, everyone loves them right? We then decided to do Mini-Land, which was the usual high standard you’d expect of a Lego park. We also did the Observation Tower, Lego Top to faff around and get some decent overall views of the park. Way too many photos to choose from on this one We ended up back in the Western area and decided to go on Mine Train, which is literally a train going through a mine. It had a mini dark ride section with a non Lego figure within (the HORROR) and was rather pointless if I’m honest. Lego Canoe was done by myself and Nicky, and was a rather boring Log Flume that went past a few animal figures with a singular drop. I might have fallen asleep mid-ride. After the faff it was time for Legends of Chima 4D, new for 2013 and a tie into the new range. I have no idea what was going on and it was even in English. It centred around a tour of the land and featured very basic 3D and 4D effects, and the two main characters were friends, then enemies. It made no sense. Then Mark said he thought they were fighting of Cheese rather than Chi, which made it funnier, but still no sense was made. To be young and naïve again. After that we had done pretty much everything we wanted to on park, so a few re-rides on Dragon, Temple, Ice Pilots and Polar X-Plorer were done. Overall Legoland Billund is a very nice park, and the least Merlin of the group, which can only be considered a good thing. We really enjoyed our day there but I sense it’d be absolute hell when packed solid and some of those cattlepen extensions were in use.
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