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  1. Hi guys. With the recent announcement that Duel at Alton Towers is closing on 6th September, and the ever snowballing rumours about it being rethemed, a lot of discussion has taken place recently about Merlin and dark rides. And rightly or wrongly, Merlin appears to have somewhat of a poor reputation among enthusiasts when it comes to dark rides; most of the ground-up dark rides and dark ride rethemes they’ve done have not been particularly well received at all. So with that in mind, I’d be keen to know; of all the dark ride projects Merlin have undertaken, which is your favourite? I’m including both ground-up dark rides and rethemes here. Personally, I don’t think Merlin’s poor reputation with dark rides is entirely deserved. Yes, some of their dark ride projects haven’t gone down brilliantly, but all of the Merlin-created dark rides I’ve personally done have actually been pretty decently executed attractions for what they are, in my view. Although I must preface that I’m somewhat more tolerant of screens than most enthusiasts… But if I were to pick a favourite, I’d probably go for Flight of the Sky Lion at Legoland Windsor. It was a tough choice between Sky Lion and Ninjago in the same park, as I thought that both were excellent, and definitely two of my favourite UK dark rides, but I think Sky Lion just clinches it because Ninjago, while very fun, can get a touch tiring for the arms… in terms of Sky Lion, though, I think it comes together as a very nice experience! The smells are really good, the film is great, and it just overall has a really nice, feel good vibe! But what is your favourite Merlin-created dark ride or dark ride retheme? And do you feel that Merlin’s reputation on dark rides is deserved?
  2. Hello and welcome to Part 2 of my Tivoli World report A.K.A My Drunk Camera goes to a themepark. Most of the photos may be rather blurry, but they will hopefully give you some idea of what the park has on offer. Previously in part one, we saw a number of major attractions the park has on First up we have this Jurassic like attraction, which features numerous rock and vegetation theming elements. More theming. Sadly this photo didn't turn out as well, but in the distance, a dinosaur figure lies within. Where we soon cone across this fella who I believe is an Armadillo. The route soon goes up another floor giving out a view of the surrounding area which can be seen from this very blurry image. More dinosaurs appear on route, including this Dinosaur here, who is reminiscent of the one who kills the human antagonist in the first Jurassic park film. Another T.rex that appears further in the Walkthrough At the end of the attraction, you return to the Central Dino area, go down more steps and go through the exit. Overall, a rather richly themed attraction with lots of elements and a few animatronics plus lots of rock, shrubbery and paintings of dinosaurs around. Despite this, the attraction is looking fairly worn and seems to lack some sort of soundtrack. 7/10. Across from the Jurassic walk through is this view showing some the reasonable amount of theming in the area. Below here is a Passaje Del Terror attraction like the one that was in the Trocadero. Sadly, I never went on this as it was pay extra . Meanwhile on the other side of the park lies this show boat, which actually houses a fun house style attraction in there with objects including steps that move up and down, forwards and back and a spinning tunnel. The fun house ain't bad, it's quite well themed but can be rather difficult getting around at times getting through the plus it can be a bit stuffy on the indoors part too. 5/10. In the distance, is a pagoda building which is home to a Chinese restaurant. Apart from rides, the park includes a number of garden area in the park, including this small spot near the Show boat fun house. Here's another garden area in the park, which is packed full of shrubbery. Which gives you this nice view of the kid's fairground area in the horizon. Also, the garden hosts a loose oriental theme with running streams, a waterfall and even a small Buddha. It's certainly one of the nicest bits of the park IMO. The park also takes host to a number of water fountains scattered round the park, such as this one on the pathway to the main roller coaster (Montana Rusa). The centrepiece fountain is located at the top of the park left to the main roller coaster and is definitely the most impressive park water feature. [/url] [/url ] When it gets dark, the park suddenly comes to life and suddenly becomes a more exciting place and lends itself to the night. Ride selfie on the Vintage Cars. TBH the rides pretty boring as it's just a 1-2 minute ride in a car around some grass and shrubbery areas with just other cars going by, not worth doing unless there's no queue. That being said, it does give you not a bad view of Pinoccio a dark ride in the lower plaza below, but other than that, it's just a bland ride 2/10, 2 for the midway view. The Pinnoccio ride itself (no pictures I'm afraid) is a small dark ride located just off the western plaza in the park, an area home to often Wild West and musical shows, which are pretty good and fun to watch, but back to the pinnoccio now. I do t know why, but I have a soft spot for this ride for some reason, yes it's far from the best ride in the world but, it could be to do with the theme, the fact it was one of my first rides when I went as a child seventeen years ago or even the fact it's one of the few rides to actually have a soundtrack, who knows. After going down a cattlemen slope and passing the animated a charming animated scene of Geppeto with pinnocio and his other pets and possessions, we soon arrive at the ride station, where a single two seated vehicle (which looks slightly American like) awaits. After sitting down and the lap bar lowered, the car shoots out of the station in to the main ride where it passes many scenes based from the story of Pinoccio including the kidnap, Stromboli, Circus and Whale scenes among others. The quality of the models is not brilliant, but certainly depicts the characters okay which I could describe the style and appearance of sort of a worn Bubbleworks one. The ride itself is okay,but is severely let down, by the fact the car rushes through the scenes far too fast and with quite a lot a see, the ride passes the scenes so quickly that it removes a lot of the immersive sense of being involved with the surroundings and more like a fast car ride through a story landscape. 5/10 I would score quite a bit higher if they slowed the ride by half it's speed. [URL=http://s798.photobucket.com/user/mattthemepark/media/FILE0168_zpsf66646e9.jpg.html] Before leaving the park, here's a look at the fountains again, this time at night. Conclusion Tivoli World is a small themepark in southern Spain. Whilst most of its rides seem average dull or rubbish apart from a selected few, it makes up for its points within the landscaping with its beautiful hillside location, it's selection of gardens and shrubbery and after dusk, when the park suddenly comes to life at night. In the summer months, the park is open between 6pm and 2am which for the size of the park and is offerings is a reasonable amount of time for the park to be open, though just another hour would be nice. There's also some fairly good shows around the park around at least five show areas, which a lot of them aren't bad to watch. If I could describe the park briefly, I would call it a pound land Disney/Port Aventura feelWhy Disney? Well, the aspect of themed plazas, lots of shows (some that were actually cut down ones of Disney characters themselves) and the aspect of lots of garden and water features, makes this seem apparent. However, being one hasn't been to a Disney park (yet) ay make this perspective seem void. Please comment if you think place reminds you of any other themeparks around). Whilst the park houses a fair amount of okay theming, unfortunately much of it like Chessington (notably recently) looks and feels rather worn and needs some TLC to make it look impressive again. It's arguably themed as well (maybe slightly better) than the Merlin parks, but the worn out look of a lot of it brings it down quite a bit. Tivoli World may not be the best park out tree, but it's not a bad place to visit if you're in the Malaga/Costa Del Sol area. 6/10 Here's my YouTube video of the day out I had, featuring rides that can be found in the park (most mentioned here), plus additional show and fountain sections too.
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