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  1. It would appear that Chessington is installing 2 new rides in Pirate’s Cove for 2022, according to Chessington Buzz: https://chessingtonbuzz.com/news/two-new-rides-for-2022/ The planning application was submitted today, and the two rides are: A Zamperla Watermania (basically a mix of a teacups and a splash battle) that features water guns around the outside and a nautical feel, with a lighthouse tower operating console. The ride is to be named Bobbing Barrels. A Zamperla Rockin’ Tug, thought to be Timber Tug Boat from Thorpe Park, that is being named Trawler Trouble. Some of the artwork has also spawned a rumour that Pirate’s Cove is being rethemed to more of a nautical theme as opposed to a pirate theme. That would make sense given the general aesthetic of The Blue Barnacle compared to its predecessor, in my opinion. Isn’t this interesting! What do you guys think? It does certainly appear as if the level of investment into Chessington is stepping up somewhat, with these new rides now and Project Amazon in 2023!
  2. As a themepark enthusiast, I thoroughly enjoy visiting themepark and attractions and trying out new rides and experiences. However there are many themeparks and attractions out there that I dream of visiting and have yet to visit. So the question is, which ten themeparks and/or attractions in the world would you like to visit that you haven't seen yet and why? For me, the list has to be 10/ Gardaland, Merlin international sister park which has the exciting looking Raptor 9/ Heide Park, I like the look of all those rides plus Kraken too 8/ Disney Land Paris, looks amazing and magical with exciting rides plus the nearest big park to uk 7/ Knotts Berry Farm, lots of roller coasters and a big sized park 6/ Sea World, amazing area with a great sea theme 5/ Phantasialand, Black Mamba looks amazing 4/Universal islands of adventures, one word, Harry Potter world 3/ Walt Disney World, amazing giant scale rides there 2/ Port Aventura, Shambhala looks mind blowing 1/ Europa Park, just watching videos of the place has made me fall in love with the park it looks wonderful.
  3. http://youtube.com/user/Ridelover123 Hi all! This isn't so much a site advert but more of an advert to my youtube channel. I do not earn money or anything from it and I do it purely for fun and would appreciate if you could take a moment of your time to subscribe! I will also do updates of the new videos and will embed them into my posts when I upload a new video to my channel! Many thanks to all and I'll leave you with one of my videos of a wild mouse rollercoaster I hope you enjoy it and please subscribe!
  4. Some love it, others love to hate it. That’s Thorpe Park! Home to numerous attractions, some are delightful, others are worse than that Hunchback Of Notre Dame sequel and a few are just alright. Here’s my honest and “potentially” spoiler inducing opinions on the Island’s current offering. 27/ Wet Wet Wet Literally says what it does on the tin. You go down a slide and then get wet, wet, wet. Mind blown, who would’ve thought it! Next you’ll tell me it’s only intended for kids. Oh wait, it is. Pros/ It’s existence Cons/ It’s not for adults. Sorry Martin! 26/ Amity Beach Who needs Brighton when there’s a whole beach to explore on here. If you ignore the ageing rock-work and everything behind, it feels like being at the sea side minus the good parts. Forgot the kids? Keep walking! Pros/ It’s flat settlement gives you a view of the better attractions when you enter the park Cons/ Serves no purpose for the majority of park goers 25/ Lumber Jump “He’s a lumber jump and he’s ok, he sleeps all night and he works all day!” Ok, I’ll cut to the chase, I haven’t actually ridden this and it had to go somewhere, so here it is! Yay, mini drop towers! Pros/ Ideal if you are a kid or hate large rides! Cons/ Somewhat out of place and largely overlooked by adults, unless your a donut! 24/ Derren Brown’s Ghost Train Rise Of The Demon One of the thins once largely talked about was how Thorpe was lacking a proper dark ride/experience attraction. Sadly this wasn’t the ride that would resolve this. Don’t get me wrong, there are some cool features such as the floating carriage and added finale. However a lot of the attraction is purely a tonne of ideas executed in the wrong way, temperamental and already dated technology plus one of the most bland and tedious attractions to queue for! Not to mention it’s budget, resources and evidential failure have prevented Thorpe getting any noticeable investment until the end of time! I’m usually someone who loves dark ride type attractions, but not this. Such a shame one of the best themed shops was paired with one of the worst rides. Plus given the state of things, I can’t really see this surviving much longer, if it hasn’t already received it’s death certificate. Darn I miss Wicked Witches Haunt! Pros/ It keeps you out of the rain and has a shop themed almost as good as the Disney store Cons/ Almost everything, making it the biggest failure in theme park history since Disneyland’s Rocket Rods but actually much worse in the long run! 23/ Timber Tug Rockin Tugs are remarkably popular and pleasantly themed in some parks. Sadly this isn’t one of them and sits as a reminder questioning most of the park’s choices in recent years! Pros/ It’s better than Derren Brown’s Ghost Train (for what it’s trying to be) Cons/ The ride looks like it came from a sea life attraction and was shoehorned into whatever space was physically available. Oh wait! 22/ Storm Surge This ride seems to have a cult of hatred from enthusiasts. It’s literally located slap bang in the middle of the park, looks worse than Staines on a Friday night and spends most of the ride soaking your feet like some strange paddling pool. Still theres some positives. It’s fun for groups , gives you decent views whilst you slowly ascend with a foot massage amongst a short part of the ride actually being enjoyable. Pros/ It’s the nearest I might ever get to Florida Cons/ If I wanted to get my feet wet I’d jump in a puddle! 21/ Depth Charge Many Thorpe classics from the pre-Tussauds/Merlin eras have bitten the dust over the years. Depth Charge since however long has managed to the bullet. It’s lengthy queues, low throughput and short duration don’t put this high on many lists. Even the staff probably don’t enjoy working on it. However as RMC’s (not the manufacturer) footprints on the park lessen over time, one must still look in awe over this attraction contributing to what’s there today and remembering park days of old. This might well be the last of it’s time to meet the bulldozer! Pros/ The ride hasn’t changed a bit in it’s almost 30 years of existence Cons/ Some of the better RMC era attractions met wits end before this one! 20/ Mr Monkeys Banana Ride The lone surviving attraction belonging to the parks long forgotten mascots. The banana ride isn’t the biggest or the best of it’s ride type but for now leaves guests with one of the last examples of what the park used to be before taking on it’s thrill seeking routes. Pros/ Is conveniently located opposite Inferno’s shop/exit Cons/ It’s not much of a pirate ship! 19/ Zodiac The ride that turned Thorpe upside down. Primarily because it was the first inverting ride for the park. The original was actually replaced in 2006 with a newer model from Drayton Manor due to reliability issues. It isn’t as scary as it looks, however the lack of restraint can be intimidating and may make you feel more nauseated than a heavy night out in Staines! Pros/ An ideal ride to progress with for wannabe thrill seekers Cons/ Likely a flat supporter because it no longer goes 360 18/ Angry Birds 4D Years after the Pirates finished their voyage, a new flock of inhabitants took over the theatre. The attraction is simplistic yet effective and follows a quest between good and evil featuring a few effects along the way. It’s cheesy but makes for a pleasant break from the thrills. Pros/ Offers some great staff interaction on a good day Cons/ Watching Pirates 4D in German is still marginally more enjoyable 17/ King Pig’s Dodgems Essentially a fairground ride but fun nonetheless. The setup of bird verses pigs helps for some fun and tactical bumping. The rubbery smell is strangely appeasing. Pros/ The Power pedal feels decent Cons/ The old ride bell sounded better 16/ Saw-The Ride We’ve reached our first coaster. Sore, I mean Saw. They really nailed the horror theme with the waiting times, gum infested queues and rough rattly experience. I actually like (not love), the indoor section and the airtime Hill is quite fun too I suppose. As for the rest, it’s a little bit uncomfortable. Yay to the park’s most successful ride! Pros/ It features one the few working Park animatronics Cons/ Shamefully stands where a GCI should’ve been alongside a saved Loggers (RIP) 15/ Rumba Rapids This attraction features some of the most rapid (pun intended) history of the surviving attractions. It’s theme was simple yet effective when it opened in 87 before becoming more vibrant and whacky with Ribena sponsorship fifteen years later. Sadly the ride has become watered down (I’m sorry :p), thanks to removed effects, an absence of TLC and an unsuccessful retheme in recent years! Sadly the track record of these rides hasn’t helped either. Pros/ Doesn’t soak your feet like Storm Surge Cons/ Water quality leaves a lot to be desired, plus doesn’t run at night anymore 14/ Samurai This is a sick ride, because it can make you vomit. I almost did on my first time which I blame on sweets and cola. The U.K. has lost a lot of flat rides over the years, especially top scans which makes Samurai top class now. I rarely ride but I know others do and they like it a lot. Pros/ Has cheated death more than James Bond Cons/ Worse at parking than Mr Fish 13/ Storm In A Teacup Bow ye tops lads because we’re on to a right Classic now! Before the Tetley invasion the ride was known as the Teacup Twisters before losing it’s handle when it was rethemed to fit in with Stealth. It’s also the oldest attraction, having opened in 1986. This ride needs a pin! Pros/ Probably the most iconic surviving RMC attraction Cons/ The cups are difficult to spin these days, especially being stiffer than Merlin’s Park budget 12/ Rocky Express Some say it has cult status with Park fanboys and you’d be right. Rocky dominates what’s left of this ailing area giving off a perfectly balanced cycle to the soundtrack of Beetle Juice. It’s almost enough to distract you from the Loggers graveyard next door! Pros/ The best ride in the park that features trains in the theme Cons/ Doesn’t get enough ridership due to being in a ghost town these days (pun intended) 11/ Flying Fish The park’s only non-thrilling roller coaster. Originally from outer space and the across the pond, the Fish lives on in it’s third form. Lacking the interaction and scenery from it’s last home it’s a bit like a movie remake, it isn’t as good as the original but still serves enjoyment value. Pros/ Snazzy yet comfortable trains Cons/ The announcements are almost as annoying as YouTube ads! 10/ Colossus A ride that put the park on the map and firmly lead the park into the thrill market. Ten inversions lie ahead to riders, some more comfortable than others and that’s if you can fit in the trains which are more tightly packed than a cotswold sleeping bag. It breaks records but breaks down too sometimes. Pros/ Features some of the best park landscaping Cons/ Might have one of the worst designed coaster trains. Thanks Intamin! 9/ Vortex Part of the flat pack that began the park’s thrill seeker journey. It may not reach the levels of newer model types such as Loke but still holds it’s ground relatively well. It’s dome and lakeside views make for some fitting interaction. Pros/ If you look at the floor correctly when it lowers, it’s like you are lifting up Cons/ The ride’s restraint system has a grudge against people of a certain build 8/ Rush When playground swings become less exciting Rush is the best thing. The lap bar restraints certainly provide a unique feeling especially on it’s top three swings! Pros/ This ride actually still intimidates me to this day Cons/ Sky Hawk is better because you can actually see the seat numbers 7/ The Walking Dead The Ride A ride which has seen almost as many regenerations as Dr Who. It started backwards, then forwards and then became horror themed returning it’s original height restriction, so backwards. However I actually enjoy this ride and the new theme makes it something of an experience now. Pros/ The park finally has an experience attraction it has always needed Cons/ I think the park might have just a few too many dark themes now! 6/ Quantum Arguably the most underrated ride in the park. As most attractions dominate the sky line, Quantum quietly waits in the corner for riders before doing it’s thing and what the ride does is great indeed. It’s fast, thrilling but most importantly fun. If I had to bulldoze all of Lost City and save just one attraction I would easily choose this. No joke. Pros/ Packs quite a punch Cons/ Was closed for almost all of 2019. I feel robbed! 5/ Tidal Wave Given the state of things, this may be the best (operating) water ride in the country. It’s position dominates the surrounding area with criminally underrated theming, even if some has been ruined a little! But more importantly it gets you soaking wet, like a hundred tipping buckets hitting you at once. Pros/ The soundtrack is something of a masterpiece Cons/ Can only be ridden for two months of the year for most because it isn’t America! 4/ Detonator I’ve done drop towers across the world and few come close to this one. You get some great aerial views here before you are released with a unique free fall feeling perhaps comparable to a reverse rocket lunch! Pros/ A free fall like no other! Cons/ The original music was better! 3/ The Swarm Swarm is a quality ride. It’s smooth, reasonably themed but most importantly a B&M which has already become better with age (not Dragon Khan). Shame it wasn’t as successful as first hoped. Pros/ The ride works better running forwards Cons/ It’s station is an apocalyptic mess given the removed and dilapidated theming 2/ Stealth Launching into second is the park’s accelerator (and arguable icon). Stealth really dominates the park and can even be seen from the M25! It may be a one trick pony to some but the launch packs a punch and the views/feelings from above being astounding. I actually prefer this to Red Farce and I’m not saying this because I mostly detest Port Av. Pros/ Probably my favourite accelerator coaster that isn’t Top Thrill Dragster Cons/ It Isn’t Top Thrill Dragster 1/ Nemesis Inferno The ride that made me fall in love with Thorpe Park again, not to mention B&Ms. I still remember first going on this and given I did it six times on the same trip perhaps says volumes in it’s self. All these years later and Inferno has only gotten better with age. Pros/ The mist tunnel is sublime when running properly Cons/ The Inbetweeners Thorpe Park episode has some inaccuracies Thanks for a reading a review like no other! TLDR- some photos not mine.
  5. Starting a conversation for the best ride documentaries you’ve seen. Great to discover new info on rides you even think you already know and great to watch when there’s nothing on tv! I’ll start off with this Documentary on probably the greatest Huss Top Spin ever built:
  6. Hi, I am going to go to Thorpe park but I Saw that some rides have a maximum height, someone knows if they measure you in the entrance of the ride or if you spend a little you can ride?? If someone have seen or know a person who have been in that situation. Thanks!
  7. Somewhere in the rural Hamptonshire countryside, lies a mysterious theme park. But this isn't any ordinary theme park, which is home to dinosaurs, Cobras, wonderful beasts and a famous animated pig (to name a few). This is a park that is certainly on the up, investing in attractions that improve the park whilst retaining and complimenting it's character and values. It's a place so renowned for its greatness, legend has it adventurers have travelled to the depths of boots to witness it's golden gates. WELCOME, TO PAULTONS PARK Home to the weird and wonderful, like this raining tree. For 2016, the park have invested at great lengths to bring us this wonderful prehistoric land through dedication of 8 million coins. It's well spent if you ask me. One the main new discoveries of this new lost area is one of two coasters, Flight Of The Pteranosaur. A veto a family suspended coaster which dominates the centre of the world. The rock work theming is superb and of high quality. And what a great family coaster this is. The coaster is great fun and interacts with the area superbly alongside a good proportion of theming. The end helix is also superb. As far as I'm aware the layout may be clone of another (maybe Grona's) but that doesn't take anything away from the ride which certainly looks to be a hit for the park. It's the perfect fun thrilling coaster for the family. Theming, with working animatronics. The second new coaster is the Veloceraptor. Another Vejoma, but this time a boomerang style coaster like Ben10. This is another superfluous coaster for the park and another fun ride. Whilst it doesn't beat Pteranosaur for me, I do prefer it to Ben 10 as this gives more a kick I think. But the area is more than just coasters though (listen Merlin). They also have one of these crazy fun spinning rides like the Crazy Taxis at Europa Park. This ones called Boulder Dash. This small Triceratops coaster, which I didn't get chance to ride ( ). Fact, this ride isn't actually brand new and was rethemed into the new area. It used be known as the Flying Frog I believe. They also have a Safari track ride too which is neat. Some very good theming here too. It's great to see park put so much effort into something just like this whilst a number of others (not naming) are either ripping theirs out or leaving them to rot. Best car style attraction in the uk by far. Theres also an interactive Dino show too, which is good to see the park not just focus on the ride side either. Plus there's some roaming dinosaur animatronics in the area too. They even have an area shop which is themed to a good level also. They've also added a new food place and smaller flat ride to the area too. Certainly making one of the best themed areas in the uk. Also in the park, resides my second home. Critter Creek. The theming quality they have here has been done very well, especially for a park like Paultons. And here is the Cat-O-pillar, which again has been rethemed into the new area. The theming again is fantastic, weird and wacky. The coaster was alright but not my favourite. The area is also home to a random aquarium type place. For a park like this, it's a nice little walk through. The park is also home to Cobra, arguably their signature ride. The queue line was a little shabby (spilt mess in the queue and a few areas of chipped pant), but that can be forgiven for the moment. There is even a shed tunnel, and that isn't the best part. Cobra is a really fun coaster and possibly my favourite ride at the park (either this or Pteranosaur). Two things to note about this ride are that it is a Gerstlauer, and an enjoyable one at that and that its 10 years old and was working fine. No lifeless structure here. Speaking on lifelss, this ride was shut (at least when we went passed it) which was a shame as it looked fun. They however have a Disko called The Edge (not Kobra) as Paultons know how to spell. This one is also run on a better setting too as you really get a good cycle. My only criticism are you were required to wear leg seat belts and mine was very tight. (Which ruined the experience in a way) and the ride doesn't feature much in terms of theming, but I'm sure that will be sorted one day. The park also have a 4D cinema which features a fairly quirky but nicely themed facade outside (not cheap looking). The movie itself was alright, nothing amazing but was nice for a sit down and seemed entertaining enough for the guests. Its no Angry Birds but is good for what it is especially being the only undercover attraction so far. The park even have a loverly grand carousel. Featuring some loverly shrubbery too. But the one thing park are famous for is Peppa Pig World, the investment (alongside Cobra) which have really helped the park develop in the last few years. Sadly I didn't anymore photos here because my phone's camera reached capacity but all I can say is, it's a loverly themed area for the park's clientele and the park got the right balance with everything there too. We only managed one ride in the area, that was Windy Castle. From the outside it looks like a little innocent spinning observation ride thing, think again! Peaj, Steve, Alex and I all shared one capsule and when you have no spin limits on a ride that also rotates upwards on a 4-5 minute cycle you're in for one hell of a white knuckle ride. it was honestly crazy and ridiculous how crazily fast we were all going here and whilst it was hilarious to start with, I'm certain my thrill limit has been reached as it felt very painful and comftable towards the end of the ride and pretty nauseated for the tail end of the day too. Think this has put me off tea cups for the time being. As much as things post 2006 have clearly marked the up for the park (moreso post 2010), there's still a fair few number of areas in the park that look bland and in need of an update. one of these is the park's log ride which is pretty much an off the shelf Reberchon. Considering this ride isn't even 20 years old does show how superior their new stuff is now. I could probably say the same for the Go Karts. I didn't try these either as I think there was an up charge. that being said, there isn't a massive amount of upselling at the park. Considering I didn't see any HB leisure stalls or any posters trying to persuade me to buy a pass. Although the park exit is deliberately through a massive toy shop, that is more a tactical decision (and a cunning one at that). But Paultons isn't just home to a decent selection of family rides. There's also a very reasonable amount of gardens and green spaces which help enhance a day here. Which made for a really enjoyable day out that was enjoyed by all. Unfortunately though Peaj was eaten by a giant hedge snake and hasn't been seen since. Paultons is definitely a loverly park and worth a visit. its a place that puts effort and dedication into everything they do. Whether that be building a giant new themed area, staff friendliness or keeping the place tidy (we saw someone pick up litter minutes after it was dropped). With the possible exception of Cobra's queue, everywhere was beautifully well kept with no signs of wear and tear anywhere and a good atmosphere throughout. The future for the park is bright and seeing the massive improvements they've made in the last few years (each one better than the last). All they need to do is build a proper flume and add a dark ride and they will then have a perfect full lineup. Whilst the park have little to nothing in terms of merchandise, I think they have it right by housing a massive toy shop at the exit which will no doubt be blissful joy for many of the kids (and a nightmare for many of their parents). Chessington step aside. This is what a family park should be. Jump in the boot and let's go!
  8. Hi! I am considering handing in an application to Thorpe Park either applying for Admissions or Ride Operations. I am hoping for a seasonal position and want to save up for uni. I was wondering if anyone had any idea what the interview process is like and if anyone has worked for Thorpe Park what it's like working for Thorpe Park, preferably in Admissions or Rides. Even information on how these sectors work in other resorts such as in Alton Towers or Chessington would be really helpful Thanks
  9. Many Weeks ago I had planned and booked a weekend away at Alton Towers, to check out the new attractions, re ride the existing favourites and a behind the scenes lift hill walk on the Smiler . However unfortunately, 5 days prior to our trip, a terrible accident on the Smiler occurred, resulting in the park being closed for days and the park's worst ride accident in it's history. With our plans changing constantly on the few days before including a proposed changed walk to Nemesis instead, by the friday afternoon we learn't that our park trip and lift walk just like an old bottle milk, were off. Fortunately whilst our plans were rather badly bloodened, they certainly were not beaten, thanks to pre-trip plans, clever reorganising and great help from some wonderful friends who were able to not just help make the best of a bad situation but deliver a weekend trip that was just as good from the original plans. The first stop was to Madame Tussauds to check out the brand new Star Wars section which opened recently, the rest of the attraction was very much as usual although Spirit Of London was stopping and starting a bit. You have done well Madame Tussaud's. I really liked the Star Wars area, which takes place after the Marvels show which is transitioned quite well (no idea what used to be in this area). The section included characters from all the films on top of main scenes. We also visited the Dungeons and eye in County Hall which were the same as always. We also got to see how the construction of the new Shrek adventure was progressing, there's scaffolding all over County Hall at the moment and the former London Aquarium sign has now been replaced with a Shrek Adventure one in the same style. After training it from Euston to stoke direct by Virgin trains which took only 85 minutes with no stops either before reaching our crash pad, Newcastle Travelodge. Unfortunately, Alton Towers was still closed on Saturday which meant we couldn't go, however we were fortunate to be able to visit somewhere just as good. That place was Blackpool Pleasure Beach, and this also meant I was able to try out the new Sky Force ride, which to an extent is the biggest new ride in the UK this year. For an addition this size, the ride and surrounding area have all been very well themed as it certainly looks very well themed (better themed than any of Thorpe's Flats). The ride itself was quite fun and enjoyable getting some interesting views of the area too, although I wasnt able to get much spinning done due to the strong wing and not mastering the technique all too well. I think it's a good addition to the park as it offers the park a much needed flat ride to the line up and is so far a unique ride to the UK. My only concern (something that has been mentioned here a lot) is the ride's throughput of 12 riders per cycle, as for a ride (let alone a new one) is very low on capacity and is unlikely to achieve anything over 300 PPH. It would've been nice if the park could've opted for a larger model like a 15 or 18 seater version or even install two of them, but it's still a good ride, 7/10. When it came to lunch, we all headed to the nearby (appropriately named) Velvet Coaster Weatherspoons, where I had to Hog Burger which was ok as Weatherspoons food goes. It's definitely my favourite Weatherspoons I've visited so far and is also on three floors of greatness. One of the great things at being back in Blackpool is not just getting to experience the brand new ride, but experiencing some of the ones I missed from last time; one of those was River Caves. River Caves is a classic dark ride at the park which I think is around 100 years old now and comprises several small'ish boats travelling around a series of scenes of pharaohs, dinosaurs amongst other things. There also used to be a brief interaction with the now defunct gold mine (which closed in 2012) and has been replaced by glowing lights and an eiry soundtrack. This is a loverly historic ride. If you look at River Caves from the perspective of comparing it to something like Pirates Of The Caribbean or something, you'll probably come off quite disappointed, however if you look at it from the historical point of view, it's a deeply interesting and iconic attraction that will hopefully live on for the forseable future and after all, it is the forefather of pirates to an extent. Other new Fred's on this trip included the Avatar air bender which is the most intense Disko I've done and beats Mia and Ramba Zamba with Kobra only beating it on the theming side. Dora's World Voyage was a happy little tide, basically a Dora version of its a small world but outside, I liked this ride more than I was expecting to, but could've been better and the Chinese puzzle maze which felt like a more crammed but not so good Loki's Labarynth. I also experienced the flying machines which is a wonderful piece of machinery and offers some good views in the park. We also got to re-experience most of the wonders from last trip including Valhalla which was as fantastic as ever except for the slight lack of ice this time. This is a ride that wouldn't look out of place in Efteling or Phantasialand. Big Dipper was as great as ever and ironically the smoothest woodie there despite being the oldest, Infusion was still ok first half rough second half and the grand national was as great as always although the second ride in the day was a bit on the rough side. The rest of the rides were about the same as the last time I went (though I missed ghost train, ice blast & Grand Prix this time). Wild Maus seemed incredibly rough today (even for my standards), but I still like it as this is such a unique ride whilst the Big One was shut all day due to wind, which is another of the ride's many flaws. After the park closed, we all had a walk down the promenade whilst eating chips,cheese and gravy (because why the heck not!). First stop was Coral Island and despite hating this place last time, I tried out their ghost train which for £1.50 isn't bad (based on 2 sharing). The ride's very mediocre, but is still better than most travelling fair ghost trains (along with Tivoli World's) however to an extent it makes even Blackpool's look like the haunted mansion. We also checked out the North and Central piers too (because we can) and had a drink on the latter. The piers were definitely a lot quieter than they were when I last went there in September, although that was probably because that was during the illuminations. We also visited Pleasurewood Hills briefly to try out their new dodgems set (or maybe not) And even a quick trip to Disneyland (stretchy does not approve) On our way back to the car, Stretchy gave me a very brief crash course in to getting some decent sunset ride photographs. I will leave it up to you to decide whether I passed or failed this! And then it was on the journey back to Stoke, I couldn't believe how quickly the car journey was especially to the five hour journey I had experienced last time I came, it was almost a bit overwhelming (although we were crashing in the Midlands). Knightmare by the way has been taken down, hopefully a sign the ride is getting a new home. Blackpool is still a park I very much love and whilst some of the wow factor had naturally dryed since my first trip, it was good to be back and I really enjoyed it. The park is on top form and definitely on the way up, although I would like to see better merchandise as bar Wallace & Gromit and Skyforce, there is generally not a lot to see really and like invisible ink, there was nothing to write about. Apart from getting no Big One, the only major disappointing thing in my day was not being able to buy a coaster wheel from the old parts shop as I had been particularly interested in getting an old wheel for my collection from something like the Wild Mouse. A small part of me died when I found the shop closed after planning to buy something, but oh well. Day 2 Unsurprisingly, towers was closed again on the Sunday, but that didn't stop us from going, because the secondary hotel attractions were still open when we went. However first, a very Midlands style breakfast. Oatcakes!!! Oatcakes are a novelty food I'm in the Midlands and for anyone who does not know what they are, they're essentially like Oaty pancakes and are absolutely delicious. I naturally opted for two double bacon oatcakes (because I couldn't get enough) on top of taking a pack of a dozen back home which I had for Monday's tea, I certainly didn't regret anything I did that morning! If you haven't had an oatcakes before, get yourself down to the Midlands for the weekend and try one, they're absolutely amazing and you won't regret it. The picture you see here definitely does not justify this culinary delight's greatness and outside of Staffordshire is very hard to find. From one kind of Oak, to another Oak, as we explored the nearby woodlands around Alton Towers, to find the legendary chained Oak. The Old Oak is an amazing sight to behold, and whilst the tree is now very old with some branches having now fallen off whilst some chains have loosened or dug in to the tree itself, it's still an interesting sight to behold and to think nearly 200 years ago the legendary tale of the earl took place here, The place where very same tree was cursed, resulting in the mysterious death of one of the Earl's family and then completely chained up. On top of this, having also inspired the creation of one the best dark rides in the uk. Once leaving the ancient woodland [thankfully not meeting any old women who appeared to be cursing along the way], we eventually headed off to Alton Towers [or at least what was still open to see there]. The main entrance to the park was actually closed up when we went, which meant using the staff/deliveries entrance when we arrived, which was an interesting way to the park [although noticeably longer] seeing old park signs and the like and areas of the [closed] park such as Cbeebies land and X Sector [ironic in a way really]. Once parked in the Hotel parking lot, we first headed off to Treetop quest to book a time for the high ropes course, the earliest option they had was 2:40pm, which whilst cutting things a bit fine for our train back we decided to go for and then did more exploring in the resort. Having quite alot of time to kill, we decided to play a 18 hole Extraordinary Golf which was great fun and many of the holes are cleverly designed and well themed towards rides in the park [even if around half of them no longer exist]. I drew with Daniel whilst Stretchy stood out on the game. During our time, we could see Air testing from all the way over the car park, which was a sight that definitely gave me quite a blow to the stomach. The Hex,Duel and Nemesis sound effects in the golf only added insult to injury. After completing the course, we checked out the resort's hotels starting with the Splash Landings before moving on to the Alton Towers hotels, both places I haven't visited properly before. Both hotels here are very nice and different too. Splash Landings obtains a tropical style theme which reminds me of Hotel Gold River at Port Aventura whilst the Towers Hotel seems to have a more stately traditional theme, which feels like an english version of DLP's Newport Bay. Despite the park being closed, all the hotels were buzzing with life featuring lots of entertainment characters throughout to keep hotel guests happy and still obtaining much atmosphere. I think all the staff at the resort have dealt with the current situations at the resort following last weeks tragic events very well. We also went in to one of the hotel shops where all Smiler merch [as expected] had disapeared, although they still had smiler monopoly and giant resins featuring the Smiler on, which I naturally had to buy [plus it would help waiting for my next towers visit slightly too]. Afterwards, we had a look around the park's latest accomodation offering, the Enchanted Village. I wasn't too sure about these at first, but having seen them in person, they definitely look rather rather and the area as a whole feels very much like a middle earthesque area. After an enchanted walk, it was off for some lunch at the new Crooked Spoon Restaurant which was naturally very quiet when we went, although featured another amazing soundtrack in the background created by the fantastic IMA score which very much had a LOTR and irish style feel to it. In the end, I went for a tuna and cheddar pannini with chips and salad, which wasn't bad for the price and definitely unique when it comes to appearance and style. After the fairly tasty lunch, it was time to do our Treetops Quest, however unfortunately they were running very behind there with almost an hour behind schedule, which meant in the end having to cancel out our time here [lucilly we got a full refund]. This might be the reason why we didn't get chance to do the ropes ;] After this, we left Alton Towers and found some other way to pass the time before we got our train back to Euston shortly followed by home. And this shall hopefully keep me going until next time [which might not be until 2016 now]. Despite turning in to a weekend much different from the original plans, it was still a great time away. A massive thanks goes to Stretchy whom without the trip wouldn't have been a patch on the overall outcome of the trip. Getting back to Blackpool was a bonus considering I was not expecting a return visit until at least 2016 and the towers staff have handled everything well. Whilst it's still not near enough to warrant me coming during the non themepark time, it's great to see Towers have so many additions to the resort now aside from the themepark, the hotels, the golf, the waterpark and the treetop quest which help things even more so in this difficult time. It's just ironic that the park only reopened the day after my trip away
  10. As very much everyone is aware, I will (hopefully) be making my first ever trip to a Disney park one month from today, a time even this far off I'm absolutely buzzing for. However, still being a 'Disney park virgin' for the time being, I though I would conjure up a series of rides, places and attractions ive been on that I believe the closest 'present' experiences I've had to the authentic disney rides I shall be riding, whether the result of this is fairly close or just a complete joke in comparison. All in all, this list is just a bit of fun at the end of the day. 1/ Big Thunder Mountain- Runaway Mine Train Alton Towers Plus Inferno's volcano for the theming 2/ It's A SmallWorld- Bubbleworks Chessington 3/ Phantom Manor- Duel Alton Towers Probably the closest accuracy in the list 4/ Pirates Of The Caribbean- Pirate Falls Treasure Quest Legolañd Windsor Apparently it's not a pirates life for me. 5/ Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast- Laser Raiders Legoland Windsor 6/ Autopia- Grand Prix Blackpool Mark9 will appreciate this one 7/ Pinoccio's Daring Journey- Pinoccio Tivoli World Slightly more accurate 8/ Snow Whte's Scary Adventures- Alice In Wonderland Blackpool Only one I could think of places I've visited 9/ Peter Pan's Flight- Fireball Adventure Island Southend Yes, very accurate. Really, I couldn't think of anything in terms of suspended dark rides I've done, so this had to do. 10/ Indiana Jones Le Temple De Peril- Turbo Brighton Pier Ok,I'm didn't actually ride this, but I saw it. I think it's pretty accurate at least in the layout though. 11/ Storybook canal boats- Fairy Tale Brook Legoland Windsor 12/ Star Tours- Angry Birds 4D Thorpe Park Since I'm yet to do a simulator, this is the closest I could find. Maybe I have hit a new low. Now for the Studios rides 13/ Tower Of Terror- Hex Alton Towers More so on experience than hardware. 14/Crush's Coaster- Sonic Spinball Alton Towers Couldn't find anything exact so this will have to do. 15/ Rock an Roller Coaster- X Thorpe Park The only comparison it could ever be. 16/ Ratatouiee- Wallace & Gromit Blackpool Pleasure Beach http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/70/Wallace_%26_Gromit's_Thrill-O-Matic.JPG 17/RC Racer- Kobra 18/ Dumbo- Flying Jumbos 19/ Slinky dog- Knights Quest 20/ Tram Tour- Orient Expedition p 21/ Space a Mountain is again X due to lack of dark rides, but it will be closed when I go. One Month to go now!!!!!!!!!!! I shall be reviewing the place for real when I finally visit. I don't own the photos.
  11. I have recently created a youtube channel covering the UK's theme park rides. Up until now I have been using still photos in my videos. Is there an official policy as to whether video cameras are allowed on rides at Thorpe Park? If I use my camera, is there a chance of it getting confiscated?Any help will be appreciated
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