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Found 38 results

  1. Hi everyone, Halloween is coming up and that means we will be holding the annual TPM Thorpe Park Fright Nights meet. Based on a poll the date of the event has been set to Saturday 13th October 2018. Please message or reply below if you plan on attending even if you voted in the poll. The event will take place over the whole day as the park will be open 10am - 10pm, with horror mazes from 3PM. Below is the provisional plan for the day: Park opening - Meet in the dome 10:15 - Start making way around the rides 1:30ish - Lunch 2:30 - Meet back up and start making way to first maze choice. 3:30 onwards - More mazes and rides in the dark until close (maybe another stop for food later if people hungry) The meets are great fun and everyone is invited, even if you have never posted before or even been to a meet at all. If it's your first meet, I understand it can be nerve breaking - but we were all there once before, so all know the feeling, please don't let this stop you from attending. Once you are there you'll be part of the group in no time at all! Everyone attending will have my number or be a part of a FB messenger group. Attendees ChiapasC (evening) Doc EpicSmatty J.S217 Jessica2 Jenzie1997 Marc Marhelorpe Mattgwise Mattymoo TallGuyDom Terrortomb Maybe David B Jack MarkC Terry Terry Ben MoweR
  2. J.S217

    X Playlist

    Hi guys I have been thinking but what would your perfect X soundtrack be pick 10 songs that you think may fit with X mine would be: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yj_alR22hCI https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=olWPS-B-9-M https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k6lVhGeyXuw
  3. RobPHolt94

    The Future of SAW - The Ride

    So, SAW - The Ride is now about to enter it's TENTH season.. Time flies! Personally, I feel like the ride is ageing relatively poor, with the last couple of years becoming unbearable to ride, I mean; they sold Paracetamol in the store once upon a time for a reason! What does everybody think lies in the future of this attraction? I always presumed that the ride would be re-themed with the end of the Lionsgate contract, but now that Jigsaw has been released in the cinemas, I should think the contract has therefore been extended?
  4. As always, me and Mer will be going to the Fright Nights passholders preview night. If anyone was able to get tickets this year and is going, feel free to join us.
  5. Hello THORPE PARK MANIA, just a quick question; does anyone know about some nights or is it not going ahead or if it hasn't been planned because I have no idea and keep on getting different answers.
  6. Hello my fellow keen beans, At long last, I am here to start the topic for the Thorpe Park Open Season Meet 2017! The provisional date for this meet is currently Saturday, 25th March 2017, however you may vote otherwise if you wish, unfortunately the dates aren't especially flexible this time round simply because this is the first and only 'normal' weekend in March, so apologies for that! You will have two weeks to place your votes, and the polls will close on Thursday, 2nd February at 9pm! Should you decide to come out with us to the Island Like No Other, this is what we could be doing... 09:30- meet in the usual place by the AP entrance/cash machine, so we can promptly enter the park for 10 10:00 onwards- we will just be dithering about the park, going on what people want to ride until people get peckish (or hangry) 13:00-13:30- it'll be time for lunch! the group may split to go and have whatever tickles their fancy, or we might all fancy the same thing which would work out nicely 14:00/14:30 - park close- we'll all go back to getting on those rides until it's time to head off for the post-meet social! like we've done with the previous couple of meets, where we eat is all down to you forum lot, and there's always room for creams... I know that there will be a fair few rides that people won't want to/can't do (I am a veteran at scoping out benches myself by now!), you will of course be able to go off and do your own thing whilst you wait, but try to make sure you don't lose the group entirely There will again be no specific 'extra' meet points throughout the day for the sake of ease and simplicity so those latecomers can come to the group, as Ryan and I will both be running this meet I am sure either one of us would be able to come and fetch you if you're a bit lost! but remember, if you are late you will be left behind! If you are up for this meet, feel free to contact myself or @Ryan to let us know, and feel free to leave any comments or suggestions below! Hope to see you there ***** Who's coming?? CWOAFanMalcolm (might be working, definitely coming for meal) (plus meal) Daniel.S312 (plus meal) David B (plus meal) Doc (plus meal) Felicity (plus meal) Joestar Marc (plus meal) Martin C (plus meal) Martin Doyle Matt Creek (meal only) mattgwise Mer (plus meal) Mitchada04 (plus meal) Paige (plus meal) he who shall not be named (plus meal) Ryan (plus meal) StevenVig Stuntman707 (plus meal) special guest (plus meal) terrortomb (plus meal) Weronika (plus meal) total: 19
  7. Just wondering who will be going to the Thorpe Park preview day on the 19th of March? Me and Mer managed to get tickets so we will be going. I'm looking forward to going a week before the official start of the season. Can't open soon enough now! Annual Pass days are always nice and quiet so hopefully we will be getting plenty of rides in ahead of the opening meet. If you were fast enough to get tickets, we'll maybe see you around!
  8. Just a quick question, as I have a ticket for THORPE PARK RESORT AP PREVIEW DAY, I was wondering whether It will be busy or not based on previous years or the number of tickets being given out on eventbrite. Thank you Regards Callum
  9. Cedar Creek

    Matt Creek's 2016 Part 1-The UK

    The Closed season is here, Christmas music and decorations are around everywhere and the sight of new year isn't far away. This means one thing, time to review 2016. This year will be a two part edition, with part one focusing on the UK and part two on the wonders abroad. The Merlin Machine/ Given the circumstances of 2015, it was fairly imminent this wasn't going to be the best year for them. With Park-wide budget cuts, ride closures and controversial decisions, there has been a fair share of negativity. However, not everything they've done has been unacceptable. Alton Towers As expected, 2016 was not going to be Towers's year as a result of ruthless management operations to lessen the bleeding of 2015's unfortunate events. This resulted in budget cuts, leading to staff redundancies, closures of shops and food outlets , knee jerk safety precautions and the closure of seven attractions. Whilst Hex is the only major casualty here, closing down a family park staple, sufficient flat ride and more has certainly left a big gap in the family market. Galactica for me feels like an attempt at shoe horning a gimmick onto what was already a popular ride just so it can be marketed as a new major attraction. The VR element leaves something to be desired, although I did find the audio descriptive version highly amusing. That being said, I do really like the new space styling, soundtrack and station enhancements. However on the upside, the new Roller Coaster Restaurant is a fantastic addition to the park, featuring much character and a flagship park restaurant. The Steak I had last time was remarkable. The TLC scheme has certainly enhanced run down areas of the park such as Forbidden Valley and Towers Street which look noticeably better. Though some areas are still fairly run down it's a start and if this is the only way for Merlin to do upkeep, so be it. Fingers crossed they can keep a similar scheme in place Post 2018. The Galactica fireworks were highly enjoyable too and made for a great end of a season. The park still has magic but it may be a little drier for the time being. 2017 seems to be another year CBeebies land add ons, with a round ride and indoor attraction being installed amongst it's own hotel. None of the above is appealing to anyone over 6, however if it's successful let's see what happens. SW8 construction is where it all lies though. Thorpe Park 2016 has been very divided for the park with lots of positives and negatives happening at the park this year. The park has continued an acceptable level of small improvements in places from updating the Amity toilet block to refurbishing the main Burger King which is good to see. The Tidal Wave improvements also look nice. That being said a major TLC scheme could really benefit the park as lots of park areas have been neglected for a while now, including Colossus, Rumba, Canada Creek and even Inferno (to a lesser extent). Breakdowns have been inconsistent this year with some rides such as Stealth and Samurai suffering major lengths of downtime but other rides like Swarm, Slammer and Rush remaining generally reliable all season. Some rides of course are out of the park's control when it comes to issues, but it would be nice to see a better consistency on reliability though. Derren Brown's ghost train is where things become more complicated. The ride now offers the park with a much needed indoor/dark ride. The pre-show and live action elements (though without their faults) are the best elements of the attraction for me. Providing amusement and excitement that may controversially be the best we've seen at a UK park in the post Hex days. The virtual reality (VR) element however I am not a massive fan of, the first section is okay but the second one feels disjointed and almost anticlimactic but that may just be the ride's reliability. Speaking on reliability, the attraction hasn't been great, with the attraction constantly breaking down, headsets failing and other issues. The state of the attraction last October was shocking to say the least and that's before I mention the two month plus delay. Let's hope 2017 does wonders to this ride and it can finally prove to be a solid addition instead of the embarrassing handful it seemed to be this year. Losing Loggers this year feels like a massive blow for the park, which despite it's age was still a popular and firm favourite for people of all ages. 2017's confirmation has only dampened the doubtful reopening of this attraction further which is a shame. Ending this on a positive, the street food and temporary outlets in Old Town were decent additions to the park's catering lineup. The chip place place proved to be great and a very quirky idea at the very least. The I'm A Celebrity improvements were also acceptable. The kiddie rides in Old Town is a bizzare one but if they enhance the younger guest offering which the park lacks, it can't be all bad. Chessington Right, remaining optimistic here may be a little more difficult but let's see what happens. Tomb Blaster (the park's veteran dark ride), was set for what was supposed to be a major refurbishment, giving the ride much needed TLC and restoring it into the best state in years. How wrong could we be? The new lasers are blocky, tacky and ruin the look of the attraction and the scoring system makes no sense. And not only this but the new UV lighting (which was supposed to enhance the ride) has actually ruined this. As a result of exposing out of house areas and the metal warehouse the ride resides in. The removal of ambient sound effects has only added insult to injury and goes to show what a shoddy refurbishment this was to begin with. The reduction in car stopping has only added to the rot as a result of the ride being less in sync. In the contrary, the Bubbleworks was shut down forever to make way for the next revolving door IP attraction. Whilst many will disagree here, I still had a liking for the attraction even to the end as it provided a fun ride for all ages and was an amusing experience. From the whirling fairground rides to the fountain finale. The ride may be gone but it will always have a place in my heart. Especially my last ever ride. Where my girlfriend and I shared our first kiss in the fountain finale. The rest of the park is still a mess. Bits of theming looking worn and neglected, Vampires station is still a mess, Falls is still naked and breakdowns seem to be happening more frequently. Skyway was also spited after barely surviving the last few seasons. Shame they didn't maintain or rebuild it as that would've been much better than an animatronic panda show. Glamping won't save the park either sadly. Only good things I can say about Chessington this year are the small TLC bits were acceptable, the Smokehouse place is good and I met my girlfriend here. 2017 will be interesting to say the least with Gruffalo re-theme and new Market Square carousel. Let's see. Legoland Windsor Despite turning 20 years old, 2016 has been a quiet one for the park, as a result of adding anything major or notable. The Lego Movie 4D was the main new attraction this season and is a fantastic addition to the park and one of the most amusing 4D shows I've seen. Featuring the return of many of the lovable original characters and more from the original film. 2016 also saw the Star Wars miniland extended,in the form of the Death Star occupying space previously part of the Star Wars store. The new addition is fantastic and the combination of interactive features and vast models, makes for an excellent finale. The Star Wars store has also been renovated as a result of the updates. The model makers workshop has also been refurbished marking the return of the brick busts on the top floor which is really great to see again. Whilst much of what the park has done this year, even with the opening show (it's location also resolving the terrible entrance bottleneck), one word. Farmer Joes Chicken Shack! Theming aside this is one of the worst theme park eateries I've been too as the food tastes dull and barely edible; Was rather expensive too. Change however is on the way for the park, with Dino safari and Loki's Labyrinth being demolished in the same year. A major Ninjago dark ride and area will replace the latter with the former becoming home to the park's second hotel featuring a castle theme. Blackpool Pleasure Beach The historic seaside amusement park turned 120 this year making it the oldest operating U.K. Park and one of the oldest in the world. Apart from that, not much else really happened this year, although the new bridge and ghost train scene are both highly acceptable additions. The park still retains it's charm and character well amongst remaining one of the better kept UK parks. That said, the operations over my two day visit did leave something to be desired as National and Avalanche were on one train operation over the weekend joined by the Big One on day two. However given circumstances and they're an independent park they are solely forgiven. 2018 will hopefully be the year to bring wonders here, but there's still a while yet. Paultons Park A place I've always wanted to visit for a while and somewhere I can safely say is the underdog of UK parks currently. It's not so much the big things that make paultons, but all the small touches from park tidiness, staff friendliness down to the organic feel of the place. No HB leisure or in your face upselling here. The Lost Kingdom area has done wonders to this park and set the bar high for future investments on this upcoming park. The theming is of a high standard whilst the two coasters provide the perfect family thrill consistency amongst the other great attractions. Paultons is definitely the park the watch in the coming years and once they bring in a decent water ride, woodie and dark ride, they will for sure be one of the best parks in the U.K. If they are not already. Drayton Manor Yet another place I've been longing to tick off my check list, but past opportunities encountering misfortune resulting in me not able to visit. Maybe that's an omen? Drayton is the perhaps the blandest park I've ever visited. It lacks style, atmosphere and boasts the worst main coaster double act I've seen at a park. With all that negativity said and done on to the positives. Thomas Land is a loverly charming park area and one of the parts with atmosphere. Their flats rides such as Apocalypse, Maelstrom and Air race are all enjoyable and the Haunting was actually an acceptable attraction too. So is Ben10. Still won't be rushing back there yet, until they add a major attraction or receive enough persuasion. Still it's been ticked off the checklist right? Other not-so theme parky bits Went heights of Abraham in Matlock Bath which consists of a cable car, numerous caves and ruins.The views are fantastic and the caves were intriguing to say the least, especially given one actually featured an animatronic figure (sort of). Matlock bath is also pleasant enough with countless fish and chip shops, independent stores and a mediocre aquarium. It's almost like a Sea Side Town, away from the sea. With Bikers. Thanks for reading part 1 if you managed to not get bored. Part 2 will follow shortly. Adios
  10. HELP PLEASE! If anyone has been to Thorpe Park before please can you answer my questionnaire all about your customer experience at Thorpe Park. This is for my dissertation, it will take about 10 - 15 minutes to complete and if you add your email at the end of the questionnaire you will be entered into a draw to win a £20 Amazon gift card!! Your experience matters to me! If you can like and share it would help as I need to obtain as many responses as possible! Thank you! Thorpe Park Questionnaire>>> http://kbs.az1.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_3xxOP7NnTp6MYPX
  11. Ok so I've actually booked my 2 face it alone's in now! (One for each day I'm at the park.) I've read reviews and comments here and in other places and it does sound pretty intense. I'm not asking for a full on description as I'd like to discover it mainly for myself. But is there anything I should especially watch out for? For example should I wear clothes that aren't particularly valuable/don't mind em getting dirty? And also should I bring a spare pair of glasses? As I'm a woman who has to wear them permanently, stuff is very blurry without them! And from what I've read it wouldn't surprise me if actors stole them from me temporarily! Has anyone had Platform 15 as their face it alone? I'm a little confused by that one, I can see the things people have said in past reviews happening in Saw, Cabin and Big Top, but I don't see how that sorta stuff could work with Platform 15 since it's so open... Lastly, it's just going to be me doing the face it alone, I've read you have to attend a ceremony thing for maze selection earlier in the day. Will whoever I'm with be allowed to come to this ceremony with me, or will they have to wait elsewhere? Thanks for your help! I'm a mixture of incredibly nervous and ultra excited xD I would do all 4 days/mazes as face it alone's but I live way too far from Thorpe T_T
  12. Cedar Creek

    Spooky 2016

    Welcome, to the Haunted Reviews, Mwoarhaha 2016 has provided me with a vast number of park trips and adventures. A trend which has continued happily for the Halloween season. Due to excessive number of events done and trying not to bore you with maze review after maze review, I thought I would try and compact my trips into just one report. Where I intend to focus mainly on the best bits (and sometimes the worst). Xtreme Scream Park/ Beginning with a bang. This was my first event and it certainly did not fail to disappoint. Despite its fairly remote location and its budget not being massive I was highly impressed with this event, from the interaction and portrayal of roaming actors to the scattering of spooky theming. Pie Factory was by far my favourite maze, down from the consistency of actors and scenes throughout and the fact some scenes worked fine without any actors as they helped build up the suspense and fear factor. Apart from The Dungeon which I wasn't a fan of, was strongly impressed by all mazes there (a total of six). Stilton House Hotel and Hunted are honourable mentions. Scarefest It may surprise some of you that prior to October this year I had never been to a Scarefest event before (although I tried and failed last year). And finally losing my Scarefest virginity finally happened With no regrets attending. All three maze offerings were of acceptable quality, Terror Of The Towers being surprisingly good despite being a largely established maze. Sub Species was my preferred maze, which I liked the split elements and the preshow which was of good quality. Altonville Mine (or Skin Snatchers) seemed the weaker one and looked like it had potential, but I feel we may have just experienced a poor run through which was a shame. Aside from the decent park lighting, the amusing flash mob and acceptable theming, the addition that Pleased me the most was House Of Monsters. A family based attraction which was more funny than frightening, the use of scenery and acting proved and was certainly an entertaining attraction that was worth the £5. Particularly liked the Skeleton and vampire actors and was certainly 15 minutes well spent and reminded me of Shrwk's Adventure in a few ways but maybe better. Night rides are cool too Fright Nights No Halloween would really be complete without at least a visit or two to Fright Nights, especially being one of my local parks. The event celebrated it's 15th anniversary by bringing back some of the park's popular roaming actors from deceased mazes including the Freezer and Experiment 10. This is always one of the things I like about Fright Nights and would like them to add a scare zone one day. Big Top was much better this year. The flow was better, the acting was consistent and it generally felt more of a maze than a few disjointed scare zones. Face It Alone was as enjoyable as always but cannot help feel last year's was better. Whilst I've tried to remain positive, this is where it sort of dwindles. The park was rammed on literally each attendance. Whilst some may see this as a positive thing, the crowd handling certainly has room for improvement. Three and a half hours for Platform 15 just can't be justified, as the queue was barely moving and not even completely full. The maze itself however was better than expected and offered something different and unique from the rest with its location and plot line. The long tunnel was one of the stronger elements which I thought built up suspense rather well. Cabin is still cabin, acceptable but rather stale now. I can't comment for the rest as I never got to try them . Howl O Ween Despite possibly saying I probably wouldn't go I visited anyway (call that unacceptable if you must). The only reason I visited was because it was on the way for other scare attractions and night rides never go a miss. A round on tomb blaster, Carousel later and a final night ride on Fury ended the season. Didn't manage any mazes as they're the same as last time and Vampire was dead. The theming however was quite good though. Acceptable theming! Tulley's Shocktoberfest Tulleys is somewhere I've been wanting to go for a while now and was finally able to do so this year. Though lacking the exterior theming and roaming actors, this event certainly impressed me which provided a sufficient of mazes, eight to be precise. The Horrorwood Tractor ride was certainly my favourite with it's interactive scenery and theming elements and vast range of different actors appearing throughout from scary cowboys to mad scientists. Certainly more of a ride than a maze and clearly better than Zufari. Other mazes that impressed me included the Colony and its large length and variations, The Cellar with its haunted theme and Pandemonium with its use of 3D elements. Hellements was the only maze I wasn't taken with as it seemed weaker than rest, though Creepy Cottage was rather on the short side though. Only other negative was the location as a whole looks very temporary and the use of temporary loos but that can't be helped given the location. Legoland Brick Or Treat Perhaps not a Halloween event in the traditional sense but still appropriate. At the end of each year Legoland holds themed fireworks to end the season with a bang, alongside a selection of kids Halloween activities in their enchanted forest area. This year's fireworks were themed to Nexo Knights (one of their current product lines) which featured audio dialogue synchronised to the fireworks. The display as a whole was good, although not amazing. Helped by it's audio plot line and glasses that turn the fireworks into Lego bricks (worth the £1.50). I particularly liked how the harbour area (one of the main viewing areas) was sort of turned into a pre-show before the main event as a result of the connected fountains and light being synchronised to the music. Apart from the lack of good nighttime lighting and the number rides closing at dusk, was a very good event. And this marks the end of another good Halloween season which has certainly been a good one (most of. The time). Didn't do Screamfest Burton and Screamland, but hopefully they can be done for another year. so, in brief: Best maze- Pie Factory Xtreme Scream Best non maze attraction- Haunted Hayride- Tulleys best fun scare attraction- House Of Monsters- Alton Towers Best scare event- Xtreme Scream Park Most improved maze- Big Top Thorpe Park Most awkwardly hilarious moment- Walking out of a fire exit on the Twisted maze at Xtreme Scream Best lit park- Alton Towers StormmSurge- Hellements- Tulleys Until next time, Farewell.
  13. One of my friends who is going to Thorpe Park's Fright Nights with me has weak ankles, which often hurt when walking or standing for long periods of time, the Doctors are yet to find the problem so she doesn't have a note which she could use to get out of queuing. Would she be allowed to use a walking stick for getting around?
  14. I'm going to Thorpe Parks Fright Nights however I have recently had knee surgey. I can walk no problem but I don't want to push it, so I was wondering which of the horror mazes would involve running as I'd like to avoid them. The walking ones are fine,I just don't want to run on it.
  15. MilesK

    A Very Frightening Night

    On Sunday the 9th of October 2016, me and a few other forum members (and a few other non-forum members) set out on a venture to Thorpe Park Resort. However, this was not just any ordinary day at Thorpe Park; Fright Nights had kicked just two days prior to this visit, and we were all extremely excited to get into the six attractions that the park had to offer. Before the mazes opened to the public for the evening, we had the pleasure of experiencing a behind the scenes tour of Saw Alive and Cabin in the Woods (special mention to Shannon, our fantastic guide for the tour). It was very intriguing to see all of the detail and effort that goes into the making of the attractions, especially in Saw Alive, and I will definitely be purchasing another tour for a different two mazes next year! But now, onto the reviews! SPOILER WARNING - THERE ARE SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW! YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED! Cabin in the Woods - 7.5/10 Cabin in the Woods was the first maze of the night, and was definitely one of the better attractions the park this year. Returning for it's fourth year, I was worried that the maze would feel stale and boring after such a long period of it being here. I was very wrong indeed! We managed to loop around the maze twice, and got to go into every room that the maze has at the start of the maze. The theming in each room (excluding the blackout rooms with virtually no theming) was great and the actors throughout were trying their best to squeeze every scare out of our relatively small group of just four people. The second half was much weaker unfortunately. The elevator scene wasn't working with no actor behind the glass, the rotating tunnel will never work again which is a real shame, the actors were lacking, especially the finale where there was only one or two. Overall however, this maze is still going strong, despite a weaker second half. I do feel though, as much as I like it, it is time for a change. Containment - 6/10 Containment was poor last year, very poor in fact, and I was quite reluctant to hand over £8 for an attraction which I did not enjoy at all previously. But due to the great reviews it had been getting, I felt obliged to try it out and see whether it had improved or not. To cut to the chase, it was good! Massively improved on last year, with some returning rooms, some new rooms, and completely new puzzles to get our brains ticking. The narration at the start of each room was a great addition; it explained the fear in each room and was a rather nice touch. The actors in each room were spot on, especially the clock room with two actors who were both funny and scary at the same time. Whilst we're speaking of scary, the attraction as a whole wasn't all that scary. It's a good bit of fun and provides something different instead of another standard horror maze, but if you're expecting a terrifying escape experience then I recommend you look elsewhere. Overall, Containment is a good and unique addition to the lineup, however take it as a puzzle-solving escape room, not a terrifying horror escape room, in order not to be disappointed. Platform 15 - 3/10 I knew when Thorpe released the video of Zombieboy being the "curator" of Platform 15 for publicity, I knew it was going to be bad. Little did I know, it would be utterly dreadful. It does have some moments of light though! The Scottish (but not really Scottish) tour guide at the beginning was definitely the best part of the attraction; he was an excellent actor! The walk up to the train with the fire and the flashing lights was also quite cool. After that, it goes very quickly down hill. The graveyard scene is very sub-par and the tunnel and finale has got to be one of the worst I've seen in a horror maze. It's basically a crap Molly Crowe ending, without any movement or any chase. For a new attraction, Thorpe should be ashamed with the end product; it is disgraceful. The worst part is the actors are all clearly trying their hardest, but even with their endeavors, it is very close to being the worst maze of the night, and the year! The Big Top - 9/10 The Big Top last year was diabolical, and when I heard it was returning I was not ecstatic. I went in with low expectations, despite the general consensus I was getting from people who had done it saying it was a lot better. So, we went in, experienced it, came out, and I can safely say after four runs in the maze, it is very very good! Everything has been so greatly improved: the fortune teller, all the other scenes, the ending, everything! The strobe maze is by far the most intense strobe maze I have ever done! The slow pattern they've been put on means it is extremely difficult to see anything in the tent at all, and with actors bursting out from every direction with your impaired sight, it leads to a terrifying outcome! The chainsaw chase ending, despite it's unoriginality, is very effective when working properly and has left me running for the exit each time. I only have a few bugs with the maze. Firstly, each time I've been in I feel it's lacked actors, especially in the strobe maze. Secondly, some scenes are too open (in particular the clown wash and the cage), and finally, the only major one, when it is light outside, light streams into the tent, completely ruining the strobe section of the maze and ruining the atmosphere. Overall though, I thoroughly love this maze; the best I have experienced at Thorpe in my 3 years of visiting Fright Nights. Saw Alive - 5/10 Saw Alive is never a strong maze, yet usually I do enjoy a good run through of it. This year though, the highlight of the entire maze was seeing Amy's seashell in the corner of the bathroom scene! The theming is top quality in this maze, the best on park. However, the actors need to at least try in order to make this a half-decent maze. The actors on our run, did not. The minimal 5-6 that were in the entire maze clearly wanted to go home after a long evening of scaring people, and none of them seemed to really care that we were in the maze at all. A lot of them just stood there and snarled as we walked on. It's definitely time this maze moved on, with either a complete re-them, or the complete removal of it. Blair Witch - 2/10 Blair Witch, new scenes for 2016, can't be much worse than it's predecessor? Well, clearly it can! With the addition of a few nice looking red lights, nothing seemed to have changed with Blair Witch. There were no more than 6 or so actors in the entire thing, all of which made the same pig snort noise whenever we past them. There was no audio playing in the maze and we also had numerous queue jumpers before we could even get inside. To put it bluntly, Blair Witch is s#!t. I would avoid this maze at all costs if I were you! Before I conclude this blog entry, I have a few more small details to add. The Experiment 10 roamers that we saw a fair few times were excellent! One of them knew my name, which was rather confusing to me at the time but I did realise that somebody who I sort of know and have on Facebook is working as a roamer this year. Theming around the park did exist but was quite minimal; I do like the headless monk on the bridge! Overall, Fright Nights is a good event this year, however there is still a big gap for improvement in the attractions and around the park as a whole! That's the end of this blog! Thank you all for reading
  16. Soooo this is going to be a bit of a strange request but bare with me xD I love Thorpe Park, probably too much! Always have and probably always will. I went to Fright nights with my best mate and my dad this Sunday just gone and really want to go back again, so I've booked the shark hotel for 30th with the Fright Nights package where you get to enter the park on the two days 30th and 31st. Thing is I haven't told either of them that I've done it because I knew that if I actually asked them first, neither of them would have come back with me T_T They're quite content to just go once or twice a year, that's not enough for me, especially where Fright Nights are concerned xD Now I am going to ask each of them if they'd like to come with me and let them know it's already been booked so I'll be going no matter what.... buuuut that doesn't mean either of them will actually crumble and agree to come with me for certain haha. If they both point blank refuse to come with me then I'm going to end up with a spare 2 day entry ticket and stay in the hotel (it's a twin room for 2 adults that I booked.) It would be such a waste not to have someone come and use it in the event that that is what happens!! So if you live in Buckinghamshire (are male or female ((I'm not picky!)) + are over 18) and are able to drive us both there and back then you're welcome to be the second person on the booking xD (I can't drive so I need some way of getting there if my mate or dad won't come with me T_T) It's kinda risky for me though, I'm sure you're all lovely people; but ya know how it is haha. It would be nice if I find out early enough before the date that I am indeed going to be alone, if we could meet in person first at least once. You don't have to hang around with me in the park if you don't want to. And I'm not going to ask for any money towards the trip as this whole situation is entirely my fault xD However if you did want to contribute something and have my eternal gratefulness I wouldn't say no to you buying me the ultimate fast track
  17. WARNING - This review has very STRONG spoilers Choo Choo... No this isn't Runaway Mine Train, this is MY Ghost Train (Well actually it's Derren's, but I got to experience it last weekend). Delayed for two months, a hype built higher than Kingda Ka and being the largest investment in Merlin HISTORY! I, of course, had low expectations. EXTERIOR I'll begin my review on the outside, we were greeted by a 90 minute queue in the baking heat, so I had lots of time to sink in the exterior, unfortunately, most of the poster theming had been destroyed by the guests'. Apart from the huge red shed that Thorpe has proudly placed at the front of the area, the actual building itself is well themed and the music was loud, maybe a little too loud (is that possible?). Apart from the AWFUL photo spots, the queue itself wasn’t that bad, the baggage room was well themed and the batching area kept the hype going… now it was time to go through to the pre-show. INTERIOR The pre-show started, with the worlds lamest ‘jump scare’, Derren waffled on about fear (I did pay attention, honest!) and another lame jump scare, although I did appreciate the special effects, this pre show felt like it was actually him talking to me, not just a video. We move onto the main room and I was taken aback, the train looked incredible and really looked like it was hanging! I have no idea how it’s done, the way the trains are hidden is actually the most mind bending thing about this attraction. The VR headsets come on and the story begins, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6... The scares begin and I was already screaming before the video started, the whole first VR section felt so realistic and I was immersed in what they was saying, I had the young man, old lady and old man so I got to experience a difference in the stories, my 3rd ride on DBGT 1st VR experience was the best VR I have ever experience, so crisp and clear. So after my knees were attacked by Thorpe’s ride host, we moved into the second part of the attraction, after a lot of shouting and confusion, this huge train comes swinging towards us, the effect would work well if they had more smoke and less lights but I still jumped back in time. Onto the second train and off we went, this time the story got confusing for me… why the explosions? Where’s Derren gone? Is Derren a member of the Green Party? But the demons did scare me, but the extremely long gas section made me loose interest and I could feel myself wanting to remove my headset, next thing I know, we’re falling to my second home, 5,4,3,2… an abrupt ending and back to reality. We exit into the highly themed shop and I had experienced the ghost train. Pros – - The physically train and underground theming. - The first VR experience nearly made me fall off my seat - The ride system works SO WELL. Cons – - The whole ‘sub core’ story comes out of nowhere, it feels like they’re two different plot lines happening throughout the whole attraction, Derren Brown & Sub Core. - Second VR section comes across very out there, making me confused to what was actually happening. - Making me change my pants because it scared me THAT much. Overall Review: The newest major UK theme park attraction, was certainly an experienced I’ve never had before, the plot line and lack of physically theming let it down for me, but it did what it was created for, to scare you. I’m unsure how this will keep up in a few years’ time, the technology is far too underdeveloped for how much it gets used and was already straining when I visited, I have a strong opinion that VR is NOT the future of theme parks, but that’s a debate for another day. Trolley Dolly 7/10
  18. Brighteyes99

    Thorpe Park Jobs & Interviews

    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
  19. ChiapasC.

    Phantom Fantasia - 30 Years On

    As we'd expect, 30 years ago, Thorpe Park was a very different place. In fact, it wasn't really until 1983 that the park saw investment in 'theme park rides'; until then, the park was a more educational/leisure area. One attraction which opened in 1983 saw Phantom Fantasia - the first incarnation of what many knew as Wicked Witches Haunt. The ride was rethemed into WWH in 1994, before its untimely closure in 2000 due to the infamous Thorpe Park Fire. Whilst I never got a chance to ride the original Phantom Fantasia (would be a bit difficult considering I hadn't been born then ), I've heard / read a couple of accounts of the ride, and it seemed to be a very British attraction - it had that eerie / scary tone, yet had humour to it as well. It was a ride which sounded fun for everyone, and was just spot on. When we remember that at this time, Thorpe was a small business, and the idea of a theme park wasn't really around in Britain (something which Wardley discussed about so well in his autobiography I thought), it's - in a way - an astounding achievement. Here's a few photos of the original Phantom Fantasia, from either 1983 or 1984 (put in spoilers to save on space and such): Unfortunately, I can't really offer much explanation into the scenes and such. However, Neilfever added a brilliant video of the ride onto his Youtube account a few years ago... One final Phantom Fantasia photo to leave you with is this one... Anyone recognise him? You walk past him as you exit Nemesis Inferno! I think after the fire, he appeared in MHFS, and now keeps guard of the now abandoned area... Wicked Witches Haunt I did get a chance to go on WWH, however. Several times. My memory of it is rather hazy, seeinghow the last time I went on it I was barely 6, but there are some scenes that I remember. I think that in itself speaks volumes of this attraction - for me to remember it 13 years after my mind shows that it was an attraction that stayed with you. It might not have been the best dark ride, but that doesn't mean it didn't affect you. My personal memories of the ride was that it was one of the attractions you 'love to hate'. Not in Storm Surge way, but in a way that it always left me scared or spooked out, I'd have to close my eyes really tightly or cover my eyes and I'd sometimes let out a scream. As a child, it was ride that scared me, but that's why you like it. The best way I can word it is that it's the child-equivalent of a scare maze, or watching a horror film. The witches didn't scare me really. I guess at that age, you're introduced to stories that split opinions on witches - some seem horrible, but are actually nice and vice versa. The thing was though, it did give me a 'feeling'; something bad could well happen here. The scenes that never failed to scare me were the ones with spiders - there were big, fair, ugly hairy spiders. They jumped out at you and stuff. I was petrified. I think the finale, or a scene very close to it, involved the carriage turning to face a wall, and then the biggest spider there was jumping out at you. Scary stuff. For the family audience the park had at the time, it must have been a huge hit. So, that's really all I have to share. Whilst the ride was not 'iconic', it certainly played its part in Thorpe's history, and is probably something that will be mentioned for years to come. I do doubt that the ride would have stayed at the park much longer anyway, due to the shift in target market, the age of the attraction and such, it is a true shame it burnt down. But c'est la vie. A couple of links which show of PF/WWH really nicely - http://www.memoriesofthorpepark.co.uk/phantomfantasia.html http://www.baffles.me.uk/features/tpg/features/wwh/index.html Would be great to hear others' memories of the ride too!
  20. So what do you think is the best B&M Rollercoaster in the UK? Is it Air: The World's First Flying Coaster Nemesis: Europe's First Inverted Coaster Nemesis Inferno: The World's only Inverted Coaster to feature a set of Interlocking Corkscrews Oblivion: The World's First Vertical Drop Coaster Or our newest B&M... THE SWARM: Europe's Tallest and Fastest B&M Wing Coaster Vote!
  21. Causing a bit of a gap to the long speculated trip reports of certain members visiting several new major parks [surprisingly not Benin in this case], you may be wondering what the Creek will be able to provide to contend with this. If you were hoping for reports of new visited parks and the like, you may leave feeling rather disappointed [there are big plans in the works for the near'ish future though], however what I will offer instead will be in the shape and form of unique and different theme park activity. Having been a big fan/enthusiast of parks and coasters for a long time, there is something I had always wanted to do at a park for a long time in my life; that was walking up to the top of roller coaster lift hill. Following the foreseeable cancellation of my Towers lift hill walk [due to the unfortunate accident of a certain ride], I instantly booked myself a coaster climb on one the coasters at Thorpe [whether it's a good idea to this the day after a heavy night clubbing and drinking is another story however] Judging from the [poorly quality] picture above you can tell right away which ride I went for; Colossus After having experienced my chosen ride at the end of the day before closing, I waited patiently outside the ride's exit [as instructed by the details on the email I'd received when I booked it], where I was soon approached by a member of Thorpe's stuff and when clarifying my name, I knew my experience was about to begin. Being directed in to the Swarm's control booth with others taking the walk [a dad and his son], we were given an informative talk about the ride's generally statistics from basic things such as opening in 2012, being built by Bolliger & Mabillard and costing 20 million to more complex and interesting facts. When it comes to dispatching the ride, the operator in the control booth must press both green buttons with his hands in-addion to the platform staff pressing the other four buttons. If one of these buttons isn't pressed the ride will not dispatch. Interestingly, there are four positions staff can be allocated to on this ride, control operator, baggage room, front and back of station, where are total number of seven staff are required on two trains operation and six on one train operation. The ride's console is a lot smaller and advanced from the park's older consoles [inferno's apparently strikes similarities but is noticeably bigger]. Not only can individual rows of restraints be released individually [no need for the recheck all bars here] but the computer system can also calculate how many trains have been running on the system and give a general count of throughput. Speaking on throughputs, one train operation on Swarm allows for about 600 people per hour [pph] whilst two trains allows up to 1200 PPH. As you can witness from the photo [and the giveaway on the booth] the ride was on just one train at the end of the day, however this was to ensure final checks on the ride's others train which would be checked up through the evening/night and then run on the circuit the next day whilst the existing train would then receive it's inspection. Interestingly whilst the work shop is located on the right to the station building, there is a giant cold fridge in there too [ I forget why though]. Other interesting things the console allows [pictured above] is to open/close gates, stop and start the ride and also stop and start on the lift hill too. The ride was naturally locked down when we were there which only the engineering crew would be able to open to stop any possibility of the ride operating whilst we were there. One of the other proceedures of loading aside from the buttons and thumbs up is all seats must be closed and locked for dispatched regardelss of them being with or without riders. The second part of the console, this allows the operator to speak to through the tannoy systems, and press automated announcments such as weather closing and reopening. There's naturally a phone too for the operator to contact platform staff. like all ride's alike, the ride uses CCTV throughout the surrounding area which is to used to ensure the ride is working correctly and that no one has trespassed in the surrounding area [which would result in an e-stop]. Before doing the actual part of the lift walk, everyone was instructed to put on safety harness vests, which involved putting the main part on your chest whilst adjusting and tightening the giant clip and then getting your legs through the holes then adjusting them. This was finalised by the ball hold which would connect to the coaster wire itself. Then it was time for the walk itself to begin. This gaint bit of machinery operates the lift hill of the ride. The harness I was wearing was connected to the chainwire at the side, which involved in the positioning of the clip. Every so often, you would need to push the clip through a check point area so to ensure maximum safety. If you folded the clip in, then it would stick you to position. The design of this safety figure has been designed to prevent slip backs, so if you accidentally trip up on the way up or down, the clip safely locks you in place preventing any major accidents from happening. One of things talked about was the actual meaning of the ride's project name LC12. I naturally put it down as Lez Cougan, however the actual meaning of the acronym was infact Lost Cause. Mentions of other project names such as Project Odyssey [Colossus] and Project Dylan [saw] were also mentioned briefly there too. And many steps later, we finally reached the top. It was a very nice day so I was able to get some pretty good views of the park and surrounding area whilst I was up there [including Heathrow]. Who Thought Thorpe was so beautiful I learn't many interesting new facts on my climb which was great to hear whilst taking in the stunning views below. These included, 1/ Stealth & Rita were originally supposed to be one big coaster however due to some difficulties in planning it, this was split in half. So Thorpe got one half [the better half IMO] whilst Towers got Rita. 2/ The reason why Nemesis Inferno was themed like a volcano was because of the fire that took place on the site the ride replaced [Tropical Travels]. 3/ If Thorpe were to build something massive on the empty island next to Swarm, they would need to remove something equivalent in size [my tour guide described the park's landscape as being like a Lilo. I naturally had to ask/enquire about WC16 [Thorpe's new dark ride] during the climb. However unsurprisingly he wasn't able to provide much information except that it would be the first kind of ride to ever exist in the world and that it would be a top class ride. Even facts down to when it would open [spring or summer] could not be provided. He did mention there would be more interesting in vestments on the way within the park and that Thorpe's target was now all age groups. When it came to Fright Nights, he said that this years one would be bigger and better, however couldn't confirm completely if there would be any new attractions or face it alone returned [but hinted the former was likely]. On the operational front, the ride cannot operate below 5 degrees or in winds over 35 MPH, there's a wind tracking device at the top of the hill which is sort of in the form of a micro wind turbine. The main Thorpe hotel is expected to open around 2018/2019. It was mentioned how a spruce up of the entrance would be liked [depecting a very RCT style appearance] and hinted that a redesign in the future would probably happen however the dome would remain for the foreseeable long term due to it's complex structure and helpful functions within the park. One of the most eager questions I asked I did manage to get an answer for though was the future of the now closed Chief Rangers Caroulsel? When dismantled the ride was stored temporarily in the staff car park for a while, however unfortunately the ride will never be able to return to the park. This is because it's going to a different park. Which though wasn't said however apparently it isn't close to any major European parks and the country of location is unknown [so tracking of the ride will likely be extremely difficult]. I am happy to confirm though that many prominent items from the old ride have been salvaged including the old ride centrepieces which are apparently now located in the education centre. The other horses on the ride are believed to have been kept to use on the ride's new home. I asked on what the forseeable future for Mr Monkey might be and he reckons the ride is here to stay as a tribute and lone survivor of the Ranger area that once dominated the park. When it came to potential rides going, the answer was generally that Thorpe like to keep their rides and that Samurai was closed so that they could give it out the attention it needed to work again as it was still a popular ride at the park. When it came to Colossus's 'potential' repaint he was unsure on whether it would get fully done and did agree that ride presentations are an important aspect of rides. He did however hint towards the possible return of the railway in the future and the re-theme of Rumba though. Proof this is real A pic of me and my guide I'm a long way up! After this unique,interesting and insightful experience, I gradually made it down from this giant coaster back to the ground where I thanked my host before grabbing my belongings and making my way. The Big Question Was The Walk Worth £50? Just about, in this experience, not only do you get to go up and down your coaster of choice, but you are presented with stunning and amazing views of the surrounding area not just in the park but on for many miles throughout the landscape. You also learn a lot of new facts and information on different things in the park from the operational and management side to how the park works as a whole. Seeing the control cabin of one of my favourite coasters was another interesting sight and I enjoyed my time doing this experience where all the VIP team were extremely friendly and helpful and this was no rush or pushing ahead on the experience at any time. I will probably do another lift walk here at somepoint in the future [not sure when though] on Colossus to see how it compares and look how different the ride works from an operational view, B&M were described as the creme de la creme of coasters when I was there. If you're in to different theme park experiences and wish to experience a lift hill walk, I would definitely recommend experiencing one on The Swarm!
  22. For 2015, it is my intention to make each and every blog loosely based on something from film and television. Within a spin of an old caroulsel from the end of the last season, the 2015 park year has somewhat come upon us and for my first theme park kick of 2015 why not spend it my home park Thorpe? (Chessie and towers were too far ) We begin our trip in to the wild (concrete) Jungle here. All bush tucker trials have been mentioned on the board for the experience. I'M AN ENTHUIAST GET ME OUT OUT OF HERE!!!!!!! New for 2015, the home camp has been updated and renamed Fin's Bar & Grill. Now a look inside the home camp. [/img] [/img] And this is just one of the many meals you can win in the Jungle after completing all the trials. I found it absolutely delicious and certainly an improvement over what the equivalent was last series. The mighty queen of the jungle (Swarm) stands tall and proud and in her fourth season, she's still as fantastic as ever. So is the mighty king of the jungle himself (Stealth). He was also running impressively well today snd didn't show any signs of giving up (breakdowns). However we found it irritating when he decided to throw little rocks at the camera (front row in the rain is just painful). https://fbcdn-sphotos-g-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xfa1/t31.0-8/10974522_1071195562897707_3461605405998762029_o.jpg?dl=1 Today we are joined by two new faces in the jungle, Ant (CWOA Malcolm) and Dec (Coasterdude) to do some bush tucker trials. The first Challenge for the camp mates is Celebrity Cyclone. The outcome in which results in a near by water tower being completely destroyed. Followed by an eating trial Let's not forget a face to face team challenge too for camp immunity. But who will be doing the next trial? Professor Drunk's Teacup Twisters CWOA Malcolm is chosen to do this trial (voted by the public). Unfortunately he drops all the stars (his bag) half way through the challenge. And is taken to the Jungle Jail. https://fbcdn-sphotos-b-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xap1/t31.0-8/10863979_1071197029564227_5152407034567841733_o.jpg?dl=1 But he is soon released as it's not quite ready. This section of the jungle was out of bounds today. So is this section. Shame this isn't appearing in the start of the series. The Dead end of the jungle. Crossing this will end up will being bitten by Live Snakes. Somesay this slide is plagued with critters :] The Camp mates are suddenly sent to mysterious area Where numerous tests [scientific tests] will await them to see who makes it to the next show. [off topic] Braniac was an absolutely fantastic show, full of interesting experiments and tests which was very entertaining to watch. Well worth making a trip in to the jungle for. Despite the limited line up of trials availible, all the additions open proved to be very reliable with no problems and difficulty. Except The Fish which despite his reduced time in the camp had to be taken off a couple of times because of suddenly stopping through the routine. Lets hope this bit of the jungle receives some tlc next season. The votes have been registered for who the next to leave camp will be And Unfortunately it is Matt Creek [me], which means we will have to end the update in a moment. Critics Review Despite the lack of attractiones open, Thorpe Park's February Half Term proved to be a great day out, not just opening two of their best coasters Swarm & Stealth, both of which ran faultless [except for that front ride stealth in the ride] but performing the Braniac show [which considering I didn't see it at easter] I found highly enjoyable. . The Dodgems and Tea cups were as fun as ever and depth charge and the fish were okay too. Angry birds was good too except the lack of water during the show [ oh Merlin ]. The coasters were only on one train as whilst it shouts 'Old Thorpe Problems' it didn't need the second ones as the queue rarely passsed 10 minutes all day. Shame more rides weren't open, X & Inferno being good examples but still had a good day and look forward to the main season. The Real Thing comes the end of the next month. But bigger better things are coming in the future ;] Sponsered By Iceland [the country]
  23. Hi, I am hoping to go to Thorpe's Braniac event during the February half term, but on the off chance may have to use public transport to get there. Will there be any buses to Thorpe park from Staines running during the February half term event? If not, what (cheap'ish) alternatives are there from reaching the patk via Staines?
  24. Welcome to part two of a bored, slightly humorous random blog post on a Sunday Evening! *PRE-WARNING, THIS IS ALL A-BIT OF FUN, PLEASE READ THIS LIGHT HEARTED* Last week, I introduced you to The Merlin Rollercoastermatic Universe, (which is like the Marvel Cinematic Universe, just less Iron Man and more disappointment). There's been two main phases since Merlin's take over in (2007/08), the first one is named, hype, and you can read about it here! The second phase is called, unoriginal; The Unoriginal Phase (2012-2015) The Swarm^ (B&M, Built in 2012) - The Swarm started off well, the plans showed us that the UK is getting it's first B&M in 9 years and the theming looked incredible, but unfortunately, Merlin had to step in and create an USP for The Swarm, something all new rollercoaster's had to have now, apparently. Thus the tagline 'The Europe's tallest/UK’s first winged rollercoaster' was created. The Swarm was received well, but didn't bring the guest in, was it because the GP didn't know what a 'winged rollercoaster' is, or maybe The Olympic's being in the same year? No one really knows the answer, but a year later, to try and give this already unoriginal layout and theme another lease of life, they turned two rows of seats backwards and re-marketed it as the new attraction for 2013... The Smiler* (Gerstlauer, Built in 2013) - Let's be very honest here... The Smiler's whole planning, construction, and opening was more messy than me after 5 rounds of Tequila. The opening was delayed, not once, not twice but THREE TIMES. The groundwork being so poor, it feels like you've visited the Alton Towers Waterpark, not The Smiler, and that theme song that just haunts you for the next two weeks. The Smiler USP was very clever, 14 inversions, with most of them being hidden during planning, just a shame 8 of them try to paralyse you. Whats unoriginal about it you say? If I wanted a poorly built ride to disable me, I'd ride Saw The Ride. Flug der Dämonen^ (B&M, Built in 2014) - Flug der Dämonen didn't have a USP, that is because it really was The Swarm 2, the ride cars are identical, the theme is identical, most of the ride elements are identical... apart from that cool looking inversion! It wasn't a world's first, or Europe's first... it was just, a really good rollercoaster, that happens to have ugly white coloured track. Oblivion: The Black Hole (B&M, Built in 2015) - Talking of ugly white track, finishing our wonderful unoriginal phase, is the most unoriginal rollercoaster of them all! Heide Park got a dive coaster, then a winged rollercoaster... Gardaland got a winged rollercoaster... now it's getting a dive rollercoaster, did they get them buy one get one free or something?! The layout looks fun though! Just a shame the marketing and name of this rollercoaster, is literally two rides from X-Sector, and Oblivion 2.0. So that brings us to the present day, Oblivion: The Black Hole hasn't opened yet so we're unsure how the story will unfold, so expect an update in April time, but that is our two phases! What is the next phase? I hear you say... Well unlike Marvel who have released phase 3, we're really unsure what Merlin is going to do. 2016 is going to be Thorpe Park's & Merlin's next big investment, which we all thought was going to be a rollercoaster, but turns out, to be a dark ride... Alton Towers has rumours flying here, there and everywhere about Wooden Valley Coaster, and our lovely European parks might get a flying coaster called, Air - The Blade. Who knows? Thank you all for reading. Trolley Dolly (Liam T) Key: * - World's First ^ - Taller than 100ft USP - Unique Selling Point
  25. 2014 is almost over, which can only mean one thing...it's time for my review of Thorpe's season! In a way, it kind of feels silly to do a 'season' review on behalf, since I've "only" made 8 visits this year (by far my smallest Thorpe tally in memory!), so there's a few gaps here and there, and my views may not be fully representative of the season. However, I hope this review will end up giving a nice roundup of the season, and my views on what's gone down. If anyone wants to see my reviews of previous seasons, they can all be found HERE (once again, apologises about the pictures no longer working - darn Facebook!). And with all that out of the way, let's "get ready to go...looking good...3 2 1..." New for 2014 - Angry Birds Land Rewind a year ago, and I said that for 2014, "There's been talks of a new 4D film, the return of the Canada Creek Railway, the movement of Vengeance to the park and ...at least one of those things should happen." Fortunately, one of those things did happen. I don't quite know how ABL has been received by the public, but enthusiast opinion is certainly more on the negative side. However, I must admit, I side with the side that, on the whole, it's an okay investment for the park. The 'land' is very small - it seems almost silly to call it an area of a theme park given how small it is. The 4D cinema, whilst a bit over the top with the effects, is a nice break from the bombardment of rides and is certainly a vast improvement on Time Voyagers (though that's not saying much, mind!). The Dodgems are good fun and, whilst nothing special, a nice filler ride for everyone to enjoy. Personally, I think that Detonator is the biggest waste in the area; new audio was needed, and a bit more of a feel around the ride was required. But instead we end up with a new name and cheap logo plus a random bird plonked nearby - still feels out of place unfortunately. So yeah, all in all, I don't think ABL is a bad investment. I think it will work in the long run (Angry Birds will no doubt continue to be popular, and with a major film set for 2016, I can see a second wind for it coming up), and brought life into what was a lifeless area. Many say that it's destroyed Amity Cove - but let's face it, there's a huge difference between Stealth-side Amity (Amity Speedway) and Tidal Wave-side Amity (the Amity Cove). A divide is necessary really, and this gives a chance to divide the sides further, which would be a good thing. For the future, I'd like to see the Teacups given an Angry Birds theme, since it feels a bit out of place at the moment, and the well-known Angry Birds tune be made more prominent throughout the area - it's something I was looking forward to hearing if I'm honest! Detonator - needs more work... These metal plate theming bits are...okay. Not my first choice thematic feature for the area though! King Pig's Wild Hog Dodgems - a bit bare, but good fun. New for 2014 - Other Stuff Though a quiet year on the rides and attractions front, there were a few new and improved things around the park... The Shark Hotel replaced the Crash Pad, and is Thorpe's own attempt at a shipping container hotel. Indeed, the shark idea was my favourite of the three concepts (the other two being the Pier and crashed ship). I do quite like the look of the shark - it's quirky and different, and likely a nice talking point for people visiting. My only criticism of it is that, on the inside, you can see all the framework - a bit of a shame in all honesty, but I guess there's got to be limitations to everything. Maybe not the most spectacular thing ever, but I have a fond spot for it if I'm being honest. Bite me. Then there's the improved entrance. It must surely be a short-term solution, as the whole ticket and entrance plaza needs a big rework in my opinion. Baring that in mind, I think it's an okay solution - the video loops they play do a nice job of showing off the park, and presumably do help build a bit of atmosphere and anticipation for guests. Also great to hear the original Thorpe entrance music being played once again! Hard to get a decent image of the screen, so here's the best I've got.. The few other touch ups around the park (Stealth Diner and shop, Mexican Cantina extension, etc.) are also welcome additions, now giving more indoor seating, and improved chippy on park - I never really liked the old Fish and Chip place for some reason; maybe the old look of the place just put me off? - and meaning every major attraction has their own sort of shop to some degree. The small things ey! Stealth shop looks quite nice really. The Coasters The Swarm remains top dog for another year. For me, it just had everything I want, and it's just a beautiful roller coaster to me. After being able to climb its lift hill this year and do a couple of behind the scenes bits and bobs, I have no doubt that Swarm will have a place in my heart for years to come... With it looking very likely that I'll be breaking into Europe next year, I somewhat doubt this will be my favourite coaster next year, but hey, I'll let it bask in its glory till then. Looking up A pretty sweet alternative view of the ride in general Pretty helicopter. Standard picture. X also saw some changes, with new audio and a new lighting set up. I think the reason why I like it so much is because it's so different to anything else the park offers - it's a bit of fun and a laugh. It doesn't try to do anything special and it's not a serious ride. Something that the park needs more of in my eyes! Inferno was as solid as ever, and it was nice to see the mist and lights working for the majority of my visits. Also interesting to see the workshop area as part of the John Wardley meet too; geeky moments I guess! I still have a soft spot for Saw, even if it does leave many with a soft spot on their head after riding. Again, got to do a nice backstage tour of it, which was great fun and really interesting. Colossus remained as uncomfortable as ever. Stealth was alright too I guess; I'm not too fussed about it though to be honest.. . Dear Thorpe, all I want for this closed season is this sign cleaned / replaced. Lots of love, JoshC. Arty-farty Saw photo. Put my camera through its paces by taking photos of Saw from the Loggers queue line. Funny results followed. The Other Rides Won't really put any specific focus on any other rides now because: 1) too much effort, 2) I haven't visited enough to say that much and 3) I don't want to put you to sleep any quicker. So yeah, in short... Slammer didn't open with the rest of the park, but managed to remain consistently open (more or less) when it eventually did open. Big thumbs up to all those involved with getting the thing to live again, and to actually stay alive. Personally, I think the ride just needs binning - I don't find it exciting and it just seems to be a waste of resources in my opinion. It seems Thorpe/Merlin think otherwise - as do many enthusiasts - so let's hope for their sakes their faith in the ride lasts for a few years before it eventually conks out. When that day comes, I'll happily be the first to volunteer to take some explosives to the ride. Rush, Samurai, Loggers, Zodiac and the like all did well during the season, and I think they're all good rides that add to the line up. On the other hand, I've been disappointed by the likes of Vortex, which is showing its ages, Rumba Rapids and Depth, rides which I do enjoy, but really need some TLC to make them look nice again. A working Slammer - a slightly less rare sight than usual. "What about Storm Surge?" you might be asking yourselves. I didn't ride Storm Surge this year, and this picture sums up my views on the ride nicely... I'd much rather look at a building. The Big Easter I unfortunately didn't attend this season's Easter event, due to revising for exams. However, by the sounds of it, it was a great event for the park and their new direction. All the reviews of the Brainiac show were great, so I'm glad to hear that's returning for the February Half Term event. I look forward to seeing what Thorpe come up with for next Easter (and fingers crossed I'm actually able to make it!). Summer Nights Summer Nights returned for a second season, which is great news. This event is just a brilliant idea from the park and works a treat. I know some say that opening till 10 should be standard for the park during Summer, and maybe that should be the case one day. But right now, I don't think the park would be busy enough to warrant it - making it a separate identity is the best thing for now. The event has definitely gained popularity, and I'd be curious to see if they'd consider adding two trains to the coasters if the event become much more popular. Teacups are still an addition for Summer Nights - good thing too, since it's relatively popular during the day.. Summer Event - Huh? Last year, I said: "Despite Sun Scream obviously being popular enough to last many seasons, I think it's time to think of something a little different now". However, when I said "a little different", I did mean they should at least do something! Unless I completely missed it, there was no specific summer event this season that filled the role Sun Scream had done for the seasons beforehand. The park seemed popular enough from marketing alone and such, but it seems like a wasted opportunity, especially with the family market. Hopefully it's just a one-off, and next season gives us some decent event for the summer. It would certainly help encourage the crowds to visit during what is one of the busiest periods of the season for the park, and a chance to stand out from the crowd a little bit. On the other end of the scale, I guess they could partner up with MoS for another event. Mash Up seemed good during Easter 2012 and 2013, so why not bring back that back? Speaking of MoS, still haven't been to a MoS night - they're just not my thing! - however, I'm glad to see that they're still proving popular and successful. Fright Nights The biggest change for this season's Fright Nights was, of course, the farewell of The Asylum, and the introduction of Studio 13: The Motel. It's been said a hundred times already, but I may as well say it again - last year's controversy over Asylum was NOT the cause of its removal. The park were planning on getting rid of it even for last season's event - let's hope that that myth doesn't become fact to many. Another thing which has been said a hundred times already is that I wasn't really a fan of The Asylum. It was a maze of strobe lights which gives you a headache, with no apparent story line other than 'you're locked in with scary people' and very repetitive. So I was glad to see the back end of it. Studio 13's premise sounded exciting and very promising, and it was great to see the park come up with a non-IP maze which still fitted in perfectly with the park's overall theme (which I still love by the way). Personally, I loved the maze. Great nods to the past, good theming, a story which followed through the maze and overall a good idea. In fact, out of all the mazes I've done, it's the maze where I've felt most apart of the story. It's such a simple idea (you tour through a studio where a horror film is being filmed, then all of a sudden, you're IN the film), which makes it easy to execute, yes, but it was executed so well that it just a beautiful maze. As for the returning mazes, Blair Witch went from zero to hero, which was great. I hope this gives the park more confidence with scare zones and outdoor attractions. Cabin and Saw remained good attractions, though I think Saw needs a bit of an update, as it feels kind of tame compared to the rest. My Bloody Valentine was yet again the worst; no real scares or anything - just dark, cramped spaces all the way. It will scare many, yes, but you can't just simply rely on that! It will be interesting to see what happens to the maze next season now the arena is in use - will it just move elsewhere, move out of the containers and into someplace else, or what? I also did Face it Alone again this year. I can't sing the praises of this experience enough - if you like scare attractions, it is well worth giving it a try! I'm so glad the park have continued to look into other scare ideas than your bog-standard conga line maze, and here's hoping that things like Face it Alone, the Overnight Experiences and original maze ideas continue for many years to come. Fright Nights proved to yet again been the most popular time of season. Me with The Director. Reserve n Ride The second season we've seen RnR now and I remain in the minority who like the idea. I'll keep my views here short and sweet since I've argued them to death throughout the year in the appropriate topics - the idea is a nice one and has a lot of potential. The system itself seems to work now; they've slowly managed to iron out technical issues. What the park need to do now is try the system as it was intended - with no standby queues. That way, they see how viable an option this actually is. Make sure there's enough non-ride stuff to do too; that'll help (and, in fact, is a good idea in general!). Food and Merchandise As mentioned above, I've gotten into a bad habit of falling in love with the new Fish and Chip place, nice and unhealthy. My lunch of choice usually varies between that, the Mexican Cantina or Bar 360. For the most part though, all of the Merlin-owned food places are good quality and value at Thorpe, which is good. I'll no doubt try the punnily-named Peckish and the new Pizza-Pasta joint in the new season though, because why not ey? As ever, the merchandise at Thorpe helped empty my wallet. The new resins were all great, and the Swarm billboard is my personal favourite of all the Merlin resins. Then there's the brilliant new clothing items which give some geeky nods (ride opening years and such), which I just love! The new Angry Birds merch is good to see too, even if a bit overpriced in my opinion. Then again, on the whole, merchandise is reasonably priced I think, so I'm not really complaining. Would like to see more bears at Thorpe though - please? I guess the VIP packages fit into merchandise sort of, so just a quick mention of them. Whilst the main ones are a bit too pricey in my opinion, the lift hill walks and backstage tour are okay, especially if you can get a deal on them (and they do indeed do deals on them at points in the year). Again, really glad to see the park doing cool things likes this! The Inferno shop has a makeover too. At least I was spending time in shops, and not just money... Chief Ranger's Carousel - RIP Whilst no official note has been made, it seems that CRC has left us after 20 years of service. It's sad to see a ride so rich in Thorpe's history leave. However, in all honesty, it's surprising it stayed as long as it did, especially during the years when families were just not in the park's target market. It's not like the ride has a specific appeal the 99% of visitors anyway - time to let go and move along in my opinion! A Carouselfie. A Look Ahead 2015 brings us...well, we don't know. Potentially nothing of note. We have gathered that Pizza Hut is being replaced by Pizza Pasta, and that building is getting an extension. I have no doubts that we'll see some touch ups around the place (Canada Creek still has a lot of the old branding about, some rides are in desperate need of TLC and I expect Thorpe know that), and there'll be a few little things to keep us happy. However, it seems like 2015 could be the first season since 1997 where Thorpe don't bring us any new attractions. Then again, Angry Birds Land didn't have plans submitted till January, so who knows? Of course, we'll all be able to gawp at the construction site for 2016's exciting new development - maybe that in itself will be enough to keep us happy next season? That's it for me; another season well and truly done with. Thanks if you read it all (and sorry for the length)! As ever, any comments / thoughts / criticisms are welcome!
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