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JoshC.

Project WC16 - New for 2016

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The only way I see this being themed well is if it is all on screens, I don't see thorpe bothering with physical set pieces, audio animatronics and the like.

The maintenance bill would be far too high, I mean Valhalla is insanely good for a uk dark ride, but it's operating cost is huge, so huge that they only have the "full" effects package running in holiday season, but when it needed a multimillion pound extensive rehab, including replacing supports for the ride itself and removing and completely replacing the artificial rock covering the whole front of the building, That independently owned, North West UK theme park damn well did it, and did it beautifully.

Merlin won't repaint a coaster, will let building theming rot away, and won't fix a fireball on Tidal Wave for MANY years.

If a projector goes down on this new ride, expect a blank screen for years to come.

I still want to be proved wrong, but sadly I don't think I will be.

That is why I respect family owned parks because they know how to please the gp and enthusiast alike and still turn a profit.

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They have to be the best because more happy customers mean more positive reviews which means more people hear about the place which means more people go so more money.

While Merlin still do have to do that they also have a safety net of massive advertisement budget. People know the name already and so go there. They forget about their bad experience a few years ago and go back. People think that what Merlin offers is the uks best because of the company's size and that's their money generation.

To say they only care about the profits is true but in doing that they need to make sure people return. This ride isn't going to be a bunch of broken screen's in 2 years. They will try and keep it in good shape otherwise it will quickly become £x million down the drain. They need the ride to bring people in which means it needs to be good.

Yes Merlin do a lot wrong but they do have some idea of what they are doing. They understand basic customer satisfaction and getting people to come back. After all I imagine a large portion of people here have an annual pass to get you to come back because it was a "good deal" and get you to spend because you didn't pay to get in. They are not idiots.

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Anyone been on Zufari this year, will see how much they give a damn/restricted on budget. The ride was poor to start with. Now it's an embarrassment!

This ride will be great, but it will suffer from budget cuts as all Merlin attractions do these days.

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I personally don't understand the fuss over dark rides, I was kinda bored at that water one at Blackpool (see I can't even remember it's awesome sounding name), small seems a bit pointless riding/floating round in pitch black not seeing where you're going.

 

It's sad that some people on here have never experienced some true top class rides...

 

Go to DLP, ride ToT and Ratatouille, and then have your eyes opened by the joys of dark rides...

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The first three spaces of my dark ride top 10's are all at DLP so far ( Tower, Pirates & Ratatouille) and they're all fantastic dark rides, very much like a lot of the others there (except Armageddon).

The UK still has some top notch dark rides, Hex,Valhalla & Duel (to a much lesser extent), but it does need some new ones plus existing ones enhanced and renovated. The current rotting States of Tombs & Bubbles (once some of my favourites & in top 10's) is appalling and judging by 2016 plans they will rot away further.

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I'm pretty sure BPB has been running at a loss for a while, despite how amazing Valhalla is.

Anyway, I know merlin are nightmares at time, and I'm quite regularly one to bash everything they do wrong, however, look at SWARM and its plans. It may not have boosted visitor figures like it planned to, but they didn't compromise on any of the theming and actually it's always popular, and a lot of people's fave coaster at Thorpe (mine included).

I think it's a bit ridiculous people are criticising this thing like Mark said before we have any idea of what this dark ride might be because we have the element of the surprise. At least let us find out more information before criticising something that might not even exist.

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Bit off topic but I totally fangirled over ToT when at Disneyworld Orlando in April. Immense in every way. Had been on the DLP version too and loved that. 

 

As much as I'd love to see it, I can't really see Merlin reaching Disney levels of dark rides/immersion in theming any time soon - however, props to The SWARM which I do love.

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It's sad that some people on here have never experienced some true top class rides...

Go to DLP, ride ToT and Ratatouille, and then have your eyes opened by the joys of dark rides...

I'll try.

The day we went through Valhalla(sp?) there was about four or five sections of theming we could see, a section with the three headed dog, some fire, a tunnel and of course the bit where the boat runs backwards, the rest of the ride was pitch black, including two drops.

Don't get me wrong, it was a great ride, on the bits I could see, great theming (best I'd been on), and got us very wet, but the dark sections were kind of boring, it's hard to get excited about something you cannot see.

It's like the first section of Saw, it's got some great theming in around the drop, but it's so dark you can't actually see it, and if you get to stop next to the puppet on the bike, that's so loud it's so distorted you can in a strange kind of way hardly hear it.

My point being it's hard to enjoy something you can't see, OK make it really dark but not dark enough you cannot see your hand in front of your face.

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I'm pretty sure BPB has been running at a loss for a while, despite how amazing Valhalla is.

Anyway, I know merlin are nightmares at time, and I'm quite regularly one to bash everything they do wrong, however, look at SWARM and its plans. It may not have boosted visitor figures like it planned to, but they didn't compromise on any of the theming and actually it's always popular, and a lot of people's fave coaster at Thorpe (mine included).

I think it's a bit ridiculous people are criticising this thing like Mark said before we have any idea of what this dark ride might be because we have the element of the surprise. At least let us find out more information before criticising something that might not even exist.

 

Couple of things did get the boot... The jetty for one thing if I recall correctly... Granted they added the billboard (which is... ok, I guess? I dunno, it is very tacked on)...

 

Also, Smiler got a lot of ideas cut from the budget as well... Including two theming elements...

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Couple of things did get the boot... The jetty for one thing if I recall correctly... Granted they added the billboard (which is... ok, I guess? I dunno, it is very tacked on)...

 

Also, Smiler got a lot of ideas cut from the budget as well... Including two theming elements...

 

There is a small wooden jetty near the helicopter, not sure if that's what you mean. But you're right about the billboard, it looks a bit odd next to a church. 

 

About the Smiler, what were the theming elements? I remember the station building was supposed to look a lot better, however they scrapped it for concrete and yellow pipes! :(

 

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Couple of things did get the boot... The jetty for one thing if I recall correctly... Granted they added the billboard (which is... ok, I guess? I dunno, it is very tacked on)...

Also, Smiler got a lot of ideas cut from the budget as well... Including two theming elements...

The jetty was cut before the ride was approved, so I think it was due to the council's consultation.

The only bit of theming that didn't come to fruition was a crashed car on top of the church.

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Couple of things did get the boot... The jetty for one thing if I recall correctly... Granted they added the billboard (which is... ok, I guess? I dunno, it is very tacked on)...

Also, Smiler got a lot of ideas cut from the budget as well... Including two theming elements...

Can't say I paid much attention to the smiler construction, didn't know the jetty got cut though?

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There was a van and sommat else cut from Smiler... Plus the whole area down the bottom was meant to be able to accessed (and not the awful maze queue we see today)...

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There was a headchopper section planned that never materialise.

Also the Marmaliser lost a leg somewhere between planning and construction, and changed dramatically in appearance, and not for the better.

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I think people are more concerned that as history shows us, Merlin can't upkeep a dark ride. Hell, they can't even upkeep ride effects.

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I think people are more concerned that as history shows us, Merlin can't upkeep a dark ride. Hell, they can't even upkeep ride effects.

 

Ignoring Chessington, I do feel like Merlin have done a pretty alright job at upkeeping dark / indoors rides to be fair.  Hex and Duel are both fine, CATCF is still okay, NST is fine effect-wise (bar the actors, which were a last minute addition in fairness).  X's effects are pretty consistent, as are Saw's indoors ones.  I guess it's difficult to comment either way since there aren't many dark rides to judge on, and the ones they have should be pretty basic to keep up with.  

 

I do agree that their trouble, and in particular, Thorpe's trouble, is more ride effects though.  

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Ignoring Chessington, I do feel like Merlin have done a pretty alright job at upkeeping dark / indoors rides to be fair.  Hex and Duel are both fine, CATCF is still okay, NST is fine effect-wise (bar the actors, which were a last minute addition in fairness).  X's effects are pretty consistent, as are Saw's indoors ones.  I guess it's difficult to comment either way since there aren't many dark rides to judge on, and the ones they have should be pretty basic to keep up with.  

 

I do agree that their trouble, and in particular, Thorpe's trouble, is more ride effects though.

Last time I rode CATCF one of the lift walls AND the ceiling were not working.

Inthe great words of C3PO, We're doomed.

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When I rode the Smiler in May 2014 one of the projections in the queue line wasn't working which ruined the entire room tbh. On Monday when I visited Thorpe, Saw's strobe light on the inside drop wasn't working, none of Swarm's effects worked except for the fire (which went off every 10 minutes or so) and there was no mist on Inferno! 

 

Which is why if the reviews for WC16 are good, I'll quickly visit just the once before the entire ride is a giant blue screen with an error message on! :P

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Considering how easy it is to create the mist in the Inferno tunnel you'd think that would be the one effect they could keep running, if it's a dry ice machine and that is the issue, a glyco based mist machine is only a couple hundred quid, send one of the slackies in the office to maplin to pick one up ffs.

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I'll try.

The day we went through Valhalla(sp?) there was about four or five sections of theming we could see, a section with the three headed dog, some fire, a tunnel and of course the bit where the boat runs backwards, the rest of the ride was pitch black, including two drops.

Don't get me wrong, it was a great ride, on the bits I could see, great theming (best I'd been on), and got us very wet, but the dark sections were kind of boring, it's hard to get excited about something you cannot see.

It's like the first section of Saw, it's got some great theming in around the drop, but it's so dark you can't actually see it, and if you get to stop next to the puppet on the bike, that's so loud it's so distorted you can in a strange kind of way hardly hear it.

My point being it's hard to enjoy something you can't see, OK make it really dark but not dark enough you cannot see your hand in front of your face.

If you saw Valhalla with the lights on you would understand why they keep it so dark.

It is a great ride but they spent the money on huge effects rather than the basics of a dark ride, resulting in unreliable effects (I doubt even the biggest parks would be able to keep all the effects running all the time tbh) and most of the theming being missed due to having to keep it so dark to prevent spoiling the illusion.

I highly doubt that Thorpe will bring in a ride with so many expensive effects (both to buy and to run), and hopefully they'll choose a more reliable ride system too!

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Would they really make it that obvious if it is supposed to be such a secret thing though? Unless it's some form of reverse psychology but I'm not so sure.

 

I'm reserving any judgement on this until it's open and I've been on it anyway, speculation isn't something I can say I really enjoy.

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I've personally never got where the Underground rumour came from?  The only thing I've seen people use to back that up is the signs around the construction site are a circle with some writing through the centre, which looks like the Underground logo.  But that's a very common style and feels like clutching at straws, at best.

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When I rode the Smiler in May 2014 one of the projections in the queue line wasn't working which ruined the entire room tbh. On Monday when I visited Thorpe, Saw's strobe light on the inside drop wasn't working, none of Swarm's effects worked except for the fire (which went off every 10 minutes or so) and there was no mist on Inferno! 

 

Which is why if the reviews for WC16 are good, I'll quickly visit just the once before the entire ride is a giant blue screen with an error message on! :P

 

The strobe light in saw I haven't seen working on all of my 13 visits this year!

 

With the lack of upkeep of effects, I too plan to ride as soon as possible aha!

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