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The Next Big Thing

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19 hours ago, RobF said:

How many threads do you need the same post in ???

Enough until Thorpe Park actually announce something. 
 

I think it’s gonna be a long long time. 

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So this probably doesn't mean much but I noticed recently on Google Earth that land next to Swarm is clearly being worked on, with all the vegetation being cleared recently.

 

May 2018:

Screenshot_3.thumb.png.182a8bb4e3133a01f03c0c71695536be.png

 

June 2019: (the yellow lines indicate where a likely link would be with the current theme park)

Screenshot_2.thumb.png.cfc5f43b6cd5a2d14cc2b34177d5463b.png

 

This could be for a future development or it could just be nothing, the land might just need maintaining.

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27 minutes ago, Mattgwise said:

It's for that RMC opening this year! 

 

I'll buy everyone on here their annual pass if that happened xD

 

Personally I won't be getting any hopes up until any sort of plans get submitted for that plot of land. 

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I personally think if/when Thorpe do decide to actually give us a coaster, I can see them getting a GCI rather than the RMC. They will have looked at the success of Wicker Man at towers and will try to replicate that success at Thorpe. In theory it would be a relatively safe bet for a new coaster investment on M£rlins part. Frankly I wouldn't complain if Thorpe did go down the GCI road given I find the likes of Wodan and Mystic Timbers to be superb rides.

 

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I'll buy everyone on here their annual pass if that happened xD
 
Personally I won't be getting any hopes up until any sort of plans get submitted for that plot of land. 



*buys korma sauce*
*makes curry and freezes for opening day of Thorpe Park

All I have to do is make this available to all and we get a free pass (really mild curry)


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

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I don't think anyone is getting too excited here, which is of course sensible. 

 

The park usually do things like this, and it can be for a variety of reasons:

1) It is good practice to keep these not used areas reasonably tidy so that they can be accessed when needs be

2) It gives the Landscaping team something to do to test out new equipment / train new staff with low pressure, or to give them something to do during quiet periods.

3) To test the land 

 

We saw them go some tidying of the grassy areas by Loggers last year which of course meant naff all.

 

The fact this happened in June and so few people noticed when on park shows that this is not as noticeable or extreme as Google Maps suggest either.

 

Of course, if the park were to open a new coaster, that space is one of the most obvious spaces to go for. But at this stage, we don't know how far away that could be, so who knows.

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Well.. assuming that the Hotel gets the go-ahead on the opposite side of the park, that gives you 3 massive areas for expansion: The current Shark site, behind Swarm and Loggers / Slammer site. That would be suitable for 3 pretty big coasters / new areas and this is before you start looking at redeveloping older sites such as the current Blair Witch / Fungle Safari site, Neptune's Beach and X area.

 

Quite how it will be "unrecognisable" remains to be seen in the LTDP, but I imagine that they will move quickly once they get the go-ahead from Lego (I believe that Alton and Gardaland have already had their "go-ahead"). They will also be prepping for London Resort to be competition, which isn't something you can just do over-night; they're already on the back-foot time-wise.

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19 hours ago, daboywunda said:

Quite how it will be "unrecognisable" remains to be seen in the LTDP, but I imagine that they will move quickly once they get the go-ahead from Lego (I believe that Alton and Gardaland have already had their "go-ahead"). They will also be prepping for London Resort to be competition, which isn't something you can just do over-night; they're already on the back-foot time-wise.

 

I think they underestimate Paulton's Park too - wouldn't surprise me if they already have plans for some more "thrill" rides to add to the mix.

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I honestly think besides Paultons the Southern Merlin Cluster really do not have any competition. The London Resort is really only still a pipe-dream, even if it does get built it will be a long time until it properly opens. It might not even not end up threatening Merlin at all, it could totally fall on its face, its not even built yet!

With that being said, I don't think Thorpe are building a coaster until they really have to. It isn't like they have any competitors or there is any other parks people can go to in that area (besides Paulton).

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I'll be blunt: this means nothing. Every park has a rough idea of what it wants to do in 3/5/10 years' time. 

 

Thorpe, and Towers, in the past have in the past had to submit Mid-Term Development Plans (MTDP) and Long-Term Development Plans (LTDP) respectively to their respective councils. This wasn't a necessity, but - especially in Thorpe's case - it helped get applications through quicker in particular. Thorpe would decide roughly what they wanted to do over the next 5 years, submit rough ideas to the council, then go from there. Towers was much less committed, but nice for locals to see.

 

Thorpe have submitted an MTDP since 2010, which took them up to 2016. That's partially down to the fact they're probably not planning many things which need planning applications. It doesn't mean they haven't had any sort of mid-term plan though.

 

The trouble Thorpe have had is that, whilst they've always had a mid and even long-term plan, it has changed countless times. This isn't just down to changing management, but also an indecisiveness about what market to target, managerial changes within Merlin (ie - above Thorpe), significant changes in budgets given from Merlin, as well as Merlin's changing investment strategy. 

 

In the past when Thorpe had managerial changes, it didn't drastically alter much. But right now, there's a cocktail of reasons for the ever-changing road to the future.

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If Thorpe don't have a 5 year plan, they aren't going to tell you, and will tell you they do have one.

 

If they do have a 5 year plan, they aren't going to tell you what it is.

 

If social media is to be believed, the idea of charging your phone by screaming on TWD The Ride was definitely not just a one off PR stunt and was of course a trial that definitely didn't just happen to last the night of the press launch and then never be seen again.

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Can I also just put out there that most of the time park's social media teams have no clue what is going on behind the scenes at the park, or even within the park itself (in terms of ride availability etc). 

 

At the beginning of Phantasialand wintertraum talocan was closed for about a week due to having its control box changed yet the social media team decided to post on instagram advertising riding talocan during the winter season... they later then took this down after a number of people (including me) commented that talocan wasn't actually open and therefore was misleading to advertise it on instagram.

 

The reply from Thorpe's social media team means nothing. There's no point poking around at what big development is going to be new because when a big new development comes through(if ever), then planning permission will be submitted, otherwise there's absolutely no point getting your hopes up. Their 5 year plan is probably to try and survive on the low budgets that merlin have given them by bringing in new temporary attractions to try and save as much of their falling visitor rates at possible.

 

It's such a shame as I used to enjoy Thorpe a few years back but now I'm honestly waiting until Merlin sell the place off and hopefully someone who actually cares about the place can do something to bring it back up to a reasonable standard again. Merlin's focus clearly no longer lies with Thorpe anymore because they don't have the secured market that chessington, Alton Towers and Legoland do. Unfortunately they have built themselves up a reputation of being a place for "local teenagers" to hangout and that's unfortunately not a market that can be relied upon for a sustainable future of the park.

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http://coasterforce.com/forums/threads/thorpe-park-updates.43821/

 

Interesting musings from an enthusiast who talked to a park engineer about the park's future. Highlights below:

Quote

I then asked about the future of the park, and it doesn't look amazing. His exact words were 'Derren Brown's Ghost Train was the final nail in the coffin for the park." They spend 10s of millions on running costs every year making it very difficult to invest anywhere else. Colosus also takes a lot of money to maintain. He says the entire coaster needs a re track but Merlin don't want to pay out for it. Instead they keep covering issues and hope it goes away. The track was designed to last to last 20 years and was built 18 ago.

He feels like the park is being forgotten about and heading the wrong way. When I asked about the new 10 year plan he laughed and said they probably dont even know what they're doing next year.

Naturally take this with a pinch of salt. JoshC has already refuted (in his/her eyes) some of the info in the linked post.

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I wouldn't be surprised if something slightly less dramatic were the case. I'm sure they'd love to be replacing the at this point innumerable derelict attractions and investing in new ones but there's obviously some struggle with money happening alongside a lack of interest from anyone higher up. I doubt they're all sat around like "shall we get something new this year?" - "Nah CBA lol". I'm with those wishing for Merlin to just sell it off to someone else at this point. The question is, who? 

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To me, 10s of millions sounds about right for a theme park maintenance budget? Be interesting to compare Towers or Disney to it.

 

In terms of Colossus needing a retrack, that would likely be the recommendation from whoever's looked at it. Then when pointed out the key areas that require work Merlin have focused on those because purse strings are tight. Which pretty much sounds like any company doing maintenance on things tbh.

 

Everything else sounds like what we've all noticed for years under Merlin. Chronic underinvestment in infrastructure has led to a lot of issues. Plus additions that just haven't worked as planned. It's a tough combination, and we can just hope that the new ownership sees these issues and takes suitable action.

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I just can’t see a positive future for the park, as rides continue to age and are given as much “on the cheap” maintenance until  running them is no longer practical. 
 

In the last ten years, we have only seen six new rides, two of which are “off the shelf” kids rides you would expect to find at a small sea side park. In the ten years before that, we saw 14.
 

Whilst it’s not logical to keep the same investment level from 2010-2010, it would be nice to at least see something every few years, but we know under current positions that isn’t going to happen anytime soon.

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