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58 minutes ago, Wicker Matt said:

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.

Perhaps it's just currently not profitable for Merlin to invest in Thorpe, in comparison to the new markets of Legoland resorts in Asia.

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Fits like a glove then.

I'm sure that train in the background is going the wrong way

I think the main problem would be your spine exiting your body via your neck, leaving your shoulders in the restraints. That would sting a bit.

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5 minutes ago, Glitch said:

Perhaps it's just currently not profitable for Merlin to invest in Thorpe, in comparison to the new markets of Legoland resorts in Asia.

Because Legoland Japan and Legoland Dubai are getting all the visitors and making all the money?

 

(spoilers: they're not)

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2 minutes ago, JoshC. said:

Because Legoland Japan and Legoland Dubai are getting all the visitors and making all the money?

 

(spoilers: they're not)

Dubai is a lease operated by Merlin = Making money.

Japan is improving folds year on year, just had a slow start, with the Olympics this year, I'm sure it will continue to improve.

 

Meanwhile Thorpe still makes profit for Merlin, but just isn't the priority as of now, maybe the new owners will see a different incentive that lies within Thorpe. It will all just take time.

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16 hours ago, Wicker Matt said:

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.

 

My only conclusion is that Thorpe Park fans were so spoilt by 2000-2010, they think that a few years without major investment means Merlin hate Thorpe. Stop and think for a minute. We talk about all these half arsed additions that don't go anywhere but at the same time seem to want these big coasters thrown in without a second thought. 

 

Mr Matt, two of those investments were massive with The Swarm and Derren Brown. Whilst they were both relative failures, the money was put on the table. Lots of parks would scream for that level of investment. It's only through this Thorpe sphere that it looks like they've got barely anything. 

 

I can only think that Thorpe needs to realign itself. Someone took the mick when I said the place needs to work out what it is and they said thrill rides but frankly, that approach no longer works for Thorpe. The current thrill rides (poor Slammer) haven't exactly gone away and yet they aren't doing the business anymore. The teenage market requires the newest, best product and there's no way a thrill park can sustain that level of investment indefinitely. Either Thorpe adjusts course permanently to engage the family market or they continue to do nothing.

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17 hours ago, Wicker Matt said:

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.

In the last ten years, Phantasialand has only seen six new rides, two if which are "off the shelf" family rides. They've only seen 1 retheme too, Thorpe have seen many.

 

Quantity means nothing.

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1 hour ago, Mark9 said:

We talk about all these half arsed additions that don't go anywhere but at the same time seem to want these big coasters thrown in without a second thought. 

 

Mr Matt, two of those investments were massive with The Swarm and Derren Brown. Whilst they were both relative failures, the money was put on the table. Lots of parks would scream for that level of investment. It's only through this Thorpe sphere that it looks like they've got barely anything. 

I understand that the growth that Thorpe took on in the noughties was extreme and unrealistic (as far as a long term business model goes), and it is pretty clear they have invested in cheap additions additions (especially in recent years), just for the sake of something new. Of the choice of this or something every few years or something, I would rather see the latter. Whether that be some big thrill coaster, a fun flat ride or even a family attraction, which the park seemingly lacks.

 

Swarm is a tricky one, as whilst it didn’t bring in the numbers as hoped it was still a generally well received ride (as many have said before). DBGT in the other hand was a massive failure to them in many ways.

 

57 minutes ago, JoshC. said:

In the last ten years, Phantasialand has only seen six new rides, two if which are "off the shelf" family rides. They've only seen 1 retheme too, Thorpe have seen many.

 

Quantity means nothing.

Indeed, but when you look at the quality of what Phantasia have added, it can simply put wonders and jealousy upon other parks. One has to just mention Taron and see how much better the overall quality that Park has risen to in that time.

 

I think Thorpe do seriously need to reconsider what they are doing and where they are going whilst trying to make it more of a commercial success. It won’t be easy or happen overnight, but let’s see. Legoland targets the younger families and Chessington caters for slightly older families and animal lovers. So it’s a question whether they go for the all ages or just the thrills.

 

Were they to increase promoting within central London, I do wonder how much of a difference it would make?

 

 

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  • 6 months later...

Could be completely random, though I do believe Merlin should work with RMC soon. They are basically the future of roller coasters, and they do not have a bad coaster to their name. I'm sure if the park got any type of RMC it would easily be #1 in the park. But lets be real, we ain't getting a coaster here for a while. I can still dream about Alton though lol.

 

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1 hour ago, JoshuaA said:

Could be completely random, though I do believe Merlin should work with RMC soon. They are basically the future of roller coasters, and they do not have a bad coaster to their name. I'm sure if the park got any type of RMC it would easily be #1 in the park. But lets be real, we ain't getting a coaster here for a while. I can still dream about Alton though lol.

 

 

I am actually willing to bet with anybody who will take me on that SW9 will arrive before Thorpe get a coaster.

 

The thing I want to know is simple. If Merlin do not want to give Thorpe an RMC, WHY do they not want to give them one?

 

They are absolutely leading the way in the industry in terms of acclaim and how they are viewed in the community. They are also cheaper than other coasters from the likes of Mack and Intamin  and in general are just solid good rides. So surely when the time comes to give Thorpe a new coaster, an RMC would make sense. If not them then what coaster could they actually get that guarantees a return!!??

 

I get that maybe after the "great cock up of 2016" that maybe the higher ups at Merlin may be hesitant to give Thorpe a massive investment in terms of getting a return on it, but if they can get an RMC for the cheap prices we have seen Iron Gwazi made for then surely its worth the risk!!

 

I think the boat may have sailed on Thorpe getting one and believe me I wish I am wrong about that. I would actually get a new MAP if Thorpe got one!! 😛

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A generally held belief is Merlin had concerns after New Texas Giant's incident. 

 

Perhaps we might have gotten a RMC at Towers if that hadn't happened instead of Wickerman.

 

It's weird that Merlin haven't jumped on the bandwagon though. Could've got 2 instead of DBGT!

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Certainly true that there were concerns within Merlin about RMC after New Texas Giant. Rumours were still rife about one for Towers in 2017 of course, though The Smiler incident was the nail in the coffin there. I'm under the impression that when the 2017 coaster was cancelled, RMC was not under serious consideration.

 

Merlin are still considering RMCs for future projects. Indeed, RMC was considered at one point for Thorpe this year (there were RMC rumours all the time of course, and where there's smoke, there's fire). The issue ultimately came down to a change of philosophy from Merlin about what to give Thorpe to invest in terms of money, along with Merlin's further issues and decisions to invest even less in the parks. Covid complicates things even more.

 

So long story short, RMC is not off the table for Merlin. The bigger issue right now is when Merlin will approach the table of making a big investment, especially at Thorpe.

 

As for Thorpe following RMC, almost definitely something that was done for a bit of fun. I'm sure other parks follow them, and there's nothing to be read into it really. 

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  • 1 month later...

My main concern with the Thorpe RMC would be long-term maintenance of the ride. After hearing about several issues with Untamed at Walibi Holland I always think if Thorpe would end up having the same problems. Apparently the USA hybrids are doing completely fine, either that or they also have problems I'm unaware of. Seeing Wicker Man get negative reviews about the ride getting rougher and rougher, and the downtime of Colossos, I'm not sure if the best idea is to give Merlin another wood-based coaster if they already have trouble with keeping their current ones open. And that's my main issue with the Thorpe RMC; will it be open more than it'll be closed? Will we be seeing 2-3 straight weeks of downtime a few years after opening?

 

Maybe I'm completely wrong or paranoid about how reliable/expensive the RMC would be. Of course it would be a beautiful and extremely fitting ride for Thorpe, but I feel like maintenance costs might cause Merlin to put it on the sidelines for now. As Thorpe isn't exactly known to be a place that can consistently keep every ride open throughout the year, I'd imagine they want to change that. The new coaster should be one that can be affordable, stay open, and bring enough people into the park to be a profitable ride.

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Isnt a ride thats closed more than open the Thorpe way though!!?? 😛

 

in all seriousness though, the drawback of an RMC is indeed the structural issues that you mentioned. Steel Vengeance last season had many mornings where it would open late as engineers and the necessary teams was giving the structure a solid check over. This became a near daily occurrence. It is worth nothing this came AFTER it got struck by lightning!!

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4 hours ago, RobertA said:

My main concern with the Thorpe RMC would be long-term maintenance of the ride. After hearing about several issues with Untamed at Walibi Holland I always think if Thorpe would end up having the same problems. Apparently the USA hybrids are doing completely fine, either that or they also have problems I'm unaware of. Seeing Wicker Man get negative reviews about the ride getting rougher and rougher, and the downtime of Colossos, I'm not sure if the best idea is to give Merlin another wood-based coaster if they already have trouble with keeping their current ones open. And that's my main issue with the Thorpe RMC; will it be open more than it'll be closed? Will we be seeing 2-3 straight weeks of downtime a few years after opening?

 

Maybe I'm completely wrong or paranoid about how reliable/expensive the RMC would be. Of course it would be a beautiful and extremely fitting ride for Thorpe, but I feel like maintenance costs might cause Merlin to put it on the sidelines for now. As Thorpe isn't exactly known to be a place that can consistently keep every ride open throughout the year, I'd imagine they want to change that. The new coaster should be one that can be affordable, stay open, and bring enough people into the park to be a profitable ride.

This is a good point, though I would disagree with Wickerman. I feel the ride is butter smooth, and it is well maintained. Colossos is a different story, Intamn pre-fabs are notorious for being maintenance nightmares. This is why only a few where ever built, they require more maintenance than any RMC or GCI surely. And this with Merlin's neglect is what made Colossos such a failure.

 

With RMC it really depends, Steel Vengeance isn't a B&M, but I would say its more reliable than the 4 intamins in the same park. It does seem to have a complex structure, though I don't wanna roast it too much as it was open quite a bit when I went, and Cedar Point has very moody weather. I do think the topper track RMC's are by far the most problematic. Outlaw Run and Lightning Rod in particular have been claimed to be difficult to maintain and even 'rough'. So I think its fair to say RMC probably won't sell many more true woodies. So I would say its safe to rule out a Topper Track at Thorpe after Lightning Rod's failure.

 

I feel a middle size hybrid or a large raptor would benefit Thorpe the most. It wouldn't be too hard to maintain, and would be a decent investment. RMC are by no means Mack or B&M, but a hybrid would not be too much. Wickerman IMO actually proves Merlin can handle a wooden coaster. I haven't seen Wickerman down too much, its more reliable than Stealth, Rita, Smiler, and Saw from my last visits. And Colossos, lets blame Intamin, everyone cool with that?

 

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Wicker Man has had several reliability issues this year, having multiple periods where it's been closed for a few days (and I'm sure there was one instance where it was down for over a week). That's due to the need for retracking. Many Towers regulars have said Wicker Man has run noticeably slower and / or rougher at points this year too.

 

I've heard rumours they're spending a lot of money (ie in the millions) on Wicker Man this year to help rectify the problem. So hopefully those reliability issues should be a thing of the past. But even then, should Merlin really have to spend millions on a ride that's been running for 3 seasons?

 

 

As for an RMC at Thorpe, it's fair to say the engineering and maintenance challenges would be very different if they opted for a hybrid. And there's a level of unknown about how reliable the raptors would be in the long term. So there's elements of risk with that investment, but then again, there is with any investment. Just whether Thorpe and Merlin see it as worth the risk.

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50 minutes ago, JoshC. said:

I've heard rumours they're spending a lot of money (ie in the millions) on Wicker Man this year to help rectify the problem. So hopefully those reliability issues should be a thing of the past. But even then, should Merlin really have to spend millions on a ride that's been running for 3 seasons?

Its a wooden coaster, they need in general more upkeep and regular retracking. I'm sure Merlin weren't oblivious to this when pitching Wickerman. This wouldn't be as bad with a RMC Hybrid, as the track would be steel. I do think Merlin really knew what they were buying with Wickerman, every GCI before and after it has needed the same upkeep and money to keep them up. I'm sure its going to need many more retracks. Colossos is even worse, that ride uses more expensive track.

 

The answer to that question is yes IMO, they bought a wooden coaster. Its going to need looking after and maintaining much more than a steel coaster. Everybody knows that.

 

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3 hours ago, JoshC. said:

Yes, wooden coasters need more maintenance. But having to shut the ride down for multiple days multiple times throughout (half of) a season, and then having to spend a significant amount of money on further maintenance over a closed season is nor normal for a wooden coaster.

This to me signifies that perhaps the maintenance team aren't given enough time to upkeep the coaster or that they need change the current way it is maintained. GCI's usually are very reliable, there is also no reason for Wickerman to be so problematic. It is one of the smaller GCI's, and one of the newest. I do think perhaps the park need to up their game with the maintenance. Look at Wodan, thats been running since 2012 and that nearly has a 1,000 feet of track on Wickerman. It also is paced a LOT faster, and Europa Park operate for much longer hours. I am sure that thing tears the track to shreds with its sheer speed.

 

I feel wooden coasters are really all about the teams behind them, Colossos may have kind of been Intamin's fault. But El Toro, Balder, and T Express never got into that state. So Merlin obviously are not proactive and the best at upkeeping wooden coasters in general. I feel Wickerman's problems are lowkey really down to Merlin just not being experienced with wooden coasters.

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On 11/9/2020 at 9:38 PM, JoshuaA said:

This to me signifies that perhaps the maintenance team aren't given enough time to upkeep the coaster or that they need change the current way it is maintained. GCI's usually are very reliable, there is also no reason for Wickerman to be so problematic. It is one of the smaller GCI's, and one of the newest. I do think perhaps the park need to up their game with the maintenance. Look at Wodan, thats been running since 2012 and that nearly has a 1,000 feet of track on Wickerman. It also is paced a LOT faster, and Europa Park operate for much longer hours. I am sure that thing tears the track to shreds with its sheer speed.

 

I feel wooden coasters are really all about the teams behind them, Colossos may have kind of been Intamin's fault. But El Toro, Balder, and T Express never got into that state. So Merlin obviously are not proactive and the best at upkeeping wooden coasters in general. I feel Wickerman's problems are lowkey really down to Merlin just not being experienced with wooden coasters.

I've seen some recent Towers vlogs and a couple of them pointed out the track interactions around the Wicker Man structure, and the general area of the holes, have been receiving pretty bad discolouration with black, and even some green, in the wood. Most likely due to the smoke effects which I can safely assume is water vapour which is hurting the wood pretty badly. I can agree with you on Merlin not knowing too much about wooden coasters as they seemingly forgot how water vapour generally interacts with wood. I wouldn't be surprised if every smoke effect on Wicker Man was removed in the next couple years defeating 50% of the ride's theming and purpose. It's a great gimmick, and adds so much atmosphere and immersion, but long-term? That ride's gonna be a nightmare to maintain on top of its current underlying issues. REAL smoke's just gonna kill everyone on board.

 

What Merlin should've done with woodies is start out small with a family GCI/GG, then slowly build up. Starting out with "I'll take your biggest ride" won't do any good and will end up costing thousands.

 

I honestly never saw Thorpe RMC ever happening, and I don't think it ever will. There are hundreds of other "UK's First" records to snag. I'd say get the UK's first triple launch but Intamin's pretty bad with reliability too, no Mack because they cost far too much for the park, and no Premier because where Thorpe can put a Sky Rocket II they'd prefer the land gets taken by a much larger coaster unless they have a random strip of land lying around.

Gerst would've been the best option but after Smiler's issues I don't think it'll happen.

Edited by RobertA
gerst
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18 hours ago, ScottJB88 said:

Miss Loggers Leap!! Was one of my favourite rides at Thorpe Park. It’s still standing as well you can see it from Monks Walk 😔😔

 

Hi by the way everyone. New member 👋

Hello and welcome :)

 

Yep, having it still standing makes it even more of a kick in the teeth and it's very sad to see such a loved attraction continue to just be left to rot more and more.

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