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The Next Big Thing


Mysterio Ka
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16 minutes ago, Ivsetti said:

It still reportedly cost (£35 mil) more than Stealth (£12 mil) and Swarm (£20 mil) combined so it's a massive investment by the park (I believe it's still the single most expensive investment in any Merlin theme park).

 

Ghost Train's total cost is much less than people believe. 

 

Unlike with other major Merlin investments where they push the investment cost with a specific number, they just went for the 'most expensive investment ever' line, which would make it more than Swarm's £18-20m (the number varies depending on which press release you read).

 

An article in the Financial Times quoted £13m, which is the only number we have from any sort of source. I believe the total investment was closer to the £20m mark (I've heard numbers between £17-23m), and that included the fixes and new stuff in 2017. But take that for what you will.

 

 

Ultimately, Ghost Train was a major investment for the park. It came when a major investment should have (Thorpe and Merlin were doing 4 year investment cycles then), and they spent a lot of money on it. It's turned out bad for a variety of reasons, and I see why people don't count it as a major investment. But when it comes down to it, it was.

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  • 3 weeks later...

What I don't really get is why Thorpe would create that island and just... not use it. I get that managers change but having such a huge empty plot of land just sitting there, and opting for the next big addition to go in an already pretty crowded place, just feels odd. It sticks out like a sore thumb. Swarm """flopped""" because it opened in the year of the Olympics. Attendance shot up in 2013 when Brave It Backwards came, and that was the same year Smiler opened, so surely Swarm was actually a big success for the park but it just opened at the wrong time?

 

In my opinion, if you have a large plot of completely empty land, then you should use that large plot of completely empty land.

 

It's funny because when Alton Towers realised that Nemesis Sub Terra was a failure of an attraction, they shut that thing almost immediately. Derren's almost suffering the same fate by being a maintenance nightmare with mixed reviews yet more and more and more money gets poured into it with little effect. And the park wonders why all they can afford is indoor filler on 3-4 year contracts ever since DBGT opened. Black Mirror probably won't be here in 2024/5.

 

It feels like the park just has absolutely no idea of what it wants to be. It actually got to the point where at some point last year someone tagged Thorpe on twitter genuinely wondering if the park has a five-year plan, which they responded yes to.

 

Also... Did anyone notice how the major Thorpe coasters aren't necessarily the first of their kind in the world or Europe, but instead have a defining element or gimmick instead? Colossus has the world's first 10 inversions, Ninferno has the world's first inverted interlocking corkscrews, Stealth is the UK's fastest coaster, Saw had the world's steepest drop, Swarm has the world's first wing-over drop. So in the tiny chance that Thorpe DID eventually get a coaster, would it follow what the others have and have an element or feature we've never seen?

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 12/11/2020 at 2:42 AM, RobertA said:

 

It's funny because when Alton Towers realised that Nemesis Sub Terra was a failure of an attraction, they shut that thing almost immediately. Derren's almost suffering the same fate by being a maintenance nightmare with mixed reviews yet more and more and more money gets poured into it with little effect. And the park wonders why all they can afford is indoor filler on 3-4 year contracts ever since DBGT opened. Black Mirror probably won't be here in 2024/5.

I guess if you think about it, Sub Terra was a much cheaper attraction. Basically just a fake lift, and a tiny drop tower. The Ghost Train is much more complicated and expensive, being a overtly complicated simulator that uses VR. Sub Terra had much less going on but actually was still enjoyable when it had actors. It cost a fraction of what DBGT cost, so it wasn't as bad. Even if it was a failure in itself. Sub terra did actually have the finale added on shortly after opening, so some money was spend on it post opening. Though it probably wasn't much.

 

The Ghost Train is harder as they spent so much money on something problematic. So if they do close it thats a lot of money down the pipe. 

 

On 12/11/2020 at 2:42 AM, RobertA said:

Also... Did anyone notice how the major Thorpe coasters aren't necessarily the first of their kind in the world or Europe, but instead have a defining element or gimmick instead? Colossus has the world's first 10 inversions, Ninferno has the world's first inverted interlocking corkscrews, Stealth is the UK's fastest coaster, Saw had the world's steepest drop, Swarm has the world's first wing-over drop. So in the tiny chance that Thorpe DID eventually get a coaster, would it follow what the others have and have an element or feature we've never seen?

I think Merlin in general does stretches. Wickerman being the most hilarious (Wodan has a fire effect as well! So does many other wooden coasters)..

Maybe a bigger GCI with the 'biggest wooden coaster in the UK' or something like that. Honestly even Alton seem to have given up with worlds firsts. Wickerman being the example.

I do think GCI, B&M, and Intamin are the biggest contenders here. Though Merlin haven't worked with Intamin properly for a bit, Thirteen as well. Which is one of the more unreliable rides at the park. And they also had their part in the Ghost Train somehow, which again is not a positive. I'd say a GCI on Loggers plot is the most likely. I don't think we'd see anything too innovative either.

 

I think the island sitting there is bad, though I do think Loggers plot is worse. The park probably at the time thought they'd be building a coaster very soon, and Loggers was open at that point as well. I think Old Town is more in need than that new island. Which could be saved for a future investment. And yes, I think Swarm really opened in the wrong year. Its a crowd pleaser, and had a good campaign. 2012 was just not favourable. 

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  • 1 month later...

What's this, a post, in the Next Big Thing thread? 

 

"Is it spam? Someone making a stupid RMC joke?" I hear you ask.

 

Nope, there has been activity on the local council's planning application website, related to Thorpe Park!

For the first time in almost 3 years!!

 

But don't get too excited.

 

 

Way back in 2017, Thorpe submitted an application to the council to effectively change how they submit for plans for stuff. In short, the current method involves the park having to submit a detailed application for pretty much anything (eg: Containment required planning application, and that's just 2 shipping containers!). Thorpe wanted to change that so they didn't have to submit plans for buildings below 5m in height, or rides below 25m in height (similar to an agreement which Towers have).

 

Decisions and stuff had stalled and there was some opposition to them from local residents. No formal decision has ever been made. A document appeared on the application a couple of months back indicating an extension of time regarding the proposal until the middle of April this year. After that, who knows what will happen.

 

In short, this means nothing for the 'Next Big Thing' as it would presumably exceed 25m in height and require a planning application in any case. But it's still interesting.

 

tl;dr - a boring planning document got an update a couple of months back. It means nothing in the reality of any new investments at the park for now.

(but hey, I'm sure I got at least one person excited for a split second ;))

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  • 4 weeks later...

So apparently (and this is really fu**ing loose because it is from a Jack Silkstone video) a bunch of trees have been cut in the Loggers Leap area. Sooo.... What do you guys think? I honestly have a theory but its a little wild and out of budget for a park like Thorpe.

Spoiler

A new Bird Bath

 

Seriously though I doubt this means anything at all. Maybe a statue of Sean Sanbrooke, our lord and saviour?

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Here's the images in question:

 

image.pngimage.png

(Credit to Jack Silkstone for grabbing to Google Earth screenshots)

 

Anyone who did Platform 15, especially when it was lighter or who looked over their shoulder, may have noticed this. 

 

I believe that there was a lot of a chopped up wood used for theming round the Creek Freaks Unchained scare zone last Fright Nights. Could well have been for that.

 

In Jack's video, he says that staff said it was basically nothing.

 

It's hard to imagine it being for anything because:

1. We haven't seen any planning permission (which they would likely needed for anything there)

2. Building a ride there would mean they lose a maze space for FN (which is at a premium these days)

3. I genuinely think that the Loggers site would be the most expensive to develop for a new thing

 

So yeah, I expect it's for nothing exciting. But, have to say it's nice to see something, anything, happen at Thorpe these days...

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It's a great shame that there's rarely ever any real 'news' anymore isn't it. I do miss the excitement of a new Thorpe coaster, like the 2011 buildup to the Swarm (seriously how is that 9 years ago now...) - there was such a buzz watching it go up throughout the year.

 

When Thorpe get a new coaster it's going to be so well covered by Jack & co, especially these days with Monk's Walk offering such a good view and drones being easily available. The fanbase for this sort of stuff is definitely there too judging by the views! People love a coaster construction site!

 

Will be interesting to see where the next big thing ends up.  The island by Swarm is crying out for attention, after spending the money on reclaiming it they must be wanting to make use of it?  On the other hand though making use of "the woods" around Canada Creek would be really nice, and could bring guests in to a bit of nice natural woodland scenery, which Thorpe doesn't have a lot of being an island.

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1 hour ago, Inferno said:

It's a great shame that there's rarely ever any real 'news' anymore isn't it. I do miss the excitement of a new Thorpe coaster, like the 2011 buildup to the Swarm (seriously how is that 9 years ago now...) - there was such a buzz watching it go up throughout the year.

Indeed! Was saying to Josh the other day - seems like only yesterday it was December 2011 and I got to do a sneaky site visit as we were supplying the LC12 project with reinforcement, and got to walk underneath the aeroplane wing - and get to see the trains before anyone knew they were there 😍 I couldn't divulge on the forums back then, naturally.

 

I just want a BIG project at Thorpe... it's long overdue now and obviously Covid hasn't helped matters (nor has DBGTROTD). They will struggle to maintain attendance without something "big" soon though I think, you can't keep putting in short lived IP small attractions or rebranding old ones. Appreciate Paultons is a family park and Thorpe isn't, but Tornado Creek would appear to knock spots off most themed areas at Thorpe - with the exception of Swarm Island ❤️

 

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In all honesty what they really need to do it apply KISS principle - "keep it simple stupid". DBGT was a classic example of trying to do too much, became way to complicated, unreliable and expensive. They would be far better off just putting in something solid without any stupid gimmick. Even something like RMC Raptor which is small footprint and they have now built enough of to find any faults. I know they love having "worlds first" - but take a leaf out of the automotive world - you don't buy the first cars off the line as this where all the faults are found! Just build a credible ride which has proven history of pleasing the public. You don't need to throw millions at developing something completely new.

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The tree cutting could quite easily be nothing, could quite easily be a diseased patch of trees and they have to be removed to stop it spreading/collapsing into other things

 

Though if Thorpe wanted a sure fire KISS project, a RMC Raptor either of the existing American layouts or a new one would probably fit in the Slammer plot or with a little bit of over spill onto paths

 

Yes it would probably have a very poor throughput, but it would be relatively cheap for what public and enthusiast would call a thrilling re ridable attraction and as a medium term stop gap, I take it over them re theming the Inferno maze/ Celeb/Jungle escape maze building again

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1 hour ago, 1729 said:

The tree cutting could quite easily be nothing, could quite easily be a diseased patch of trees and they have to be removed to stop it spreading/collapsing into other things

 

Though if Thorpe wanted a sure fire KISS project, a RMC Raptor either of the existing American layouts or a new one would probably fit in the Slammer plot or with a little bit of over spill onto paths

 

Yes it would probably have a very poor throughput, but it would be relatively cheap for what public and enthusiast would call a thrilling re ridable attraction and as a medium term stop gap, I take it over them re theming the Inferno maze/ Celeb/Jungle escape maze building again

Didn't Creek this year require a lot of wood themeing? Simple solution.

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 3/8/2021 at 5:03 PM, 1729 said:

Though if Thorpe wanted a sure fire KISS project, a RMC Raptor either of the existing American layouts or a new one would probably fit in the Slammer plot or with a little bit of over spill onto paths

God we can hope. If they got it, I would visit WAY more often.

 

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  • 1 month later...

Was looking at a timeline of the park and seeing as nothing major's going ahead for 2022* (and realistically 2023 is also unlikely to bring anything major) this'll be the first period since the park's opening in 1979 where nothing major has been added to the park for a 5 or 6 year period (2018 - 2022/2023). 

With all that said I think that park are probably going to get an RMC (most likely a Raptor) replacing Logger's Leap as their next attraction. I think they'll save the space behind the Swarm for when the park's in better shape.

 

Also, given that Merlin are set to run the park until 2042, I'm sure at some point within the next decade the park will have some form of new major attraction.

 

 

*based on lack of planning permissions to Runnymede which are usually submitted 1 to 2 seasons in advance

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I would agree it's highly unlikely that we'll see a new major investment (akin to a large coaster) in 2022. We could still see a new ride or similar quite easily though - plans for Angry Birds Land, which was when the last 'flat ride' (Dodgems), were submitted in December 2013 I believe. With bigger 'other rides' (Storm Surge, Flying Fish, Rush, etc), those plans were submitted in late summer / early autumn.

 

Nothing can be ruled out for 2023 yet in theory. 

 

17 hours ago, 2542464 said:

This'll be the first period since the park's opening in 1979 where nothing major has been added to the park for a 5 or 6 year period (2018 - 2022/2023). 

Hmmm, I'd disagree here. There were 6 years between the addition of X:\No Way Out (1996) and Colossus (2002). The in between years featured Wet Wet Wet, Pirates 4D, a short-lived set of dodgems, Tidal Wave, Zodiac, Detonator and Vortex. Some of those are bigger rides, yes, but arguably nothing major.

 

But the key difference now is that the in-between years have been, errr, rather lacking. A Rockin' Tug, Frog Hopper, coaster retheme and a walkthrough, so far. Obviously there's the events and short-lived stuff like Bouncezilla and Jungle Escape, but the point stands: it's very different. And given the lukewarm reception to Ghost Train, it feels even longer between major investments.

 

The issue with Thorpe at the moment is that, whatever the next big thing is, it by itself won't sort out the park's problems. There have been small steps over the last year year or two to sort out some of the park's problems (branding is now more streamlined, operations are no longer getting worse, etc), but there's still many other problems. I'm sure there's plenty of people who will argue that another thrill coaster is one of the last things the park needs at the moment too.

 

In saying that, I do think that a thrill coaster with a lower height limit (1.2 or 1.3m) would help kick start the park again. Something simple, reliable and fun would bring attention back to the park with the public, and help improve the park. Something like a Mack sit down coaster or a woodie would be high up on my list. RMC would be great too, but is it the right time for that? I'm not sure.

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  • 1 month later...

I personally would get Merlin to either sell Thorpe, which won't happen or reinvent the theme park into a Netflix exclusive IP attractions. IP's work to make money in merch sales etc, perhaps to the enthusiasts hatred, but I'm just wondering when Netflix will truly get into the Themepark space to compete with Disney or Universal, seems like the next step for them. With a solid budget I'm sure something cool could happen to reinvent Thorpe. Although this will never happen, I'm just dreaming.

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47 minutes ago, Benin said:

The Sex Education ride would have an unforgettable climax.

 

Well it would make this video relevant again:

 

 

Gosh, 2010 Thorpe really was the time when Stranger Things happened...

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