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Derren Brown's Ghost Train: Rise of the Demon - New for 2017

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Road DBGT  again yesterday, noticed a few changes

First the VR is breaking again on my first section the volume of the sound kept changing, fell out of the world etc. second was ok just smudged visor from cleaning. 

 

no stacking at all, which was a shame cause the best part of the second VR is a stacking VR clip

 

The mid sequence "crash" effect is broken again :/ but noticed on the floor the ground cracks and the crack glows like a large fire is down there

Though my group got stuck in a corner due to the actors scaring them

 

though biggest change, they now have giant industrial fans blowing air about, same type they put in underground stations to move the heat, it works the ride is more or less normal temperature now.

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Went on DBGTROTD last night for the 2nd time ever (my first ever ride was before it got the ROTD)

 

Had a breakdown after 20 seconds in, sat there for 10 minutes or so before it restarted. My headset was glitchy, lots of headsets not working. I liked the dog :P

 

We weren't rushed into the live action scene so were left to casually walk off the train and open the doors ourselves.

The train in tunnel effect still isn't working.

 

2nd bit of VR is a lot better than before (which isn't difficult) but again my headset was glitchy. Final finale was quite clever, but as said elsewhere - the whole ride just doesn't seem to flow or make sense. 

 

Noticed that the hoodies were reduced in the gift shop, £9 down from £20 - there were other reduced items too but we were in a rush as that breakdown had taken up valuable time to ride something decent (Soz Stealth, I missed you)

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Double post but sorry not sorry - are the photo point "decontamination" bits used in the queueline or are they shut off? I found one of the photo boarding passes from last year and was intrigued. I think I know the answer but will ask anyway ;)

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Finally got to ride this yesterday.. and my short review? I'm glad I used Fast-track.. I'd be annoyed (insert your own expletive here) if I'd queued for 3 hours for that.

 

While some parts are very well done (like being alone on in the first video and seeing different people in the second), the over-all thing lacked the "why" factor for me... For example, why am I on a train in the first place? Who are the Fracking company, what are they doing, why did it go wrong and what has happened for the 2 things to come together? The jump scares were too predictable; to the point that they were just unpleasant to see rather than shocking. I was more "oh, that's not nice" rather than "what the hell".

 

The 4 elements (5 if you include the photo room bit) just seem to disconnected from each other. There were so many plot holes. For example, why would I leave the train carriage the way I went in (which was not relevant to the sequence I've just seen if I was on a journey) to be taken to a room, which seems to be part of the train tunnel by some shouty lady on a megaphone I can't understand, only to then be taken away from that room via a door (rather than heading back the way I came) through an underground station to the same train I was on before? There didn't seem to be any continuity to it at all. I get that the premise is to get you to question your own reality and I guess that kinda worked because the idea of not moving but being in a tube station is confusing, but the lack of stitching the stories together has made it a bit of a wet fish. Personally, I got lost in asking more questions about the story than I did about my reality. I didn't help that we were told that the ride was meant to question this reality in the intro video, but our reality is not that I'm on a train.. I'm on a ride.

 

If I had been told as part of the first train ride that something that was said in the intro room has made me forget events between now and then and that I'm no longer at Thorpe Park etc then that at least would explain how and why I'm on a tube in the first place.

 

I was aware that I had a headset on the whole time, so knew that none of it was real...

 

I'll be honest - The opening day of The Swarm made me question my reality more than DBGT did.. At least that was all happening to me.

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On 20 October 2017 at 11:29 AM, MattyMoo said:

Double post but sorry not sorry - are the photo point "decontamination" bits used in the queueline or are they shut off? I found one of the photo boarding passes from last year and was intrigued. I think I know the answer but will ask anyway ;)

Is that the one where they "scan" you for odd symptoms (for photo) - if so I've never seen that open and I rode DBGT for the first time last September - I would be surprised if they ditched that after just 2 months but who knows 🤔

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Yep that's the one! It was open on one of my very first rides - I sort of assumed it would be closed now anyway :P

 

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It was open last year but the head in the jar photos were not ready, mid way through this season picsolve seemed to have jars what the photo could fit into, maybe we will see it return next year!

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I believe there was issues with the supplier which meant the Head in Jar photos weren't going to be available until September, and then that date was pushed back further.  If they were ready in time, it probably was so late in the season they just didn't bother.

 

I do wonder if Thorpe will want to bother with it at all though.  The other photo point isn't exactly hugely successful, and they do create hold ups in the queue.  With it being so close to the batch point, they might not want to deal with the hassle it'll create.

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Looks like EVERYONE got an award from them...

 

Least Symbolica is on there, though the two attractions seem worlds apart...

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In fairness, Ghost Train is a unique attraction, which does blend together a lot of different techniques in an unusual way.  The quality of it is always going to be up for debate, and maybe some think it's something which need not have been made at all.  

 

However, I think it is deserving of some recognition within the industry.  The scale, idea and concept of the ride is impressive, and I reckon it is / was the start of a new breed of a dark ride.  The idea of multiple scenarios / stories is slowly becoming more common.  The mixture of a ride system and live action scenes is still something many parks wouldn't go near, but can work successfully if done right.  

 

Ghost Train does have its flaws, but it could end up being something which has a positive impact on the industry in the long run.

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12 minutes ago, BaronC. said:

In fairness, Ghost Train is a unique attraction, which does blend together a lot of different techniques in an unusual way.  The quality of it is always going to be up for debate, and maybe some think it's something which need not have been made at all.  

 

However, I think it is deserving of some recognition within the industry.  The scale, idea and concept of the ride is impressive, and I reckon it is / was the start of a new breed of a dark ride.  The idea of multiple scenarios / stories is slowly becoming more common.  The mixture of a ride system and live action scenes is still something many parks wouldn't go near, but can work successfully if done right.  

 

Ghost Train does have its flaws, but it could end up being something which has a positive impact on the industry in the long run.

I suppose what I mean is that the variety of technology on show in DBGT is impressive, but its implementation in regards to telling a coherent story is deeply flawed. It may or may not contribute to the trends of VR or live attractions, but lessons need to be learnt in regards to blending innovative tech with an engaging and cohesive story, as many of the other attractions nominated do far better.

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Good to see it get some recognition - personally, when the whole thing works from start to finish I do genuinely enjoy it.

 

As time goes on its reliability will get better, hopefully we will start to see it offering a more consistent experience throughout the season - and maybe a few more plaudits among enthusiasts! 

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DBGT has potential and that I have no doubts about, but it's still a mess in it's current state and some of the most basic elements such as lighting, audio and visual effects still aren't up to an acceptable standard or have been broken for the majority of a second season now (the moving train effect comes to mind, as well as half the bulbs in the pre-show room being broken this year to name a couple of examples).


If Thorpe truly believe this attraction is the future for theme parks and want it to be successful with the overall public opinion, they should aim to ensure the bar is set to a higher level, whether it's through more reliable technology, working effects, better operations and greater variety offered through the VR headsets etc. For a paying customer to be sold on the idea this is the park's biggest investment which is a psychologically thrilling experience, only to find several broken effects, glitchy VR headsets and questionable consistency is inexcusable for a multi-billion quid company and a £13M+ ride.

 

I know I bash DBGT an awful lot, but that's because I want it to get better and still don't believe it's being used to it's full potential. To see rewards like this being given out to it which in my honest opinion doesn't deserve, especially storytelling-wise, it's as though there's some form of denial with Merlin in accepting this investment has not lived up to the promises and standards they made it out to be. Overall feedback from the public backs this claim up.

 

Hoping one day I try it everything works as intended, but I've yet to experience that once... 30+ rides later...

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TEA like others such as BALPPA is paid for by its members subscriptions. They wouldn't not give DBGT a TEA award since Merlin essentially paid for one! So I wouldnt read too far into it, its more of a 'whos done what this year' sort of thing and a members' pat on the back.

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Personally, I really enjoyed DBGT in the 2017 season. Opening year was a complete mess, with upside-down visuals, out of sync audio and timing/hardware problems. In 2017 though, I feel like they pulled out the stops with the majority of the issues the attraction was having. That said, I really didn't care for that new ending..

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2 hours ago, alexander said:

Has the attraction improved since ROTD? What's the ridership like? Is it even popular? Haven't paid attention to the thing since I rode it during its opening year.

Generally, a queue of 30+ mins isn't unusual for the Ghost Train, I believe.. It didn't have anything added to it throughout the season as far as I'm aware, but VR seemed to hold up pretty well every time I visited, and the attraction as a whole was running smooth!

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11 hours ago, alexander said:

Has the attraction improved since ROTD? What's the ridership like? Is it even popular? Haven't paid attention to the thing since I rode it during its opening year.

It depends on how you measure popularity.

 

Because the throughput on it isn't the highest (not helped by varying capacity and shutdowns), it's ridership numbers will never be as high as the coasters, for example.  But if you discounted the major coasters, I'd assume it's the most ridden attraction.

 

One thing I always use to gauge popularity is how long people are prepared to queue for something.  If the general public see a 2 hour queue and go 'I'm happy to wait that', I see it as something that is popular since people are happy to invest that wait time for what they think will be a quality end result.  Ghost Train regularly kept long queue times and the public were prepared to wait long times.  Obviously it's a skewed way of looking at things since it's new, people are prepared to wait longer, they've likely heard horror stories about wait times, etc, but it's something.  Be interesting to see the situation in a couple of seasons.

 

In terms of how the ride is being rated, I believe it largely improved.  In particular, it was rated scarier than last year.  So in that sense, Merlin will see it as something that's improved.  And even if it doesn't feel like it to some, reliability was a whole lot better this year.

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I don't think that queuing logic holds up very well. In Korea and Japan they will queue countless hours for anything and in Germany everyone bails out if its more than 15 minutes, and yes I seen this myself, including on the brand new Star Trek Operation Enterprise.

 

I'd say it was better in 2017, if only for the new ending, that was very cool. It's still a once a year attraction to me though, too much faff to warrant multiple goes a season.

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2 minutes ago, Mega-Lite said:

I don't think that queuing logic holds up very well. In Korea and Japan they will queue countless hours for anything and in Germany everyone bails out if its more than 15 minutes, and yes I seen this myself, including on the brand new Star Trek Operation Enterprise.

 

I'd say it was better in 2017, if only for the new ending, that was very cool. It's still a once a year attraction to me though, too much faff to warrant multiple goes a season.

Oh yes, different countries/cultures/parks will always see different expectations for queue times and such.  But for some parks, of which Thorpe is one, it is a useful way to get a rough indication for popularity in my experience.  It's by no means an exact science, but definitely of use if used appropriately.  

 

As a crude example, you could tell that Sanctum at Fright Nights wasn't very popular as it struggled to get long queues, especially compared to the rest.  Why that is, you can't say (plenty of different reasons could be possible - location, lack of general marketing appeal, public didn't care, poor reviews and word of mouth, etc), but you can use it as a way of getting the gist of things.

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