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Derren Brown's Ghost Train: Rise of the Demon

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Cracking queue on this as always despite everything else is walk on. Queue advertised as 20. Been here 40 and stuck at the door after batching for a good 15 mins. During our queue time they've announced the queue as 20, 30, 40, 60 and 70 minutes. Standard.

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On 8/31/2018 at 9:42 PM, homer22422 said:

I sadly have to agree with this due to my horrific experience...

Wish Merlin would try to amend these faults as it is getting quite ridiculous now 

#RideToo

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Yes I believe so. Plus points of today was 2 trains on Stealth, Swarm, Nemesis Inferno and Colossus for most of the day, very unlike Thorpe!

 

However, there was no Neagen on Living Nightmare, no chainsaw ending on Dead Creek, no chainsaw in Saw, no seance on Platform 15 and no opening of Fanta sPoooKy thing. 

 

Will not be returning for at least 37 hours.

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5 hours ago, MattyMoo said:

Just completed the ride. Fake gift shop ending was skipped though! Pathetic.

 

Same for me on Sunday, after a 10 min delay waiting on the train ...

 

There was also no actors in the middle scene? This was the first time I've done it this year, is this normal now? 

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Middle section had no actors, just a staff member telling us to get back on the train after we'd watched the projector of the Demon on the wall...

 

No idea what was going on with DBGTROTD today in terms of the queue times to be honest - and we seemed to be waiting to enter the preshow for SO long, and it wasn't as if there was fast-trackers jumping in front.

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On 10/11/2018 at 3:32 PM, MattyMoo said:

Cracking queue on this as always despite everything else is walk on. Queue advertised as 20. Been here 40 and stuck at the door after batching for a good 15 mins. During our queue time they've announced the queue as 20, 30, 40, 60 and 70 minutes. Standard.

I bet Merlin/Thorpe are kicking themselves now since they are the ones that claimed that the fake train section (Middle Section) was the main reason that the ride was breaking down all of the time...

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Little bit of insight about the engineering checks involved for DBGT.

 

Interesting for them to be open about it, given how secretive they tried to be over it in the past. Almost like they've given up caring?

 

Also, no idea why they decided to do the silly flicker from Part Seven to Part Six, given that they did Part Six last week. Achieves nothing..

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They also don't proof read the subtitles before uploading. "Ghsot Train".

 

It may be said that we are too quick to criticise Merlin - but they make it too easy!

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So what is that area? Is that just the maintenance area, or is that where the train passes through between the hanger and station while the ride is in motion?

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6 hours ago, pluk said:

So what is that area? Is that just the maintenance area, or is that where the train passes through between the hanger and station while the ride is in motion?

That area is the maintenance area. The areas the train passes through are pretty much just blank spaces.

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Engineers usually start at 6am, so with 4 engineers working on the ride, in theory it's possible to complete the 16 man hours of maintenance by 10am. The problem is that the 16 man hours is probably a minimal figure, and it takes longer due to them find problems, etc.

 

For context, I believe the major coasters usually take 8-10 man hours every day. (Complex) Dark rides in theory should require a similar, or even more, man hours to check since they can have things like multiple triggered effects to go though and check.

 

16 hours is a very large number, larger than many things, but I don't think it's ridiculous. As I say, the main issue is that it probably takes longer than 16 hours because they always find problems which need fixing..

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Whilst yes a 6am start in theory means 10:00, but you need to take into account if all of those engineers are exclusive to DBGT, engineers check and card multiple rides every day, it maybe a case of get everything else/most things ready then DBGT

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3 hours ago, JoshC. said:

16 hours is a very large number, larger than many things, but I don't think it's ridiculous. As I say, the main issue is that it probably takes longer than 16 hours because they always find problems which need fixing..

It is completely impractical for a park operation like Thorpe as shown by the unreliability and frequent late openings. But an even bigger problem, it's out of proportion with the actual end result which is lacklusture and not worth it.

Seems to be the main reason things like the train crash effect was removed, not enough time to keep it going or pay for a few modifications, so easier to just bin it (sadly – could have been much improved otherwise)

Design is just as much about making things work behind the scenes and work for the park as it is creating the guest experience. The Ghost Train was incredibly poorly designed. Can forgive the early issues they faced with the ride system because it was prototypey and have since been sorted, but the rest is just one massive oversight after the other.

I know a friend whose daily job is to start up the show systems on a new UK dark ride (pretty much as complex as DBGT with a huge amount of on board computers and backend stuff). It took 45 mins every day for 1 person to start up and test, thanks to good design.

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I thought they were talking about 16 hours a day in the closed season as that is what the video is about.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

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3 hours ago, RobF said:

Whilst yes a 6am start in theory means 10:00, but you need to take into account if all of those engineers are exclusive to DBGT, engineers check and card multiple rides every day, it maybe a case of get everything else/most things ready then DBGT

A fair point. But equally, one would hope / expect that they're able to dedicate 4 people a day to getting Ghost Train open. Indeed in the interview, the engineer says he works pretty much exclusively on the ride!

1 hour ago, PJ. said:

I thought they were talking about 16 hours a day in the closed season as that is what the video is about.


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The video talks about checking all theVR headsets, etc. I don't think they'd need to check them on a daily basis, so I imagine they're talking about it during open season. Which yeah, weird for a 'what we do over winter' series.

1 hour ago, Wumbamillio said:

Design is just as much about making things work behind the scenes and work for the park as it is creating the guest experience. The Ghost Train was incredibly poorly designed. Can forgive the early issues they faced with the ride system because it was prototypey and have since been sorted, but the rest is just one massive oversight after the other.

I know a friend whose daily job is to start up the show systems on a new UK dark ride (pretty much as complex as DBGT with a huge amount of on board computers and backend stuff). It took 45 mins every day for 1 person to start up and test, thanks to good design.

Is the whole thing not very prototypey though? Is there any other thing that has to cope with a large number of computers whilst moving the way Ghost Train moves? There were definitely oversights and design flaws, but at the same time, if you're choosing to forgive one issue down to it being a prototype, then you may as well forgive pretty much all its issues.

 

Presumably the ride you're talking of is Ninjago (based off the entire list of one other UK dark ride that could fit that description). Ninjago has been done multiple times throughout the world, and the ride system itself has been used in other ways too. I imagine a lot of the back end stuff is based off similar rides too. Obviously makes it easier to iron out flaws, etc.

 

16 hours, minimum, is a lot, and no doubt that large period of time was extended down to poor design, not enough invested in improving the system, etc. But given everything it has to do, and the issues, I don't think it's that crazy a number.

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When it has been operating for awhile and they want to drum up some interest in it, I hope they do some behind the scenes videos on how it all works. As long as they make it clear which videos have spoilers so those who don’t want to know, don’t have to watch. I think we would have more of an understanding why it breaks down so much of we saw all the components.


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If they were to show more behind the scenes footage of it, they may as well go the whole hog and show all the content which didn't make it into the final product, like the alternative ending and the supposed 12 different experiences. I just cannot see this attraction being updated much more other than technical fixes from here onwards. Merlin have invested too much money in it already to a mixed reception, so doubt they will keep it feeling fresh any longer.

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It would be awesome to get a good behind the scenes look at the ride. Despite all its flaws, there is a lot that goes on, and a lot they could go into. Even stuff like the illusion of the floating carriage (which is taken for granted by those of us who have done it multiple times, and now sadly a rushed reveal). And a large proportion of the public don't even realise the ride actually moves - I had someone speak to me who genuinely believed the room around the train spun and changed for exampled!

 

I'd be very surprised if the park ever did something like that. And if they did, I'd be surprised if they did it whilst the ride was still a thing. But it would be a nice thing for them to do in the future!

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I think the potential of the hanging train carriage and reveal that you've moved into an underground station are both massively underused, they're the most impressive features of the whole ride yet you're rushed off the train without even getting time to see the surroundings you've moved into?

 

I'm sorry, who thought that up?  Why go to the extent of creating such a clever illusion and then fail to present it properly?  There should be a lighting sequence and audio when you get off that train, it should be a big moment.

 

Also, has anyone considered that it could be a much more fun experience without the VR?  It could be more of a multi sensory experience on the train with it plunging you into darkness, using audio and lighting cleverly to create actual, proper illusions, filling the train up with smoke and projecting figures onto it etc.

 

In my opinion, the use of VR destroys the potential that the (extremely clever) ride system had and makes it an extremely poor and subjective experience.

 

It never delivered on its promises and has only got worse since opening, then there's the completely destoyed live scene too.

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3 hours ago, JoshC. said:

I had someone speak to me who genuinely believed the room around the train spun and changed for exampled!

I thought the point was that people didn't 'dont know' how they ended up in a different place because the train was supposedly fixed in place. So knowing that the train does actually move is like being told the room moving around you in Hex. (Obviously if you work it out it's still fun if its a convincing illusion.)

 

It only dawned on me that this was the point of the illusion a few hours after I went on the ride the first time, because of the confused way the ride plays out. You're rushed on to the train from an awkward side-angle where you don't see the illusion. Not a single guest gets any impression that the train is floating or chained in place.

 

It just feels like walking on to a train platform and getting on a train. So when the train does then 'move' you just accept it. When you get off in the other scene, you just accept it. Also no surprise that it's changed to a tube train, because you were more used to the modern interior than the retro exterior you (briefly) saw earlier. Lazy set up so no payoff.

Then you unceremoniously get back where you started. The addition of a Facetime video of Derren Brown saying "Btw look behind you and you'll see you're back where you started" because the experience is so badly planned guests actually need to be told where to look/how to react didn't really solve the problem.

2 hours ago, Coaster said:

they're the most impressive features of the whole ride yet you're rushed off the train without even getting time to see the surroundings you've moved into?

I'm sorry, who thought that up?  Why go to the extent of creating such a clever illusion and then fail to present it properly?

Exactly, but even the layout of the building wasn't thought about with this 'reveal' in mind so it already (literally) boxed itself in a corner.

On 1/19/2019 at 12:45 PM, JoshC. said:

Is the whole thing not very prototypey though? Is there any other thing that has to cope with a large number of computers whilst moving the way Ghost Train moves? There were definitely oversights and design flaws, but at the same time, if you're choosing to forgive one issue down to it being a prototype, then you may as well forgive pretty much all its issues.

I get the impression the ride hardware was the real prototype (and the engingeering for the train crash effect I suppose), not the use of on-board computers & VR which was been done many times before and basic oversights were made. I agree having that number altogether in the way Ghost Train moves is novel, but it's not all that different to Ninjago (even the prototype Ninjago mostly worked well and didn't require anywhere near those manhours to start up).

Merlin should have given so much more development to this if they cared about getting it right. They deliberately went for cheapest contractor instead of best value, gave inadequate time/money to R&D such a complex product (not necessarily Figment's fault). Then just blamed everything on their contractors as usual.

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19 minutes ago, Wumbamillio said:

I thought the point was that people didn't 'dont know' how they ended up in a different place because the train was supposedly fixed in place. So knowing that the train does actually move is like being told the room moving around you in Hex. (Obviously if you work it out it's still fun if its a convincing illusion.)

 

Isn't the point of what an illusion is though? 

 

When a magician makes your card disappear then reappear, you know it's not 'gone into thin air'. You know you've been tricked. What you don't know if where your card went, and how it got there and back. That makes you think 'maybe it did go into thin air'. It questions your rational judgement.

 

It should be the same principle with Ghost Train. You know you've moved, that's why you're in a different place (and later return to the same place). But you don't know how you've moved, given you're in a train suspended in mid air. So it makes you think you did stay in the same place the whole time, again questioning your rational judgement.

 

The trouble is, as you say, that whole point is completely lost. You don't have enough time to appreciate that you're boarding a train that's suspended in midair. And when you leave, you leave too quickly. There's no reveal about it. You can't question your judgement if you don't have enough time to make a judgement.

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