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Derren Brown's Ghost Train: Rise of the Demon

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Allegedly people have now ridden the ride, according to people at the resort yesterday.

 

Whilst no reviews have have been given just yet, it seemed to go down very well, suggesting a significant improvement...

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Not to mention various guests have said on Facebook they saw people riding the attraction.

 

As said NDA's are in place meaning those who ride cannot say anything about the experience and are unlikely to come forward. As the above post stated, people did indeed ride the attraction yesterday.

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A friend managed to get into press night and claimed it was totally different to the previous version and it was defiantly worth the crumminess of last time!

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Press event is well underway with celebs such as Nicholas Hoult, Jake Bugg, Alesha Dixon and Sophie Ellis-Bextor at the event! Creams have also supplied an extra spooky freakshake especially for DBGT:ROTD. Reviews in so far saying that it's packing much more of a punch than last year with lots of scares and that the 2nd VR section is fab! I'm sure many more reviews will come out tomorrow... :ph34r:

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I guess I can review it now? It's safe? I'm safe? I guess so...

 

Hey guys, as a few will testify I was lucky enough to ride Derren Browns Ghost Train - Rise Of The Demon a few days ago and this is my spoiler-free review

 

DO NOT look at spoilers for this ride, do not even try, it will ruin everything for you. Go on expecting everything and nothing, and remember not everything is as it seems.

This is by far the best attraction in Merlins history as of this update, this ride at its worst makes the original Derren Browns Ghost Train, when it was at it's best, look awful (and I loved last years version to bits, as many will know.). 

 

Last year was a brilliant idea, this year however, is an outstanding execution of a brilliant idea. :)

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I have just one question to the lucky few who have ridden it this evening:

 

Did all the hardware function correctly this time?

 

:blink:

 

(EDIT: After seeing some video footage from tonight, it has become apparent that it hasn't...... excellent......)

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There's talk one thing is having issues but it's now got an effective alternative that many have assumed to be a change in the ride rather then a temporary alternative...

 

(This is yet to be 100% confirmed)

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The ride was in top form tonight - there has been a tonne of improvements all over - from the new (very good quality and loud!) headphones - improved effects on the trains and new touches in scene 2 (train wasn't working this evening but the improvisions were pretty good (as thoss who watch the spoiler videos will see!

 

 

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The ride was in top form tonight - there has been a tonne of improvements all over - from the new (very good quality and loud!) headphones - improved effects on the trains and new touches in scene 2 (train wasn't working this evening but the improvisions were pretty good (as thoss who watch the spoiler videos will see!
 
 

Is there a link to the spoiler video from tonight please?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

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Spoiler free thoughts.

Just interested, was the train definitely not working then or is that a roundabout guess? I would have been disappointed if they'd removed the train in favour of that, but if what I saw was a planned improvisation then that's a very neat solution, it still managed to be theatrical.

I don't feel keen to visit anymore and so watched the videos. I recommend that anyone who plans to go on the ride should not watch anything - pixelated, grainy naff videos will not be a patch on actually being there in person and will give the game away.

 

But since I won't be visiting, got to admit I was disappointed to see the ride still shuffles along without much real drama or theatre, still lots of am-dram actors speaking in your face trying to 'explain' the plot to you. I had truly hoped they'd done away with the Wikipedia-style 'backstory' and focussed on sheer dramatic fun and fear instead, taken the attraction in a totally fresh direction, truly playing with your senses, without letting the boring 'Sub Core Energy' wordiness get in the way. The scripting is such a shame and very unimaginative.

 

Having said that, the parts that have been properly redesigned seem much improved. With the element of surprise brought into the attraction more, it looks like it is much more entertaining overall. I still think it needs a completely new approach from a dramatic perspective, because the majority of the ride is still a missed opportunity, but at least the second half sounds like it delivers a lot better.

I will keep those particular surprises intact for if/when I do ride it, but the whole thing still seems so lacking to me that I won't be visiting for the sake of seeing what's new. Don't get me wrong, I am usually very enthusiastic about dark rides & themed attractions, but the Ghost Train, once its novelty wears off, still feels like your average Halloween scare maze - with sit down VR sections added.

 

As long as those who went had a genuine fun time today, and I hear the new ending was a great touch.

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Right. 

 

Firstly I'm not a fanof VR based attractions. I find it a cop out basically. I like Alpenexpress VR as an extra choice, and 1/10 Times I'll use the VR on Galactica. A whole attraction seems and is to me, too much. 

 

First part is unchanged basically, fine there were no major issues there. 

 

Second VR sequence is much better with in built buffers instead of a loop so if they're slow at loading You aren't watching a green mist loop. But, the new VR goes away from the sub core story or is very little tie in. Yeah. 

 

New ending is good though and it feels a lot more in Derren's  styling. So yeah it's at least complete now and all flows.

 

BUT. I feel it's pretty unreridable for me at least as its only VR and doesn't change so it isn't jumpy after one go. And the story isn't strong enough for you to just sit And enjoy in my eyes, especially as the train hardly moves so it's just like watching tv on your phone on the underground. 

 

Also, great it's better but this should have been version one, the last year debacle should never have been green lit so I find it hard to overly applaud them for improving something that was so bad to begin with. It's better yes, but that wasn't hard. 

 

Oh and it's still far too complex mechanically for what it does and I believe it will be unreliable as ever. It broke at least 4 times tonight, but they do seem to be able to start it up better now. 

 

Yeah, maybe queue10 mins for it but I fear itwill get repetitive very fast and is gonna cost a bomb to run so may struggle in the long term, especially if it's popularity dwindles.

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Went on it yesterday and will just say "WOW" what a difference they have made - there is bits that could do with tweaking still but I would ride this again willingly - love the new special ending (my lips are sealed though)!!!

 

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7 hours ago, Mitchada04 said:

Also, great it's better but this should have been version one, the last year debacle should never have been green lit so I find it hard to overly applaud them for improving something that was so bad to begin with. It's better yes, but that wasn't hard. 

 

I was thinking this last night - if DBGT 2016 version was so going to be so technologically advanced, groundbreaking etc. etc. they shouldn't have tried to rush it through and put unrealistic opening dates out there just for the sake of having it open. Merlin seem to have a habit of putting exact dates out there instead of just being vague with "Coming soon" - Smiler being a case in point, they announced at the start of the year an exact opening date, and anyone could see from construction it wouldn't be ready in time. 

 

I know the tech of DBGTROTD means the ride can evolve, change etc. over time but I'm sure they weren't expecting or anticipating having to add to the ride so dramatically after one (half-ish) of a season? 

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Adam's review above really hits an important note - Ghost Train is still fundamentally the same.  It's still a VR-heavy attraction with a story about fracking and bad things happening (I disagree that the new VR goes away from the story, it fits in more in my opinion).  If it wasn't your cup of tea last year, it still won't be this year.

 

In saying that, it is improved, and I do think that even those who don't like the attraction that much should at least be able to appreciate some parts of it in some way.  Lots of thought and effort clearly went into rectifying last year's faults.  Obviously there shouldn't be a need to rectify faults this badly, but we are where we are.

 

For me personally, I enjoy it, moreso than I thought I would this year.  And there's enough to keep me coming back to it for a while, so I'm happy. 

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2 hours ago, BaronC. said:

Ghost Train is still fundamentally the same.  It's still a VR-heavy attraction with a story about fracking and bad things happening (I disagree that the new VR goes away from the story, it fits in more in my opinion).  If it wasn't your cup of tea last year, it still won't be this year.

 

In saying that, it is improved, and I do think that even those who don't like the attraction that much should at least be able to appreciate some parts of it in some way.  Lots of thought and effort clearly went into rectifying last year's faults.  Obviously there shouldn't be a need to rectify faults this badly, but we are where we are.


I think a completely fresh approach could have been taken throughout the ride for a true brilliant, timeless experience.

 

It needn't have the story, the poor scripting and the reliance on actors. I feel honestly that if you were lost in those tunnels on your own, with nothing but pure theatre and effects unfolding all around you (as in Universal's type show attractions) while the 'demon' attacks or whatever happens, then it would easily be far more dramatic than having some staff members shouting and spelling out this infection story.

 

Proper amazing theatrical effects - there needn't be a huge change to the theme itself - just paced better, dressed better, immersive effects and trickery, with the group (seemingly)  lost on their own down the tunnels. There are many ways you could make it work. I still think the tube stations where you get off have no atmosphere too, static white lighting with mostly flat sets. Since you're supposed to be questioning what's real and not real, wouldnt it be brilliant if it used lighting or strange dressing to create surreal surprises/reveals? For example, once Scene 2 happens and all hell breaks lose - you get back on the train and now the station looks like the upside down from Stranger Things or something (to that effect). It would be a great illusion, but the station change is left as another missed opportunity.

It's all about constant dynamic and surprise, keeping you on your toes about what you think is happening and what actually happens next. It could have been the greatest illusion & special effects ride in the UK. But they have still sidelined that opportunity, in favour of actors telling you "there are people infected, it's something to do with the drilling and gas". Is this really what a great show is made of? It's not a patch on one of Derren Brown's real shows.

 

 


Remember how Hex was redesigned too. In fact Hex has enormous parallels with DBGT. When Hex first opened, it got so caught up in its story and forgot to deliver the drama, and people came out divisive much like DBGT last year. They were able to see the ride had brilliant moments yet it just wasn't delivering.

 

And so they took a whole new approach, cut the characters and cut the scripting about guests getting stuck in the Octagon because of the lightning and all that - rewrote the whole show as a theatrical progression, showing not telling, and it worked so much better. It was wonderful and made the attraction so seemless, subtle, dramatic & fun, just by swalling their pride and taking a good new look at how the story thread unfolded.

 

I appreciate that DBGT now has a much better ending, excellent. I hope it is the most Derren Browny twist ever, that would be a great way to finish. But what the ride really needed in my experience was a brand new approach to make DBGT more entertaining, more frightening and the potential to make it a masterpiece.

I echo the appreciation though that, for what it was last year, it is now a much better experience.

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