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Derren Brown's Ghost Train: Rise of the Demon


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Right, after finally getting the chance to travel to the park again today, I have ridden it after reluctantly forcing myself to queue 1 hour for it.

Here is a list of the good and bad parts I observed from beginning to end without spoiling parts of the new experience.

Good parts:

- Queue speakers were nice and loud and didn't cut out at random intervals this time.
- The batching process of arranging two groups of people before entering was more efficient.
- The pre-show room worked fine and was the same as last year, which is good.
- The walk between the pre-show and the warehouse was very dark and some background audio could be heard instead of the banging and protest shouting present in that section before, presumably against the fracking storyline.
- Inside the carriage, almost all headsets were operating and available to use this time (yay).
- The straps used are much easier and comfortable to adjust and fit on your head this time.
- The headphones used for the audio on the headsets really surprised me. They were much clearer, sharper and louder than last year and weren't in those horrible pouches this time, which made it difficult to place over my ears properly and uncomfortable to wear.
- The headphones also blocked out a lot of noise in the carriage this time which helped mute the talking and screaming from other guests.
- First half of the VR is same as last year. Fine with this.
- Nice audio additions made to the mid-way section such as an alarm and emergency evacuation message playing over it. This wasn't here last year.
- Upon boarding the 2nd train, the lights flickering coupled with the train announcements saying you need to put on your goggles made it feel more genuine and made the boarding much more interesting.
- I love how they even got the same alarm noise used on the real tube trains when the doors close!
- The 2nd half is much, much better this time with a far more interesting and acted scene with people this time inside the real carriage (hence the use of a 360 degree camera in the BTS videos).
- When taking your headset off, I like how Derren Brown appears in the screens in the carriage's ceiling explaining to you what happened and to make you think it's all over. Nice little touch.
- The new ending situated where the baggage drop area used to be was most surprising as I wasn't expecting it one little bit and the use of smoke, lighting, audio, floor movement and props used really startled me.
- One last appearance from Derren in the same scene after the scene finished was a good reminder to keep everything inside a secret.

Bad parts:

- Still cannot get the ride open in time at exactly 10 or 11am.
- The queue's batching system whilst makes it more efficient, the staff used it where one bay was for Fastrack only (hotel guests I presume?) and the other for the normal queue, making it a 1:1 ratio between the two. Easily fixable by limiting the number of Fastrack guests at a time, but I didn't appreciate this after waiting 1 hour.
- The photo booth previously used for capturing your face in a jar is no longer used. Wasted opportunity for something else to add to the queue to make the wait more interesting.
- In the pre-show room, a quarter of the stand at the back of the room has now been taken up by a "Workshop" cupboard, making it a bit of a squeeze to get all 56 of us into that room to see the stage properly.
- Before boarding the train, there is still congestion between the groups ahead and your one.
- The carriage I went in had 3 broken headsets already after just 4 days of usage...
- The first VR content still glitches where the video lost position of my head and readjusted itself several times in the space of 5 minutes.
- VR Content was a few seconds out of sync with the carriage moving during the first half.
- The mid-way section was the most disappointing bit. Firstly, it appears the park have given up on the moving tube train effect as it's no longer there anymore and therefore nothing comes towards you like it used to. Secondly, this makes the scene almost pointless and boring without it.
- No actors present in that tunnel unlike some videos I've seen online from the media event on the 30th March - misleading and false expectation.
- When all the lights went out at the half-way point, a single blue one shining on the pipe didn't go out, which ruined the darkness effect.
- The 2nd VR content glitches again too, though not as severely this time.
- The jump scare at the very end of the 2nd VR half where the creature pops out as you when Derren talks isn't loud enough to be effective at making you jump.
- Finally, the end scene to me was over a little too quickly and I wished it lasted a few seconds longer!

I've gotta admit whilst queueing for it, I was expecting some very minor updates made and that was it. I was expecting it to be the same old system as last year with lots of broken headsets, broken VR content, unreliable operations, more green smoke and the same CGI rendered creatures from last year. Thankfully, this was not the case.

The experience offered now to me has addressed for the most part the biggest problems I had with the ride - consistency and reliability.

The fact the headsets were almost working flawlessly with better audio, straps and VR content has pleased me greatly and has made me wondered why the heck wasn't the ride like this to begin with? And the new ending enhanced the experience further and actually gave guests a meaningful finale this time and a greater connection with Derren himself.

However, I am still really annoyed that the half-way section is no better than it was during Fright Nights last year where the train didn't move and the scene became pointless as a result. Just from observation, it looks as though the effect has been removed entirely now and I cannot work out why it has. It worked very well with a lot of guests and was far better than nothing happening like it did today. Hopefully this is only temporary, but when you consider the park have had over 4 months to get it ready, you have to wonder if this change was intentional or not.

The biggest concern I still have with this ride is the fact even just 4 days in we are seeing broken HTC Vive headsets already displaying glitchy content. If they are not fixed as soon as possible, over time like last year, more and more and more will go down, which will affect the queues hugely over time, as well as leave bad impressions of a £40M investment that frankly should not be having these issues still after running through 2 seasons currently.

But overall, this update made for the most part has genuinely surprised me more than I was expecting. It's not a massive improvement like everyone on Thursday/Friday were making it out to be, which was probably the hype and anticipation talking which I fell for last year during the rehearsal period.

Regardless, it is better than what it was before by a significant amount to be noticed. If the park can run this with all the headsets working, the half-way section back to what it was last year and open it on time at either 10am or 11am every morning it's available, I will be very happy with it. For now, it's less of a white elephant project than it was last year!

DBGT (2016) - 4/10
DBGT: ROTD (2017) - 7/10

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Why not just fix the effect if it is still present and not have to rely on more staff to make the scene relevant?


The actors used the other night I'm certain were there just for media night/opening day and that was it, similar to that photo being posted around by Thorpe's media team of the warehouse having smoke in the same room with the suspended carriage. Anyone who has ridden it knows that doesn't happen.


If you have to rely on more staff to get a ride working properly than you did last year, that's a bad decision which results in higher running costs (*hint hint Sub Terra*).

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Hi guys! I'm Fab DS and I make discover the best places to have fun around the world on my show Destination Fun on YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/FabDS)


I share with you the video of my experience on Derren Brown's Ghost Train: Rise of the Demon filmed during the Press Night: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1dWVu9uVHPY


Have fun :)


Fab DS

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13 hours ago, Benin said:

Shouldn't have an attraction where quality is based upon staff availability... It pretty much means that not everyone will get the same experience and that's never good...


We all know that anyone at the media night would get it at it's 'best', but it's 'best' should continue into day to day basis...

Except it wasn't running at its best on press night, the effect is broken....



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Hi all first time on forum , I give up on ghost train!!! Three times me and the wife tried last year and it was never open, tried again today, on park at 11 it did open about 12.30 ish but was short lived (we was in queue as well!!) , we had to leave just gone 5 to pick up our young kids. Been told it did reopen before 5.30 but to late for us. Don't know when we can try again as having young kids makes it awkward. So wish this thing was more reliable!!!!

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