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Derren Brown's Ghost Train: Rise of the Demon

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3 hours ago, 08newmanb said:

I know what to do with mid-section:

Increase the tension

Add an alarm system

Fix smoke and strobe lights

Add more actors or announcements

Make horns louder, like at The Walking Dead: The Ride

Make trains light blink, either before, during, or after the horn honks

Add more projections of monsters and zombies

Make it feel like an earthquake

Bring the smell of gas in

Add smoke and strobe lights at the loading side of the station

Make even more panic

Make it even more intense

And finally, SPRUCE IT ALL UP!

I have a simpler solution.

 

...DEMOLITION.

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So the Demon at the end is now some guy that looks like a vampire or something. Amazing.

 

Have to say, having staff walkie talkies so loud that you can hear them over the ride audio REALLY adds to the immersive experience.

 

On a plus note, I've finally realised that the headset actually has to be put on like a cap of sorts for it to fit properly. Also, second headset had green laser sparkles going on, so kinda killed the effect a bit.

 

Got the old lady at the start this time instead of the homeless guy.

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I first rode Derren Brown's Ghost Train in 2017. I've made my feelings clear about the very muddled story in this thread before, but I ultimately did find it a flawed but generally enjoyable ride. Not worth a long queue or the money spent on it, but it was fine.

 

Fast forward to Fright Nights 2019, and oh boy have my feelings changed.

 

The queue for the ride was advertised as a 50 minute wait. Ok, that's fairly long but it was Fright Nights and everything was busy. 60 minutes later we were still not in the batching area. In the 30 minutes that followed, we saw only 3 batch groups enter. One every 10 minutes! Really?! I know this ride isn't great with capacity, but I cannot understand operations being this bad.

 

The pre show was as boring and disconnected from the experience as usual, but at least it all worked. Once it ended we moved onto the next waiting area and waited. And waited. And waited. We were there for 5 minutes. Worsening the wait was that the room is lightly themed with no music (I thought IMA score made 90 mins of music, and yet it plays only in the queue, why?) and we were waiting with the worst actor / staff member they could find. This preemptively killed any momentum the pre show gave the experience.

 

Despite the lengthy wait, when we did move into the hanging carriage room we were hurried through to board. This room is probably the only decent bit of the ride and yet we barely got to experience it. Genius move Thorpe. Genius.

 

Once onboard we had VR segment one. It was fine, but very little happens really on reflection (it occurs to me that the whole VR segments contain 2 'ghosts' in total, which is ridiculously low).

 

After the VR segment we were asked to wait on the train for a bit. At this point we all sat in the awkward and silent carriage. No music, nothing. People around us muttered "is that it?" and "that was s***". 

 

We eventually moved into the abysmal middle section. There were no sound effects or music. We all wandered around an empty set of cages and then (would you believe it) we reached the end and waited for ages. In silence....again. 

 

Eventually we went into the 2nd VR segment and saw the final of the two 'ghosts' of the experience. The segment was fine.

 

Once over we went into the shop for the fake-out finally. We waited there for ages before anything (what a shocker). When it did begin we merely got a man in a t-shirt rather than a demon. Really?!

 

This ride was ok at first but now it is utterly abysmal. There is NO sense of theatrics at all anymore. In 2017 there was a serious effort to keep the pace going and maintain some story. There was an energy from the actors and the middle section was seemingly the glue that held it all together. Now there were awkward silences, confusion and waiting it was an embarrassment and I struggle to see how anyone enjoys it in it's current state (if anyone does I'd love to know why). Judging from the people in my train the public seem to hate it.

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Agree entirely with the above. Similarly with our experience it took a long time to move in the queue, and once we were batched it was a good 10-15 minutes until we were in the preshow. Seeing one group enter every 10 minutes implies to me that it's either on one or two train operation?

 

The theatrics comment is spot on, and ties in with my comments about the walkie talkies. Talk about not giving a flying fig about the guest experience on a multi million pound ride when you can hear staff conversations over the ride audio. It's difficult enough getting "immersed" in it anyway without trying to block out staff messages about preshow, batching yadda yadda.

 

The middle section for us made no sense either, I don't recall seeing the projection of the demon - does that even happen now? - and the staff member didn't explain what was going on or what the rush was. 

 

As I understand it, the demon outfit is broken and not coming back, for this season at least. Pitiful really..  a new addition that doesn't even last 2 seasons. A bit like the old middle section that stopped working too. 

 

I overheard a couple behind us when we rode discussing it - "Well that makes no sense" and "I don't even know what's going on, I'm confused" was the main gist of the conversation. I suppose the fact the anti fracking posters in the queue line have never been replaced/repaired doesn't help matters at all.

 

Who knows what the 2020 holds for this experience that is "the future of theme parks".

 

I'd take a stab at even further reduced hours or opening on peak days only...

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Sub Terra was more enjoyable even though there were mixed reviews but it was still shut down. How they can still run it in this state is beyond belief. I stand by my advice; Don't ride, avoid at all costs.

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It is frustrating that they spent so much money on it and lets face it, it’s awful.  First time I rode it in 2016 I really enjoyed it even though the storyline made little sense - after a couple of rides it quickly became boring.  When they updated it in 2017 the story made more sense and the ending hugely improved the experience but that middle section which used to have lights on a stick used to be so good - now it’s just bizarre and pointless.

 

Now the demon has gone at the end (which these days is my fave part - the exit) it’s actually laughable - some guy coming out coughing and walking like he has soiled his pants isn’t scary.

 

I wish they’d just kept the arena - at least they had a decent space for mazes in there 

 

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There was no demon projection or anything in the middle section. We literally just waited around in the corner before being ket on to the second train. I remember how theatrical the middle used to be with the actors, the great central set piece and the sense of urgency. All that is gone, and it shows how fragile the overall experience is.

 

I loved Sub Terra and I miss it. That had the theatrics nailed down. Merlin, for all their sins, CAN do theatrics very well. Love them or not, the Dungeons achieve this very well.

 

It is telling in general how atmosphere and pace is needed to keep an experience like this together. The lack of music in particular always bothered me. Why make 90 mins of music and use it only in the queue.

 

Let's do a comparison for a second to a ride that does it right: Hex. To an extent they are similar experiences: they both involve several rooms and pre/mid shows and sit down 'ride' section(s).

 

Hex has a flow to it. Each pre show section builds the tension AND story, and are excellently themed with a sumptuous musically score. Even if you end up waiting a bit to board the final ride, there is music around you as you wait. The ride on it's own would be ok and could stand alone, but really it's an experience that is more than the sum of its parts.

 

Compare this to DBGT. The pre show does not really lead naturally into the hanging carriage and VR segments, and rather than waiting around in a themed area, instead you stall awkwardly with no music. The mid section is jarring now, and merely feels like stalling for time and adds nothing. Again, no music. The VR segments do not stand effectively on their own.

 

I don't think the ride is beyond repair. I don't rate the tech that highly, but with new VR segments, increased theatricality and a story/tension-building preshow and mid section it could be saved. 

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I was expecting all that.

When I went on the ghost train, I was watching the pre show, still as normal. I pretty get much used to it already, but I don't care. Before the warehouse, there was a female staff, telling us about the train carriage, in a boring way. She sounds bored already. As we board, a male staff banging his metal staff, which makes us jump. He does that a few times. I react to the VR sections, still and scared as usual. I scream very loud. For example, I imagine an old lady, which looks like the late Carrie Fisher, with a dog, which she calls, "Leia". When we're ushered off, I ran off first straight away, and into the maze. I even ran through the maze, reaching to the next scene. What I did then, was pretending to be a staff member, quoting for safety and panic in different ways. When we're told to go back onto the train, again I ran first. Adjusting VR took a bit longer as usual. Second VR segment, watching the first half, before moving on to THE FIERY PIT! I mean fiery death. I imagine in different scenarios. For example, an earthquake, a train derailment, and a flood, when a monster catches and eat us alive! When we got off again, I walk out first into the gift shop. And again, I pretended to be a shop staff, before the final jump scare appears. I saw someone in a hoodie, scaring us. I imagine, as if it is "a devil in disguise" of a human, or an infected zombie. And we went out of the building. End of story.

What I make this attraction more improvising, is a lot of IMAGINATION! So feel free to react to my comment, please.

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If the ride needs guests to imagine that it is a better ride for it to be enjoyable then I think that says a lot.

 

I was having a read through older pages if this thread when the ride opened. It's very interesting to chart the change of enthusiasts' opinions. From 2016 to 2017 there were generally positive responses and then reactions sour quickly in 2018. It really seems the mid section and the pacing of the ride really glued it all together. The ride experience is very fragile.

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15 minutes ago, Hethetheth said:

If the ride needs guests to imagine that it is a better ride for it to be enjoyable then I think that says a lot.

 

I was having a read through older pages if this thread when the ride opened. It's very interesting to chart the change of enthusiasts' opinions. From 2016 to 2017 there were generally positive responses and then reactions sour quickly in 2018. It really seems the mid section and the pacing of the ride really glued it all together. The ride experience is very fragile.

Yeah probably. I wish the VR segments would be more complex, than originally thought back in 2016.

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Things like the theming, the major illusion of the train and preshow are actually pretty good. When you're in the queue, despite being able to see the surroundings quite clearly it feels as if you're in a bubble and the rest of the park doesn't exist so it has really good atmosphere right from the moment when you walk in. IMO what lets it down is that there's nothing really scary about it , it doesn't flow and for me this is because there isn't any coherent story that's explained for the ride you've just spent over an hour queuing for and it seems very rushed (at least when I went in it this year). 

Looking at the half-torn posters on the building etc. and reading on here you can piece together what the story is about.

 

Overall it seems like a better version of the London Dungeons but it seems the £35million was spent on the wrong areas of the ride experience (what good is setting up the presumably extremely expensive illusion of a train suspended by chains if it isn't even referenced by any of the cast?). 

I still quite like it and it isn't as bad as people make it out to be but it's definitely not hit the mark regarding the scare factor it promises. When I went in for the first time all my groups' VR headsets etc. were working and the ride didn't shut down once whilst queuing which are another 2 major problems people also have with the ride so I can't comment on that.

Overall: 4/10 

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23 hours ago, Ivsetti said:

Looking at the half-torn posters on the building etc. and reading on here you can piece together what the story is about.

Awful storytelling then if you have to look online or read some words on a poster. I'm convinced some people at Merlin must be deluded when you see how many of their attractions have self indulgent "backstories" that actually manifest in nothing, other than some screens, a preshow video and some signs.

The best hook that ride had was not the Sub Core energy story (whatever it was) but the whole Derren Brown mental illusion Victoriana thing, which amounts to nothing after the preshow.

I disagree that the queue has any atmosphere, it's horrendous! Loud tinny music blasted into your ear for ages while you walk around a switchback squeezed around the back of the building.

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To be honest the preshow barely connects to the rest if the ride at all. Frankly, everything before you enter the carriage is essentially unrelated to the preshow and hanging train. 

 

Derren in the preshow:

"And after it's all over talk to your friends you may find they perceived things diffferently" (something to that effect).

 

How? The film on the VR is pretty much identical... 

 

For a ride supposed to have:

 

A. Ghosts

B. Illusions 

C. Trains 

 

It has literally only 2 of A and only 1 of B (the hanging carriage is an illusion, the rest is just a video on some goggles). Apart from the name and preshow it has sweet nothing to do with Derren or illusions at a basic level. It succeeds only in having trains, I'll give it that.

 

I actually prefer the Dungeons.

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On 7/29/2018 at 9:39 AM, Hethetheth said:

Here is my proposal:

You step on board and now it's Victorian. You've been taken back in time by the mysterious carriage, and the ghosts are after you!

Events pan out as they did before but all in a consistent Victorian theme and plenty of ghosts. The second VR section omits the headsets on other virtual people.
The shop ending remains the same, because it's the best bit of the current ride.

 

I'm obviously not suggesting the is viable to change the carriages now...but it's how I'd have done it with the same ride system.

 

What are your thoughts?

Imagine if the ghost train is set Victorian, on the outside, AND the inside. Setting the journey, in Victorian times, imagine something like in a Tim Burton style. That would be nice.

Edited by 08newmanb

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On 10/17/2019 at 8:06 PM, Ivsetti said:

Looking at the half-torn posters on the building etc. and reading on here you can piece together what the story is about.

You can't even read most of the posters now as they've all been vandalised. Appreciate they were supposed to look ripped when they were first put up but now you'd do well to see the "F" word anywhere in the queue line.

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7 minutes ago, MattyMoo said:

now you'd do well to see the "F" word anywhere in the queue line.

Along with the snapchats of practically every single attention-seeking teenager in the country which...yeah...NO ONE asked for.

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On 10/21/2019 at 11:51 AM, MattyMoo said:

You can't even read most of the posters now as they've all been vandalised. Appreciate they were supposed to look ripped when they were first put up but now you'd do well to see the "F" word anywhere in the queue line.

Yeah. As if most people deny ALL the warnings, about the fracking posters! Imagine that.

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Not sure if this has been posted here before (I don't think I've seen it before), but a BTS video from Figment - the company who did the VR - of Ghost Train...

 

At about 50 seconds there's a particularly insightful look at how the ride looks when running.

 

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Not sure if this has been posted here before (I don't think I've seen it before), but a BTS video from Figment - the company who did the VR - of Ghost Train...
 
At about 50 seconds there's a particularly insightful look at how the ride looks when running.
 


Interesting thanks. I wonder if they considered AR? A mix of AR headsets and screens as windows could have looked great so you see your real friends and the action goes on in the windows but have the additional layer of the roof being ripped off overplayed so as to question reality as suggested by Dezza.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

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Interesting to see as its a rare shot of the entire train vehicle, but also where its showing is the 2nd vr section. Notice how the entire track section has raised and tilts several degrees, a effect that happens every ride but is probably missed by many 

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On 11/5/2019 at 2:36 PM, 1729 said:

Interesting to see as its a rare shot of the entire train vehicle, but also where its showing is the 2nd vr section. Notice how the entire track section has raised and tilts several degrees, a effect that happens every ride but is probably missed by many 

Yeah. I wish it could get sorted out.

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5 hours ago, 08newmanb said:

Yeah. I wish it could get sorted out.

It is sorted? What I was mentioning is its quite a major (and expensive) part of the ride system yet same with the transfer tracks its a effect thats too well hidden/ subtle for it to be noticed by most riders

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wow, lots of people continue to have the wrong opinion about this ride. some of you just can't stop hating a ride designed by a gay man, hmm wonder why? 

 

sucks that the demon isn't around hope they bring him back

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