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Derren Brown's Ghost Train: Rise of the Demon


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Got 2 rides on Ghost Train yesterday, each time I'm going on it I'm enjoying it more, however that 2nd VR section is still bollocks.   Operations towards the end of the day were incredibly p

It's fine everyone, Thorpe will have their Derren Brown's Ghost Bus Replacement Service in operation if there's any delays.

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10 hours ago, pluk said:

 

I imagine that whatever restrictions Covid necessitates could be overcome if the desire was strong enough to keep the ride running. This conversation seems to be jumping the gun a little but if it has gone it surely is because they want it gone, not because it has to go.


I think the problem with ghost train is before this the cleaning was very much a quick wipe of headsets when guests were in the tunnel - even if restrictions allowed I don’t think guests would accept this so much now, they would need to properly clean each headset between every load now - it’s throughput was bad enough before I think it would be even worse now - along with even come june I’m not sure people would be happy sitting packed in on a train like that.

 

To be fair that’s not to say it won’t reopen - but I can’t see it being able to run “well” atall any time soon - definitely not during the 2021 season.

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On 3/3/2021 at 5:54 PM, JoshC. said:

 

With Ghost Train there's plenty of other factors though.

 

-How has the IP contract been affected during Covid? If no sort of extensions have happened, we're surely nearing the end of the contract, and I can't imagine any party really being keen to extend it. So Covid would have effectively closed the ride earlier than planned. 

-What will the public's faith be in VR in a post-Covid world?

-Will there be new cleaning procedures required for VR, and can the park feasibly implement them?

 

Ultimately if its time is coming to an end, it's because of Covid. Sure, there's other factors which could contribute to the closure, but Covid will be the main reason.

In a way, this is sort-of what I mean - if the ride was successful, popular etc. then the drive would be there to reopen it as soon as possible.

 

I don't think there's any dodging the fact that it was an outrageous waste of a large investment, for that amount 10 years of operation would surely be far too short - let alone 5.  Covid may have cut its time short, but if there's no drive from the park or IP to get it reopened, I'd suggest that is a sign of a failed project.

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A huge problem with DBGTROTD is - what on earth do you do with it next? Once VR is permitted Covid-wise I would assume that they could just change the overlay to something else/another story maybe? But if you take away the VR, it's just a train simulator. Could maybe see it going the way of a live action scare maze type attraction maybe? But even then, they don't have a good history whatsoever at the Island Like No Other.... there also comes a point too where you are just throwing good money away over bad, and it's not worth the outlay to keep it going. Any budget to retheme the thing isn't exactly going to be huge because of the cost already spent on it - and then subsequent "upgrades" - shout out to sweaty white T shirt man in the fake gift shop.

 

Can't exactly see anyone being super keen on buying it off them either... and we don't want DBGTROTD, Saw Alive, Slammer and Loggers all sitting there SBNO.

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Tbf I think if Covid didn't exist it would of not been long before it was winded down. Look at Galactica, VR was a passing fad in the theme park industry. A phase, a lot of VR is done as an experiment, and then taken off.

The problem here is that the Ghost Train's main core experience relied on that passing fad. They put their eggs in the basket that was on fire.

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  • 5 weeks later...

Stumbled across this randomly: https://simonrbrown.com/thorpe-park-minds-wanted

 

For those who are unaware / don't remember, the big build up for the announcement for Ghost Train was around the idea of "Minds Wanted". A minisite was created to build hype for the ride, and the above link gives some insight into the creation and the ideas floating around.

 

Obviously we all know how Ghost Train has turned out, but anyone who remembers the build and interest around the ride in late 2015 / early 2016 would probably agree they really hit the money with this part of the marketing.

 

 

Furthermore, it gives some insight into the level of expectations that Thorpe particularly have with teaser campaigns. The teaser videos had a target of 100k viewers, whilst this eventually reached 387k when relevant, with 255k unique users. I think that's particularly interesting, as it shows that really the teaser videos are designed for a smaller audience, but they can generate a buzz when done correctly.

 

The Minds Wanted site is no longer active, but the videos that formed the clues are part of playlist that can be viewed here:

 

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I honestly do not remember the Ghost Train's campaign very well, probably because I was not very interested. I think Merlin have done better marketing trains for rides. The Smiler is a amazing example. The Sanctuary- a maze that basically serves a backstory really fleshes the theme properly for me. I only got to experience it in 2014, but I do believe debuting that maze in 2012 as a teaser was genius. I also remember their was an stupid amount hype behind Smiler. And for good reason, it was a unqiue coaster that really nobody believed could be crammed into that footprint. I remember the app and game they released that slowly revealed the proper layout, and theme. The more you played the more the layout was revealed, I also remember the videos they released towards the opening that were sinister too. I think it has generated the most hype out of any ride for me.

 

Swarm was equally as great, roaming actors. And attempts to build the story they have created. I think the closest Merlin has got to Smiler/Swarm is Wickerman, which is decent. But nowhere near as good, The maze a year before also happened. Though The Welcoming sadly did not really invest me in the theme like The Sanctuary did.

 

 

 

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You can view the Wayback Machine's archive of Minds Wanted here:

https://web.archive.org/web/20151127043531/https://mindswanted.co.uk/

 

Agreed, the Smiler hype and campaign was very well orchestrated - especially considering it was Merlin's own IP. I think it speaks volumes still that it's popularity hasn't waned since the unfortunate accident either.

 

The Swarm's campaign I also loved, but it's interesting how that just didn't seem to strike a chord so much with people vs Smiler... maybe because people are/were sick of the "end of the world" and destruction rhetoric, where as the mysterious and different promo for The Smiler was more engaging.

 

I was young at the time, but on a similar note I remember vividly the Oblivion hype on park, in particular the security guard actors positioned along the perimeter construction fence.

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