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Mattgwise

The Gruffalo River Ride Adventure

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Seeing as a lot of the conversation on the new for 2017 ride, The Gruffalo appears to be taking over the Bubbleworks topic, would make sense to start a new one specifically for it here.

 

Discuss anything and everything related to The Gruffalo.

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Zing.

 

I've heard people say they want/expect the fountains to go and for the designers to come up with their own finalé.

I don't agree with that, I hope the fountains remain and are incorporated in a meaningful way. They are such a neat trick and hope they can be enjoyed by generations in the future. Of course the best thing about them was the strobes,  unfortunately I can't see them returning on something aimed at toddlers.

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On other terms I agree it is a timeless scene which generations deserve to experience.

 

However it was very much a part of the original ride and a concept they invented for Prof Burp's Bubbleworks. It is just uncomfortable that it keeps being reused just because its there, while all other parts of the original ride have been hacked away for 15 odd years. Merlin should come up with a new ending and sever ties with the original ride rather than keep people's nostalgia falsely invested in them.

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Controversially I'm strongly hoping the fountain finale remains and is reused in the retheme.

 

I understand the finale had seen better days (even as the IL version), but the ending always brought excitement and happiness to many of the guests who witnessed this. 

 

Secondly, unless the track is reprofilled  (unlikely), there will probably be limitations on what can be changed there considering the ride's pumping/water systems appear to be there. The only other thing that comes to mind is water screen projections. 

 

My fondness for the fountains staying/reused is not completely down to it being my favourite scene, having an obsession with fountains or the fact my GF and I shared our first kiss there (I promise). 

 

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Projections will feature in the ride somewhere. They'll probably try to make them the world's first high tech fountains that don't work 5 days a week but who knows.

 

The water plant is next to the lift/chute so they can reprofile the channel in the finale room should they wish, but that will cost them.

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My opinion on the reuse of the fountains: if there is reason from a story based perspective to have them, great! However, I agree with the train of thought that a fresh start with the attraction would be wise. I would hate for them to try and shoe-horn in a finale that is not story driven. I welcome creativity with something new. Whilst the IP may not be appealing to us personally, I hope that it provides enough material to be an awesome attraction for the next generation of park guests. 

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Projection mapping, if it works correctly will be a much more impressive finale than some fountains and strobes, let's be honest here...

 

The fountains were an iconic finale, BUT I'd rather not be reminded of the former ride's glory in the new version...

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21 hours ago, Benin said:

Projection mapping, if it works correctly will be a much more impressive finale than some fountains and strobes, let's be honest here...

 

Sorry, but what? Projection mapping is great, but its becoming rather a standard and cliché thing now... Its too formulated.

 

The fountains were just fun. A fun, elated, spontaneous way to end an attraction with nothing greater to its purpose than to entertain. Sadly, projections I feel don't quite deliver that. They're more fake. They seem corporate. Digital. Not the immersive spurt of carefree creativity that the Bubbleworks finale was.

 

Having said that, I'm very pleased to see they have removed the fountains. The Bubbleworks and Gruffalo Storybook Adventure should be kept completely different, incomparable rides.

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I'd take real, fun, spectacular theming and effects over projections or screens; the fountain finale (original, not the half-baked version we saw in recent years) far surpasses anything Merlin will do as a piece of quality entertainment with a brilliant soundtrack to match.

 

Not to mention that if The Smiler is anything to go by, the projection mapping will probably be off, poorly alligned or showing the Windows logo within a few weeks of the ride opening.

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1 hour ago, Coaster Jamie said:

Not to mention that if The Smiler is anything to go by, the projection mapping will probably be off, poorly alligned or showing the Windows logo within a few weeks of the ride opening.

 

Apparently it is the same company as the Smiler's projections but that doesnt necessarily mean it will be poor quality.  What suggests it will be poor quality is Merlin's track record of everything. Projection mapping as a technique can be amazing. But I'm yet to see Merlin even try it properly, so maybe this is their big attempt?

As a singular finale spectacle however, I think saying it will be "much more impressive than some fountains and strobes" is a total mistatement.  They're totally different. The fountains were a spectacle and a show, projection mapping is a method of scenic design and not a feature in itself. If the whole ride was standard and then ended with a 'projection mapping finale' then it would come across as gimmickery with 'cutting edge technology', just like Derren Brown's supposed "VR finale".

 

And bare in mind the fountains were awful for the last 10 years or so, nothing like the scene should have been. When built it was a hands on spectacle. It was a big practical effect that was once an amazing illusionary sight with the strobe effects. The flashing LED lights in the corners seen in recent years barely count and create none of the true effect it used to have.

 

Even many years on,  the feeling of floating through those fountains is unique and enchanting (if the scene werent in such a poor condition akin to floating through a watery garage). Whereas digital effects are more status quo, passively-entertaining and easy to do. I don't see how it automatically means it will be "much more impressive", no doubt that's what Merlin expect though.

 

I dont know where in the ride Projections will be used, perhaps they will be throughout the ride anyway. The technique opens up all sorts of amazing possibilities, but Merlin seem to love using such technology purely as show-off gadgets, done cheaply and as a flash in the pan thing. Whatever happens, the Gruffalo will be totally at odds with the silly and energetic nature of the old BubbleWorks, comparing them will be pointless to the extreme

 

And I agree they had to go, the ride needs to move on, no more pilfering off existing designs anymore.

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Is projection mapping that common? Especially as a major component of a ride?

 

Beyond Disney, Asterix's boat ride revamp, Efteling winter things (which Villa Volta aside, is basic stuff), then Smiler and Oblivio's queue lines, where else is really using it to massive degrees? Universal I guess?

 

You'll also notice I said when done right, selective quoting things like that completely misses the point I'm trying to make... Efteling's Villa Volta winter show is unbelievable, and shows the potential of the concept beyond even the stand out moments of Disney Dreams did, and I adore(d) Dreams...

 

Do I believe that Merlin will reach those heights of quality? It's very unlikely, although the projections in Smiler and Oblivio's queues are quite cool, they don't really have a point or role within the attraction apart to look cool... Using it for a finale will mean they need to put ALL of the effort into it and it needs to make sense and have a reason... As a result if it's more akin to Villa Volta than say the Asterix water ride then it'll be a massive plus point for the attraction, and probably make more sense than the fountain finale would...

 

I'm also pretty sure that if the fountains were kept people would moan that the new attraction would just be trading off the past glories of the original... On a hiding to nothing regardless of their decision...

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I'm not saying the fountains should be kept at all, I've said before I wanted them to be removed and Merlin to come up with a new ending.

Had projection mapping been around in 1990 I'm sure they'd have used the technique to enhance the fountain scene (in fact prototype projection based FX were penned and attempted for both BubbleWorks and Terror Tomb, but the technology wasn't right). But Merlin often like to use such features as gimmickry rather than actual illusion and enhancement.

I do know what you're saying, but your point "Projection mapping, if it works correctly will be a much more impressive finale than some fountains and strobes" totally gives the impression that Projection Mapping is something leagues "better" just as long as they do it well. And I don't think that is automatically the case whichever way its done. The two are totally different in nature, and whatever amazing digital projections, lighting or technology-based FX they come up with, it won't have the practical charm and effect of the tunnel fountains. There'd be no point comparing them really.

 

Merlin's general attitude to technology is often gadget-based and novelty, which results in 'Maplin demo' experiences, so I hope a different approach has been taken with this project.

 

And if projection mapping isn't commonplace now, it will be within a couple years, so novelty shouldn't even be banked on. It's taken UK theme parks a while to get on it but it happens a lot in the UK outside of theme parks and I'm sure we've all seen it. Id love to see it in the ride, and more dark rides, but as a tool in a combination of many techniques to create a good show, not as a gadget.

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