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JoshC.

The Walking Dead: The Ride - New for 2018

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This will sound cynical but this just looks like the standard cheap rehashing of old attractions, masked by sticking a trendy IP on the door, that we've come to expect from Merlin. I agree with everyone who's surprised how little the theme fits the tame coaster.

 

The cheap-to-make drab and depressing themes around Thorpe Park are so tired and overdone now. They always were in my opinion. Young adults want big energy and colour too! X was alright for that after the clubby tart up and suited the age bracket better, but still only the best of what they could do on a too-small budget. And if you DO want horror and edge, there are 100 ways to do it without just making dirty warehouse buildings with junk decorating the paths.

 

They'd be better off demolishing X and saving that enormous space for something not totally restricted by the poor existing coaster inside. But 'why do that when you can save £££s stick a stack of old tyres, barbed wire and a standard preshow, and call it new?'

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What an absolutely mental decision.

I would have loved to have seen that meeting where they concluded the best way to make the park more family orientated was to retheme a family coaster that can't have single riders to the walking dead. 

All this will result in is ruining guest satisfaction as they hype up a walking dead coaster that can't possibly fulfill the media hype while at the same time reducing the line up for younger guests. 

 

It's just constant short sighted decisions resulting in higher running costs which when accompanied by the reduction in spending on the theme park division can only end badly.

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I do wonder what they will do in regards to it’s current target market, obviously at the moment it has a 1m height restriction so you get 4/5 year olds going on there - I can’t see the theme being overly gory / extreme like the mazes day, that said I’m wondering how / if they will make it suitable for the younger ones.

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Ridiculous and bizarre decision, Thorpe is marketed as "an island like no other" but all they do is add depressing and dull horror themes with barbed wire to (almost) everything.

 

X was perfect for families, and following the small refresh this year was exactly the fun, enjoyable attraction that it should be.

 

Thorpe are making a lot of strange decisions at the moment but this just takes the biscuit, first they add angry birds land, install an interactive maze for families, shoehorn in two family flats yet now they're taking a coaster designed for families and alienating them by giving it a horror theme?!

 

Literally makes no sense, especially considering they purchased new trains back in 2013 so the height restriction could be lowered to 1 metre - so families could ride it!!

 

Pathetic use of money and resources for a park which needs so many sensible improvements to be made.

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^ The Point is we don’t know yet, we’ve very little idea of what theme this will take, what ages it will be suitable for etc, I’d be surprised if it goes back to 1.4m personally but I guess we will have to see.

 

X trains were new - just turned around

,head rests removed and new lap bars added! I would guess this is probably the most investment X has seen in all it’s different variations.

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Thing is you can't make something like Walking Dead family friendly without, well, defeating the point of having the IP in the first place...

 

So either they alienate the family market, or create a diluted attempt at the show...

 

Neither option is positive...

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True - It will be interesting to see how it’s handled , as I said I’d be surprised if they put the restriction back to 1.4 but guess we will nee to see.

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I’ve really given up caring about Thorpe Park. Recent development history means that I have no optimism that Merlin will create something really special.

 

Is there even a development plan at the moment? It feels like every development completely combats what the last one tried to do.

 

“Thrill Capital” marketing results in the family ride Storm Surge.

 

“Island Like No Other” marketing results in a gory horror overlay of a popular family roller coaster. 

 

Are all of Merlin’s ‘magic makers’ really just headless chickens? Why does a flash in the pan idea seem to override any sustainable long term development? Do they not have a clear vision of what they want the park to look and feel like 10 years from now? It’s the most frustrating feeling when the park you’ve grown up loving and feel that’s got so much potential doesn’t have a clear direction - or any direction at all. 

 

Can someone swap home parks with me please?

 

 

 

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Don't panic yet !the WD may  just be a codename as Thorpe have only just refurbished X and I doubt that they would waste their money or change their target audience for the sake of one ride. Living dead might be the sponsor but may tone thier scaryness down to create a mild well themed special effects ghost train combined rollercoaster for the younger guests/family's Similar to Crushes Coaster at Disneyland Paris but horror themed instead of Nemo.I think this is extremely likely given Derren brown is next door and that is aimed at the teen/adult audience.we can live in hope! my point is backed up by the failure of Saw alive the permanent horror attraction with live actors back in 2011

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4 hours ago, Theme park Fanantic said:

I have just private messaged Thorpe on Facebook to ask some questions I will report back the answers when I have them.

Why? They won't tell you anything.

 

I don't understand the point of contacting a park about this sort of thing. It gets you nothing.

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5 hours ago, CharlieN said:

Are all of Merlin’s ‘magic makers’ really just headless chickens? Why does a flash in the pan idea seem to override any sustainable long term development? Do they not have a clear vision of what they want the park to look and feel like 10 years from now? It’s the most frustrating feeling when the park you’ve grown up loving and feel that’s got so much potential doesn’t have a clear direction - or any direction at all.

 

 

This won't be so much to do with the designers, and more to do with the company/park's marketing strategy which traditionally flip flops all over the place failing to see the clear picture, while succumbing to pressures of shareholders who don't care one bit about the actual guest experience on offer. They just want quick short term solutions, so sticking an IP on an existing attraction it is.

 

Merlin's (failing) marketing strategies lead all aspects of the theme parks development. In fact Merlin Magic Making are just as much a research and marketing division as they are attracion designers.

 

Good marketing is important and would tell you that a hardcore American TV show brand slapped on to the park's only big family rollercoaster isn't the way forward. Superficial marketing gets you I'm A Celebrity, VR hurredly designed into Derren Brown's Ghost Train at the cost of the whole concept working as intended, the flip flopping Thorpe Park brand and the park becoming filled with grey, drab depressing themes.

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Whenever a situation like this arises, you always have to think back to when Nick Varney revealed he didn't even know about the atrocious Fanta sponsorship of Oblivion and how it had been handled.

 

It's very clear that development decisions are being made by people who don't actually visit these parks or keep track of their investments, hence why a half-decent family coaster which got a clean up just a few years ago is now going to get another shoe-horned IP - and perhaps the most desperate attempt yet...

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I think it's still Merlin's policy that any new development concept gets approved by Nick Varney or the Merlin board before hand though, so they'll be aware of this and have approved it. But things like sponsorships will probably be at a park level rather than a Merlin level.

 

But I'd have a guess that the previous X redo a couple years back was a park-led idea, and that all Merlin would have been involved in was granting the budget to refurbish the trains and buy new effects. So MMM wouldnt have been involved. I don't see the previous X project as money wasted, it did improve the ride and put some fun back into it for a wider audience, and I think that's what matters.

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ANOTHER dark, post apocalyptic and horror themed attraction for Thorpe Park? They really don't think things through do they?

 

The stupidest thing is though, this whole thing is completely unnecessary!

 

X still drew crowds and was in one of the best states of it's life. This retheme may initially increase the ridership but in time, the "new" experience effect will wear off and the ride will more than likely become less popular than ever. I say that because at least in my eyes, there's always a fitting time for a rave in the dark, not so much a horror experience with faffy preshows.

 

Probably been said to death about the park over the years but once again they are killing off a family attraction, will they ever learn?

 

Finally I really hope when this thing opens they plan on running the coaster at capacity otherwise it's going to be even more laughable.

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Another ridiculous idea from Thorpe Park.

What really annoys me they can find money for short term junk like this but cannot maintain their current attractions.

 

Proves they take no notice of any feedback. Only have to look at the reviews on TripAdvisor

 

It seems these young inexperienced staff running Thorpe Park are clueless. Sure they will blame someone else though when it fails.

 

Seems Thorpe is on a downward spiral. Flop after flop.   

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I haven't been to Thorpe Park since June 2015 and developments like this do nothing to encourage me back. It genuinely breaks my heart a little bit to see somewhere that holds so many childhood memories being neglected and starved of any real investment or upkeep. At what point will Merlin just bugger off?! Someone give me some hope to cling onto! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Well, my friends friend works at Thorpe and he has hinted that X is going to be rethemed to Walking Dead. 2019/2020 will also see a 50m high thrill coaster. Furthermore, it is a 75% chance that IAC will be saying goodbye to the island.

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On 12/2/2017 at 7:29 AM, OlivusPrime said:

Whenever a situation like this arises, you always have to think back to when Nick Varney revealed he didn't even know about the atrocious Fanta sponsorship of Oblivion and how it had been handled.

 

It's very clear that development decisions are being made by people who don't actually visit these parks or keep track of their investments, hence why a half-decent family coaster which got a clean up just a few years ago is now going to get another shoe-horned IP - and perhaps the most desperate attempt yet...

Wait I think this is a more important point than anyone else is taking on. Is it possible that they didn't really think of X as the family ride it is, rather when offered a sponsorship they looked at their list of attractions and just tried to go with whatever ride they thought would fit best, such as an old, rave themed ride? It would make sense, looking at a piece of paper, that X would be the ideal choice to put this update on. All the other rollercoasters (outside Colossus but why would you ever choose Colossus) are either going strong or it would be too hard to retheme them within the given time. X, however, is ideal in this category. It's an old ride which has faced many 'facelifts' and has been pinballing back and forth between extreme and family. If you were a corporate Merlin executive with the offer of a huge IP, and probably didn't have much time on your hands, X seems like the obvious choice. This choice only falls apart if you use the knowledge we have a regular visitors or fans who inspect the park constantly. Looking at it from the oppinion of someone who was told that they had to retheme a ride, I think X might not have been the worse choice. Would you rather have had Walking Dead Rapids? I don't think that this was the smartest move ever, but looking at it from that point of view, I think it holds up a lot more. Anyway, we won't know anything until opening day. 

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On paper, Swarm is surely the obvious choice for a retheme to The Walking Dead.  The ride didn't do too well when it opened (by Merlin's measures), and is already themed to a post-apocalyptic world.  It would take very little to change it from aliens flying through Thorpe Park to, say, the first days of the outbreak of a zombie virus.  Less than it would changing X to TWD.

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Still the biggest thing I can gather from the plans is quite a interesting fact.

It looks like this is more than just a fancy new exterior

 

simply because, why would you move the bag drop from a fine place just before the coaster entrance/exit to outside the pryamid

 

well I'm not exactly sure on the internal paths, but I think you could in theory route guests from the new pre-show,  to Living Nightmare then after that to the entrance of X semi-colon back-slash No Way Out and after the ride the standard route out  (or reversed the paths so the entrance is now the exit path and the exit is now the entrance path)

 

combined with some theaming of the internal walls (flashing lights sirens, sound)  and theaming inside the pyramid (dosnt need to be on the plans and could be anything at this rate)

you would have a long themed "unique" experience. which dosn't need much more staff (not including actors) as the X staff could handle the new pathing system more or less

 

thoughts?  it could work and Xs 700 per hour would work in the favour (think the maze would have a similar throughput for a nice experiance)

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