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Tiger Rock


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So I've just come back from Chessington, where I had three goes on Tiger Rock. Here are my thoughts:

 

Area

As many have said, "Land of the Tiger" features many high fences. To be honest, though, it wasn't all too noticeable, as the Tiger Rock itself draws most of your attention. The area around the drop and main entrance to the area, is themed around a conservation site, with the wooden fences decorated as large supply crates. There's some nice theming around the enclosures near the drop (I didn't go too far down where Peeking Heights was), with some crates, shovels, binoculars, all that stuff. The bridge going over the flume itself has a new bridge running alongside it for the tigers (although, I personally didn't see any of the tigers on any of the bridges, one came close but walked off). The area where the Buddha is has all sorts of signs, about some festival, and also signs directing you to "Tiger Cave" "Tiger Pool" and of course, "Tiger Rock". The sign pointing to Tiger Rock is pointing to the theming feature, and not the ride, which could cause confusion. The panning for gold thing has been changed to a doughnuts and churros stand. Now, as you've probably seen, unfortunately, the dragon has been covered up and honestly, it looks awful in person, you can easily see where it was the dragon and some of the green paint remains. The ride entrance is pretty much the same, but painted up in a tiger pattern and with a new sign. Finally, the music is absolutely fantastic, really atmospheric and honestly makes the area. It doesn't sound like anything Chessington have done before.

 

Ride Experience

The queue in the station remains, there's some signs explaining the story, how you're in the "Tiger Temple", you're travelling down the "Amur River" and you're "Connecting with the Spirit of the Tiger". There's also a scene up on the wall, and a show sequence plays every so often with a tiger over your head. The ride is mostly the same until you get to the former Dragon tunnel.

Spoiler

Inside, there's some strobes that flash on the water. There's a wall along the side with some faint faces and such in, that light up and change to tigers. You then go past a tiger head with mist coming out of it's mouth, as roaring sound effects play and some music starts.

 As you exit the tunnel, you catch your first glimpse of the tiger rock on the ride. You pass by the old Chan's Cycles and Lee's Laundry, which are now painted all red and completely bare which I think is a shame. There's some nice audio as you go up the lift and when you're on the top. As you go through the tiger head you're sprayed with mist, like Wicker Man, which means you get wetter than on Dragon Falls. The old photo kiosk is now a tiny gift shop selling mostly just generic tiger stuff, some Tiger Rock bears, cups and pin badges. The old food kiosk is now the photo kiosk.

 

Overall

This review is getting long so I'll keep this short: Overall, I thought Tiger Rock and Land of the Tiger was alright. Not much has changed to be honest, and I was disappointed with some of the theming being removed. I am happy that the ride is back as I felt a part of Chessie was missing without Dragon Falls, without it it was just repeat rides on Fury, Vampire and Rattlesnake.

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I'm a bit late to the party on this one. Went to Chessington recently and can't say I'm particularly impressed with Tiger Rock. This however is based on the fact that I much prefer the zoo/animals being in a separate area of the park entirely, and the theme park being a completely different part. I'm not really a whole fan of this whole idea of integrating the zoo. I've never liked Busch Gardens for the same reason. The whole Land of the Tiger area lacks theming, and the ride areas just look bare and sparse. I LOVE the new soundtrack in the station however, although this would have worked perfectly with the old Dragon Falls. 

 

To me, it's still Dragon Falls, and always will be. The Tiger head over the final drop is far too big; a huge part of what everybody loved about Dragon Falls was the fantastic view for spectators. That has largely been ruined by the huge tiger's head covering the majority of the drop. 

 

I would much rather the tigers had been added to the zoo section of the park, the whole Mystic East area simply brightened up, given a new lease of life, and Dragon Falls remain as it was, with the fantastic addition of the new soundtrack.

 

There are some new elements that I like, including the added lights/sounds in the tunnel. Although not executed particularly well, the thought of using the tunnel to create more of an impact is a good one. I just wish it had been thought about a bit more and executed a bit better.

 

Overall, I love the soundtrack and the attempt at making the tunnel more exciting. Other than that, bring back Dragon Falls.  

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  • 2 weeks later...

Had the pleasure of seeing the Tiger Talk today. Was really interesting to see the tigers up close and how they train them - they use a whistle like thing on the end of a long stick, so the tiger has to follow the whistle and blow into it to get his or her food. A couple of times they made her stand up and my god, those things are much bigger than they look. They also spoke a bit about Wildfire at Kolmarden - they explained how the tigers wouldn't be bothered by the noise of the log flume, because they were situated by the main drop of the ride back in Sweden, so they're used to it by now.

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  • 2 months later...
  • 6 months later...
21 minutes ago, StevenVig said:

So by that logic, every single topic for every attraction should start with New For [Year] - [Attraction Name]

It's not new anymore is my point, so the topic should quite rightly be named simply Tiger Rock

The last post in this thread before today was August. I think we have better things to do on January 1st than change the thread titles for new attractions.

 

But, yes, you're right. It should be named differently, and I have done so. Thank you!

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4 hours ago, StevenVig said:

Can someone edit the title of this topic please, as it is no longer New for 2018

3 hours ago, StevenVig said:

So by that logic, every single topic for every attraction should start with New For [Year] - [Attraction Name]

It's not new anymore is my point, so the topic should quite rightly be named simply Tiger Rock

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  • Mattgwise changed the title to Tiger Rock

Very concerning to see over the last couple of seasons the capacity reduce on Tiger Rock. Had noticed for last two seasons gaps between boats in station during loading but today was on another level with just 11 boats in operation (it has around 26). I guess in fairness the ride is well over 30 years so it could be that some of the boats are coming to the end of their life but think they need to repair or replace. Some pics from in the station... 

 

 

 

 

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Back in the day of full and proper operations, Falls could’ve easily achieved a throughout of at least 1000 PPH. 
 

Given the lack of boats we saw yesterday(half at best), it probably doesn’t get more than 500. And that’s before taking RAP and fastrack into consideration. 

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45 minutes ago, RobF said:

Has merlin also gone down the H&S route and increased the gap between boats following erm incidents ?

 

The spacing between boats was non-uniform. The spacing between some was minimal and no different to, say, 10-15 years ago. Other boats had some space between them, which really was just down to the a reduced number of boats imo

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Merlin-bashing aside....   Does anyone actually know why this might be the case?

 

Could this genuinely be down to deliberately lowering the capacity to make Fastrack more appealing over the busy Easter break?

Or is it more likely to be late maintenance, which seems to be an ongoing issue still.

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2 hours ago, Inferno said:

Could this genuinely be down to deliberately lowering the capacity to make Fastrack more appealing over the busy Easter break?

 

 

I don't know what the reason is, but it won't be this. It will never be this with Merlin.

 

There will be three key departments involved here: a rides department, an engineering department and a Fastrack department. Obviously they will all work in conjunction with each other, but they are all very separate and with different aims.

 

For example, the rides department will have two key aims:

1. Ensure the ride gets as high throughput as possible 

2. Ensure operational downtime is minimal (ie downtime not caused by mechanical / engineering problems that they cannot control)

Obviously this is all done with safety being the top priority, etc etc.

 

The rides department will not care how people got on the ride (ie if they queued normally, Fastrack, RAP), just how many got on. They have to manage this as good as possible though, but they're not motivated by sales in any way. They also may need more staff to run some rides on full capacity, but again, they will not be motivated to bring in less staff so the Fastrack department earns more money, for example.

 

Equally, the engineering department's aim will be:

1. Ensure the ride opens on time

2. Ensure the ride is available on as high a capacity as possible / as demanded

3. Minimise downtime caused by potential engineering problems

Again, with safety being a priority still, etc

 

Their targets and motivation will again have nothing to do with Fastrack.

 

The Fastrack department has one aim: make as much money as possible. They'll have targets for each day, depending on budgeted guest numbers, etc. If a ride has a reduced capacity, it increases the queue time which can allow them to sell more. But then there - should be! - a point where sense and logic overtakes profits and they stop selling them.

 

tl;dr - Merlin parks never reduce capacity / inflate queue times to purposefully increase Fastrack sales. 

However, it is a convenient side effect which does happen.

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