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Marc

2019 Season

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I was at the press event tonight. Some general thoughts/comments:

 

-There sections are PlayStation 4, XBox One, VR and retro (plus a tournament area)

-There will be 16 VR options available, each priced at £5 a go (you buy tokens for the VR experiences at the bar)

-It's not necessary to book a time slot, but if the marquee is full, you need a ticket

 

Personally, the retro area disappointed me. It was old consoles with certain games. No doubt it'll bring nostalgia to some, but it didn't do it for me (I expected like retro arcade game machines like Pacman, Space Invaders, etc).

 

There was a small selection of VR experiences to try tonight freely. I tried a walk the plank experience, which was fun, but I wouldn't think it's worth £5. Some of the other VR experiences are a lot more involved though (team zombie shooting game will be there apparently).

 

Personally, this wasn't my thing at all. I'm sure for some people, it is their thing, and plenty of people were really enjoying it. And I kind of get it I guess - it's just like an upgrade on an arcade, except you can't win money. It also adds something indoors for people to do, which is good.

 

I really don't know how it will be received and how successful it will be. Hopefully it will do the trick for some people though.

 

As a final point - cost. This is a free thing, but there's a lot of upcharges (the 16 VR experiences really do feel like the focal point). This isn't a money-grubbing thing from Thorpe. Hypd (the company Thorpe are doing this with) get all the money from that, since they're not making money from it in any other way. I'm under the impression Thorpe have had to pit very little money into the event, so this isn't an event where money has been spent in one way when it could have been spent elsewhere. 

 

This event purely exists to try and diversify the line up, it's just an unfortunate scenario that the focal point of it has been made an upcharge by a third party. Hopefully this doesn't cause too many problems.

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So the event was basically what most people thought it was. 

Was VR £5 for all the VR experiences or £5 for each?

 

Another positive thing to note, those who left negative reviews are being asked to talk to the park regarding their negative experience during a visit to the park (found on trip advisor):

image.png.3da312704c47aa3a45220ef6bfb04b3a.png

Props to the park for taking some time to talk to guests properly instead of leaving a cut and paste response. Signs of more positive things to come from the new management?

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That's not taking the time to talk to guests, that would be answering each response with a distinct flavour to the actual content...

 

That is just asking guests to continue waiting for a response in a different format... If they get a response at all...

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Just found out today that Thorpe Park's new divisional director is called Helen Bull (found through LinkedIn) and she started her role in December 2018! She has the following experience (so clearly very entrenched in the Merlin way of running things):

image.png.2dacd0f4eb4f1fc28d1b57719e33c3c4.png

 

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Went for the first time in years, most of what you guys have covered I agree with. It's all just a bit run down and looks dirty.

 

The most shocking thing for me is not being able to stand for long periods of time and having to join the fastrack queue for Colossus and having to wait for 20 mins. I understand why they have changed the RAP to minimise waiting times for people who physically need to use it but basically saying to me that I need to physically be in a wheelchair to use it to the full is ridiculous. Plus a £50 deposit for a wheelchair is fantastic for people who can afford it. I won't be going back for a while, wanted a nice pain free day out and ended up pissed off and in a lot of pain. 

 

Might seem like a stupid thing to moan about but I use the RAP because I am unable to stand for long periods of time, I shouldn't have to rely on someone to wheel me around the park. 

 

Best part of the day was seeing a staff member shoot down another guest who was complaining that we got let up Infernos volcano first. 

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22 hours ago, Holly said:

Best part of the day was seeing a staff member shoot down another guest who was complaining that we got let up Infernos volcano first. 

Sounds like the usual yob who thinks Fastrack magically gets them onto the ride in the blink of an eye... :rolleyes:

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Warning to all those with the new freestyle refill capsules - if the park sell out of the capsules on any day you visit this year, they will shut down all the refill points across the park for all those who do have them because they "don't want to encourage guests to think they can be used due to no stock being available to buy at the park"............?!

 

Also, Tidal Wave at opening time was on one boat today for 23C temperatures on a bank holiday. Yay!

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29 minutes ago, Marhelorpe said:

Warning to all those with the new freestyle refill capsules - if the park sell out of the capsules on any day you visit this year, they will shut down all the refill points across the park for all those who do have them because they "don't want to encourage guests to think they can be used due to no stock being available to buy at the park"............?!

That's outrageous! I bought it for the sole reason that I would be able to purchase the refill fee every visit. Its an insult that because they have sold out of cups the rest of their customers have to suffer. Surely a sign saying new capsules have sold out and sorry for the inconvenience would have been a better decision. 

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20 minutes ago, Coaster said:

Wait, so they're selling a product you can't use?

 

Contact the ASA.

Pretty much yes. If you're someone who has bought one of these capsules on a previous visit, if you turn up today with it, you wouldn't be able to use a single freestyle machine because they ran out of capsules to sell for other guests.

 

I ain't bothering getting one of these capsules at all if this is how the park wants to run the system.

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I think this is completely unacceptable, making others suffer as they ran out of capsules. They really should not have shut them completely. I am sure there will be a few complaints (already a couple on twitter) 

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Lets get the facts right before we go running to report the park and looking silly...

 

The capsules are not sold out (if they were to sell out the machines would remain open) - the mixing syrup is what’s sold out which is why machines are closed - if you are to buy a cup today you can refill them at f&b units (although  the park are recommending not buy a cup today due to the lack of freestyle offering!) 

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11 minutes ago, Marc said:

Lets get the facts right before we go running to report the park and looking silly...

 

The capsules are not sold out (if they were to sell out the machines would remain open) - the mixing syrup is what’s sold out which is why machines are closed - if you are to buy a cup today you can refill them at f&b units (although  the park are recommending not buy a cup today due to the lack of freestyle offering!) 

That is not what I was told by what looked like a manager in the gift shop in the dome I approached earlier this morning. They told me they ran out of capsules to sell and because of that, they have turned off the machines across the park for all users.

 

Asked more staff and they told me they were told to keep them turned off all day in Inferno's shop too.

 

Staff in the Megastore said they sold out of the capsules too.

 

Are you seriously saying every single refill point in the park had run out of every drop of syrup in one day? I doubt that hugely. They should still be available, even if there is limited availability of syrup in the machines (but again, I was told otherwise twice).

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3 minutes ago, Marhelorpe said:

That is not what I was told by what looked like a manager in the gift shop in the dome I approached earlier this morning. They told me they ran out of capsules to sell and because of that, they have turned off the machines across the park for all users.

 

Asked more staff and they told me they were told to keep them turned off all day in Inferno's shop.

 

Are you seriously saying every single refill point in the park had run out of every drop of syrup in one day? I doubt that hugely. They should still be avaialble, even if there is limited availability of syrup in the machines (but again, I was told otherwise).

As I said there’s plenty of capsules - but the park are recommending you don’t purchase as the only refills available are the standard Fanta / coke etc from F&B units.

 

No not every single machine has ran out of every single drop of syrup - but the choice is so limited they’ve taken the choice to close them and recommend guests not to purchase them.

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Even if it is due to syrup running out that's still unacceptable considering its whats supposed to be one of the busiest weekends at the park. Even more worrying the park has been extremely quiet compared to other parks and they still ran out. Not good in my view! 

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1 minute ago, Mattgwise said:

Even if it is due to syrup running out that's still unacceptable considering its whats supposed to be one of the busiest weekends at the park. Even more worrying the park has been extremely quiet compared to other parks and they still ran out. Not good in my view! 

Obviously not ideal - more so for the park than anything! but it’s good to see how popular it’s proving - the kinks will be ironed out and be good to see merlin roll them out more across all their parks!

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34 minutes ago, Marc said:

As I said there’s plenty of capsules - but the park are recommending you don’t purchase as the only refills available are the standard Fanta / coke etc from F&B units.

I was still told twice, including by a shop manager they sold out of them entirely in the park, not because they recommended not to buy them due to lack of syrup. As a result, not one person on park today can even buy one, let alone use it...

 

So either way, this much is certain - the park are intentionally misleading and lying to their customers.

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40 minutes ago, Marhelorpe said:

I was still told twice, including by a shop manager they sold out of them entirely in the park, not because they recommended not to buy them due to lack of syrup. As a result, not one person on park today can even buy one, let alone use it...

 

So either way, this much is certain - the park are intentionally misleading and lying to their customers.

Maybe they have taken them off sale now - but you could buy them but the park are strongly encouraging you don’t - your better off buying the standard refills which I think are actually cheaper! 

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