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2019 Season

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2 hours ago, Graeme said:

Europa park do still have a system similar to RAP.

 

My friends used it a week ago and have been doing for a few years.

But it isn't abused. In the few visits I've made to the park I've seen just one couple use it and the person was in a wheelchair.

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It still exists though.. Some people refuse to acknowledge it, but it exists, they didn't magically remove it with a fairy wand back in 2014.

The system at Europa has a one thing I think Merlin could implement: A limit on carers.

Merlin parks currently have a fairly high limit of carers for rides, when having a RAP some people seem to bring their entire extended family. At Europa you can only have 1 carer, with the exception of 6 chosen rides to which you can have more than 1 carer.

 

 

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4 hours ago, Mattgwise said:

But it isn't abused. In the few visits I've made to the park I've seen just one couple use it and the person was in a wheelchair.

 

Wheelchairs don't define disabilities. 

 

Ultimately like Joshua said, I think a limit on the amount of people you can take on needs to be implemented. 

 

My understanding was that the pass should give you a time where you can do your next ride? Is that nit the case now?

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1 hour ago, Graeme said:

My understanding was that the pass should give you a time where you can do your next ride? Is that nit the case now?

It is still the case, the RAP pass acts as a virtual queue pass and requires the pass to be marked with a time for next use (current time + queue time).

 

Quite often however the passes are just getting ticked and no time put in by the staff, which means they won't have to wait afterwards at all, which leads to longer RAP queues. To shed a bit of light on this as someone who worked at Chessington and often needed to sign the RAP passes (I always put a time), I can understand why staff wouldn't do it. For example on The Vampire, the RAP queue is managed by the 'offload' member of staff, they already have several other jobs to do (bar checks, bags, etc) and by the time they get to checking the RAP queue there is often only a few seconds to do so. Without checking with the ride operator, they do not know what the current queue time is so it is often a guess, additionally some (by no means all) of the RAP users will be abusive if the next time marked down is long time away with remarks such as "what is my child expected to do for an hour?" or being called a jobsworth or similar (same goes for over 3 people accompanying the passholder, although this is not that common) so it is understandable why passes are not checked properly.

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1 hour ago, Graeme said:

 

Wheelchairs don't define disabilities. 

 

Ultimately like Joshua said, I think a limit on the amount of people you can take on needs to be implemented. 

 

My understanding was that the pass should give you a time where you can do your next ride? Is that nit the case now?

I am fully aware of that. I work with children with all sorts of physical and mental disabilities.

 

Unfortunately a lot of people using the RAP system in the UK are people with 'disabilities' that do not require them to be unable to stand in a normal queue. 

 

The pass is supposed to allow you to skip the queue, but still have to wait the equivalent of the queue time, however many staff don't bother with that aspect of it meaning they can just go and queue for another ride. 

 

We actually witnessed a situation on the AT meet where a parent got angry as the staff member wrote the time 60 mins later on his sons RAP sheet and he started going off on one about how his son won't be able to cope, clearly not understanding it wasn't a fast track ticket but merely a means of his son not having to stand in a physical queue. 

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I agree about limiting the carer to plus 1 instead of 3.  I’m grateful that the system is there at all and it creams my corn when people take the mick and brings loads of people with them - saw it happen on Galactica - 7 people which took up 2 rows when they only should have had one.

As for people getting angry at staff for writing a time - that’s the whole point of the thing - I’ve never questioned it and on a couple of occasions they’ve written a time which is actually longer than the main queue but they are doing their job. 

The whole point is that you get a ride done and then wait until the next time slot to go on the next ride - use this time to sit down, get a drink or get some space if you need it.

 

People with RAP who get abusive towards staff should have it removed - can’t stand people who are rude and entitled and the more they do it and get away with it the more it will happen - I think that should also apply to MAP holders who are rude or aggressive aswell - remove the pass. staff need more support and not have to deal with guests being like that when they are just doing their job 

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Can only base the experience of Europa's (and other German parks like Phantasialand and Movie Park) on what I've seen, having not visited deliberately because of the lack of system on previous visit and lack of information on the site about an actual system it surprises me that it exists again...

 

If someone could message me with details on it I'd appreciate it... But when the latter two just didn't have it going to Germany is off putting... Especially a park that does lack an ability to skip queues as a last resort (see Walibi Holland)...

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I maybe wrong but do the new RAP cards not have a barcode which staff on the merge point can scan on the phones which also scan fastrack?

 

I wonder if eventually the thing will be a lot more automated and when the card is scanned it will know how long that rides queue is and won’t scan till that time is over - possibly cutting out a lot of the abuse.

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I'm all for them making the RAP harder to obtain, someone like me who has a genuine need for it has nothing to worry about. I haven't been to Thorpe since 2015 so the current system is new to me. From what I gather I can send them a photocopy of my blue badge or PIP/DLA letter and I'll be able to pick up some kind of card on the day? I'm hoping to visit sometime in September! 

 

As for limiting the number of carers allowed - I always thought 3 was a good number. It was slightly frustrating for the people I went to Pleasure Beach with last year having to take it in turns riding with me. We actually missed out a large chunk of the park because we were zipping back and forth between rides so that everybody could get on what they wanted. We tried to sync up for The Big One with two friends queuing up and letting us know when they were in the station but the ride OPs wouldn't/couldn't be bothered to get us on the same train and we ended up getting on several trains before our friends. I don't think it's unreasonable to want to do things in a small group like that but any more I feel would be pushing it. 

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The other issue on top of that is some disabled people will require two people to transfer for whatever reason...

 

3 is an ok number of accompanying carers, but it needs to be flat out adhered too...

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7 hours ago, BBoyJD10 said:

"Carers" should not be 3 best mates as I ran into many times yesterday! 

 However, how do you enjoy a day out with friends if you have a disability? I think your maybe missing the point that not every disability is one visible etc, in the event of an evac the carers/friends are there to help with the evac etc. You simply cannot put a definition to what a carer should be or look like, as everyone is completely different in terms of needs and help needed and in most cases it will be friends and family that help out... be it in the case of panic attacks, mental health etc.  Some users of wristbands may seem completely normal to the bare eye, that could be there calm at that point due to the aid the system can bring. Some people can flip very quickly from seeming completely normal to hell breaking loose for example the stress, anxiety etc some people have with confined spaces large numbers of people in a small area. These are only examples I'm sure there are so many triggers for people.  If it means they get to enjoy a day out that they otherwise wouldn't be then I dont see an issue with the pass provided its used correctly

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So I visited Thorpe for the second time this season last Friday and I gotta admit that I was kinda disappointed with how the park was running.

The Swarm had a very short queue (the queue was only in the station) and somehow I waited 30 minutes for what is basically a walk on.  Slow guests and very sluggish staff really contributed to this, it was a shambles of operations. On the upside Stealth and Saw had good ops but Swarm need working on.. I also found that rides were going down like flies. There was always a major coaster+a supporting ride down at all times, I know breakdowns happen but it felt excessive and it makes me question if they actually maintain things properly..

 

I didn't go in Bouncezilla but I walked past it multiple times and holy hell this thing wouldn't look out of place on the Blackpool Seafront.. I've seen more classier bouncy castles at my local fair, most of those don't even touch the sheer ugliness which is Bouncezilla. It has to been seen to be believed, I thought it looked pretty ugly from photos, in person it is actually worse than Storm Surge with the loud audio being even more annoying.

 

I enjoyed The Walking Dead the other day, all the effects were working and overall I understand why people like it, it is actually kinda fun.

My only worry about this ride is that it had no queue for the whole day, and towards the end of the day it was a complete ghost town which makes me think it has a low popularity considering the throughput isn't good to start with. I do like this ride but I do see it becoming Nemesis Sub Terra 2.0.

 

Overall Thorpe kinda was what it was to me in March, heavily flawed but it has a few fun rides. Inferno in particular was running great and in the back row that ride is worth a trip alone,

if only everything else was good..

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On 2/20/2019 at 3:06 PM, StevenVig said:

It's not gonna be open in any season, ever again. So I repeat, wrong topic!!

Saving this for a rainy day... 🔜

 

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On the subject of RAP - whilst the idea of someone needing to have a blue badge/DLA/PIP sounds like a good idea, it could also be unfair, mainly because of the reforms to the benefits system. I personally know people who have lost their benefits when moving from DLA to PIP. There are many who simply don’t apply for PIP because they’re so put off by the process/the though of probably being turned down anyway. 

With regards to blue badges and the new criteria, from having a look it would still only cover those with more severe difficulties.      

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Dwindling visitor numbers means this July/August is unusually quiet which whilst bad financially for the park is great for going on rides loads of times like I did recently.

Operations were excellent.

Most staff were friendly and nice.

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10 hours ago, Ivsetti said:

Dwindling visitor numbers means this July/August is unusually quiet which whilst bad financially for the park is great for going on rides loads of times like I did recently.

Operations were excellent.

Most staff were friendly and nice.

The first couple of weeks of summer holidays is always quiet. It's the time when most people go on their main summer holiday (ie - a UK theme park trip, even with an overnight stay, wouldn't be classed as most family's main trip), and people still automatically think "summer holidays=busy".

 

Things will pick up from next week I'd say. Though it is fair to say it could well be quieter than normal.

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Anyone got any idea how long Stealth and Swarm have been closed for? I’m plannimg on going tomorrow but don’t want to go if both of those rides are going to be  closed. Thanks if anyone has any info about either of them!

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Swarm should be back open soon (hopefully today or tomorrow).

 

I'm under the impression that Stealth (and Quantum again - sorry @Mark9) will be closed for a little while longer yet.

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On 7/13/2019 at 1:38 PM, Marc said:

I maybe wrong but do the new RAP cards not have a barcode which staff on the merge point can scan on the phones which also scan fastrack?

 

I wonder if eventually the thing will be a lot more automated and when the card is scanned it will know how long that rides queue is and won’t scan till that time is over - possibly cutting out a lot of the abuse.

Accesso wouldn't have the capabilities for that level of technology.

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I was on park yesterday. Stealth has been closed since last week and is not going to be back up any time soon due to new parts required. 

 

Apparently Thorpe have recently fired the AM engineer for Swarm, as such they can not operate it until the PM engineer is on site at 16:00 (whom lives far away). 

 

Make of it what you will, but sure enough Swarm opened bang on 16:00, with only one car and an immediate 2 hour queue line. 

 

Source: ride operators on park 

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Regardless of the correctness of the source, it's pretty poor of a staff member to be saying 'a ride is closed cos someone has been sacked'.

 

Tbf if staff were saying when the ride would open and it did open at that time, there's a good chance it could be a staff-related reason. There's not many other ways they would be able to know confidently when the ride would open.

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6 hours ago, Loggers Creek said:

Stealth down again then? I guess @MattyMoo broke it again recently after a fair share of beer/lager probably.

Not guilty sir, I've yet to even witness Bouncezilla in the flesh.

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