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Room on the Broom - A Magical Journey


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  • Mattgwise changed the title to Rethemed for 2019 - Room on the Broom - A Magical Journey
  • 1 month later...

Room On The Broom is awkward and has no fun factor. The beginning scene and the kids bashing the fire flies was as excited as they got.

Hocus Pocus Hall was more stupid and fun, and I think that worked better really. You didn't have to stop in each tiny, cramped room to watch a barely-moving animation or a TV. Yes, stop and watch a TV. Why?

The new stop and watch format means you awkwardly need to have a staff member stopping everyone from just walking past. In a corridor, people's instinct is of course to walk down it. It means the queue is now incredibly slow too. It's just not worth the slow pace you end up with.

It could have been really good, but the way it's turned out it feels like it's barely an attraction.

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1 hour ago, Wumbamillio said:

Room On The Broom is awkward and has no fun factor. The beginning scene and the kids bashing the fire flies was as excited as they got.

Hocus Pocus Hall was more stupid and fun, and I think that worked better really. You didn't have to stop in each tiny, cramped room to watch a barely-moving animation or a TV. Yes, stop and watch a TV. Why?

The new stop and watch format means you awkwardly need to have a staff member stopping everyone from just walking past. In a corridor, people's instinct is of course to walk down it. It means the queue is now incredibly slow too. It's just not worth the slow pace you end up with.

It could have been really good, but the way it's turned out it feels like it's barely an attraction.

Difference is this is actually trying to tell a story, there was absolutely no story in Hocus Pocus, which meant a free flowing walk through worked. It was just a lot of crazy lights, goblins and some effects (when they worked). If you had ROTB as a free flow walk through, it would make no sense, and for people like myself, who obviously haven't read the books, I would never have understood even the basic premise of the story if it wasn't stop and watch

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11 minutes ago, StevenVig said:

Difference is this is actually trying to tell a story, there was absolutely no story in Hocus Pocus, which meant a free flowing walk through worked. It was just a lot of crazy lights, goblins and some effects (when they worked). If you had ROTB as a free flow walk through, it would make no sense, and for people like myself, who obviously haven't read the books, I would never have understood even the basic premise of the story if it wasn't stop and watch

Yeah it tries to tell a story, but like I said it just wasn't worth it, it slows it down too much. There are many ways to do a walkaround and thread a theme through it, and build up to an ending. It should just be an interactive experience with every room a bit different until it builds to an ending. Maybe have the preshow, free flow and then stop guests in a finale room. Whichever works best.

The way Room on the Broom does it at the moment (and the tiny rooms) just didn't entertain. They should have looked at the space and the limited throughput, and thought 'ok let's thread the story differently'.

Hocus Pocus Hall got really run down because it hadnt been looked after properly for 15 years, it was rubbish by the time it closed. But it was still more entertaining because it just let kids run around and press buttons, look in windows and sit on a fart chair. Rather than stand and watch a small TV or a white room with one thing moving in the corner.

It looked more colourful and detailed, it had its time but now its replacement is very bland for most part. Although I liked the new preshow better and the 'dragon' was a bit more memorable for kids.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Did Room On The Broom with my nephew last Sunday and overall I wouldn't say its bad, but it could of been way much better.

As the post above me has said the small rooms and pace of the attraction feels very awkward and abrupt.

I felt like it would been better if it was a free flow walk-through with a bunch of things for the kids to stop and see instead of a bunch of mini shows in cramped rooms.

I'm guessing throughput and the amount of staff they have to use for it will be a annoyance in a few years too.. 

 

On the upside I did like some of the effects at the start and some of the theming, not bad at all.

Room On The Broom for me is like doing the washing up- its not a bad thing, but its not good either, at least its not TWD or Alton Dungeons..

Chessington has been pretty lucky recently tbh, they have somewhat of taken a direction and the park the other day felt a bit more soulful than the wasteland which is down the road..

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  • 2 weeks later...

Took my little brother (4 years old) through Broom today. And he didn't really like it.

 

He wasn't a fan of the forced interaction: a stranger trying to encourage him to go forward and interact with stuff just didn't work. He's not shy or anything either; just being a small dark space made him not want to interact. The effects were decent and got a good reaction, but it makes it a passive experience.

 

So yeah, someone who's bang in the target market for this didn't like it. My personal opinion means little in that sense, but I was even less keen: it's an experience which is too focused on young children, the scenes are very cramped and awkwardly paced and it just doesn't seem like something which the whole family can enjoy. 

 

Particularly a shame given the theming and effects are good.

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Someone pointed out to me it's possible the reason it tries to 'tell the story' in a way that just doesnt suit the running of the attraction could be that this is what the IP holder stipulated, rather than Merlin. Another big issue with having attractions based on IPs, dictating things that aren't realistic for an attraciton

Although from their track record it's possible it was a big oversight on MMM's part too, but I dont know.
 

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2 hours ago, Wumbamillio said:

Someone pointed out to me it's possible the reason it tries to 'tell the story' in a way that just doesnt suit the running of the attraction could be that this is what the IP holder stipulated, rather than Merlin. Another big issue with having attractions based on IPs, dictating things that aren't realistic for an attraciton

You might be onto something with that one, Julia Donaldson (or whoever represents her for these sorts of things) was so picky with The Gruffalo that they even threatened to pull the license because the staff weren't wearing the themed uniform at one point.

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If it's anything like the way Nickelodeon demanded the Streak changed its station system to force people to walk through the area to get to it, then constantly complain about its inability to run two trains (caused by their own demands), IPs can have adverse effects on parks.

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3 hours ago, Loggers Creek said:

If Varney doesn’t like Chessington perhaps he should actually allocate more budget and funding to fix  and restore the park, let alone adding new stuff. Would be far more logical than throwing up Legolands and midways in cities and third world countries. 

Thing is The UK really doesn't make that much money for the company, in comparison to international parks. There's a market for them to tap into across the world, and it works (apparently), so I do get why their focus is on international. 

 

However, that said, I also agree that there needs to be a bigger budget for CwOA, even if it's a one off, it would allow the park to make the changes and improvements it so desperately needs

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7 hours ago, StevenVig said:

Thing is The UK really doesn't make that much money for the company, in comparison to international parks. There's a market for them to tap into across the world, and it works (apparently), so I do get why their focus is on international. 

That's not how big companies work. As a huge multinational (with more parks), they have a much bigger pot of money to spend on their parks than when they just had the 2 or 3 parks in the UK. More parks= more money overall, more money for each park (unless they're not running their business well).

Tussauds only had Chessington and Madame Tussauds as big players when they wre installing things like Vampire, Bubble Works, 5th DImension, Dragon River. It was hugely successful, the most successful 10 years the park ever had after that.

Those are exactly the kind of new attractions the park is in desperate need of now. Yet we havnt had a proper new ride added (not a replacement but an expansion) since a disk-o in 2010.

It should be proportional. Chessington is not a giant park, it doesnt need a giant expansion like their big international parks. It just needs to not be totally neglected anymore. The problem is more Merlin's business model, they go for the easiest option to make money with the lease investment, which is the midways.

They probably wouldnt even be in theme parks or attractions if they had their way, 'too expensive' in their eyes. It's just where Nick Varney ended up.

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On 5/1/2019 at 6:33 AM, Whatever said:

Apparently even Varney hated this attraction when he tested it, which kinda says a lot.

I've been told the opposite, in that he quite liked it. Wasn't a fan of the exterior/ queue, but liked the actual attraction itself. It isn't wholly surprising, given Varney's love for interactive / people-led experiences.

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  • 3 months later...

So Broom has seen some changes recently, and arguably for the worse..

 

Instead of having a staff member guide you around the attraction, stopping at each scene and getting children to interact, you now walk around by yourself. At the start, you're encouraged to wait in each scene for it to play, but of course no one does wait. 

 

What this now means is you have an awkward walkthrough with lots of dimly lit corridors lit only by 'twinkling stars' with the occasional scene which you never get timed right. All sense of everything is lost. Even Hocus Pocus in its state last year was better, because at least there was theming throughout and stuff to interact with that made sense.

 

As previously mentioned, I didn't like the how it was originally set out, being staff-led, etc., but that's how it was designed to run. Not running it like that makes it even worse.

 

Question remains whether this was a budget thing (you now only need 2 staff to run it rather than like 4-5), or an experience/throughput thing (the queue moves quicker now for example). Either way, not good.

 

Chessington have a real dud on their hands.

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5 hours ago, JoshC. said:

What this now means is you have an awkward walkthrough with lots of dimly lit corridors lit only by 'twinkling stars' with the occasional scene which you never get timed right. All sense of everything is lost. Even Hocus Pocus in its state last year was better, because at least there was theming throughout and stuff to interact with that made sense.

 

As previously mentioned, I didn't like the how it was originally set out, being staff-led, etc., but that's how it was designed to run. Not running it like that makes it even worse.

This is interesting, I know its creative designer Andy mentioned in a video that it was always intended to be automatic with timed scenes, but that they were running it manually for a run-in period  to "get the timings right".

But when I did it in Spring, it seemed like the staff member was vital because how else would people know how long to spend in each scene? It was still all laid out like a walkthrough so it encouraged you to just walk straight through. The staff member leading you around lasted a lot longer than Merlin planned for so it seems like even they realised this, until there came a point they had to cut the cost.

This whole attraction is pants. I cant imagine why it was designed this way, with too much focus on stopping to tell a story than actually occupying guests' interest. Either arrogance from MMM or forced on them by the IP owner (another reason to not rely on IPs). Otherwise, it could have been really nice.

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  • Mattgwise changed the title to Room on the Broom - A Magical Journey

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