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1 hour ago, alexander said:

from one of the apparent industry leaders

Neither Thorpe Park nor Merlin have ever proclaimed to be industry leaders or even hinted at being industry leaders. 

 

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23 hours ago, JoshuaA said:

They spent money on this when the main park is in desperate need of some permanent support attractions

It's not like they chose a bouncy castle over some flat rides or something - "oh we have the budget for a flat ride this year - let's put in a bouncy castle instead!" 

 

Thorpe had one of the biggest investments in Merlin history (if not the biggest - I can't remember) three years ago. They then had to revamp that the year after, and they rethemed one of their coasters last year. Is there any surprise they're not doing that much this year?

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51 minutes ago, ChessingtonSam said:

It's not like they chose a bouncy castle over some flat rides or something - "oh we have the budget for a flat ride this year - let's put in a bouncy castle instead!" 

I know that.

But something small like removing the gum from Inferno's queue or properly doing Swarm's station would of been wayyyy better than this.

The park right now need is dire need of small improvements and some areas do just need a bit of tidying up (Old Town)..

 

51 minutes ago, ChessingtonSam said:

Thorpe had one of the biggest investments in Merlin history (if not the biggest - I can't remember) three years ago. They then had to revamp that the year after, and they rethemed one of their coasters last year. Is there any surprise they're not doing that much this year?

True, but the park hasn't received a coaster since 2012. Alton in that time has got two coasters that are IMO better than anything at Thorpe.

DBGT was expensive but it was also a massive liability and a car crash of a investment. They didn't "revamp it" the year after, they had to add a dungeons style ending to make the attraction remotely decent. That extra room probably didn't cost too much anyway, most of the money for DBGT I think went in the VR sections (the worst bits imo).

 

The re-theme of of X probably didn't cost much too. Some black paint and some barbed wire from screwfix shouldn't of cost too much, the ride has grown on me overtime (its not bad) but it certainly was more of a small investment than anything..  The park also recently lost a large flat ride and their log flume which has a decent amount of space, you'd think they would think about developing that pretty large area but no.. Or at least removing it so it doesn't look derelict..

 

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2 hours ago, Ivsetti said:

Neither Thorpe Park nor Merlin have ever proclaimed to be industry leaders or even hinted at being industry leaders. 

 

Merlin don't need to claim they are industry leaders when they LITERALLY are one of the industry leaders based on visitor figures and theme park/leisure offerings.

 

If you go read the global attractions report for 2018, they are second, only to Disney.

http://www.teaconnect.org/images/files/TEA_268_653730_180517.pdf

 

Simply, it's painfully ironic their lack of leadership given these facts.¬†ūü§≠

 

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5 hours ago, Mattgwise said:

Cedar point have a themed bouncy castle and have had it for years. No one moans about it.¬†imageproxy.php?img=&key=861054043c66c98aūüėā

 

20190530_122336.jpg

Cedar Point isn't really described as a Theme Park though. It's more of an Amusement Park. Does it have a terrible remix of music blasting out and clash with the area it's in?

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Cedar Point also have two Snoopy themed areas so the giant themed inflatable themed to Snoopy probably comes pretty natural..

Cedar Point's blends in with the park, Bouncezilla doesn't. Pretty big difference. Cedar Point doesn't really even have much of themed areas and they still get the memo.

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Bouncezilla had a full queue today at about 35 mins - it’s good to see the GP enjoying this for what it is even if it’s not the most liked thing among people on here!

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4 hours ago, JoshuaA said:

I know that.

But something small like removing the gum from Inferno's queue or properly doing Swarm's station would of been wayyyy better than this.

The park right now need is dire need of small improvements and some areas do just need a bit of tidying up (Old Town)..

 

True, but the park hasn't received a coaster since 2012. Alton in that time has got two coasters that are IMO better than anything at Thorpe.

DBGT was expensive but it was also a massive liability and a car crash of a investment. They didn't "revamp it" the year after, they had to add a dungeons style ending to make the attraction remotely decent. That extra room probably didn't cost too much anyway, most of the money for DBGT I think went in the VR sections (the worst bits imo).

 

The re-theme of of X probably didn't cost much too. Some black paint and some barbed wire from screwfix shouldn't of cost too much, the ride has grown on me overtime (its not bad) but it certainly was more of a small investment than anything..  The park also recently lost a large flat ride and their log flume which has a decent amount of space, you'd think they would think about developing that pretty large area but no.. Or at least removing it so it doesn't look derelict..

 

 

Maybe Merlin know Thorpe is dead in the water at this point and won't invest properly into the place until they know what to do with it (sell it hopefully).

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4 hours ago, JoshuaA said:

Cedar Point also have two Snoopy themed areas so the giant themed inflatable themed to Snoopy probably comes pretty natural..

Cedar Point's blends in with the park, Bouncezilla doesn't. Pretty big difference. Cedar Point doesn't really even have much of themed areas and they still get the memo.

Was just having a bit of fun! ūüėú

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Jeez guys, this is one echo chamber full of negativity - talk about "love us, hate Merlin" sometimes.

 

So, no. Bouncezilla isn't a multi-million pound rollercoaster or flat ride. No it isn't an immersive dark ride. No it isn't long term. It is as every bit garish, loud and obnoxious as it suggests. It actually does what it does well and although the location isn't perfect, it's something different to do in the park (along with GameFX and the Lunar cinema too). At the moment, there are lots of rides and games stalls, but very few attractions or experiences. So, it's nice that Thorpe are exploring the possibility of things outside of rides. It's just a shame that some people interpret this as cheap, low effort and poorly thought out. Ultimately, this seems to be popular with the public and I guess that matters more to Thorpe than some die-hard forum keyboard warriors out to criticise every aspect of the park and Merlin. People seem too willing to pick them apart for every tiny detail not to their taste, but seem to be unwilling to recognise when they do well or congratulate them for at least trying something new.

 

Given that DBGT and The Swarm didn't generate the ROI they had hoped for, allowing Thorpe to explore other aspects of their park and guest profile is actually wise. But of course, Thorpe could build an RMC to rival Steel Vengeance or a Hyper that would challenge Hyperion and they would still rubbish it "because it is Thorpe".

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4 minutes ago, daboywunda said:

Jeez guys, this is one echo chamber full of negativity - talk about "love us, hate Merlin" sometimes.

 

So, no. Bouncezilla isn't a multi-million pound rollercoaster or flat ride. No it isn't an immersive dark ride. No it isn't long term. It is as every bit garish, loud and obnoxious as it suggests. It actually does what it does well and although the location isn't perfect, it's something different to do in the park (along with GameFX and the Lunar cinema too). At the moment, there are lots of rides and games stalls, but very few attractions or experiences. So, it's nice that Thorpe are exploring the possibility of things outside of rides. It's just a shame that some people interpret this as cheap, low effort and poorly thought out. Ultimately, this seems to be popular with the public and I guess that matters more to Thorpe than some die-hard forum keyboard warriors out to criticise every aspect of the park and Merlin. People seem too willing to pick them apart for every tiny detail not to their taste, but seem to be unwilling to recognise when they do well or congratulate them for at least trying something new.

 

Given that DBGT and The Swarm didn't generate the ROI they had hoped for, allowing Thorpe to explore other aspects of their park and guest profile is actually wise. But of course, Thorpe could build an RMC to rival Steel Vengeance or a Hyper that would challenge Hyperion and they would still rubbish it "because it is Thorpe".

Well Said. Merlin is a business, as much as there are die-hard enthusiasts you need mass market appeal to make the park turn a profit. All of the annual passes in the world wont really generate profit when you look at the running costs of the staff, electric etc... so they need mass appeal and to offer something different. 

 

SBNO rides are probably there for a reason - it would cost to disassemble, remove and store - so why spend the cost unless you are going to put something there - probably why Slammer is still in place. Got to look at the cost of activities of the park and the time it takes and if its worth doing from a financial point of view. 

 

I think that GameFX probably cost Thorpe almost nothing, as it was in partnership with HYPD - so they probably paid most of the cost of the event. BounceZilla would have been relatively cheap, but is a good experience over summer - yes its not a coaster but not everyone wants coaster after coaster (Amity Beach shows this, its often packed during the hight of summer and some people go there just for that with the family) so BounceZilla will bring in more people who don't just want Thrill ride after thrill ride or those with families. 

 

I admit it would be good to get a new coaster - which no doubt will happen eventually - ultimately don't like BounceZilla, GameFX and the like - then just don't go on it! Its not removing anything from the park they are empty sites/events venues which are not usually used during main season anyway. 

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6 minutes ago, GetEchoes said:

Its not removing anything from the park they are empty sites/events venues which are not usually used during main season anyway. 

I think this is ultimately the point at the bottom of it all. Although people would happily argue that it breaks the Lost City emersion, it isn't taking a ride or attraction away to be there. Slammer and Loggers were already gone and who knows, this could be an experiment or future investments to see what works with the GP outside of expensive hardware - which some people seem to forget that Merlin don't OWN the land and so have to first seek permission from the owners to install. Yes, something big and shiny will be coming along soon - the Loggers / Slammer site can't stay as it is forever; nor can the island behind Swarm. But, just throwing new rides and coasters at the park doesn't work in 2019 - it did back in the early 2000s because that was the worldwide theme park culture back then, but not now. It's no longer about parks being ride / coaster count heavy, it's becoming more about park-wide experiences. Ask yourself - outside the community, was Steel Vengeance or Valravn a success for Cedar Point - did it engage visitors and increase their numbers massively? The 2018 TEA report would suggest not, whereas Gardaland added Peppa Pig and increased their visitors by around 10% (the exact figure escapes me) - it's nothing new or shiny. It's a well done retheme with a successful IP.

 

And let's be honest, the park this year is operating on a much higher level than previous years. It seems to be slicker, more care put into appearance (look at the park last weekend for the birthday - the only effect not working on any ride were the skimmers on Swarm) and actually more professional. All of this seems to go unnoticed by any-one quick to criticise. They literally can't win.

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If we're going down the "profit" route, 1 full price ticket of £55 won't even cover the running of Depth Charge for a day to show just how expensive it is to run this park.

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1 hour ago, Ivsetti said:

If we're going down the "profit" route, 1 full price ticket of £55 won't even cover the running of Depth Charge for a day to show just how expensive it is to run this park.

That wouldn't even cover the cost of one ride operator/host for the day when you factor in that 20% of the £55 is VAT

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3 hours ago, daboywunda said:

So, no. Bouncezilla isn't a multi-million pound rollercoaster or flat ride. No it isn't an immersive dark ride. No it isn't long term. It is as every bit garish, loud and obnoxious as it suggests. It actually does what it does well and although the location isn't perfect, it's something different to do in the park (along with GameFX and the Lunar cinema too). At the moment, there are lots of rides and games stalls, but very few attractions or experiences. So, it's nice that Thorpe are exploring the possibility of things outside of rides. 

With 'experiences' I except something like shows or something that is subtle and fits in with the park like the little fountain show at Europa or the singing bird at Portaventura.

Something that fits in with the area and is subtle. This looks like fun but subtle it is not. If they tried VR on one of the coasters I would also not mind, sure its not the best but its a experiment.

 

If Thorpe wants to add experiences they need to realise things like IAC and Saw Alive need changing, people get bored, shows need changing to keep it interesting for people returning..

Also they need to consider doing 'proper' shows, look at the pirate show at Legoland, that is truly a great experience to break up the rides.

 

3 hours ago, daboywunda said:

And let's be honest, the park this year is operating on a much higher level than previous years. It seems to be slicker, more care put into appearance (look at the park last weekend for the birthday - the only effect not working on any ride were the skimmers on Swarm) and actually more professional. All of this seems to go unnoticed by any-one quick to criticise. They literally can't win.

Look I'm mostly being negative because the park used to be better than this (in terms of having a image and a soul) and I feel like Thorpe has really fell behind Alton Towers in the past 5 years, I would love to sit here and say that the park is perfect but its not IMO and I don't wanna butter up my opinions.

 

Thorpe  and Merlin can win! Altons Towers and Chessington actually right now are IMO on the up. Alton just added a coaster that gives them the best lineup in the UK, Chessington is starting to rise out of its dark days and is no longer the butt of the joke with Tiger Rock and Gruffalo being actually good investments.

Thorpe ever since 2013 has lacked direction, adding X in 2013 before hastily removing it recently for TWD. IAC which lasted a few seasons, trying to market to families but then right after adding DBGT, trying to appeal the year after to families with two recycled kiddie flats that are out of place.

A year after the kiddie flats the marketing turned all "this park is scary!" which I think just confused everyone, not even sure Thorpe know their customer base is anymore.. They lack identity..

 

I wouldn't say the park is 'trying out new things' and more 'they don't know what their fu** they are doing anymore'..

At least with Bouncezilla it'll be gone next year so if it does lose popularity fast then they can hastily get rid of it and we can all forget..

When it comes to park appearance I would say honestly its mixed. Sure some areas do like nice, Stealth does, Saw does.. But when you have the concrete at Colossus, the state of Inferno's Queueline, the wood on Swarm's station, Old Town's very realistic derelict theme, is it really that good? Is this the standard that we should consider good?

 

With the whole "its a business" route, so is pretty much every other theme park.

Its not something unique to Thorpe. Though if you think about it Thorpe has it easy compared to pretty much every other non merlin park because they are operated by one of the biggest operators in the world. If you think running costs are bad at Thorpe imagine how the independent parks that see 1/100 of the attendance that Thorpe does deals with the running costs..

 

 

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"Its a business" doesnt work as a reason because the park is clearly in decline this year and last. This isnt going to help them

I dont mind that they've done Bouncezilla for a summer event, it's quite a fun (potentially) summer event. Garish and everything, that's fine for a temporary thing.

But that this is their big project for the year is obviously a sign that things arent quite right.. 

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5 hours ago, Mysta Ghoul said:

"Its a business" doesnt work as a reason because the park is clearly in decline this year and last.

They have gate attendance, increasing guest satisfaction scores and profit reports that would suggest otherwise...

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19 minutes ago, Aaron Tuckwell said:

They have gate attendance, increasing guest satisfaction scores and profit reports that would suggest otherwise...

Thats not a result of Bouncezilla though because its a free event. Free events/ seasonal attractions are put on to boost attendance, which is noticeably poor this year.

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11 hours ago, daboywunda said:

this could be an experiment or future investments to see what works with the GP outside of expensive hardware - which some people seem to forget that Merlin don't OWN the land and so have to first seek permission from the owners to install.

They don't have to ask permission from the landowners, that's nonsense. It's Thorpe Park who usually have to ask Merlin HQ for budget and development approval, anything bigger Merlin HQ dictate the projects themselves (and design/deliver them with MMM) with consultation from the park. This is literally irrelevant to Bouncezilla.

Thorpe Park arent 'testing' anything new here, theme parks have been doing summer events for decades. It's an important part of the season cycle, it's just that Thorpe Park havnt been doing much in recent years.

 

11 hours ago, daboywunda said:

But, just throwing new rides and coasters at the park doesn't work in 2019 - it did back in the early 2000s because that was the worldwide theme park culture back then, but not now. It's no longer about parks being ride / coaster count heavy, it's becoming more about park-wide experiences.

Let's all just get our feet back on the ground. What are you basing this on? How would you even measure "worldwide theme park culture"? Do guests think to themselves "No I dont want a new ride, that's so 2002, I was a bouncy castle!" One doesnt replace the other.

The reason Thorpe park installed a lot of coasters in the early 2000s was to expand the park. After the buyout, it had to go from an independent family park into a big player for Tussauds, and that meant growing the market and doubling attendance. 3 big coasters in quick succession was their way of doing that and it worked, it changed the park.

Afterwards, it became a matter of sustaining attendance. Merlin's formula was a steel coaster every 3 years and go for IPs, horror and an 'Inbetweeners' type audience. Merlin realised it wasnt working, but spent years faffing around not giving the park the budget and cleanup it really needed. DBGT was meant to solve the park's problems but it was a spectacular misfire.

I agree that adding coasters every year is not necessary or sustainable, BUT you're talking an over-simplified version of events and pulling logic out of thin air.

Whichever way you cut it, the park's development these last 10 years has been managed very poorly. Its clearly put the park in an identity crisis and that's the bigger issue.

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