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Thorpe Park 2020


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Realistically - the entrance needs sorting out properly. I hate what they've done with it, it is a dreadful way to welcome anyone to anywhere let alone a theme park which should be a place of joy and

2020 SeASoN pReDicTiOns:   Slammer remains untouched Loggers remains untouched Green light on Stealth remains broken Exclusive Thorpe only flavour added to the Freestyle machi

MY SOURCES ARE TELLING ME THE RMC IS COMING!!   They tell me Nick Varney and Alan Schilke had a nice romantic dinner (Alan paying ofcourse....obviously) over the matter and now we are most c

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I'll travel for a Wacky Worm in the arse end of France, so not sure where this enthusiast elitism is coming from? Half the guests probably won't know about Cedar Point and the like, does it really detract from their personal enjoyment? I mean the most liked ride by guests at PA is Baco! And 90% of us know that's wrong...

 

Thorpe (and Merlin parks as a whole) have remained pretty stationary over the years in the last decade that's true, but mostly through have consistent expansion the year before and some mismanagement... Several parks in Europe especially have taken advantage of not having much prior to this decade and going "right, this Gerstlauer is cheap but is interesting, let's buy that as our new signature ride", much like Bobbie Jobbie and Walibi Alpes have done...

 

On the other side the likes of Walibi Holland and Phantasialand already had a strong base to begin with, though Phantasialand was more about complete redevelopment of existing areas of the park... Walibi have just chosen two fantastic rides to compliment their pre-existing icon that is Goliath (though Untamed might become the new one)...

 

There's many things to dislike Thorpe for but the ride lineup isn't one of them... Think a lot of this is the realisation that the UK parks have sat still whilst the world adds a higher quality of ride comparatively...

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6 hours ago, JoshC. said:

Not impressive enough in what context? Because there's better coasters out there?

Yeah, sort of - I meant that the coasters are short but aren't impressive enough to really have an impact; whereas some short coasters are intense or interesting enough that it doesn't matter that they aren't longer (Inferno for example).

 

I do appreciate it's more of an enthusiast and/or personal opinion thing though.

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8 hours ago, JoshuaA said:

Its a good coaster but by no means top 10, I would rank it similarly to Oblivion at Alton towers, a good ride but nothing worth shouting about.

I don't see why this is being treated as a negative? Not every park has to have a Top 10 worthy coaster...

8 hours ago, JoshuaA said:

Yeah the lineup is solid, 2 middle of the road B&M's, a decent Intamin launch, a low tier Gerst, and a okay Intamin looper. The last three all have clones..

 

The lineup isn't bad, but it needs a ICON or a Nemesis to make its lineup truly complete. 5 decent coasters is good, but when you have 5 decent coasters and 3 elite ones a few hours away... I would ride Alton's top 3 over any Thorpe coaster.

Honestly, this is one of the most spoilt comments I've seen with regards to theme parks. "Thorpe ONLY has 2 B&Ms, 2 Intamins and a Gerstlauer, it's not complete". So many parks would kill to have that sort of line up.  (NB: Saw doesn't have a clone, just a ride which has inspired it, and the other two were firsts of their exact layouts...).

 

Saying Towers has 3 elite coasters is very much a stretch too..

8 hours ago, JoshuaA said:

You also have the fact of the park not building a coaster since 2012. 

This is the big issue, yes. And they do need to add and improve. But that doesn't really detract from the fact that the park already have a solid basis with some good coasters.

8 hours ago, JoshuaA said:

none of their coasters are anything worth putting in your top 10.

Again: why is this an issue?

 

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5 minutes ago, JoshC. said:

I don't see why this is being treated as a negative? Not every park has to have a Top 10 worthy coaster...

 

Some parks don't have to. I don't like Europa Park because of its coaster lineup, I like it because the food, atmosphere, and shows make it such a magical experience.

With Thorpe's case I would consider it more of an amusement park, so the coaster lineup is more important considering most rides (barring Swarm which has top tier theming) not many rides at Thorpe have theming or charm. I would compare the park more to a Six Flags Park than anything else (with those parks it isn't like your going for atmosphere..)

 

10 minutes ago, JoshC. said:

Honestly, this is one of the most spoilt comments I've seen with regards to theme parks. "Thorpe ONLY has 2 B&Ms, 2 Intamins and a Gerstlauer, it's not complete". So many parks would kill to have that sort of line up.  (NB: Saw doesn't have a clone, just a ride which has inspired it, and the other two were firsts of their exact layouts...).

 

Its not the quantity, its the quality. And Abyss isn't a clone (my bad) though it is pretty much the same ride (very minor differences).

9 hours ago, JoshuaA said:

Yeah the lineup is solid

Dramatic much? . It is my opinion that Thorpe do not have a stand out coaster for ENTHUSIASTS. The lineup is great, it has 5 very solid coasters, but I would consider none of them anything overly exceptional and something I would go out my way for if I didn't live so near. Is that so wrong of a opinion to have? I'm not calling the lineup bad, I just don't feel there is a clear #1 there. I love Inferno, I love stealth, but I'm gonna admit I don't see them as something to write home about.

 

30 minutes ago, JoshC. said:

Again: why is this an issue?

 

Because its a theme park, and theme park have roller coasters. And we rank them, because we are enthusiasts and we do lists. Some coasters we get off and we say "that was good, solid", some we get off and say "that was actually unreal, I need to get back into the queue". None of the rides at Thorpe make me actively make me want to do the latter. Us enthusiasts also compare theme parks to others, and therefor we compare park lineups to each other.

 

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It is my opinion that Thorpe do not have a stand out coaster for ENTHUSIASTS. The lineup is great, it has 5 very solid coasters, but I would consider none of them anything overly exceptional and something I would go out my way for if I didn't live so near. Is that so wrong of a opinion to have? I'm not calling the lineup bad, I just don't feel there is a clear #1 there. I love Inferno, I love stealth, but I'm gonna admit I don't see them as something to write home about.

 

It's not a wrong opinion, of course not. There is no wrong opinion. I just don't get the logic behind anyone saying that a park has "5 very solid coasters" and complaining that one of them isn't a headliner. 

 

If I've travelled to a park, I'd come away very happy if I'd ridden 5 decent coasters (and that's as an 'enthusiast' too). In fact, I can't think of many parks in Europe you can come away from and say that...

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How many parks in the world have a truly standout coaster for enthusiasts?

 

What even IS a truly standout coaster for enthusiasts?

 

By that reckoning you'd rule out a good number of parks because others already have bigger and better variants of their rides? No point going to Walibi or Parc Asterix or Mirabilandia or Port Aventura then.

 

You can't say that your local park has a good selection of rides and then also say they're not good enough (well, Colossus and Saw ARE terrible). It's complete opposites to what's being said. Even having 3 good solid coasters is probably about average for an European park who doesn't really have the space or ability to build high or long. Walibi Holland only got that number this year after Untamed! And it's arguably better than the amount of solid coasters at Phantasialand.

 

Just sounds like jealousy that the park is standing still, but like I said before, it did it's mass development the decade before, when the biggest ride was actually Loggers Leap when I grew up with it. It was going to stop sometime and unfortunately has coincided with some weird managerial decisions and mismanagement.

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1 hour ago, Glitch said:

Thorpe doesn't need a standout coaster for enthusiasts. They don't like spending money, make up less than 5% of the market and expect the world for free. Source MAP Group

In fairness, repeat visitors do spend money - the trouble is that their spending on any given day is minimal since they spread out over several visits. Ultimately means that they drag down the spend per customer (which of course any business will use as an indicator) and that causes this outlook that they don't spend money.

Edited by JoshC.
wrong grammar m8, much embarrasment
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56 minutes ago, Glitch said:

Thorpe doesn't need a standout coaster for enthusiasts. They don't like spending money, make up less than 5% of the market and expect the world for free. Source MAP Group

Exactly. That, and wearing your pass around your neck just looks silly innit.

 

Also, please ban Josh for saying "there" instead of "their" ❤️

 

In fact, whilst I'm here, ban everyone h8ing on Stealth.

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They really need to do something the last time I visited was 2016 and that was a free visit due to complaining about Derren's Browns ride being closed the first time all day and then we return and go on it and its basically a VR experience I could have had at home with my friends tickling my legs, anyway you get the gist.

The UK industry as a whole needs to step up because the worldwide and European parks are knocking it out of the park and here in the UK we can't even seem to get to first base!

After going to theme parks worldwide I have no desire to return to Thorpe Park and infact if a friend suggests it I resent the notion! 

When I could go to Tokyo Disney Sea for the day for £50 why would I pay near enough that for somewhere as sub par as Thorpe Park.

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On 12/13/2019 at 7:45 AM, ste193 said:

They really need to do something the last time I visited was 2016 and that was a free visit due to complaining about Derren's Browns ride being closed the first time all day and then we return and go on it and its basically a VR experience I could have had at home with my friends tickling my legs, anyway you get the gist.

The UK industry as a whole needs to step up because the worldwide and European parks are knocking it out of the park and here in the UK we can't even seem to get to first base!

After going to theme parks worldwide I have no desire to return to Thorpe Park and infact if a friend suggests it I resent the notion! 

When I could go to Tokyo Disney Sea for the day for £50 why would I pay near enough that for somewhere as sub par as Thorpe Park.

 

Mate, I need to know what plane you're catching to do that.

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On 12/14/2019 at 3:06 PM, Mark9 said:

 

Mate, I need to know what plane you're catching to do that.

I obviously mean whilst I'm out there 🙄 if the flights were £50 I would go to Japan everyday but sadly they are not, I'd much rather save for my trips and go to better theme parks out there than pay the same price for a below average one 

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Every year at this time we have this same conversation "oh my god, they're cutting back on hours, the scrounging, money grabbing people..." and so on.. or words to that effect. And every year, around Feb, the hours are updated. It is likely that the Summer ones are just budget place-holders and will be finalised in March when further details are known about the 2020 budget / expectations.

 

So, my take-away advice on this is to not take these at face value as the final operating hours as they have changed every year up until now and I don't see how 2020 will be any different.

 

Remember - 10pm closes throughout the summer in 2019 weren't truly known until close to the season kick-off (more were added)

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35 minutes ago, daboywunda said:

And every year, around Feb, the hours are updated. It is likely that the Summer ones are just budget place-holders and will be finalised in March when further details are known about the 2020 budget / expectations.

I mean, this raises questions:

1. Why bother putting in placeholder hours?

2. Why is the budget for the season only finalised in February/March?

 

Of course, these opening hours were released like a month ago and I'm sure have been discussed on here before. The Fright Nights 10-8 hours makes sense given how dead the park has been previously (though I do wonder if 12-10 would be more sensible / at least worth exploring?). There seems to be less closed days for 2020 which is good, as is the lack of 4pm closes. 

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They'll release provisional seasonal hours in advance so that guests can start to plan trips early. It's the same principle as holiday companies advertising next year's Summer holidays in September the previous year.

 

The OPERATIONAL budget for 2020 will be provisionally in place, but won't be confirmed until into the new year - particularly as the season doesn't start until March, there is no need for it to be confirmed before then. This gives them an extra few months to finalise their hours, their staffing levels, analyse last years' trends etc. The financial year may even run April to March, so the budgets won't be confirmed until the new Tax Year anyway.

 

I also think (but haven't done the analysis myself) that the hours "saved" at Fright Nights are actually being used to open on days that were closed in previous years.. Essentially and very loosely speaking, the park has a number of "operating hours" to use in a year (which would be fully costed for staff, operations, stock etc) and they will allocate these according to trend and cost analysis. So, for example, they will have 5,000 hours (it isn't 5,000, this is just an example) to use between 1 Jan to Dec 31. They get to choose exactly when they are open between those dates. So, if they wanted to spend 30 hours opening in Half Term, they can. But they have to be confident that they will be profitable and warrant spending them 30 hours that could have been used opening for 3 days mid-week mid-season instead. For that reason, they will release provisional dates early, to gauge whether they have the offering correct and then re-allocate / shift around based on reaction. Remember Alton and their 10 / 11 / miday staggered ride openings? Same principle.

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19 hours ago, daboywunda said:

They'll release provisional seasonal hours in advance so that guests can start to plan trips early. It's the same principle as holiday companies advertising next year's Summer holidays in September the previous year.

But what's the point when most people won't plan trips this early? How many people do we expect have planned their trip to Thorpe Park now? Especially at a point when their 2020 offering hasn't been announced. I bet I can count the number on one hand. Thorpe simply isn't big enough to attract enough attention for people to book their trips now.

 

And still, why advertise provisional hours? Why not just 'Open' or 'Closed'?

 

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I also think (but haven't done the analysis myself) that the hours "saved" at Fright Nights are actually being used to open on days that were closed in previous years..

The park is doing five 10-8pm days for Fright Nights. Even taking into account the extra budget required to run Fright Nights, that can't equate to more than 2 extra open days. And if that's what they have done, there's also the added benefit of the fact that the park simply isn't busy enough to warrant being open for 12 hours on those days. And it still doesn't answer why they choose to close earlier rather than open later.

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So, if they wanted to spend 30 hours opening in Half Term, they can. But they have to be confident that they will be profitable and warrant spending them 30 hours that could have been used opening for 3 days mid-week mid-season instead. For that reason, they will release provisional dates early, to gauge whether they have the offering correct and then re-allocate / shift around based on reaction.

Based on the past 2-3 seasons, this is something they have consistently gotten wrong. The park have chosen days to open for longer on days where they couldn't justify it. They've not advertised their longer opening properly, nor have they given people a proper reason to stay.

 

My favourite example comes from 2018, where the park decided to open 10-10 instead of 10-6 on a Saturday in May 4 days in advance. This is despite the weather forecasting heavy rain all day AND there being a low pre-book. And low and behold, the day was a disaster.

 

I get there's no exact science to this, but Thorpe consistently get this wrong lately, when 95% of parks get this right. That's a big problem.

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I will say - we went to FN's on a 10-10 dead day last year and we struggled to make it to the end and/or keep busy - so much so that this year we've said when we go again, we'd get there for midday ish... so a 10-8pm in that sense sounds good to me. The early Thursdays for Fright Nights are/were so painfully dead really it was untrue - think we managed 8 run throughs on Crreak Freak (not that that is a complaint as it was fantastic) but still! We also got all the other mazes done at least once!

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