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Hethetheth

Looking back at the 2010s

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I saw this topic in Coaster Force and though this could prove interesting.

 

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For me the 2010s mean quite a few things depending upon which country or continent or even park I look at.

Europe:

The Good:
I am extremely pleased that parks are developing more coasters which are focused on providing thrills rather than trying to break records or out-do other parks. Rides like the Smiler and Formula Rossa appear to outliers, and I'm pleased to see rides like Taron, Lost Gravity, Baron 1898, Wicker Man etc. being opened.

Generally mainland Europe's parks have been doing well with some of my favourite major parks expanding with an array of different ride types and not just coasters. The likes of Symbolica, Popcorn Revenge, Maus Au Chocolat, Pulsar and Chiapas suggest that other rides are improving, not just coasters.

The Bad:
The UK....oh, the UK. It's not been great has it? The 2010s have been bad over here. There have been great coasters added to some parks (Wicker Man, Icon), but on the whole the 2010s have been about the closure of classic rides and the decline in quality of others. Many of those lost were already butchered in the 2000s (Bubbleworks), whilst others were ruined and closed within the decade (Loggers Leap). Alton Towers was the only park to see successful major additions, whilst others saw mostly rethemes or the odd coaster. Compared to the 1990s boom (2000s boom for Thorpe) this was pretty shocking.

The Ugly:
I hope the trend of VR dies with the decade. Derren Brown's Ghost Train was at first an admirable disaster as it attempted something new, but now it has declined within 3 years to become an utter catastrophe of a ride. VR additions to other rides have also added very little beyond cheap CGI and longer wait times.

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Looking Back the 2010's UK:

 

The good:

 

I can't speak from experience sadly but from what I see and hear about Icon and Wickerman they and the swarm seem to be the only good things to come out of the 2010s to the UK.

 

The Bad:

 

We had the smiler incident that caused shockwaves across all of UK theme parks and then we had the incident on Drayton Manors rapids that has seen it closed ever since with The flume and Loggers leap being closed it wasn't a good decade for water rides.

 

DBGT, whats left to say that's not already been said? I can see it being removed or left SBNO anytime now, while it was admirable to try something new surely when testing they could see what a misfire this "ride" was!?

 

It seems like the UK theme park industry as a whole has just given up, a lack of investment and upkeep has riddled this decade and it unfortunately does not look set to change with none of the major players announcing anything of note.

 

Drayton Manor seems to have a rough decade with ride closures and removals and two deaths and no investments of note, I can see the park folding if something doesn't improve.

 

Thorpe Park just seem intent on latching onto IP's now for rides/lands that just aren't worth it. The walking dead ride is just awful why re-theme a family coaster to a dying horror IP?! Imagine what they could have done if they created a new indoor dark ride/coaster for it instead! The park seriously needs investment, I can see with DBGT costing so much and being such a colossal failure that the funding has probably been stripped away for now, but without the the attendance will continue to drop.

 

2020's:

I hope this "UK Disneyland Park" gets of the ground and gets opens sometime this decade and I pray it gives the UK theme park industry a much needed kick up the ass to up their game when it comes to rides, parks in Europe and worldwide are continuing to grow and improve but our parks seem to be on a spiraling into decline. 

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When it comes to roller coasters the 2010's have been the golden years. RMC have burst onto the scene, Intamin continue to do crazy stuff with varying degrees of success, and B&M continue to impress with Shambhala and Fury 325. This decade has also seen the turn of Vekoma and their new interesting projects and the reputation of that company practically being turned on its head. Mack also completely bloomed this decade with Helix, Time Traveller, Icon, Flash, DC Rivals, Copperhead, Pulsar, Lost Gravity, ECT.

 

In terms of parks I think Europa really cemented itself as the best in the first half of the decade with Wodan and Arthur. Columbus Dinghy, Whale Tours, Madame Freudenreich, and Eurosat are also all brilliant refurbs that are now fun little gems. Last year also saw a new water park and hotel open- the park is certainly still on the rise.

Europa is certainly under threat though, this decade has seen many parks in Europe add amazing coasters.

Walibi Holland, Walibi Belgium, Phantasialand, Toverland, Hansa Park, Efteling, Bobbejaanland, Parc Asterix, Tripsdrill.. The European market is as exciting as ever, and I would say going forward Europe has a lot of coasters to look forward to, Well, all except the UK..

 

2010's has been a pretty mixed but ultimately bad decade for the industry. On one hand we have Thirteen, Smiler, Wickerman, Swarm, all good coasters.

But on the other we have seen the heavy fall from grace that Thorpe Park has taken since 2014. Ever year since 2014 Thorpe has got progressively worse, it is now nothing but a shell of its former self. Chessington a couple of years ago was a similar story but now I would say it is nowhere near the state of Thorpe, it at least has seen some steering in a new direction, even though direction isn't something the enthusiasts will like..

 

Alton has a had a couple of tumbles (The Dungeons) but ultimately has gained 3 very good coasters from this decade, I think Alton has really gained the most from this decade, Thorpe has lost the most.

 

I think the UK market is still alive, but only in the North. Alton Towers, Blackpool, Flamingoland, that is where the coasters have mostly gone this decade, and I see next decade being the same story. Paultons looks pretty strong though going in this decade, hopefully this decade they will start to actually threaten the southern Merlin parks a little.. As currently the lack of competition has kind of made Merlin very stagnant with those parks in the south.

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15 hours ago, JoshuaA said:

As currently the lack of competition has kind of made Merlin very stagnant with those parks in the south.

The lack of expansion isn't just what's made Merlin parks stagnant (Thorpe: ABL (probably cost a few million), DBGT (most expensive ride on the park but I doubt it's gotten a return on investment just yet given how badly it flopped), TWD:TR, "2019 Events" etc.), it's the lack of expansion of providing good entertainment for their target markets. Especially for Thorpe as with every divisional director coming and going every year or 2 the park don't have a clear direction in which they want to go - implementing one expensive failed half-finished idea before moving on to the next.

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I adore the 2010's. The theme park industry went away from the horrible height/speed records and started focusing on experiences. From Taron to Helix, Alpina Blitz to Wodan, Pandora & Galaxy's Edge, Untamed and Steel Vengeance. I love them all. 

 

Yeah the UK kind of crashed hard but even then we got The Smiler, Icon, Wicker Man, Thirteen and The Swarm. I like these rides.

 

 

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Outside of the UK:

What an incredible time for the industry worldwide with the opening of the incredible Shanghai Disneyland with its grand castle and tron coaster and the amazing POTC, Disney has had an incredible decade as Mark9 said with Pandora and Galaxys Edge and Toy Story Land!

 

Universal started of strong with Harry Potter, dipped considerably with the overuse of screen based rides like Kong and FF, then ended the decade epicly with Hagrids coaster, having ridden that coaster I have to say its an amazing addition, brilliant mix of coaster and story telling!

 

On from 2020:

I'm so excited for the Nintendo lands coming worldwide and the opening of a 3rd theme park for Universal on the way aswell as the currently constructing Jurassic roller coaster Beauty and the beast land at Tokyo Disney aswell as Frozen, Peter Pan and Tangled lands for DisneySea, Marvel campus coming to DCA, Guardians of the Galaxy and Mary Poppins ride for Epcot!

 

What an amazing new decade its going to be! 

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7 hours ago, Ivsetti said:

The lack of expansion isn't just what's made Merlin parks stagnant (Thorpe: ABL (probably cost a few million), DBGT (most expensive ride on the park but I doubt it's gotten a return on investment just yet given how badly it flopped), TWD:TR, "2019 Events" etc.), it's the lack of expansion of providing good entertainment for their target markets. Especially for Thorpe as with every divisional director coming and going every year or 2 the park don't have a clear direction in which they want to go - implementing one expensive failed half-finished idea before moving on to the next.

Yeah, totally agree. In the other post I kinda forgot about DBGT, because it sucks so bad. They can't even make the finale work anymore lol.

I think onwards though I would be surprised if Merlin gave Thorpe anything more than a bench or another bouncy castle.

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