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33 minutes ago, JoshC. said:

TPM are, of course, on park for opening today. Follow thoughts and updates on our Facebook page...

 

 

 

In a hilarious level of irony, they're handing out leaflets saying they're not doing paper maps to reduce contact...

 

I reckon they weren’t bothering to do paper maps this season anyway. Lots of time and money saved if they don’t have to design and print thousands of maps for guests. Leaflets can be designed and pieced together much quicker.

 

Would just be more sensible to have a sign telling guests no paper maps rather than handing out leaflets though.

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Just taken a glance at the comments on Thorpe's recent 2020 social media posts. So much hate, and that isn't just from hard to please can't win enthusiasts.    All the general public want is

And here’s a reminder of what the dome used to look like.     It’s not perfect but definitely better than the mediocrity shown in the newer pictures. Everything looked so much b

WELL! There goes my hope for an RMC coming our way any time soon.

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All of it!

 

I’ve seen industrial estates that look more picturesque than that eyesore and it’s crazy how something as little as a canopy can be the difference between something looking ok or dreadful.

 

Cant see this improving  anytime soon, judging how other areas such as the Dome now look as well in comparison.

 

 

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2 hours ago, JoshC. said:

Who loves before and afters? Here's one of the back of the arcade, opposite Ghost Train..

 

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Second image from: https://live.themeparkguide.biz/

 

One would like to hope this is part of some long term project. Hope. I don't expect it though.

 

I don't know what's worse. The removal itself, the cheap paving working or the ugly look.

Man remember when that arcade was open? Like it was tacky, but it didn't look too bad. That now looks dreadful, I am shocked how a mighty chain like Merlin would let something like that happen at one of their parks. Not even a Six Flags park would probably let things get that bad..

 

On the upside though, maybe this could potentially be a future maze space? I know its next to KFC and all, but I remember it being fair sized? Either way that is shocking, and this picture alone is the reason why Thorpe gets so much flack these days from enthusiasts.

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The arcade itself is still open; the entrance here is blocked off to allow for people control. 

 

What has happened is the removal of the canopy like stuff, along with some games machines. 

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Perhaps its just park of a longer term project like what as been done with the dome / megastore. It has to be stripped at some point, perhaps it could of waited til the off season but personally it has no impact to my day so I don't care and look forward to the redevelopment.

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7 minutes ago, Glitch said:

Perhaps its just park of a longer term project like what as been done with the dome / megastore. It has to be stripped at some point, perhaps it could of waited til the off season but personally it has no impact to my day so I don't care and look forward to the redevelopment.

Okay, so it has little impact on anyone's day. But it's a theme park for goodness sake. This looks like something you see whilst walking down a back alley in Staines. No level of enjoyment whatsoever. And this is off a main walkway in the park.

 

I think there's a wider issue though. This is opposite Ghost Train, which will inevitably be closed all year. You've also got Walking Dead just a bit further down, a ride which will likely be closed for a while. And the other end of the pathway, you've got Jungle Escape, another experience that will be closed for a good while. In the centre of the park, you have a complete dead zone. Of course, it's not Thorpe's fault everything round there is closed, but this doesn't help. 

 

It might be part of a redevelopment, but it begs the question why do that now? I honestly can't think of any other theme park I've been to that would leave a guest-facing wall looking that glaring bland.

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3 hours ago, JoshC. said:

Who loves before and afters? Here's one of the back of the arcade, opposite Ghost Train..

 

image.png

image.png

Second image from: https://live.themeparkguide.biz/

 

One would like to hope this is part of some long term project. Hope. I don't expect it though.

 

I don't know what's worse. The removal itself, the cheap paving working or the ugly look.

This is a makeover that has to be described as ‘only at thorpe’ effort lol. Hopefully some theming is going to be put in its place. Of course the rides are the main draw but theming is a big part of theme park escapism for me so it’s a little sad to see sights like this, even though of course it’s not going to make or break anyones day by itself lol.

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2 hours ago, JoshC. said:

The arcade itself is still open; the entrance here is blocked off to allow for people control. 

 

What has happened is the removal of the canopy like stuff, along with some games machines. 

Ah okay. I assumed it has been closed for a while. Damn though.

 

2 hours ago, Glitch said:

Perhaps its just park of a longer term project like what as been done with the dome / megastore. It has to be stripped at some point, perhaps it could of waited til the off season but personally it has no impact to my day so I don't care and look forward to the redevelopment.

Lol just like how Loggers Leap was a "longer term project". No its just lazy, when a independent park in Blackpool is starting to look better than you, you know you've really fu**ed up. It is sub-standard, and should not be the standard going forward for UK parks.

 

Remember people like parks that look good, Phantasialand and Europa are highly regarded for a reason. Even amusement parks make effort to keep their park tidy and professional, both Six Flags parks I have been to are much prettier and well kept than this. It is the same as having your retail store untidy and dirty, just because it doesn't affect you directly. Walking past it is going to leave a weird taste in people's mouths, because people like things that look good.

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2 hours ago, Marhelorpe said:

 Saw Alive left to sink... is anyone surprised by this?

You forgot to mention the lovely landscaping in the queue to that sinking boat. Courtesy of Theme Park Guide. 😂

 

 

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I understand some may be disappointed by the constant negativity here, but unfortunately it cannot help the bigger picture.

 

Over the years we have seen character, styling and features ripped out with some former attractions even rotting in guest view. Yes Thorpe hasn’t been in the best state (even before the virus), but appearance and presentation should be priority regardless of parks going down the themed routes or not! 
 

How can one stay positive when a building on a main path is stripped of character making it any eyesore? Or when the park’s entrance is stripped thread-bare of it’s last remnants of charm and character, making it look more underwhelming than a deprived shopping centre? 
 

Who knows, in the spite of things and these challenging circumstances we face in life, these could well be part of larger scale refurbishment. In 2021 we might see a further refreshed dome or that building worked on go look more presentable. However one has to lack on the overall track record on things to see just how unlikely any of this will happen. Especially when only key funding is likely to be injected into Thorpe (more-so).

 

 

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To be fair the entrance looks a lot fresher, even just the bright orange and yellow banners on the hideous metal fences makes a huge difference. Even the dome and Infinity restaurant look modern, sleek and stylish.

 

BUT for a theme park it's all soul less and bland. It is not theme park material. Fins at least aimed to fit an "island theme", which the audio and branding was changed to. Now yet again we have a mis mash of themes and nothing makes sense.

 

By the time the park gets updated to its new brand (how many brand changes have there been in the last decade or so?) it will change again and there will be a mismash.

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So I actually had a good day today, I’ll admit after the first hour everything felt a bit weird, but after that getting more used to things I actually enjoyed it.

 

Carrying on from above, the arcade from that angle does look bad - I’ve no idea I can only assume it had to be done very quickly for some reason or work wasn’t able to be completed due to corona - I do hope something is done to improve it as it don’t look great.


On a more positive note - Firstly with the social distancing I think the park did really well - there are markers literally everywhere spaced out 2 m anywhere there would be a queue - there are sanitiser stations everywhere and I didn’t find one which had ran out all day, on rides there’s social distancing where it’s needed - some rides seem odd such as quantum which literally runs 3 rows - others do make sense, but obviously this is new and will be tweaked over the next few weeks. There’s signage everywhere - again it’s all been done professionally and properly, proper signage throughout, information videos on screens and park wide announcements. For guests following it it’s a mixed bag - some queue lines seemed to follow it better than others, ride ops did step in at times and make announcements reminding people which jogged memories and people would then distance out more. Did notice some not wearing masks on The Swarm, at the same time someone at stealth didn’t have a mask and the staff quickly found one, disposable masks are also on sale in the shops as well as Thorpe branded ones.

 

Entrance to the park was efficient- those without bags skip security queue and go straight to temperature check - the ticket window queue to the right of the entrance is repurposed info a holding queue for those waiting to get in before park opens to allow people to be socially distancing whilst waiting.

 

Park audio has had so much work, probably more than its ever had, its not finished but it’s already significantly better, queues like colossus which have needed work for so long have had it, areas which never had audio before now have it, its really so much better. A few tweaks are needed with some volumes too loud or quiet but that will come over time - you need the general noise of the park to get these levels right. 
 

Ride availability wasn’t bad - rides in old town were closed along with rumba, I expect these to open over the next Few weeks, as expected Ghost train and walking dead closed. Shutdown wise only actually saw Stealth and Vortex go down which isn’t bad for “first day” of season - all rides full capacity too which is obviously more important  now with reduced seating.

 

New brand signage around entrance / dome looks good - much more professional and suits the park well - Infinity looks really good too, sadly they seemed to have some struggles in there today so didn’t get to try it but definitely will soon!

 

New car park system was good - passes scanned quickly, I do wonder if eventually pass holders will be able to register a car reg?


Was also happy to see fastrack not on sale - they easily could have sold it, and people would have bought it - but not selling it definitely is a big plus for guest experience especially when staff are getting used to the new procedures on rides.

 

All in all I had a good day - it was rough around the edges in some places but open day ALWAYS is - with the added part of the vast majority of staff spending the last few months on furlough along with  all the new procedures needed it ran significantly smoother than i thouht it would - am happy the parks able to reopen!

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30 minutes ago, Marc said:

New car park system was good - passes scanned quickly, I do wonder if eventually pass holders will be able to register a car reg?

Brand new passes and those that are being renewed can add car reg for ANPR.

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Marc, it’s great you are so positive and it’s always great to get a positive opinion and outlook on life!

 

Unfortunately I just cannot agree. Blackpool has had a really successful opening day (bar issues with the big one due to wind) whereas merlin parks have been a bit of a shambles across the board. I’m tempted to say there’s been more rides closed than open today, and when the closed rides aren’t advertised on the website in advance, that’s pretty unprofessional in my opinion. Chessington and Legoland posted a list of what’s going to be open and closed, whereas Alton and Thorpe left their customers in the dark as to what would be operating, then Thorpe had all water rides shut, and towers had 2 major coasters closed. We can argue indoor rides are closed due to social distancing but at the end of the day I think indoor rides being closed is just down to budget cuts- out in Europe parks have indoor rides open so I don’t see why it should be any different over here. 

 

In terms of covid mitigation, which is really important right now, merlin have done a pretty good job from what I’ve seen. But it doesn’t cover up the fact that parts of towers and Thorpe have been neglected and just not maintained, this was an issue pre-covid but is surely not going to be helped by the pandemic as any budgets left for park upkeep and refurbishment have probably been lost in the 3 months of the parks not being open. And to combine the abundance of SBNO rides today across all the merlin parks, it’s pretty poor.

 

When I checked the Thorpe park queue times at one point today there was only 10 rides open and 14 closed, and because of this queue times are elevated too which means people are in close proximity for longer.

 

I also struggle to see how chessington is operating on a 10am-4pm opening hours, that’s just shocking to be honest I can’t believe they can get away with that- not related to Thorpe though.

 

So yeah in terms of covid measures, they’ve done a good job but there’s been way too many unadvertised ride closures today across Thorpe and towers and the parks are just looking really neglected. The pandemic isn’t going to help with this as merlin now will be struggling financially along with every other business out there. 

 

I just wish we had some more competition in terms of uk parks to give merlin that extra push in terms of investing in park maintenance, theming and upkeep.

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4 hours ago, TPJames said:

Marc, it’s great you are so positive and it’s always great to get a positive opinion and outlook on life!

 

Unfortunately I just cannot agree. Blackpool has had a really successful opening day (bar issues with the big one due to wind) whereas merlin parks have been a bit of a shambles across the board. I’m tempted to say there’s been more rides closed than open today, and when the closed rides aren’t advertised on the website in advance, that’s pretty unprofessional in my opinion. Chessington and Legoland posted a list of what’s going to be open and closed, whereas Alton and Thorpe left their customers in the dark as to what would be operating, then Thorpe had all water rides shut, and towers had 2 major coasters closed. We can argue indoor rides are closed due to social distancing but at the end of the day I think indoor rides being closed is just down to budget cuts- out in Europe parks have indoor rides open so I don’t see why it should be any different over here. 

 

In terms of covid mitigation, which is really important right now, merlin have done a pretty good job from what I’ve seen. But it doesn’t cover up the fact that parts of towers and Thorpe have been neglected and just not maintained, this was an issue pre-covid but is surely not going to be helped by the pandemic as any budgets left for park upkeep and refurbishment have probably been lost in the 3 months of the parks not being open. And to combine the abundance of SBNO rides today across all the merlin parks, it’s pretty poor.

 

When I checked the Thorpe park queue times at one point today there was only 10 rides open and 14 closed, and because of this queue times are elevated too which means people are in close proximity for longer.

 

I also struggle to see how chessington is operating on a 10am-4pm opening hours, that’s just shocking to be honest I can’t believe they can get away with that- not related to Thorpe though.

 

So yeah in terms of covid measures, they’ve done a good job but there’s been way too many unadvertised ride closures today across Thorpe and towers and the parks are just looking really neglected. The pandemic isn’t going to help with this as merlin now will be struggling financially along with every other business out there. 

 

I just wish we had some more competition in terms of uk parks to give merlin that extra push in terms of investing in park maintenance, theming and upkeep.

I agree - I’ve no idea on other Merlin parks but Thorpe did have a number of rides closed - I do not believe it all being down to budget cuts though, In general rides were staffed pretty well.

 

For the indoor rides it seems to be a choice merlin have made across the board - as far as I know it’s the same at all merlin parks - personally at Thorpe I can see why, Ghost Train would be an awful ride to run in these times, Walking dead wouldn’t be much better with its narrow / dark corridors - then the added issue of odd numbers and couldn’t pair Odd number groups together, angry birds could open and I expect will at some point.

 

Along with that Thorpe had Tidal Wave, Storm Surge, Depth Charge, Rumba, Lumber Jump, Rocky Express and Timber Tug closed. From what I understand rush is due to technical problems unrelated to covid. 
 

For me personally none of the above really affected my day - I’d open I’d have probably rode Rumba and Rush. I guess I did know in advance, the app was updated to have the open rides but I agree it could have been clearer on the website.

 

As for looking neglected - at thrope at least other than the mess of the rear of the arcade - I didn’t see anything which stuck out, plenty of places have been repainted, shops and food units have been refurbished. I do hope the arcade is sorted soon.

 

That said it don’t detract from the other genuine positives I mentioned across the park for this season.

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13 hours ago, Marc said:

Was also happy to see fastrack not on sale - they easily could have sold it, and people would have bought it - but not selling it definitely is a big plus for guest experience especially when staff are getting used to the new procedures on rides.

Fastrack might not be available to buy but it certainly is in operation. There was hotel guests, Merlin V.I.P pass holders and others with printed fastrack tickets today (pre bought maybe?)

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I was on park yesterday for the first time this season and had a pretty good day. Social disancing IMO was handled really well, and props to all the staff who were awesome, working so hard to keep the rides clean and the queues moving as best they could.

 

Although there have been none of the larger scale refurbishments that the park has needed for a while, many areas look somewhat refreshed and cleaner than usual. I actually quite like the refresh of the dome, and the entrance plaza and bridge look much brighter and more welcoming. The car park improvements will really help when the park eventually gets busy, too.

 

It's disappointing to see Slammer hasn't been removed though. The space could really be used for a queue/plaza area for Black Mirror.

 

MAJOR work has been done on audio across the park. Thorpe seem to have bought RCF's entire stock of outdoor speakers 😂

Really not exaggerating here, almost every speaker has been replaced across most areas of the park, with only those that were already relatively new and working being left in place such as Swarm Island and DBGT. Audio has been introduced to areas where there was previously none, too.

 

It's clearly an ongoing project, as there were a few new speakers that have been mounted but not wired in yet, and the volume levels in some areas are lower than they should be, with announcements from ride staff being way too loud. Hopefully now they can measure ambient noise with guests in the park, they can fine tune the levels that aren't where they need to be.

 

RCF isn't a brand I've noticed being used in a UK park before. It's good to see they've bought some really high quality equipment which will hopefully last for many years to come. They've clearly invested a LOT of money here as audio has been due an overhaul for a long time, and the speakers that were setup yesterday and at the correct volumes sounded awesome.

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