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2020 Season

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This isn't the most accurate thread to say this, but probably the one that will be seen the most..

 

From Tuesday, Annual Passholders no longer need to spend £1 to reserve entry to any Merlin attraction. 

 

I know it's a contentious point, but given the fact that many dates for passholders are sold out at other parks (especially weekends), and people don't always turn up despite paying the £1, it's perhaps a weird move.

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Very weird decision 

 

For me the £1 booking fee isn't a problem. Its the fact you have to book weeks in advance. Some people don't plan and can't plan in advance. I find it frustrating not being able to visit when it isn't capacity

 

If anything this is just going to make that problem even worse, as more people are going to book tickets and less will be available 

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16 hours ago, ThorpeAddict said:

Very weird decision 

 

For me the £1 booking fee isn't a problem. Its the fact you have to book weeks in advance. Some people don't plan and can't plan in advance. I find it frustrating not being able to visit when it isn't capacity

 

How do you alleviate that problem exactly? We don't live in a normal circumstances world right now. 

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To be fair we have been moving into a pre-plan/pre-book world for years now and maybe even more-so with current positions in the world.

 

I always try and book/plan things in ahead but I know there will always be some who will leave it last minute for better and worse.

 

 

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On 9/5/2020 at 9:05 AM, Mark9 said:

 

How do you alleviate that problem exactly? We don't live in a normal circumstances world right now. 

 

Some people get there shifts for work on a weekly basis for example. Makes it very hard for them to plan in advance.

 

I tried to organise a weekend up in towers for scarefest this year. Every single weekend is fully booked for the rest of the year for pass holders, well over a month in advance.

 

I know we don't live in a normal circumstances world right now, I'm aware of that, and I agree the parks need to limit there capacity. But my point was that I think they are treating pass holders very differently to paying guests throughout this, and in my opinion think the pre booking system has been managed poorly for pass holders. 

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15 hours ago, ThorpeAddict said:

 

Some people get there shifts for work on a weekly basis for example. Makes it very hard for them to plan in advance.

 

I tried to organise a weekend up in towers for scarefest this year. Every single weekend is fully booked for the rest of the year for pass holders, well over a month in advance.

 

I know we don't live in a normal circumstances world right now, I'm aware of that, and I agree the parks need to limit there capacity. But my point was that I think they are treating pass holders very differently to paying guests throughout this, and in my opinion think the pre booking system has been managed poorly for pass holders. 

The problem is merlin have already made it clear many pass holders are pre booking and not turning up, increasing pass holders tickets makes this problem worse and I can see why they don’t want to give pass holders too much % of the capacity they have for them not to turn up.

 

They could introduce a higher pre book price (seems unlikely now they’ve made it free) which gives you money back when your at the park to spend.

 

Or you could have some sort of system which gives gives priority to Those who have actually turned up and gone instead of booking and not going, problem

with both options is I doubt they have the systems in place to do anything like that. 

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Anyone know if Queue Times is remotely accurate? Am trying to gauge it since schools have returned but it's been saying the last few days Inferno / Colossus / Stealth have been on 90 mins - most coasters are reporting 60-80 minutes today.

 

If that's gonna be the case I just want to prepare myself next week, but to anyone who has been during the week, does anyone know otherwise?

 

Apologies as I asked a similar question a couple of weeks ago (thanks @JoshC.)

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2 hours ago, alexander said:

Anyone know if Queue Times is remotely accurate? Am trying to gauge it since schools have returned but it's been saying the last few days Inferno / Colossus / Stealth have been on 90 mins - most coasters are reporting 60-80 minutes today.

 

If that's gonna be the case I just want to prepare myself next week, but to anyone who has been during the week, does anyone know otherwise?

 

Apologies as I asked a similar question a couple of weeks ago (thanks @JoshC.)

Its a bit hit/miss, the queues are about a hour during mid-day, though later on the day the queue times can be a bit bloated/exaggerated. Yesterday Stealth said 45 minutes when it was about 10 minutes. And it still said 45 when it was walk on for a fair while. Swarm is similar, it said 70 minutes when it was 20. Honestly I recommend not 100% trusting the reported queue times, especially in the afternoon. Though in the morning you may have to queue for a while for the major rides, especially Saw, which seems to be closed more than its open..

 

So anyway I went on Wednesday/Thursday, stayed in Thorpe Shark for the first time. And overall, its a OK hotel. Me and my mate were a bit cramped in the room, I honestly don't think 3-4 people could stay in comfortably to be honest. Though its fine for what it is, I like having the dome next door, and the park and the water around it look very nice at night. I do wish Infinity had more options though to be fair on the food. Overall okay, but at the end of the day, it puts the B in budget.

 

Although rough around the edges I found Oktoberfest to be a good laugh. I really hope the event gets expanded on in the future. I like the new soundtracks on some of the rides, I really enjoyed the plaza which made a dead spot on the park feel alive. Overall it is not perfect by any means, but I think it has potential. I would like more food options in future years, and the roamers certainly need more direction and improvisation going forward if the event returned. That plaza near the Ghost Train was always fun to walk by, and I bet live music will only make it more of a nice place to chill and have a drink.

 

Ride-wise, Inferno and Stealth are still my favourite coasters. With Swarm as a kind of okay number 3. Saw is now my least favourite on the park. I find the ride to be just as painful as Colossus, but at least Colossus is open for most of the time. A slight breeze could shut down Saw down, its been a really bad season for it. Samurai is more reliable than it, that is pretty bad. On the upside, even though its not quite as brutal as it used to be, Samurai still manages to be pretty great fun as well as reliable. Easily up there with Detonator for best flat ride. Also got my first ride ever on Depth Charge, which is a brilliant water ride. Probably my favourite water ride on the park. 

 

Ride Count over the two days

Stealth X5

Inferno X3

Colossus X5

Saw X3

Swarm X3

Depth Charge X2

Tidal Wave X3

Samurai X3

Rumba X1

Storm in a Teacup X3

Mr Monkey's innuendo X1

Rocky Express X1

Long-stupid-name-for-bumper cars- X1

Zodiac X1

 

 

 

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I visited today and on the whole it was a positive experience. 

 

Entering the park was seamless and well organised with a temperature check taken before entering the bag drop area. It was fairly quiet being midweek & term time. Two staff members were situated at the entrance of the dome reminding guests to wear their face covering before entering. In the queue lines the vast majority of people were abiding by the social distancing floor markers and frequent Covid related announcements were made on most rides. 

 

As for park operations they were a bit hit and miss as expected although all rides were open except TWD, DBGT, & Angry Birds 4D (Loads of people all dressed in black entered half way through the day, potentially fright night actors for a meeting...). Stealth, Swarm, Detonator & Inferno had excellent operations throughout with hardly any train stacking. Unfortunately the same cannot be said for Vortex & Saw. I understand the nature of the rides effects through put more than others but I felt the operations could have been much faster. 

 

The Octoberfest area was fairly quiet today although I feel the area could be very congested on very busy days so it will be interesting to see if the park try and enforce social distancing or some sort of crowd control in the area. On the whole it's a nice idea although hard to take too seriously with their beer selection, they should definitely have gone for something that's not on tap in my local Wetherspoons 😄 

 

To some up the park in general sadly it's in the worst state in my 15+ years of visiting and is crying out for investment. I feel the current state of Old Town sums everything up, directionless and tired. Hopefully we get some competition in the UK theme park market over the coming years to persuade Merlin to either invest in Thorpe or sell up. I think the best we can hope for (and even this is wishful thinking) is a medium sized investment in 2022/2023. Maybe a Vekoma Bermuda Blitz with a well thought out layout, marketing campaign, and crucially lighter theme (1.2m height restriction, thrilling but fun family attraction). This could then increase visitor numbers and most vitally revenue/profit to remove SBNO attractions, freshen up the park similar to a Thorpe TLC programme similar to Alton. It's well known that the thrill seeker market spends less and demands more in regards to ride hardware, therefore it's not a sustainable business model and Merlin have started to realise this with knee jerk reactions like the additions of the two Old Town rides found in the lost property box. 

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Thorpe have announced there will be a passholder only day on Friday 6th November, 10am - 8pm with Fright Night attractions open as well.


Platform 15 and Roots of Evil will also be free on a first come first serve basis, you can book a free timeslot by scanning a QR code at the maze entrances. 

 

Full details below.

 

 

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Sorry, didn’t really know where to post this - but I’m off to Thorpe for the first time in a few years this week and wanted to know when’s the best time to arrive to beat the entrance queues? I haven’t been to a theme park post-COVID and am unsure how time-consuming the safety procedures/bag check will be. Thanks.

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18 minutes ago, CharlieN said:

best time to arrive to beat the entrance queues

9:15am to 9:30am.

Get bag checks out of the way in the first 30 mins then you'll get on a ride by 10.

Never do Swarm or Saw first - I'd recommend doing Colossus or Nemesis or Rush/ Vortex first. Then working your way counter clockwise so Swarm and Stealth are last (also advantageous as working your way up to the big rides).

Also stay till the end - queues usually die down from 6pm for some reason and the atmosphere is usually good near the end of the day. There's loads of benches throughout the park if you get tired or watch one of the FN "shows".

This is my experience from 2019 and I'd imagine it's similar for 2020 albeit slightly longer queue times.

 

I'd imagine if you arrive at 10am ish your security-check queue will be much longer and if you arrive at 11am when most people tend to arrive at Thorpe it'll be unpleasantly long.

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The physical process of having your temperature and bag checked is quick. The queue to get is simply because of the number of people there.

 

As said above, just get there as early as possible (9.15ish is a good shout) and you'll be fine. The turnstiles will open shortly after 9.30 in my experience, so you're good to go from there.

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14 hours ago, CharlieN said:

Sorry, didn’t really know where to post this - but I’m off to Thorpe for the first time in a few years this week and wanted to know when’s the best time to arrive to beat the entrance queues? I haven’t been to a theme park post-COVID and am unsure how time-consuming the safety procedures/bag check will be. Thanks.

Take the queue times with a pinch of salt! If it says 60, it's probably less which I found with my experience the other week.

 

Bag checking and temperature check was really seamless. Took no time at all.

 

Go to Nemesis Inferno or Colossus first!

 

Have a lovely day!

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Amity Fish and Chips has been changed to a Ben and Jerrys ice cream shop. 


Have always missed the Ben and Jerrys by Vortex so will be nice to see it return. 


Wonder if this is because Nitrogenie will be closing? Chessingtons and Towers have not been open all year so wouldn't be surprised if this is to replace Nitrogenie. 


Lots of management and staff in there yesterday and looks like it'll be ready to open soon. 

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2 hours ago, Marc said:

The unit has been split into 2 - fish and chips is still there although wouldn’t be surprised if it goes it never seems particularly popular at the best of times.

Seems odd that all the signage referencing fish and chips was stripped and it now simply states Ben & Jerry's. Does the new Ben & Jerry's addition look temporary? Maybe they kept it for now to get through the stock and then do the full change over closed season.

 

Of course it could stay as it is and just have been a "too good to miss" advertising deal hence the huge, hideous, unfitting Ben and Jerry's styling around the building.

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