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2020 Season

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4 hours ago, Mark9 said:

Besides, Chessington proves your theory completely wrong. They've not added a big coaster since 2004 and they are currently going from strength to strength with smarter, more targeted investment. It goes back from what we've said before, CwoA knows exactly what it is, what its target audience values and it just works. Do the managers at Thorpe Park know what attracts people to the place?

 

I would adore Thorpe to get an RMC. Deep down I know they won't.

 

That's just the thing though. Chessington is a family park and knows it's a family park. Their investments have suited that market (As such they haven't necessarily needed a coaster specifically) and they have their direction.

 

Thorpe Park however made a name for itself as the "thrill seekers" park. What appeals to that market? Coasters and thrill rides. However, the issue currently I feel with Thorpes recent investments is the park very much seems to be having an identity crisis as to is it a thrill park or is it a family park. The prime example being going from X:no way out into X and then to Walking dead. I just think the powers that be need to sit down and actually decide who/what is Thorpe Parks market and go with it.

 

If they want to be a family park then I agree that they don't necessarily need a new coaster if that's the specific market they are going for. However if they want to roll with the park being a thrill park, then a new coaster is what would make perfect sense as the "next big thing"

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10 hours ago, Martin Doyle said:

 

Now I know this is said to death to the point even I am tired of it, but this is where I think an RMC would do wonders for Thorpe.

 

The enthusiasts would absolutely descend on Thorpe and the traction the park would get in the European enthusiast community could very well be big. When I was at Walibi, I encountered many enthusiasts who had travelled from all over the continent to ride Untamed. Hell some even came from America to ride it. Wildfire at Kolmarden was the same story. Enthusiasts from all over have made that trip to the middle of nowhere in Sweden just to ride it. So Thorpe to me would be wise to cash in on the overwhelming popularity RMC has gained in recent times. They may have to act on that soon however before the popularity and hype surrounding RMC dwindles and they miss the boat.

 

I know the enthusiast community is a drop in the ocean compared to the general public, however the general public just want good rides as well which an RMC would almost certainly deliver. Would an RMC boost the gate massively in regards to the GP?? Only time would tell. That's the calculated risk you have to take in buisness sometimes. A good ride will almost always capture the public's imagination.

 

I could sit here and talk about why an RMC makes sense to Thorpe because they usually are amazing rides until the cows come home, but I find it more crucial at this stage that it's pointed out why it makes sense buisness wise.

In a recent talk with Merlin's CFO, she said that even the Wickerman at Alton Towers hadn't succeeded financially. Yes families go and enjoy the ride, but its still seen as a one and done. Remember the enthusiast market is still very much a niche, and so would the millions spent on an RMC payoff? Probably not, hence the need for a hotel and secondary attraction first to make it a resort.

 

Investments at the end of the day are a risk, just like Derren Brown.

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12 hours ago, Marc said:

I don’t think you can include the Galactica overlay at towers as a new coaster personally.

 

Thorpes at a funny stage at the moment - its all well and good wanting Merlin to throw money at it but their next move HAS to be right or god knows the consequences... We all know the problems DBGT had for various reasons, which was the parks last “big” investment and it didn’t deliver, before that, The Swarm, it also didn’t deliver the return which was expected. 
 

Thorpes next “big” investment will probably be the most important one the park has had to date - the future of the park will be banking on it being right - they really can’t afford to get it wrong a 3rd time - fingers crossed we will start to see / hear things on this soon but it’s not something they should rush into till they are certain both it’s the right time and the right investment.

I think DBGT needed to have the changes it has now at launch to meet the required "hype" that was built around it. After all of the "Unavailable" period lots of people lost interest almost after the first ride. Thorpe needs a big investment to draw people in but has to make sure it is a ride people will want to keep on going on. This is probably why it's taking so long to share the next project.

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So getting back on topic... PJW Contracts LTD has been doing some work for Thorpe Park (noticed their van parked outside Nemesis Inferno in a recent YouTube video). Their website lists a few things they've done at the park, but most of them look to be fairly old photos: https://www.pjwcontractsltd.com/services.php?page=merlin-entertainments.php. Could be something very unexciting considering they do corrosion repair and similar jobs.

Edited by EpicSmatty
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11 minutes ago, EpicSmatty said:

So getting back on topic... PJW Contracts LTD has been doing some work for Thorpe Park (noticed their van parked outside Nemesis Inferno in a recent YouTube video). While I cannot tell if this is work that has been done this year or not their website lists a few things they've done at the park: https://www.pjwcontractsltd.com/services.php?page=merlin-entertainments.php. The Rumba Rapids one looks likely to be from this year as the handrail looks different to how it does now, unless these are from beyond the days I've visited Thorpe!

I'm fairly certain that's from a few years ago - it certainly used to be painted that vibrantly in the past!

 

Nice find though; the Tidal Wave photos are particularly interesting 

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Just now, JoshC. said:

I'm fairly certain that's from a few years ago - it certainly used to be painted that vibrantly in the past!

Did a bit more digging from Google Streetview, the works done to Amity Beach are several years old since the slides in the photos aren't there anymore. I'd imagine the other ones are fairly old too. Probably just some repairs on the Nemesis building I'd imagine

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The best we will get is an announcement for a new major investment coming soon (within the next 1 or 2 years) if we are very lucky. Nothing new this year is coming, which I think 95% of thorpe park enthusiasts have come to accept. 

 

Like Marc said.... I would much much rather they take the extra time to plan their next big move (which I'm sure is currently going on as we speak) and get it right, than for them to succomb to the pressure from fans and rush a new investment. This needs time, if they dont get it right this time, it could make thing even worse in the future.

 

Quite frankly I think people should stop pressuring them and let them get it right... I'm sure they know by now everybody wants a new rollercoaster  and I'm sure they want one too... Its just a matter of whether or not Merlin care. Which sadly I think Merlin are more interested in Chessington/Alton towers than Thorpe Park. But well have to wait to see what comes in the next couple of years. Hopefully this year they will focus on actually fixing some small issues at the park that add up to big issues... (For instance, removing the Slammer, loggers leap etc... There is alot to be done before they add a new Rollercoaster, they just need to pull their finger out and do it.

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7 hours ago, LukeP_8 said:

I would much much rather they take the extra time to plan their next big move (which I'm sure is currently going on as we speak) and get it right, than for them to succomb to the pressure from fans and rush a new investment. This needs time, if they dont get it right this time, it could make thing even worse in the future.

I think you're overestimating the influence fans have here. Thorpe (and any park really) aren't going to rush a big new investment because fans (which make up less than 1% of visitors) are "pressuring" them. In this sense, fan opinion really means nothing: they'll add a new coaster when they want to.

 

7 hours ago, LukeP_8 said:

For instance, removing the Slammer, loggers leap etc... 

They won't do that until they replace them. Sad fact, but true.

 

tbh, Loggers doesn't even need removing for the sake of removing really. You can hardly see these days. I'd rather them invest the time, money and effort into something else. And anyways, the only thing I can see replacing Loggers is a roller coaster, since they wouldn't be able to open a new log flume there.

 

Slammer is easier to replace, but since Merlin rarely seem to invest in flat rides - and there's a very small list of suitable flat rides for Thorpe - it's hard to see what they could replace that plot with. I think it's more realistic to expect a coaster to go there and in the surrounding area than a new flat ride, for example.

 

So really, the bigger issue here is Merlin's "risk free" strategy. They won't invest unless they feel basically certain they can make some money from said investment.

10 hours ago, Glitch said:

In a recent talk with Merlin's CFO, she said that even the Wickerman at Alton Towers hadn't succeeded financially. Yes families go and enjoy the ride, but its still seen as a one and done. Remember the enthusiast market is still very much a niche, and so would the millions spent on an RMC payoff? Probably not, hence the need for a hotel and secondary attraction first to make it a resort.

If this is true, then just..wow.

 

Wickerman bought a noticeable increase in numbers. The brand is reasonably strong and I've seen quite a few people with related-merch. It's a slow burner of an attraction too; it had the instant hit, and it'll also have to repeat value of people coming back to it in years to come. 

 

If everything that Wickerman has done for the park hasn't led Merlin to say it's been a financial success, then maybe, just maybe, they're setting the bar too high.

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An article was recently posted discussing the accessibility of some UK theme parks. Within it, there's an interesting quote re Thorpe:

 

Quote

In fact, as part of our long-term plan and from reviewing our producers and guest feedback, starting in our 2020 season we have increased the number of rides our physically disabled guests can experience. 

 

Taking this at face value, and keeping in mind that the park can't change the H&S rules for who rides certain rides, this sounds like Thorpe are going to make some rides easier to access for those, say, in a wheelchair. In particular, this could mean Inferno (which hasn't had a lift to the station since like 2004, for...reasons) or improvements to Saw's lift (which I recall being temperamental). Given there's also been lots of scaffolding around Inferno too, this could make a lot of sense, and would be good to see.

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More accessibility is always good 🙂 One very simple thing that I have suggested to the park before is to get steps/small stools they can put in place as some rides like Samurai and Vortex with higher/awkwardly angled seating can be tricky to get into when you have extremely limited upper body strength. Or they could go down the Winter Wonderland route and employ burley Eastern European men that upon seeing you struggling to hoist yourself up and without any prompting will come over, lift you up and throw you into the seat 😆 (I think I enjoyed that almost as much as finally getting to experience what a Top Scan is supposed to be like) 

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52 minutes ago, Lewis. said:

More accessibility is always good 🙂 One very simple thing that I have suggested to the park before is to get steps/small stools they can put in place as some rides like Samurai and Vortex with higher/awkwardly angled seating can be tricky to get into when you have extremely limited upper body strength. Or they could go down the Winter Wonderland route and employ burley Eastern European men that upon seeing you struggling to hoist yourself up and without any prompting will come over, lift you up and throw you into the seat 😆 (I think I enjoyed that almost as much as finally getting to experience what a Top Scan is supposed to be like) 

I guess the issue with steps / stools is that the point is you need to be able to get in / out of the seat in case of an emergency. If there's a time sensitive reason to get people out the ride, they don't want to have the additional responsibility of getting a step to get someone out.

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Didn't they used to have a step for Vortex? My memory isn't what it used to be.

 

It's always easier to get out than in these seats for some so wouldn't be a terrible idea. But I also don't think they'd be used enough to warrant them.

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5 minutes ago, Benin said:

Didn't they used to have a step for Vortex? My memory isn't what it used to be.

 

It's always easier to get out than in these seats for some so wouldn't be a terrible idea. But I also don't think they'd be used enough to warrant them.

Certainly used to.

 

I expect the lack of use these days is due to overzealous internal H&S more than anything else tbf

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In my case getting out isn't an issue at all but I have genuinely really struggled (with Samurai especially) a lot over the years. It may seem insignificant but straining to get up into rides can and in my case has lead to pulling several muscles and being left in discomfort for long periods of time. I suspect H&S is the reason but to me that's flawed, I'm more likely to fall flat on my face struggling to get up into a seat than simply stepping up onto something and plonking myself in. Hopefully this is something they've considered as people with invisible disabilities still too often get overlooked. It's great that they're putting in an effort with whatever it is they're doing though! 

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2 hours ago, ChessingtonSam said:

I'm sure I've seen a stool around Samurai and Vortex recently? Definitely Samurai. I may be misremembering though.

They had a stool at vortex and samurai about 4 years ago when I last visited the park, so assume it’s still the same now 

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