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On 11/12/2020 at 7:52 PM, JoshC. said:

The length of the IP contracts vary a lot, seemingly depending on how big an investment the attraction is. They'll have certain clauses and the ability to have pre-determined extensions triggered.

 

I believe Saw was on an initial 5 year contract and had regularly been extended. The Lionsgate and Walking Dead mazes, and I'm a Celebrity, were 3 year contracts, with options of 1 year extensions. Angry Birds I've no clue actually. Walking Dead The Ride is under a separate contract to the mazes. I'd have thought 4 years, but who knows. But yeah, it's very true that it would be easy to retheme it to a generic zombie ride if they wanted to!

 

Specifically for Derren, I've heard the contract was 6 seasons in length, which would put 2021 as the last season potentially. But all that remains to be seen.

Olympia Looping has a 5 year contract with Hyde Park Winter Wonderland with its first year in 2016, which would've had its final year landing in 2020. With HPWW being cancelled this year I got pretty worried about the contract expiring and the ride never returning again without me getting the chance to say a proper goodbye to my #1 coaster.

 

But the interesting part comes here where someone said we'll see OL in HPWW 2021 because the remaining years on the contract would only decrease if the coaster came to Winter Wonderland and opened. And since obviously there's no Winter Wonderland this year, it would be pretty scummy of the IP managers to chop a year off the contract due to complications WW had no control over. This means we'll be seeing Olympia Looping in 2021 so we can all say a proper farewell to it.

 

I'd imagine things SHOULD be similar with DBGT, TWD, and BM.

 

Hearing this stuff about Olympia's possible return next year makes me believe DBGT's six year contract WON'T expire six years after the ride's initial 2016 opening, but instead after six seasons of the ride operating. So if Derren opens in 2021, then if I'm correct the contract will expire at the end of 2022 if the ride's open that year as well.

 

It all just... makes sense this way.

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I imagine next year will be a near repeat of this year.    TWD, DBGTROTD, BM all closed. Capacity issues elsewhere.    If only they had a nice open space like a farm to relax

They are waiting for a new pump, they ordered one but they received the wrong one

I dont think there anything to say that hasnt already been said... I would say the state of the park is embarrassing but I dont think Merlin have enough shame to be embarrassed by anything. 🥴  I gu

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I guess it will all depend on the wording of the contracts and things like that.

 

With something like Olympia, I'd have thought the contract would be for bringing the coaster for 5 (or however many) events, with an expectation of annual events. But obviously if an event doesn't run in a specified year, then the ride can't be bought to the event, so it wouldn't count. 

 

With the parks, their contracts would count years/seasons, and since the attraction is in situ all the time, it would be different. ie, the contract would be for the ride to be in situ for 5 years, not necessarily for it to run 5 years. This is where the wording and fine print of the contracts would come into play. Could an IP specify they want an attraction to run a minimum number of days in a season? Would Merlin agree to that? Does the IP still get paid if an attraction doesn't open? To what extent does having an attraction closed affect the brand name of an IP (I'd suspect it's minimal, but who knows)? All of these things could be different for different IPs too.

 

I remember when Saw first opened that there were rumours floating around that Lionsgate had stated that if less than 90% of the special effects were working, the ride had to be closed until they were fixed. I believe it was absolute rubbish, but many people believed it. 

 

Personally, I'd expect the set up to be pretty basic at its heart. Thorpe/Merlin pay a fixed amount each year, and the IP get a certain percentage of the profit of merchandise related to that IP too. That would last x amount of years, and then discussions would reopen. Obviously there'd be other stuff, but that'd be the heart of it. I could be way off of course, but just what seems sensible.

 

 

At this point, with Ghost Train, I'd've thought that Derren would rather not have it run a year beyond the original planned contract ending, and just cut ties with it. It certainly feels like he's no longer connected with the project.

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3 hours ago, JoshC. said:

With the parks, their contracts would count years/seasons, and since the attraction is in situ all the time, it would be different. ie, the contract would be for the ride to be in situ for 5 years, not necessarily for it to run 5 years. This is where the wording and fine print of the contracts would come into play. Could an IP specify they want an attraction to run a minimum number of days in a season? Would Merlin agree to that? Does the IP still get paid if an attraction doesn't open? To what extent does having an attraction closed affect the brand name of an IP (I'd suspect it's minimal, but who knows)? All of these things could be different for different IPs too.

I think it would be kept pretty simple, and just be a case of paying a lump sum for a licence with an expiry date, with the option to renew if both parties agree when the contract expires. No royalties or specified running hours probably.

Although I imagine it would be a stipulated part of the contract to maintain the ride correctly, to protect the integrity of the brand being licenced. Whether this is an actual measurable on going thing that gets regualrly inspected by the brand, probably not. And there's a difference between that and actually cutting something major for a technical reason requiring the park's investment, like the tunnel crash, rather than just bad maintenance. Although neither will make Derren Brown very happy!

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21 hours ago, JoshC. said:

Personally, I'd expect the set up to be pretty basic at its heart. Thorpe/Merlin pay a fixed amount each year, and the IP get a certain percentage of the profit of merchandise related to that IP too. That would last x amount of years, and then discussions would reopen. Obviously there'd be other stuff, but that'd be the heart of it. I could be way off of course, but just what seems sensible.

 

 

At this point, with Ghost Train, I'd've thought that Derren would rather not have it run a year beyond the original planned contract ending, and just cut ties with it. It certainly feels like he's no longer connected with the project.

 

 

Wonder how much DBGTROTD merch they sell... :D

 

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I agree that the targeted March reopens for the parks are unlikely in the UK. Mid-to-late April sounds more realistic at this point. 

 

I don't blame the parks for advertising those dates either. If things do get to a state where they're allowed to reopen in March, then it's good to be ready. And I'm sure their preparations are still done with March as the target, but an almost unspoken expectation that they won't open then. Things probably have an added layer of complexity this time around due to the fact they need to re-hire and re-train staff again before opening (something which was done before lockdowns occurred last year). 

 

However, I doubt we'll see a lockdown in the summer. Last summer, case numbers were down (whilst testing was increasing), and most places were open. There were definite failings, still, and I'm sure the reported numbers aren't a totally accurate reflection of the situation. But there's certainly some optimism to suggest that Covid has a sense of seasonality to it (like the flu, common cold, etc). I fully expect there to be extra caution and things to be different to last summer, but anything resembling a lockdown would be extremely unlikely imo

 

So yeah, the parks should be able to open in summer. The trouble with extending into winter is:

1. If Covid has a sense of seasonality and the population isn't vaccinated, we could be hit again this upcoming winter and have another November lockdown. That means preparations made for nothing

2. It has a knock on effect for winter maintenance 

3. For Thorpe in particular, a larger proportion of their rides struggle in cold temperatures. They might be able to cope in November, but any further is a risk!

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About right for this time of year I'd say.

 

Engineers have still been able to work during the Lockdown, and they've had a full closed season. If they were working on an optimistic schedule if being open to open in late March like normal, it would be around now that they would need to get rides staff in for training, etc., and so engineers would be doing their final tests.

 

Noteworthy that Rush still has its top off. When it received major work in the past, it hasn't opened at the start of season. At the moment, I still don't expect it to be able to open on April 12th tbh.

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Back open from the 12th: https://www.thorpepark.com/about-thorpe-park/coronavirus/

 

No word as yet about people who have Shark Cabins bookings.

 

Current stance in what attractions may open:

"Please note that some rides, indoor entertainment, actor led experiences, 4D cinemas or meet and greet entertainment may remain closed or have limited numbers when we do reopen.

A full list of which rides and activities will be open or closed will be published and announced in due course once the Government regulations are published in full."

 

Worth noting that Legoland have a list of rides opening, and those with indoor queues and stations, such as the Dragon, will not utilise indoor queues, and instead you will be batched at that point. Could be an...interesting system on the likes of Inferno and Saw at Thorpe.

 

Passholders will have a new booking portal, which is coming soon.

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Some nice drone footage of the park from this past weekend: 

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?vanity=skysurveyuk&set=a.255034999417922

 

In particular, this image shows some work taking place between the entrance arch and the security check in point:

image.png

They've needed to properly sort out the entrance area for a long time, so one can only hope that they end up doing something good.

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2 hours ago, Dan C said:

Most of Rush also seems to still be missing from that picture too! Is it definitely returning? Because I’m pretty sure it won’t be ready for the start of the season

Half of Samurai is missing too ...... however Colossus has a train on the track

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Every few years rush gets taken apart as much as it is now - it has opened late some seasons when they have done this so it’s possible but the extra few weeks may mean it does open on time but don’t worry it will return!

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Interesting spots in the 360 photo on sky surveys Facebook page.

 

- I noticed rush is obviously still laying on the plaza by zodiac

- Looks like Quantum is back together

- Tidal wave is drained and looks to have a T shaped platform in the pool

- Stealth still has a school bus in the plaza

- The old ticket kiosks in the plaza look to be completely opened up now instead of using the sliding door setup from previous seasons. Could potentially be replicating the marquee setup inside these buildings?

 

I'm not sure if there's anything else to spot

 

 

Sent from my SM-A705FN using Tapatalk

 

 

 

 

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11 hours ago, ConnorJ said:

- Tidal wave is drained and looks to have a T shaped platform in the pool

Yes - that was the platform which held the theming piece which used to have the fireball effect (the very rusted, random ball). As said above, there's been some rumours going round suggesting it will be refurbished / replaced - be interesting to see what happens there!

 

11 hours ago, ConnorJ said:

- Stealth still has a school bus in the plaza

I'd image this is a very easy thing to move, and since it's not in the way, they've just left it there till they need to move it. Though I wonder if the thought of just leaving there has crossed their mind? It fits loosely enough with the Amity theme after all. 

(For the record, I hope it doesn't stay there as it would be too much of a random thing, but I guess weirder things have happened!)

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Good to see the tidal wave refurb going on, and even better to see the entrance plaza getting a bit of work done.

 

The last few years they’ve been doing a fair amount of small improvements haven’t they - looks like the same this year too.

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Tidal wave refurb? I’m putting strong bets on more de-theming. The fireball gone forever and never replaced. Just like the shortcut path and other pieces removed over the years!

 

I hope I’m wrong. 
 

The entrance work is promising though and to be honest it doesn’t take much to improve that plaza at all, which ideally needs an extensive rebuild. But that will never happen.

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1 hour ago, Matt Creek said:

Tidal wave refurb? I’m putting strong bets on more de-theming. The fireball gone forever and never replaced. Just like the shortcut path and other pieces removed over the years!

 

I hope I’m wrong. 
 

The entrance work is promising though and to be honest it doesn’t take much to improve that plaza at all, which ideally needs an extensive rebuild. But that will never happen.

 

I believe that the park have got the budget to sort out the themed feature that housed the fireball. 

 

Of course, it's very unlikely that the fireball special effect itself will return. The gas lines had to be cut during Stealth's construction and to reroute them would be incredibly difficult. 

 

But the actual ball feature (whatever the name of it is) should make a reappearance. 

 

3 hours ago, Inferno said:

Good to see the tidal wave refurb going on, and even better to see the entrance plaza getting a bit of work done.

 

The last few years they’ve been doing a fair amount of small improvements haven’t they - looks like the same this year too.

 

It's certainly fair to say they've done small improvements here and there. On a more blunt point, I think it's also fair to say that many of these have been done because they've needed to be done (ie: because Merlin's H&S deemed it necessary). 

 

Equally, there's been small changes with branding, some refreshed food and retails outlets and so forth. In my opinion these are things that most parks should look to do regularly, but it's sadly the case that Thorpe didn't always do that in the past. So it is good to see it's been a common theme in recent years.

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On 3/7/2021 at 3:58 PM, JoshC. said:

 

I believe that the park have got the budget to sort out the themed feature that housed the fireball. 

 

Of course, it's very unlikely that the fireball special effect itself will return. The gas lines had to be cut during Stealth's construction and to reroute them would be incredibly difficult. 

 

But the actual ball feature (whatever the name of it is) should make a reappearance. 

 

 

It's certainly fair to say they've done small improvements here and there. On a more blunt point, I think it's also fair to say that many of these have been done because they've needed to be done (ie: because Merlin's H&S deemed it necessary). 

 

Equally, there's been small changes with branding, some refreshed food and retails outlets and so forth. In my opinion these are things that most parks should look to do regularly, but it's sadly the case that Thorpe didn't always do that in the past. So it is good to see it's been a common theme in recent years.

Perhaps change it from a gas fireball to a water fountain element. 

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On 3/7/2021 at 5:33 PM, ConnorJ said:

Wait there's a tidal wave refurb happening?

Sent from my SM-A705FN using Tapatalk
 

The scaffolding company that’s doing it posted some photos on their Instagram a while back. I’ll try and find it. It was mainly to work on the big iron ball thing.

 

edit: they’ve taken the pics of the ball down but there is one of the work going on near the station. The pics of the ball shower a really rusty and knackered old gas ball with the quote ‘this is what 20 years of tidal waves does to iron’ or something. But that’s gone.

 

https://www.instagram.com/p/CJsx6SGHA3Z/

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The scaffolding company that’s doing it posted some photos on their Instagram a while back. I’ll try and find it. It was mainly to work on the big iron ball thing.
 
edit: they’ve taken the pics of the ball down but there is one of the work going on near the station. The pics of the ball shower a really rusty and knackered old gas ball with the quote ‘this is what 20 years of tidal waves does to iron’ or something. But that’s gone.
 
https://www.instagram.com/p/CJsx6SGHA3Z/
Oh cool!. Interesting to see what's done

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The park announced yesterday that the Shark Cabins will reopen from the 12th:

 

image.png

 

As the government's restrictions mean that hotels must be self-contained, there will be nothing available in the evening as normal. It will be interesting to see what will be offered, and what these catering options will be.

 

I know that I would struggle to entertain myself with the Dome's standard entertainment when the park closed at 5pm. No clue how I would manage to do so without that tbh

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