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Thanks both for your replies.

With regards to the whole ride, I'm still at a loss as to why it no longer exists. It was absolutely fantastic and was my favourite ride with nothing ever coming close to topping it. I guess I'm still in shock at the whole debacle of the retheme in 2006 and then finally removing it last year. I'm actually angry. Why can't rides and attractions be given a 'listed' status? Here was a perfect example of one that should have been.

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Some rides are built for a good run of 10 years or so, before the next creative challenge in taking their space and a total redesign (ideally). Like The 5th Dimension and Terror Tomb. But in the 2000s park managements changed rapidly and there was no longer a creative culture driving these developments. So when there rose an opportunity to redesign a dark ride, it would more often just get botched in a very short term, low budget change.

 

Dark rides may be fantastic for as long as they're maintained, as soon as details start to drop and after the warranty is expired or the maintenance is handed over entirely to the park's own teams (who are almost always underfunded and have not the skills or awareness - or time - to professionally maintain a show), then there's a slippery slope to the ride's closure.

 

Professor Burp's BubbleWorks was a different case because it really was timeless, it had so much to it and still wholeheartedly entertained families in a really classic, addictive colourful way. It also had a lot of quality work put into its animations and artwork, and was all original ideas too remember, so worth a lot of the industry's early heritage in the UK. And yet it was destroyed in a very vandalistic way, both behind the scenes and in the scenes, by sheer corporate stiffness. The ride was still very popular but needed some structural maintenance to the building that DIC who owned Tussauds then didn't give a toss about and didn't pay. So a quick-fix sponsorship was brought in to get some money, and an extremely corporate, charmless retheme plan drawn up to cater for it.

But oh well, no need to be angry, just on to the next challenge. The ride may have turned the ride into an embarassment in 2006 compared to what 'BubbleWorks' truly was, I wish they'd changed the name in 2006 too just to keep it separate in guests' minds. But it didn't stop the original ride from being fantastic for the millions who rode it, and I hope the industry can get something as original and from-the-hip fun as Prof Burp's BubbleWorks again some time... you'll see it in a smaller creative company and not the big multinational machines most likely.

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How much had the ride deteriorated by 2005? I must have first rode it that year or the year before, but I remember very little, and what I do remember is only positive (bearing in mind I would have been 10 or 11 at the time). Was it purely down to the building's structural integrity, with the theme then coming afterwards? Surely the damage must have been pretty extensive for them to consider refurbing the whole thing, especially when perfectly adequate scenes are there to begin with.

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I think it mostly sits in a park's desire to keep the dark ride going to the highest level too...

 

Efteling know the Dreamflight is the most popular ride on park, so station and queueline withstanding continue to ensure it looks fantastic... Fata Morgana is the same really, though nowhere near as popular...

 

Then again there's a lot of "cheesey European dark rides" that take some weird charm from the dodgy old effects and what not, so it works both ways really...

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I was looking for a cheap as possible wig for a tiny budget project I'm working on and I came across the exact same wig Chessington used for their hilarious "Professor Burp" in 2016.

 

I got curious and looked for the rest of the costume they appeared to use and found almost everything just by typing into Amazon "green waistcoat", "large bow tie", etc and sorting by "Lowest price" lol!!

 

Here's the actor for reference

 

"Mad professor" wig (looked hilariously nothing like Prof Burp's memorable hair)

The exact same bow tie

Looks like the same green waistcoat
The pink jacket


Thats about £35, so their costuming budget (for one of the UK's biggest theme parks, and one of the biggest & richest theme park operators on the planet) was pretty much covered by the sale of just 1 ticket to their "backstage tour" event. Which was also filled with made up facts and didn't really go 'backstage' at all. What a rip off, haha!

 

Not to mention the costume the actor wore was nothing like the one the character wore in the ride. It's like they gave their actor (who did the best with what he had) some pocket money to go buy a costume online, read Wikipedia and watch a few old BubbleWorks videos, feed him lots of sugar, then watch the money roll in, night after night of the tours!

 

They sure rinsed fans with little effort, during the Bubbleworks PR mania they kicked up using social media (which wasnt around at the time the original closed), a fake news story about a goofy fan changing their name, and instructing the press to still call it "Prof Burp's BubbleWorks".

 

Very obvious they didn't really care about Prof Burp's BubbleWorks at all and just wanted to dodge backlash from fans, direct attention to their new Gruffalo, while getting a big summer attendance boost from people coming to remember a broken down, corporate version of a ride that used to be good. Easy money!


Plus recently someone put the original posters on ebay, saved from the skip apparently. Remember the "Prof Burp auction", where they sold the rubbish tip-ex'd Imperial Leather posters for hundreds of pounds each. The much loved originals were still glued underneath. They binned the only intact props from the orginal ride! :P

 

s-l1600.jpg

s-l1600.jpg

s-l1600.jpg

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Thought that was well known that the IL posters were literally just glued on top of the originals?

 

At least someone's saved them...

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5 hours ago, Benin said:

Thought that was well known that the IL posters were literally just glued on top of the originals?

 

At least someone's saved them...

 

Yeah it was well known they were under there, but apparently not with whoever organised the closing down! The only cool/valuable part of the original ride left straight in the skip, as usual.

 

Looks like only 3 three were saved and the big ones (the more memorable) probably too big for any staff to have snuck away in a car.

My problem is how insincere their attitude was, when they did nothing to improve the ride for its closing down, misled the public to cash in on nostalgia, and charged people £35 each for a man in a costume reading Wikipedia. At least it's unintentionally hilarious!

 

You'd never get this level of rubbish with a proper theme park like those in Europe, run by much smaller companies.

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