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With the Gruffalo now open and not really fitting with the theme of Transylvania, what do you reckon on the chances of Vampire being re-themed at some point to Room-on-a-broom, another children's book by the author and illustrator of The Gruffalo? 

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4 hours ago, MagicMadjeski said:

With the Gruffalo now open and not really fitting with the theme of Transylvania, what do you reckon on the chances of Vampire being re-themed at some point to Room-on-a-broom, another children's book by the author and illustrator of The Gruffalo? 

The theme of the area has changed and tbh while I loved Transylvania the way Vampire has been integrated into the area is alright. I think Vampire actually fits Wild Wood more than Room in the Broom, and Id much rather they'd just put her out of her misery than retheme it into that, and I adore the thing.

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To best honest, does the classic Vampire belong at modern day Chessington though? If only it could be picked up and put somewhere else, where creative and eccentric entertainment is encouraged. Chessington today is a very different place that just wants to be a pricey, pretty tacky commercial resort appealing as superficially as possible to any family with the cash. The park has seriously changed for the worse and I feel it's too late now, so there's no point going back to the park to relive what it was like before.

 

I wouldnt be at all surprised if plans were made to change Vampire a long time back, as they were with BubbleWorks instead of giving that the restoration it really deserved too. Merlin don't do restorations anyway, even if they try to make it look like they do with UV Tan Blaster.

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23 minutes ago, Kerfuffle said:

...or actually put some time, money and effort into it and restore it to its former glory.

I said Id rather remove it than turn it into ROTB. Obviously Id want what you said more.

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To best honest, does the classic Vampire belong at modern day Chessington though? If only it could be picked up and put somewhere else, where creative and eccentric entertainment is encouraged. Chessington today is a very different place that just wants to be a pricey, pretty tacky commercial resort appealing as superficially as possible to any family with the cash. The park has seriously changed for the worse and I feel it's too late now, so there's no point going back to the park to relive what it was like before.
 
I wouldnt be at all surprised if plans were made to change Vampire a long time back, as they were with BubbleWorks instead of giving that the restoration it really deserved too. Merlin don't do restorations anyway, even if they try to make it look like they do with UV Tan Blaster.

There has been ONE restoration exception: Hex. But so far only one. If they can restore that why not Vampire?


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Just now, OlivusPrime said:

They kind of did restore/change Vampire, back when the trains got changed...

 

...Though it certainly wasn't a refurbishment that benefited the rest of the ride.

I'd personally class that more as updating and altering the ride as opposed to a restoration.

 

A restoration is when a ride or attraction is refurbished and brought back into a similar state or functionality to what the attraction may have once been, as a result of change or neglect. Hex, the 2011 refurbishment of Python and the Enchanted Tiki Room at Magic Kingdom are potential examples of restored rides.

 

When Vampire was refurbished and reopened in 2002, the main major alteration was the trains, which were converted from Arrow suspended trains to Vekoma floorless ones. As a result of the different proportions, some alterations had to be implemented, including the station and areas around the ride, which included lowering the ground slightly. 

 

 

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I understand that, but my point was that Vampire's change could be classed as a restoration insomuch as the existing trains/tech were wrecked and needed an update in order to reopen. For 99% of us, it's by no stretch of the imagination a restoration on the whole, but for marketing execs I'm sure they class it as a mid-lifespan refresh.

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On 3/20/2017 at 11:12 AM, Matt Creek said:

What I would love to see is a major complete refurbishment of Vampire to bring the ride upto date and make it more exciting.

 

If I owned and managed  Chessington tommorow I would:

  • Restore the chandeliers in the station
  • Bring back the Graham Smart Score (along with the announcements)
  • Put red lighting in the crypt and green inside the station
  • Rebuild the organist animatronic and add window projections on some of the walls
  • Add a new ambient soundtrack in the queue 
  • Add more theming for the queue, sculptured tomb stones and old pieces of furniture maybe 

Vampire may be 27 years old, but it still has a place in the Chessington today and I would love for it receive a 'Towers Loving Care style' refurbishment.


I hope you don't mind but your post was so clear and concise that I forwarded it along to Chessington's twitter, they were cool about it.

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Rode Vampire the other day- They've done a bit of retheming, and they've added the main theme into the queue. What was annoying was that an announcement would come and interrupt the theme about every two seconds. Also, another thing I've noticed is that the station is brighter as well, sort of taking the dark red, slightly more gothic theming down a little. Plus, they have a new announcement, who is nowhere near as sinister sounding as the old one. On the positive, it was working well, and Marcel's moving again!

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He moves quite badly to how he was designed and sticking the station theme outside on cheap speakers, with a tinny downloaded transfer of the music, sounds so tack and un-atmospheric, robbing it of any interest. You get far better sound design / setup at your average temporary scare maze, let alone a permanent queue at a high-priced theme park.

 

The music doesn't even loop anymore, it has a gap every minute like 2006 Bubbleworks all over again (which would be so easy to fix). By the time you reach the station, you've heard it over and over.

Remove the theme music from the queueline speakers Chessington.

 

If you understand anything about themed audio, why was it not instinctive to create a basic ambient track for use outside? A quality ambient track could be knocked up using a professional royalty free sound library in 15 minutes, if you have some understanding, ability and imagination. Terrible standards at this park.

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On 29/03/2017 at 9:48 PM, Wumbamillio said:

He moves quite badly to how he was designed and sticking the station theme outside on cheap speakers, with a tinny downloaded transfer of the music, sounds so tack and un-atmospheric, robbing it of any interest. You get far better sound design / setup at your average temporary scare maze, let alone a permanent queue at a high-priced theme park.

 

The music doesn't even loop anymore, it has a gap every minute like 2006 Bubbleworks all over again (which would be so easy to fix). By the time you reach the station, you've heard it over and over.

Remove the theme music from the queueline speakers Chessington.

 

If you understand anything about themed audio, why was it not instinctive to create a basic ambient track for use outside? A quality ambient track could be knocked up using a professional royalty free sound library in 15 minutes, if you have some understanding, ability and imagination. Terrible standards at this park.

I seem to remember the audio around the queue line/entrance area was originally a selections of screams, grunting, sinister laughing, chains and various flogging noises?

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You forgot wolf howls... The music also played in the background with all the sfx playing over it...

 

Kinda weird in hindsight...

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That exterior track was also added by the park's entertainments department I think . Originally the only audio queue-wise was in the crypt (now demolished) it had fluttering bat sounds and in the dark corridor it was a choral ambiance with creepy bells and laughter. The main outdoor queue we know today was not part of the ride when it opened.

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RETHEME IDEA: - 'THE RAVEN' 

 

however much I love the old vampire - it is a shadow of its former glorious self and in desperate need of a revamp..... it's still such a fun coaster though and just needs love! 

 

Anyway - I was thinking a good (and CHEAP) retheme - that would fit well with the forest/Gruffalo theme is to theme  it to crows/ravens

 

Paint the whole track black to give it a fresh new look

 

The outside queue area would be filled with creepy scarecrows - a couple of which are animatronic - with fake birds EVERYWHERE! inspired by Alfred Hitchcocks birds with a bit of jeepers creepers 2/any scarecrow horror film thrown in for good measure! 

 

As the carriages are no longer bat shaped - there's no need to change them! 

 

The station would be themed to a Abbey/castle ruins - with a mix of crumbling architecture with trees growing through it  in that whole inside/outside 'nature taking over' feel to it! - with L:E:D blinking eyes from the dark/up in the branches.

 

And at the end of the ride before entering the station Id install a giant curved screen to cover up the corrigated warehouse wall - and have a projection of fluttering birds flying out at you! so an ending SIMILAR to the ending of mystic timbers ('whats in the shed'?) BUT it wouldn't have a weird marketing campaign about a 'mysterious element' and would just be part of the experience! 

 

I think something like this would be simple and cheap for Merlin to achieve - to 'freshen' it up! 

 

Thoughts? 

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Yeah there could be loads of fantastic ideas done with Vampire, in fact what you describe isn't far off the original style of the ride, but sadly Merlin will only do anything if it has an IP or world's first slogan. So it will rot until further notice, such a shame. An idea like that could be done very well without an enormous cost, and be a great success.

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I still think the likeliest change for Vampire is a retheme to another Julia Donaldson book. 'Room on the Broom' would be the most probable due to its darker theme (for a children's book).This way it would require less of a retheme. 

 

That IP would also lead to some good possibilities. E.G: Vekoma dragonfly trains that make it seem like you are on a broomstick...please(?).

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I think I would stop going to Chessington if they rethemed Vampire to Room on the Broom. I dont think it will be rethemed, at Vampires age I think the only major change will be a removal.

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Speaking of track repaints, what colour was Vampire's track originally? From what I remember of photos online, it was red with black supports? If so, it's aged horribly. In fact, I don't remember a time when the track wasn't a weather-beaten pale pink colour with dark brown supports.

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Track repainting I would imagine is quite costly and, as its Chessington and the age of the ride I can't see it happening - or a retheme

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