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Sadly its not really by choice that things like the organist fall into disrepair. Unlike Disney and Universal, Merlin Parks don't have a huge budget for fixing up themselves. Unless its attached to a new project or an IP, there is no push for things like that to get done as it is not going to attract any more guests. Not many guests complain or even notice how things aren't working. 

 

I am sure that if you gave the parks the opportunity to refurbish the parks they would jump to the opportunity. If there weren't so many "H&S issues" with the chandeliers, they would be up right now otherwise they would have been straight in the skip.

 

It shouldn't be a PR stunt (Towers Loving Care). It should be something they do regardless of if it will attract more guests. However that is not the way Merlin parks are organised and set up at the moment.

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10 minutes ago, A Lost Zookeeper said:

If there weren't so many "H&S issues" with the chandeliers, they would be up right now otherwise they would have been straight in the skip.

The chandeliers haven't been binned, just stored at the back of the station, you can see them if you look closely as the train goes back into the platform.

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On 11/5/2018 at 3:33 PM, Kerfuffle said:

It's just sad to know that Chessington apparently take no notice of the animation...yet still decide a couple years ago that it's the HAIR that needs an "upgrade". So now the organist not only doesn't move much (if not at all) but also appears to belong in the Georgian era, while not being remotely intimidating by any means.

Interestingly the current hair is near identical to how the same organist character looked in the Black Forest Chateau. Personally I don't think he looks any less effective, it was always a Phantom of the Opera style vibe the room was going for. Although the theatrical humour in it doesn't come across at all now, it's in such a bad way.

What really lets him down is the fact he moves so little on the rare occasion he does work. The park are wanting to get him moving, but will it be a proper refurbishment to get back to its original lifelike standard? If they did do it, that would look brilliant.

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23 hours ago, A Lost Zookeeper said:

Sadly its not really by choice that things like the organist fall into disrepair. Unlike Disney and Universal, Merlin Parks don't have a huge budget for fixing up themselves. Unless its attached to a new project or an IP, there is no push for things like that to get done as it is not going to attract any more guests. Not many guests complain or even notice how things aren't working. ... It should be something they do regardless of if it will attract more guests. However that is not the way Merlin parks are organised and set up at the moment.

The Disney / Universal are the biggest, wealthiest entertainment companies on the planet and are also in competition with each other, so I wouldnt say that's a fair example. It needn't be as good standards as Disney, it just has to be decent.

A better comparison would be the likes of Europa Park, Efteling, Phantasialand, which are all run by companies infinitely smaller than Merlin, but they maintain their parks fantastically. A trip there costs you about the same as a Merlin park but is infinitely better value.

True it's not Chessington's choice that they get no budget or structure for this kind of maintenance, it is Merlin's method. Like you say, if it isn't able to be rebranded then they just don't care, this is their strategy. Even with new rides, once the press launch is over they rapidly stop caring. It's not the attitude of a real entertainment company interested in return customers and long term benefits for their parks.

However, Chessington is particularly bad at maintaining its effects and attractions, compared to Alton Towers for example. Sometimes it feels like, top down, Chessington are totally unaware that audio, lighting, etc even makes a jot of difference to guests.

You would very soon notice the difference in guests' reactions if these attractions as good as they were originally. The fact that "not many" of them actively complain about specifics is true but not really a valid reason to not maintain something. Why should it be the guests' perogetive to know the details of lighting, sound, animation, etc? They are paying for a good experience and instead getting a sub par overall experience.

IL Bubbleworks had plenty of regular complaints about how poor it was long before it got removed, nothing was done about it for years until they could get a new brand in. Also, the fact the park looked shabby and run down for years was a frequent online complaint from your average guests, but all that happened was they got the local painter decorators in to paint one facade per year.

The only excuse Merlin have is they can just hype up the brand and monopolise the UK market so nobody knows the parks could be any better.

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Had 39 rides on Vampire today! Old music's been restored inside the station though I'm not an audio expert and don't really know more in depth (it sounds good) The lighting in the station also looks quite a bit better. Looking great and vampire is running absolutely beautifully. 

IMG_20181201_105839.jpg

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37 minutes ago, Sarger said:

Had 39 rides on Vampire today! Old music's been restored inside the station though I'm not an audio expert and don't really know more in depth (it sounds good) The lighting in the station doesn't look like a school disco any more either! Looking great and vampire is running absolutely beautifully. 

 

Good to hear they did go ahead with the various changes they said earlier! Looks like they've finally replaced all the light bulbs on the organ (even if it's not as good as it used to be it's still nicer to have it properly lit). Are the floods in the ceiling just a static colour now?

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2 minutes ago, EpicSmatty said:

 

Good to hear they did go ahead with the various changes they said earlier! Looks like they've finally replaced all the light bulbs on the organ (even if it's not as good as it used to be it's still nicer to have it properly lit). Are the floods in the ceiling just a static colour now?

 

As far as I can remember, yes. Lights on offload side are now purple, too.

 

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Thank goodness the original music is back in the station. It was so embarrassing it was ever replaced with that YouTube download that didn't even loop properly. 

 

Now all they need to do* is produce a proper ambient track for the queue line, playing the station music out there ruins the effect so badly. 

 

 

*Besides bringing back the chandeliers, coffin bays, cloth dressing, lightning crashes, crypt queue area, and relighting the station.

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its a cool video, so funny to see staff larking about on the ride's supposed closing down day. A couple pretty strange things in there if you watch the whole thing, haha!

Shame it doesnt show the station under the show lighting but even in work lights, shows how fallen the brilliant station is now. People said Wicker Man set an amazing standard for a themed coaster in Britain  (which it did) – but truly Chessington had it even better years ago with this incredible Vampire queue and preshow!

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On 12/10/2018 at 5:40 PM, Wumbamillio said:

its a cool video, so funny to see staff larking about on the ride's supposed closing down day. A couple pretty strange things in there if you watch the whole thing, haha!

Shame it doesnt show the station under the show lighting but even in work lights, shows how fallen the brilliant station is now. People said Wicker Man set an amazing standard for a themed coaster in Britain  (which it did) – but truly Chessington had it even better years ago with this incredible Vampire queue and preshow!

This ride used to be such a spectacle. It's sad that the kids of today can't experience its greatness.

 

Can you imagine a beloved disneyland ride ending up in this state? No you can't, because disney would never let that happen.

 

Is it wrong to want a disney-style guest experience from UK theme parks?

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