Jump to content

The lost future of Wicked Witches Haunt


Recommended Posts

If Wicked Witches Haunt hadn't burnt down, what do you think its future would've been? Personally, I think it would have remained in the same format but become a shooting Dard Ride like Tomb Blaster at Chessington and the closed Duel at Alton Towers. I believe Duel and Wicked Witches Haunt would have been almost identical. I feel the only diffrences would have been the facades, transit systems and vehicles. I'd like to hear what you think the lost future of Wicked Witches Haunt would have been.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It would have been removed actually not long after the fire. I recall seeing a planning application for a coaster on the site prior to the fire which would have removed the attraction.

 

The coaster was a clone of Rock n Rollercoaster, and I think the application was submitted in May 2000, however the fire occurred in July 2000.

 

EDIT: Got my dates wrong, it was submitted 2 months after the fire, however that still means it was likely being designed and developed before the fire.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Hethetheth said:

EDIT: Got my dates wrong, it was submitted 2 months after the fire, however that still means it was likely being designed and developed before the fire.

 

Not entirely the case.

 

As I understand it, the RnR clone was a rushed design and project following the fire, as the park wanted something in that place. This would also suit Tussauds' want to accelerate development at the park, especially since they wanted a coaster for 2001 (the original plan was for Project Odyssey, which became Colossus, to open in 2001). 

 

If I remember correctly, the reason the RnR clone fell through was due to infrastructure issues. Something to do with the electrical infrastructure of the park and that needing improvements for a coaster to go in that area I think?

 

But clearly that area had been marked for development for a new coaster for a long time. Would WWH have always been on the chopping block? Impossible to say. It certainly could have survived and been a part of 2000s Thorpe. Despite the lack of dark ride developments by Tussauds, you certainly wouldn't rule out the possibility that they would have turned it into a shooter with a dark scary theme to target the "thrillseeker" audience.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I remember reading somewhere that John Wardley was most upset when it burnt down "before he could get his hands on it", so I would like to think that it would have survived with a John Wardley revamp until at least the 2010's.  Also Josh you are correct with the RnR clone infrastructure issue.  I remember speaking with the development director about why it didn't get built, and that was the reason he gave. He also stated the idea was a quick response to the fire, as they had heard on the grapevine that Disney Paris would be getting RnR (in 2002)

Edited by MattyB
Updated response
Link to comment
Share on other sites

WWH’s future where the fire never happened? Difficult to say really.

 

Seens unlikely they would’ve fully ripped it out, but a gun ride system like Duel & Tomb Blaster happening would’ve been highly plausible at the time. They would’ve probably rethemed or replaced it again by now. Maybe a Sony IP
 

If it wasn’t ripped out, then Inferno wouldn’t have happened (least in its existing guise) due to building location. No DBGT either? Yeah I can take that. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 hours ago, JoshC. said:

 

Not entirely the case.

 

As I understand it, the RnR clone was a rushed design and project following the fire, as the park wanted something in that place. This would also suit Tussauds' want to accelerate development at the park, especially since they wanted a coaster for 2001 (the original plan was for Project Odyssey, which became Colossus, to open in 2001). 

 

If I remember correctly, the reason the RnR clone fell through was due to infrastructure issues. Something to do with the electrical infrastructure of the park and that needing improvements for a coaster to go in that area I think?

 

But clearly that area had been marked for development for a new coaster for a long time. Would WWH have always been on the chopping block? Impossible to say. It certainly could have survived and been a part of 2000s Thorpe. Despite the lack of dark ride developments by Tussauds, you certainly wouldn't rule out the possibility that they would have turned it into a shooter with a dark scary theme to target the "thrillseeker" audience.

 

I don't doubt it was rushed, but as I work in the construction sector I know how long it can take to draw up a planning application to that detail and it wouldn't have been quick even if you wanted to!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 hours ago, MattyB said:

I remember reading somewhere that John Wardley was most upset when it burnt down "before he could get his hands on it", so I would like to think that it would have survived with a John Wardley revamp until at least the 2010's.  Also Josh you are correct with the RnR clone infrastructure issue.  I remember speaking with the development director about why it didn't get built, and that was the reason he gave. He also stated the idea was a quick response to the fire, as they had heard on the grapevine that Disney Paris would be getting RnR (in 2002)

That is indeed true. In Making Thorpe Park by Chris Atkinson, it is said that John Wardley allegedly wanted to give the ride a Bubbleworks-style revamp.

 

Who knows what the future of Thorpe Park would have been had the fire never happened and WWH been rethemed by John Wardley/Tussauds...

 

Would we have seen the thrill flats aggressively expanded to the extent we ultimately saw? Would Nemesis Inferno have been built? Might the park have pursued a more Alton Towers-style route of being a thrill park that appeals to everyone? There are so many questions you could ask!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That is indeed true. In Making Thorpe Park by Chris Atkinson, it is said that John Wardley allegedly wanted to give the ride a Bubbleworks-style revamp.

 

@Matt N how could a Haunted House be transformed into a Dark Ride in which you ride in boats. I John Wardley would have refreshed Wicked Witches Haunt into a clone of Duel. Some of the Wicked Witches Haunt scenes were the same as Duels. For instance both Dark Rides had the same spider scene. I think it’s a shame that a fairly new Dark Ride was destroyed by a careless smoker. I hope the person who threw their fag into the undergrowth of Mr Rabbits Tropical Travels got fined. This ignorant guest cost Thorpe Park thousands of pounds. More strikingly the smokers actions prompted a change of target audience. The main reason I wish Wicked Witches Haunt was still around is that Derren’s Brown’s Ghost Train wouldn’t exist. Don’t get me wrong I’m an avid fan of Derren Brown. In fact I went to see him live last year. The only good consequence of the fire is that guests are now only permitted to smoke in designated areas. Without this devastating blaze Thorpe  may still allow smoking park wide.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 hours ago, Theme Park Fanatic said:

That is indeed true. In Making Thorpe Park by Chris Atkinson, it is said that John Wardley allegedly wanted to give the ride a Bubbleworks-style revamp.

 

@Matt N how could a Haunted House be transformed into a Dark Ride in which you ride in boats. I John Wardley would have refreshed Wicked Witches Haunt into a clone of Duel. Some of the Wicked Witches Haunt scenes were the same as Duels. For instance both Dark Rides had the same spider scene. I think it’s a shame that a fairly new Dark Ride was destroyed by a careless smoker. I hope the person who threw their fag into the undergrowth of Mr Rabbits Tropical Travels got fined. This ignorant guest cost Thorpe Park thousands of pounds. More strikingly the smokers actions prompted a change of target audience. The main reason I wish Wicked Witches Haunt was still around is that Derren’s Brown’s Ghost Train wouldn’t exist. Don’t get me wrong I’m an avid fan of Derren Brown. In fact I went to see him live last year. The only good consequence of the fire is that guests are now only permitted to smoke in designated areas. Without this devastating blaze Thorpe  may still allow smoking park wide.

 

Jesus.

 

1. Bubbles style revamp was doubtfully a "turn into a boat ride" thing. Probably more akin to the ride changing from scary to comedy.

 

2. A clone of Duel? It didn't even exist at the time of the fire and they wouldn't have had the space considering Tropical Travels was in the way.

 

3. They were not the same ride so did not have the same spider scene. WWH has a cousin at Europa Park though. Also it wasn't fairly new as I think I

 

4. I doubt this fire forced the introduction of smoking areas. More the change in the national laws and public image of smoking as a whole.

 

5. The fire did not change the target audience. Tussauds did when purchasing the park as they didn't want to compete with Chessie and they had less limitations to work with at Thorpe.

 

6. The ride opened in 1984. I think it's officially older than nearly everyone on this forum. Not exactly brand new when it got burnt.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 minutes ago, Benin said:

6. The ride opened in 1984. I think it's officially older than nearly everyone on this forum. Not exactly brand new when it got burnt.

 

There's been times lately when I've felt really old, especially in the enthusiast / Thorpe community. This comment has successfully made me feel a bit younger. 

 

(The worrying thing is that there's lots of geeks out there now who were born after the thing burnt down...but I try not to think about that...)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

6. The ride opened in 1984. I think it's officially older than nearly everyone on this forum. Not exactly brand new when it got burnt.

 

 

@JoshC.Wicked Witches Haunt Opened in 1994. When the ride initially opened it was known as Phantom Fantasia. This ride although still horror based offered a different experience. Wicked Witches Haunt technically only operated for 5 years. I class this as brand too fairly new. I’ll check out Wicked Witches Haunt’s clone At Europa Park. It’s comforting that Wicked Witches Haunt lives on even though not in England.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I know the thrill market would always have been pursued regardless of whether WWH had burned down or not, but I do wonder if it would have been pursued quite as aggressively had the fire not happened. Had WWH not burned down:

  • We almost definitely wouldn’t have seen the “Sensory Overload” flat ride package of 2001, which was arguably one of the most defining points of the park’s move to the thrill market. Correct me if I’m wrong here, but I was led to believe that even though Vortex and Zodiac were built well away from the WWH area, all 3 rides built in 2001 (Vortex, Zodiac and Detonator) were a knee jerk reaction to the fire rather than a fully planned out long term move. I even seem to remember hearing that Detonator only had temporary planning permission originally, and was never originally intended as a permanent ride.
  • There’s a good chance we may not have seen Nemesis Inferno, in its current form at least. Correct me if I’m wrong here, but I was led to believe that Mr Rabbit’s Tropical Travels was only removed due to a large portion of it burning down during the fire alongside Wicked Witches Haunt, and had Mr Rabbit’s Tropical Travels not been removed, there would have been nowhere for Inferno to be built on that site. There could well have been other areas considered (for instance, I know Making Thorpe Park cited the former Treasure Island site as an area originally under consideration for what eventually became Nemesis Inferno), but that ride would likely have been quite different had it been built elsewhere in the park.
  • The park would have retained two fairly substantial family attractions, which could have made the park feel less skewed primarily toward teenagers and young adults and given it more of an Alton Towers-style vibe (a thrill park with slightly wider appeal). In particular, I think a Bubbleworks-style revamp of WWH by John Wardley could have given the park a staple family dark ride.

It is interesting to ponder an alternate universe where the Wicked Witches Haunt fire didn’t happen. Do you guys think things would have been slightly different? Or do you disagree, and think that much the same things would ultimately have happened, just in a slightly different order?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah I think the development of the park would have been very different to what actually happened.  I seem to remember (it was my first season in 2000 at the park so my recollection might be a bit hazy) that Zodiac appeared a couple of weeks after WWH burnt down and was literally plonked down where Vortex currently is.  I agree with Matt N that the park may have been a bit more balanced with family and thrill rides rather than what we have got now. Its a shame as one of my first memories of TP was Phantom Fantasia. The day of the fire was pretty crazy!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Enterprise was purchased of the fair circuit shortly after the fire and was directly by the dome/vortex.  It wasn't advertised as a new ride until Zodiac was launched in 2001. Vortex was obviously also very late delivery (summer 2001) which may have been due to a last minute order ?


Mr Rabbits did reopen after the fire, so it’s questionable if its removal was due to the fire, or just market changes

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

19 minutes ago, RobF said:

Vortex was obviously also very late delivery (summer 2001) which may have been due to a last minute order ?


Mr Rabbits did reopen after the fire, so it’s questionable if its removal was due to the fire, or just market changes

 

 

I believe Vortex was late due to the manufacturer?  Not sure tbh, I just remember a hole in the ground by the Dome and the media having a field day about TP marketing 3 new rides for 2001 and only having 2 open.  Guests were very unhappy as well.  Mr Rabbits reopened, but without the Mill building so it was missing the big finale that made it so memorable (who doesn't like frogs singing that crazy Paul McCartney song eh?) So I think after the fire its time was limited.

 

Also if you look at the Nemesis queue by the Nemesis shop, you can still see some of the old queue line that was used for Mr Rabbits, repurposed for Nemesis.  And some of the old Mr Rabbits trough was used to strengthen the outflow for Loggers round by SAW.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

41 minutes ago, MattyB said:

 

I believe Vortex was late due to the manufacturer?  Not sure tbh, I just remember a hole in the ground by the Dome and the media having a field day about TP marketing 3 new rides for 2001 and only having 2 open.  Guests were very unhappy as well.  Mr Rabbits reopened, but without the Mill building so it was missing the big finale that made it so memorable (who doesn't like frogs singing that crazy Paul McCartney song eh?) So I think after the fire its time was limited.

 

Also if you look at the Nemesis queue by the Nemesis shop, you can still see some of the old queue line that was used for Mr Rabbits, repurposed for Nemesis.  And some of the old Mr Rabbits trough was used to strengthen the outflow for Loggers round by SAW.

@MattyB what was the indoor section of Mr Rabbits Tropical Travels replaced with for the rest of 2000 and the 2001 season? Can someone post a photograph of the section of queline that remains. I wonder what happened to the pieces of Theming that survived the fire. I know the Witch that stood above Wicked Witches Haunt is stored in a staff only area. I hope the Witch is transferred to Alton Towers and used in the Duel refurbishment.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 minutes ago, Theme Park Fanatic said:

@MattyB what was the indoor section of Mr Rabbits Tropical Travels replaced with for the rest of 2000 and the 2001 season? 

It wasn't replaced with anything.  They replaced the damaged fibreglass trough with concrete and that was it.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 10/8/2022 at 10:57 AM, Theme Park Fanatic said:

 

6. The ride opened in 1984. I think it's officially older than nearly everyone on this forum. Not exactly brand new when it got burnt.

 

 

@JoshC.Wicked Witches Haunt Opened in 1994. When the ride initially opened it was known as Phantom Fantasia. This ride although still horror based offered a different experience. Wicked Witches Haunt technically only operated for 5 years. I class this as brand too fairly new. I’ll check out Wicked Witches Haunt’s clone At Europa Park. It’s comforting that Wicked Witches Haunt lives on even though not in England.

 

The Wicked Witches Haunt retheme/rebrand opened in 1994, but the original opened in the 1980s as Josh noted. They were not really that different.

 

Regarding Geisterschloss as Europa Park, it's a similar ride type but not a clone. There's different scenes throughout.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...