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Ghost Train - NEW for 2023


coasterverse

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  • 2 weeks later...

So I finally got on this…  It was a little while ago now, and I’ve held off posting about it because I didn’t want to moan.

 

but as time has passed, the feeling of disappointment towards this ride have just grown.. and moan I shall.

 

The refurb for this year has been another enormous waste of money, hasn’t it?

 

What a mess. 

 

Sadly, it doesn’t even have that “new ride buzz” surrounding it, even half way through its opening season, like Alton Manor still does for example.

 

TP is just SO ready for Exodus. It’s time for a proper attraction, so all this nonsense can be left in the past.

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I dunno, I honestly quite enjoyed it - and must still be doing something right with the general public as it's got consistent 60+ minute queues (which is something that Derren Brown's Ghost Train wasn't getting for a long time!)

 

But even so, out of all of the options the park could've gone for, I think dragging their heels with this style of attraction probably was a bit of a waste of money, yeah. But I suppose the options for them were:

  1. Renew the IP for another few years with Derren Brown - likely at great expense - and continue having a mediocre at best attraction run, and running it thoroughly into the ground over the next 3-4 years
  2. Spend the money they would've spent on an IP renewal on a brand new original retheme, generating a little bit more buzz with the general public without being tied down in a contract with an IP so the park are allowed to pull the plug on it whenever they feel like it
  3. Spend no money on it whatsoever and have a massive building be SBNO until the park are in a financial position to fully strip it all out or bulldoze the building and completely start fresh

Out of the three options there, I think this version of Ghost Train is definitely the best for the park. The GP may complain about this version of Ghost Train, but I guarantee they'd complain louder if that building was left instead - and they certainly would complain if Derren Brown's Ghost Train fell into total disrepair (which was absolutely the direction it was heading in - I genuinely don't think it had another 3-4 years of life left in it).

 

For what the park were given, I think it's a credit to the creative team. Is it revolutionary? No. But would I have rather it stood empty until the park are ready to do something with it? Absolutely not. Do I think the attraction is actually of fairly good quality considering the very little timeframe the creative team had? Absolutely.

 

Let's all be honest here - Ghost Train isn't going to be around for very much longer. It's very obvious to me that this is just a temporary stopgap until the park are ready to do something bigger with the showbuilding. Either a trackless darkride or a darkride-cum-water ride are the options I'm hopeful for - and I honestly think, in the grand scheme of things, we'll see whatever they've got planned for the next generation of this building sooner rather than later.

 

I reckon it'll last however long Black Mirror ends up lasting at the most.

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Got to ride Ghost Train a few days ago and here are my thoughts.
 

The ride just didn’t work for me, it was definitely a downgrade from DBGT (if a majority of effects were working), bearing in mind I wasn’t a huge fan of that ride either.

 

This is probably because I was very familiar with the original ride system, but the train without the VR and just a sequence of actors acting didn’t really do anything. At least with the VR you weren’t just staring at the inside of a train the whole time. It kinda felt like a waste of a ride system and is something that I doubt any park would choose to build from the ground up.


The pre show and the crypt scene were honestly boring and also a downgrade. And the train carriage shell is a downgrade from the Victorian carriage. In summary, a lot of downgrades 😢

 

In my opinion once Exodus is open (and maybe give it a few years) it’s probably time to put the ride out of its misery. Just having something new from the ground up would be better than constantly retrofitting a ride system designed specifically for VR.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Got another go on Ghost Train today and thought it was great, the changes from my go in June were subtle but really made a world of difference. I think if you let yourself buy into the attraction and expect a little goofiness, you can have a lot of fun. The “Soul Redemption” line is wonderfully cheesy.
 

Actors today were also stellar, some of the best I’ve seen in an attraction full stop. Train full of screaming guests says to me that when on good form, the ride does work for people. Still have some lingering concerns about replacing temperamental technology with temperamental human beings though.

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On 9/1/2023 at 11:14 PM, Cornflakes said:

The “Soul Redemption” line is wonderfully cheesy.

 

Literally my favourite part of the whole attraction (aside from see it, say it, sorted of course) 😂

 

Nice to see them still working on it - I really hope we get some more drastic changes made over closed season though, like fixing audio balancing issues, some sort of effect to simulate movement outside of the windows (I don't care what it is, anything is better than black paint), better costumes for the nuns in the train finale, painting that god damn runner black in the crypt!!! All relatively simple changes to be made, but can totally understand why none of them could really be made whilst the park were operational.

 

I'll always have a soft spot for Ghost Train, and it always makes me happy when I see people praising it for what it is - a goofy, fun theatrical experience. People should be treating it like a Dungeons attraction, because that's exactly what it is. The balance of scares and comedy is identical to that inside of a Dungeons attraction, and when you take a step back and evaluate it on that level - it's a bloody good attraction. But if you analyse it on a terrifying ghost train ride level though - of course it'll fall flat - because that's not what the ride is, nor is it what it's trying to be.

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I don't think you can blame the public for misunderstanding this one, Thorpe Park themselves market it as one of the most terrifying experiences out there.

 

Quote

This next generation of Ghost Train will take you on a harrowing journey into the realms beneath THORPE PARK Resort to where the supernatural believers call home. Ghost Train is one of the UK’s longest ride experiences featuring live actors and multisensory effects to create a terrifying attraction like no other!

There’s nothing virtual about this petrifying experience, so prepare to meet your maker as you come face-to-face with horrors that dwell within.

 

 

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1 minute ago, Mark9 said:

I don't think you can blame the public for misunderstanding this one, Thorpe Park themselves market it as one of the most terrifying experiences out there.

 

Interesting that they’re still running with this, even after updating the signage and whatnot outside of the attraction indicating that it’s more of a theatrical experience than a ride - maybe the website slipped through the net somehow 😂

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I just can’t get my head round ghost train to be honest. I’ve ridden it maybe 5/6 times since it opened and every single time I’ve been disappointed. It’s just missing something that stops it being scary or suspenseful at all and I just can’t put my finger on what that is.

 

The story is so predictable and pretty much revealed to you in the pre show anyway and I genuinely just don’t find the experience scary one bit. Breakout at bozos was more scary than ghost train has ever been for me and that’s meant to be a tame maze targeted at a younger audience.

 

I just don’t get how thorpe park looked at the ride and went this is a good investment and we are proud of what we have made here. I’m sorry but it’s just a massive waste of money in my opinion.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Rode Ghost Train twice a couple of weeks ago and even though I still don't think it's nearly as bad as people make it out to be, I still do have a fair few gripes with it. Firstly, I'll list some of the changes that I noticed since my first runthrough on opening day:

  • The actor doing the batching into the preshow gives more of a talk at the start now - you know, your usual health and safety stuff really. Don't touch the actors, turn your phones off, etc. Not a huge fan of it and prefer the more simplistic approach that they had on opening day of the batching person just telling people to "keep moving, keep standing", but understand that this is needed because of morons unable to grasp the fact that you should never touch an actor.
  • Got held in the second preshow space in both runthroughs, and although not a new feature, this is something I didn't get to experience in my first go as we were just all ushered straight through onto the train. I like it, I wish more time was made so that everybody can experience is regardless if there's a delay or not, but again I understand the reasons for this not being the case.
  • The runner in the crypt that reveals the spirit has finally been painted black! Makes the reveal a lot less obvious now... however on my second runthrough of the day, the curtain hiding said spirit was open - so if you knew what to look for, you could literally see it sat there ready to come flying out.
  • But on the other hand, the lighting for this still really is atrocious. It's a total blink-and-you-miss-it moment. I took my friend on it for his first ever runthroughs of it, and I still don't think he noticed it after even our second go to be honest. The lighting either needs a rework, or the effect needs to be totally stripped out and re-looked at over closed season to be more effective. I personally think if they removed the rails that make it fly overhead and perhaps make an even bigger model (think the size of Emily Alton in the final jumpscare in The Curse, maybe even bigger) come out from the wall? Could probably be done via some retractable arm - that way it can be a big jumpscare moment that stays in place for long enough for guests to actually notice it, rather than having it whiz over the top of guests heads and risk them not even seeing it.
  • The audio on the train seemed better, but still needs more work to be genuinely scary in my opinion. It's still far too quiet for any of the jumpscare sound effects to be genuinely impactful - I think the main issue is a real lack of bass.
  • The nun costumes are significantly better now - actual robes and face makeup rather than the god awful Tesco halloween costume junk they were using beforehand. Not sure if it was a quiet day for actors then or if the park have reduced the actors in the attraction (already), but we only had one nun on the train in both our runthroughs that day which does significantly dampen the scare if you're on the wrong side of the train... which we were. Twice.
  • The fake shop ending is still pretty decent and the new costume they're using for it is miles better than the Thorpe Park blue fleece they were using on opening day - although is nowhere near as impactful as the demon from Derren's heyday. Yes, I'm still salty about that.

On our first runthrough we also experienced a breakdown on the train after the crypt scene - the actors were doing their best to keep up the breakdown monologue as to not disrupt the experience, but the breakdown lasted long enough that you could notice the audio loop which got a bit awkward after a while.

 

Really got to feel for those actors as they need to be on their A game 110% of the time - if you've got lacklustre actors, the attraction falls completely flat on its face (which, to be honest, is not something we had trouble with. All of the actors did an incredible job - especially the lady called Becca, who's the current face for Fright Nights. She puts all her energy into this attraction and it really pays off).

 

We also had the fake shop finale actor come out about 30 seconds too early on our first runthrough which totally spoiled the scare - they came through the fake door before the lights and projector even turned off, so you could see everything. They then just stood there looking around waiting for the lights to go off so they could do the usual scare thing of just lurching at people from behind the fence. A real shame as it totally ruined the experience for a lot of us when the very last thing of the attraction (which usually provides an amazing scare tbh) falls flat on its face.

 

I really hope they put a little bit more time and energy into Ghost Train over closed season, things I'm longing for are:

  • Something over the windows to simulate movement - perhaps curtains or LED strip lights like on Sub-Terra's elevator section
  • Fogger in the crypt to absolutely cover the floor in a thick fog to sell the illusion that you're in a crypt

Everything else works for what the attraction is to be honest, it just needs tidying up and some effects need enhancing to really sell the complete package.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Did this for the first time yesterday, thought it was pretty disappointing. Really miss the Victorian train illusion, it's weird they got rid of it since it's set in a Victorian train station?! I honestly didn't really understand the storyline at all. I've read on here about there being nuns in the finale, we never had any nuns? The guy in the fake shop at the end said as part of his spiel, "did you like the nuns?" - we were like, "what nuns?" .... "oh. you didn't see any nuns? you should have" - all just a bit of a waste of time sadly! We just had the same 2 actors the whole time doing creepy movements on the train and stomping about. Very random!

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I'm pretty sure the park have said that the floating carriage illusion had to go because the illusion was Derren's intellectual property and therefore they couldn't use it for the rebrand, which makes sense but is a bit of a bummer because it was by far the best illusion on DBGT. It's a shame they couldn't have replicated something similar for the new version, although I must admit the new 'station' theming works pretty well (just not as well as the floating carriage did).

 

That's pretty disappointing for you about the nuns to be honest - the first time I rode on opening day we had two nuns come out on the train (albeit wearing horrendously cheap halloween costumes) and the most recent times I rode we only had one. I guess with it being Fright Nights now, the park are pretty limited on their actor numbers and I'm already aware of one person from Ghost Train that is also working in a Fright Nights maze, so I'd imagine it's the same for the majority of the Ghost Train actors too. This is a shame though, because imo the park shouldn't be taking actors away from a staple attraction for an event, as that then gives a crap experience for those looking to ride Ghost Train with reduced actors.

 

Did you ride Ghost Train after 3pm by chance? If so I guess that makes sense as to why there wasn't any on there as they were likely working the scaremazes instead.

 

Hopefully you get a better runthrough next time! It's a common thing I'm hearing even with the Fright Nights mazes this year - some runthroughs are great and others are totally mediocre - and this is definitely the case with Ghost Train too. My run on opening day was fantastic, but my runs a few weeks ago were absolutely abysmal - but at least with Ghost Train you're not paying for the potential of it being bad, and it's only the time queueing that you waste if it is!

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • Mattgwise unpinned this topic
  • 4 months later...

I rode Ghost Train yesterday for the first time this season.

 

Interestingly, there was no Fake Shop scene, but there was an additional actor in the Crypt (in the form of a wraith / hooded creature). The Fake Shop only requires one actor, so this appears to more be a creative decision.

 

The finale was cool, especially for first-timers, but definitely loses its appeal quickly. And with the Ghost Train shop no longer existing, I wonder if they're contemplating something different for the finale, or just scrapping it altogether.

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Don't think the fake shop scene has been in use for a while, haven't been into that scene in my last 4 rides on Ghost Train (last time probably being July last year). I do think it's a shame if they've stopped using it, it always used to catch my mates who had never done the ride before off guard after I'd convinced them that we we're going to get their photos.

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