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treeis

Duel!

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I won't judge an unfinished refurb through a badly shot POV, but I'm really not liking those cheap looking pound land style portraits (the Haunted House ones and to a lesser extent the Duel ones were brilliant and really unnerving) and as expected that new theme disappoints me and by the end of the POV I was bored of it.

 

Here's hoping the ride itself looks nice when complete, please.  

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It looks great and the soundtrack seems to suit the ride well, but it's a shame to have lost the last remaining Haunted House soundtracks in the queueline IMO.

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After watching the video, it generally looks like the ride is improved. I want to reserve full judgement until they declare it complete however. Credit for them keeping it open though.

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And so they should. They’re almost out of dark rides and they’ve had months to do this work during closed season, and there’s no reason it couldn’t have been finished ready for the season (particularly as it seems to be unprofessionals re-lighting it anyway). 

 

I’m all for it getting some love, but they could have had it finished and lit more traditionally and had it completed ages ago. 

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Completely forgot somehow after trying it last week what I thought of these changes made to Duel, so here they are. Honestly, not much has changed inside since last year, really, it hasn’t. This is what I noticed:

 

• The exterior building has been cleared of overgrown foliage along with a new soundtrack, which does suit the plaza better I think.

• The indoor queue has a few new vertical-orientated screens used as moving portraits to cover the old CRT screens from before.

• The first scene on the ride has been repainted with brighter UV paint.

• Many audio effects for each scene have either been turned off or are too quiet now.

• The flying heads are a lot brighter and colourful compared to before.

• New audio throughout the entire building, including the queue line.

 

Whilst it’s nice to see some of the smaller bits of theming being looked after and the main difference being they have been either repainted or given brighter colours, I must report that the UV lighting is still a massive problem with this ride despite being told it had been fixed and toned down. This is especially noticeable with the flying heads and bats just like previous years, so it’s still a major problem.

 

But the biggest problem myself and I’m sure quite a few will have is this new audio. Whilst the exterior sounds better compared to before and has a statsictially longer track, the one used inside is almost the complete opposite. This new audio sounds incredibly repetitive and doesn’t suit the ride at all in my view. Hopefully one day Duel’s old audio will return inside because this new one sounds horrible and slow-paced.

 

Mixed bag really. Some areas are nicer than before, but the UV lighting and new audio overshadows the improvements made in my view.

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Overall its an improvement. I completely agree about the audio, it sounds good until you're on the ride and then the dramatic upbeat vibe of Duel has completely gone. But I do like the improvements and I do hope they continue as it's a significantly better presented Duel.

 

The flying heads made me jump. I never realised the first one as you go in existed. So it's refurb is working.

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I got the chance to ride "refurbed" Duel a couple days ago and I'm not that impressed at the moment, I just hope it's not finished yet.

 

Please remember I'm a die hard fan of Duel, so I'm going to be more critical than most.

 

I'm not digging the new music in Gloomy Wood, the old theme was fantastic at creating atmosphere, the new one sounds like generic Halloween music.

 

That new jombie coming through the crypt outside looks so cheaply done it made me laugh.

 

Those who replaced the haunting previous indoor queueline music with more generic sounding rubbish need to be sacrificed to the Wicker Man.

 

Those cheap terrible looking LCD portraits look so bad.

 

The onride music has nothing on the old track and harms the experience in my eyes, not to mention it gets really boring after a minute or 2. Also why has the "are you afraid of spiders?" audio vanished?

 

While some parts of the ride do look a bit better (the screaming faces being the only one I remember), other bits look terrible. There's green spunk on the lunatics face, the bats on a stick are now clearly just bats on a stick, way too UV crap at play and some scenes are now so bright you can the ceiling and the behind the scenes stuff.

 

For now, not impressed, I just hope when I next return things have improved.

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I rode Duel mulitiple times on Tuesday and Wednesday of last week. Overall, I'm actually very pleased with all the changes and improvements. 

The façade looks much better with the ivy trimmed back, and the new outdoor music really sets the spooky atmosphere well. On to the queue inside, the new portraits, while they are just a little too bright, are still a nice addition, giving the queue something new for guests to look at. The new queue and station music is nice too, even if I was a bit disappointed to see they had removed the old announcements in the station.

On to the ride itself, there were certain scenes which had improved dramatically! The first scene with the moving walls and thunder looked much better than before. Another was the Screaming Heads room, the actual heads looked much fresher, and the overall effect was a much better experience than before TLC. Another of the areas which I really enjoyed was the garden scene, where the new lighting has been very effective in my opinion! I was also very impressed on how many of the effects were working too, although, on some of the later rides on Wednesday, one or two of the effects had seemingly been turned off or had broken. One of the best things to come from the TLC has to be the new soundtrack though. It's just what the ride needed, and anyone who isn't sure of it now, I'm certain you'll grow to like it. It really is much more atmospheric, and I found it worked very well, along with the old sound effects, and certainly wasn't too quiet, which I have seen some criticism of. If there was one thing I'd change about the soundtrack, it would be that I would bring the old spider soundtrack back to the giant spider scene, as I always thought that worked pretty well, and was actually surprised it had been removed in the first place.

All in all, I'm very pleased, and with further tweaking as the season continues, I'm sure it'll only get better and better! (And I can't wait for them to get that Trommel Tunnel working again!) :) 

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I found that the bat and screaming head scenes don't work at all now, the lighting used means the supporting poles are much too visible and the entire effect is lost.

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1 hour ago, Coaster said:

I found that the bat and screaming head scenes don't work at all now, the lighting used means the supporting poles are much too visible and the entire effect is lost.

...and that's why you do NOT go to town with UV lighting, kids!

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On 18/04/2018 at 9:51 PM, Coaster said:

I found that the bat and screaming head scenes don't work at all now, the lighting used means the supporting poles are much too visible and the entire effect is lost.

I actually do understand what you mean, especially with the screaming heads scene. You can see the one of the heads and the mechanism before it even swings into action, although on some of the heads the effect has been greatly improved. But overall, I think the TLC still makes for a fresher experience that was better than what it was like before. :) 

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The biggest problem with this refurbishment is they seem to have spend the money in all the wrong places. Of all the ride’s flaws, why’d they bother fixing up the zombie tomb at the entrance? It’s looked cheap since the beginning of time, reparing part of it wasn’t going to fix that. Demolishing it really would’ve been better, as it makes the ride seem super tacky, hence most guests don’t bother riding. The space it’s in would serve much better as a proper entrance sign. Likewise, the money for those TV’s in the queue was a huge waste, they’re too bright, and distracting from the proper portraits. While on their own they’re a nice touch, they certainly should not have been a priority. The lighting in most places is still tragic, especially the timing. The great hall demon is only lit up towards the end of its movement, yet we see the whole thing reset. :rolleyes: The same can be said for plenty of the effects. I think the only one that disappeared on time was electric bill?

 

On the topic of the ride’s exterior- while it’s pleasing to see they’re now diverting guests though the woodland queue, rather than just shoving them though by the side of the house, the entrance really could benefit from having a proper sign to make it stand out, it sort of just seems like a gap in the hedge at the minute. Oh, and please change the name. No guest reads “Duel” and thinks ‘ghost train’. If it had a name that actually told you what the ride was, maybe it’d be more popular 

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^^ 

 

Completely agree with your last point. The first time I went to Towers years ago me and my family just walked past Duel. Had no idea what it was, didn't even know if it was an attraction. It would be so much more popular if people knew what it actually was. 

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1 hour ago, ThorpeAddict said:

The first time I went to Towers years ago me and my family just walked past Duel. Had no idea what it was, didn't even know if it was an attraction. It would be so much more popular if people knew what it actually was. 

...which is exactly why the Fifth Dimension failed in its first season at Chessington. To cut a long story short, you could say some people wanted to be reassured they weren't queueing for the toilet...

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I liked the improvements done to Duel. It is clearly a 'we need to get the basics sorted out' sort of TLC, but it's good to see nonetheless.

 

The new music on the ride is okay, classic 'ghost train' music, but it's not a patch on the random, super catchy old soundtrack.

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