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Samurai


Phill
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That has already been posted. I think people, me including, are just hoping that the sign at the queue entrance and the sign on the website is just to keep guests expectations at bay, not promising too much and putting too much pressure to get the ride open ASAP.

If they seriously were thinking that Samurai will not be available until the 2013 season, maybe they would have considered taking down its signage like they did for Slammer to remove attention from it? I mean the ride has been near enough collapsed down completely so it will be even more unrecognisable as a closed ride than Slammer. No matter how much attention you try and take away from Slammer, you still have those two big brown towers which scream "I'm a poorly ride" to most people.

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Hiding slammers signage made sense though, as its out of the way and not having signage means people won't walk up to it to find its shut.

Samurai, on the other hand, is staring straight at you when you're walking past Colossus/saw/noodle bar... so there's no point in removing said signage.

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I see what you mean location wise but with Slammer you still have those towering brown structures which still attract attention. Much like Samurai, it's been collapsed down like it is designed to but it still has the platform in a partial state and pods sat outside of it (correct me if they not still there). I personally just think it would make sense that if you go to the trouble of removing signage for one ride due to extended downtime then you could do it for the other; if anything just for a cohesive approach to how they treat rides during periods of extended unavailability.

Unless the park really do still have hope that Samurai could be able to make an appearance in the ride line up for the very end of the season...

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Original Glazed, whilst I understand where you are coming from; I think you, and often many people, mistake Samurai's popularity. People know its there and given its location its pretty obvious that there is a ride missing if you have a random queue line, with no ride and no signs. By placing a sandwich board and by leaving the signage up it shows to guests that its not gone forever; and they promise it's return. I sort of talk myself both ways, but oh well. By having it on thoroughfare pathway it makes it more obvious. Then again, two big brown towers are pretty obvious too.

Difference being Thorpe could guarantee Samurai will return; whereas months ago they couldn't say the same about Slammer. Everyone thought it was dead (Slammer) even the staff, and to some degree I think possibly the park themselves thought it was. But hey ho, we've been shown wrong!

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I think people might be reading into the extent of this a little too much. Samurai wasn't given a refurbishment last season, it was pretty much left as is. It ran excellently over the last two seasons, but now, you could be faced with, for instance, a gear box failure. It's expensive to fix and will take time to be delivered, it's perfectly possible they just took the decision, with that in mind, to begin the closed season work sooner, whilst the weather is still good and before you get the issues of winter, such as snow, which brings work to a grinding halt.

Just to touch on a few points regarding fairground rides in theme parks; Lightw@ter Valley own and operate a fairground topscan. Reliability wise, it is excellent, sequence wise, it's somewhere between Samurai's cycle 1 and cycle 6, intense, fast, but not insane (not fairground). The ride, as a type, yes, is designed to be operated less than Samurai is, but, fairground rides are still absolutely shagged when they operate for a few weeks, and for anyone who has ridden a fairground top scan, you will know the difference in performance. With regards to Samurai being a park model; yes, it is, you only need to browse the internet a little to see two different types of the ride are on offer, the main difference being the permanent console, different platform arrangement and more permanent fencing, along with the different control system allowing recorded cycles.

The simple answer here is somewhere between Thorpe don't look after their rides, and Tussauds were too innovative The Samurai sat at (or, until last week, sat at) TP has to be one of the oldest models in the world. It's naturally going to break with time, but, of course, it's from a reputable manufacture, known for quality and reliability.

To expand; no fairground rides face these sorts of issues, and the reason for that is, when problems happen on the fair circuit, it's the show mans livelihood that is passing by. If Samurai was on a fair circuit, and currently at, say, Hull fair, I would bet money that, what ever Samurai's issue, either it wouldn't have arose in the first instance, or it would have been fixed in a matter of days. Show men will and do pay extra for the speedy response needed, a good example of this would be, for anyone who watched Channel 5's show 'Fairground Attractions', the attitude of the owner of the Zierer Star Shape 'air'. It had a minor gearbox/drive system failure whilst at winter gardens in Hyde park, his attitude was to fix it ASAP, because without it, he looses money. Obviously this doesn't apply to Thorpe Park mechanics, to them, if it goes down, it goes down, because realistically, what effect will having no Samurai make to gate figures?

Budgets also play a role here, if an area has a certain budget, what comes first? Keeping Colossus and SAW working, or fixing Samurai at their expense? If Thorpe looked after the ride properly, the issues would never arise. The ride would be stripped far more often (which can easily be done over night, to cite fairs as an example, except Samurai only needs the pods and counter weights removing to get at all the working parts, which makes the job even easier). But do they? No. IT's the cheap fix; keep it going, keep it going, keep it going, oh look, it's knackered. Does it need fixing? Cost:Benefit ratio... nope, not yet.

And just to address getting a new model; why? Would there be any real benefit at all? The ride structurally is as robust as they come; in fact the only metal fatigue ever found on them is near the base, first detected on Samurai and rapidly fixed across all models. So all that is left is electrics and motors. Motors are far cheaper than a new ride, and electrics are more than likely sound anyway, they tend to be renewed periodically and don't face major issues. The ride control system could also be renewed, but again, its a fraction of the cost of getting a new structure. A proper refurb would be all that is needed; replace all the electrics, replace the control system and plc, and fit a whole set of new motors. Then you have a working ride... just as emerged at the start of 2011. The problem isn't the Mondial Top Scan we call Samurai, it's how the ride is maintained.

What you need to think here is, is Samurai a problem? Not from the point of view, 'I didn't get my cycle 6 on Samurai, my day is ruined', but from the point of view, have people stopped coming because it's broken? Have people complained? Have we lost any money? It's all business, it's just Merlin do a better job at letting you know that than the likes of Lightw@ter Valley, where every ride is needed, day in, day out.

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I think you are saying the same, but they wouldn't have bought the winter maintenance forward without being forced into it by some sort of part failure. So it has failed when it shouldn't, but whether that is the parks fault for poor maintenance or something unenforceable/unmanageable I guess we won't know.

The one thing that never feels right for me anymore on this model are the restraints. The amount of lateral movement they have is disturbing, although I'm sure they are quite safe. When it was at Chessington the restraints were solid and I have never been on another model with this problem anywhere near the extent Samurai has. Makes me feel uneasy.

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