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Just now, Coaster said:

True, however it's more cuts in terms of different rides closing.

 

Saw Alive at Thorpe, and I was thinking of IAC (though that only closed on a temporary basis over FN).  It just seems that a lot of Merlin's more recent investments (not only IP ones) are short term with no longevity.

 

I guess the way I'm seeing it is that it's not "more" cuts, in the sense that less money is being pumped into running the attractions.

 

I would assume that Hex and Driving School require more staff, and are more costly to run, than Toadstool and Ice Age?  So in comparison to 2016, there aren't any 'cuts'.  Obviously we can make the argument that the 'cuts' are still there because rides are closed, but I just don't see them as any 'more'.

 

Saw Alive is a weird one, since it still opens, though I did forget about that.  IAC feels a bit of a non-point since it just doesn't open over FN; it's not 'closed' and a fair few theme parks do choose not to open some attractions over their Halloween events for various reasons (be that the space is used by FN attractions, operational demands, or whatever).  

 

Do agree that a lot of Merlin's recent investments, especially the smaller scale stuff, do seem to be more short-term focused though.

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1 hour ago, Coaster said:

True, however it's more cuts in terms of different rides closing.

 

Saw Alive at Thorpe, and I was thinking of IAC (though that only closed on a temporary basis over FN).  It just seems that a lot of Merlin's more recent investments (not only IP ones) are short term with no longevity.

 

Just shows that Merlin are all about the initial short term burst and seem to care very little for longevity. Their rollercoasters seem to be the only things truly built to stand the test of time.

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On Tuesday, January 17, 2017 at 11:59 AM, Ian-S said:

 

Painting is a generous description, it was more like a bored ride op or chav scrawled the faces on with a sharpie.

IMG_20170118_151504.jpg

Also turns out the entrance was paintedIMG_20170118_151518.jpg

Both from @AltonTLC Twitter 

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So I was right then :lol:

 

Iirc Isn't toadstall and ice age next to each other?  Given that there's bugger all else in that area aside from a kiddies restaurant it would seem logical to close both, even more strange then to re-open Hex that is a few yards away.

 

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13 hours ago, Ian-S said:

So I was right then :lol:

 

Iirc Isn't toadstall and ice age next to each other?  Given that there's bugger all else in that area aside from a kiddies restaurant it would seem logical to close both, even more strange then to re-open Hex that is a few yards away.

 

And Driving School which is right next to Ice Age.

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One could say therein lies the problem with Merlin presently, it seems they would rather rotate the use of attractions in pairs than have all four open in an area, financially it makes sense, but logically not so much.

 

Call me a cynic but I rather suspect nothing will have been 'refurbished' with Hex or the Driving School and on first day they'll be in the same exact condition they were last day of 2015, just reopened, then when 2018 rolls around and Ice Age and the Toadstall 'reopen' it will be a case of rinse and repeat, other than general stuff required by law, they'll have been no more refurbishment done than me washing my car and calling it 'a restoration'.

 

The TLC painting is just bull****, it costs them nothing other than the cost of the paint or sharpie, the chap doing it is going to be working regardless and he probably pulled the short straw that day instead of working in one of the burger outlets.

 

It is a shame but not really a Merlin exclusive issue (see Southern Rail, TFL, NHS, LEAs for other examples), it's just we notice it more with Merline because of the sector they operate in.

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I guess the Reason for these closures could be that Cloud cuckoo land isn't as popular with guests with young children Anymore As there's nothing in cloud cuckoo land that cbeebies land doesn't do better ,apart from maybe the frog hopper Which could be moved over if necessary and the toadstall is so old now I guess it could just be removed! maybe they are just Gradually phasing the land out to make space for a new attraction in the future. (just A theory)

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No, that's not the reason. And no large attractions can be built in that area anyway. The area was still very popular before it closed! It needed a better investment and draw rather than closure.

It's just to do with age and under investment. Not having a replacement ready for Charlie was a bit silly, but shows again how flawed and money-centric their 'investment cycle' system is instead of having new projects ready for the right time, in the areas that need development the most.

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Do you think they'll remove the signage and characters on the Ice Age building if it's SBNO? Did they do that for Charlie last year?

 

I spy more fences to hide the closures...

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I don't have an issue with them sharing the bigger jobs, or some of the smaller ones, but a red wall? Seriously?

 

Great that they're doing these things but it'd be much more exciting to discover it when you're there rather than have it "marketed."

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4 hours ago, BaronC. said:

At least this should put to bed some rumours that the sky ride wasn't going to open this year..

 

Wouldn't be surprised if it does close later in the year due to SW8 construction though...

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At least we know the touch ups aren't just being done for the sake of it, and the repainted wall looks fresh & fine, but seriously what is going on? That picture (and many of their ones on Facebook) is a joke. Is this some kind of Emperor's New Clothes game with fans now? The two pictures might as well be the same thing but one has brighter lighting than the other. What is the point of advertising this?

 

It was great to showcase see long-awaited improvements like Nemesis station and Oblivion's black track restored colour. But it's become some handyman's dull DIY blog.

 

It's making theme parks so dull and pedantic for the general public, yet people love this stuff. Such people seem to have forgotten that theme parks are meant to be about the imagination and fun in the bigger picture, not whether a red wall has been painted or some toilets are being replaced. The fine details shouldn't be promoted so on-the-nose and things shouldnt be changed for the sake of it, just as much as the detail shouldnt be forgotten and left to decay. There's no balance, and ts really weird now to see parks like this!

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See I disagree with you about the general public, from a marketing point of view it's actually genius and is most likely working. Show the GP that improvements are being made, however small, to cover up the fact that nothing major is going on other than general maintenance. It's simple psychology, show them that something is happening and they are more likely to believe that it's all major happenings and want to visit. From our point of view I can see how frustrating it is and we know the state of disrepair a lot of rides and scenery are in but it's intstalling public confidence in the fact that they are doing something. After the past few years they've had I agree with the strategy, instead of making a big deal out of loads of things it's just focusing on the little things. 

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50 minutes ago, Holly said:

See I disagree with you about the general public, from a marketing point of view it's actually genius and is most likely working. Show the GP that improvements are being made, however small, to cover up the fact that nothing major is going on other than general maintenance. It's simple psychology, show them that something is happening and they are more likely to believe that it's all major happenings and want to visit. From our point of view I can see how frustrating it is and we know the state of disrepair a lot of rides and scenery are in but it's intstalling public confidence in the fact that they are doing something. After the past few years they've had I agree with the strategy, instead of making a big deal out of loads of things it's just focusing on the little things. 


Yes, just like propaganda and branding to try hard at keeping fans loyal, having them spend more money on ever-declining experiences run by careless management, instead of just going somewhere else that's more fun! I think keeping people from really seeing what a theme park CAN do or thinking for themselves is the worst part about Merlin really, it's such a shame.

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1 hour ago, Wumbamillio said:


Yes, just like propaganda and branding to try hard at keeping fans loyal, having them spend more money on ever-declining experiences run by careless management, instead of just going somewhere else that's more fun! I think keeping people from really seeing what a theme park CAN do or thinking for themselves is the worst part about Merlin really, it's such a shame.

 

Tbf it's not really hevaly promoted by the park - it's just an account which posts pictures for geeks to see what's going on across the park.

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Yes but it sets a precedent and has 1000+ followers, a significant following and we saw the same kind of thing promoted to the public at Chessington last year with Tomb Blaster's H&S project sold as a "UV upgrade" with some terrible new lighting and sound thrown in which made the attraction even worse. As far as this stuff is on the internet for anyone not employed by the park to see, its public domain and being aimed at the public, the geek side of the public yes but it is a shame.

Of course one reason its being promoted is probably to prove to higher management that improvements "get noticed", and therefore prove its worthwhile. That things have got to this stage is a shame.  Better parks like Disney (who Merlin continually compare themselves to and their main business aim is currently to grow bigger than Disney) clean and paint their parks daily to STOP people ever noticing deterioration or change in the first place. 

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It's not even purely Disney though that are going all out on making things presentable, but a lot of other European parks such as Efteling and Europa Park. Whom frequently clean, tidy and refresh the park without too much bell chiming. Whether that be sprucing up their Fairy Tale walk through or converting a staple support flat ride into an experience.

 

I'm divided on the whole TLC scheme. It's great to see thr park implementing changes and updates, whether it's new paint or toilets. But at the end of the day, it's something the park should be doing anyway. The park may have never reached it's dilapidated state had such a scheme been in place from day one. 

 

 

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It's all about strategy, marketing is a complicated subject to talk about because it relies on opinions. It's up to the person running the small account to decide what's important to show and what's not. 

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