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1 hour ago, Mysta Ghoul said:

Europa was still a great park and much better (in terms of value for money) even before Blue Fire opened, and Merlin have made many more mistakes on big projects than taking a risk on just one coaster, so I dont really buy that. All successes come with taking risk anyway, and Europa have an excellent track record of taking those risks and making successes.

I can't seem to find where I saw this (I may have simply been told it verbally by someone who I found trustworthy so I always believed it), so take with a pinch of salt: despite Europa's and Mack's success, the company saw the development of a launch coaster as a huge make or break moment. They needed something new, fearing that as a manufacturer they would be left behind in the industry. And if this something new different work at Europa, it could hamper the development of the park in the long term, as well as damage the reputation. It was perhaps too fearful from them, but they certainly felt that if Blue Fire didn't work, it would have lead to a slump for them.

 

As I say, feel free to take it with a pinch of salt. I get one guy saying one thing on the internet has little value, but I've never had any reason to doubt the story.

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Ha no, that goes without saying they didn't do it on purpose, no one was suggesting that.   It's the same people who havn't learnt from their mistakes of the past and have seemingly proven t

Would it really be a surprise if the delay is down to mismanagement and poor project handling?   Whether Archive knows or not on the actual issues doesn't matter when he's busy hitting the n

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child has started 'secret' performances last week and is ENORMOUSLY technical with tons of illusions and it's one of many shows that managed to open/opening on time.  

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I believe that is right Josh, for Mack the success of Blue Fire propelled them back into the industry eye, where the up and coming Gerstlauer and Maurer were sneaking into their turf...

 

Think about the Mack installations prior and post Blue Fire... It's an amazing difference, and something we're now seeing Vekoma catch into...

 

 

Regarding Merlin, no point breaking out the bunting until things REALLY start changing... Investment needs to be intelligent, and not wasting money on crap that ends up mothballed or shut in 2/3 years... Hopefully the change to private company will be a major factor in this...

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Certainly an interesting buyout, however given the current tie-ins with these companies and higher management expected to remain similar, the changes may not be too drastic. 

 

I'm sure there will be complaints though regardless of what direction the parks take now. 

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On 6/28/2019 at 2:23 PM, JoshC. said:

As I say, feel free to take it with a pinch of salt. I get one guy saying one thing on the internet has little value, but I've never had any reason to doubt the story.

To be honest even without having been told that story, it sounds as if it were true anyway if you look at the way the industry was changing and needing a new product on the scene. So I totally get it, it was a big risk but the important thing is it paid off. EP really benefitted because of it

Merlin hardly ever take creative risks like that, and the premature public float meant they never could again, I'd argue it has played a factor in their stagnation. The only risk I will credit them with is DBGT, which was a disaster. Can you imagine if Europa-Park had done the same ride, it would have been done very differently and most likely a lot more popular.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Not strictly a Merlin thing, but I have a point.

 

With the extreme heat all around Europe, parks have added extra effects to some of their water rides to make them extra wet. Examples:

 

Constant water jets on Hellendoorn's (Netherlands) rapids 

 

Constant hose pipe pointed at the course on Walibi Holland's splash battle

 

Waterfall effect which normally turns off remains on on Toverland's rapids. 

 

And plenty of parks are happily allow staff to spray staff with water guns / pipes on water rides.

 

And of course, plenty of modern water rides have been built so that their splashes can be adjusted according to the weather, meaning that parks can have them on maximum wetness.

 

 

It's a shame that Merlin parks / the wider UK industry don't do these things. Yes, there's the safety fears and such, but it feels stifling. And, more generally, UK parks are way behind on the water ride front. When was the last time a UK park added a new water ride? Aside from a couple of very small travelling log flumes at small parks, it's probably Storm Surge in 2011? It's crazy.

 

Sure, the hot weather is not the norm, but the parks aren't in a position to cope when it does arrive. And modern water rides can be modified for all weather conditions.

 

It's a shame.

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I think European park guests typically enjoy water rides more, but more importantly have a better understanding of park rules and safety, which is why the U.K. has such stringent rules especially of late. 

 

I think most of the UK industry is arguably behind a lot of other countries when it comes to park progression. Not just the big things, but the little things too such as theming, immersion and even basic customer service. We’ve only recently had our first GCI/wooden coaster in 20+ years and I think we will be waiting at least another five before we ever see an RMC. If we even ever get one!

 

Paultons is currently the most likely U.K. park to invest in a water ride that actually gets you wet but we shall see. We have seen at least three major water rides close in the U.K. in recent years, not including the ones in Blackpool, Pleasureland or Adventure Island.

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On 7/24/2019 at 7:17 PM, Glitch said:

The heatwave also plays a major role to declining midway attendances within cities. 

 

Aah, that’s taken me back to the days of the original London Dungeons, and how hot it was in there even without a heatwave! 🥵

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Merlin has once again blamed bad weather for poor performance financially and also stated that the Lego movie 2 failed to boost revenue as was seen with the first film.

 

Profits fell to £34m for the group while sales grew by 8.1%. one day they might see the current approach doesn't work...

 

Unfortunately a consequence of them going private is that figures like these will stop being published. 

 

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-49189375

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Merlin have only singled out bad weather for poor performance in the American Legoland parks, as opposed to a global thing. In fact, they've said that the weather actually was a contributing factor for good performance at the theme parks.

 

Hoping that the second Lego movie would see a significant boost in Legoland performances was optimistic in my opinion. Lightning rarely strikes twice for these things. In terms of films, I do think the Lego brand is becoming a bit tired and saturated. Steering away from film and keeping key focus on the product itself might be beneficial. 

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  • 1 month later...

Debated about where to put this, but here seems good for now.

 

A new Legoland park will open in Sichuan, China in 2023:

 

It's hardly a surprise that Merlin are doing this, what with the rapidly growing (perhaps unsustainably so?) theme park market in China, with Disney already there, and Universal and Six Flags getting in on the action too.

 

This has been in the works for a LONG time, and there were rumours that they were looking at a more southern location too. Sichuan is more centrally located in China, and it's fair to say it's further away from foreign tourist sites (which is more Beijing, Shanghai and southern China), so I'd guess they're doing this to try and really tap into the Chinese audience. The only other major park in that area is Happy Valley Chengdu, which has a heavy thrill focus. So a Legoland / family park in that area could be quite successful.

 

There's questions as to whether Merlin should still be expanding of course, and when you look at their recent investor reports, it seems like they're cooling off China a bit. However, it's no secret that Merlin loves expanding their portfolio, so this was always a case of when, not if, it was going to happen. 

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  • 3 months later...
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The renewal price is really good tbf. Even normal rates are good. New the passes are £179 (renewal is saving £60 / 33%) and £229 (renewal saving £70 / 30%)

 

Just for comparisons to other passes:

Flamingo Land : £135 / renewal £90 (33% saving)

Paultons Park: £140 / renewal £132 (5% saving)

Blackpool: £150 (no renewal rate?)

Phantasialand: €195 (£162) (no renewal rate)

Europa Park: €225 (£192) (no renewal rate)

 

Given you get unlimited entry to 3 theme parks + Legoland, it's really not that bad.

 

 

 

Hopefully the lack of sale is a sign of Merlin no longer giving away passes, making them a bit more exclusive again so they can manage things a bit better when it comes to ticket sales.

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14 hours ago, JoshC. said:

The renewal price is really good tbf. Even normal rates are good. New the passes are £179 (renewal is saving £60 / 33%) and £229 (renewal saving £70 / 30%)

 

Just for comparisons to other passes:

Flamingo Land : £135 / renewal £90 (33% saving)

Paultons Park: £140 / renewal £132 (5% saving)

Blackpool: £150 (no renewal rate?)

Phantasialand: €195 (£162) (no renewal rate)

Europa Park: €225 (£192) (no renewal rate)

 

Given you get unlimited entry to 3 theme parks + Legoland, it's really not that bad.

 

 

 

Hopefully the lack of sale is a sign of Merlin no longer giving away passes, making them a bit more exclusive again so they can manage things a bit better when it comes to ticket sales.

But thats not the agenda of the average money saving map holder is it? 

What are you having for lunch? Hot dogs in flasks. 

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1 hour ago, Coaster said:

Thorpe were charging £12 for a hotdog and chips when I looked in at the new place early last year, no wonder people take their own!

However you also had a 20% MAP discount....... £9.60 fair for a themepark in line with stadium /event pricing.

Next thing you know people will be demanding a Tesco on park for their £3 meal deals.

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20 minutes ago, Glitch said:

However you also had a 20% MAP discount....... £9.60 fair for a themepark in line with stadium /event pricing.

Next thing you know people will be demanding a Tesco on park for their £3 meal deals.

£9.60 for a hotdog and chips is extortionate even for a theme park.

 

That same venue used to serve full BBQ meals for less than £8 (before discount).

 

You can't really blame people for taking their own food when the quality of park food has decreased and the prices increased massively, IMO.

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4 minutes ago, Coaster said:

£9.60 for a hotdog and chips is extortionate even for a theme park.

 

That same venue used to serve full BBQ meals for less than £8 (before discount).

 

You can't really blame people for taking their own food when the quality of park food has decreased and the prices increased massively, IMO.

£8 for a beer at the o2 is extortionate but I still pay it. Just find it strange that this is a Thorpe park fan forum but all everyone seems to do nowadays is moan.

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22 minutes ago, Glitch said:

£8 for a beer at the o2 is extortionate but I still pay it. Just find it strange that this is a Thorpe park fan forum but all everyone seems to do nowadays is moan.

I disagree, isn't the idea of a fan forum to discuss all aspects of a subject (in this case Thorpe) whether good or bad?

 

Being a fan of something doesn't mean you have to defend or be positive about everything they do, IMO.

 

If Thorpe was in a brilliant state I'd be singing their praises, but equally it's just as important to talk about the aspects that aren't good.  And unfortunately, there are IMO quite a lot of those with Thorpe currently!

 

I won't be a PR machine for the park and say that everything's wonderful, that's for brand advocates and marketeers not fans.

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2 hours ago, Coaster said:

 

If Thorpe was in a brilliant state I'd be singing their praises, but equally if it's just as important to talk about the aspects that aren't good.  And unfortunately, there are IMO quite a lot of those with Thorpe currently!

 

Exactly

 

I like to think the mood on a forum dedicated to any park would reflect the current state of the park in question. If Thorpe park was doing brilliant like it was from 2000 up until the swarm with a promising future ahead of it, then these forums would be buzzing!!

 

The reality is that with the park being right in the doldrums and has been on a massive decline for years with poor investments, along with no clear direction in terms of where the park is going,aswell as rides just abandoned unfortunately will lead to negativity. Hardly surprising when arguably the most enjoyable thing the park has given their guests since the swarm is a damn bouncy castle.

 

Just the nature of the beast. I refuse to believe that there is some form of witch hunt towards Merlin because when they get it right with things like Wicker Man and scarefest at Alton Towers then people will praise them with the praise they deserve and likewise when they mess up then they will get the criticism in the hope things get better.

 

People don't complain because it's fun or in fashion. People (myself included) do so because they know that Thorpe Park can do better and in those golden years I mentioned HAS done better. 

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