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THE SWARM: Speculation & Theories

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I hope TP installed a Top Spin - it's a brilliant ride on a great setting, much better than the likes of Zodiac or Quantum.If the ride could be installed with an offloaded and on loader then they could easily hit the 855PPH throughput target, with the ride bracket being approximately 2m45secs - so that's a 1.5min cycle plus one minute to offload, unload and bars down. Rameses gets between 100-200pph on busy days but thats because the ride does cycle twice, and has one on loader who has to open gate, height check, close exit gate and exit riders, bars down and then go into control box to dispatch.The ride isn't too bad for maintenance - if CWoAR maintained it and installed fire effects then the ride would not Phase L1 all the time.Phase L1 for those not clued up about operation - is where the ride finds mid cycle that a guest may be too 'large' and their restraint isn't locked and the ride brake releases and swings with all the kinetic motion still present; this can last for a good few minutes at worst. It happens approximately 10 times a day. The reason for this is that the ride operators soak the ride gondola instead of 'tease' the guests and the chlorine in the water corrodes all of the proximity sensors and cabling within the ride. CWoAR was offered a refurbished gondola two years ago to stop this happening, but they refused it on grounds of cost (a mere £40,000) - yet they spent £20,000 on it for two new motors on the ride.

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Thanks Kevin - and now, from a towers POV of a Top Spin.Towers on busy days has two or three hosts - onload, offload and occasionally a helper as well. It is better laid out than Rameses, allowing a batching area with a proper baggage point and a disabled waiting area directly infront of the pond. This allows the 40 guests to be ready waiting and loaded the second the ride stops. The gates open to allow guests up the second the rides stopped and the bars open buttons have been pressed (for there are two on towers' ride).The target is 18 gondolas an hour (the way towers does throughput - rather than people, but it can be easily equated). However, the highest it is best to get is 16 per hour. That's 640pph. That's on programme 4, which lasts 80 seconds (the one with the four spins).This does not include what chessie calls a "Phase L1" - which towers calls trips out. Reason being is same as chessies, however they have a cover on the bottom and they have a far better way of controlling the water fountains (which is why they're continually used during loading and throughout the ride unlike chessies). It's a problem ALL top spins get when guests are closer to the limit that the restraint allows. However, unlike chessie, towers ride staff are allowed to lower it themselves without the need for anyone to come do it - typical chessington faff for no reason whatsoever (unless the restraint is still shown as unlocked - and techies are needed to battery power it down which happens rarely). Therefore targets are slightly more achievable.HOWEVER, 640pph for a ride? Better than what most thorpe throughputs are like, I bet!

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I hope TP installed a Top Spin - it's a brilliant ride on a great setting, much better than the likes of Zodiac or Quantum.If the ride could be installed with an offloaded and on loader then they could easily hit the 855PPH throughput target, with the ride bracket being approximately 2m45secs - so that's a 1.5min cycle plus one minute to offload, unload and bars down. Rameses gets between 100-200pph on busy days but thats because the ride does cycle twice, and has one on loader who has to open gate, height check, close exit gate and exit riders, bars down and then go into control box to dispatch.The ride isn't too bad for maintenance - if CWoAR maintained it and installed fire effects then the ride would not Phase L1 all the time.

I've only quoted parts of your post here. A top-spin comes up quite regularly as a ride that Thorpe should get, and I've always maintained an attitude that what is the point all three ex-Tussauds parks having one. It isn't like a pirate ship or a wave swinger where the majority of guests can get on, it's a 1.4 ride that (from what I've seen anyway) has a niche target audience at any park I visit that has one.That being said of course, Top-spins are one of the more crowd pleasing flat rides out there, often getting an audience far larger then the amount of people on the ride (or in the queue for that matter).It's just my view that Top-spins are old hat now. Back in the late 90's when interesting flat rides were restricted to the funfair market, it made sense for parks like Chessington and Alton Towers to get flat rides as building large rides took time, space and money. Thorpe hasn't just moved the boundary, its destroyed it. If it was to get an ancient flat ride again, I'd be concerned about why they aren't trying to push the boundaries that little bit more as a top-spin is a lazy, uninspiring and unambitious choice.

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The best idea for a Top Spin (if Thorpe were to get one) would be something alone the lines of Phantasialand's Talocan, which would kinda work with a Swarm like set of theming (as long as BOTH sides would have something to look at)...But the odds of that happening are quite low due to the lack of space really...

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I Seriously have no idea why people think Thorpe should install a second ride. Just because the new infill is dedicated to one ride, doesnt mean that it has to have another.Look at the Saw Island, 1 Ride, does it need another? No.

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^Probably because the island is located away from the core of the park, and the immeadiate rides to the exit are... Depth Charge and Flying Fish. The reason why Saw works so well is because it is close to the core of the park, has thrill rides very close to it, and then has it's own support ride a short distance away..Personally, I agree that there should be no rides on or near the island (until 2015), as that part of the park is still 'in development' if you will.

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Military guys mutated by the Swarm...........hmm, the inclusion of a nuke or some form of nucleation hosts an opening to soldiers mutated by the radioactivity. Hopefully Thorpe can pull something out of the hat..............althoug myself I'm not so keen on actors. Thank God I never saw Fright Nights. :P As for a scare zone, TP could cordon around only the accessible areas with scenery with police barriers, police tape and scaffolding bearing signs saying "Warning. Mass radioactivity in this area. Do not enter". Then they could cordon off the easy ways out, and leave the guests with only one way out; the long, hard way. For the finale, I imagine the guests entering a metal military structure containing a heavily nucleated piece of debris recovered from the village area. Then as the soldiers are about to say how the object relates to the Swarm, the lights go out, and smoke machines then pump green coloured smoke into the structure. During this process, the soldiers are being mutated by the intense radioactivity breaking through their bio suits. They are seen in brief, sharp flashes of light, before everything comes to a complete silence. The structure's emergency lighting (coloured red to add to the suspense and impending terror) turns on to reveal only the guests, and the radioactive debris. The soldiers are nowhere to be seen. Then you hear the roar of the Swarm passing over the structure and after it leaves, the fully mutated soldiers jump out at the guests, awoken by the beast, and with an instinct to kill. They chase the guests out of the scare zone back into the village centre. It's an idea, but it is a healthy one.

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I wouldn't worry about actors if I'm honest. Lets face it, the Ents Department is a massive flop....Both Saw Attractions are a prime example of this.

And you base that on? Saw alive still does surprisingly well..The same department who also run the most successful event on park?

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^ Marc, are you for real?Of course entertainments run fright nights.... who else would? Environmental services?The entertainments department are poor, unimaginative and just not up to par for a world class theme park. I give Alton Towers, and, well, pretty much any international theme park as prime examples of what can be done.

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I would disagree with poor and unimaginative... if they hadn't had pretty much the same mazes for the nth year now.Yeah, they're boring.

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^ Bar experiment 10, yeah, it is pretty much the same mazes for the nth year now. Even experiment 10, is much more wide ranging than just TP entertainments department, that expands further into Studio's North etc, but, credit where credit is due, that was a very good maze.

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It'd be a missed opportunity from a Marketing point of view for Ents to not do something this year regarding Swarm. It'd be great to see some street theatre/ roaming actors and I'm sure there will be, however I just can't see them lasting sadly due to budgetary reasons.Just a quick one on Ents in general- Alton's Ents department I would say is the absolute minimum of what a theme park should be striving for. It's been mentioned many times, but it's just not up to standard from what you'd expect from any other European park. As for Experiment 10, subsequent to my big review on it last year, I found out that it was created by a freelance design company who had no experience of previous Scare Attractions. So it did pay off but the attraction, sadly, was not mainly the work of Thorpe/ Merlin.

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^ Marc, are you for real?Of course entertainments run fright nights.... who else would? Environmental services?

So then as you said, the Ents dept run fright nights, and like it or not, fright nights are often seen as successful so they must be doing somthing right?

The entertainments department are poor, unimaginative and just not up to par for a world class theme park. I give Alton Towers, and, well, pretty much any international theme park as prime examples of what can be done.

TBH bar TOTT I dont think towers mazes have much on thorpes, in my experience anyhow, and with the roaming actors across park I think they did pretty well during the 2011 fright nights.And your right regarding the building of the mazes, but as Sheepe said its more freelance company's now a days, but I imagine they still have a rather large input in the design overall.

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I give Alton Towers, and, well, pretty much any international theme park as prime examples of what can be done.

Alton Towers couldn't hold a candle to the things European parks do right now.

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Oh of course not...but let's avoid comparing to Disneyland and efteling

Comparisons are a part of life unfortunately, the bold and brave claim that Alton's entertainment is up there with Europe is at best laughable. They do a good firework show and some decent mazes but for all year round entertainment. They suck/ don't do enough.

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I wouldn't worry about actors if I'm honest. Lets face it, the Ents Department is a massive flop....

I'd say this year they've been rather good.Anyone who says Lez Cougan acting (and police officers to go with that) shows Entertainments to be a flop would have to be crazier than Cougan himself. The roaming FN actors this year were also great this year. Heck, I'd say that Saw Alive has been pretty good this season round too. So, though not the best it could be, Entertainments are in no way a flop, and I'm hope for an acting presence or two around the Swarm island this season and beyond.

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