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The 'Definitely 100% Totally Going to Happen' London Resort


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Disney had plans ready for when IoA opened but didn't need to use them as it didn't have the huge impact they were expecting. Merlin have such a large grip on the UK market I can't see one park substantially effecting this. Kent is a long way away for most people, and it won't be cheap. Paramount will see what Merlin charge and probably charge more as they can sell it as a higher quality product. Merlin isn't even that bad, they do invest, more than other UK parks.

 

People over here don't like change, I'll be amazed if Paramount works. People complain that Swarm is too short, they don't care about the theming! They just wanted a longer ride! Wardley spoke about this when he was at Thorpe and wasn't worried at all. Six Flags, Universal, Disney, they've all looked at building parks over here but it's not worth the expense of setting it up. 

 

Merlin shouldn't panic, or invest stupid amounts. It's not sensible business wise. After all, they are a business and are in it to make money. They don't need to change there ways, all the parks get steady investment and are learning. A lot of the time Merlin is still stuck fixing some of Tussauds work. If anything Paramount will have a tougher time setting up over here. I won't be visiting it that often, 2 hours from me when I have 3 Merlin parks within a 30 minute radius. 

 

I think everyone is so set on this being the best thing ever that it will just flop. Don't get your hopes up, just because it's fastracked through planning doesn't mean it will still take off. They might even scrap the theme park project and just build the rest of the entertainment complex.

 

Anyway, 2015. Can't say I'm overly looking forward to it although it could be good if they add a ride of some sort with the redevelopment. 

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It's all about the setting...       Beautiful beautiful Tilbury.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5qTbGgectpY   An official video from Paramount outlining and clarifying details about the resort and what we can expect when it opens   2020 can't come quick enough

An update for you This park may have the paramount theme but paramount are not putting any money toward the project they are only consulting In the design plans - it is actually London resort co hol

Disney had plans ready for when IoA opened but didn't need to use them as it didn't have the huge impact they were expecting. Merlin have such a large grip on the UK market I can't see one park substantially effecting this. Kent is a long way away for most people, and it won't be cheap. Paramount will see what Merlin charge and probably charge more as they can sell it as a higher quality product. Merlin isn't even that bad, they do invest, more than other UK parks.

 

People over here don't like change, I'll be amazed if Paramount works. People complain that Swarm is too short, they don't care about the theming! They just wanted a longer ride! Wardley spoke about this when he was at Thorpe and wasn't worried at all. Six Flags, Universal, Disney, they've all looked at building parks over here but it's not worth the expense of setting it up. 

 

Merlin shouldn't panic, or invest stupid amounts. It's not sensible business wise. After all, they are a business and are in it to make money. They don't need to change there ways, all the parks get steady investment and are learning. A lot of the time Merlin is still stuck fixing some of Tussauds work. If anything Paramount will have a tougher time setting up over here. I won't be visiting it that often, 2 hours from me when I have 3 Merlin parks within a 30 minute radius. 

 

I think everyone is so set on this being the best thing ever that it will just flop. Don't get your hopes up, just because it's fastracked through planning doesn't mean it will still take off. They might even scrap the theme park project and just build the rest of the entertainment complex.

 

Anyway, 2015. Can't say I'm overly looking forward to it although it could be good if they add a ride of some sort with the redevelopment. 

 

The park will be just off the M25 (South side of Dartford Tunnel), it's not exactly in the wilds of it, and is right next to Ebbsfleet International (I would assume they'd run buses to the complex if built from there)... A long way away it is not...

 

Merlin invest more than any other UK park because they're backed by Blackstone... The rest are mostly independents, or in the case of Oakwood, just not invested in for some reason...

 

Who's to say Paramount wouldn't undermine Merlin's pricing? They could easily say "Oh, these guys charge £X, well you can come in for less than that"... Then they have a marketable "quality product for cheap price" thing going on for them...

 

Paramount Park will be equi-distance for me driving there in comparison to Thorpe and Legoland... Just because you won't visit often, doesn't mean everyone else has the same options available as yourself...

 

Given that the Merlin parks aren't particularly high up the positive review ends after the recent TripAdvisor stuff, maybe they do need to change their approaches to running the parks (on a park-style basis, I.e. improving the overall day for guests)... They've really not done much to fix a lot of what was broken by DIC either, with some poor operations on rides, over-selling on Fastracks and rather over-the-top upselling... Plus the constant rising prices of everything...

 

The other major companies not investing are different to Paramount here, because they ARE taking the risk to build a new park (as all new parks do carry)... Disney and Universal are essentially irrelevant to the new development...

 

The point is that Merlin should be sufficiently prepared should their arrogance be somewhat misplaced and the Paramount development both occurs and is a great success for them... Indeed, I think the hope is from many that it will give the UK industry the kick-start it needs again, as it has truly lulled behind investments everywhere else in the world over the past several years...

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Personally I think that Merlin should prepare for what's to come. I'm not saying paramount will be good, but if it is then I think merlin could easily flop to the ground. Some people don't mind doing the extra hour in the car for a better guest experience and quality of rides and experiences around the park. I think paramount could easily become a big thing in the UK and they can also easily advertise around Europe as a Disney like park in the UK. I think the idea for this park is brilliant, however the execution of the idea is what we are waiting for, and I think merlin should be prepared.

What do I think they should do? Well I was having a think earlier and realised the quality of the rides in the UK parks are actually quite decent however the actual guest experience is what is lacking. Theming is quite an important thing to have in my eyes, and while it may not be in others, I think theming can improve a guest experience overall. I mean I guess mainly I would add more shows into the three main merlin parks: chessington, thorpe and alton as well as doing up the whole park overall and getting rid of things which are hindering the park and it's appearance I.e storm turd. Just making the parks look nicer and providing more things to do and interact with is what I would like to see. And maybe a couple new rides and a major coaster/ dark ride in each of the parks please. I know it may not sound like much or sound like it will make the difference but I honestly think it could make a whole lot of difference when the time comes.

I reckon as it's been said above that paramount will try to steal merlins guests, they will probably charge less or tell you that you are getting more for your money. This is when merlin need to offer some deals or even come back saying that there are lots of experiences to be had inside the park. It's my opinion but I reckon a battle will begin once it opens, and I will be visiting paramount to see if it is actually good, if it executed badly however merlin will not have to worry but best be prepared.

It's just my ideas and you may not like them but it is my opinion :)

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Personally, I don't think Merlin have too much to worry about.

 

It's been noted that no other major theme park operator operates within the UK - it's just Merlin.  There must be a reason (or reasons!) for that.  Whatever those reasons, it shows that the UK industry is hard to penetrate.  So this is a huge risk for Paramount, and there's lots more things that could wrong than right - there's a good chance that it could indeed fail, or at the very least, not do as well as Paramount will want.  

 

Also, Merlin have a very good stronghold on the UK market.  The market is saturated with Merlin, and most who are interested in theme parks will probably have been to one of the Merlin attractions.  So if Paramount Park is a success, in the long run, will it really make much difference?  Some people will choose Paramount over another park, yes, but in the long run, people will still go to Alton Towers, Thorpe Park, Chessington and Legoland, especially if Merlin keep investing in the parks (which they are!).  I don't think many people are going to get a magic light bulb go over their head when they visit Paramount Park and go "This is much better than Thorpe Park (say), let's never go there again!".  

 

Basically, as long as Merlin continue to invest in their parks, the arrival of Paramount won't do any harm.  It may lead them to have to do better investments, who knows, but guests will still come back.  But I don't see any reason for them to hit the panic button yet and have to dramatically change anything.

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Their arrogance is enough to put me off visiting for a long time. In fact their ignorance that people will come regardless of how crap the places become is a dangerous road to go down as it is, their reaction to a potential threat just concretes that fact.

 

I want to post a far more sweary post that expresses my true feelings but I'll be told off by the powers that be. Again. 

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There was a quote in a staff mag that said 'It will fail, and even if it doesn't, our guests will return to us.'

 

Is that paraphrased or an actual quote? If it is, then wow!  

 

Setting themselves up for a rather big fall me thinks. It may well have been the case that people have returned regardless of whatever mediocrity they've delivered to them previously, if some actual competition turns up that is sure to change. That attitude explains a lot about how they operate, they deserve to fail.  

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As I said I don't think you can read to much into what Merlin release into the public domain, any company in a similar situation will of course publicly state they believe in their product and are confident for the future.

Internally they will of course monitor the situation and have plans to change if needs be.

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I concur with Marc here, what sort of business would throw their toys out the pram admitting defeat before the park even has a builder scratching his head on it. That would be silly business talk, of course a company will back their own product for succession.

 

There's probably more 'read between the lines' within the statement too. When it comes to frequent visiting of tourist attractions, many take it upon themselves to buy an Annual Pass. MAP - Less than £200, for 31 attractions across the country. Paramount Annual Pass, probably looking in the region of £80-£100, 1 attraction in the the bottom right corner of the UK. Of course Merlin are confident people will return there's such a variety of choice in all corners! 

 

Forgive me if I'm wrong, but I feel many of you are singling an individual attraction out rather than the 31 attractions within the UK.

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I'm certainly not Ricky, it just so happens that this discussion seems to be taking place in the Thorpe 2015 topic, thats all. 

 

I concur with Marc here, what sort of business would throw their toys out the pram admitting defeat before the park even has a builder scratching his head on it. That would be silly business talk, of course a company will back their own product for succession.

 

That isn't what anyone here is saying at all. It's more that the company is so over confident, such is their dominance of the UK market, that they don't even see new parks remotely as a threat. So what does that say about Merlin as a whole. Will they become complacent, whats the incentive to add good new investments if people will come anyway. Will prices just rise and rise above inflation because people will return like sheep anyway. Will we see cutbacks in operations with less staff and more one train operations because, hey, people love Merlin they will come back anyway regardless of how terrible their visits may become.

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I see what you're saying there Mark, and in theory, it could end up going down that route.

 

However, at this stage, I don't really see anything to support your fears, other than that one comment.  Thorpe still are investing in the park (Swarm and Frights Nights being the two major ones recently), they're focusing a lot of guest experience / satisfaction, they're improving opening hours (okay, Summer Nights is a paid extra, but they've still got good opening hours all year round I think for a UK park); I could go on some more.  

 

Sure, there are still some flaws with the park, and some of those flaws need a lot of work to iron out.  But I don't think Thorpe - or Merlin - will get into a state of complacency.  Indeed, the reasons they feel guests will go back to them could be because of what they are going to do!

 

As I say, I see your concerns here, but I do think (or maybe I should be saying 'hope' here?) they'll be unfounded. :)

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Way too much is being based on this staff publication. By publishing a confident article, staff will infer that Merlin is the safer company to work for rather than Paramount. Also, what is the point of producing a realistic article about the development for seasonals, most of whom will not be returning for the next season so are completely unaffected? I am sure they do have plans in place but at this time there is no point revealing them.

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I see what you're saying there Mark, and in theory, it could end up going down that route.

 

However, at this stage, I don't really see anything to support your fears, 

 

As I say, I see your concerns here, but I do think (or maybe I should be saying 'hope' here?) they'll be unfounded. :)

 

My fears aren't based on anything happening right now, more what could happen if an over confident company decides competition is irrelevant. I don't for one minute believe a Paramount Park would open and immediately unsettle a dominant Merlin but equally I wouldn't want to see our parks suffer because of being unprepared (although some would say our parks have already gone down the drain but thats a discussion for another time).

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It is true that Merlin cover so many basis it does afford them a level of protection if they get challenged in one area, but do they really believe that what they offer now would stand up against a real quality park without them needing to make massive changes? Deluded! If someone comes along and builds an actual resort Merlins 'resorts' would look rather weak.

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I'm sorry but are we all actually comparing Paramount to what Merlin offer? Because I'm pretty sure Paramount isn't going to be some extravagant theme park offering various rides; but merely a lot of 'IP attractions' such as what Universal is built upon out in Hollywood for example...

 

So on that coin flip; no, Paramount isn't likely to be a threat to Merlin's London Parks, or attractions; just like Harry Potter isn't ;)

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I don't think we can say much until we have at least some sort of plan.

 

But we've seen outlines of plans when Paramount proposed plans. They didn't show in their plans any roller coasters of extravagant rides of any kind to be frank, within the first three phases of development. So on that basis, say it opens 2016, two years per a phase, we'd be looking at 2022 for any potential 'Merlin challenging' rides on the basis of any actual roller coasters or family thrill rides, or even water rides on that matter.

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^ Then why is there a roller coaster in the concept art? Yes it's only initial concept art, but why would they put any roller coaster on it if they weren't planning on building some?

 

Plus roller coasters are often what draw in the crowds. The Stratosphere tower built one, and it became famous. The Skyscraper Skyplex is getting a roller coaster, to draw in the crowds and get attention. I really don't think just 3D cinemas would be very popular after a year or two. With the new Diagon Alley expansion in Orlando, what do must people get excited about? The Gringotts coaster.

 

Even Universal Studios Hollywood has roller coasters and water rides, and I am pretty sure this will too.

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But we've seen outlines of plans when Paramount proposed plans. They didn't show in their plans any roller coasters of extravagant rides of any kind to be frank, within the first three phases of development. So on that basis, say it opens 2016, two years per a phase, we'd be looking at 2022 for any potential 'Merlin challenging' rides on the basis of any actual roller coasters or family thrill rides, or even water rides on that matter.

 

An 'extravagant ride' could be a dark ride, which of course on concept art of the park would just be a giant shed...

 

Coasters were on the concepts as well...

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An 'extravagant ride' could be a dark ride, which of course on concept art of the park would just be a giant shed...

 

Coasters were on the concepts as well...

 

I'd love someone to show me where on the proposed planning applications a roller coaster was mentioned, or even hinted at...

 

Dark rides, yes they work too. And I value everyones point but I think people are making a fuss out of very little as it stands.

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Paramount_Kent_Artist%27s_Impression.jpg

That's the 'artist impression' from when the project was initially unveiled, showing some coasters.

 

I don't think anything has been said either way about whether there will definitely be a coaster or not when the place opens, but if the artist impression shows coasters, I think it's fair to assume that there'll be coasters at some point not far after opening.

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