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Daniel.S313

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I’m liking the look of those 10pm closing times in the summer 😍

There are a lot more closer dates throughout the year however, especially in May and September. 

Also, there’s no September weekend for Fright Nights anymore :( 

 

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The Thorpe Breaks calendar is essentially a provisional one, set there to give those planning trips for next year ideas and the opportunity to book.  It usually means that this the 'worst' calendar - so we could potentially see longer opening hours, more open days, more FN dates, but not anything reduced / removed.  

 

It's an interesting calendar.  A lot of closed days (the most out of all the Merlin parks I believe).  The 10-10 days in summer are very risky.  If the demand is there, all good.  But if not, they're running the whole park for not a lot of people, and with lots more closed days, it'll mean less people on the whole going.  Especially since standard MAP passholders cannot go Friday/Saturday next year...

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People wanted longer hours in the summer again so the extra 80 hours is a big positive, obviously the late closing has only been possible by more closed days but at least the hours lost have been allocated elsewhere. 

 

As long as they keep it simple by not needing separate tickets to stay after 6pm like in the past it should be successful providing the weather is decent.

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All they need to do to make the evenings successful is offer tickets for say £15 after 4pm or something and promote it well. Back in the 90s the park used to open till midnight at times and always offered a heavily discounted ticket for the evening. 

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On 03/12/2017 at 12:05 AM, Mattgwise said:

All they need to do to make the evenings successful is offer tickets for say £15 after 4pm or something and promote it well. Back in the 90s the park used to open till midnight at times and always offered a heavily discounted ticket for the evening. 

That would be great if they did that, I'd certainly make use of it. Fingers crossed something like this happens

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11 hours ago, Mark9 said:

Trust in me. The first things to go will be those 10pm closes.

Yeah I think you might be right sadly - Summer Nights were great while they lasted yet they scrapped them so I can't see why they'd introduce something similar - would be fab if they did but not holding my breath 

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 By the looks of these the park is simply open till 10pm, rather than it being a separatly ticketed event like before , so it will in theory be busier than summer nights and hopefully more sustainable long term - fingers crossed anyway!

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10 hours ago, Marc said:

 By the looks of these the park is simply open till 10pm, rather than it being a separatly ticketed event like before , so it will in theory be busier than summer nights and hopefully more sustainable long term - fingers crossed anyway!

If they do stay on the calendar (which I massively doubt based on past history and the fact that not even the majority of bigger companies have twelve hour park days), Thorpe will need to do a lot to convince people to stay till 10pm. Just having the rides available is nowhere near enough. 

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On 10/01/2018 at 1:37 PM, ThorpeAddict said:

Annual passes have gone down this year - £49 

 

Anyone know if this excludes a load of Saturdays like the standard Merlin annual pass? If not this is very good value

Their T&C's are horribly vague....

 

29. Some peak date exclusions apply (to be confirmed)

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Having a look at these new dates, seeing the 10pm closures extended to many days during summer is a great* move, but I would just like to show a little comparison I've made when comparing 2018's opening times as a whole to last year, just to show there are some significant differences behind these dates.

These are the statistics for every single day during the 2017 season between 23rd March - 1st November:

• 4pm days = 21. (9% approx.)
• 5pm days = 58. (26% approx.)
• 6pm days = 114. (51% approx.)
• 10pm days = 21. (9% approx.)
• Closed Days = 10. (5% approx.)

 

Now here are the current planned days for 2018 between the 23rd March - 31st October, under the assumption none of the dates/times change at the time of writing this post:

• 4pm days = 42. (18% approx.)
• 5pm days = 54. (25%
approx.)
• 6pm days = 54. (25%
approx.)
• 10pm days = 37. (16.5%
approx.)
• Closed Days = 36. (15.5%
approx.)

 

When looking at this, there has been a decrease of 27 open days for 2018, which is around -12.6%. That's almost an entire month of days gone.
 

It also means there's been a +260% increase of closed days compared to 2017.

 

Onto the number of available ride hours and these are the theoretically maximum, assuming the rides opens at exactly 10am in the park and close on the hour exactly, taking into account the number of days multiplied by their operating hours, along with no breakdowns or 24mph wind restrictions:

• 2017 Ride Operation Hours = 1,696.
• 2018 Ride Operation Hours = 1,506.


So to accompany the 27 lost days in 2018, we have now lost 190 hours of ride time for 2018. This is equivalent to -11.2% or around 24 typical 10am - 6pm days.

On the plus side, these 10pm closures have pushed up the average lasting day in hours for guests in 2018 from 7.925 to 8.05, which is +1.58% on the open days.

 

So despite great summer opening hours, I think it's important to point out not to be tricked into thinking loads of the hours from 2017 are just being reallocated to summer which can excuse the 36 closed days this season, as it's obviously not true. To put it simply, 2018's hours are rotten for those who wish to visit outside of summer.
 

*(Not so great if you are a standard MAP holder...)

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I agree, for those of us who can visit midweek/out of season it isn't great. 

 

I do wonder if Merlin are going down the route of Ceder Point/Fair and using Thorpe as a test. Ceder Fairs strategy seems to be: open fewer days but for longer hours. I was pretty shocked when I saw the opening dates for a lot of American amusement parks. For reference here is Ceder Points opening hours for 2018: https://www.cedarpoint.com/explore/cedar-point-calendar-and-hours . Mid May to Late August + Halloween. Probably the same/slightly more hours than Thorpe but a lot more concentrated. Six Flags seem to be pretty similar too. 

 

I'm not saying this is better or worse, just interesting to see Merlin trying something different. 

 

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What would be interesting (though impossible for us) to compare is the percentage of operating time between last season and this season.

 

More closed days means less wear and tear on rides, more time for engineers to work on the rides, etc.  That could mean less downtime, which could see an increase in operating time.  And if that increase is significant enough, it could mean that rides are actually open more often.  Yes, the latter of those is unrealistic and idealistic, but if in general it means on an open day there's less downtime, that's something at least.  And maybe even two trains more often...

 

But yeah, the closed day things isn't great, but it's worth remembering how spoilt we have been in the past with opening days.

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