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2 minutes ago, BaronC. said:

With the pre show being skippable, I think the thing which concerns me is that people may not realise it's skippable, or realise how scary it is until it's too late.

Maybe the most unobservant, everyone I saw who would have found it too scary knew they could skip - the biggest problem here was one mum with a small kid who didn't know how, whereas most stayed behind (and, second time round, we were taken through another path next to the exit), they literally just pushed the exit doors open, meaning nobody got to experience it and there were only four people on our train.

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It's good that everyone who would potentially find it too scary is able to avoid it then. But equally, why design an experience which can welcome kids, and then make part of that experience too scary for them?

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18 minutes ago, BaronC. said:

It's good that everyone who would potentially find it too scary is able to avoid it then. But equally, why design an experience which can welcome kids, and then make part of that experience too scary for them?

Just out of interest - What specifically says it is for kids? The theme and marketing has been all about worship, the statue I wouldn't say is kid friendly that much as its a giant head on fire. 

 

Is it the height restriction? I wouldn't say that the height makes it kid friendly as you can have a more mature ride have a low heigh restriction just for safety.... 

 

 

Not sure if Alton has said that this is designed for kids - but to me I wouldn't take young kids on it as its a face on fire and a load of people worshiping a random god let alone anything else (specially when standing in the queue for that long and fielding questions about worship and sacrifice!) 

 

Also just checked and it is put under the Thrill section of altontowers.com not family...

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It's the 1.2m restrictions, same as Spinball and Thirteen...

 

Think the comparison to Thirteen is valid, the pre show is very dark and very loud; prime problems for those who aren't that big on the scared factor (I can imagine I wouldn't have been a fan at the 1.2m age)...

 

Weird contradictory Merlin choices...

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4 minutes ago, Benin said:

It's the 1.2m restrictions, same as Spinball and Thirteen...

 

Think the comparison to Thirteen is valid, the pre show is very dark and very loud; prime problems for those who aren't that big on the scared factor (I can imagine I wouldn't have been a fan at the 1.2m age)...

 

Weird contradictory Merlin choices...

Surely 1.2m is just for the restraints, anyone smaller would slip out of the restraints on the ride. I dont understand why its accepted that 1.2m means its a family ride or suitable for children? Its just for the safety systems? 

 

Thirteen is also considered a Thrill ride not a family ride on the website. 

 

Wether its suitable for kids is surely more the theme than how tall they are. Its up to the parents if they think that the theming/storyline is too disturbing for the children surely? If you walk up to a ominous looking ride with a giant sculpture of a mans head on fire, with the music that they use (and when they are out) the actors and think - well my 8 year old is tall enough I'm sure this is fine as clearly they are old enough based on their hight (which varies between people as well) - and then shocked that they are frightened by the pre-show then there is no helping you really. 

 

Same with thirteen, it doesnt look all upbeat and family friendly - and thats just the logo. 

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2 hours ago, GetEchoes said:

Just out of interest - What specifically says it is for kids? The theme and marketing has been all about worship, the statue I wouldn't say is kid friendly that much as its a giant head on fire. 

 

Is it the height restriction? I wouldn't say that the height makes it kid friendly as you can have a more mature ride have a low heigh restriction just for safety.... 

 

 

Not sure if Alton has said that this is designed for kids - but to me I wouldn't take young kids on it as its a face on fire and a load of people worshiping a random god let alone anything else (specially when standing in the queue for that long and fielding questions about worship and sacrifice!) 

 

Also just checked and it is put under the Thrill section of altontowers.com not family...

 

Regardless of what they've said, as a coaster, it is a family ride focused on entertaining the younger market. From my rides, I can't say that the coaster does anything to particularly entertain me; an older member of the family. The coaster will entertain the younger-side of the market, and the older-side will simply go along with it and have a fun, low-key enjoyable ride. And that's fine.

 

But then, you've got the theme, pre-show and overall presentation of the ride which makes it largely incompatible to those who would enjoy the ride most! As you say, it's not kid-friendly. 

 

The height restriction is neither here nor there to me. From my experience, the ride will be a MASSIVE hit with 6-8 year olds (which, nicely, is when kids start to hit 1.2m), but the presentation shuns that group away. It's a similar issue to what Th13teen had - that's a coaster which was always designed to be a big hit with the slightly older kids, 8-11 years I'd say, but was marketed way too intense and extreme. Fortunately, as time has passed, that issue has died away. Can that happen with Wicker Man though, given the scary stuff is part of the ride's experience, and not just some adverts which will disappear after a year?

 

 

Of course, I'd like to say again that others who I rode it with (who had been on it before) said it was running slowly, and that did impact their experience too. Maybe I've done it on a bad day, especially given all the other reviews are largely positive! But of course, I can only go off what I've experienced, and I've experienced a family coaster designed for kids given a theme too scary for kids.

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I don't think Wicker Man is too scary.  Predictable example from me, but Valhalla is a family ride system yet is based around viking afterlife, gods etc.  I remember being terrified of it (back in 2004 when it was a hugely theatrical and impactful experience) with the loud audio, noises, effects, darkness - but it's something I'll always remember, something that captured my imagination and very quickly became my favourite ride.

 

Wicker Man's pre-show is brilliant as it achieves the same level of class atmosphere that Valhalla's lift hill used to, it's loud and atmospheric - but I wouldn't say there is anything unsuitable for a family audience there.

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Another drawback about it being a "Thrill" family ride is that I've seen many 'plus' sized people having to miss out. Not to be offensive, they should have like a girth restriction / test seat next to the height restriction at the entrance so people know if they can fit before qeueing.

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I've heard that the test seat 'is coming soon' for exactly that reason. That being said I fitted in just fine, I'm 1.93m and have to use the B&M big seats. I'm at the top click but no issues, I've seen people much smaller than me have major issues so, as suspected, it's the sensors having issues.

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I can see where you're coming from Baron but I think I'll have to disagree on this one...

 

Firstly, it really does sound like Wicker Man was riding poorly that day, which echoes a friend of mine who did media day, then went back a couple weeks ago and was disappointed. From my 2 laps just after opening, it was flying round the track with a real sense of purpose, hitting you with surprise airtime and awesome laterals. It was the perfect family coaster, not too intense (no launches, no inversions, no massive drops) but certainly not designed for the younger members of the family only, like you have implied. Wicker Man (when I rode it) provided a coaster experience every member of the family could enjoy, the weak hearted parents and younger kids coming off thinking they just really accomplished something great and the teens coming off laughing because it was so much fun.

 

As for the theme being too scary/not suitable... In my eyes at least (the eyes of a big wimp for reference), it's actually quite a smart idea. It's quite a subtle form of scary, you have to understand the concept behind the Wicker Man and what it's going to be used for (burning you alive as a sacrifice) and I doubt the younger children that you're worried about will understand that. As for the pre show, whilst I can see how it might frighten the easily frightened, it's certainly no worse than Duel (a family ride), Hex (a family ride) or 13's Tesla coil (a family ride). Both times I got to see the preshow, no one cried, no one asked to leave, whereas I've seen countless kids run back down the stairs screaming because of 13's Tesla.

 

A smart theme to a perfect family coaster, in my opinion.

 

As for this test seat (or lack thereof), after watching the walk of shame a few times over 2 rides, they most certainly need it and it was a weird decision to not just buy one to start with.

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I've just watched a new POV of Wicker Man against an older one, it's running a lot slower :( 

 

I hope this isn't their solution to it overshooting the brake run, the surprisingly fast pace was what made the ride.

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When's the POV from?

 

Perhaps they've done a Wodan and changed the wheels, only the other way round to nerf the ride...

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Was it hot/sunny in the faster one by any chance? Wicker Man definitely runs better in the heat. We were thrown into a few of the corners when we rode on 20th April and it was a scorcher of a day then.

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Rode Wicker Man again this week, still feel like I'm riding an incredibly different ride to all those who love it..

 

I don't know if they've changed the wheels or something indefinitely to try and combat some parking issues or whatever, but it feels like a taller, longer kiddie coaster, that was designed exclusively for 6-8 year old to enjoy. There's basically no airtime, there's minimal laterals, and it's all just very meh for me. It's presented extremely well, and the theme and style is perfect for the older family audience, but the ride doesn't deliver.

 

Maybe one day I'll get a good ride and I'll like it, but I just can't say 'Wicker Man is a decent family attraction' when it's themed and presented for one end of the family market, but rides as one for the complete opposite end.

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Some things we just don't get compared to everyone else. I didn't experience a ride built only for 6-8 year olds and I think people really underestimate how much scares kids can take.

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Chatting with someone today who had experienced Wicker Man, was saying that he thoroughly enjoyed and considered it was quite intense for the whole ride. With the other comments, I am looking forward to riding this.

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I would say it's way more intense than it looks. Really nice airtime, good laterals and a relentless pace. I did however ride it at the end of a hot, sunny day. If it takes a while to warm up then I probably rode it at the best time. Honestly, I was expecting not much from Wicker Man but it's probably my favourite ride at Alton Towers now.

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On 5/24/2018 at 7:26 AM, Mark9 said:

Some things we just don't get compared to everyone else. I didn't experience a ride built only for 6-8 year olds and I think people really underestimate how much scares kids can take.

 

Oh totally. I don't get it at all, but at least the majority enjoy and, most importantly, the public. Here's hoping it gives UK parks the confidence to consider wood more seriously for future investments. 

 

The scare thing is an interesting conversation. Kids certainly are getting braver and all that, and theme parks can bring that out all the more. My issue still remains the major mismatch I see between the pre show's target and the ride's target. A dark, scary, intense pre show should indicate a dark, scary, intense ride, which has potential to put people off.

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Aaaaaaaand in the interest of fairness, I had a decent ride on Wicker Man this week. I didn't love it as much as everyone else seemingly does, but it had some good laterals and was well paced. So I can now see people's perspective more on why they rate it so highly.

 

If that experience is an indication of how the ride will run usually, then good. It's not something I rate highly, and I'm still not sold on the pre show for a family ride, but it seems to be doing the trick for Towers.

 

Speaking of the pre show, the curtain wasn't rising during my visit. Apparently if people pull on it, it causes it to break, and being so low hanging, people do tug on it. Thanks to having two projectors for the second half of the pre show, when the curtain breaks, it does look quite dodgy.

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3 hours ago, BaronC. said:

 

Speaking of the pre show, the curtain wasn't rising during my visit. Apparently if people pull on it, it causes it to break, and being so low hanging, people do tug on it. Thanks to having two projectors for the second half of the pre show, when the curtain breaks, it does look quite dodgy.

 

Ugh, this is why we can’t have nice things in the UK. Anything within reach and people will touch it, draw on it and break it. I hate people who have to ruin things for everyone else. And the litter people leave behind disgusts me. Just wanted to rant! ?

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Now that makes perfect sense. When I visited, the pre-show had difficulties on two of the four rides I witnessed, both of which were at the end of the day. On the first time, the curtain was missing (revealing the surprise somewhat from the beginning), whereas the second time the curtain never rose and ruined the effect. 

 

I'm not sure which is worse (probably the second one), but it’s a shame to have seen these malfunctions (especially as a result of guests who cannot keep their hands busy for one minute). The U.K. is perhaps one of the worser countries for guest vandalism. 

 

I think Wickerman is a great ride for Towers and U.K., but I do worry what the state of the ride will play in years to come. Will the smoke/fire effects still be working around the Wickerman, will the pre-show still maintain that surprise element and will things like the bag room (like others before) end up disappearing. Merlin don’t have a great track record for maintaining rides and effects, just look at Smiler. I mention this only because I want the park/Merlin to get better and not to bash them for fun.

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It's all part of the development plan. Keep the queueline shop open for two years then sack the kid on minimum wage & turn it into a cupboard. Then after a few more years close the baggage hold reduce staff and make it another cupboard. Add open racking onto the other side of the station.

Regarding the pre-show the host should thow out anyone caught touching cloth and send them the bill to repair it. ?

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On 6/13/2018 at 11:42 AM, Matt Creek said:

Now that makes perfect sense. When I visited, the pre-show had difficulties on two of the four rides I witnessed, both of which were at the end of the day. On the first time, the curtain was missing (revealing the surprise somewhat from the beginning), whereas the second time the curtain never rose and ruined the effect. 

 

I'm not sure which is worse (probably the second one), but it’s a shame to have seen these malfunctions (especially as a result of guests who cannot keep their hands busy for one minute). The U.K. is perhaps one of the worser countries for guest vandalism. 

 

I think Wickerman is a great ride for Towers and U.K., but I do worry what the state of the ride will play in years to come. Will the smoke/fire effects still be working around the Wickerman, will the pre-show still maintain that surprise element and will things like the bag room (like others before) end up disappearing. Merlin don’t have a great track record for maintaining rides and effects, just look at Smiler. I mention this only because I want the park/Merlin to get better and not to bash them for fun.

 

wow, so I rode it for the first time on Monday and the entire pre show was projected onto this curtain. could you post in spoiler tags what the 'surprise' element is and how the curtain rises etc? I didn't realise it was broke on my show, it was lite literally just a video projected into a curtain haha. thanks!

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