UK theme parks from another point of view!

 
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matt_1985x
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Re: Derren Brown's Ghost Train

Fri May 19, 2017 7:03 am

Wen't on it last week. Very pleased with the updates and the new VR footage is fantastic.
 
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Re: Derren Brown's Ghost Train

Wed May 24, 2017 5:04 pm

Finally tried DBGT monday and unfortunately I and my party found it pretty weak.
Spoiler: show
Having tried this and Galactica I think VR on rides just doesn't work for me. It never feels like anything other than watching a video. The pacing seemed pretty off, too much exposition and the demon did a lot of wandering about, and the VR finale where the train is broken apart and you fall down into a fiery pit the graphics seemed to suddenly take quite a dip in quality.
It didn't help that we had a crash at the end of the first VR section and had to sit around for a few minutes waiting.

The parts I did like were all the practical parts, the suspended carriage room looks stunning, the train coming down the tunnel followed by the shadow of the demon moving through the smoke, and of course the finale with the fake shop which completely took me by surprise and made me wish the whole ride had been done like that! I very much appreciated a demon roaring in my face.
 
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Re: Derren Brown's Ghost Train

Wed May 24, 2017 8:43 pm

Quick question
Spoiler: show
What actually happens in the "Fake Shop"?
Last edited by Dom on Thu May 25, 2017 10:49 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Because quoted spoilers stop spoilers from happening on actual post
 
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Re: Derren Brown's Ghost Train

Wed May 24, 2017 11:59 pm

Spoiler: show
You'd be better off experiencing it for yourself, honestly. But if that's not possible... we walked in after Derren's voiceover tells you the ride is over and you're let off the carriage, everyone chatting away. You walk into the shop complete with t-shirts, posters and teddy bears. I stopped to wait for the others next to this railed off area that has a ouija board projected onto the floor. We started chatting and I noticed a vent pipe behind someone shaking from side to side, had time to say 'Hey look at..' before the floor started rocking, followed by all the shelves shaking around. Next thing all the lights switch off and come back on to show an awesome animatronic demon in the railed off area that roars at guests. I was stood right next to it and sprayed water in my face. Lights go off, come back on and the space is empty again. I say it's animatronic but I don't know exactly how it was done since the lighting was really well done.
All in all unexpected and a great idea.

One good thing I'll say about the VR that I forgot to add was the syncing of the movement of the ride vehicle and the train in the VR was really well done.
Last edited by Dom on Thu May 25, 2017 10:49 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Because quoted spoilers stop spoilers from happening on actual post
 
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Morgan
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Re: Derren Brown's Ghost Train

Thu May 25, 2017 12:59 am

Spoiler: show
As far as I know it's a guy in a costume, there are rumours about the head being animatronic but I haven't seen it move or do anything fancy
Last edited by Dom on Thu May 25, 2017 10:49 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Because quoted spoilers stop spoilers from happening on actual post
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ThemeCrafter264
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Re: Derren Brown's Ghost Train

Thu May 25, 2017 5:09 pm

Spoiler: show
The staff member from when I visited said it was half animatronic and half actor
 
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Justin
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Re: Derren Brown's Ghost Train

Sat May 27, 2017 2:13 pm

Spoiler: show
If it is half and half, then it will be built within the head of the suit as I am sure the beast moves freely on the projected platform.
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Re: Derren Brown's Ghost Train

Sat May 27, 2017 9:23 pm

Spoiler: show
It is hard to tell I think but the demon is very lifelike and the end part is very good. It certainly isn't what I expected the first time I did version 2 of ghost train.
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Re: Derren Brown's Ghost Train

Thu Jun 01, 2017 8:10 pm

So today I got to experience Derren Brown's Ghost Train: Rise of the Demon and in my opinion it's a great improvement over the original version, however it had a few problems with my ride.

When the experience began with the pre show, the video started early without everyone entering the room so it wasn't dark enough. After that we waited in the room before the train for a good 10 minutes. When we finally got to the train room we waited about 5 minutes for the train to arrive and load people on and off.

The ride started and I thoroughly enjoyed the VR footage and the good scares..... until the screen went dark, sound stopped and the train stopped moving, I was waiting for a jump scare but nothing happened, I took off my headset and saw others had also done the same. Ride hosts were on their radios talking to others, lights came on and they said "Ladies and gentlemen, this isn't part of the ride but unfortunately we have to make an emergency evacuation please wait for the doors to open and follow the ramp to the fire exit." Now at this point I was both annoyed that I wasted time queuing and excited that I'd get a BTS peak at the ride system. After about a minute of waiting and recording a video (which I was told off for doing) the doors slightly opened and I saw a brightly lit room with lots of metal and wires, the host told us to wait and she talked to someone, after doing a bit of "ok"ing and nodding, the doors closed and we moved into the next show room of the ride and the hosts rushed us off, as if nothing happened and went back to script...

Being confused, I was guided to the live action segment and watched the fun commence. I found it enjoyable, but after the ride I watched POVs and I got the train coming through the tunnel and only one actor chasing us (compared to actors coming through the tunnel).

Being rushed back through to the loading platform, I'm 90% sure I saw the train moving sideways (maybe a transfer track...) as we waited a bit longer to board the train.

Next bit of VR I thought was excellent and offered some good scares, however my headset was a little faulty with it being stuck at an angle and not being able to move occasionally.

However avoiding spoilers was a good idea as the ending did get me.... Well done Thorpe....

Overall Rise of the Demon is a great improvement to the ghost train, it's just a shame I was a bit unlucky with my ride (Maybe because I rode it later on in the day so it was a bit warn out), but I would recommend checking it out!
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Re: Derren Brown's Ghost Train

Sat Jun 03, 2017 7:01 pm

I went to Thorpe on Thursday and certainly had some interesting rides to say the least...
Spoiler: show
They seemed to have maintenance lights on in the whole transport section (between behind the Victorian shell and the underground station) meaning a lot could be seen which shouldn't be.
Before I rode it for the first time I notice some light was being reflected weirdly on the mirrors making them really obvious but I just assumed they were dirty. I then noticed that some light could be seen underneath the carriage which was from behind the shell. A train then transferred into the shell and I could see the shadow of the underground carriage moving in sideways then exiting lengthwise as it was down for technical reasons.
In the first VR section I took my headset off to wipe the smudge off one of the lenses and I noticed the lights were all on outside which lit the train up more than usual.

Getting off the train in the underground station, I could clearly see behind the train into the transport area and the track beneath was all clearly lit up as well. The live action section, even being the worse version it is this year without the Sub Core workers, was actually fantastic.The really good host with the megaphone was clearly trying to be as clear as possible and keep the guests' attention and with it being a generally scared group meant the whole group gave the absolute loudest scream I've ever heard from that ride. (If any of the technical team from the resort are reading this, the 'work lights' pointing at the pipe in the room need to be dimmed or turn off when the train approaches, that'll help hide it when it reverses back.)

In the second VR section, I didn't bother using the VR headset as the new VR quite frankly bores me. This was by far the most interesting ride I've had on it so far. Firstly I was watching the advertisement screens above the seats and realised just how much effort has been put into things no one ever properly looks at. There's even fake news reports now explaining there's been strange sightings of things in underground tunnels with fake images with a demon-like figure being spotted. The lights being on meant I could see a lot lot more than I was meant to in this bit. I could see through the edge of the door on the opposite side so I could see the movement of the train on the motion platform. I'd ridden it without VR last Fright Nights and you really notice just how far it moves on the motion platform, (and the hosts holding on for dear life (and dabbing in this case when no one could see)).

Leaving the train, I could see the warehouse behind the train through the gap in the door, which I could best describe as looking like backstage in an airport, all white machinery and stuff. My friend said he saw the train in front, with the bumpers at the top of the train, which is what I suppose I saw. I saw a large white box which was probably the rear of the train in front.
 
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Re: Derren Brown's Ghost Train

Tue Jun 13, 2017 12:17 pm

Maybe I was just unlucky, but me and my group had an awful experience on this last week. We rode a total of 4 times and not a single one of them worked 100%.

On the first run the girl turned into a polygon mesh half way through the scene, on the second run the headphones weren't working on 2 of the headsets I tried, and all I could hear was the ride hosts chatting away and on the third run they had to reset the sequence half way through.

I honestly think this is a terrible attraction but purely because the technology​ isn't appropriate. I am not referring to all the creation and innovation that went into the ride when I say this because all that work is completely mooted by the fact the ride simply doesn't work.

Using commercial VR headsets and presumably commercially available PC hardware on an industrial scale ride was a foolish thing to do. These headsets are meant to be used in a small empty room with limited movement. They were not designed to be running 8+ hours a day in an environment with so so many variables.

There are so many aspects of this ride that baffle me. But I just can't get my head around why they thought it would be appropriate to put a piece of technology that was barely a year old at the time into one of their biggest investments and expect it to work without any kind of extensive field testing.
 
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Re: Derren Brown's Ghost Train

Tue Jun 13, 2017 3:56 pm

Sorry to hear you're experience wasn't the best but honestly I think you might be being a bit harsh considering many new attractions have reliability problems. It should be noted that HTC actively encourage using Vive away from gaming, and using it in situations like this and in other situations such as medicine, so no I don't think it's quite such a crazy move to use it here. Whilst I can see why you may not like it, calling an attraction terrible because it didn't work on your goes seems a bit naive to me - as it's obvious that it works well for many many others, and it'll obviously be a bit naff if it has a hissy fit. If we all had the mentality that all attractions that unfortunately suffer from tech issues were terrible we'd never see such attractions as Escape from Gringotts, Lightning Rod and Flight of Passage. The attraction isn't everyone's cup of tea but the majority can still appreciate how truly remarkable it is - including the companies who have allegedly already ordered a clone of sorts if the ride system. :)

I'd also say to avoid riding it more than twice a visit if you can help it - because otherwise you'll overdo it and it won't be half as enjoyable as if you have a break. :P
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Re: Derren Brown's Ghost Train

Wed Jun 14, 2017 5:52 pm

I've been on Rise of the Demon a few times now so I thought I'd do a proper review for it. In short, I think it's got some great ideas but they're pretty poorly executed. (Major spoilers below!)
Spoiler: show
Technically speaking, the transit system is incredible, and couldn't have been done any better, making it by far the best part of the experience. However I can't help but feeling that the story is actually pretty weak and isn't interesting.
So, in VR 1 you're given the story that Sub-Core Energy are fracking to get more fuel, and it's quickly infecting people.
Whilst I don't enjoy the story, the way it's executed isn't exactly better. As a guest, I don't want to be told a story by someone sitting next to me- I want to see it unfold. I don't want to be told that the gas is infecting people, I want to figure it out by seeing the infected people do their thing. And yes, at one point an infected person does appear- but by that point we've already been spoonfed a story that isn't that compelling. This part remains untouched, however the new headphones mean you can hear lines that were previously inaudible.
So then we get evacuated off the train into a modern tube station, despite previously being in a dark Victorian one. The idea of thinking you're in one spot and appearing in another somehow is fantastic, however little attention is drawn to it, meaning guests usually miss out on the main illusion. The live action section itself feels really weak when compared to the original- ever since Fright Nights it's been missing that hectic, intense feeling that it opened with.
VR 2 is where the real changes come into play. The new section was filmed with a 360 camera, meaning that most of the CG is gone, making it so much more convincing. However what actually happened in this scene felt pretty dull. In a nutshell, the demon comes onto the train and taunts the guests around you. It quite literally felt like a 360 reaction video, seeing as all the demon did to us was go ROAR. I understand that it's hard to make guests feel intimidated by a CGI monster, but it could've done so much more to frighten us. Also, the biggest issue from the original is still present. We're given the story of drilling and infected people, for it to suddenly be swapped out for a monster story. Whilst the demon is mentioned in earlier parts of the ride, these references are really subtle and easy to miss out on. We're expected to care for something that just appears randomly.
The ride ends in a similar way to the original- the train is torn apart and you fall into hell. It's a shame to see that the real train doesn't shake as much as it used to. Also to note the video randomly cuts to another part of the scene altogether, making it feel really disorienting.
Once you've taken your headsets off, a video of Derren Brown plays explaining how you "haven't actually moved". However most guests are busy comparing experiences, so it's really hard to hear Derren explain it. Maybe if you saw it in the VR world before taking your headset if it'd be better.
It's such a shame that the ride suffers from a lot of these issues, it has so much potential to be an interesting, creepy ride. Whilst the ride doesn't scare me as an individual, there isn't much else to the experience that makes it enjoyable. The story could also become outdated pretty quickly, as certain political parties do wish to ban fracking. It has so many good ideas, but unfortunately I can't help but feel that the negatives outweigh the positives on this one.
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Re: Derren Brown's Ghost Train

Wed Jun 14, 2017 7:38 pm

Owen wrote:
Sorry to hear you're experience wasn't the best but honestly I think you might be being a bit harsh considering many new attractions have reliability problems. It should be noted that HTC actively encourage using Vive away from gaming, and using it in situations like this and in other situations such as medicine, so no I don't think it's quite such a crazy move to use it here. Whilst I can see why you may not like it, calling an attraction terrible because it didn't work on your goes seems a bit naive to me - as it's obvious that it works well for many many others, and it'll obviously be a bit naff if it has a hissy fit. If we all had the mentality that all attractions that unfortunately suffer from tech issues were terrible we'd never see such attractions as Escape from Gringotts, Lightning Rod and Flight of Passage. The attraction isn't everyone's cup of tea but the majority can still appreciate how truly remarkable it is - including the companies who have allegedly already ordered a clone of sorts if the ride system. :)

I'd also say to avoid riding it more than twice a visit if you can help it - because otherwise you'll overdo it and it won't be half as enjoyable as if you have a break. :P


I must say I strongly disagree with a lot of this. The Vives are clearly suffering problems from being run at the frequency and duration they are. For someone to see the attraction as bad because it hasn't worked for them is completely understandable. Even in its second year with multiple changes and improvements being made since before original opening and many delays, the fact that pretty much every ride I've had on it so far since 2016 has had issues of some sort is completely unacceptable in my eyes. Merlin's ideology of having to be the first at everything have seriously let them down this time, even more than most times. If they'd have waited for the technology to develop or gone for a different approach, they could have a truly world class ride to actually rival Disney and Universal. Your last point about riding it once or twice per visit really shows the extent of Merlin's failure in this attraction. Rides like Terror Tomb, the Haunted House, and even Duel are or would have been as much fun whether you ride them once, or 20 times a day. The fact that to enjoy a ride more you need to ride it less completely defeats the idea of a theme park attraction and is something Merlin really need to sort out. The fact that I genuinely get bored in the second VR section and would rather sit without the VR on watching the screens opposite is ridiculous to my way of thinking. Even though Duel is a lesser ride technologically and thematically speaking, I still enjoy every ride on it even after doing it 3 times in a row without using the guns, even if the ride is literally falling apart now.

This is all just my personal opinion though.
 
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Re: Derren Brown's Ghost Train

Thu Jun 15, 2017 2:52 pm

I apologise, my post wasn't clear. Whilst I agree merlin have made a couple questionable decisions (specifically with Figments involvement). The ride, like all dark rides, is heavily based on opinion and so it's understandable to say that some will like it and other won't - for example I don't like Duel because I find it boring and noisy.

That being said calling an entire attraction terrible and a bad investment is a very bold statement, which is why I generally avoid doing so personally. It's saying that because you don't like it personally it means as a whole it's bad and all decisions made about it are bad. The ride has positives and negatives, the fantastic theming, the unique story and great ending all stand out. The VR is the section that can be hit or miss because it depends on how much that you can suspend reality and if the attraction works properly, and to me there's multiple rides on this scale I do once or twice (including Hex).

The fact if the matter is that it's a very opinion dividing attraction, but when you can't try to see past said opinion to notice good and bad things about a ride it's not really useful for anyone. I'm in the middle of the two sides personally, as the ride when it works is certainly great as well as being a film buff means I love the story, not to mention there's no denying the tech that's used is impressive however for me the VR isn't different enough for my liking - if the VR had different scenarios in each train (like it should have had) then I'd probably say without hesitation it's my #1. :P

Spoiler: show
Also... the horrible over the top acting in VR2 is just funny rather than believable for me! :lol
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Re: Derren Brown's Ghost Train

Wed Jun 21, 2017 4:52 pm

I've seen that fast track is available for DBGT. Does anyone know how much it is?
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Re: Derren Brown's Ghost Train

Mon Jun 26, 2017 3:01 pm

As far as I'm aware it only comes with the Ultimate Fastrack (around £85), and even then it's just one time use. It may have changed since though. :)
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Re: Derren Brown's Ghost Train

Thu Jun 29, 2017 11:20 pm

So yesterday i experienced The Ghost Train for the very first time. Overall, i enjoyed the experience. 

The themeing around the ride was spot on and really added to the queuing seeing all the posters and scenery around the queue.

Spoiler: show
PreShow: The pre show was good and felt a nice connection to Derren's use of explaining what you will experience and what to expect and why it will happen. The projection was good and was presented well. Felt very realistic like he was in the room

Warehouse: Next was the warehouse and the old carriage was fantastic. it looks incredible and looks so authentic. Inside looks great aswell really grasping the tube look and vibe. 

First VR Experience: This is when i experienced my first problem, the vision wasn't aligned properly with my vision so i was constantly looking down to face forwards. Besides this, the Graphics were decent enough, i had the old man with a dog (Think it's different from the derren brown character) Which was the same as my group of friends. 

Live Action sequence: This was probably my favourite part of the ride. The acting was done well and the scene played fantastic, we had the train come and crash into us and the sequence was very realistic it did generally catch people out and scare them, we were asked to run back and the run to a new station, i think it was set out well and the effects were working perfectly.

Second VR Experience: Again, another probably, my headset was broken physically, the left ear piece was hanging off, before i could alert a staff member the sequence had started, i tried my best with what i could do. As well as this, the strap to the headset had snapped so i was physically holding it together. This time the Vr was set in a scene on the carriage with other users, this was a big positive as it felt like you wasn't sure on reality or fantasy. It did provide some jump scares and again graphics for the demons wasn't great. But again, it was good.

Ending: I don't want to say too much but it was really good, really enjoyed it and felt like it fitted.


Overall i am pleased with my experience. There were some faults but some of it can not be prevented. Big thumbs up to the TP team behind it & Derren Brown, a great experience has been created and i can't wait to experience it again for a different Scenario in the future.
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Re: Derren Brown's Ghost Train

Fri Jun 30, 2017 8:47 am

Also, sorry for the double post but you can purchase a fast track for DBGT according to the fast track price poster near Nemesis Infernio. It costs £8 which is the same price as the big 5 roller coasters.
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Re: Derren Brown's Ghost Train

Fri Jul 14, 2017 11:50 am

So yesterday I was driving down the M25 at midday and I was passing Thorpe Park and was like "wait I have an annual pass!" and had a quick visit! I mostly wanted to give Rise of the Demon another chance, because of last time and I can safely say it's made me love it again.

The VR was less blurry than last time and I got different videos showing than from the previous 2 times, the actors were way better and the ending scene was better executed!

The highlight for me was the second VR section, it seemed different from the last time I visited. But what made it for me was a temporary stoppage of the ride, everything was intense and dramatic and suddenly a note appeared on the screen saying "temporary delay" with happy music playing over, it only lasted for about 8 seconds but it was perfectly timed and hilarious!

Overall I now think Rise of the Demon is a great example of "when done right it's fantastic" and I hope it's like this for quite a while.
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