UK theme parks from another point of view!

 
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Horras64
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Re: Derren Brown's Ghost Train

Fri Mar 31, 2017 2:50 pm

What time did the attraction open today to the general public. I accidentally looked at a spoiler (no idea whether its minor or major) and am therefore trying to keep free. Will hopefully get on the attraction next Wednesday!
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ThemeCrafter264
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Re: Derren Brown's Ghost Train

Fri Mar 31, 2017 2:57 pm

I believe it opened when the park opened
 
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Owen
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Re: Derren Brown's Ghost Train

Fri Mar 31, 2017 3:02 pm

More or less park open. Approximately 10:20 :)
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smokenmirrors
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Re: Derren Brown's Ghost Train

Fri Mar 31, 2017 3:26 pm

So having now ridden the improved DBGT experience - I am left a little underwhelmed.

I agree with Lady of the Lake's comments. I think the attraction is improved and does run smoother (whether this will continue throughout the season is to be seen!). I will not give away any spoilers.

The biggest weakness of this ride is its storyline - what is it? I get that there is a very (very) loose storyline, but it seems stuck in an identity crisis. It can't decide what it wants to be and the characters just aren't engrossing and don't make sense.

All in all I enjoyed it, but it wouldn't be worth more than one ride in the season for me.
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Michelle
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Re: Derren Brown's Ghost Train

Fri Mar 31, 2017 7:28 pm

I actually thought the storyline was much clearer now than it was previously, more references to gas/drilling etc and the audio was easier to hear.

Personally I do think it has improved and I like the new elements that have been added. The second VR section has been reimagined and is now much better, although it still had potential to be more immersive I think you can see how much effort has gone in to listening to last seasons feedback.

There were still some hitches today, the occasional headset out of action but nothing massively damaging to throughput.

I think the general public will be quite happy with the new version although they need to get quicker at moving people between sections.

I look forward to seeing others reactions in the coming days.
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Re: Derren Brown's Ghost Train

Fri Mar 31, 2017 11:32 pm

I'm rather happy with it as it is currently.

Yes, it probably does need 'more' in terms of jumps and scares in the second section, but what we have is a vast improvement over last years version. The finale addition too is very high quality and has lots to look at, which you will miss on the first go round, making rerideability a thing.

Hopefully it stays reliable now, and the public will love it.
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Re: Derren Brown's Ghost Train

Sat Apr 01, 2017 9:48 pm

Having experienced the new version today, I have to say I'm really impressed and can see how much effort has been put into those changes. I especially liked the improved second VR section and the finale section that follows ends the whole ride nicely.

Like others have mentioned, the whole experience flows a lot better too and I think the story is clearer now. My only issue is that I would very much like more padding on the nose part of the VR headset as it did tend to dig into my nose which was somewhat uncomfortable - just a small thing but still a little problem.
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Re: Derren Brown's Ghost Train

Wed Apr 05, 2017 10:46 pm

Ghost Train 2 Review

Derren Brown's Ghost Train: Rise Of The Demon, or less ridiculously 'Ghost Train 2' seems to address some of my main concerns about the original incarnation of this attraction, however were they addressed correctly in my opinion?

Batching

I have to admit the new batching process for Ghost Train is fantastic - it really helps keep the queue flowing and makes the whole experience far more pleasant. The new entry into the building is also quite nice as it feels more atmospheric to me, what a difference a shed makes!

Pre-Shows

After entering the first room I was surprised to find the pre-show room had been invaded by a large box in the back corner or the room. Whilst I know it's necessary to have this, it really made the already small room feel even more cramped (and hot!). I was kind of hoping there would be some kind of alteration to the pre-show speech but alas, I was left with the same thing. Nothing of major concern though. Moving into what seems to be a now permanent second 'pre-show' I found the room leading to the warehouse to be a bit dark now. There was also an issue in which half the group could not get up the stairs and so missed the 'conductors' speech about the train and it's swaying. Again, nothing major and can be resolved with some better people management. The reveal was, as usual, fantastic and for some reason I felt compelled to look below the train this year. I'm not sure if they have changed the lighting configuration to draw attention to underneath the carriage but either way - it enhanced the experience greatly.

Spoiler(ish) Review

Spoiler!
VR Scene 1

Upon boarding the train I was happy to hear brand new announcements playing within the train itself. What made this special was the way that these were instructions on how to put the headset on and that they were disguised so effectively you almost sub-consciously listened to it, unlike Galactica and it's absolutely hideous EVE video! I then had a quick glance around and I didn't see a single headset out of action - I was starting to get impressed.

So after putting the headset on the journey started. Now I know that many have said how they love the new headphones and I agree - I'm glad they've changed them all to this now! I feel as though this initial VR has had some very subtle voice over changes, the story felt more fleshed out than last year and it really wouldn't surprise me if this was the case. This section of the ride has always gotten my heart going - I don't know why, so I loved this just as much as last year. I'm also extremely glad to see that there is now a 'please remove your headset' message, saving frustration for guests and staff!

Live Action

Now, when I heard the train crash was more or less confirmed to be left unused (on my ride at least) I was quite honestly sad. However, I was very happy to see what they have replaced it with (hopefully to be used in conjunction with if the train comes back). But first I've got to highlight an issue. One thing I feel is a huge missed opertunity is how you are rushed off the train so fast you don't notice you're in a completely new environment. Personally I'd like to see a moment in which we all wait in the platform for a 'is everyone off' check just to really set home the idea we have moved. Back to the live action scene. As I was saying there was no train, however instead of telling you to leave straight away we were told to run back toward the door we came in from - I was hesitant so hung back until I noticed something had changed with a very effective use of an actor. My suggestion would be to hang back where the tunnel is here, and watch the terror unfold in front of you!

VR Scene 2

After rushing back on the train and getting the headsets on I did say "woah" to what I saw. The VR looks miles ahead of last year due to it being a video - not CGI. Having the scene set entirely in the train and underground made this whole scene feel much more suspenseful, and having the scene force you to look around was also a great touch. I was impressed with the brutal nature of this section, it really felt like the ride had earned its 13 age rating (which was being enforced quite heavily). However, it didn't scare me. Whilst the scene now looks great and has a great atmosphere it still didn't scare me. After my first ride I was somewhat disappointed by this, but after re-riding I found that once I'd gotten out of the "this ride HAS to be the scariest thing ever" bubble and just enjoyed the craziness that unfolded, and I ended up really loving the scene.


Spoiler Free Review

VR Scene 1

In summery, I was pleased to see all headsets working and with the new headphones. The journey still manages to get my heart rate up and so I'm quite happy with this section.

Live Action

As a whole whilst I wasn't expecting much from this scene I was pretty surprised, and I am almost inclined I liked the subtle change more than last year!

VR Scene 2

This scene was much improved on last year and although I didn't personally find it scary, once I sat back and enjoyed the chaos I found it to be great fun.

Exiting The Train

The exit from the train was fairly good, now that you exit left and you go through to the shop via a longer route I found it really gave me time to reflect on the ride. The only issue I have is they really need to sort out some of the lights in the exit as a couple seem to flicker a tad :?

General

My main issue with 2016's Ghost Train is there was no re-rideability to it. I felt bored with everything and it was more "I'll go on it again because it's new". This year I have to say I would happily ride this twice a visit, just to appreciate it. The ride seems to be viewed in two ways now (by myself at least) - either you really get into it or you just observe the madness that unfolds and the theming. Both scenarios left me with a smile on my face and I did consider a third go today. Reliability is what's going to be an issue this year. Whilst the ride is running much better than 2016 it's still had a few issues. The headsets seem to be working well but having delayed openings really needs to be sorted by summer - otherwise I wish guest services luck!

As a whole I really enjoyed Ghost Train 2. It's still got little things that need to be fixed but honestly I think you can say this with everything. I personally feel it's the UK's best dark ride by far and the best attempt at theming we have too. It's certainly not going to be everyone's cup of tea but honestly, it's my cup of tea.

That is why Ghost Train 2 gets 8/10 from me. Once the little issues have been sorted and it's opening consistently I have no reason to say that it won't go up to a 9/10!
Last edited by Owen on Wed Apr 05, 2017 11:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Horras64
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Derren Brown's Ghost Train

Wed Apr 05, 2017 11:22 pm

I had the joy today of riding Derren Brown's Ghost Train: Rise of the Demon (formally known as Ghost Train 2, credits to Owen [emoji2]) and I must say I was impressed and can agree about Owen's points about batching and the second VR section.

DO NOT READ THIS if you have not experienced the ride after it's revamp, I cannot express that enough. I don't know a better way to discuss the future points without any more discretion.

Spoiler!
These points regard the finale, another pre-warning, DO NOT read any further if you haven't read experienced the WHOLE ride yet.

Major Spoilers: I was very impressed with this, I was absolutely blown away, shocked, scared and I did not expect it. I have never been to Florida or other major dark ride theme parks, however I assume this scene is getting close to the standard of those.

Very major spoilers: When I came out of that section, I did wonder whether the monster was a costume or an animatronic, I did go on it twice however I forgot to pay attention to the floor to see whether there was a track of some sort. I will say that the arm movement were very similar both times. Your opinion?

Apologies for the excessive spoiler warnings, however I feel it is necessary especially for this particular addition to the attraction.


So overall I give the ride an 8, there is still work to be done, however what they have done here is a very good step in the right direction, and Merlin need to do more of this type of stuff.


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Re: Derren Brown's Ghost Train

Thu Apr 06, 2017 8:37 am

Spoiler!
Don't quote me it I am wrong but I was speaking to a member of dbgt staff while waiting for my friends to leave IAC. She seemed to say it is both an actor and an animatronic and the whole costume costed £40,000
 
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Owen
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Re: Derren Brown's Ghost Train

Thu Apr 06, 2017 9:54 am

ThemeParkCrafter wrote:
Spoiler!
Don't quote me it I am wrong but I was speaking to a member of dbgt staff while waiting for my friends to leave IAC. She seemed to say it is both an actor and an animatronic and the whole costume costed £40,000


As far as I know that's not quite right, but who knows at the end of that day...
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Owen
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Re: Derren Brown's Ghost Train

Fri Apr 07, 2017 6:02 pm

Spoiler!
It appears last years train crash effect had returned and looks better than ever!

Now let's see if it remains that way...
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Re: Derren Brown's Ghost Train

Sun Apr 09, 2017 7:39 pm

Spoiler!
after riding rise of the demon yesterday (08/04/17) i think it has got considerably better. one thing i noticed is that as you board the Victorian train carriage initially, you can actually see the hydraulic pistons down to the left under the carriage. not sure if s anyone noticed that but i thought it was quite interesting. they only come down about 1 foot so my original thought of the interior ride vehicle dropping out the bottom of the ride completely was wrong. also does DBGT have a control room because the panel the ride ops use on the underground train looked like it was controlling the whole ride from there.

the ghost train also spent most of the day closed, opening at around half 11 and closing shortly after. the ride itself was amazing but we were rushed through the pre show which meant that by the time i got in to the room it was already started.
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Re: Derren Brown's Ghost Train

Sun Apr 09, 2017 8:02 pm

COASTERGENICS wrote:
...does DBGT have a control room...

Yes it does. Although the actual interior layout does somewhat differ to what's shown here (especially now with the extension), I believe you can actually see its approximate location next to the back of house flight of stairs.
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Owen
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Re: Derren Brown's Ghost Train

Sun Apr 09, 2017 8:15 pm

Spoiler!
It does, however I believe most scenes are started by the staff within them via said control panels. Also the pistons were visible last year, however I did notice more attention was draw to below the carriage this time which is great!
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Re: Derren Brown's Ghost Train

Sun Apr 09, 2017 8:31 pm

I did notice in the mid section, a staff member suspiciously standing next to a device that had a red button on it so I can presume that helps to start the scene
 
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Re: Derren Brown's Ghost Train

Tue Apr 11, 2017 6:12 pm

Quite a nice review article from engadget, which also features a relatively extensive insight into the work that Figment Productions have done for this season's updates. There's also a video in which those with a keen eye may be able to spot some TTSP folk :sus:
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Re: Derren Brown's Ghost Train

Wed Apr 12, 2017 2:08 pm

Great to hear that the new version of the ride is an improvement on last year's, cannot wait to experience the new version. I'm looking to visit the park this year early July (unfortunately the earliest I can visit), and I just wondered if anyone knew what days during July are the best/quietest days to visit the resort? I know there's likely school trips during July, but are there specific days that trips take place, or is it going to be pot luck? Any advice would be appreciated.
 
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Re: Derren Brown's Ghost Train

Wed Apr 12, 2017 2:11 pm

DanSUFC wrote:
I just wondered if anyone knew what days during July are the best/quietest days to visit the resort? I know there's likely school trips during July, but are there specific days that trips take place, or is it going to be pot luck? Any advice would be appreciated.


It is most likely going to be pot luck unfortunately. Weekends are probably your best bet since school trips don't tend to happen around then. However the park does get VERY busy during that time unfortunately, especially when there are school trips. This is just in my experience, some others may have more.


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Re: Derren Brown's Ghost Train

Wed Apr 12, 2017 2:13 pm

My advice is don't go in July as for last year, it appeared to be far busier during July than August. School days will certainly be packed with lots of school trips

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