UK theme parks from another point of view!

 
whiteley1989
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who made duel?

Sun Dec 16, 2012 2:36 am

Which manufacture made duel /haunted house?
Last edited by whiteley1989 on Sun Dec 16, 2012 2:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
 
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Re: who made duel?

Sun Dec 16, 2012 2:48 am

The transit system is made by Mack Rides of Germany.
 
whiteley1989
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Re: who made duel?

Sun Dec 16, 2012 3:09 am

thanks
 
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MattsDesigns
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Re: who made duel?

Sun Dec 16, 2012 5:30 am

The themeing was designed and fabricated by Sparks Creative Services (no longer around) working with John Wardley. Theres a part in the Themes, screams and dreams documentary where John is sat talking about what will go into the Haunted House.
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Re: who made duel?

Sun Dec 16, 2012 11:12 am

Working in the Laser Tag industry myself , the ride system was designed by Mega Zone. What th guys above have said is true, but that was when it was the haunted house.
 
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electricBlll_Returns
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Re: who made duel?

Sun Dec 16, 2012 12:56 pm

Sparks Group and Rex Studios and their contractors created all the original effects, audio and set design, if that is what you are interested in. Neither companies exist today and Keith Sparks passed away last year. He was a frequent collaborator with John Wardley, who developed the concept and directed the project.

Most of the props introduced in 2003 were bought from TheHorrorDome.com or created by the Tussaudes art department (now Merlin Studios, I assume). I think the redesign of the last scene was done in-house as well?

And, yes, Mack manufactured the transit system which is still used today, also in collaboration with John Wardley. A good team effort!
 
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Hmv
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Re: who made duel?

Sun Dec 16, 2012 4:47 pm

The ride system is still the original from mack and many of the effects and computers are still sparks creative services. Although there is now plenty of in house props so tbh it's a bit of a mix of everything nowadays.
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meames
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Re: who made duel?

Sun Dec 16, 2012 6:15 pm

I beleive Keith Sparks had a hand in the Pleasure Island Ghost Train too, there are a few monsters and things which look a little more than familiar in there, including this chap:

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electricBlll_Returns
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Re: who maydde the duel?

Mon Dec 17, 2012 11:23 am

Shrieksville opened almost two decades after Sparks Group closed. The reason there is similarity it because those zombies are just cheap prefabricated props that you can buy online; they all look the same.

Whereas the original Haunted House effects were designed by John Wardley/Sparks Group and the large props sculpted by contracted artists.
Last edited by electricBlll_Returns on Mon Dec 17, 2012 11:36 am, edited 1 time in total.
 
meames
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Re: who made duel?

Mon Dec 17, 2012 12:45 pm

Wasn't sure when Sparks went, I am only basing my guess on the same chap, who I'd love to have a copy of :)
 
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electricBlll_Returns
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Re: who made duel?

Mon Dec 17, 2012 1:09 pm

Well you can rest assured that Wardley/Sparks would never had conceived something as cheap as that zombie! I mean, I could probably find a better prop in Tesco at Halloween. [/slight exaggeration] The zombies and other naff effects were all added in the Duel refurb, which was handled entirely by Tussaudes art department and nothing to do with Sparks. And John Wardley had only just retired.

Sparks Group seemed to be pretty innovative during the early 90s. Much more extensive themed ride projects had been achieved long before elsewhere in the world, but it was only really until John Wardley's involvement in Chessington that those ideas came to the UK. Very little professional dark rides had been built prior to that here. Sparks Group was involved with two of the most classic British dark rides - Professor Burp's Bubbleworks at Chessington and The Haunted House at Alton Towers. At the time they were both significant, large scale projects.

Professor Burp's Bubbleworks was a very quirky, unique and highly animated boat ride, which really pushed boundaries in Europe. Where else in 1990 could you float through tunnels of fountains?

On the other hand, the Haunted House comprised of relatively simple effects, though on a much larger scale than your average ghost train and with professional transit technology. I don't know why Sparks Group closed soon after, but perhaps the frequency of the more ambitious effects failing to work during the Haunted House's first year was a factor.

Oops I went on a bit...
 
meames
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Re: who made duel?

Mon Dec 17, 2012 1:47 pm

OK, chill out :)

These chaps: http://www.tpark.co.uk/ViewPhoto1.php?P ... k&Photo=47

were in the Haunted House since day one weren't they? Thats the same head just in a different colour and body......Shrieksville is actually very high quality......and this is coming from somebody who has talked out against PI for years!
 
meames
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Re: who made duel?

Mon Dec 17, 2012 1:54 pm

Just been reading back on the notes and documents I have on Shrieksville, and yes, although Sparks had nothing to do with it, as you say they were gone, the same moulds as the HH ones were used for this chap, the spiders and some minor theming, such as lamps and torches.
 
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electricBlll_Returns
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Re: who made duel?

Wed Dec 19, 2012 7:17 am

These chaps ... were in the Haunted House since day one weren't they? Thats the same head just in a different colour and body.
No, those zombies were added in 2003. The Haunted House had nothing to do with zombies or lasers or any gimmickry of that nature, that was all added later. The prop was bought prefrabricated from TheHorrorDome.com, not designed by an effects contractor like Sparks Group.

In fact Haunted House day one was radically different to how it is now, it's very interesting, you might like to check it out. Have a look here, for example. :)

I may be coming across slightly tetchy, but that's just because the idea that 'Keith Sparks designed the zombies' is a bit insensitive: he was seriously ill in 2010 when Shrieksville opened, and died a year later. :(
 
meames
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Re: who made duel?

Wed Dec 19, 2012 10:39 am

There is no point getting all upset about it - I mean, if you think that me making a simple error is insensitive! I know hauntedone, in fact I have spoken with the guy behind it and I don't profess to be a know all in dark rides I bow down to his knowledge, my interest lies with coasters at the end of the day.

Do you not think that maybe I thought that Sparks was a company and when Keith was ill the company carried on producing equipment, you know a bit like Apple carried on when Jobs died! At the end of the day, its a bloody monster, and I for one really like these little guys, they are really effective, and create scares and screams, which at the end of the day is what a Haunted House is all about. I really would be proud if I had come up with those monsters along with the timing and sound effects, brilliant!

I am not defending Duel, I would rather see Duel reverted to  for Haunted House, and I don't bash that, but no point arguing over a comment which I started 'I believe' not 'I know for a fact'!

The only reason I posted the image is because of the link with Duel and thought people might be interested as it is a good ride that people might not know about.
 
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Boz
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Re: who made duel?

Wed Dec 19, 2012 10:57 am

End of argument please chaps ;)

Meames, you made a statement that you weren't sure of, and ElectricBill corrected you. He has already apologized if it came across as rude or emotional.
Any more posts from either of you that discuss "who is right and why" will be automatically deleted. Please keep on topic guys, thanks.  8)
 
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electricBlll_Returns
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Re: who made duel?

Wed Dec 19, 2012 12:52 pm

Oops, I didn't think I was arguing but I have caused a fuss, sorry. Meames, the only reason I thought your comment was a bit insensitive was because the topic of our conversation, Mr Sparks, was dying at the time and therefore that photo from your website has nothing to do with him. Sorry if I gave the wrong impression, it's not the first time I have done that. Anyway, on the topic of Sparks Group's involvement...

I gather Mr Sparks was very enthusiastic about designing the Haunted House. The wonderful documentary Themes Dreams and Scream Machines proves his eccentricity and enthusiasm.

But now that he has passed away, I don't think he would want to be associated with the Duel retheme in any way, since a lot of his work was arguably ruined. Sparks Group spent a lot of money constructing the original Haunted House ("thousands of pounds!" as he puts it, in fact the whole project cost Alton Towers over £6 million), only for it to have those comparatively cheap pre-fab effects installed a decade later, by which point Sparks Group had long since closed.
Last edited by electricBlll_Returns on Wed Dec 19, 2012 1:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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