Nightfall wrote:I never thought of giving the Haunted House a Doctor Who twist before, whenever Doctor Who is suggested it tends to be as a new ride but I suppose the show covers such a broad range of “themes” it could be merged with something pre-existing.
Anyway to go back to the original post Alton are never going to get a Spiderman, Transformers, Revenge of the Mummy or Harry Potter style ride because they are way too expensive. Consider that The Smiler is costing £20 million, a ride like The Mummy cost $40 million and the others all cost at least 10 times what The Smiler is costing. That is why only Disney and Universal are capable of creating the epic dark rides, they are the only companies with the investment and backing to pull off such a risk.
Curse of DarKastle however is the exception as I know it was done for a lot less (Busch Gardens tend to have budgets within $10 million of Alton’s) but that was still a huge investment. Unfortunately there isn't the same appreciation for dark rides in Britain as there is elsewhere so if given a choice between a dark ride and coaster the coaster will nearly always win.
Having said that Alton have quite a good collection of budget dark rides. Duel used to be a classic "laugh in the dark" haunted house, most consider this ride type to be too fairground like now but a well maintained one has far more charm than anything Universal can offer. Hex is the closest any ride gets to being authentic given its setting. Sub-Terra is based on an old Disney ride that used to be one of the scariest attractions ever created (until Disney realised it was too scary for their brand and nurfed it). Then you’ve got the “Elephant in the Room” which is Charlie, a perfect example of a ride with grand ideas but severely let down by not having the grand budget it needed.
the only ride I think you can mean the one Stitch replaced in tomorrowland, was it the alien encounter? Would love to know more about this, do you have any links at all.Sub-Terra is based on an old Disney ride that used to be one of the scariest attractions ever created (until Disney realised it was too scary for their brand and nurfed it)
roodlesnouter wrote:I am certainly intrigued on your thoughts and would like to hear more when you have access to a keyboard, I understand all about typing on a tablet it’s enough to drive a nun to murder. Please do get in touch with more on this story though, through this thread or via a PM. I look forward to learning more
bensaund wrote:As soon as I went in to N:ST it brought back memories of Alien Encounter and my first response was "Oh sh1t it's one of these"
I would like to see something like Raptor Attack at Alton.
Nightfall wrote:roodlesnouter wrote:I am certainly intrigued on your thoughts and would like to hear more when you have access to a keyboard, I understand all about typing on a tablet it’s enough to drive a nun to murder. Please do get in touch with more on this story though, through this thread or via a PM. I look forward to learning more
I’m at a proper computer now so let’s see what I can find
So the basic concept for Sub-Terra is "what would happen if we resurrected Alien Encounter but turned the chamber into a drop tower and themed it to Nemesis". It’s a pretty ace idea in my opinion and one that with a bit of tinkering could have made an absolutely superb dark ride.
But I'm getting ahead of myself; first you'll want to know about Alien Encounter. It was less of a ride more an attraction, Alien Encounter took place in a circular theatre with the seats facing in towards a teleportation tube. Due to an unexpected incident an Alien creature gets beamed down into the tube, breaking the glass and escaping into the audience. Using a clever audio system and 4D cinema style seating it appears that the alien is lose, breathing down necks, grabbing the seats and casing general havoc.
For more information I advice reading the Wikipedia page (which is fairly comprehensive) then checking out This video for a POV.
As I think I said above the ride was deemed to be too scary for the regular Disney audience and toned down into Stitch's Great Escape.
You can probably see from my description alone the resemblance between this and Sub-Terra
But you could argue that Alton have improved on the formula. By basing the story off of Nemesis it’s far easier for people to get than Disney’s convoluted one. The underground setting does a good job of separating the guests from the rest of the park. The environment is a bit more intimate given the small amount of room they had which is great for the trapped atmosphere. Then of course you have the drop towers which I agree was a weird choice right after Thirteen but in the long run I can forgive them.
But if Sub-Terra was such a good idea why wasn’t it received too well? The answer's quite simple really, they should have put someone like John Wardley in charge* who has a history in the theatre business. In fact I'd rather have had him working on Sub-Terra than The Smiler, one last great dark ride to add to his impressive record (especially as all of them but Hex have since been altered).
What Sub-Terra needed was character and atmosphere, something that any park can establish no matter how many millions they are spending (See Raptor Attack for example). And to be honest it is improving. I rode it at the start and end of the year and in that time the experience was so much better (exponentially).
Finally (and this is a self plug by me ) you might want to check out the article I wrote after the ride debuted. It's quite long so I've linked to about half way down where I try to re-imagine the ride with a greater emphasis on the mood and atmosphere at very little additional cost.
Nightfall’s Sub-Terra Analysis
I hope this has given anyone that's got this far something to think about
* = Please note I do not know if he was involved or not but I’m willing to bet that he wasn’t as the ride is missing his style.
LiamC wrote:Hex opened in 2000, long before the likes of Spiderman, Transformers ect and long before the technology of these rides was available. It is, however, an incredible piece of ride making, and measures up and surpasses all of these in my eyes.
I've ridden Spiderman and Mummy and neither of these creates anywhere near as much atmosphere or excitement as Hex does, even in its current state. Where Spiderman and Mummy rely solely on tech to engineer their effects, Hex does it on pure story telling and theming alone. To say it isn't a "serious" dark ride or isn't as good as Spiderman or Mummy or Transformers is, in my eyes, an insult.