UK theme parks from another point of view!

 
beanz32101
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Does AT Need A Serious Dark Ride?

Wed Jan 30, 2013 1:23 am

Hey everyone. after looking at some of the new rides going in and the ones already there at the american theme parks (spiderman,transformers,revenge of the mummy, harry potter & forbidden journey etc) i cant help thinking that AT needs to add a few of these ride types.

i think these type of rides would really suit AT due to them being indoor so weather not a problem, therefore easier to theme and basically unlimited different special effects are able to be used, and fairly easy to keep under the height restricions currently at AT.

i know we have hex and sub terra but they dont compare at all to the ones mentioned above although i do like them.

id like to see a sw water ride and a sw dark ride maybe an indoor coaster like the mummy

what do you all think about this idea? thanks, cant wait for The Smiler looks awesome :-)
Last edited by beanz32101 on Mon Feb 11, 2013 4:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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Re: Does AT Need A Serious Dark Ride??????

Wed Jan 30, 2013 1:44 am

personaly i would like to see a Spiderman/Darkastle style ride in the place of duel with either of these themes.

The Haunted House-Exhumed
-A homage to the old haunted house bringing back classic scenes in fearfull 4D-

Dr Who-Angels Escape
-After entering the Haunted House we discover the Tardis in the hallway-its in a bit of bad shape,the Doctor comes on the screen telling us that this Haunted House has something darker lurking in the halls..a horde of Weeping Angels-the only way to escape...make your way around the house but dont let the angels out of your sight-

Resident Evil-The Ride
-Enter the house to find a horde of Zombies locked in with you-the Anti-Virus lies in the laboratory-but to get there your going to have to face the evil that stands in the way-
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Re: Does AT Need A Serious Dark Ride??????

Wed Jan 30, 2013 2:15 am

I like the sound of the resident evil themed ride.

But i also love to go on duel. Its fun.
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lutionmckenzie
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Re: Does AT Need A Serious Dark Ride??????

Wed Jan 30, 2013 9:18 am

The haunted house was ruined when it became duel. But i spose its all part of making more family fun rides.

Doesnt the smiler have one or two indoor sections though??
 
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Re: Does AT Need A Serious Dark Ride??????

Wed Jan 30, 2013 10:37 am

if there was to be one, I would prefer an original ride than an IP based one
 
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Re: Does AT Need A Serious Dark Ride??????

Wed Jan 30, 2013 10:59 am

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.
 
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Re: Does AT Need A Serious Dark Ride??????

Wed Jan 30, 2013 11:15 am

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.
Last edited by Nightfall on Wed Jan 30, 2013 11:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Does AT Need A Serious Dark Ride??????

Wed Jan 30, 2013 5:01 pm

It's got one - it's your opinion whether Duel is serious or not. :roll:
 
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Re: Does AT Need A Serious Dark Ride??????

Wed Jan 30, 2013 5:17 pm

I wouldn't be surprised to see a new large budget dark ride part of the new entertainment/new entrance complex on the air car park if that ever gets built.

As nightfall says Alton will never get anything like Harry Potter though as its far too expensive, but something along the lines of space mountain or the old black hole is not out of the question.
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Re: Does AT Need A Serious Dark Ride??????

Wed Jan 30, 2013 9:12 pm

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.


Great write up,

I am a big Disney and Uni fan Busch too but I have only managed to get to Tampa so far, so although I know of CofDK I have yet to ride it.

The money Uni is spending at the minute is immense, Disney seem to be lagging behind preferring to spend 2bn on next gen fast passes, queues and data mining tech. Real shame what's happening at Disney but that's a whole  other story.

Uni are currently building Transformers, Springfield (Simpsons expansion), and Harry Potter phase 2 including London, huge Gringotts dark ride, Hogwarts Express (another huge E ticket attraction which will go between IOA and USF) Diagon Alley. All of this and more to come, is off the back of Harry Potter phase 1. Phase 1 cost 200m and they made their return of investment with 6 months. Wow.

Oh did I mention a new hotel too.

The one thing I didn't know and am interested in learning more is
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)
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.

You are right that AT would struggle with the outlay for big darkrides which is a shame because if you get it right you stand to make a fortune.
Last edited by Roodlesnouter on Wed Jan 30, 2013 10:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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Re: Does AT Need A Serious Dark Ride??????

Wed Jan 30, 2013 11:55 pm

To me, if Duel did its purpouse which is to immerse and scare you, then I would be perfectly content. However whenever I have ridden Duel, I always feel like I'm in a big warehouse with a few props and flimsy sets around me. It just never feels at all like a haunted house. Its probably just me, but it simply feels like a warehouse!

So I would be much in favour of a new dark ride. Charlie desperately needs replacing, including the water channel and simulators taking out. It should be replaced with a dark ride slightly under SW7's budget as to avoid being tacky, boring, or warehouse feeling.

It needs to be an epic dark ride, however CCL's theme wouldn't allow this. If there was a way to section off cloud cuckoo land just before the twirling toadstool, the dark ride could become part of the towers complex\area in a similar way to hex. Or, CCL is re-themed and landscaped to match the new dark ride. So basicaly a whole new area of the park. I can't help but think a mayan theme would work well. It can be scary, but at the same time it allows for family rides as well to compensate for CCL.

Don't get me wrong, I love CCL as a childrens area, along with charlie simply for their happy feel. But if alton wants to progress with their dark rides, its the perfect place for one.

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Re: Does AT Need A Serious Dark Ride??????

Wed Jan 30, 2013 11:56 pm

This may sound slightly far fetched, but I don't see why budget should ever be a restraint. In my eyes its no different from height being a restraint with Oblivion: creativity and innovation always win.

Hex is arguably the best Mad House in the world, and yet with same budget sort of medium investment budget, we saw Sub Terra, an ill-thought out, rushed cash in.

Hex used something no other park could and created authenticity parks like Disney could only dream of. They can throw as much cash at their rides as they like, but at the end of the day, its all artificial.

Sub-Terra was flawed from the get-go. Installing yet another vertical drop, tamer and smaller than the others in the park, the money they used on the hardware was a waste in my eyes. If they wanted to make a story rather than a ride, they should've invested that money in to theming instead. They even showcased how innovation could've made the ride ten times better when they showed the videos with the fake floors falling away. If they had just put a bit more care in to immersion, the ride would've easily been considered a winner.
 
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Re: Does AT Need A Serious Dark Ride??????

Thu Jan 31, 2013 12:22 am

In response to both Jammy and roodlesnouter Sub-Terra is a very interesting case that I've already written a fair bit about and would try to explain more now if I wasn't on a Tablet  :roll:
I would love to talk to the designers of it at some point and get their views. As I hinted at before there is a definite link between it and Alien Encounter: the ExtraTERRORestrial (see they even use the same pun in the name). There is a video of that ride that can be found with a quick Google search. But the weird thing is despite lacking Disney's budget I believe Sub-Terra could have been better for the very reason Jammy pointed out in that opening sentence.

As for your idea Blizzard I kind of think Alton need one family friendly themed dark ride so I'd keep Charlie as that ride rather than split the area.
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Re: Does AT Need A Serious Dark Ride??????

Thu Jan 31, 2013 1:09 am

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  ;)
 
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Re: Does AT Need A Serious Dark Ride??????

Thu Jan 31, 2013 5:34 pm

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)
[/quote]

Having ridden Spiderman and more recently DarKastle,Spiderman really is head and shoulders above DarKastle,but that is down purely to the difference in budgets,although if i had'nt ridden Spiderman before DarKastle i would have been impressed.
 
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Re: Does AT Need A Serious Dark Ride??????

Thu Jan 31, 2013 8:16 pm

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.
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Re: Does AT Need A Serious Dark Ride??????

Fri Feb 01, 2013 12:04 am

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.
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Re: Does AT Need A Serious Dark Ride??????

Fri Feb 01, 2013 12:23 am

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.


I never until Nightfalls post last night put the 2 together.

Although I have been going to Disney since 89 I never rode AE, I have no idea why, or how LOL. Although I have been on it's rehashed version as Stitches (not so)great escape.

So after I read about it last night I spent some time today doing some research, as soon as I saw the video in from inside the chamber in rang true,  even with the stitch version when you stop and think about it. I wonder now how it came about whether AT spoke with Disney did anyone consult  are there imagineers who consult with Merlin. Interesting stuff, shame it never panned out as well as it could wit N;ST, although it is still a young ride and there is time to develop the concept further.

Thank you night fall for getting back to me and for bringing it to my attention in the first place.
 
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Re: Does AT Need A Serious Dark Ride??????

Wed Feb 06, 2013 7:51 pm

I'm hoping that SW8 will be a dark-ride/water ride on the site of the flume, with some sort of world's first.
Perhaps first water ride inversion? (Not sure if done before)
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Re: Does AT Need A Serious Dark Ride??????

Mon Feb 11, 2013 3:34 pm

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.


Very well said and I agree....the fact that hex is telling a story about the very place your standing in makes the theming sound very real and atmospheric
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