UK theme parks from another point of view!

 
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Slappy McGuire
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Would a Thomas Land style area fundamentally improve Thorpe?

Sat Apr 28, 2012 12:50 am

I have no problems with Thorpe being the UK's thrill capital, and setting teens to twenties as it's target market, and can understand fully why with Chessington and Legoland down the road, why they wouldn't chase the family market.  Trouble is though, they almost seem to wilfully snub that market, and the revenue it would bring, which is something I have never understood.

To me, the solution is obvious.  Rather than try to integrate a family attitude on Thorpe, surely the best solution would be to have a mini-park, much like Nickland or Drayton, which could be as garish and loud as the park liked, tied to some pre-teen IP like Horrible Histories or Nintendo, and have a collection of mild thrillers in there, with the flying fish re-skinned again with something that would tie to the IP, like Mariokart or something.  This could be treated as a separate entity during winter, or could 'pen' independent, but not big enough for Stealth kids in one place, while the mare adult groups dove into the main park.  Youl could even do a kinda kid version of the main park, with rides designed to ape their bigger siblings.

This would gradually introduce the kids too big for Legoland, and to chavvy for Chessie, and would birth what could be a year round moneyspinner for the park that would also naturally lure them as target market, as they become teens, as the next natural evolution.  It needn't cost much either - from memory, Thomas Land only cost about £4m to Drayton, and has been more than paying it's way since.

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addy2503
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Would a Thomas Land style area fundamentally improve Thorpe?

Sat Apr 28, 2012 8:07 am

I think that it'd be pretty cool if they got a Horrible Histories area (mainly because I like Horrible Histories), but I don't think that it should be run as a separate "mini park" from Thorpe. Because it would encourage families to visit, & they wouldn't want to pay more onto the normal entry price so that their kids will be able to go on some rides.

But I really do think that this idea has some potential.
 
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BigAl
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Re: Would a Thomas Land style area fundamentally improve Thorpe?

Sat Apr 28, 2012 8:19 am

I said in another topic (one of the Thorpe Park topic), it might be a better idea if Merlin introduce a shuttle bus to and from their parks like the ones available in Orlando and create a new ticket that allows you into each park at a reduced price (would probably be done for those staying in one of their hotels) over so many days. That way, money adding family attractions can continue to go towards Chessington (especially) and Legoland, rather than try to claw-back the diminishing amount of families that don't go to Thorpe Park any more. The environment and atmosphere just isn't right and the marketing has surely put enough families with youngsters off.

Like I've said before, Merlin already have every type of attraction available down South, it's just that they aren't connected in a way that there truly is something for everyone. Youngsters can't do much at Thorpe and teens can't do much at Legoland or Chessington, so a bus service and a joint ticket may be the way to go. The parks are all near each other so they wouldn't take very long. It's also another way for Merlin to make money (unless they were kind and operated it for free? :P ).

:)
 
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Nightfall
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Re: Would a Thomas Land style area fundamentally improve Thorpe?

Sat Apr 28, 2012 10:42 am

I think that Thorpe Park should drop the kid’s aspect of the park completely. But I would like to see more Family attractions. Rides like the rapids which everyone can enjoy even if it’s still aimed at a more adult market.

The current issue I have with the park is that you have to be a thrill seeker to enjoy it. If you’re planning on visiting with other people they have to be thrill seekers also otherwise there’s no point in them being there. This is why I’ve avoided going with mates for years. What if they go on the first coaster of the day and decide it’s too intense for them? They’re then stuck with nothing that they can enjoy.

The trouble is I’m struggling to think of what they could build to breach this gap. Ideally I’d say some sort of dark ride like the unfortunately short lived Nights in White Satin. But would that remain popular or suffer too much vandalism from Thorpe Park’s normal clientele.

* * * * *


Now about the Orlando Flexticket idea, I don’t know how popular it would be but the issue I have is that I think Thorpe Park needs something which non-thrill seekers can enjoy while someone is on the big rides. Given the limited operating hours of British Theme Parks the only reason I’d take the half an hour journey between the two parks is if I’d run out of rides to do at the other.

This is the issue I have with Merlin creating a park for each demographic. Legoland, Thorpe Park and Chessington may be close to each other but they're not close enough that a family would willing split themselves between more than one park. It’s not like being at Disneyland where each park is only a short walk or monorail ride away.
Last edited by Nightfall on Sat Apr 28, 2012 10:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Would a Thomas Land style area fundamentally improve Thorpe?

Sat Apr 28, 2012 1:35 pm

Yes, I do believe a childrens area is essential to a park like Thorpe. But I'd prefer the area to be easy to access and IP free.

It needs some attractions for the family market after a thrilling few years.

I'd locate it near the hotel so it's easy for families with small children who are staying at the hotel to get their priorities out of the way. I don't think it'd have to be that big and just a light theme would do.
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Re: Would a Thomas Land style area fundamentally improve Thorpe?

Sat Apr 28, 2012 2:11 pm

id also like to mention something here.
thorpe park have already got SOME plans to make a hotel next year. and as seen with legolands hotel, i doubt it will be a quick and easy project. Secondly, i do agree,  centralised kids area would be ideal. alot of kiddie rides are spread about the park, loggers leap, mr monkey banana boat ride, flying fish, etc etc, but i was thinking, that the pool area neptunes beach is it? is very much based on children. they have a karaoke stage on the pools, and they are not too deep, already ideal for young families. infact, if you were to ask me, id put all the rides for kids between neptunes beach and flying fish. then theres the problem of the swarm being directly overhead, which im sure some younger kids  will find frigthening.  i also think that where storm surge is was a fantastic place for kids. it had several smaller fun rides, and was alot less 'stress free as it was all there, so your kids couldnt run off.
overall,i think storm surge was a mistake. it isnt the best ride, and they took out 3 younger based attractions for 1 big one.
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Re: Would a Thomas Land style area fundamentally improve Thorpe?

Sat Apr 28, 2012 2:17 pm

Yes, it would. But at the same time I believe that the park rejected such an idea with the construction of Storm Surge, because that was probably their chance. The entirety of that front side of the park; X:/ No Way Out, Octopus Gardens / now Storm Surge, Neptune's Beach, Depth Charge and Flying Fish is all a fun-down, amateurish mess at present... with no real appeal to either thrill seekers nor the preferred family market. This is where such an IP based area should have been located.

That being said I think that, even then, the area would have had to be more family-based than Thomas Land (which, lets face it, is aimed solely at young children), and something such as Horrible Histories would have been perfect for it! A dark ride taking you through the ages inside the X:/ building, a Troublesome Trucks type rollercoaster in place of the Flying Fish... a tractor ride? Perhaps something along the lines of Seastorm at Chessington?

But, most importantly, it would be an opportunity for Thorpe to build a tongue-in-cheek (so in-keeping with the current branding), and yet unique and well themed area which offers universal appeal. It would allow families to visit the park and actually have something to do, whilst not rejecting the needs of a thrill audience.

Unfortunately, this, what I saw as as ideal opportunity for improvement was overlooked, and I can no longer see anything similar ever happening. It's a shame, it is. Perhaps Merlin are scared that such developments at Thorpe would detract from attendances at their other London parks?
 
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Re: Would a Thomas Land style area fundamentally improve Thorpe?

Sat Apr 28, 2012 5:43 pm

Nightfall wrote:
Now about the Orlando Flexticket idea, I don’t know how popular it would be but the issue I have is that I think Thorpe Park needs something which non-thrill seekers can enjoy while someone is on the big rides. Given the limited operating hours of British Theme Parks the only reason I’d take the half an hour journey between the two parks is if I’d run out of rides to do at the other.

This is the issue I have with Merlin creating a park for each demographic. Legoland, Thorpe Park and Chessington may be close to each other but they're not close enough that a family would willing split themselves between more than one park. It’s not like being at Disneyland where each park is only a short walk or monorail ride away.


But with Merlin pushing for return visits rather than just single day visits, it may actually work. There are hotels at Legoland and Chessington (and possibly one at Thorpe soon as well) so Merlin could create their own version of a Flex Ticket primarily for people staying at one of the hotels (or others... at an increased price :lol: ) to encourage people to visit more of their attractions rather than just the one.

It's quite obvious that you can't do more than one park in one day (although I'd give it a go if I had the opportunity :P ) and nobody would want to split their family up, so an extra ticket option might help matters.

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Sam
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Re: Would a Thomas Land style area fundamentally improve Thorpe?

Sat Apr 28, 2012 6:08 pm

No. It would be completely out of keeping with the rest of the park, and would just feel weird.
 
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Re: Would a Thomas Land style area fundamentally improve Thorpe?

Sat Apr 28, 2012 6:16 pm

Whilst a few families do still visit the park, why would the park want to continue with the current brand and also attempt to attract more families to the park?
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BigAl
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Re: Would a Thomas Land style area fundamentally improve Thorpe?

Sat Apr 28, 2012 6:23 pm

"The nation's thrill capital" doesn't exactly entail family friendliness either. The marketing, ride line-up and target audience are all completely wrong to try and go back now and start getting family attractions. It's easy to understand where people are coming from, wanting rides for everyone so that each park is suitable for people of all ages, but it's a costly move and I don't really think Merlin are going to go back on what they've done now.

If they were going to attract families (with younger children or teens) then they wouldn't have removed Octopus Garden for Storm Surge.
 
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Re: Would a Thomas Land style area fundamentally improve Thorpe?

Sat Apr 28, 2012 6:32 pm

No. Totally not. Thorpe Park has picked its direction and if anything will accelerate its removal of all childrens rides in the near future. Two are scheduled to close at the end of this year.

However it would be 100% perfect for Chessington at this moment in time.
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Re: Would a Thomas Land style area fundamentally improve Thorpe?

Sat Apr 28, 2012 7:29 pm

Thorpe's target audience being teens means obviously a lack of kids' rides. BUT Thorpe had NO kids attractions. I think removing the remaining kids rides at the moment (i.e. The Carousel) and make a themed land. therefore, at least there will be a SMALL area for children
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Sam
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Re: Would a Thomas Land style area fundamentally improve Thorpe?

Sat Apr 28, 2012 7:38 pm

Benjy Alton Towers Kid wrote:
Thorpe's target audience being teens means obviously a lack of kids' rides. BUT Thorpe had NO kids attractions. I think removing the remaining kids rides at the moment (i.e. The Carousel) and make a themed land. therefore, at least there will be a SMALL area for children


But it's not aimed at children. At all. So what would be the point? The logical conclusion of this topic is that you might as well put a 8-looping B&M floorless into Legoland because "therefore, at least there will be a SMALL area for thrillseekers."
 
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Re: Would a Thomas Land style area fundamentally improve Thorpe?

Sat Apr 28, 2012 7:44 pm

Adz wrote:
No. Totally not. Thorpe Park has picked its direction and if anything will accelerate its removal of all childrens rides in the near future. Two are scheduled to close at the end of this year.


Don't think Saw Alive counts as a kids ride, regardless of how boring it is :P

What rides are meant to go then? Carousel and Banana Boat? Not heard about this before...
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Re: Would a Thomas Land style area fundamentally improve Thorpe?

Sat Apr 28, 2012 7:46 pm

It is very sad to see a park which used to pride itself at providing one of the best family days out now turning families away.
 
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Re: Would a Thomas Land style area fundamentally improve Thorpe?

Sat Apr 28, 2012 7:59 pm

It might by Rocky Express and Chief Ranger's Carousel. That's a shame, I liked both of them

:(
 
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Slappy McGuire
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Re: Would a Thomas Land style area fundamentally improve Thorpe?

Sat Apr 28, 2012 8:12 pm

BigAl wrote:
If they were going to attract families (with younger children or teens) then they wouldn't have removed Octopus Garden for Storm Surge.


I'd argue this was a decent move for the family market, because Octopus' Garden was just tosh.  Storm Surge, for all it's failings is a moderate height restriction ride, that at least can pretend to be a proper attraction.  Where Thorpe have an opportunity, particular with the forthcoming Hotel (which left solely to hormone filled teens would be worse than a night in Blackpool, like some hideous themed club 18-30 resort) is to court the 8-11 year old junior thrillseeker market, which neither Chessie or Legoland do... and all it needs is some half decent junior thrill flats, a couple of low restriction rides moving, (all lumped on an island maybe?), and suddenly young parents with kids of say 8 and 10 (which I AM), can justify a visit to Thorpe.

Sam wrote:
Benjy Alton Towers Kid wrote:
Thorpe's target audience being teens means obviously a lack of kids' rides. BUT Thorpe had NO kids attractions. I think removing the remaining kids rides at the moment (i.e. The Carousel) and make a themed land. therefore, at least there will be a SMALL area for children


But it's not aimed at children. At all. So what would be the point? The logical conclusion of this topic is that you might as well put a 8-looping B&M floorless into Legoland because "therefore, at least there will be a SMALL area for thrillseekers."


I'd argue there is some sense in that.  Maybe not a 8 loop B&M precisely, but if Chessie can manage a cracking suspended thrill ride with a low height restriction and Legoland can get away with passing a broken old Flume as a new ride every few years, just because people will visit in droves regardless, then Legoland really have a case to answer.  There's as little point these days me taking my family to Legoland as Thorpe these days.

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Last edited by Slappy McGuire on Sat Apr 28, 2012 8:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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Sam
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Re: Would a Thomas Land style area fundamentally improve Thorpe?

Sat Apr 28, 2012 8:43 pm

Slappy McGuire wrote:
Maybe not a 8 loop B&M precisely, but if Chessie can manage a cracking suspended thrill ride with a low height restriction and Legoland can get away with passing a broken old Flume as a new ride every few years, just because people will visit in droves regardless, then Legoland really have a case to answer.


Vampire is not a thrill ride.  :?
 
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Re: Would a Thomas Land style area fundamentally improve Thorpe?

Sat Apr 28, 2012 8:45 pm

Sam wrote:
Slappy McGuire wrote:
Maybe not a 8 loop B&M precisely, but if Chessie can manage a cracking suspended thrill ride with a low height restriction and Legoland can get away with passing a broken old Flume as a new ride every few years, just because people will visit in droves regardless, then Legoland really have a case to answer.


Vampire is not a thrill ride.  :?


In context of the park it is in, it practically is.

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