I should note that the below isn't really something that is a major issue I've seen on TT, more of a general observation! Also apologies if some of this seems vague, having had to write this twice due to a website issue I may have glossed over some bits hah.
I've been thinking recently. Why has Thorpe Park all of a sudden become public, or I should say enthusiast, enemy number one? After recently dipping back into the enthusiast community the overwhelming tone I've seen from the UK is negative when it comes to Thorpe Park, and I just don't understand why. So I'm going to look at the things that I've heard over the past few months and see if I can find any kind of justification behind the comments, because on the surface it's just kinda looking like complaining for the sake of complaining..."I can't believe they have NOTHING new this year. What a joke!"
Since when have theme parks had to have something new every single year? In fact, Thorpe Park is the only UK Merlin theme park that hasn't had an 'off year' since 1998 (based on a quick search, so roughly). To me for the park to be getting the constant complaining about having nothing, after around 21 years of investment is pretty insane to me, especially when looking at other parks who have had an off year and haven't really done much else in the theme park to make up for it, which Thorpe have clearly tried to do with the 'year of events'. Speaking of that..."These events don't look good to me so they're no good for ANYBODY!"
Now, whilst I've not heard anyone outright say that, it's definitely the way it has been coming across to me. Upon the announcement of the events, I personally thought "That's a pretty cool idea. I've wanted to try a few of these things anyway so now I can whilst visiting a park!". I foolishly then decided to see what everyone else thought and.... well, many didn't share my opinion. I have honestly never seen someone be so offended at the mere prospect that Thorpe Park would even CONSIDER the idea of having various free (and up-charge, but we will get to that) experiences for them to enjoy. I have to admit the reaction from certain members of the enthusiast community did make me laugh, and not with them. Breaking it down into the events will probably be the easiest way to tackle this so lets do that. GameFX
- I will 100% admit that the reveal for this was sub-par. Heading into the announcement with the Fortnite tournaments probably wasn't their wisest move, however, that shouldn't discount the fact that this actually seems pretty cool, at least to me. A nice little area to rest and just play some computer games with friends and family after knch or whilst it's raining seems to be a perfect way to spend that time to me, and if you don't like it then just avoid it. It's not like you're forced to use the VR because they decided to attach it to one of the most temperamental coasters in the park and feature a meh space vid-... anyway... My point is, that this shouldn't be seen as something to detract from the resort for the couple of months it's there. In fact, if the fact this is in the park in an existing building bothers you to the point of dismissing the efforts the park have put in else where, then I'm not sure that the event is the issue here, but we'll leave that there. Jungle Escape
- Now here is where I get somewhat confused. Yes this is an up charge. Yes it's replacing a free attraction, a free attraction that many enthusiasts also couldn't stand. That being said, I personally don't mind the upcharge element of this because I want to try an escape room that isn't CONTAINMENT, and I think we all know that this won't stick around. So what's the big deal? We are getting a new interesting experience, and also keeping the theming (arguably the best part) of IAC. Seems ok to me. Bouncezilla
- Again, this is similar to GameFX. It's not removing anything. It's a nice way to spend time with friends and family, and it just sounds like a laugh, personally my favourite aspect of a theme park trip.
I guess what I'm trying to say is, sure it's sad that we aren't seeing any new attractions in the form of rides this year. However, we re by no means getting a completely dead year. I would consider each event a new attraction personally. Do you go on every single ride at Thorpe on every visit and love them all? I highly doubt it! So just look at these like that. It's nothing to get angry over. "We haven't had a major investment since 2012"
All biases toward the ride in question aside... what on earth are people on about here? I am genuinely lost for what people are trying to say with this point. Are we all forgetting that expensive, VERY expensive elephant in the room? Now I am very aware that many enthusiasts do not like Thorpe Park's take on a ghost train, however to argue that the park has seen no major investment since The Swarm in 2012 is quite honestly the weakest jab that you can take at the park possible. Not only was the Ghost Train allegedly the park's most expensive addition to date, the thing only got put in 3 years ago. Now if we look at Alton Towers, we had a 5 year gap, although that was down to other factors admittedly. Heck, even that gap between The Swarm and Ghost Train was 4 years! That being said, is it really fair that this addition is being completely disregarded? Whether you enjoy this attraction or not, surely you can appreciate the work and effort put into it by those involved enough to at least appreciate it's existence?
As a side note, the irony of enthusiasts begging for a dark ride at Thorpe and then disregarding it as a major development does make me chuckle. I wonder if people don't enjoy the coaster they have wanted since 2012 that it'll be a minor development too? "Thorpe need to do something like Alton Towers TLC"
I feel as though this comment is mainly made by people who aren't really looking for improvements unless they're either major or are directed to them by the park. In reality, I think Thorpe have done many improvement over the past few years, they just haven't made a fuss about them. The new entrance look, dome improvements, implementing the same Coke Freestyle system as seen at Universal, dirty fries, that one bit of Colossus that's been repainted, erm... dirty fries are just some of the improvements I can see. As well as this, having seen a refresh of the dome, and other areas of the park. I feel as though they're really getting there now, and I'm starting to believe this new re-brand they're going for. Personally, I would much rather see a focus on improving the park this year as opposed to a new ride. In an ideal world maybe we get both, but this is the world where Brexit is a thing so I don't think we can expect too much!"The advert is awful!"
Yes, yes it is. If any Thorpe Park marketing people are reading this... learn from this. Please.
To conclude, whilst a fair bit of this post was in a light hearted tone, in jest if you will, seriously I just think some people need to give it a rest. Yes, it's not ideal to have no new physical permanent ride this year but do we really need it at this point? Whilst I would have loved to see something this year (such as a Falcon's Fury clone... get on that Thorpe) we just aren't getting it. I don't see how having such a strong reaction is going to do anything. It's just as case of deciding if you like something or not. I would view the events as any other attraction, I very much doubt everyone likes every ride at Thorpe, I know I certainly don't - looking at you Detonator. So by doing this, it's just like any old experience. There may have been a couple of disappointing occurances over the past years but surely that's just how the cookie crumbles every now and then? It's a case o get back up and try again. I think that the way some of the community has reacted to this all has really effected the way that I view it, and it's made it lose some of that magic. I'm sure many people will agree it's the people who make it, and seeing so many being quite sour toward a park, without really having a leg to stand on is gutting (I should clarify this isn't really something I see on TowersTimes so much, just on all platforms). So can't everyone just enjoy a year of jungle escapes, bouncy castles, F-F-Fortnite
, scares, and of course dirty fries!
As a whole, I am looking forward to experiencing The Island Like No Other with A Community Like No Other in 2019!