UK theme parks from another point of view!

 
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Swarm Chris
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Re: Thorpe Park Resort - General Discussion

Sun Mar 31, 2019 12:11 pm

AltonOperator wrote:
Not sure how that will work given the sugar tax in the UK. At Alton, even with an unlimited cup, Coca-Cola costs an extra charge because of the sugar content. I'd imagine something similar might have to happen in this case, but it would be difficult because they are automated.

I'm not sure either, but they already promised it via social media and no signage to say additional cost required. So if they haven't figured it out, I can foresee issues for them.

Still have a nasty aftertaste...
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Re: Thorpe Park Resort - General Discussion

Sun Mar 31, 2019 12:49 pm

No doubt the sugar tax has been incorporated into the main cost of the cup, therefore sugar free drinkers are paying a premium. I could be wrong!
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Re: Thorpe Park Resort - General Discussion

Sun Mar 31, 2019 1:11 pm

Justin wrote:
No doubt the sugar tax has been incorporated into the main cost of the cup, therefore sugar free drinkers are paying a premium.  I could be wrong!

Yes this is likely. I think the point is to make a difference in price between sugary and sugar free drinks but I do think that was optional, provided the tax was paid somehow.
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Re: Thorpe Park Resort - General Discussion

Sun Mar 31, 2019 7:03 pm

Has anyone see the new Thorpe advert? I personally think it’s really poor! Too many repetitions of the phrase “like no other” it’s just overkill and really irritating! What’s everyone else’s thoughts?
 
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Re: Thorpe Park Resort - General Discussion

Sun Mar 31, 2019 7:08 pm

It certainly is an advert like no other... :roll:
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Re: Thorpe Park Resort - General Discussion

Sun Mar 31, 2019 7:09 pm

Swarm Chris wrote:
It certainly is an advert like no other... :roll:

Well that sums it up perfectly!
 
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Re: Thorpe Park Resort - General Discussion

Tue Apr 02, 2019 8:06 pm

As reported on SouthParks News, Thorpe Park Resort has been nominated for two ScareCON SCAR awards, the annual event which champions and recognises all aspects of the scare industry – from year-round scare attractions to Halloween events.

The Resort picked up two nominations in the ‘Best Zombie Experience’ category for Zombie Hunt and The Walking Dead: Living Nightmare.

What did you think of these two different takes on zombie experiences?
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Re: Thorpe Park Resort - General Discussion

Thu Apr 04, 2019 12:26 pm

I'm actually really happy Living Nightmare Extreme has got recognition in the Best Zombie Experience category. It was truly stunning and was what a zombie maze should actually be like all the time, so i'm really glad its been acknoledged. Zombie Hunt I'm a little more surprised about as I didn't really think much of it. It felt very much like a filler attraction and it just fell flat for me. Do I think either will win the SCAR, no. The others in the category are much better in my opinion.
 
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Re: Thorpe Park Resort - General Discussion

Sat Apr 06, 2019 1:38 pm

Fins is closed today for food until 5:30pm. Unsure why.
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Re: Thorpe Park Resort - General Discussion

Sat Apr 06, 2019 9:13 pm

SouthParks today visited GameFX, the first in a season of events at Thorpe Park Resort.

There were a range of games to play across consoles ranging from the SNES to the latest Xbox One and PlayStation 4, along with VR experiences and a gaming tournament.

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For me, the event was extremely well presented inside and there were a good range of games available. The 4 player zombie escape VR game, looked like it should be a lot of fun.

I think if we were to have some wet days, or a wet couple of hours within a day, this could be extremely popular. Keep in mind that you will need a booking, especially on busy days.
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Re: Thorpe Park Resort - General Discussion

Sat Apr 06, 2019 9:42 pm

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?  :lol


"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  :sick:, 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!
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Re: Thorpe Park Resort - General Discussion

Sun Apr 07, 2019 10:52 pm

Gauging social media responses, the perception of Thorpe Park does seem to have become more negative recently. In the last few months I would suggest that this has expanded beyond just an "enthusiast" point of view. I don't believe that this is a sudden change, but rather something that has been building over time and in my view something that Thorpe Park have at times provided a catalyst for.

For me Thorpe has had two major issues. First ride availability and secondly an expectation of something new. Both of these have affected people's opinions of the park over a longer time, I feel.

Ride availability has had two issues. Firstly they've been closing rides and not replacing them, the worst being the closure of Loggers Leap but then continually publicly stating it would come back soon, only for it to not. So we've had rides just left standing and areas like Old Town becoming more and more neglected. Secondly they went through a period of seemingly terrible ride reliability, especially around 2 years ago. At its worst you would see frequent complaints online about people only getting a single ride in a day due to poor operations. Thankfully this appears to be largely resolved, with the only times I saw this kind of situation happen last year was when the wind speed was above manufacturer limits, or when the park lost power, both well outside of their control. Sadly, for those who had bad experiences with ride reliability, their perception of the park won't be great, especially if they only visited maybe once a year.

An expectation of something new is perhaps something the park has brought upon itself. Derren Brown's Ghost Train sadly failed to provide the lasting appeal that a project of its size should have done. The re-theme of X to Walking Dead breathed new life into the ride with one demographic, however it simultaneously removed a family attraction. This is perhaps how we end up with the idea that the park has had nothing new since 2012. Meanwhile, the park made various references last year via social media and in park messages, to feed the idea that the much speculated Project 2020 rollercoaster would be announced. Of course, this didn't happen. In its place the park made the announcement of the removal of Loggers Leap and the addition of four events for 2019.

The various social media platforms have also enabled more people to have a louder voice, than at any time previously. This perhaps gives a slight bias, especially to more extreme complaints. What may once have been a private conversation or an ignored post on a forum, now appears in a video or as a comment on a piece of park publicity, shared amongst hundreds of people. Maybe we see complaints become amplified and more noticeable now, than it once would have been?

But despite the park's issues, from the three visits I've had this year, I have noticed positive changes that are perhaps more fundamental than just building a new ride. Managers are far more visible, roaming the park continually making notes, identifying things that are not perfect and generally being friendly with guests too. The park is cleaner than it has been in a long time, not perfect, but certainly better. Staff are happier and it is leading to better guest experiences with small things like the occasional manual countdown on Stealth, fun interactions with roaming actors, or just general small talk with staff across the park.

So whilst there's a lot of doom and gloom online about the park, I'm fairly confident it will turn around soon. Perhaps the negative reactions the park has received, will allow them a little bit more negotiating power when it comes to budget allocations from Merlin, so that they can fix that problem.
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Re: Thorpe Park Resort - General Discussion

Wed Apr 10, 2019 6:41 pm

Ok, so I thought that something fun to do as it is one week until I go to Thorpe for the first time since breaking that 1.4m barrier would be to preview all the coasters that I haven’t yet done at the park, which is all but one. Feel free to tell me how wrong my opinions are. BTW I’ll be doing my previews in order of how good I think they’ll be, from worst to best.

The Swarm looks to be the best coaster in the park for me, and that is due to one thing: smoothness. For me, smoothness is the most important part of a coaster, which is really the only reason I hate on Smiler so much. But The Swarm has been said to be glossy, which excites me. A wing coaster is also something I’ve never done before, so the experience will definitely be one to remember.

Next is Stealth. I’m not a fan of Accelarators. Rita is lower than Th13teen in my ranking, as other than the launch I can’t see anything good about it. But Stealth looks to be an entirely different beast altogether. I can’t see why it could be rough at all, and third fastest acceleration in the world? Count me in.

Now we come to Nemesis Inferno, one which I feel will blow my expectations far away. The reason I don’t think of it too much is because Nemesis is said to be better. My dad says it constantly (he’s been on both – but Inferno was in the pouring rain), and it seems that the general rollercoaster community agree. But this still looks to be amazing, and I can easily see it going ahead of Stealth in my rankings.

Next on the list is Saw. To be frank, I’m not too excited for this one. After the drop it just looks like unthemed Smiler, which you probably know by this point will not make me excited in the least. However, everything up too that point looks great. The indoor section looks great, if not mind blowing, and the drop? WOW. I’ve done Mumbo Jumbo, but this looks even better.

Finally, it’s Colossus. Ow. To put this quickly, the only reason I’m riding this is a: for the credit and b: for the quadruple heart line roll.
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Re: Thorpe Park Resort - General Discussion

Wed Apr 10, 2019 9:03 pm

Wagstaff04 wrote:
Ok, so I thought that something fun to do as it is one week until I go to Thorpe for the first time since breaking that 1.4m barrier would be to preview all the coasters that I haven’t yet done at the park, which is all but one. Feel free to tell me how wrong my opinions are. BTW I’ll be doing my previews in order of how good I think they’ll be, from worst to best.

The Swarm looks to be the best coaster in the park for me, and that is due to one thing: smoothness. For me, smoothness is the most important part of a coaster, which is really the only reason I hate on Smiler so much. But The Swarm has been said to be glossy, which excites me. A wing coaster is also something I’ve never done before, so the experience will definitely be one to remember.

Next is Stealth. I’m not a fan of Accelarators. Rita is lower than Th13teen in my ranking, as other than the launch I can’t see anything good about it. But Stealth looks to be an entirely different beast altogether. I can’t see why it could be rough at all, and third fastest acceleration in the world? Count me in.

Now we come to Nemesis Inferno, one which I feel will blow my expectations far away. The reason I don’t think of it too much is because Nemesis is said to be better. My dad says it constantly (he’s been on both – but Inferno was in the pouring rain), and it seems that the general rollercoaster community agree. But this still looks to be amazing, and I can easily see it going ahead of Stealth in my rankings.

Next on the list is Saw. To be frank, I’m not too excited for this one. After the drop it just looks like unthemed Smiler, which you probably know by this point will not make me excited in the least. However, everything up too that point looks great. The indoor section looks great, if not mind blowing, and the drop? WOW. I’ve done Mumbo Jumbo, but this looks even better.

Finally, it’s Colossus. Ow. To put this quickly, the only reason I’m riding this is a: for the credit and b: for the quadruple heart line roll.


Stealth is awesome and by far my favourite coaster at Thorpe.

The Swarm is a close second, mainly because of how smooth it is, but don’t let that fool you as it is very intense, especially towards the back of the train. During our ERT at last year’s event, I came very close to blacking out after too many re-rides.

Nemesis Inferno is a whole heap of fun. Not a patch on Nemesis, and I think sometimes the fact that it has the Nemesis prefix affects how enthusiasts view it. If it were just called ‘Inferno’ it would be held in much higher regard.

Colossus, in my opinion, isn’t as rough as everyone makes it out to be. The trains are a pain to get in and out of, especially if you’re in the second row of the car you’re sat in. Another word of advice, it might be wise to go to Colossus first, as due to its poor throughput, it does generate a queue quite quickly, and it’s also fairly prone to only running on one train.

Saw is horrible, avoid at all costs. It’s very well themed but it’s also up there with the roughest coaster I’ve ever ridden.
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Re: Thorpe Park Resort - General Discussion

Wed Apr 10, 2019 11:53 pm

Dan wrote:
Saw is horrible, avoid at all costs. It’s very well themed but it’s also up there with the roughest coaster I’ve ever ridden.


I think Saw has become a bit of a scapegoat for claims of being rough. The coaster is completely different to others as it has sudden drops, so the forces will be different, something which I think people forget sometimes. There is an element of knowing how to ride it though. I've had few issues on it but they are few and far between, but know of others who hate it too. It gives my sister an instant headache!

I think there are other coasters who can claim the crown of roughest and they are at Blackpool! :lol
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Re: Thorpe Park Resort - General Discussion

Thu Apr 11, 2019 8:03 am

Justin wrote:

The coaster is completely different to others as it has sudden drops, so the forces will be different, something which I think people forget sometimes.


It’s not the drops or the forces, it’s the way the car bounces along the track like a runaway shopping trolley with a wheel missing.
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Re: Thorpe Park Resort - General Discussion

Thu Apr 11, 2019 8:17 am

Well I don't believe a better description for Saw: The Ride can be made. :lol

I find that the missing wheel effect typically causes more issues for me in the front row than the back.
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Re: Thorpe Park Resort - General Discussion

Thu Apr 11, 2019 8:45 am

Dan wrote:
Justin wrote:

The coaster is completely different to others as it has sudden drops, so the forces will be different, something which I think people forget sometimes.


It’s not the drops or the forces, it’s the way the car bounces along the track like a runaway shopping trolley with a wheel missing.

Now that is Blackpool's Big Dipper :lol
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Re: Thorpe Park Resort - General Discussion

Thu Apr 11, 2019 12:19 pm

Swarm Chris wrote:
Well I don't believe a better description for Saw: The Ride can be made. :lol

I find that the missing wheel effect typically causes more issues for me in the front row than the back.

I definitely agree, I always try to get the back row of SAW.  It became my favourite ride yesterday after riding it 3 times.
 
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Re: Thorpe Park Resort - General Discussion

Thu Apr 18, 2019 10:20 am

With Thorpe Park having some difficulties presenting queue times at the moment, here are some handy visual guides for roughly estimating the queue times for some of the top rides at the park:

The Swarm
10 minutes: No visible outside queue.
30 minutes: Queue has half filled outside area
60 minutes: Queue has reached near-enough the entrance sign.

Stealth
15 minutes: Queue almost at entrance, but they haven't opened up the full queue line by The Swarm and Sunken Garden.
60 minutes: Queue almost at entrance and the full queue line is being used.

Nemesis Inferno
5 minutes: Empty cattle pen
25 minutes: Full cattle pen
40-60 minutes: Extended queue being used.

Colossus
15 minutes: Queue starts just before fast-track merge point.
60-90 minutes: All other queues.

Saw: The Ride
20-30 minutes: If using just the first cattle pen queue.
60 minutes: Using the extended queue line that heads towards the ride area.

The Walking Dead: The Ride
5 minutes: Queue starts near batching
15 minutes: Queue starts alongside the pyramid wall
Roughly an additional 5-10 minutes per switch-back.

Derren Brown's Ghost Train
15 minutes: Queue starts at batching
30 minutes: Queue starts in area just before batching, but not alongside the building.
60 minutes: Queue starts in area alongside the ride building
90 minutes: Queue starts at photo point.
120 minutes: Queue starts in the entrance cattle pen.
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