UK theme parks from another point of view!

 
Crofty

Re: Official Oakwood Thread!

Sun Aug 15, 2010 5:25 pm

"hell lepard" wrote:
The park doesn't start to compare with Alton Towers.


Who said it does?

For what it is, a small park serving much fewer visitors than any of the big parks I think it does pretty well.
The owners are going to have to invest in some new attractions in the next couple of years I think, now they are out of their settling in period.
 
User avatar
Dylan
TT Member
TT Member
Posts: 1097
Joined: December 2008
Location: Reading
Contact:

Re: Official Oakwood Thread!

Sun Aug 15, 2010 5:26 pm

I was at Oakwood yesterday for my second visit this season.
Park was the busiest I have seen it, although still quite dead (even through it was RCCGB's annual visit)
At one point there was a 30 min queue for Megafobia on one train, I think it was due to a short breakdown though. Everything else was walk on though, apart from Hydro and it's dire throughput.
I have mixed feelings about Oakwood. While I find it a nice little park, they need some new investment if the park is to remain operating. It's looking very tired and we were done by about 11.30am yesterday, on all rides, so it was re-rides all afternoon. I think for the £18 online price, the value of the Merlin parks offer on a 2 for 1 offer is far greater, which is why I don't think people are willing to make the journey to Oakwood. Most people on park yesterday, from what I heard where locals (as in South Wales) and the RCCGB.
 
CoasterCrazyChris
TT Member
TT Member
Posts: 2884
Joined: July 2008
Location: Bristol

Re: Official Oakwood Thread!

Sun Aug 15, 2010 9:09 pm

I was there on Thursday and although it seemed to start quiet with very few people in the park even up until midday, by the afternoon it was absolutely rammed. Mostly teenagers.

Although the q's were short to start with, we queued nearly 40 minutues for Megafobia during mid-afternoon and BOTH trains were running! :shock: It is still an insane ride, especially at the back. It's worth a visit for this ride alone.

Speed is better than I remembered it before and seemed to have q's of maximimum 15 minutes all day too. Although zero theming, and no natural trees/landscape in this area to make up for it like in the rest of the park so it just looks plonked and even very temporary looking.

Very interesting too the number of people in th q lines around me talking about Alton Towers and how much better it is :P . I had to smirk. But I was also very suprised at the amount of stuff some of these people knew about Alton - considering most were chavs!

Oakwood might be a nice little park, but its charm is very fast wearing off these days. The prices are to be quite frank extortion - considering pretty much everyone can get into Alton Towers/Thorpe/Chessington for the same price these days with all the 2 for 1 etc knocking around.
The park has been rebranded too this year, which although freshens it up a little gives the park a very generic and bland image, geared very much towards thrill market obviously courtsey of ASPRO. Hopefully this it too gear it up for a few years of good investment, you'd be amazed at the undeveloped space they have.

The park is looking very worse for wear now, the state of the main cafe is disgraceful. The seats were ripped to pieces and and the lights were hanging off the ceiling, the original family attractions are old and jaded and a far cry from what you'd expect from a park with the likes of Megafobia, Hydro and to an extent Bounce and Speed. Furthermore the toilets are dirty and stink many parts of the park out and the wasps are out in force, in the bins and hovering around bits of litter. Let's not even get started about 'New Orleans'.

I have to disagree about the staff, they were very friendly and personable however they were very young indeed and were not very thorough in ensuring all guests were secured in seats properly. For example one was just asking guested if they had fastened their seatbelt instead of checking and they were very casual about it indeed.

Considering Oakwood now has two major rollercoasters, the tallest water ride in Europe (?) and a good drop tower, it is seriously lacking in the quality of it's family attractions. Their next major ride should be for families, rapids would be great behind Speed or at the very entrance where the railway is.

:)
 
User avatar
hell lepard
TT Member
TT Member
Posts: 105
Joined: May 2009

Re: Official Oakwood Thread!

Mon Aug 16, 2010 5:54 pm

It's obvious they're not going to invest with the new thing. 'Ride the big 5'
 
User avatar
ThrillJunkie
TT Member
TT Member
Posts: 395
Joined: March 2009
Location: South West
Contact:

Re: Official Oakwood Thread!

Tue Aug 17, 2010 2:28 pm

I really do like Oakwood and have for many years. It's just got a charm and character of the place I love but even I think that the park is crying out for some TLC. It really needs an owner than cares about the park and wants to improve it and I really don't think Aspro is the right company to do this. All Aspro want is quick cash :(

The park is needing a big investment more and more each year. Something has to be done soon or the park is just going to fall apart. I just really hope the increased admission price is a sign that the new owners are counting their penny's for a future (hopefully near future!) investment.

I will keep my fingers tightly crossed [-o<
ThrillJunkieUK
 
User avatar
Chris1
TT Member
TT Member
Posts: 1354
Joined: March 2007
Location: Location, Location

Re: Official Oakwood Thread!

Tue Aug 17, 2010 6:21 pm

Oakwood is a good park but it's clear Aspro intend to rape it financially for all it's worth...

The most frustrating habbit the park has taken to recently is running Megaphobia on one train on even the busiest of days, resulting in a frustratingly slow moving queue. I have to say though the park has improved slightly since I last visited in 2006 although the bright green entrance doesn't really suit the feel of the park...

With ever increasing gate prices, less special offers and lack of new additions however, I can't help but feel that maybe the new owners intend to do as little as possible to keep the place profitable...
 
JamesP
TT Member
TT Member
Posts: 32
Joined: March 2003

Re: Official Oakwood Thread!

Wed Aug 18, 2010 12:10 am

I've just returned from Oakwood with the RCCGB and for the first time in a few years I've seen a glimmer of hope for the future. I absolutely love Oakwood; despite knowing its not be the best park in the world I have a great deal of affection for the place, having visited regularly for 20 years now (since I was about 5 years old!). The park was at its best in the early 00's when it had such a friendly atmosphere that reflected the care that the McNamara's put into it.

I've felt pretty disheartened in the Aspro years watching the park i love so much being run into the ground. However on my recent trip this weekend the park looked in much better condition; new signage and logos (both park and ride logos) absolutely everywhere, everything seems to have been repainted (the bounce, hydro station and bridge, the entrance, all the lamps around the park, fences, walls etc), new fencing and landscaping around Speed, new stage roof, redecorated 'Bali Hai' island, little touches like the new 'welcome' archway, the list goes on! We also got to meet the new park director Andy, a coaster enthusiast (member of the ECC for years) that seemed incredibly enthusiastic about improving the park which was very encouraging. It was also semi confirmed that After Dark is returning on August weekends next year, which will be fantastic.

So all in all there is still a long way to go (toilets are rank, capacity on some of the older rides is terrible and there is a desperate need for new dingys on Snake River Falls etc) but there was at least signs that the past couple of years may well of just been teething years. After all ASPRO has had to try to turn around a park in debt in a poor financial climate. I am now far more hopeful than I was before that as the financial situation becomes more settled we'll see the investment that Oakwood deserves.
 
Crofty

Re: Official Oakwood Thread!

Wed Aug 18, 2010 2:58 pm

Thats really encouraging to hear, especially if we have a coaster enthusiast at the top. :D

What are the improvements to Bali Hai? I was there in May and it was all closed off, I assumed it was another Aspro cutback.
Oakwood cropped up in a conversation I had in work last night with a guy who is just a general visitor (not enthusiast.) He knew of the take over, which impressed me, he also was aware of the lack of investment. He felt the biggest mistake was getting rid of After Dark. It would be great to see it return in some form.
I kind of hope that McNamara will buy the park back at some point. What they've done next door with Bluestone really shows the enthusiasm and attention to detail that was once put into Oakwood is continuing, I just wish it was on the park too.
 
JamesP
TT Member
TT Member
Posts: 32
Joined: March 2003

Re: Official Oakwood Thread!

Thu Aug 19, 2010 12:47 am

Bali Hai, or whatever it is called now (smugglers island?) has been repainted, new fencing has gone in, little bits of new theming but most noticeably it reflects Pepsi's sponsorship of the park (particularly the 'ride the big 4' campaign) in terms of colour schemes and logos. Ordinarily i'm not a fan of sponsorship, but as Oakwood is not really themed at all it doesn't seem to clash too badly. If it means money is coming in to the park for maintenance and improvements then thats great.

I'm also fairly confident After Dark is to return as a weekend event, although obviously we wait on the parks official announcement, Andy (park director) referred to it as occurring next year. It's return is so welcome to me, easily as much as I would welcome a new ride, it was such a crucial element to Oakwood but also brought in a lot of visitors from further away (Irish coach trips) that probably have not bothered since it has only been open till 6pm. The weekend thing makes sense too, I never understood how Paddy could afford to do it every evening when the park was hardly full on weekdays.

I'd love for Paddy to get the park back, but I got the impression it got a bit much for them. Debt and particularly the Hydro incident probably took the original fun out of it. You certainly saw far less of Paddy in latter years of ownership. Having said that, I went to Blue Lagoon on the Sunday of our visit. It was my first time within Bluestone and the place just felt so olden day oakwoody. Had a great time, they seem to be on to a winner with it and I hope they have a lot of success with it. As a plus, more on site (practically) overnight stays means busier Oakwood!
 
Thriller
TT Member
TT Member
Posts: 36
Joined: September 2010
Location: South Wales

Re: Official Oakwood Thread!

Sat Sep 18, 2010 11:45 am

Oakwood needs to make a worlds first Rollercoatser incorperated with a river rapids ride (inter-twining like runaway mine train and river rapids at AT). Something like Th13teen, but taking it a lot further. These additions would put Oakwood straight back on the map, no doubt!
Last edited by Thriller on Sun Sep 19, 2010 1:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
Pennywise
TT Member
TT Member
Posts: 2851
Joined: January 2009

Re: Official Oakwood Thread!

Sat Sep 18, 2010 12:15 pm

"Thriller" wrote:
Oakwood needs to make a worlds first Rollercoatser incorperated with a river rapids ride (inter-twining like runaway mine train and river rapids at AT). Something like Th13teen, but taking it a lot further. These additions would put Oakwoos straight back on the map, no doubt!


Yes, because Oakwood can afford to built both a £14M world first coaster and a river rapids... in the same year. #-o
 
User avatar
hell lepard
TT Member
TT Member
Posts: 105
Joined: May 2009

Re: Official Oakwood Thread!

Sat Sep 18, 2010 9:40 pm

they need to spend to get returns, alton towers spend that much because if they didn't who would go there if they didn't spend money on a ride after 6 years wouldn't everyone start to say its lost its way at attracting visitors the man is right there is no need for sarcasm
 
Thriller
TT Member
TT Member
Posts: 36
Joined: September 2010
Location: South Wales

Re: Official Oakwood Thread!

Sun Sep 19, 2010 1:06 pm

"Air Dan"&quot;][quote=&quot;"Thriller" wrote:
Oakwood needs to make a worlds first Rollercoatser incorperated with a river rapids ride (inter-twining like runaway mine train and river rapids at AT). Something like Th13teen, but taking it a lot further. These additions would put Oakwoos straight back on the map, no doubt!


Yes, because Oakwood can afford to built both a £14M world first coaster and a river rapids... in the same year. #-o[/quote]

I know its not going to happen, but Oakwood is losing its way and has been for several years. The scrapping of 'Jakes Town' was the start of this, 'New Orleans' is utter pants! I live 1 1/2 hours from oakwood and I would still prefer to drive 3 1/2 hours to Alton Towers, why? Because they spend the money on investing.

Aspro is a huge company, so surely they can afford to (and will) invest a huge amount into Oakwood, otherwise why buy a park which is (in mine and my friens opinions) on its backside at the moment?

This is in no means a argument, but I am simply trying to open up a good discussion here and hoping that things are picked up on by Oakwood and more is done to attract people to the park. I went twice last year and judging by previous years I have been it was extremely quiet, why is that? Judge for yourself, NO RECENT INVESTMENT!
 
Pennywise
TT Member
TT Member
Posts: 2851
Joined: January 2009

Re: Official Oakwood Thread!

Sun Sep 19, 2010 9:21 pm

I understand the park's need for investment, but in my eyes it's not 1 £14M investment in a coaster that's needed, it's a solid list of filler, family style attractions, and as the park regains it's popularity, open a new coaster. Next year they need some small but attractive rides, a flat ride and a family coaster perhaps?

Then build it up year on year, 2012 seeing a Rapids, perhaps 2013 a mine train and then a major investment in 2014, once the park is already back on the map. For me, building another major coaster now (certainly one costing £14) would be trying to run before the park is walking again.

they need to spend to get returns, alton towers spend that much because if they didn't who would go there if they didn't spend money on a ride after 6 years wouldn't everyone start to say its lost its way at attracting visitors the man is right there is no need for sarcasm


To be perfectly honest, you don't know what you're talking about. Alton Towers would still be attracting visitors even after 6 years of literally no investment for a start, it would almost certainly still be the most visited theme park in the UK. Second of all, do you think the likes of Alton Towers and Thorpe Park became big theme parks overnight? You seem to think that the addition of one major coaster that a park can't afford will turn it from a financially struggling park into a global phenomenon?

;)
 
Chez2012
TT Member
TT Member
Posts: 20
Joined: April 2010

Re: Official Oakwood Thread!

Mon Sep 20, 2010 11:59 am

I have never been to Oakwood before, but by the sounds of it I think they could a build a family coaster of around 4 million like a Maurer Sohne Spinning coaster with their new loop concept. This can pull in crowds and would be a good new addition, in fact a Worlds First.
 
Thriller
TT Member
TT Member
Posts: 36
Joined: September 2010
Location: South Wales

Re: Official Oakwood Thread!

Tue Sep 21, 2010 10:18 am

"Air Dan" wrote:
I understand the park's need for investment, but in my eyes it's not 1 £14M investment in a coaster that's needed, it's a solid list of filler, family style attractions, and as the park regains it's popularity, open a new coaster. Next year they need some small but attractive rides, a flat ride and a family coaster perhaps?

Then build it up year on year, 2012 seeing a Rapids, perhaps 2013 a mine train and then a major investment in 2014, once the park is already back on the map. For me, building another major coaster now (certainly one costing £14) would be trying to run before the park is walking again.

they need to spend to get returns, alton towers spend that much because if they didn't who would go there if they didn't spend money on a ride after 6 years wouldn't everyone start to say its lost its way at attracting visitors the man is right there is no need for sarcasm


To be perfectly honest, you don't know what you're talking about. Alton Towers would still be attracting visitors even after 6 years of literally no investment for a start, it would almost certainly still be the most visited theme park in the UK. Second of all, do you think the likes of Alton Towers and Thorpe Park became big theme parks overnight? You seem to think that the addition of one major coaster that a park can't afford will turn it from a financially struggling park into a global phenomenon?

;)


No theme park becomes big over night, but they will not become big without investment either ;-).
 
User avatar
hell lepard
TT Member
TT Member
Posts: 105
Joined: May 2009

Re: Official Oakwood Thread!

Tue Sep 21, 2010 7:38 pm

To be honest Air Dan, if you have been to this park you will realise that this park has limited space. Throwing small budget rides in is not clever.

Each ride they select will have to be unique. Not lets buy a Runaway Mine Train because its £700,000 or a Ferris Wheel because most parks in the UK have them.

They need Europes firsts (Hydro) or the UK's only beyond vertical drop (Speed). So to say throw off the shelf rides in and expect crowds from England is nonsense.

My expectations are aspro what are they look at their porfolio
http://www.aspro-ocio.es/parques.php

Thats right, Aquariums and Water Parks. Now look at Oakwood, a giant theatre at the top near play town, why isn't that an Aquarium?

Manor Park is close for animals, Folly Farm is close for farm animals, so why isn't Oakwood thinking how many Aquariums are there in Wales, and how is Folly Farm and Manor Park making money.

The answer for Pembrokshire is tourists, so why not give them another reason to take the family. Not just the big rides but the sites in the Aquarium, or the Peacocks or something.

It doesn't have to be about rides even though they are the reason we know about Oakwood but don't thinks its a day. An Aquarium or show would fill the day.
Last edited by hell lepard on Tue Sep 21, 2010 7:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
User avatar
shawnoc
TT Member
TT Member
Posts: 499
Joined: January 2009
Location: Sunny Brighton, When it wants to be!!!!!!
Contact:

Re: Official Oakwood Thread!

Tue Sep 21, 2010 8:04 pm

Yes an aquarium would work as a filler attraction, but as the park has always been about rides they would need to have some kind of ride to be opened at the same time. The ride would not have to be huge, but something that would pull people in as well as an aquarium.
<img src="http://coaster-count.com/banner17072.png"
alt="Coaster-Count" style="width: 468px; height: 60px;" />
 
CoasterCrazyChris
TT Member
TT Member
Posts: 2884
Joined: July 2008
Location: Bristol

Re: Official Oakwood Thread!

Wed Sep 22, 2010 5:21 pm

"hell lepard" wrote:
To be honest Air Dan, if you have been to this park you will realise that this park has limited space. Throwing small budget rides in is not clever.


Actually, I don't know why you said that because they do have a heck of a lot of undeveloped land they could use. The whole piece of land the train from the entrance goes around, plus at the back of Speed, and Hydro and around the car parks.

Easily enough for two more coasters, rapids and filler style rides thrown in.

:)
 
User avatar
mattbailey
TT Member
TT Member
Posts: 691
Joined: July 2008
Location: Worcester

Re: Official Oakwood Thread!

Wed Sep 22, 2010 6:05 pm

Quick question... why does Hydro only have one boat? :?

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 42 guests