UK theme parks from another point of view!

 
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Coke
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Re: Official Oakwood Thread!

Mon Apr 13, 2009 5:05 pm

"CoasterCrazyChris" wrote:
Going to Oakwood on Thursday, just a quick question how long on average would you need to do the park?
:)


3-4 hrs depending on crowds
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CoasterCrazyChris
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Re: Official Oakwood Thread!

Fri Apr 17, 2009 10:55 pm

I have to say I was slightly disappointed with Oakwood upon my visit. I wasn't really expecting much and I was right to think so. Megafobia is the only ride that really deserves any credit. Hydro is good, but it doesn't open 'til 2pm and they take like 10 mins to dispatch one boat!
I know they market themselves as a family destination, but they have no rides that stand out in the family sector. I have to resort in saying that the bobsleigh and "Brer Rabbits Burrow" were the best attractions there.
Absolutely ZERO effort looks like it has been spent on Speed, and there's no "nice landscaping" around the rides area to distract away from the fact the ride has nothing in the way of theming. SAW at Thorpe Park has nothing to worry about.
I say they tear out that dire "Spooky 3D" thing and replace with a quality scare attraction, it has so much potential. As I walked in I was just visualizing what they could do, it was just awful (though I admit it did scaRe me a bit :P ).
The space at the entrance to the park is just wasted with that pointless train thing (although it does have some charm I s'pose) which serves no purpose really as it hardly ever runs (although I s'pose if your disabled it may be of some use, but you've still got to get round the park anyway so it defeats the object).
The park entrance area does have substancial space for more rides, but I suppose would detrat from the "relaxed" ambience that Oakwood prides itself upon, when you enter.

Maybe i'm just being a bit harsh, after all it is is only a small family park which 13 years ago got adventurous and decided to go big with additions like Megafobia, recently taken over by a large company.
:)
 
Dara
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Re: Official Oakwood Thread!

Fri Apr 17, 2009 11:57 pm

I think that your last comment kind of answers all that you said before :D

Oakwood, until recently, was a small family run park totally in the middle of nowhere. They decided to install some big rides and this really paid off.

This is one of the reasons that i, as i mega Oakwood fan, am feeling quite negative about Aspro running the show. It was a nice park, with charm and, more importantly, the feeling that the management really cared for the park and put alot of time, effort and investment into it. This is what was so great about Oakwood.

Now that Aspro are running it, it does seem as though we have already seen alot of evidence that this care for the park has been lost and it's just treated as one of their many properties. This seems a shame.

Events like After Dark and the installation of unique but thrilling new rides was something that the previous owners prided themselves on. Now it seems, that with Aspro in charge, this has been lost. We have no special events, just normal opening hours, and i expect, although it's too early to tell the type of new rides they install will be fairly standard :(

And as for any comparisons between SAW and Speed.... Speed wins by a million miles for me :D
 
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Re: Official Oakwood Thread!

Sat Apr 18, 2009 1:38 am

Hehe, Dara - :wales: Official Oakey Fan Girl Extraordinaire :wales:

There has to be SOME bad points Dara or valid criticism from people at some points. I don't think I have ever seen you agree with any negativity shown towards Oakwood. :sus:

I've never been, although I should go soon as it sounds like the greatest place on earth. :yikes:

:wink:
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MY HAND IS A DOLPHIN!!! >:O
*Honest Cint!*
 
DiogoJ42

Re: Official Oakwood Thread!

Sat Apr 18, 2009 2:14 pm

I went there for the first time last year with the ECC. I think that's the best way to see the park TBH. There's not quite enough there for a 'normal' trip, but with all the extra entertainment that was layed on for us, it became a lovely weekend.
 
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Re: Official Oakwood Thread!

Sat Apr 18, 2009 5:05 pm

"Spike" wrote:
Hehe, Dara - :wales: Official Oakey Fan Girl Extraordinaire :wales:

There has to be SOME bad points Dara or valid criticism from people at some points. I don't think I have ever seen you agree with any negativity shown towards Oakwood. :sus:

I've never been, although I should go soon as it sounds like the greatest place on earth. :yikes:

:wink:



There are likely to be some bad points but it does really irritate me the way, when Oakwood, as a tiny park in the middle of nowhere, has installed incredible world class rides, and all people can do is turn up their noses and criticise it for lack of theming.

Because of Oakwood's unique atmosphere, great landscaping and high quality worthwhile rides, I don't see the need for lots of over the top theming. This would just be a waste of (their relatively small) budget.

Also TTF needs an Oakwood fanboy to give some balance to the humungous number of Europa Park fanboys on here :lol: :lol:
 
AstroDan

Re: Official Oakwood Thread!

Sat Apr 18, 2009 5:37 pm

I am sure it was you who preferred Oakwood to Europa-Park.

Was it not?

8)
 
CoasterCrazyChris
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Re: Official Oakwood Thread!

Sat Apr 18, 2009 9:31 pm

I don't critisize the park for lack of theming (bar Speed) just the lack of any decent family attractions. I mean a better family coaster, rapids/flume and a new dark ride would be great.
 
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Re: Official Oakwood Thread!

Sat Apr 18, 2009 9:51 pm

I love Oakwood, it's a great park and I try and visit at least twise a year!
After dark was one of the best times i've had at a theme park ever!

However, I don't find the rides world class.

Speed: Saw for me has shown just how a eurofighter should be! The actually ride for me is better keeping it's speed far better and not 'jerking' from element to element so much. That indoor drop is amazing too! However for Oakwood Speed was a brilliant investment, it's the tallest and most intence ride for many miles, for a little amount!

And the theming even outside is not even worth comparing from the headchopper to TV and just evreything! It's like comparing the best and worst themed rides in the UK!

Hydro: I like hydro, but again no theming, poor dispatch times, and well the splash isn't as big as tidal waves :)

Megaphobia: Nothing wrong with this ride at all, Natural theming and landscaping a great ride experience, well run, brilliant! Easily one of the best 5/10 rides in the UK

I do like Oakwood though it's a family park, far better than Chessington, Drayton Manor and in some ways Legoland!

Theming let's the park down so much though! :cry:
 
Dara
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Re: Official Oakwood Thread!

Sat Apr 18, 2009 10:02 pm

Speed: With Saw we have a quite rough coaster which jolts you around way too much. Speed is actually really smooth, particularly considering the intensity of parts of the ride. Saw is great but if the indoor dark section wasn't there and the ride was unthemed i don think it would be much special.
Speed may have no theming but it's an awesome ride and because of it being such a huge investment for Oakwood, the budget could not have covered theming and, like i've said before, i'd rather have an unthemed coaster than no coaster.

Hydro: It does have some theming. In fact it is probably the most heavily themed ride at Oakwood. Poor dispatch times are more for the heavy over-checking of restraints which is mostly for guest's peace of mind, because everyone knows about the incident

Megafobia: Agreed! Truley awesome! Especially in the dark :D

"AstroDan" wrote:
I am sure it was you who preferred Oakwood to Europa-Park.

Was it not?

8)


Indeed it was... and i stand by that :D
 
CoasterCrazyChris
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Re: Official Oakwood Thread!

Sat Apr 18, 2009 10:40 pm

Yes, Hydro did have a nice subtle theme which worked for the park and is pleasing to see. The dispatch times are dire though; I appreciate with the incident 5 years ago they are being extra vigorous, but 10 mins per boat is ridiculous!

Speed may have ran over budget, but now Aspro run the place a small amount of the money they make for even just landscaping it is nothing to ask for really. I liked the ride itself but everything else was appalling. Hopefully Aspro shall sort this out along with Spooky 3D.

Megafobia is great. Its location next to that little lake towards the back of the park is great, it really compliments it especially as its a woodie! Station building could be better though admittedly.

Theming is the key to a good ride, I suppose the negative of doing the American parks at a young age is when you get back to the UK you become very critical about theming and landscaping and i'm sure i'm not the only one!
 
Dara
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Re: Official Oakwood Thread!

Sat Apr 18, 2009 11:46 pm

But with the exception of Speed and its surrounding area, i'd say that all of Oakwood is really well landscaped. The rides fit in beautifully with all of their surrounding areas, and the pathways around the park were built around what was already there. In construction of the park, ot a single existing tree was removed.

The rides look as though they should be where they are and the areas around the rides are really nice and compliment the rides themselves. They aren't really themed, but the landscaping and beautiful woodland setting more than make up for this.

The only exception is, of course Speed, in my opinion, which isn't well landscaped and does look somewhat out of place. However, this is because of lack of time or budget for landscaping, and because this was the only area really available to them to build a coaster of this scale.

I'd say even Hydro fits in well with its surroundings as it's in a more open and less woody area of the park, so is in the right location for an obviously coloured, large, bold ride
 
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Re: Official Oakwood Thread!

Wed Apr 22, 2009 5:42 pm

the dont really have space so they will be knocking down something like spooky 3D or vertigo wat ive heard :(
Am i alive with fear, or is fear alive with me?
 
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Re: Official Oakwood Thread!

Wed Apr 22, 2009 10:22 pm

"FOGplaya" wrote:
the dont really have space so they will be knocking down something like spooky 3D or vertigo wat ive heard :(


From what you've heard? :roll:
 
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Re: Official Oakwood Thread!

Thu Apr 23, 2009 3:33 pm

Lol no one reliable, some of my mates who r pretty into coasters ass well, but not to bright
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CoasterCrazyChris
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Re: Official Oakwood Thread!

Sun Apr 26, 2009 4:02 pm

"FOGplaya" wrote:
the dont really have space so they will be knocking down something like spooky 3D or vertigo wat ive heard :(


And? Not much of a loss really, I won't bother explaining my reason about Spooky 3D as its kind of obvious, but TBH Vertigo is nothing special really either, its essentially just a frame with a rope attached and takes up valuable space - looks fun though!
 
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Re: Official Oakwood Thread!

Sun Apr 26, 2009 4:38 pm

"CoasterCrazyChris" wrote:
And? Not much of a loss really, I won't bother explaining my reason about Spooky 3D as its kind of obvious, but TBH Vertigo is nothing special really either, its essentially just a frame with a rope attached and takes up valuable space - looks fun though!


They should just replace all of the wild-west area with another half-decent coaster. But as I've said before, I'd much rather OakWood got more theming than just rides. :)
 
Dara
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Re: Official Oakwood Thread!

Sun Apr 26, 2009 9:02 pm

... And i've always thought Oakwood is the sort of park that doesn't need lots of theming :lol:

It's got a nice layout, unique landscaping and that's kind of a theme on its own, hence the park name :D I'd rather see some of the older rides replaced and something decent added, but that retains the same unique Oakwood quality.

And FOGplaya, i wouldn't take what your mates said too seriously. There are no serious plans for the removal of Vertigo at the moment and if Spooky went, then so would the arcade next to it as they share the same building.. and this is very unlikely to happen
 
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Re: Official Oakwood Thread!

Mon Apr 27, 2009 4:53 pm

Booo to you Dara! But your right, and i hate that :D
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Re: Official Oakwood Thread!

Mon May 04, 2009 9:59 pm

Whilst searching the internet for information on Bluestone (the holiday park next door to Oakwood), i found this article from BBC News a few years ago, which includes a short biography of how William McNamara founded Oakwood before moving on to the Bluestone project. Thought it may be of some interest :D

The man behind Wales' biggest tourism project says the go-ahead for the £110m holiday village in Pembrokeshire is the "fruition of a lifelong dream".

Following years of controversy of court battles, construction work is about to begin on Bluestone.

The £110m upmarket village of wood cabins - with water park and snow centre - promises to create 900 jobs.

William McNamara said there had been some "very dark days" during the legal challenges which held up the scheme.

But though frustrated about the delays, he said he never gave up on his "iconic destination" of west Wales.

The 500-acre development of upmarket holiday cabins, which plans to draw in hundreds of thousands of new visitors to Wales each year, was first mooted publicly four years ago.

Mr McNamara said he always had the idea for Bluestone but early in his career, more prosaic matters were at the fore - dairy farming

His parents moved from London to start a new life farming in Pembrokeshire in 1949.

"I was destined, I believed, to a career in agriculture and I went to agriculture college and came home in 1980," he explained.

"But I realised within four or five years that I probably needed to look at something else because of the problems the industry was facing.

"So I came up with the idea to start a theme park instead."

That was to be Oakwood, Wales' only theme park, which has attracted millions of day-trippers to Pembrokeshire.

"I created Oakwood. It was my idea but it was a family business."

But even then the Bluestone dream was germinating, and in 2002 the businessman handed over the reins of Oakwood to his brother Paddy to pursue the dream of the holiday village nearby.

"Oakwood was a day visitor attraction and was very successful, but I wanted to do something else, to create a tourist attraction that would be totally new," he said.


The full article can be seen here:

[url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/6164766.stm" target="_blank]http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/6164766.stm[/url]

:D

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