UK theme parks from another point of view!

 
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Don't_Look_Down
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Re: Drayton Manor Park 2011: Hotel, Thomas Land Ride & Coaster!

Sat May 07, 2011 9:14 pm

"LoopNLoop" wrote:
Yeah i was too But 114 including me was Awsome. I think if the weather was better more would have turned out. :D


I think you could be right. The weather was pretty miserable this morning.
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Re: Drayton Manor Park 2011: Hotel, Thomas Land Ride & Coaster!

Sat May 07, 2011 10:39 pm

"G-Force" wrote:
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I'd hate to have to tag everyone in that photo! :lol:

Shame they didn't complete the record, but there's always a second time for everything I guess.
 
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Re: Drayton Manor Park 2011: Hotel, Thomas Land Ride & Coaster!

Tue May 10, 2011 9:47 pm

Put behind a cut, coz I know you lot like pictures more than text, but in case anyone cares, here's what happens in the Ben 10 queue in detail. (I did try and take pictures, but with my hyper nephew they didn't turn out too well...

[spoiler:30x0cr4m]First thing to note is that my 5 year old nephew didn't get bored once! In a 45 minute queue I find that quite impressive.

From the outside we could see the strange looking roller coaster, and then we went through the entrance into a hi-tech lab of some sort, where a clip from one of the Ben 10 characters on a TV screen explained where we were (erm... a hi-tech lab of some sort).

We then walked around a console with four or five touch screens, where we could select an alien and it would tell us all about it. Then there was a tunnel section bathed in green light (my nephew liked this, it made him 'green like the hulk!') before opening into a room with what looked like green lily pads hanging from the ceiling! In this room we could hear tiny aliens talking about how stupid humans were, which would probably be more meaningful if I'd ever watched the show.

Then there was a small section which they could have left empty, but instead they'd installed a mirror effect on one of the walls, which made it look like there was a very long tunnel behind some glass. My nephew loved this, and kept talking about it for the rest of the day.

The next room was huge, it had TV screens showing different aliens and transformations, plus full size models of some of the aliens Ben turns into. These models were above head height in glass cases. Also up there were an army of white alien things which my nephew called echos, apparently it's another thing that Ben turns into that can duplicate, but as I said, I've never watched it. There was also a lot of green fluorescent tubes hanging in the shape of a plus, it might have been the X from the logo, but if it was then the angle was all wrong.

The final room before the ride was some kind of monitoring station with two screens, one screen showed a load of random code (geeky side note, there's quite a few SQL phrases thrown in, made me chuckle!) and the other shows a distress signal from various Ben 10 characters, and a message from Vilgax, one of the bad guys. Basically Vilgax is coming to steal the 'ultimatrix', and the only way to stop him is to ride the rollercoaster up to a big gun thing, where the big gun will shoot and blow up the Vilgax's space ship.

We then went outside, queued for a few more minutes, and then went on the roller coaster. We rode up to the gun, which made a (slightly feeble) firing sound before we rode back to the start.

A nice touch is a thank you message from Ben 10 as you go to look at your photos, my nephew was excited for the rest of the day, because Ben 10 told him he'd saved the universe![/spoiler:30x0cr4m]

We also went to see Marvin the Martian in the Fourth Dimension. It was basically your classic Marvin the Martian style cartoon. The 3D isn't the best in the world, and you get a headache if you try and read too much of the text, also some of the bumps on the seat seem a bit strange (a ship can crash in the distance and your seat will bump) but it's not too bad...
 
djtruefitt

Re: Drayton Manor Park 2011: Hotel, Thomas Land Ride & Coaster!

Tue May 10, 2011 10:34 pm

It sounds like they have made alot of effort with the overall ride of Ben 10 and espeically the queue line. I have never seen Ben 10 but my little brother loves it so im sure ill be riding it later in the year with him!

Its a shame that more rides dont have better queues or more things to look at in the queue line, espeically if you are going to be stuck there for so long. A good queue line is Hex, because there is so much to look at and you can watch the videos, compared to a ride like Rita where all you look at is people and more people.

So well done Drayton!
 
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Re: Drayton Manor Park 2011: Hotel, Thomas Land Ride & Coaster!

Tue May 10, 2011 11:11 pm

the queue for ben 10 sounds great and i think we will begin to see more interactive and detailed queue lines in the next few years. It is an area disney is currently investing alot of money and has recently opened next gen queues on Space mountain, Pooh's honey hunt and the Huanted Mansion atr Disney world and the new dumbo attraction will have a full circus themed interactive queue. The queue in space mountain has a number of group interactive games and it certainly helps pass the time. queues are probably one the biggest negatives about a trip to a theme park so if you make them part of the attraction and keep guests entertained throughout you are only going to improve guest satisfaction.
 
DiogoJ42

Re: Drayton Manor Park 2011: Hotel, Thomas Land Ride & Coaster!

Wed May 11, 2011 12:07 am

Oh so that's what the queue is all about! :lol: Having never seen the show, It made zero sense to me. But I guess if the kids like it, it must be doing something right.
 
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Re: Drayton Manor Park 2011: Hotel, Thomas Land Ride & Coaster!

Wed May 11, 2011 8:02 pm

Wow the future is really looking up for drayton, I like the fact that its a family business and being only half an hour away from coventry I go there more than alton, can't wait for the new ride whatever season we see it, I just wish drayton had more space, because I don't think money is really an issue too much anymore, but space definitely is.


And really looking foward to riding apocalypse again in 2 weeks, because TBH it's one of the best rides in the UK, and it must be the best flat ride... IMO. Besides, I need a new ride photo:D
 
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Re: Drayton Manor Park 2011: Hotel, Thomas Land Ride & Coaster!

Thu May 12, 2011 4:57 pm

I think the hotel will be doing 15% off booking deals soon, if it has not been advertised already. I only breifly saw the flyers at work today and I was very busy, so did not fully read them. But they are definatly doing something with 15% off soon. Ill have another look tomororw, as we are not sending them to the park untill next week I think.
 
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Re: Drayton Manor Park 2011: Hotel, Thomas Land Ride & Coaster!

Thu May 12, 2011 8:20 pm

i heard offers to start with would be local area only to pursuade more people to stay
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Re: Drayton Manor Park 2011: Hotel, Thomas Land Ride & Coaster!

Thu May 12, 2011 9:28 pm

Cool, well we have printed just under a million of them i belive, I would have got one to scan but they are still in single massive sheets.
 
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Re: Drayton Manor Park 2011: Hotel, Thomas Land Ride & Coaster!

Thu May 12, 2011 10:18 pm

"Doopy Dan" wrote:
Cool, well we have printed just under a million of them i belive, I would have got one to scan but they are still in single massive sheets.


Are these tokens/coupons etc. going out with the Herald, or...?
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DiogoJ42

Re: Drayton Manor Park 2011: Hotel, Thomas Land Ride & Coaster!

Fri May 13, 2011 10:05 am

:no:
Ben 10, anyone?

I'm still undecided on what I think of the ride itself. Without doubt, the queue is amazing, but the ride...? It just feels a little too slow to me. Every time the train crests a peak, it slows down to a crawl, and almost feels like the trims on Th13teen.
Maybe it will "loosen up" as it ages. It's certainly not bad at any rate.

I do like the trains though. They're kinda like a plastic Timberliner! :lol:

Now if they can just build some walls on the station, it would feel complete...
 
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Re: Drayton Manor Park 2011: Hotel, Thomas Land Ride & Coaster!

Fri May 13, 2011 3:32 pm

Are these tokens/coupons etc. going out with the Herald, or...?


They dont look like coupons, they are about A4 in size, maybe A5.

I will have a butchers tomorrow.
 
Hark

Th13teen Vs Ben:10

Fri May 13, 2011 5:13 pm

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Images Sourced from Alton Towers & Bus Stop Toy Shop

Firstly, I'd like to apologise if this was the wrong thread to post this in, but I felt this was the best one to place it in.

Secondly, as an Alton Towers Enthusiast website I can understand that this may cause a lot of disagreement with what I am about to post but I hope that you could potentially see it from my point of view before discarding what I say completely and offer some constructive and unbiased debate.


Why I think Ben:10 Ultimate Mission is a Better addition to a Theme Park than Th13teen, The ULTIMATE Rollercoaster.

I'm going to split this essay into many parts so you can see how I judge each ride equally and it makes this easier to write and compare.

:arrow: Queue Line/Entrance
:arrow: Target Audience & Marketing
:arrow: Sound & Special FX
:arrow: Experience
:arrow: Rollercoaster
:arrow: The 'Facts'

Queue Line/Entrance
Th13teen
Th13teen's queue line is very 'bland' and by bland I mean that to me it feels like some wooden fencing and just tiny bits of themeing thrown on the ground by some trees. Apart from the Van, what is there to keep people entertained from what can be a tedious queue especially on peak days/when the ride is not co-operating? To me the queue is very poor in terms of building up suspense, expectation and speculation not to mention the 2nd year of graffitied fencing because Alton Towers have yet to find the time to paint the fences. Also in true Merlin style there is also a shop mid-way through the queue where you are constantly waiting for people in front of you to buy their products and things are shoved in your face when you pass by "WANNA BY A MOTH** F****G KIT KAT?!"... To me this detracts from the Ride Experience and I've yet to go but I’m sure you wouldn't find this in say Harry Potter or true world-class rides. In terms of Entrance, I quite like Th13teens, it sets a good visual introduction and from the entrance you know nothing of the ride and it's kept secret till the end. However it's very 'out-of-the-way' and by that I mean it's by the old Corkscrew Entrance which most people struggle to navigate to as there is little or no signage around the Dark Forest.

Ben:10 T.U.M
The Entrance is very in your face. It's in direct foot-fall of ALL guests walking around the area and is very striking with its bright green and stage for Characters to welcome queues to the ride and entertain on the odd day people outside of the main queueline. Once you get inside you are immediately granted with touch screens, strobe effects, full size models of Characters from the show and you are completely immersed in it's atmosphere and relates to fans of the show and even parents and people who have no interested in it alike. It builds up an atmosphere (which some people argue is let down after the ride) but in my opinion the queue line and atmosphere of the build up makes this. Not only do you see props and characters from the show but you get a pre-briefing of the ride and mission. In years to come this will most likely change as Drayton are very poor at maintaining themeing but time shall tell. In all honesty Ben:10 > Th13teen in this category.

Target Audience & Marketing
Th13teen
I'm sure most people on here are familiar with the Marketing of Th13teen. The SW6 'tag', John Wardley, Morwenna, Boot Camp, The Ultimate Rollercoaster. Also aiming what is essentially a 1.2m family ride as a Thrill 'teenage' ride. No. Just no. Alton Towers got this marketing completely wrong, they targeted the wrong people; they built up extreme expectations among us and the general public alike (Psycoaster, signing waivers) and for what? A massive let down. I think the ride works supremely well with pre-teens/early teens and another 1.2m ride on park is brilliant, however this is not a ride for adults. I'd be keen to see ATRs 1 year report on the ride but I’m sure satisfaction scores for those who they targeted will have disappointed.

Ben:10
Now in all honesty I’ve seen very little marketing for this ride. I've seen no TV ads, I've seen no posters, flyers or even a large amount of information on the website until it's opening day. Yet everyone from the age group I've spoken to seem to know about the ride? I must be missing something... Maybe word of mouth via schools? This is good though as the correct Target Audience know, the adults will be dragged along and those who go for thrills and adrenaline can get that fix, still enjoy Ben:10 but not be let down by marketing that is intended to please everyone and fails. For this reason alone I think Ben 10 couldn't be marketed any other way on a children's cartoon and DM did not dress this ride as something it is not. Therefore Ben:10 > Th13teen on Marketing & TA.

Sound & Special FX
Th13teen
So what has Th13teen got to offer in terms of Sound & Special FX (SPFX).. The queue line and station soundtrack in my opinion is brilliant. I really like how they incorporated ITHOTMK into their sound theme and bass and if you listen to the full soundtrack (Available HERE), it truly brings the Alton Towers magic out for me. Take away the music we have announcements. The breakdown announcement ('Disturbances') IMO is too 'comical' in the way that General Public might thing it's part of the build-up/experience on loop (Especially at how often it is played!). We know it means breakdowns but in the Audio itself it doesn't state this. Then you have a half-arsed Tesla Coil which doesn't arch as well as it did. Apart from some cheap 'building site' lighting and some air cannons there is nothing really unique about Th13teen's special effects. It feels to me that they have thrown in every effect they could afford but not thought how they could utilise it properly into the experience.

Ben:10
In terms of SPFX Ben10 offers very little. There are a few strobes and some cool lighting in the queue line and a flashing red beacon on the turn back but apart from that, there's hardly anything in comparison to Th13teen. But what exactly could've been done. I'm going to throw a spanner in the works again and say that the SOUND EFFECTS of Ben10 are better than Th13teen, there are some proper lush sound effects that are used and are timed well to the ride, particularly on the turn back. I have not heard any announcements (if there are any!) so I can't comment on PA Announcements. In terms of Queue line Audio & Ride Audio there is very little. So I guess the fact that Alton Towers have a lot of effects [whether they use them right or not] are better than little/no effects so in this case Th13teen would win this.


Experience
Ben:10
Starting on Ben:10 this one, most of the experience section I mentioned in the Queue line part of this essay, I think the Queue line really immerses guests into the Ben:10 theme effectively and provides a really good and interactive build up. The thing this ride has in terms of experience rather than Th13teen is that Kids come off this ride and jump up and down and want to go on again and again. They love it. The experience gives them an adrenaline buzz, it's most likely their first rollercoaster experience and it's something that makes them want to go again.

Th13teen
Really unsure of this one. As an experience I think Th13teen is good. The thing that concerns me is it's re-ride ability factor. The first time I went on Th13teen my opinions were "Woah, pretty good, loved the theme; drop was less than I expected all round meh." Now I’m a coaster enthusiast so I have a lot to compare it to, but it seems to trend in the GP too with opinions I've heard such as "That's ****", "That's a one trick pony" and people said this about Oblivion but Oblivion is still here. I can't see Th13teen being around in 10 years if I’m honest. The ride experience doesn't thrill me or do anything for me even on the second ride. Therefore for me Ben10 > Th13teen.

Rollercoaster
Ben:10
In terms of riding the actual rides I have ridden Th13teen more so than Ben:10. From what I can remember every time I rode Ben:10 and came off I thought and voiced that I felt in terms of Rollercoaster Ben:10 was more thrilling than Th13teen. It has a mixture of elements. Fair enough it doesn't have a secret crypt but it works, the ride is very cool and if you sit back row of Ben10 you go quite high! For its intended audience it's perfect. It's not tame by any means, but it's not intense at all, it's brilliant for Coaster Virgins! I would certainly have no problem taking my kids on and letting them enjoy it rather than Th13teen.

Th13teen
In terms of rollercoaster, although it looks very good and impactful, I’m sure others would join me in saying watching it being built we though WOAH this might just be epic and the first drop is. After that what the hell is the rest of the rollercoaster bit? As John Wardley described it it's a 'Whizz around some trees' and that's it. Nothing else. Apart from the backwards bit. [Some parents clutch on to dear life on Th13teen in fear their kid will get ejected from the ride, although I think this is general GP saftness rather than a measure of intensity]. I personally don't rate Th13teen as a rollercoaster at all. It's an experience more so and I think this is reflected in its 153rd ranking in the Mitch Hawker poll. Ultimate Rollercoaster my arse. Therefore Ben 10 > Th13teen.

The Facts
Th13teen
£15 million wasted. 1.2m. Ranked 153rd best rollercoaster this year [According to MH], Intamin Family Mega-lite

Ben:10
Cost Unknown [Not 15 million], 1m+ Ranking Unknown until next year, Vekoma Boomerang.

On Paper Th13teen should outrank Ben:10 in every way. But it doesn't? It really doesn't and THAT is why I think personally Ben 10 is better than Th13teen.

Interested to hear other people's views on this and whether they agree or disagree with the statements and decisions I’ve made.
 
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Re: Th13teen Vs Ben:10

Fri May 13, 2011 5:45 pm

Can't post much as am going out but may I say congratulations, you've really hit the nail on the head. :clap:
 
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Re: Th13teen Vs Ben:10

Fri May 13, 2011 6:01 pm

Man... I really need to get myself back to Drayton Manor to ride Ben 10, if it's as good as TTFers (though, like Th13teen, my friends you have ridden it describe it as :censored: ) are making out... damn school trip being to Alton Towers this year. :P
Last edited by Pennywise on Fri May 13, 2011 6:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
Blaze

Re: Th13teen Vs Ben:10

Fri May 13, 2011 6:02 pm

What a pointless question. Why not ask Nemesis vs Beastie for all it's worth. The rides set out to do totally different things.

Couple of points with your answer, Ben 10 wins in marketing by not having any? Thirteen's may have missed the mark, but it was extremely successful. And marketing has nothin gto do with the quality of a ride. Otherwise Hex and Oblivion would be ranked as the best rides in history.

Thirtee not being around in ten years? Really? Merlin make some stupid decisions, but to spend £12m+ on something for one decade, going to all the trouble of planning and designing the drop, to get rid of it again in 2020 is faintly ridiculous, the fact you're basing that on your opinion it isn't very re-ridable (the opposite of most peoples, as it happens) does not make it true. It was built to last, and last it will.

As for Mitch Hawker, do you expect Ben 10 to get any higher? And don't dare say 'GP daftness' ever again. Not being anal enthusiasts does not make them daft, and does not make them 'general'. They are no less general or daft as us. If people are genuinely scared, it doesn't matter how far their interest into rides go. If they are scared the ride is doing it's job. Again, you're basing it all on opinion, not fact. And again, marketing has nothing to do with the ride. They claimed it was the Ultimate Rollercoaster. To 99.999% of people it isn't. Oh well. Ben 10: Ultimate Alien isn't an alien. Oh no, the horror of a theme park not being honest!

Personally, I have seen lots of people want to run back onto Thirteen, I've done it myself infact. Kds come off laughing after Ben 10 becase that's what it's there for. Thirteen is aimed at slightly older kids to give them a bit of a scare and to thrill them. Once Ben 10 gets to the coaster, there is no theming or anything other than a short twisty bit up hill and then down again. Thirteen has everything it does, the 'experience' lasts the entire duration, from joining the queue to leaving the ride.

The Thirteen queue shop isn't typical Merlin', it's there for convenience. When you're queueing for two hours on a hot day, you'll be glad to have a chance to buy a cold drink or a snack.

I'm not saying Thirteen is better than Ben 10, the two rides are far too different. RMT and Ben 10 is a much better comparison, as like you say, Ben 10 is for 'coaster virgins', whereas Thirteen is supposed to be the bridge from the likes of RMT and Spinball up to the big coasters; a coaster that looks like a full sized one, but actually isn't any meaner than the little ones. I know which one I'd rather ride, and which one I'd reccomend to most people, and it isn't the one themed to the crap kids show. Thirteen has its many failures, but it oozes class and quality, even if the ride isn't that great. And before you say it, the marketing was totally wrong, but it was done very well.
 
Bear

Re: Th13teen Vs Ben:10

Fri May 13, 2011 6:05 pm

Do you reckon AT could bribe Drayton into a swap? :P In all honesty, Ben10 looks like great fun and it appears to totally deliver what it promises. Th13teen looks like so much more than it actually is... it's just a complex support structure of LIES in my opinion.

You make some excellent points Kieron! :)
 
AstroDan

Re: Th13teen Vs Ben:10

Fri May 13, 2011 6:14 pm

As much as you have written well in the original post and I agree Ben10 does a better job at what it was billed as... there is no doubt in my mind whatsoever that Thirteen is a far superior ride experience overall.

Ben10 was great but pretending it is better than Thirteen? Sorry, I can't buy that.

Sent from my HTC Desire using Tapatalk
 
Hark

Re: Th13teen Vs Ben:10

Fri May 13, 2011 7:19 pm

"Blaze" wrote:
What a pointless question. Why not ask Nemesis vs Beastie for all it's worth. The rides set out to do totally different things.

Couple of points with your answer, Ben 10 wins in marketing by not having any? Thirteen's may have missed the mark, but it was extremely successful. And marketing has nothin gto do with the quality of a ride. Otherwise Hex and Oblivion would be ranked as the best rides in history.

Thirtee not being around in ten years? Really? Merlin make some stupid decisions, but to spend £12m+ on something for one decade, going to all the trouble of planning and designing the drop, to get rid of it again in 2020 is faintly ridiculous, the fact you're basing that on your opinion it isn't very re-ridable (the opposite of most peoples, as it happens) does not make it true. It was built to last, and last it will.

As for Mitch Hawker, do you expect Ben 10 to get any higher? And don't dare say 'GP daftness' ever again. Not being anal enthusiasts does not make them daft, and does not make them 'general'. They are no less general or daft as us. If people are genuinely scared, it doesn't matter how far their interest into rides go. If they are scared the ride is doing it's job. Again, you're basing it all on opinion, not fact. And again, marketing has nothing to do with the ride. They claimed it was the Ultimate Rollercoaster. To 99.999% of people it isn't. Oh well. Ben 10: Ultimate Alien isn't an alien. Oh no, the horror of a theme park not being honest!

Personally, I have seen lots of people want to run back onto Thirteen, I've done it myself infact. Kds come off laughing after Ben 10 becase that's what it's there for. Thirteen is aimed at slightly older kids to give them a bit of a scare and to thrill them. Once Ben 10 gets to the coaster, there is no theming or anything other than a short twisty bit up hill and then down again. Thirteen has everything it does, the 'experience' lasts the entire duration, from joining the queue to leaving the ride.

The Thirteen queue shop isn't typical Merlin', it's there for convenience. When you're queueing for two hours on a hot day, you'll be glad to have a chance to buy a cold drink or a snack.

I'm not saying Thirteen is better than Ben 10, the two rides are far too different. RMT and Ben 10 is a much better comparison, as like you say, Ben 10 is for 'coaster virgins', whereas Thirteen is supposed to be the bridge from the likes of RMT and Spinball up to the big coasters; a coaster that looks like a full sized one, but actually isn't any meaner than the little ones. I know which one I'd rather ride, and which one I'd reccomend to most people, and it isn't the one themed to the crap kids show. Thirteen has its many failures, but it oozes class and quality, even if the ride isn't that great. And before you say it, the marketing was totally wrong, but it was done very well.


Some good points made there! In response to Marketing: You could argue that Th13teen's marketing was more successful. It definitely was in the public eye a lot more. However because as you say the marketing was way off and done completely wrong it highers expectation which in my opinion is a let down after the ride. Speak to people who aren't in the coaster enthusiast community and I guarentee it'll all be a mixed bag. For that reason I believe Ben 10's marketing although It lacked in Quantity hasn't destroyed people's pre-conceptions.

I disagree with the Long-Term aspect of Th13teen. I just honestly can't see it being a popular ride in 10 years time. It'll either sit there to rot like Corkscrew or get re-located or end up going.

In terms of GP Daftness, i'm not accusing the GP of being daft - We are all aware that there are lies and misconceptions in the GP which is not their fault, at the end of the day they're at a theme park and things get twisted [Quite literally] I'm sure we've all heard "OMG SOMEONE FELL OUT OF THIS RIDE AT THE TOP" etc..

As for Mitch Hawker, I don't believe it will beat Th13teen next year HOWEVER Alton Towers i'm sure will have expected their new £15m investment of new rollercoaster technology to be in at least the top 100. Where as Ben 10 and Drayton were not trying to build the world's number 1. I can also not think of any other Theme Park that has a shop in it's queueline outside of Merlin? The only one I can think of is Blue Fire at Europa Park.

I personally don't think either ride is 'crap' and we all have our own opinions. Mine is that Ben 10 is better and I think i've made some pretty good points why. I disagree with your comment about Th13teen oozing quality and class. How many orders have Intamin had for the same type of rollercoaster? Very few I'd imagine, if any at all! I think it was a risky gamble, which we won't see again in other coasters.

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