UK theme parks from another point of view!

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

Sun May 15, 2011 6:13 pm

Visited DMP with a friend yesterday, had an absolutely fantastic time ( :D ), and got on all the important rides more than once. In fact, we were probably pretty much done by 14:30ish - it was surprisingly un-busy.

We rode Ben 10 a couple of times, (and thoroughly enjoyed it), but oh boy was it experiencing issues...

From the start, it opened around 30 minutes late. When walking past it at one point, we noticed maintenance poking around under the platform near the front of the station.

When we noticed it testing around 11am, we joined the back of the (shortish) queue, and were soon let into the main queue (in which the effects were all switched off. Soon rectified, though, and we watched the interactive displays light up to show the Windows XP boot screen :P). Nice to see that the wooden panels which create the queue have now been painted.

Once we got near the front, it was clear that there were issues. Each dispatch was accompanied by a horrendous mechanical screaming noise, which was clearly a problem with the dropping floor. I managed to record it on AudioBoo, here (which strangely enough doesn't seem to work in my copy of Chrome... works fine in IE, though...).

Looking carefully at the floor, it was clear to see that it was not at all level. Towards each end of the station, the moving floor sagged below the fixed floor by a centimetre or two, whilst towards the centre it bulged above by about the same amount.

On a few occasions, the train would return to the station, but then the restraints would fail to release, leaving riders stuck for up to 5 minutes. To rectify this, the ops opened and closed the air gates, started lowering the floor but quickly reversed and raised it. This seemed to work, which suggests that there's definitely a problem with the positioning of that floor.

After opening late, there was a period of about two hours later that day when the ride was closed again.

Clearly the floor is the problem here. I do wonder a little why the floor needs to lower at all - once the train has returned to the lift hill and is released to return to the station, the floor starts raising before the train has stopped, so there must be enough clearance with it in place. If not, then surely enough clearance could be achieved just by making the platform a little narrower, say 5cm each side, which wouldn't impact much on the accessibility of the train.

Any which way, this problem needs addressing...
 
Maelstrom
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Re: Drayton Manor Park 2011: Hotel, Thomas Land Ride & Coaster!

Sun May 15, 2011 7:52 pm

Due to design of the cars you could stick you arms out the side and if the floor didnt lower there would be a risk that after traveling through the station after the first spike someone could hit their their hand on the station floor, with the floor lowering it elinates any chance of this ever happening. This cant happen on a normal boomerang due to the design of the trains.
 
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Re: Drayton Manor Park 2011: Hotel, Thomas Land Ride & Coaster!

Sun May 15, 2011 8:07 pm

Ah, that makes perfect sense, hadn't thought of that.

...in which case, I can see why they need the floor, but they're gonna need to fix it :P
 
Blaze

Re: Th13teen Vs Ben:10

Sun May 15, 2011 8:12 pm

"Dormiens-Dave" wrote:
Its not the marketing i'm judging it on.. its whether the ride satisfies the target audience... where other than 3 months after the ride opened did Alton towers say it was a family ride?

It doesn't matter. We're not judging the marketing strategy, we're judging the ride. Besides, the target audience of Thirteen is pretty much anyone, but particulary kids around 11, who havn't yet been on the proper big rides and are perhaps too scared to jump straight from Spinball to Nemesis, or arn't tall enough yet. So what if they marketed it with a more aggressive image and didn't clearly state "This ride is for families and supposed to bridge the gap between our family coasters and thrill coasters" until later on? It's clear that's what it's for, and was as soon as we saw the layout. Even un-trimmed, it would hardly be a blindingly intense ride. And do the other rides achieve their goals better than Thirteen? Judging by the reactions of kids of that age group I've seen on it, I'd disagree completely. I can't see Ben 10 make kids jump with excitement and want to run onto bigger rides, and yet I;ve seen this happen plenty of times on Thirteen, and with adults.

Even if we're judging everything, not just the ride, Thirteen still comes out on top for me, no matter how unbiased and detached I am. Ben 10 is good at what is is, but Thirteen, as far as I'm concerned, is just better.
 
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Re: Drayton Manor Park 2011: Hotel, Thomas Land Ride & Coaster!

Sun May 15, 2011 9:15 pm

Next Q&A From Drayton Manor Plus

* What gave the park the idea of bringing Ben10 & Cartoon network to the park?

[ Mm! to add a further Children's character to our park]

* Were you approached by Vekoma about the junior boomerang or did you approach them, and what made the junior boomerang the right choice for the park?
[ Edward Pawley went to Vekoma and asked for a junior coaster they came up with the design.it all went well from there as Vekoma very excited at new style of coaster and once again DMP was with a first , one of about 10 in the industry up to now]

* With the temporary barriers currently in place in the ben10 queue line are these due to be replaced with permanent barriers at a later date?
[yes and no, maybe holes and post and chain as some days q is horrendous. Only on those days do we need barriers]


* We have heard about a Scooby Doo ride possibly replacing the haunting or golden nuggets, is there any timescale for this and any details on what type of ride it would be?

[Scooby Doo WILL be in the Haunting as a change of effects upon the basic ideas, the ride and floor in the Haunting will stay. A renewal of effects to match Scooby Doo[who is 40 next year] will be onerous to say the least as all spooks are bonkers anyway, so more screams are needed!]

* What other Cartoon Network characters would you like to bring to the park.
[ Cannot say as there are 30 odd, I say odd as they are odd some are just scribbles.. Maybe Chowders Café and others wait and see.]

* With the black revolver being removed at the end of last season are there any plans to replace it with a ride in the future and what the target audience of the ride would be?
[We have a dive show this year, wait and see next ideas'sssssssssssss.. more to come]

* The latest rumours we have heard for 2012 is a new worlds first from Vekoma themed to scalextic/ racing coaster replacing the buffalo coaster, is there any truth in this rumour and any details on the ride?

[NO!] wrong year wrong ride and someone has let something secret out of the bag that's not truthful] I will not say anything, I leave you guessing...

[url=http://www.draytonmanorplus.co.uk" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;]http://www.draytonmanorplus.co.uk[/url]
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SEALIFE
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Re: Drayton Manor Park 2011: Hotel, Thomas Land Ride & Coaster!

Sun May 15, 2011 9:36 pm

Im so glad Scooby and the gang are moving in just what The Haunted needed! Although I will miss the que line music.. (Any chance you could get it Tom?) Anywho.. this will also leave re-development for Golden Nuggets in the future too.

But im confused about the concept of Scooby atm is the ride staying the same so going into the truck, corridor and chapel? or is all that being ripped out and a whole new layout and such being put into place?

Hopefully we shall see The Mystery Machine appear! :D
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Dormiens-Dave

Re: Th13teen Vs Ben:10

Sun May 15, 2011 9:41 pm

"Blaze""][quote=""Dormiens-Dave" wrote:
Its not the marketing i'm judging it on.. its whether the ride satisfies the target audience... where other than 3 months after the ride opened did Alton towers say it was a family ride?

It doesn't matter. We're not judging the marketing strategy, we're judging the ride.[/quote]


You quote the bit where i say i'm not talking about marketing and then say "it doesn't matter we are not talking about marketing :?

I think its important a ride succeeds in reaching its audience of intention. Thirteen has a theme and mis-en-scen that can and does put off those who its apparently intended for (nice backpeddling towers) yet the ride doesn't meet the needs of a thrill audience.

I think the reason Ben 10 exemplifies the failing of Thirteen isn;t that it is a better ride but for what it is it is executed to a higher standard and meets its potential. Thirteen is fine.. its ride experience is better than Ben 10 but i come off knowing it could have been so much more.

The comment from a random member of public on opening weekend sums it up for me

"its like Alton Towers know they dont have to try anymore"
 
djtruefitt

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

Sun May 15, 2011 9:57 pm

The answers from Drayton always seem very interesting, I remember there was a interview with someone there last year and the answers were all pretty much written the same (e.g very bad english :P) but all of what was said last year seemed to be true.

From that it seems the Haunting will defo be themed to scooby doo, which I think would be great with the Haunting as its not scary and some of the effects are quite funny which would work well with scooby doo. It also seemed that rumoured 2012 ride might be more like 2013 and not a racing coaster? Very cryptic some of the things they say!

I imagine the ride layout would remain the same, some kind of preshow or introduction from scooby and the gang in the van (which could be made into a building or something? then the corridoor which I imagine would have a make over, he says the moving floor would stay, but I guess the weird face would be replaced. Then finally the room I guess would stay pretty much the same, with different music or something. Overall I think it sounds good.
 
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Re: Drayton Manor Park 2011: Hotel, Thomas Land Ride & Coaster!

Sun May 15, 2011 10:02 pm

By the sounds of it next year will be scooby doo and possibly a new thrill ride for black revolver area.

and i think obviously the whole thrill coaster thing was not meant to be leaked so i can see much tighter restrictions on who see's these things and i think they will try and find out who it was, that leaked it.
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Re: Th13teen Vs Ben:10

Sun May 15, 2011 10:03 pm

While Alton may not have called it a family coaster until 3 months after open neither did they call it the ultimate roller coaster until a month before launch. I've heard allot of people say the park overhyped Thirteen with the promise of the best ride ever but none of this marketing appeared until February half term. So who told us it would be a thrill ride before then? Well... we did.

and why did we? Because we wanted to convince ourselves that this sign wasn't true:

Image
Signage on the creates containing Thirteens track

Now I know this doesn’t excuse them for the 4 months they did call it the ultimate roller coaster but I’m not going to defend them for that piece of marketing. Like with the current Fanta business it was not good for the ride or the park.

As for Ben 10 I missed the Stafford Sandwich meet so can only guess what it’s like. The queue sounds great but that’s about all I’ve heard. As a kids ride it’s probably excellent but I don’t think Thirteens darker theme puts off younger riders, tell them there to young and they love it more than the adults do.
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Blaze

Re: Th13teen Vs Ben:10

Sun May 15, 2011 10:29 pm

"Dormiens-Dave" wrote:
I think its important a ride succeeds in reaching its audience of intention. Thirteen has a theme and mis-en-scen that can and does put off those who its apparently intended for (nice backpeddling towers) yet the ride doesn't meet the needs of a thrill audience

But it's not for a thrill audience, and as that picture shows, it wasn't backpeddling. It was always going to be a family coaster from day one. Morwenna overhyped it on purpose and we fell for it and some of us accept we were wrong, but some still point their finger at Towers and blame them.

"Dormiens-Dave""][quote=""Blaze" wrote:
I think the reason Ben 10 exemplifies the failing of Thirteen isn;t that it is a better ride but for what it is it is executed to a higher standard and meets its potential. Thirteen is fine.. its ride experience is better than Ben 10 but i come off knowing it could have been so much more.
[/quote]
Is Ben 10 better executed than Thirteen? Ben 10 has a pretty great queue, but the outside looks average and the station is totally plain, as are the trains. Thirteen has a pretty sparse queue and the outdoor section is very plain and will be for a couple of years until the trees eventually grow over, but the station inside and out is excelent.

And Ben 10 couldn't have been much more? With almost any ride there's possibile improvements, lots of what ifs. "What if the council were kinder to the planning application" "What if the old fort hadn't been found to be bigger than thought" and so on. Ben 10 could have been more than a very short off-the-shelf-shuttle built in a midway, but there you go, you don't assess a ride on what it could have been, you assess it on what it is.
 
Dormiens-Dave

Re: Th13teen Vs Ben:10

Sun May 15, 2011 10:42 pm

I never actually fell for the hype, the plans showed clearly that it wasn't going to be a thrill coaster, doesn't mean i can't believe they should and could have done better than they did with the ride.

And as i have said plenty of times the management team have veto on anything the marketing team want to do so if this was genuinely a family ride why was a thrill angle allowed to be used throughout build-up to the ride.

My argument which seems to be going above peoples heads for some reason is that the publics perception of a ride and the experience it delivers DO effect peoples enjoyment of the ride.

You go as a teenager onto RMT you expect a fun family ride.. you get a run family ride = happy guest

You go as a teenager onto Thirteen, your told to expect thrill - you get a sedate wander through the woods and a small drop with NO sfx, NO drama and NO thrills = disappointed guests, same guest who went on RMT just came off with a bad opinion.

Now keep the same ride, tell the guest what it is meant to be (creepy but not thrilling = satisfied guest. So you cannot separate the marketing and theme from the ride as easily as you would like.

Ben 10 delivers what it set out to do and does it well. Thirteen really doesn't. Hence why you stand at the exit of Ben 10 and 90% of comments where very positive. Stand at the exit of thirteen and its a much smaller number.

The idea that you can call people stupid for falling for the marketing i think insults the general public, we as geeks can see what we are getting. I didn;t come of thirteen thinking "ohh god i have been deceived" i just came of thinking "wow well that really could have been so much better for so very little more investment"

And Blaze if you refer to the Iron Hill fort it had no effect on Thirteens plans its quite a way away and the ride building nor coaster track nor the inside theming where effected by the plans, they only had to remove the fake tower and remodel the baggage hold. So we can't even blame the planners for thirteen poor theming
 
AstroDan

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

Sun May 15, 2011 10:52 pm

Who writes those answers?

Sent from my HTC Desire using Tapatalk
 
A5H

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

Sun May 15, 2011 10:59 pm

A thrill ride to replace The Black Revolver... That's not a very big area, it's the sort of area where they could add a Robot Arm or something along them lines, isn't going to be a very big attraction!
 
djtruefitt

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

Sun May 15, 2011 11:18 pm

"AstroDan" wrote:
Who writes those answers?

Sent from my HTC Desire using Tapatalk

Im guessing its Colin Bryan, this is his interview last year: [url=http://draytonmanorplus.co.uk/dmtalk/viewtopic.php?f=33&t=5" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;]http://draytonmanorplus.co.uk/dmtalk/vi ... p?f=33&t=5[/url]

And the answers were written in the style of a child there (just like they are in this years interview :P).

Pretty much all he hinted about last year was true, he mentioned there wouldnt be a flat ride in place of the sombreros but another ride (which turned out to be Ben 10), he said the 4D film would change and to wait and see for more news (we got cartoon network area). They also asked him about the duel launched coaster and Knex last year and he said "Wrong sponsor! A while yet but no contract for such".

So im guessing what he has said this year will turn out to be true like last year.
 
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Re: Drayton Manor Park 2011: Hotel, Thomas Land Ride & Coaster!

Mon May 16, 2011 12:00 pm

Very interesting interview, he always keeps me guessing! Good work G-Force. :)
 
Maelstrom
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Re: Drayton Manor Park 2011: Hotel, Thomas Land Ride & Coaster!

Tue May 17, 2011 1:59 pm

If they are planning a new thrill ride for the black revolver site i think a Huss suspended topspin would be a good choice, it should fit in the small area the blackrolver had (there is enough room around the site for a queue line) and would fit in with the park tough height restrictions.

[url=http://www.hussrides.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=62&Itemid=107" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;]http://www.hussrides.com/index.php?opti ... Itemid=107[/url]
 
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Re: Drayton Manor Park 2011: Hotel, Thomas Land Ride & Coaster!

Wed May 18, 2011 7:24 pm

Well the thrill ride replacing the Black Revolver I think will be still indoors as the building is still up. Also would help with noice problems.
 
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Re: Drayton Manor Park 2011: Hotel, Thomas Land Ride & Coaster!

Wed May 18, 2011 11:33 pm

What thrill ride could they possibly fit in there?:/
 
Maelstrom
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Re: Drayton Manor Park 2011: Hotel, Thomas Land Ride & Coaster!

Wed May 18, 2011 11:56 pm

I doubt they would keep the building, not alot would fit in it.

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