UK theme parks from another point of view!

 
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phillipvass
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Sun Oct 08, 2006 4:50 pm

So can I just get this cleared up, there will be only one night of fireworks on Saturday 28th of October :? So what is happening on the Friday and Sunday of the Electric towers event then?
Last edited by phillipvass on Sun Oct 08, 2006 4:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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haydn!
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Sun Oct 08, 2006 4:50 pm

That's right, for one night and one night only.
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phillipvass
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Sun Oct 08, 2006 4:53 pm

Will the rides remain open until late on the Sunday aswell?
 
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haydn!
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Sun Oct 08, 2006 4:57 pm

I'd imagine not.
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Craig

Sun Oct 08, 2006 5:06 pm

"phillipvass" wrote:
So can I just get this cleared up, there will be only one night of fireworks on Saturday 28th of October :? So what is happening on the Friday and Sunday of the Electric towers event then?


I've just noticed you mentioned Electric Towers. You do realise this topic is about American Adventure and not Alton Towers don't you? Alton are still having 3 days of fireworks, it's American Adventure who aren't.
 
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phillipvass
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Sun Oct 08, 2006 6:28 pm

Quite true, sorry :wink:
 
Craig

Sun Oct 08, 2006 6:29 pm

Just didn't want you thinking you'd only have one day to see the fireworks at AT that's all :P
 
Anonymous

Wed Oct 18, 2006 7:26 pm

Fantastic!

My Mum was sorting out my old bedroom (after 6 years) and discovered my American Adventure/Camelot official promotional video showing lots of lovely footage of AA in its first year. I remember ordering it from the AA admin office for the grand total of £10 back in 1987/88 and when I got it, I was disappointed cos there's only about 10mins of AA footage on it. Can't wait to watch it again now though.

It might take a while, but once I get it, I'll transfer it onto DVD and turn it into lovely computer-friendly video for anybody who is in a position to get it online. Or indeed, anybody who just wants me to send it to them via MSN.

Hurrah!
 
Dara
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Wed Dec 20, 2006 7:03 pm

A few weeks ago I went to American Adventure on my way back from Yorkshire. I went on a Sunday afternoon when aztec kingdom and all its rides were open.
Although I didnt actually go in to the park (just walked round the path) I noticed that there were only 4 cars in the car park at 1PM (which should really have been its busiest time of day. There cant have been many people in if there were only 4 cars. At least one must have been staff. It was definately open as I saw people leaving and heard the music playing.
This really suprised me because i had been led to believe that the winter weekends in aztec kingdom were quite popular. Obviously not!
 
colin_p
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Thu Dec 21, 2006 9:35 am

I actually ventured into the park on Saturday with family in tow. There were well over 20 cars in the car park most of the day and the indoor area was busy with children's parties, however, to say it was a little dissapointing is an understatement. The following rides were available other than the play area:

Motion Master: Robots from Mars 'The Ride'
Bronco Buggies
John Paul Jones
3D Cinema: Robots from Mars [longer version]

Santa's appearances appear to have also been cancelled.

"What of the other Aztec Kingdom rides?" I hear you ask!

Well, the large Carousel has vanished, as have the Tonto Canoes. The Rio Grand Train was closed 'due to technical difficulties', which was not suprising, it had also been completely removed leaving just the overturned plywood boulders! Rascal Rocket was strapped to the back of a lorry behind Aztec Kingdom, looking suspiciously like it was going to leave the park this week.

Looking out over the rest of the park was an eerie experince. It looks like nothing has been touched since the end of the season. At this point in the year I would expect Yankee Clipper, High Seirra, the Balloons and Tennassee Tentacles to be in partially dismantled states for repair/checks. They are all still fully built up, as was the Fire Brigade ride and smaller Carousel on Snake Island. Even the paddle boats were still moored in the lake rather than lifted out and sat on the railway lines as they were last year.

Checking around I could see Twin Looper, Bufallo Stampede, Sky Coaster and the Runaway Train were all in place. However, on a second glance I could see something was missing, Mini Mine Rush had been removed completely and appeared to be piled up on the pathway near the old log flume station. Whether it was on the back of a lorry or not I couldn't really tell. I couldn't see through to the Rockin' Tug so can't confirm it's presence in the park.

I took plenty of photos, hopefully this evening I can upload some to the forum. I get the funny feeling I may have been there on the penultimate day they opened to the public... ever...

Colin
 
fanm
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Thu Dec 21, 2006 10:03 am

Just a sad heads up. RCDB now lists the park as closed, permanently. http://rcdb.com/pd272.htm This seems to tie in with colin p's account of most of the rides being gone. It'll be the very sad day, when the 'UK's newest Theme Park' is finally put to rest. (lets just hope some developer buys the site to establish a better theme park/visitor attraction, lol, i love to dream)
Argh! REVISION
 
colin_p
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Thu Dec 21, 2006 6:38 pm

"fanm" wrote:
Just a sad heads up. RCDB now lists the park as closed, permanently. http://rcdb.com/pd272.htm


Hmm... I wouldn't take that as 'confirmation' as we don't know how reliable their source is. Any site that relies on input from enthusiasts runs the risk of accepting information from an over-keen source. Until we get confirmation in the form of a statement from the park themselves we still don't know what the situation is. A recent post on Coasterforce suggested that the people answering the phones at the park haven't got a clue what the future of the park is!

Anyway, here are the key photos from Saturday:

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Rascal Rocket on a lorry.

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Mini Mine Rush should be behind it's station on the left. Instead it seems to be over there to the right....

The rest of the photos can be found here. I may add more general shots of the old entrance etc later on.

Colin
 
Dara
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Sat Dec 23, 2006 4:35 pm

Looks like they haven't found a buyer for the park after all. Whilst I'd like to say the infromation on coaster force was wrong, unfortunately i cant.
What has seemed inevitable for the past 3 or 4 years is now actually happening.
To be quite honest i think it's actually quite impressive that it didn't happen earlier. It's comendable that they kept going with a brave face for so long when they had so many problems, rather than just suddenly giving up like southport.

With the exception of Paultons Park, 2006 has been a terrible year for small UK parks.

Now that it's closing or closed, what happens if Ventureworld cant find any buyers to take over the land? They are still paying the lease as it's a 100 year lease. If they dont find a buyer, will they have to declare themselves bankrupt and have the park repossessed by the council?
That would probably be beneficial as it could be used as a further extention of the country park again.

Ventureworld Ltd. or any other company for that matter would not want to be paying a lease for an site that it not in use.
 
colin_p
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Sat Dec 23, 2006 5:46 pm

"Dara" wrote:
Now that it's closing or closed, what happens if Ventureworld cant find any buyers to take over the land? They are still paying the lease as it's a 100 year lease. If they dont find a buyer, will they have to declare themselves bankrupt and have the park repossessed by the council?
That would probably be beneficial as it could be used as a further extention of the country park again.


That is a good question, one no doubt nagging away at the directors of Ventureworld at the moment as the rent is approx £1/4 million per year. Back in the old holiday park application they indicated that they would seek other ways to cover the rent in the event of the park closing. Going bankrupt may be an option, but not one to be taken lightly.

Their options may be limited, as I believe that the land is zoned for 'leisure' use, not necessarily a theme park, but I believe the lease excludes retail use other than that connected directly to the park activities. This would rule out development of a retail based attraction with small craft shops or factory outlets, unless the lease can be re-negotiated and/or planning permission sought for change of use.

Another option would be to exploit the lake for water sports, sailing, fishing etc. I think that would be covered by existing permissions as it has been used for that in the past. They could even be cheeky and apply to build a holiday park within the existing theme park boundary, although without the theme park there it would be an odd choice.

However, just to throw a spanner in the works, in the last week I have discovered evidence that there may have been an attempt by Ventureworld to buy the site during the summer. I stumbled across this document which contains the following wording:

"A declaration of a personal interest was made by Councillor B C Lucas in Agenda Item 8(b), Proposed Sale of Land, Shipley Country Park, as a Member of the Ventureworld Liaison Group" on page 1, and

"Proposed sale of land at Shipley Country Park – Strategic Director, Corporate Resources (contains information relating to the business affairs of a particular person(s)" on page 9.

It is not hard evidence, but if a councillor on a liaison group with Ventureworld cannot take part in a discussion about sale of land at Shipley Country Park, who must they have considered selling it to? Unfortunately the discussion that took place was behind closed doors so the document does not indicate if the sale was approved or not. If Ventureworld had bought the land, it would make the park a great deal more saleable......

Colin
 
Dara
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Tue Dec 26, 2006 4:18 pm

That is really interesting. I guess one thing that would be putting potential buyers off is the fact that the council owns the land. Despite the fact that ventureworld got the park at an unbelievably low price in 1997 (only £3 million i think) the lease payments, if they are as high as colin indicated, will soon add up- about £15 million a year :?
It may have just been cheaper for ventureworld to have tried to do this in the first place. Maybe the high lease payments was one reason why Granada wanted rid of the park so quickly.

With regards to what will happen with the land, i think the idea of a holiday village is really unlikely and like you said colin, if the main purpose of the attraction built has to be for leisure their options are rather limited. I think lake related activities is what we are most likely to see.
Then again, who knows?
 
colin_p
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Tue Dec 26, 2006 6:55 pm

Dara, not sure how you got the £15 million a year figure, as the lease was approx a quarter of a million per year (damn fractions!). I have seen evidence that the actual figure may be closer to £180,000 per year, but it is still a substantial amount to pay out if the park is inactive.

And inactive it appears to be... There are reports on Coasterforce and Talk Flamingo that Flamingoland have bought Mini Mine Rush, and from the sound of it either the 3D Cinema or 4D Motion Master (suspect the latter) and the old Black Hole laser dodgems. There are also rumours that Twin Looper and the Runaway Train are sold, buyer unknown. Looks like it might be bargain time for smaller parks again, although with ex-PleasureLand stuff knocking about the market could end up over saturated!

Colin
 
Dara
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Tue Dec 26, 2006 9:27 pm

Yeah the £15 million was my mistake. I thought you meant £1.4million not a quarter of a million. Even so its still quite a bit to be paying on an annual basis. Nowhere near as much as I said though :oops:

It was mentioned on the temporary forum that AT may also be buying some of the smaller new zamperla rides. I dont think we ever actually knew if AA owned them or if they were just on loan. If they were only on loan that would definately explain why they are leaving the park so quickly whilst the other rides lie inactive.
With regards to the two main coasters, I'm not really that bothered what happens to the twin looper. It was mentioned a few months aago on this thread that if it was sold the buyer would have trouble with the new disibility laws. So it may just end up scrapped like nightmare niagara. The Runaway Train, on the other hand, I still believe to be the best powered coaster in the UK- possibly the world! It's certainly by far the best I've ever ridden. I really hope that is sold to another UK park. If not we would have lost an amazing and unique ride, and I'd have to search the world for another Interlink powered coaster of the same design!
No idea where! :lol: There certainly aren't any others in the UK- mostly boring Macks.
 
spark
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Wed Dec 27, 2006 12:19 am

I really cant get my head around this, Everything seemed to be on the up with the addition of new rides and refurb of older ones.

How much money was spent on the refurb of the rapids?

I just hope the park doesnt get left to rot as that would make many peoples feel angry as it brought many happy memories to us over the years :cry:
 
Dara
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Wed Dec 27, 2006 3:50 pm

I think the main problem Spark, is that it all came a bit too late. 2006 was a really good season for the park.
For the first time in ages they actually had a target audience that they were properly catering for. However the lack of direction in previous years and bad reputation that the park got for itself in previous years had a knock on effect.
I genuinley believe that if this new 'family' image and marketing campaign and the installation of these new zamperla rides had happened 3 or 4 years earlier the park would still be ok today and doing well as a small family park.

I think it was only from 2005 that they really finally realised that they could not carry on as a major theme park. They should have realised that much earlier instead of wasting everyones time with the pointless holiday village application.
 
Thomas
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Wed Dec 27, 2006 4:01 pm

The change to a family park in my opinion was one of the worst decisions for the park, i mean who's going to spend £10 each for an adult when there's only 2 rides for them? One you have to pay more to ride!?!? For the park to be a success i think it would of been better to balance out the thrill rides to kids rides, there's hundreds thousands of teenagers around this area that used to go each year in the holidays but now its just not for them, its actually better suited than Alton in terms of getting too, main roads near to the park & Ilkeston not too far away

I'm not surprised that the park has closed for the upcoming season, i was actually surprised it lasted this season

Thomas

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