UK theme parks from another point of view!

 
Big Dave

Re: Lightwater Valley mini-meet, Sunday the 13th.

Fri Jun 11, 2010 1:36 pm

Its ok, my cold has now developed into a full on chest infection so probably best if I dont go anyways and tbh cannot afford :P
 
Craig

Lightwater Valley mini-meet, Sunday the 13th.

Sat Jun 12, 2010 1:21 am

I'm a definite for this now, may as well make the trip down since I haven't been for 12 years! Will see those who are going there :).
 
Anonymous

Re: Lightwater Valley mini-meet, Sunday the 13th.

Sat Jun 12, 2010 12:05 pm

Have fun guys, I too have never been. But i want to wait for it to come up on the official meet in September. Don't forget to take loads of pictures :D
 
DiogoJ42

Re: Lightwater Valley mini-meet, Sunday the 13th.

Sat Jun 12, 2010 1:37 pm

:mrgreen:
I can't wait now!

:D/
 
bradpeet
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Re: Lightwater Valley mini-meet, Sunday the 13th.

Sat Jun 12, 2010 1:44 pm

Right - I've finally decided that I am coming :) (Well - unless something unexpected happens to stop me)

I'll not be meeting you guys at Wetherby though, as that would double my travelling. Will there be a meet up before purchasing tickets? (I have a voucher that will get up to 6 in for £13.95 each if needed)

Otherwise, I'll attempt to find you on park.
 
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mattbailey
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Re: Lightwater Valley mini-meet, Sunday the 13th.

Sat Jun 12, 2010 2:10 pm

Degree = OVER
Hangover = Just OVER
Lightwater = WIN

I'll be there...

Booked online, am travelling 1st class to Darlo to meet Craig. Stupid National Fail website wouldn't let me book standard class with a railcard. :roll:
 
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Mattmash
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Re: Lightwater Valley mini-meet, Sunday the 13th.

Sat Jun 12, 2010 4:30 pm

Wow, this is turning into quite a large (for LWV) meet now. Should be good, really looking forward to it!

Bradpeet - I believe one of the Fleets were planning on buying a full price ticket on the gate (as I'd already got the 6 that I can get in), so I'm sure they'd appreciate getting in on your voucher :)

Meeting at 10 at the entrance sounds good to me. Meeting Vik for breakfast at 9 at Wetherby so should be able to make it comfortably. See you all tomorrow :)
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Nora
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Re: Lightwater Valley mini-meet, Sunday the 13th.

Sat Jun 12, 2010 7:23 pm

*Raises hand*
I'm the Fleet that would like in on the cheaper park tickets please :)
If you don't mind of course :)

Kinda looking forwards to tomorrow now...Never been before :P
See you tomorrow :D
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mattbailey
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Re: Lightwater Valley mini-meet, Sunday the 13th.

Sun Jun 13, 2010 9:09 pm

Well what can I say... truly enjoyable meet, and it was great to finally meet some of the faces behind the names!

I got the train from York to Darlington, then met up with Craig for the drive to Lightwater. We arrived at about 9.45, as the 3rd car and had to wait for staff to open the gates. We were soon joined by Sam, Ellie, Peter (Fleet), John, Mattmash, Diogo, Peter (Bradpete) and Vik, and got into the park bang on 10.00am.

We had a huge day in terms of ridecount, the park was literally dead. Many times we got re-rides on The Ultimate and there was no big queues really all day.

We left the park at 5pm, said our goodbyes to Vik and John, then headed into Ripon for a curry, which was good and was a great laugh too. Credit goes to Sam's stories & the banter that followed.

Ride Count:

Eagles Claw: 3
Whirlwind: 1
Raptor Attack: 2
Ladybird: 1
Black Widow's Web: 1
Rapids: 1
Spinning Mouse: 1
Lightwater Wheel: 1
Flying Camels: 1
Pirate Ship: 1
Chairswing: 1
Dodgems: 1
The Ultimate: 5 + 1 front row

Highlights

- Meeting everyone
- Raptor Attack
- Mental Wild Mouse
- The Ultimate
- The pirate ship antics... need I say more!
- Pluto!
- Duct-tape
- No Rail Replacement Bus Service on The Ultimate
- Travelling 1st Class from York to Darlo
- The fudge packer!

Low-lights

- The Ultimate destroying my knees
- Eagles Claw being extremely pissy about harnesses being locked.
- Flying Camels and their failure to fly.
- Getting absolutely soaked by the rapids... stupid hole in the seat. [-X
- Craig's car window fail
- Leaving

I had a truly fantastic day, it was a pleasure to meet you all, and I look forward to future meets with earnest!
:clap:
 
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Vik
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Re: Lightwater Valley mini-meet, Sunday the 13th.

Sun Jun 13, 2010 9:32 pm

Had a great day, even if the weather was slightly miserable. Great to meet Matt for the first time, and also Bradpete again. Lightwaters a great little park that has lots to offer both young and old.

Those of travelling up towards The Valley stopped off at Wetherby services with both myself and Matt both arriving at the same time, 30 minutes earlier than planned. had some Coffee and breakfast before heading off in convoy for the short run to the park.

near the end of the day, whilst others went to sample some of the more sedate offerings of Lightwater, myself, mattmash & Sam decided to whore the Ultimate, with a quick restbite to ride Raptor Attack one more time. Bravo to the staff for letting us stay on for 3 rides, including last ride of the day.

Ride Count :-Ride Count:

The Ultimate: 9
Eagles Claw: 3
Whirlwind: 2
Raptor Attack: 3
Ladybird: 1
Black Widow's Web: 1
Rapids: 2
Spinning Mouse: 1
Pirate Ship: 1
Dodgems: 1
Falls of Terror: 4
Skate Karts: 2

Plenty of highlights including The Ultimate Whoring with re-rides, Raptor Attack, pretty much everything Matt as said, though of course I didn't sample any first class rail travel; Not sure if The Ultimate counts :P .

Lowlights, non on park really, but I guess the fact you can't use your debit card to pay for things could be considered one? The weather heading home was awful with torrential downpours in places. Also the extremely long stretch of the M62 which has a 50mph speed limit with Average speed cameras due to road works, even though on at least 90% of this section there is no evidence of roadworks taking place, not so much as a cone. :evil:

Great day, and a good turnout for a small park up North. :D
Sent from my ZX81 via Time Travel

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AstroDan

Re: Lightwater Valley mini-meet, Sunday the 13th.

Sun Jun 13, 2010 10:10 pm

Sounds like you guys had a good day. Although, whoring is so passé!

I look forward to my visit in September to see if the hype surrounding LWV lives up ;)

:D
 
Craig

Re: Lightwater Valley mini-meet, Sunday the 13th.

Sun Jun 13, 2010 11:47 pm

Well I have no idea why I waited so long to head back to LWV! Despite the weather, it was nothing short of awesome. Providing the park is taken for what it is (ie don't expect Towers-esque rides!) its a brilliant day out and fairly cheaper for the £13-£16 people paid. It was nice to be greeted by some happy smiling staff at the entrance to the park though, I believe one of them must have been the manager possibly? A nice welcome at the visitor centre when collecting my tickets too.

Admittedly some staff throughout the day did seem a little bored maybe a tad unenthusiastic, but I don't think the weather and the quietness of the park helped! I know from working in customer service it's not easy to keep things up all day, especially dealing with crap weather too. None were ever rude or unhelpful though, and there were an absolute load of staff members who stood out as friendly and more importantly genuine. Often at themeparks interaction with guests comes across as a little forced and perhaps false, most likely as a result of the tendency to enforce a ton of rules on people. However, the guys we spoke to were genuinely interested and just naturally wanted to chat and have a laugh. James (I think, I'm useful with names!) on Raptor Attack and the guy in the fudge shop stick out especially!

Raptor Attack is a great little ride, admittedly nothing has changed greatly ride wise in terms of how it was when it was the Rat to me. But, for new riders the queue-line and the ride itself certainly impressed. That said, its great to see an old ride refreshed. The queue line itself is great now - just the right amount of lighting with beams put up to give the feeling of actually being in a mine. The door at the offload platform is superb too. The raptors are a nice addition on the ride itself, and I've always loved the claustrophobic feel to the queue line.

The Ultimate was even more ridiculous than I remember it. It's a strange one to explain - no one should enjoy something which is that violent after the second lift hill. But, for some reason you come off with a huge smile on your face, heavily bruised knees and a completely smashed spine. That doesn't seem to matter though, as you find yourself in the station waiting for another blast on it before you know it! The ride gets better and better through the day, especially with the rain wetting the track too :D.

Whirlwind was a disappointment for me. I'm a big fan of the ride on the circuit, and it wasn't run anywhere near as well as it used to be at fairs. That said, for those fairly new to Top Scans they seemed to enjoy it, and its still better than Samurai. Shame it was being run in only one direction for the majority of today though.

The Twister was nothing short of ridiculous (in a good way!) for our ride. In the freespinning section towards the end, the only place I've span more is on waltzers - it was absolutely unbelievable! We were just lucky with getting the timing right with the cars starting to spin I guess - i doubt it'd go that crazy again!

So, a HUGE thumbs up for LWV for this trip - thoroughly thoroughly enjoyed it!
 
DiogoJ42

Re: Lightwater Valley mini-meet, Sunday the 13th.

Mon Jun 14, 2010 12:54 am

I've only just got home, and I have to get up in 3 1/2 hours for work, so I'll be brief for now.
EPICNESS! :P

Had a great day out. Thanks to Sam for putting me up, Matt for driving like a looney to get me to a train in time, Ellie and Pete for in-car entertainment, and everyone else for all the fun times :D

I will probably post more tomorrow, but for now:
"BRACE! BRACE! BRACE!" :P
 
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Re: Lightwater Valley mini-meet, Sunday the 13th.

Mon Jun 14, 2010 1:05 am

Had a really great day, even better than I thought I would! Most of the other people seem to have covered a lot so I'll just add a few thoughts of my own :)

- Eagles Claw is a great flat ride (once they get the restraints locked :P ) and is so much better than vortex it's unreal.

- Whirlwind was good, although not a patch on what it was at Goose last year really. The 2nd go we had was very intense but it did get a bit repetitive, as like Craig said it only ran in one direction and there wasn't much variation in the cycle. Both times however the setting was really long which can only be a good thing :) Compared to Samurai it was amazing!

- Falls of Terror were great fun, am starting to really get into these rides for some reason. Not quite as scary as the equivalent at Oakwood last week but good nonetheless.

- The Rapids are pretty horrible due to the holes in the seats which gaurentee a wet ass.

- Black Widows Web is a fun Enterprise run on a long setting, and feels a little unsafe which only adds to the experience.

- The Twister is not something I particuarly enjoyed and I know John, whom I was sat next to, will probably share those sentiments :P

- Raptor Attack is now officially my favourite ride entrance! The theming really is top notch for such a small park and it has to be up there for the best themed coaster in the UK. The coaster itself wasn't great, lacking a bit in thrills but pretty fun. Was nice to chat to James (gonna trust Craig on this one...), a fellow TTF member apparently, who was genuinely enthusiastic and friendly.

- The Ultimate, well where to start lol. I was lost for words after the first go and still am to an extent. Insane is probably the first that pops to mind. Really hard to describe, just go do it if you haven't - I gaurantee it's an experience. Definately not my second favourite coaster in Europe (sorry Sam! woof woof) but top 10 for me personally. Had 9 rides on it in total icluding 3 on the front row, where it was possibly even more crazy, especially towards the end of the day. Funniest moment has to be the evil grins me and Vik gave each other, as the woman in front was already in tears and in the arms of her boyfriend as we were going round the top of the second lifthill, and we know what was yet to come :twisted: Am actually really looking forward to seeing the faces of people when we go for the TTF North meet in September, those of the B&M fans especially lol.

So all in all an awesome day, with plenty of rides due to how quiet the park was. Was great to see you all again and to meet Matt Bailey and Peter (Bradpeet) :)

Now to make my way through £20 worth of fudge :D Well, about £17 worth now :D
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Re: Lightwater Valley mini-meet, Sunday the 13th.

Mon Jun 14, 2010 4:15 pm

I had a great day out too - and there really is not much more to be said than what has already been posted.

It was good to meet Sam, John and Vik again - who ironically I met at the previous Lightwater Valley meet. And to meet up with the others too, I can now put faces to a few posters on here :D

Eagle's Claw did not disappoint, although sensitivity of the restraints did cause some faffing (and shocks when they released suddenly, because the safety interlocks prevented the ride starting). I already knew that the 'big boy' seat was Number 16, but now know that Number 24 is reasonably accommodating too. Luckily we had a ride op who was prepared to persevere, so I was able to ride on 3 separate occasions.

If Whirlwind really is being ridden on a (comparatively) tame cycle, then I'm glad that I did not have my first ever ride at its most intense. The intensity of that ride amazed me - I'd previously thought Samuri was pretty good.

I'm not sure about the audio inside Raptor Attack. (There wasn't any on my previous visit). The idea is good, but it seems as if you usually leave a section before it has finished playing. When they allow a maximum of 10 'underground' at any one time people are not likely to hang around to listen to it.

I really don't know what to say about the Ultimate. Except that if you have not ridden it, then you should. It is definitely an experience - and you will probably want to ride it a second time, if only to prove that the second half is so much more insane than the first half.

We nearly got to ride the park railway too :lol: Well, we waited an eternity for it to go and sample the more sedate offerings that Vik referred to - then gave up and walked. The sedate offering was actually the Lightwater Wheel - which is sedate. Although the operator didn't find it so when wet tyres meant it did not stop where he expected it to. We followed that up by enjoying a free sample of the fudge and an entertaining conversation with the fudge packer, before riding Eagle's Claw and Whirlwind again - and then returning for a final ride on the Ultimate and Raptor Attack.

I'm not sure of the exact role of the guy who greeted us at the entrance, but I think he is some sort of host / entertainer. I have seen him directing the crowds to individual pay desks, and keeping them entertained at the same time. I know that he is a good 'up close' magician.

I very much enjoyed the curry that we had in Ripon before going our separate ways - I hope that everybody else did too.
 
Nathan
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Re: Lightwater Valley mini-meet, Sunday the 13th.

Mon Jun 14, 2010 5:17 pm

The magician who greets guests is called Paul. :)

He's been getting a lot of recognition this season which is nice to see!

Glad to hear you guys enjoyed your day!
 
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Re: Lightwater Valley mini-meet, Sunday the 13th.

Mon Jun 14, 2010 7:54 pm

Sounds good, is anyone planning to come along next month on 18th? Be good to have a bunch of coasties for the ERS. :)
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Re: Lightwater Valley mini-meet, Sunday the 13th.

Mon Jun 14, 2010 11:08 pm

Had an amazing day at lightwater, thanks to everyone who went. Here’s an poorly laid-out splurge of thought:

I was a little worried that the Ultimate (officially Europe’s #2 coaster) wouldn’t be as good as I remembered, and first ride it felt a little slow, but after a while it really got going and was absolutely insane in the rain. Despite the pain I am now in it really is one of my absolute favourite rides.
Newly-rethemed Raptor Attack was very impressive. The ride itself isn’t all that special, but the queue line and walkthrough are really well done, and the animatronics are impressive. Credit to LWV for pulling it off to such a high standard.

As Matt mentioned, I'm not such a fan of Twister, mainly due to smashing my face on the side of the car when we hit the breaks. I've only sat in inside seats before, which are much less unpleasant.
Despite their tackiness I quite like the rapids, aside from the water coming up through the hole in the seat its quite a good ride, though I don't think I'd pay to go on one at a fair.

Set in their own little mini lost city, I really rate both Eagles Claw and Whirlwind, and prefer both to their thorpe equivalents. Eagles Claw runs a long and varied cycle packed with airtime and positive Gs. Whirlwind admittedly it doesn’t look as good as it did on the fairs, and the cycles it runs on aren’t exactly inspired (generally running in one direction only) but still a great ride. One minor annoyance is that riders are subjected to diesel fumes from the generator whilst on the ride, which isn’t pleasant when being spun around. Despite the faults I'd still say 2 of my 3 rides on it were as good as I got at goose fair, and its a great addition to the park, albeit temporary.

Looking at other rides, we did all 3 slides of falls of terror. Me and bradpete nearly rolled off the launch ramp when getting in, and on another occasion me and Matt nearly fell over backwards as the dinghy was overhanging. We tasted danger again on Skate Karts (though I think we all managed to avoid injury from crashing or other runaway skateboarders) and on Lightwater Wheel, which due to a combination of being out of balance and having a wet running rail nearly became a pirate ship. Speaking of pirate ships, the wave has to have the most remarkable setting of any ride ever built – set above a lake and behind a waterfall, accessed through a tunnel under the park railway with a forest path for a queueline, simply amazing.

As others have mentioned, a shout out has to be given to some of the great staff, especially on Raptor Attack and in the fudge shop, both of which are real assets to the park - its great to see such enthusiasm!

Hopefully I'll be back up there for North meet, I feel I need to get in a few trips before they neuter the Ultimate.
 
DiogoJ42

Re: Lightwater Valley mini-meet, Sunday the 13th.

Tue Jun 15, 2010 7:48 pm

Well, I had a lovely sleep last night, and I'm ready to vomit my two-pence worth into this conversation. ;)

[Ok, this has ended up being quite a long essay... deal with it! :P ]

I'd only been to LWV once before, and unfortunately it was on a day when the park was rammed with school trips... we queued two and a half hours for the Sewer Rat :yikes: So I was looking forward to a less jaded view of the park. :lol:

My trip began with a three hour tube / train trip to Nottingham on Saturday. It was slightly odd to be staying with the parents of a guy ten years younger than me, who I met online... :? Put it like that and it just sounds dodgy! 8-[ :P
But Both Sam and his folks were great hosts. Thanks mate. :D

Compared to the 04:30 alarm I've been getting up to for work, 6am was a lie for me. So stop moaning Sam, you bloody student! :P

Anyway, the car journey with Ellie, Pete, Matt and Sam was great fun ;) No better way to start the day! It definitely feels like more of an occasion to travel with a group, compared to just me and Kelpie driving on our own (No offence, love!)


It was great to have a nice quiet day this time. My ride count in the end was:
Eagle's Claw - 3
Whirlwind - 3
Raptor Attack - 2
Ultimate - 6
Rapids - 2 (without leaving the boat)
Ladybird - 1 (Woo! A new credit!)
Black Widow's Web - 1
Wave Swinger - 1
Dodgems - 1
Treetops Twister - 1
Pirate Ship - 1
Lightwater Wheel - 1



Anyway, on to Raptor Attack. I was a tad concerned when I heard the Rat was being re-themed. It's rare to feel good about being wrong, but this is one of those occasions. :D It feels like a new ride. From the entrance to the station is barely recognizable now. Only the stair wells with water falls feels familiar. The animatronics dotted around the ride are brilliant, although the movement is not exactly lifelike, you fly past them so fast it really doesn't matter. The final raptor (eating a corpse) made my laugh out loud. :lol:
It's a brilliant improvement on the already good Sewer rat, and far exceeded my expectations. Hopefully this is a sign of good things to come at Lightwater Valley. [-o<

The only problem with it is that I skinned my ankle getting into the car in the wonderfully dark station. (Note: this does not in any way mean I want more light in the station!) It hurt and bled, but I figured it wouldn't matter in a minute, when we ride The Ultimate. :lol:

Ah, the Ultimate. What can be said that has not been said already? There is just no way that any human being could ever have designed this ride to entertain. It surely is intended as an instrument of torture? I think it's designer must have REALLY hated knees. :P
It hurts. A lot. At one point, despite a close fitted restraint, I was thrown up and sideways out of the car completely! How, I'm not quite sure, but it happened. Had I not been holding on for dear life, I am convinced I would now be lying dead in the woods, with a fox chewing on my rotting corpse. :P It was on the second air time bunny hop I think.
It just kept getting faster throughout the day (as all good rides should). My first ever front row ride was in the rain. now that really hurt. Not so much from the coaster, but from the rain smashing into my face like millions of bits of gravel! :P

Despite all this, somehow, for some reason, The Ultimate IS the second best coaster in Europe (not counting Nemy) :yes:

Don't ask me why, for I cannot explain. Its sheer insanity has to be experienced to be believed. It is the most violent thing I have ever endured... but not nearly as painful as BPB's Big Dipper. Don't let the pain put you off. It's the kind of bruise you can be proud of... A bit like a hangover: "yeah, I hurt, but boy, it was worth it!". :P

Quick comments:
I was amazed at how fast their Wave Swinger spun. :mrgreen: If only they all did that.
It's also nice to get a good program on an afterburner. Ditto a Topscan. Are you listening, Thorpe? :hano:
Ah, the memories of Samuri in it's Chessy heyday. Oh, and I agree with you, John: The generator is badly located. I've had worse at fairs though.

It was good to go for a curry after. A nice chance to have a chat without thinking "hurry up and eat so we can go on more rides!" :P

My journey home was borderline frantic at times. The weather conspired with roadworks to mean I had no chance of getting the last train from Nottingham. Thankfully there was a later one from Newark... With no ticket inspector as well :D Although as my ticked said "Nottingham to London terminals, route: any" I don't think it would have mattered. Plus I got to ride in a much more comfy 225, rather than a clapped out 125 [/nerd].
So I just managed to make it for the last train to London, then the Last Victoria Line, the last Central line, AND the last bus! Again, thanks Matt!

I came home with a big grin on my face. Roll on my next meet! (Whatever that ends up being)

Lowlights:
*Not getting home till after midnight when I had to get up at half past four.
*Bruised knees.
*My failed prediction. :(

Highlights:
*Meeting y'all again / for the first time (delete as applicable)
*Expectations being surpassed on Raptor Attack.
*The Ultimate (duh).
*Staff being amazingly friendly. Special mention to "The Fudge Packer" here. I've never seen someone so enthusiastic about selling sweets! :P
*The curry. Not for the food, but for the banter. Erm, 'Woof' :lol:
*Pink Floyd (enjoyed as it should be) in the car. ;)
*Minimal (almost zero) faff. :mrgreen:
*General shenanigans.

EDIT: I've created a page for Ultimate on the wiki
 
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Re: Lightwater Valley mini-meet, Sunday the 13th.

Tue Jun 15, 2010 8:55 pm

Really does sound like you guys had an awesome time. Absolutely HAVE to get myself to LWV some time. Sounds more appealing by the day :)
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