Discussion in 'European Parks and Attractions' started by John, 13th Jun 2012.
A great, great man.
I must agree @Rick; Geoffrey Thompson was a great man!
In other Blackpool-related news, Icon has had its annual publicity on the Blackpool episode of Strictly Come Dancing this evening!
Anyone have any WGT stories? Not sure if I have shared these before, (no) apologies if I have. I met him a number of times at Blackpool and Southport. Although I was probably an annoying fan boy, he was always gracious, engaging and you could just tell that he lived and breathed everything about the industry. These are two moments that stick in my ever diminishing memory;
In 2000, at the official opening for King Solomon's Mines at Southport he was personally buzzing around the ride making sure it was all to his liking. He was moving around some of the planters and decided the fountain in the middle of the ride 'needed a bit more oomph' and summoned some bloke to get a bigger pump out of the River Caves. Later in the day I shared some memories of Frontierland with him and he was clearly still troubled that they couldn't make it work. I said it was a shame the park had gone, but ultimately they had done all they could and spent a lot. He was proud to have brought the Mine Train down the coast and given it a new lease of life and lamented "It's a shame we couldn't move the Tornado, we'll miss that old girl".
In early 2002 when they were pouring the pads for Spin Doctor, he was watching what they were doing from the Tom Sawyer. It was a bit of an open secret what the ride was going to be, but at the point the code name was 'WK2' which stood for 'White Knuckle 2' but a journalist was really hammering him on whether the project was anything to do with the then popular (and somewhat controversial) WKD alcopop, which 'was fuelling the binge drinking culture'. WGT was quite adamant that the new ride was going to be sensational and "We don't associate ourselves with alcohol". When the journalist walked off I gently pointed out that the kid's talent show was being hosted on the Vodka Kick stage. WGT wasn't phased, "Ah yes ... not to worry son, he's gone the other way".
I haven't done Valhalla in years.
Nothing against its uniqueness nor theme, but it's just too uncomfortable/bashes the legs and is too wet for me 99% of the time.
The capacity is dire, too.
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I think we need @rob666 to go on a reckie and see how much of it has been pulled down.
Na....I got too much grief over the bloody rodent.
Must say, the last walk through of Valhalla, it did look extremely clapped out in places.
Keep the water tank, rip out the flume, put a cheap small coaster in there, disco ball and fountain.
First indoor rollercoaster disco completely over water.
Or bring back the fun house, and wrap everybody in cotton wool on the way in.
I'm in two minds about the idea of closing Valhalla for a year.
It certainly is a problem area for the park with astronomical running costs and it hasn't been impressive enough to justify these costs for a few years IMO. The state that thing was in this year, it may as well have been closed.
If the closure enables them to restore Valhalla to its former glory and reopen in 2021 with the dark ride element as impressive as it was when new, I fully support it. Whilst the effects are costly, they could potentially make modifications to the way they operate so that they are more reliable and cost-effective without changing much of what the rider actually sees.
On the other hand, my concern is that making the ride more sustainable could mean taking out the impressive effects and replacing them with cheap alternatives. We have already seen key elements of the experience broken all year, so they could be planning to make cheap replacements (e.g. timed lighting and sounds instead of fire).
Valhalla was my favourite ride at its best, but it was designed as a theatrical experience with the most ambitious special effects I have ever seen. These do break from time to time, and I don't remember a time where every single effect worked at once, but in the last 2/3 years they've stopped fixing them and the general standard of scenic presentation has plummeted to rock bottom. In its hey day it was truly the most amazing ride I've ever experienced though that is difficult to believe when riding it today.
The other thing to consider if Valhalla spends a year out, is that we have essentially lost two of the park's best rides (even if only temporarily in Valhalla's case) and only gained Icon.
Valhalla isn't the same ride anymore and a refurbishment could either restore it to its former glory or ruin it further.
Rip up the financially crippling shed, sell the parts off to park nerds, stick Knightmare in its place, with the turnaround encircling Ice Blast. Problem solved!
That would actually be really cool. Are you sure it would fit though?
The turnaround might not actually. I love the idea though. Its too good a ride to be sat rotting on wasteland but could well be beyond salvaging anyway.
My last ride on Valhalla was by far my worst. 4 inches of cold dirty water soaking my shoes and socks the moment I sat down, the absolute stench of the vacuum trying to remove the water. Legs bashed. Not great.
Was my missus' first ride on it, safe to say she never wants to go back on
Riding Valhalla is too much of a miserable, uncomfortable endurance challenge.
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They could use that to their advantage and create a challenge: ride Valhalla and win free entry on a day everyone's at work/school. Ride Valhalla in February and we will laugh at you for being so foolish!
I can only presume from Amanda’s Tweet that they’re trying to find an IP or sponsor for Valhalla.
I thought it was already sponsored by the Daily Star?
Many years ago.
I hope they don't go down the IP and/or theme change route, that would be horrendous IMO. Valhalla as a concept is already a unique theme for a ride and the last thing that needs changing!
Cold illuminations night in 1993... you've got 2 As, 3 Bs, 1 C and 1 D in your wallet. What do you ride?
@rob666 @Dipper_Dave @shakey - What is the 'Viking' in D Class?
A: Wild Mouse & Log Flume
B: Rollercoaster & River Caves
C: Gold Mine
D: Tom Sawyer Rafts
What you doing getting a family sheet...get the white knuckle, only a's and b's!
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