Discussion in 'European Parks and Attractions' started by Anonymous, 12th Jun 2012.
We did, and that wasn't Merlin!
Indeed - it's funny how enthusiasts rewrite history again and again.
I understand the nostalgia of some of the rides that have gone, or been rethemed, but they weren't all timeless. They would look so dated by now - I'm not even sure they would fall into the "so old it's cool again" thing, like the River Caves etc (not that most of the stuff in there is that old)
Think about Phantasialand and how awful Hollywood feels when you've just walked across the park from Chiapas. That's what happens when stuff stays the same.
I don't think Chessington should get a new gen bubbleworks, but someting that fits the theme already in the area.
They could retheme the whole area including vampire to fit with the new theme! Unlikely I know especially as it's Merlin, but 2017 is listed as Chessingtons high investment year.
Retheming one of the best themed coasters in the country is a bad idea. Saying that, I don't think it'll happen.
Merlin would not invest in that, also vampire is chessingtons iconic ride. Also they spent out on touching up transilvania not too long ago, and vampires entrance this winter.
Rick REALLY needs to go to Efteling...
Original Bubbleworks could easily have been timeless if the parks bothered to upkeep effectively... Toyland Tours could've done as well with suitable updates (I.e. Sonic room was hilariously outdated)...
Like, it's amazing what constant refreshing and updating (yet keeping the same theme) can do for any ride... PotC style (with the addition of Jack Sparrow) stuff is better than literally doing nothing...
Gruffalo is such a Merlin choice for an IP... Shame the decisions go against any form of thematics...
Like I said before, it won't be long until the Uk Merlin parks all look like a six flags or cedar fair park.
It's such a shame as they had a fairly good starting block to build upon all the uk parks. Well themed story driven areas, but they have killed them with either generic themes, ip's or gimmicks.
I just wish they could look abroad to see how a theme park can be original and look amazing.
Wishful thinking but, forget the corporate image and go for originality. Surely not too much for the second biggest attractions company??
Gruffalo??? If it does turn out to be this, I will wash my hands with Merlin.
Benin is right.
There are certainly many parks out there like Disney, who keep their classic dark rides in top shape, by giving them updates but retaining the charm and intentional of the original.
Examples include Festival Carnival and Fate Morgana at Efteling, Geisterschloss, Pirates In Batsvia and Piccolo Mondo in Europa Park and The Flying Trunks at Tivoli Gardens.
Whilst in contrast parks like Phantasialand and Universal often decide to remove old rides instead of update. The difference here is these parks often replace good rides with great ones. See how the Silver Mine became Klugheim and Jaws became Diagon Alley.
Unfortunately, despite the poor terrible state the ride had become in it's late years, I have no confidence in this happening and expect to see what was once a great ride become just a very alright one.
The Gruffleworks will never work.
This new ride IP - how sad it strays even further away from the original vision for Chessington now that this re-theme will have no relation to Transylvania.
Originality is definitely my favourite choice, along with parks creating and using their own brands instead of contracting in IPs. But let's face it, original ideas are probably the lowest on the list for Merlin's new dark ride projects. Just one example is Nemesis Sub:Terra, which is considered a failure by Merlin Studios and this is my worry, it strengthens their argument for an IP based ride instead.
Why can't they retain an original idea but instead seek a sponsorship? Berry Bish Bash and Air are positive examples of this, Bubbleworks and Coca-Cola's London Eye are poor examples. Sponsorship is fine so long as it doesn't manipulate the experience too much. I would much prefer original ideas backed up with subtle and acceptable (like Air's) sponsorships rather than an IP. The Merlin Parks are their own brands, these aren't movie or tv based themeparks so slow down with the IPs...but of course they won't, they're easy money! Why would they slow down?! Annnnnd the ride will be money over experience yet again because they will spend a minimum on the ride itself due to the amount used to purchase the IP rights. So we get an IP, develop high expectations and then get annoyed when the finished product is not what was envisaged in the artist's concepts.
IPs are a lazy way to bring in the numbers and the cash. People know the characters, the stories and they interact with them - they're accessible and far more 'relate-able' than a park trying to sell an original story with original characters for UK parks. Look at Alton Towers - we've got Cbeebies Land and it was a hit because there's so many young children who engage with that brand but a third cycle of investment with the IP including a mini-hotel? Lord bless me with the strength! This is too far. But they won't learn, it's making them money in a time of great struggle for the resort and Merlin see this a short-term easy fix.
On the other hand though, some IPs work if done properly! IP lands and rides are particularly expensive so they need to spend the money wisely in order for it to be "breathe-taking".
The plans to turn Chessington in a physical "World of Adventures" has fallen flat on its face with only Wild Asia being the positive step forward with this vision. From then on we've had a complete mess in direction for Chessington. It needs the idea and theme of Chessington fortified with more than one investment in a season that strengthens the "World of Adventures" theme...so basically 2009 all over again but stick with it and reveal a development plan that actively expresses the want to create this park of many "worlds" to explore and is realistic over a timescale investing in the infrastructure as well as the experiences.
Merlin, do we go for cohesive rides that adhere to their "world area" or do we just plonk anything anywhere and hope for the best? What happened to the true Africa area once talked about? The amalgamation of Mystic East/Wild Asia? The implementation of England, investment for Transylvania to be updated? The park could be a world of adventures to other continents and mythical lands! You could get so creative with this!
Chessington is the park for adventure, imagination and fun. Yet every last ounce of that imagination-filled park aura has been sucked out. The park needs a strong and decent amount spent on it with a vigorous and grand development plan.
It feels like Chessington's hands are tied though - what can they do? Merlin only care really for Legoland's success whilst Chessington is expected to coast along. This is evident in their Chessington development plan too - how much of that will actually come to light?
They should look at planning an experience which is original. If they want then go down the sponsorship route then do it tastefully but please, Chessington should only have IPs for entertainments and not in its rides - it needs to have original magic that can only be seen and felt in Chessington. Yes, "felt" may sound weird but children will feel these emotions on the rides and interact with brand new stories - it'll create a sense of longing to return to Chessington to see that character, story or thing again and again. You could argue that IPs can achieve this too but IPs are far more categorised in terms of an age range, gender or generation. Original ideas a far more timeless.
So Bubbleworks opened in 1990 and lasted for 15 years before the revamp...15 years! The concept worked, the visitors loved the story and the Prof. Burp ride which fused a connection between guest and story but Tussauds began to change too and instead of updating and improving the current Bubbleworks decided on a lazy, cheap and unimaginative re-do. With a little more research and bother we could have retained the original bubbleworks with updated effects and scenes with a tasteful sponsorship.
Kids grew up with Professor Burp and his fizz pop factory and the connection was so evident in the upset and sadness at the ride leaving in 2005 - an original idea that connected with its guests in a way an IP won't be able to achieve as timeless and as strong as this.
So Merlin Magic Making, next time you decided on a ride for Chessington (preferably a story-rich dark ride but that's serious wishful thinking) please use an original idea and fulfil the original Chessington ethos.
I've been there as a guest and worked there a million times.
The original Bubbleworks was nothing like an Efteling ride and the retheme even less so. The whole campness of those early Tussauds dark rides and their reliance of characters of a certain kind/quality means that they aren't timeless like the Efteling rides. I'm not saying that's a good thing - but that's just the way it is.
We're talking about a company/team that made a ride about a TV repair robot... I still have nightmares about it.
In terms of Bubbleworks, folks who didn't even ride the original ride mourn its loss, the new one is awful, but we're still collectively annoyed that they're replacing it with something that at this point isn't even confirmed. Sounds about right!
Tag me @Benzin or quote me, I only spotted this by chance.[/QUOTE]
It has been confirmed that it's an IP though, and enthusiasts are normally pretty accurate when speculating IP's (from what I've seen, derren Brown was mentioned months before it was announced). Worth mentioning here that chessington has quite recently used the gruffalo IP, and its the sort of IP a park like chessington would go to for a dark ride, and that several "reliable sources" have been throwing the idea around. I'll be quite surprised at this point if it turns out to be something different.
I'm prepared to be wrong about the quality of the ride, I will ride it at some point regardless of how disappointing the IP is, but chessington give me no hope when it comes to dark rides/IP's.
Keep an open mind, you loved Derren Brown second time around? Good stuff happens and will continue to do so.
If anything, an IP typically improves the aesthetics of a ride because the owner of the IP has property to protect.
*looks at Charlie*
Nah you're alright...
Less so with literary IPs, I agree.
But still, I don't have any real attachment to Bubbleworks. The original incarnation was fun, the current version is fine. I don't have the energy to be so negative about this, or anything else.
I think it'll be fun. I remain optimistic. Try it.
Chessington have just released the auction catalogue for the Bubbleworks props.
I've got dibs on the giant feet. Hopefully my 1p bid will get me it.
I've just browsed through the catalogue and the number one thing that has frustrated me is that they're re-using the old Professor Burp's theme to advertise it rather than the current theme.
And yes, as you can see, they're also using Professor Burp to even sell off the items and say it was his 'Bubble Making Factory', despite him being removed 11 years ago until the ride's announced closure to just magically add him back in. Whilst incorporating the blatant fizzy pop merchandise (which no longer has nothing to do with the current incarnation). Like he was always there and they never did that Imperial Leather sponsorship, no siree, all part of the 'iconic facility' [/sarcasm].
On top of the VIP experiences that involve 'meeting' him (a man vaguely dressed up as Professor Burp), the hashtag and the story CWoA posted about an alleged fan who's so devastated he changed his name to the aforementioned character's name, I find the sudden 'oh let's get people to care about a ride that we barely took care of ourselves' behaviour and usage of the original theme to advertise the closure to be saddening. It's just a way of making a profit whilst exploiting people's memories and what the original team poured their hearts, time and effort into back in the 1980s.
I just want Professor Burp and his Bubbleworks to be laid to rest and not used as a rose tinted facade for a poor quality attraction that stands in its place.
Pretty much all of the items in that bidding catalogue are the tat that was added or heavily modified in the 2006 decimation of the ride...
Shame there doesn't seem to be any classic signage or props from 1990 as that would be worth having if the price was right.
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