Discussion in 'European Parks and Attractions' started by Anonymous, 12th Jun 2012.
Boats sit 4 adults and you wouldn’t want to put 2 groups of 2 together as the seatings a bit close
Gruffalo is probably the highest capacity ride at Chessington these days, it churns out the boats pretty quickly. In theory you can get more than 4 in each one providing the majority of them are young kids but 4 to a boat is a good working value, the average is probably about 3. It won't come close to 2000 people/hr, probably somewhere around half of that. More than adequate for Chessington at any rate, it's pretty much the only queue in the park that moves at a reasonable speed.
Gruffalo has been a huge success tbf. And this is coming from a mega nostalgic Bubbleworks-Bloke.
The queue is always full up or spilling out the entrance, Bubbleworks rarely came out the station building.
Really? I'll be honest, on all my visits I've noticed the reverse - that Gruffalo's queue is rarely as long as Bubbleworks' used to be.
I've still not been on Gruffalo because of the lengthy queues, used to get on Bubbleworks all the time. Although I don't visit Chessington much these days tbf.
Whenever I've been it's filled the whole queue line but it's moved pretty quickly.
The problem with the Gruffalo is that (for teens/adults) its good perhaps the first time (maybe twice) but after that it’s boring. It’s just not rideable once you’ve done it. It’s really is boring. For young kids, obviously not so much, but even for them I can guarantee they would have loved the original Prof Burps 90-06 far more, and that original version ride was fun for teens/adults/grandma etc. too - it’s was FUN in literally every way possible. With PB’s there was so much going on with the animatronics (when initially all working spectacularly) the music theme changing from scene-to-scene, getting sprayed with water by the animatronic just before you went through the misty water tunnel just before the fairground section) and of course not forgetting the absolute fantastic finale (with proper darkness/strobes and mirrors). The Gruffalo is the complete opposite, sadly. Once kids have ‘done the story’ then they know it & tire of it quickly. It’s EXACTLY the same whenever you ride it.
Bubble Works never “rarely came out the station” that’s just plainly not true unless you only visited on a super quiet day. Ive done quiet days when Gruffalo barely comes out the station too.
Now that the opening year hype has died down, the queues for both seem roughly the same. Same throughput after all, and judging popularity by its queue is never a great idea with all the factors that play!
whenever i hear from your average family if it comes up in conversation they seemed to like Bubbleworks better. And theyre talking about the 2006 version! Maybe because it had more in it. But they still like Gruffalo.
I dont care particularly, the real fun shut down in 2005!
Completely agree with @dickie001x
Gruffalo was a cheap and cheerful retheme done in a safe and lazy way. I mean it’s a water ride and instead of creating a waterfall they went ahead and used projector and audio!
Personally once a year is enough on it but even then I’m bored but again I’m not their target audience.
I have seen queues but part of that is due to the green screen photo opp which deliberately slows you down and most times soon as you get past that you are on to the bridge straight away.
I assumed Black Buccaneer was condemned to the scrap yard but...........
Seems abit odd to buy new if the original ride is still serviceable. Could've just refurbed it no?
Wow - I agree. Although I do think that due to increased/unnecessary H&S laws there became so many restrictions on who could/couldn’t sit where/when. “If they were under X age they couldn’t sit on the ends. If they were over X age but under X height they couldn’t sit on the ends or on their own. An adult over 18 had to be...” blah blah, I’m sure we all [try not to] remember. So it became both an ageing & H&S nightmare. I very much doubt this Blue Barnacle will be anywhere as intense (i.e. thrilling or fun).
I guess it depends on how much work needed doing to it, might have worked out cheaper (or more economical long term) to just buy a new one.
Also, buying a new one = capital expenditure, so the full cost doesn’t come off the profit bottom line all at once.
Refurbing the old one = revenue expenditure which comes off the profit all at once.
It’s all part of the system that encourages companies to buy new instead of keep old stuff going
I’d expect it’s come down to the long term costs at this point. Yes, you could spend, for arguments sake, £100K to refurb it, but you might well end up spending the same again next closed season if something else goes. With a business model like Merlin that will be what they focus on, as no doubt they’ll want any structural or mechanical maintenance work completed to a certain specification, which could easily rack up.
Given it’s age, I’d probably say that like Blade at Towers (albeit not quite as much of an antique!) it doesn’t owe the park anything, so it would probably be sensible to say that at this point to start over with a new model and cut your losses.
Costs aside new even if very similar to the old thing is much easier for marketing to brag about then refurb
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Bubble Works didn't have as many animatronics as you might imagine. Because the lights were regularly changing colour and the boats were slowly spinning, it created quite a bit of kinetic energy even with a fairly small number of fairly basic animatronics. Plus the final scene had the combination of fountains, mirrors, changing colours and rotating boats, which collectively created a stunning effect. It wasn't quite the same once they got rid of the strobe lighting, but also understandable given the effect strobes can have on people.
Literally everything in the scenes moved originally (no exaggeration), the spinning boats just added to the effect.
most the animations were busted in the 2006 revamp
Gruffalo has maybe 1 animation in every other scene and maybe 1-2 lighting or projection effects per scene. Spinning boats still help add go the effect
The strobes were fine for the first 15 years. There was a warning at the entrance - don’t ride if epileptic/sensitive to them. Removing them in 06 was senseless, and ruined the finale for the 99% of people who could tolerate them.
Strobe lighting was even still there after the revamp, but the effect was completely ruined just because the timing was removed, all lights stayed on at the same time so there was no blackout. A flashy light in the corner instead.
I remember the crushing disappointment as a kid. Wondering why the effect wasn't the same if the lights were still there is what got me interested in lighting at a young age haha
Yeah I think you’re right. Strobe flashing while other lights still on - completely pointless, but then again so was everything about the Imperial Leather re-theme.
Gruffalo may not be as pretty as bubble works was but its still fun. The queue usually moves pretty quickly and it's a nice way to relax.
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