Drayton Manor Park

Discussion in 'European Parks and Attractions' started by Matty, 15th Jun 2012.

  1. rob666

    rob666 TowersStreet Member

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    The building is a valuable resource though...and it is already there.
    Indoor playground/petting zoo for the winter and wet days, quick and reasonably affordable alternative use.
     
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  2. DistortAMG

    DistortAMG TowersStreet Member

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    This is very true. Although alot of work would be needed n to re use it, mainly due to the very oddly shaped and no uniform shape of the concrete foundations that mapped out the mini indoor lakes (you can see these clearly in Europa Parks Pirate ride construction pics. While not impossible to do, it would take quite a bit of construction work just to have the interior flat and level.
     
  3. Sauron97

    Sauron97 TowersStreet Member

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    More than anything, short and medium term investment is needed, as the parks image is suffering badly whilst rides are sitting around closed. Let's take Pirate Adventure out of the equation ,which is not an easy thing to comment on. It's been closed for almost half a decade now (well, it closed 2 days in the 2015 season if that counts ). What does the park need most?
    • A new tow boat system to replace Excalibur maybe in the late 2020s, perhaps designed as a successor to the Jungle Cruise. The area can only be a dark ride or a sedate cruise ride due to Db noise restrictions and the proximity to residents and the zoo. Much of the BEAR ride system mechanisms are still there and in place and in surprisingly good nick, but the turntable is now fixed in place, and the op panel has been entirely stripped. Excalibur was an overly ambitious project and I don't blame the park or Farmer whatsoever for going for it. Risk taking and ambition are awesome for future development, but obviously that doesn't always pay off.
    • Action Park is a shadow of its former self. Splash is an understandable case, but the terrible incident aside, the rides theming was in a dreadful state anyway. In fact, it was in a bad state even in the mid to late 2000s. The pump station is now completely rotting and the fog tunnel will need replacing too. The Shockwave station building is in a poor state too. It looks so dated now and really they need to take it apart. The whole area needs an overhaul, with a new theme and large changes to infrastructure, buildings and potentially even new rides.
    • Fisherman's Wharf is by far the strongest area that needs the least attention. The new coastal themed ride will gel nicely with the Cornish themed area (even if it's technically action park or whatever).
    • Aerial Park was always difficult being on a hill. I think they may need to give up on Sheriffs Showdown and Haunting soon as both have aged so badly and been messed around with too many times. I personally would like to see both rides be sold and replaced with a single large dark ride a Transdemonium style ghost train ride in that area, something scary, exciting, and appealing to families, with a sensor driven track system that involves speeding up and slowing down along different segments of track (and slight changes in the gradient with small sharp dips too). If you build in to the gift shop, which is oversized anyway, then you have a lot of space to work with.
    • A new park rebrand would be great. The older logo which ran from 1996 to 2003 had far more character to it. The new one just rings 'generic theme park' logo, and just borrows all of the graphics from the older logo. The old one had its own font and style and was actually nicely detailed: I think a step back towards this is needed, but done with modern graphics software.[​IMG]
    • Part of the park rebrand should also involve making a newer park entrance IMO. The previous one, which was done for their 2004 rebrand was very nicely designed by Space Leisure, but was incredibly basic. The focus was more on the utility and allowing inflows of guests and less emphasis was put on the architecture and 'stand out' design style (which was supposed to be colonial manor house buildings to befit the theme of the park). Designing a brick entrance, perhaps out of sandstone, in a grand renaissance era style would be perfect. It would give a good first impression of the park and give it some character. As well as this, a 'park soundtrack' would be great.
    • Buffalo site should definitely be the site of a future family thrill coaster and themed area to accompany it. Perhaps an Intamin Blitz like Taron, which takes away the need for a long lift hill, and can be themed well too (or they could opt for a more basic Juvelen style family launch but I think that'd be less successful). I think what needs to happen is landscaping though. There's virtually none of it at Drayton, and it makes such a big difference. The issue, especially with Intamin, is cost. But Drayton needs investment so badly that I think I'd rather they added nothing for a few years and added this than a few average attractions elsewhere in the park and no new themed coaster.
    But yeah, those are the investments which I think will be needed to restore the image of the park. They are cost intensive, but that's only because the park has let so many rides sit there SBNO, and removed without replacing others.
    On a separate note, here's a picture I recently found on an old hard drive of Bounty, or at least Bounty before it was installed. I took this during the closed season of 2006, back during the time when they left the Dinosaurland area open and I used to go exploring there when pretty much nobody else was on the park :D You can clearly see that a large section of the drained lake area was being concreted and foundations put in place. The ship wasn't on site by this stage, but it was still quite cool to see.
    [​IMG]
    Hopefully we can get back to the days where new large scale constructions like these become more common. And hopefully as the hotel starts to make money for the park in the future and revenue is made through Christmas and feb half term Thomas Land openings this will be possible.
     
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  4. DistortAMG

    DistortAMG TowersStreet Member

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    Fun fact, it was a relation to me driving one of those diggers, building the footings for Bounty. His local construction firm used to do alot of work for the park in the past.

    The Haunting and Sherifs showdown do not need touching or removing. The are fantastic in their current state, both of them are. My son, who's in the parks target market absolutely loves them!
     
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  5. Themeparksandy1981

    Themeparksandy1981 TowersStreet Member

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    Sauron97 have you been on the haunting this season?
    It’s the best it’s ever been in. There been quite a lot of work been done to the queue line. The skeleton room had more smoke added and better lighting. The next room has a better storyline with the scary women projected. Then in the mad house at the end the women in the picture has replaced the hand and rises out of the tomb.
     
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  6. Bert2theSpark

    Bert2theSpark TowersStreet Member

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    Can we seriously stop with the “I’m going to complain about Drayton Manor because it doesn’t fit with MY vision of the park” that seems to happen every few months in this thread.

    The Haunting and Sheriff’s Shootdown are running really well this season are miles above Tomb Blaster or Duel levels of bad, I’d go to say The Haunting is one of the best dark rides in the country at the minute certainly as good as (or if not better) than the likes of Hex, DBGT and Valhalla.

    Drayton Manor have made it very apparent that they are not in the thrill market on many occasions, Drayton Manor cannot and will not compete with Alton Towers.

    Buffalo has recently seen a repaint and new staff trained on the ride so scrapping the ride when a replacement is unlikely is a bad idea, especially since the ride still brings in crowds despite being somewhat isolated from the rest of the park.
     
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  7. D4n

    D4n TowersStreet Member

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    The Haunting is obviously not better than Hex and Valhalla.

    Sheriff's Showdown is still awful, even in its current state Duel is miles better.

    The Buffalo "brings in the crowds"?? It's an antique with a shambolic throughput that shudders round the track. Dreadful.

    There's defending the direction the park is taking (extremely limited spending targeted at young families only whilst alienating anyone over the age of 7... a questionable business model at best, especially when the zoo is an abomination) and then there's just blind fanboyism.
     
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  8. Sauron97

    Sauron97 TowersStreet Member

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    I absolutely agree with the above.
    Can we seriously stop with presumptive and rash comments because it's clear to me that you don't know what you're talking about. I love Drayton. It's my local park, and I want it to be successful. My feedback is purely constructive. And yes, Drayton doesn't fit with 'my vision of the park' that's the point of my post. This is a public forum so it's my right to offer my thoughts I'm afraid :rolleyes: Sometimes I think I waste my time trying to share thoughts when people clearly don't read or listen what other people have to say.

    I'm well aware that Drayton's target audience is a family one and I've always that that it's a priority to have something family or family thrill. In fact I've probably mentioned it over 20 times in this forum thread. Taron is a family thrill ride, perhaps a bit on the expensive side and Drayton aren't going to have the capacity to do something on that scale, but Drayton have a superb relationship with Intamin and they have always wanted a launch coaster on the lake so it's actually one of the more plausible suggestions if we fast forward 10 years or so. Drayton will also at some point or another need a new coaster, to maintain their existing wide spectrum family market, so it will be a good investment and be easily marketable. And where did I suggest that they are trying to compete with Alton Towers? That's a strawman argument my dude.

    @Themeparksandy1981 No I haven't, so I'll reserve judgement :) . I'm sure it's a good addition, as the clay moldings by Victor Creations are always done to a superb standard
    I don't believe it's worth saving Haunting and Sheriffs, but that's just my personal opinion. Both rides in my opinion should be kept on for a while longer, before being replaced by a larger single dark ride attraction. The IE park ride system is no longer produced, the animatronics and efffects are experiencing daily problems, they haven't got any music for it (the current music is just stock wild west :p ) unlike Golden Nuggets which had a superb soundtrack. Haunting has also had a tonne of issues this year, mainly involving the mad house. I'll definitely give it a shot this season though
     
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  9. Crawleyboy01

    Crawleyboy01 TowersStreet Member

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    Went to drayton the other week. I can honestly say it's the worst park I have ever been to. Food was poor ride offering poor looked run down and in cared for. Will never return.

    But that's just my opinion
     
  10. AstroDan

    AstroDan TS Forum Team Team Member

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    American Adventure changed its target market.

    That went well.

    Sent from my SM-G973F using Tapatalk
     
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  11. Rick

    Rick TowersStreet Member

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    It did, but the approach is very different. Drayton have built one of the best family line ups in the country and really worked to reposition themselves in a part of the market that they can own.

    American Adventure ripped out everything that was thrilling and/or dropping to bits and called itself a family park.
     
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  12. Sauron97

    Sauron97 TowersStreet Member

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    They did reposition themselves in the late 2000s but I don't think that can be used as an argument over the last 5/6 years though.
    Drayton have done and will always go down the big tent family route, and this will be the case with the main park when it gets to the point where the Thomas market is saturated. After G force they definitely aren't going down the thrill route.
     
  13. AstroDan

    AstroDan TS Forum Team Team Member

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    I appreciate that, but similarly DMP have totallly lost my annual visit. I would imagine there are others.

    They used to get both markets... now they only get 1.
     
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  14. Dave

    Dave TS Founding Member

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    The risk for Drayton is Towers doing something to deflect from their family offering. It’s not likely with Merlins current attitude but by Drayton limiting their audience down, they become more vulnerable to competition.

    One big 6-11 age IP at Towers and what does Drayton then have to offer over its closest competitor?
     
  15. Sauron97

    Sauron97 TowersStreet Member

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    Ah, but it depends on what the IP is.
    Thomas is just such a universally good IP, and Thomas Land offers the quality Thomas experience for any kid who is obsessed with the series, so its an argument about the USP as much as it is about the age group and use of IP in general.
    I agree with what you're saying though, if Towers were competent, they could definitely make things a lot tougher for Drayton. But they aren't and I don't see any sign that they will be. Drayton are also willing and able to compete on other age brackets with IPs. Cartoon Network land may never have got far, but if it had, the results could of been interesting as that covers the age bracket you're describing perfectly.
    I think what Drayton needs right now is a strong sense of park identity, more cohesive themed areas, and it needs to fully detach itself from carrying the vibes of an amusement park which I think worsens its image. And new dark rides would be great
     
  16. DistortAMG

    DistortAMG TowersStreet Member

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    The point is, if Alton really put their money where their mouth is, they could really steal the rug from under Drayton as Drayton have left themselves exposed by focusing on one target market essentially.

    That happens to be one that is genuinly cheaper to produce in parks, hence why it worked for Drayton.

    If Alton decided to invest some serious money into taking on the competition (really not outside the realms of possibility) Drayton could be in serious trouble.

    It was never a good business move to put all your eggs in one basket. It is never a good move full stop.

    Even when taken at face value, don't put all your eggs in one basket. I learnt that the hard way yesterday and couldn't have an omelette for my breakfast. Seriously. Be it business or breakfast. It is rule 101
     
  17. Sauron97

    Sauron97 TowersStreet Member

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    I think not being outside the realms of possibility isn’t the point. It’s possible of course, but under Merlin? Extremely unlikely. Their business model is so poor that Drayton as they are now don’t need to any major concerns. Its one based on paperwork, hidden costs , and even poorer and cheaper IPs. And I’m sorry but I don’t see anything threatening the appeal of Thomas Land, not anytime soon anyway, the money will not go where it’s needed. Case and point the wonderful dungeon attraction and abandoned CCL.

    Regardless, I’m confident Drayton are aware of all of this. Well, I *know* they are. Their plan to revitalise the main park will be realised over the next decade. Hopefully it goes well.

    That’s why I put a tonne of constructive feedback in my post above, which has unfortunately not been received very well sad face. Sadly people seem convinced that I was out to get Drayton/being overly negative which I wasn’t. Oh well, it’s just not worth it to post in the future I guess.
     
    Last edited: 30th Aug 2019
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  18. Themepark-newbie

    Themepark-newbie TowersStreet Member

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    Drayton Manor deserves success, they have had a rough time but found an IP which is working and quite frankly isn't expensive to expand. A new ride or two for that market won't cost as much as a thrill machine.

    Unfortunately a look at their Accounts shows just how much money they owe banks in the next 5 years or so. Their strategy must be to clear the debt and the ludicrous levels of interest being paid out before they are able to really plan for larger future expansion.

    *I am not an accountant so excuse my ignorance if I have read their latest accounts incorrectly.
     
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  19. Themeparksandy1981

    Themeparksandy1981 TowersStreet Member

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    I speak to people who go to Drayton Manor and they feel more value for money at Drayton then at Alton Towers. Yes the season passes are £56 each but every time u go it’s £6 parking then you got the 15-20 walk to the entrance or wait 30 mins for the monorail where at Drayton it’s only a 5 min max walk to the entrance. Then you got a better section of coasters 1.2m or above but unless your willing to queue 30 to 60 mins for each of them then you got to buy a fast track package. The under 1.2 coasters ain’t as good as troublesome trunks and Accelerator. Also the thrill rides are much better at Drayton. Hex is better than the haunting but the shootout is much better than Duel as when you hit the targets at least something happens.
     
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  20. RoyJess

    RoyJess TowersStreet Member

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    Really? :confused:
     
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