Drayton Manor Park

Skyscraper

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Nemesis
How wide are Stormforce 10’s boats? Because I was only thinking; if Stormforce 10 is anything like Wicker Man in terms of how far apart the rows are and how many it seats, then it could in theory run at full capacity under the 1m+ rule!
Two seats wide, eight seats long.
 

Matt N

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Mako (SeaWorld Orlando)
Two seats wide, eight seats long.
Ah right OK; so a bit like Valhalla, then? So they might, in theory, be able to run it at full capacity if 1m distancing was observed on rides with masks.

Then again, I suppose most parks aren’t enforcing masks on water rides; maybe that’s the reason they wouldn’t be able to run it at full capacity, combined with the minimum rider limit?
 

Burbs

TS Team
Favourite Ride
Untamed - Walibi Holland
I'm surprised Stormforce 10 has a minimum number of guests it has to have. At no point does it go uphill under its own steam. Unless it's something to do with travelling too far after the last drop?
 

pluk

TS Member
A sensible plan. I wonder how much of a 'can we survive as only a Thomas Land kiddie park and zoo' trial this is?
 

Matt N

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Mako (SeaWorld Orlando)
To be fair, I’d imagine they probably could. Especially since the Splash Canyon incident, I’d guess that Thomas Land visitors provide the vast majority of Drayton Manor’s guest figures; where I live in the South West, pretty much everyone I know who’s been to Drayton Manor went primarily to visit Thomas Land. As much as I think that moving primarily to being Thomas Land & the zoo would create a less varied park, it would be a solid move if they wanted to ensure their longevity post-COVID, as the park’s recent financial struggles even pre-COVID were quite well known, and the extended closure combined with the floods may have made these worse.

As much as I did like Shockwave and Apocalypse, I don’t think they (the thrill rides) are really what pulls people to the park anymore. So if they do remove these as part of a progressive move towards being a family-orientated theme park, then I think it would be a solid move to make if they were really struggling. Especially if they have more future success down the line and replace them with attractions more suited to their new target audience.
 

Dave

TS Founding Member
I would imagine some of this phased opening is because they haven’t had the money to bring people off furlough until they started generating an income. This way they get their money maker open to provide the funds to open the rest of the park.
 

jon81uk

TS Member
I would imagine some of this phased opening is because they haven’t had the money to bring people off furlough until they started generating an income. This way they get their money maker open to provide the funds to open the rest of the park.
They may also need to recruit as well. If they hadn’t recruitment ready for summer then seasonal staff won’t be on furlough
 
Been a annual pass holder the staff that run Thomas land and the other family rides are full time employees as they work nearly all year at the park so they will be trained up 1st with the new rules then the season staff will be retrained on the main rides over the next 4 weeks.
 

Rick

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Crux
I'm surprised Stormforce 10 has a minimum number of guests it has to have. At no point does it go uphill under its own steam. Unless it's something to do with travelling too far after the last drop?
On a ride not too dissimilar to Stormforce that I have worked on, the minimum number was for balance and sufficient weight to ensure the boats cleared the blocks quickly enough (a half empty boat took 10 - 15 seconds longer to clear the run out than a full one).

Not sure if that's the case there.
 

DistortAMG

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Pirates of the Caribbean (DLP)
I'm surprised Stormforce 10 has a minimum number of guests it has to have. At no point does it go uphill under its own steam. Unless it's something to do with travelling too far after the last drop?

On a ride not too dissimilar to Stormforce that I have worked on, the minimum number was for balance and sufficient weight to ensure the boats cleared the blocks quickly enough (a half empty boat took 10 - 15 seconds longer to clear the run out than a full one).

Not sure if that's the case there.

It is for weight reasons. They do clear blocks slower when empty but the system is usually ok with that. The top section, before the final drop has the boats moved along by underwater tyres rather than a water flow. When the boats are too light. Not only do they struggle to make it to the next set of tyres, they can struggle to get enough traction to actually push themselves across the tyres fullstop, due to the boat not having enough draught.

I've spent many times going up there, rain and shine to help retrieve a stuck boat back in the day. Usually involved 2 of you pulling / pushing the boat from thr catwalk until such a time the boat does regain traction on the tyres near the drop. If you look at them Storm Force 10 pictures posted a few pages back. You can see the tyres and motors in all their glory.

They can also occasionally get stuck in the splash down zone for the reverse drop, before reaching the friction tyres and second turntable. The design for that drop is ever so slightly flawed. It prefers an ever so slightly higher waterlevel, which they can acheive by covering a few of the water release holes in the trough near the screw pump. But that causes problems else where with sensors and other equipment. So it gets ran at a lower level, to ensure maximum ride reliability and pretty much always has, still well within the safety margin though. That only happens occasionally. Never when the boat is full. So aslong as boats are weighted and the system has the slightly lower water level. The ride usually runs flawlessly.

It is a far cry from the simplicity of water rides such as the old Flume at AT. Much simpler rider system. But that also gave it more reliability and the ability to operate boats at any weight with almost no chance of it getting stuck.
 
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Dave

TS Founding Member
It is for weight reasons. They do clear blocks slower when empty but the system is usually ok with that. The top section, before the final drop has the boats moved along by underwater tyres rather than a water flow. When the boats are too light. Not only do they struggle to make it to the next set of tyres, they can struggle to get enough traction to actually push themselves across the tyres fullstop, due to the boat not having enough draught.

I've spent many times going up there, rain and shine to help retrieve a stuck boat back in the day. Usually involved 2 of you pulling / pushing the boat from thr catwalk until such a time the boat does regain traction on the tyres near the drop. If you look at them Storm Force 10 pictures posted a few pages back. You can see the tyres and motors in all their glory.

They can also occasionally get stuck in the splash down zone for the reverse drop, before reaching the friction tyres and second turntable. The design for that drop is ever so slightly flawed. It prefers an ever so slightly higher waterlevel, which they can acheive by covering a few of the water release holes in the trough near the screw pump. But that causes problems else where with sensors and other equipment. So it gets ran at a lower level, tonensure maximum ride reliability and pretty much always has, still well within the safety margin though. That only happens occasionally. Never when the boat is full. So aslong as boats are weighted and the system has the slightly lower water level. The ride usually runs flawlessly.

It is a far cry from the simplicity of water rides such as the old Flume at AT. Much simpler rider system. But that also gave it more reliability and the ability to operate boats at any weight with almost no chance of it getting stuck.

I think any ex operator of the flume would question its simplicity. One I know described it as one of the more hands-on rides on park to operate.
 

DistortAMG

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Pirates of the Caribbean (DLP)
L
I think any ex operator of the flume would question its simplicity. One I know described it as one of the more hands-on rides on park to operate.

Oh I agree in that aspect. I was referring to its simplicity in regards to the lack of complex equipment such as vehicle turntables, lack of any friction wheels what so ever (Storm Force 10 has 60 ish including motors to each pair). It didnt use IR sensors (it had metal prongs in the trough) and given its layout, a fairly simple pumping arrangement for the water. Then SF10 also has the lift motors, water pumps and all that stuff.

In another words, there is alot more to go wrong in relatively modern water rides. They are packed with far more electronic equipment. They have to be to do what they do differently to the older rides.
 
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DistortAMG

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Pirates of the Caribbean (DLP)
Did the flume get upgraded to IR sensors? I remember one year the prongs at the top of the lifts disappeared.

Even if it did. It still brings it no where near to the complexity of the electrical systems and mechanical equipment of rides such as SF10.
 

Alastair

TS Team
Favourite Ride
Indiana Jones Adventure
This happened a couple of weeks ago just half a mile from the park (you can see a sign at the start), so I thought I'd post it here.



It is HUGE!


There being a sign for the park in the video doesn't make this relevant to the Drayton Manor topic! :p

I'd suggest reposting it in Coffee Corner or the Tavern somewhere if you wanted further discussion, otherwise please keep strictly to the park :) Thanks.
 

DistortAMG

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Pirates of the Caribbean (DLP)
The tank went through the centre of Fazely as can be seen in the photo. Come pretty close to my house infact! Then right past the Drayton Manor entrance towards Birmingham.

There are 3 more to come through in the coming weeks. Nothing to do with Drayton Manor, they are for some industrial application in Coleshill, on the fringes of Birmingham.
 
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