Drayton Manor Park

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

  1. Themepark-newbie

    Themepark-newbie TowersStreet Member

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    True, but how is that working out for Dreamland? Not exactly 'marketable' though installing what is essentially a fairground ride.
     
  2. Danny

    Danny Gugu Rides’ Number 1 Fan

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    Dreamland's location makes it far less desirable to visit for people in the north of the country, and has proven to be more successful on the event side of things anyway. Drayton is in a far better location to draw guests in with new rides.
     
  3. Themepark-newbie

    Themepark-newbie TowersStreet Member

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    Agree about location. I am sounding exceptionally negative about Drayton which is probably unfair as I really am fond of it.

    However, a 'ride' just isn't enough anymore. The fact we are simply talking about them theoretically adding a Zamperla ride shows how far they have fallen. They need an investment to draw people back who are not Thomas audience OR simply push this as their USP.
     
  4. Rick

    Rick TowersStreet Member

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  5. Themeparksandy1981

    Themeparksandy1981 TowersStreet Member

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    I been going to Drayton Manor for over 30 years now and seen them go from a zoo/amusement park to a resort.
    They really were just a zoo with tickets/wristband amusement park with just the log flume and Buffalo coaster as the park’s permanent rides then Drayton came into there own in the 90s
    1990 Pirate Adventure was added
    1992 Pirate Cove was created with the restaurant added, Bumper cars rethemed and the Jolly Buccaneer added
    1993 Splash Canyon and Black Revolver
    1994 Shockwave
    1995 Klondike Gold Mine coaster
    1996 The Haunting
    1997 Rory Jungle Safari
    1998 Sombrero and Robinson’s kids corner with 7 new rides
    1999 Stormforce 10
    Now I think them 10 years really put Drayton on the Map with areas been themed and they continued into the 00’s
    2000 Apocalypse,Golden Nuggets and the Popeye show was added
    2001 Project Neptune started
    2002 Maelstrom
    2003 Excalibur and Cyclone
    2004 Pandemonium they also did a on park survey to see what was the parks most missed rides were and the tea cups and pirate ship came in the top 2.
    2005 G force
    2006 Drunken Barrels
    2007 The Bounty
    2008 Thomas land
    2009 4D cinema and the cafe and shop.
    Now I think this is where the park peaked and there biggest mistake happened.
    2010 Blue Mountain engines
    2011 Ben 10 coaster and the new hotel
    2012 Excalibur closed and turned into a Christmas event.
    2013 Winston's Whistle stop tour
    2014 Air Race
    2015 Thomas land Expansion and Pirate Adventure closed
    2016 Total retheme of the Haunting and Vertigo
    2017 James and the Red Balloon Splash Canyon SBNO
    2018 Golden Nuggets retheme and ice age 4D movie with the cable cars and Big Wheel removed
    2019 G Force SBNO and Buffalo repainted
    2020 The Haunting repainted building and queue line and pre show painted/up graded shame it couldn’t open, Buffalo finished painted and the length of train back to its full length with a new operator booth and queue line. G Force removed.
    So I think the park was making a profit every year to they decided to build the hotel and then the debts started and since Thomas land opened we had more attractions closed than opened in the rest of the park.
     
  6. DistortAMG

    DistortAMG TowersStreet Member

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    But, the park were not making a profit every year until the hotel was built. There is an interview somewhere with Colin Bryan and he states the park were loosing alot of money up until and just before the creation of Thomas Land. Thomas Land temporarily turned their fortunes round, but the issues were there before the hotel.

    Going onto Splash Canyon, now I am 'in the know' to some aspects just from living close to the park. But I always share what I know. I do know that as of a few years ago, Splash Canyon needed in the region of a quarter of a million quid spending, just to bring the timber of the ride back up to scratch. I guess they could get away with not building the tunnels and buildings around the ride, saving cash, but damaging the ride experience in the process.

    This would be the year we should see it open, if they were to open it. As the court case has concluded. We will see, it's going to need alot of money spending just from the length of time it's been sat there, but again, much cheaper than what it would cost to build new.
     
    Last edited: 29th Dec 2020
  7. Ian

    Ian TS Site Team Team Member

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    We used to visit Drayton most years when I was a kid, and I have to say that for me the park started to feel a bit rough around the edges around the 2006 mark.

    Yes, they were investing in new hardware frequently, and the likes of Stormforce and Excalibur had some awesome theming, but the rest of the park always felt a bit unloved to me. New investment does not necessarily guarantee quality, and if the offering is poor you’re always going to struggle to recoup that investment. Fruit Shoot Land in particular was rather skanky and stuck out like a sore thumb as I often remember it. It wasn’t until around the 2012 mark that I feel like there was some serious investment in trying to spruce the whole park up as I feel the rot was really starting to show once Thomas Land went it. It really did look great once they’d completed the various repaints and whatnot.

    The hotel certainly felt like the point where they had bitten off more than they could chew. I’ve stopped in the hotel a few times now for both business and leisure and while it is a really nice hotel that I would gladly stay at, there simply isn’t enough of an offering at the park to support it and encourage an overnight stay. I can’t help feel they’d have been better off trying to sink that investment into something else to try and bolster the resort proposition.

    It’s a shame, because while the park hasn’t seen any new ride of any scale in almost 10 years now and has been stuck in limp-home mode, it still felt loved and well presented (something the Merlin parks could not be accused off at that point), but with the rides they’ve lost up to now it feels like there are big holes. Being owned by a larger company at least hopefully means the parks future is more secure than before, but it’s going to take a few years while they get to grips with the market and decide which direction they ultimately take the park before we see any real transformation.
     
  8. Themeparksandy1981

    Themeparksandy1981 TowersStreet Member

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    Well they not got the report back yet for what needs to be done to bring the ride back to H&S standards.
    I know all the motors and pumps were removed from the site so as they should work fine and the channels have been drained for years. I think it all depends on if the boats can be fitted with doors and other safety features or will they need more update boats like at Alton towers.
     
  9. Funcone

    Funcone TowersStreet Member

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    Thanks for the timeline Themeparksandy1981.

    Clearly this year has been a complete disaster for the park with the flood, Covid and the fire. I don’t think that any park could make a profit under those circumstances. However, it had been losing money before this year, and that can seem more curious.

    According to the Looping Group, when they took over Drayton Manor was getting 1.2 million visitors a year. There’s been a significant decline since its peak, and that’s quite a bit below any of the Merlin parks. However, it’s still getting around double the attendance of Tripsdrill or Holiday Park and substantially more than Toverland. I’ve read quite a few posts on various forums saying that Drayton Manor needs to contrate on Thomas Land, because they’re not big enough to have thrill rides. But their attendance should be enough to support some thrill rides. Even allowing for the fact that the animals cost a lot to care for, it still feels like a reasonable number of people. This certainly isn’t like these ghost parks in the Middle East. Drayton Manor’s feedback has started to go down with all the cutbacks, but until the last couple of years they were doing well on Trip Advisor.

    1.2 million visitors a year and good Trip Advisor comments weren’t enough to make this business successful. It’s a sad state of affairs.
     
  10. DistortAMG

    DistortAMG TowersStreet Member

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    Indeed. Motors are mechanical components so they would always be fixable. Although when I saw them last year they had clearly not recieved the renovation they usually get bi-yearly. Probably due to the uncertainty surrounding what was going to happen at the time.

    We did an inspection of the ride with my ex employer 18 months ago. To replace timber in the attraction. Alot of timber. That is where I got the figure from. The themeing structures, tunnel and parts of the station would not have passed H&S a couple of years ago let alone now. Due to the sheer amount of rotten timber. This will have to be addressed and would more than likely not be included in the H&S report, as the changes in that report will be specific to the accident and not inclusive of general maintenance the park would be expected to carry out, if the ride was operating.
     
  11. Ciaran

    Ciaran TowersStreet Member

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    Personally I am 100% confident the ride will return. It’s a huge attraction and caters for everyone - families, teenagers and adults. Obviously there will need to be some much stricter rules set in place. I think it will likely come back next year with revamped theming.
     
  12. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    I must have lost something somewhere; which ride are we talking about?
     
  13. Ciaran

    Ciaran TowersStreet Member

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  14. SamA76

    SamA76 TowersStreet Member

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    As far as I’m aware, the staff received an email update saying that the planned Thomas Ride from last year will now be installed next year and Splash Canyon is being refurbished to get it back up to scratch to reopen for Next Season which is good!
    They also noted in the email that they are looking to create a pass similar to Merlins which would get you into places such as Safari Park, Drayton and the rest of their collection!
     
  15. Thameslink Rail

    Thameslink Rail TowersStreet Member

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    If this happens then I think we might start to see a duopoly emerge in the UK theme park industry which could improve guest experience as loss for one group would be gain for the other. Or, it could lead to a race to the bottom (I hope it doesn't)
     
  16. Rick

    Rick TowersStreet Member

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    Behave ... Looping have three attractions in the UK, one of which is four hours drive away from the other two.
     
  17. Themeparksandy1981

    Themeparksandy1981 TowersStreet Member

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    A member on Drayton Talk posted this https://www.draytontalk.co.uk/threads/new-thomas-land-ride-4d-cinema-film-for-2021.265/
    The 4D movie was supposed to open at Easter but cause of the Covid rules and the staff needing more space for breaks and getting changed it couldn’t open last season.
    With the Thomasland ride ground work for the attraction had started in the area where the Terence ride/blue mountain engines use to be but they had to stop cause of the flooding then the park was forced to close by the government.
     
    Last edited: 30th Dec 2020
  18. Pleasure Beach Valhalla

    Pleasure Beach Valhalla TowersStreet Member

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    That sounds good. I mean every time I go on Stormforce I can't help looking towards that sight and there was cleaning equipment on the turntable so yh I don't know about that!
     
  19. Dora

    Dora TowersStreet Member

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    How credible is your source though?
     
  20. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    Is it known what the planned Thomas Land ride is to be, out of interest?

    Very good news that the park is apparently pressing ahead with plenty of investment for next year in spite of these trying times; gives me great hope for the future under the Looping Group!
     

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