Drayton Manor Park

JAperson

TS Member
Yes this will be the announcement of the rapids opening dates. I have heard wave swinger is now open although I don't know if that is true.
These rapids could prove very important for both Drayton and the other rapids rides in the UK if they turn out well. We could see refurbishment of the Merlin rapids rides at Thorpe and Towers and they could take inspiration from Drayton possibly buying similar boats from Intamin and using similar effects.

As for what Drayton will add next year I am not sure however I think they probably have something planned. The park needs building up so it can return to normal investment cycles.
 

JAperson

TS Member
The wave swinger is now open, and is open today. Also strangely the rapids has been removed from the adventure cove website. But I guess it might appear again tomorrow if the announcement is linked.
I presume that's what they are doing trying to build hype I suppose. Or maybe they have had a last minute decision to call them a decent name and they have to change the branding. I doubt it though! ;)
 

Wilko

TS Member
Not much has happened recently on the rapids site, and they previously stated Wave 1 was the Waveswinger and Tidal Towers, so I imagine that is what the announcement tomorrow would be for.

Fingers crossed the Rapids is ready too, but there are a few concerns, albeit unconfirmed, that it's a bit behind schedule, and the removal from the website is seen more as a worry than hype building.
 

DistortAMG

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Pirates of the Caribbean (DLP)
Yes I am very excited and pleased to see the family still involved although I won't imagine that will last long. I do wonder if adventure cove was planned a few years ago but was stopped because of financial issues and when looping took over they just looked at the plans and where like yeah that looks good here's the money. As there was rumours of a beach/seaside themed area. If the accident on the rapids didn't happen it would still be family owned and probably would be in a much better position than it is now. I really hope Drayton do add a family coaster of some form. Which is really what they need and have needed for sometime know.

I disagree, the park would still have needed to be sold had the rapids accident not happened. The park was in financial difficulties long before the rapids accident. That did not help of course, but the COVID issues and flooding last year are what really tipped the park over the edge. They were just about keeping their head above the water with numbers improving after the accident.

Would they have set the park up as a new company though in order to side step the fine? Not sure. But that is somewhat irrelevant as the park went under before that, as a direct result of COVID and the floods, which cost quite a lot.

As for the announcement, I am sure we will hear an opening date for the whole area including rapids tomorrow. They need to, there is not that much time left with the warm weather about 6 weeks. So they really need to get it open now, to benefit from it for this season, it is very late into the season as it is. The rapids are ready to go, the ride refurbishment is practically complete, staff are trained and the thing is literally ready to open. That is assuming they have been signed off by ADIPS and the HSE. Something which remains to be seen
 

JAperson

TS Member
Not much has happened recently on the rapids site, and they previously stated Wave 1 was the Waveswinger and Tidal Towers, so I imagine that is what the announcement tomorrow would be for.

Fingers crossed the Rapids is ready too, but there are a few concerns, albeit unconfirmed, that it's a bit behind schedule, and the removal from the website is seen more as a worry than hype building.
I hadn't heard these rumours although these are entirely possible. I know there was also another flat ride planned (Was it a disko?) which hasn't started construction or been mentioned by the park so perhaps they might open that next year as wave 2. I hope they get the rapids ready as they really are essential to this new area.
 

JAperson

TS Member
I disagree, the park would still have needed to be sold had the rapids accident not happened. The park was in financial difficulties long before the rapids accident. That did not help of course, but the COVID issues and flooding last year are what really tipped the park over the edge. They were just about keeping their head above the water with numbers improving after the accident.

Would they have set the park up as a new company though in order to side step the fine? Not sure. But that is somewhat irrelevant as the park went under before that, as a direct result of COVID and the floods, which cost quite a lot.
The park was in decline before the rapids but no where near as bad. They had investment plans like replacement for the buffalo that would have improved attendance significantly meaning that they would not have had to sell. Drayton new what they where doing although they got carried away with Thomas Land they new what they needed to do. I think they would have gotten out of this difficulty and would have been in a much better position before COVID hit. I'm sure they could have survived indepdantly if they had completed there investment plan and attendance had risen significantly. They would have had profit increases for the years leading up to COVID hopfully meaning they could have fought it. The family running Drayton had been brought up running the park they new the business well they would have been fine. But as you say it really was COVID that pushed them over the edge. Who knows what Drayton would look like. I still feel bad for the family they have had to sell there family business they have lost what the previous generations worked for. I wonder if there plan is to eventually buy it back although I am not sure where they would find the funds.
 

DistortAMG

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Pirates of the Caribbean (DLP)
The park was in decline before the rapids but no where near as bad. They had investment plans like replacement for the buffalo that would have improved attendance significantly meaning that they would not have had to sell. Drayton new what they where doing although they got carried away with Thomas Land they new what they needed to do. I think they would have gotten out of this difficulty and would have been in a much better position before COVID hit. I'm sure they could have survived indepdantly if they had completed there investment plan and attendance had risen significantly. They would have had profit increases for the years leading up to COVID hopfully meaning they could have fought it. The family running Drayton had been brought up running the park they new the business well they would have been fine. But as you say it really was COVID that pushed them over the edge. Who knows what Drayton would look like. I still feel bad for the family they have had to sell there family business they have lost what the previous generations worked for. I wonder if there plan is to eventually buy it back although I am not sure where they would find the funds.

The investment plans were just those though, plans. They have had plans of some sort or another to replace Buffalo for over 20 years. Non of them every came to fruition due to no money. Their latest plans too would have not come to work because they had no money. The reason why Thomas Land always saw new rides is because they are all very small, very cheap rides to build. Something they could afford to do.

When you are loosing millions a year, in some cases over £3 million pound loss for 2017. No bank is going to touch you to build a new large coaster or ride, to increase the attendance, not when you already have large loans and are making huge losses. Something Drayton found themselves in.
 
Rapids seems to have disappeared from the adventure cove page and the website. Hope they get it open soon.

On another note, what is it with the dreadful photos used on the rides page? More logo than actual ride image. Bounty Pirate Ship and shockwave for example.
 

Benjsh

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Steel Vengeance
Real opportunity missed with it being summer holidays to not have the rapids available again despite seemingly planning for it to be open.

Would be a real shame to lose it completely. They have probably just removed all photos and mentions of it to avoid disappointment.
 

jon81uk

TS Member
Real opportunity missed with it being summer holidays to not have the rapids available again despite seemingly planning for it to be open.

Would be a real shame to lose it completely. They have probably just removed all photos and mentions of it to avoid disappointment.

Yes I expect it is to try and stop it looking like here is our new area opening (except for that bit) by temporally removing the rapids from the website.
Given how much has been spent I can't see them going completely, but if they aren't open by October there is no point opening them this season.
 
Been a annual pass holder I go on average every 2 weeks and on the 10th July staff was having water safety training. Then watching a few videos on YouTube from shockwave station you could see staff having load and unload training but when I was at the park on Sunday some boats had been removed from the ride and no more work has been done but they did say the rapids were part of wave 2 so they could have all contact workers working on getting the new area finished for tomorrow night and will then go back to finishing the rapids area as that’s not on show currently.
 

pluk

TS Member
Are there any similarities in design or manufacturer of either ride or boat with the one involved in the recent fatal capsizing I wonder? Could account for a delay until that incident is properly understood if there are.
 
I do think it’s got to do with HSE or the people who give the ride safety certificate as there been empty boats sent round the course pretty much the last 2 weeks. There could be something they not happy with the boats or section of the ride they not happy with. HSE is a nightmare as they look at the worst case that could happen. ( A place I worked at 20 years ago had a HSE surprise visit said we needed better fixing guards on all our machines. We did it all and they came back and wasn’t happy that there was a small gap at the back of the milling machines we showed there was no chance our hand could fit and they said what happens if a small kid walked into your factory and put his hand round the back) hopefully now most of adventure cove is finished they can crack on with the rapids area.
 
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