Discussion in 'European Parks and Attractions' started by Sam, 29th Jul 2012.
It's official, the Scenic Railway will be opening on Friday 16th October!
So I never got to ride the original Scenic, however I've had a couple of goes this morning on its modern incarnation.
It's fun. Not outrageous fun, but there's definetly something about it, particularly towards the back. The additional trellis on the train really doesn't impact as much as some have feared, and are indeed a result of H&S trying to wrap us in cotton wool again.
Had an insightful chat with Andrew Gall who's head of technical and he confirmed the additional trims are indeed to bring the ride to modern standards, however they will only ever be used on a very rare occasion. The ride still wholeheartedly relies on the brakeman and seeing the original wheels and mechanisms hauling the lift hill chains is a delight.
By that definition, not a single old wooden coaster in the world is original, as all of them have had all their wood replaced at some point, and most of them have had entirely new trains. Many of them (like the Scenic) retain a few mechanical pieces that were part of the original.
It remains the same layout, on the same site, with the same name, and the same track design. It was not flattened and rebuilt, but replaced on a rolling basis. At all times since 1920 at least 50% of the structure has been standing (unlike, say, Space Mountain at Disneyland). It is the Scenic Railway at Dreamland, and it has been the Scenic Railway at Dreamland since 1920.
I assume you believe that you're the same person you were seven years ago, despite almost all of your cells having changed on a rolling basis. Anyway, glad to see it back open, and I'm sure it'll become beautiful again over the next few years once the wood ages.
If you make like-for-like replacements, then a lot of the overall character remains. Entire or virtually-entire demolition and reconstruction as different somehow.
Well that’s the end of Screamland and Dreamland’s opening year. They got their 1960s Ghost Train restored and open just in time for Halloween. Theming inside was limited, but they had an actor scaring people which got some good reactions. I believe the plan’s to theme it properly over the winter. It may even have a special theme for Christmas. If it looks half as good inside as their mazes it did they’ll have a lot to feel pleased about.
Apparently there’s a lot of developments going on at the park. Littleboy Restorations recently announced they’re restoring the Junior Whip from Blackpool Pleasure Beach. It was one of the rides saved by the Dreamland Trust. According to the Littleboy’s Facebook page, Littleboy’s are going to donate their time and possibly the materials.
There’s always the danger that a new attraction opens with a lot of pent up interest, and the second season struggles. Since the Scenic Railway only caught the tail end of this year, and other new rides are going in, hopefully they’ll have a strong year ahead.
They’ve also started advertising their Christmas event, The Frosted Fairground. For a limited time they’re going back to free entry, and there’s also going to be a visit from the Coca Cola truck.
Really should be free entry all year round, just like every other seaside amusement park in the UK.
It sickens me that people associate that bloody truck with Christmas now.
Oh, I thought Christmas was a celebration of the Coca Cola lorry!?
Nah, it's a celebration of the lamest excuse for getting knocked up behind your husband's back in history.
Dreamland has actually really impressed me this year. The people behind it certainly aren't running a Mickey Mouse operation, they could have easily just opened and expected the heritage to be their main selling point but they've done far more. They aren't resting on their laurels and doing these events for Halloween and Christmas shows that they're keeping their finger on the pulse of what the public want. Good on them! Now just get ride availibility sorted, about 5-6 rides were closed when I visited and I've heard many other similar reports.
Dreamland seem to be doing a tokens only event for Christmas with no option to purchase a wristband. I seriously hope that this isn't the plan to continue this pricing system in the new season. I have a friend who recently visited and only had one ride on the Scenic and nothing else. The rides at Dreamland are fun but certainly not worth paying £3-£5 for just one go. Any idea why they are not offering a wristband option for winter? If this continues I think that customer satisfaction will suffer greatly, I had planned to visit over winter but probably won't bother now.
The plan is for Christmas only, and will return to the usual admission methods next season.
I can only assume with it being winter that some of the rides may be down for maintenence? In which case it makes sense to charge per ride rather than wristbands when several rides are closed.
There are actually a number of extra rides hired in for the Frosted Fairground including a vintage Skid which has been very popular. This may be a factor in them switching to the token system.
I’m not sure exactly what agreement the management has with the showmen. During the main season the operator paid the showmen so much a week to rent the rides. For the Frost Fairground I believe it may be a different arrangement. The showman get to operate their rides at Dreamland rent free, and in return they let Dreamland members (annual pass holders) ride the rides for free. It takes away the risk for Dreamland. If they were paying to rent the rides and not many people turned up it’d leave them out of pocket. With this arrangement Dreamland isn’t paying for these rides, but it means they can’t offer wristbands. I think this is one of a number of factors behind the switch.
Saw this over on CoasterForce:
Long story short, they lost £3 million last year but are confident they can recover. Probably because the main draw, the scenic, wasn't ready for 3/4 of the season.
Brilliant reply. Thanks so much. I really, really hope that they don't switch to a tokens system with no wristband option. It seriously is poor value for money, I get the reasons why if that's why they're doing it but if they want public support they aren't going to get it this way. The skid ride does look very enjoyable but personally I would much rather see Dreamland staff operating it, for the sake of consistency and customer service. Will be very interesting to see what happens next season, will be a real chance for the park to become a big success, they do however need to sort out ride availibility, I haven't heard a single report of anyone visiting and every ride being open and I've heard many complaining of 4-6 rides being closed all day.
When I visited in October on a weekday prior to Scarefest, every ride was open
Not really any different to visiting a Merlin park with half the rides shut though...
I was getting worried about the serious lack of outrageous posts on here recently. Comparing Dreamland to a Merlin park has restored that faith.
Just to make that comparison a little easier however...
Image by TowersStreet
Image by @ManRay1929
The only occasion I've witnessed half the ride portfolio down is on the day the park opened, where the management admitted not everything was ready to open on that day. That didn't matter to anyone who was in attendance, because everyone was too busy enjoying the nostalgia and via other methods than to compare it to a Merlin park.
One thing they need to change with regards to pricing, is to have the park free to enter. Thats how these seaside parks their atmosphere.
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