Gardaland

Matt N

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Mako (SeaWorld Orlando)
I wonder what ride system this is using? The promo image seems to imply that the cars will seat 5 people (so possibly a 6-seater?), if that’s anything to go by…

“Our largest dark ride to date” is also an intriguing comment… if John is referring to Merlin’s largest dark ride to date, does this mean that Jumanji will have a larger budget and/or be a larger ride than DBGT at Thorpe?
 

jon81uk

TS Member
“Our largest dark ride to date” is also an intriguing comment… if John is referring to Merlin’s largest dark ride to date, does this mean that Jumanji will have a larger budget and/or be a larger ride than DBGT at Thorpe?

Do Merlin define DBGT as a dark ride? I don't. Its closer to a walkthrough attraction.
 

JAperson

TS Member
I wonder what ride system this is using? The promo image seems to imply that the cars will seat 5 people (so possibly a 6-seater?), if that’s anything to go by…

“Our largest dark ride to date” is also an intriguing comment… if John is referring to Merlin’s largest dark ride to date, does this mean that Jumanji will have a larger budget and/or be a larger ride than DBGT at Thorpe?
I'm sure I heard somewhere it was going to be intamin but I can't think where I heard it. Anyway I think it's likely going to be something from Gamendale who they seem to like working with. They have quite a few different dark ride systems you can see them here on there website: https://www.garmendale.co.uk/ride-systems/dark-rides/

It'll be interesting to see who they use as it will give us a good taste of what companies private Merlin might want to work with. Of course there is a chance this was planned before the takeover but I suppose we will never know.
 

Rojo

TS Member
Indiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Forbidden Eye / Temple of the Crystal Skull rip off?

Sounds great, now can we get one at Alton?:D
 

Tim

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Air / Blue Fire
Where did the quote "Our largest Dark Ride to date" come from? If it's Gardaland themselves they are comparing it to I Corsari, (their Pirate ride), Which is huge! I doubt the claim is true, just PR talk.

I've seen the construction site for this and it is re-using the old Ramses site. I was under the impression it was re-using the ride system as well but I could be wrong about that.
 

Rob

TS Team
Favourite Ride
Steel Vengeance
I can't imagine that it will be using the same ride system. No hope for an exciting ride if it does!
 

jon81uk

TS Member
Where did the quote "Our largest Dark Ride to date" come from?
A Tweet by John Burton who is one of the creative leads at Merlin Magic Making. I have read it as the largest dark ride created by Merlin Magic Making to date, ie the largest since the Merlin takeover of Tussauds, or maybe the largest in the five years John has worked for Merlin. The quote hasn’t been put out by the park, just John so I think the “our” refers to MMM not Gardaland.
 
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Islander

TS Member
There's probably some truth in the statement, but I also get the impression that he's perhaps a bit of a loose cannon - I can't imagine his tweets are particularly approved by Marketing lol
 

Rick

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Crux
Will be interesting to see if they replace the ride system or not, I am not sure this would be a huge triumph with the existing.
 
Concept art must always be taken with a pinch of salt, but the vehicle in the artwork strongly resembles the 6-seater version of Garmendale's MotionMaster vehicle. Given their recent work with Merlin, I suppose it'd make sense for them to bump them up to a larger-scale project?
 

JAperson

TS Member
Concept art must always be taken with a pinch of salt, but the vehicle in the artwork strongly resembles the 6-seater version of Garmendale's MotionMaster vehicle. Given their recent work with Merlin, I suppose it'd make sense for them to bump them up to a larger-scale project?
Yes this was my suggestion. I think it's very likely that Merlin got a bulk deal with Garmendale as they love doing that with other companies.
 

Tim

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Air / Blue Fire
A Tweet by John Burton who is one of the creative leads at Merlin Magic Making. I have read it as the largest dark ride created by Merlin Magic Making to date, ie the largest since the Merlin takeover of Tussauds, or maybe the largest in the five years John has worked for Merlin. The quote hasn’t been put out by the park, just John so I think the “our” refers to MMM not Gardaland.
Thanks for that. That's what I thought. Largest Dark Ride for MMM is a fair claim. The ride it's replacing was already larger than anything Merlin has built.
But what Gardaland was building in the 90s was insane. I met the local creative team while I was over there and they were explaining how half the park has been built on the excavated land from I Corsari, La valle dei Re and the Magic House. That's some Disney level excavation!
 

Tim

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Air / Blue Fire
It appears Merlin are building animatronics.


Merlin build a lot of Animations. Admittedly nearly all of them are at a 1:20 or 1:100 scale ;)

I get your point though. It's very exciting to see Merlin produce ride scale animatronics. And these look really cool too.
 

Jb85

TS Member
Well this is…. Promising

i wonder when this project was signed off -
Pre takeover I would assume

if that quality is anything to go by then it seems budgets have been somewhat increased
 

JAperson

TS Member
Well this is…. Promising

i wonder when this project was signed off -
Pre takeover I would assume

if that quality is anything to go by then it seems budgets have been somewhat increased
I reckon because of the IP being very popular Merlin don't see it as a very risky investment compared to other dark rides. It bound to be a hit and so they are quite happy to spend that bit extra.
 

Matt N

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Mako (SeaWorld Orlando)
Jumanji is apparently opening on 2nd April, and appears to be coming along well:

In other news, the manufacturer guess of Garmendale was apparently incorrect, as Oceaneering (manufacturer of Spider-Man, Transformers, and Six Flags’ Justin League rides) has been cited as a manufacturer by more than one source (https://www.looopings.nl/weblog/187...-nieuwe-Jumani-darkride-opening-in-april.html).

The budget has also been cited as €20million.

I think this could be a really great ride; based on what I’m seeing so far, it bodes well for Merlin’s dark ride building abilities!
 
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Matt N

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Mako (SeaWorld Orlando)
£20m is very high for Merlin. Interesting to see how this comes out.
Converting Euros to pounds, it’s a little more than what Wicker Man cost (€20m comes to around £16.5m with the current exchange rate), so they’ve certainly got a big budget to play with!

It’s a fair amount less than DBGT’s alleged £30m budget (only just over half), but I’d imagine a large percentage of DBGT’s budget went towards R&D on the unique ride system, whereas the Oceaneering simulator system is a tried and tested ride system that was developed 20 years ago. And I’d imagine it shouldn’t be costing too much nowadays; Six Flags, a company not known for splurging loads on expensive ride hardware, purchased a huge number of them for the chain. In 2017, they built 3 in one year!

I know this sounds negligible, but I also think having an existing building to work within would have reduced costs too. So in reality, there would be a pretty substantial cut of the budget to go on actually theming the ride itself, as the R&D has already been done, and the building is already there!

I’m certainly excited to see how this turns out, and if it goes well, I think it could bode well for future dark rides within Merlin; the Oceaneering ride system is a fantastic one based on the 2 I’ve ridden at Universal, so I’d be thrilled if Merlin bought more!
 
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