Oakwood Discussion

Discussion in 'European Parks and Attractions' started by Rob, 21st Dec 2012.

  1. Funcone

    Funcone TowersStreet Member

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    Apparantly Bounce was open a couple of weeks ago. According to a Phantasialand forum, some German enthusiasts managed to get a ride, before it closed down again again due to some unforeseen technical difficulties. It caused quite a bit of interest, as it doesn't open very often. A couple of people asked whether Bounce was real, because they'd been to Oakwood a few times and never seen it running. I think they thought it was some kind of in joke. But people reassured them that Bounce is real, and that it does occassionally open.
     
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  2. Poisson

    Poisson TowersStreet Member

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    Drenched was closed but the water was running on my visit in early July
     
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  3. Spark

    Spark TowersStreet Member

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    Website says Bounce is being refurbished
     
  4. Coaster

    Coaster TowersStreet Member

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    Oakwood's ride availability has been poor for years, Bounce and Drenched are nearly always closed :(
     
  5. Enter Valhalla

    Enter Valhalla TowersStreet Member

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    To be fair, Drenched and Tidal Wave are very different rides.

    You can send Tidal Wave boats empty so social distancing is easy.

    Drenched however requires a minimum of 12 adults to be sent, otherwise it won’t have enough weight to make it round and gets stuck under the bridge. If you’ve ever watched morning tests on Drenched, you’ll have seen that when the engineers send the boat empty it always get stuck under the bridge and one has to enter the water in waders and physically push it.

    Trying to social distance on a ride system which is so heavily weight reliant would have been near enough impossible.
     
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  6. Rick

    Rick TowersStreet Member

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    Chanced a trip to Oakwood with one of my old school friends, if only to prove to ourselves that we can still do crazy coaster trips after all these years. 13 hours travel ... for four hours in the park. Headed down yesterday and stayed at Pembroke Dock, before heading to the park this morning, we left at 15:00 this afternoon.

    I was a bit worried about the state Megafobia was in given some of the online chatter about how awful it was riding, but should have had no (thrills beyond) fear, it was absolutely flying in the rain and bar two rough spots, it was running great. In hindsight, some of its detractors seem to speak highly of Icon, so that would perhaps suggest that they're looking for something slightly different in a ride.

    Oakwood doesn't have loads on offer, but what it does have is great, their Flying Scooters are one of my favourite rides, its a shame we don't have more of them in this country anymore. They're very difficult to snap, unlike the Southport and Morecambe rides. My friend Dave used to operate the log flume at Camelot, so it was good for him to ride it again after all these years.

    Bounce looks pretty much ready to go, it was powered on and looked as if it's pretty much there, but no movement just yet. Perhaps it will come back at Spooktacular, or maybe next year, or the year after.

    The crowd dynamic was a bit odd, you could walk on Speed but wait 45 - 60 mins for Bobsleigh or Spooky 3D. Megafobia was a train wait each of the five times we rode.

    Drenched opened bob on 14:00 as advertised, so we rode that and headed off.
     
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  7. NuttySquirrel

    NuttySquirrel TowersStreet Member

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    Glad to hear you had a good day, I'm more of a fan of Oakwood than some people on here are, and I know that Megafobia is polarising! It can be a bit rough but I think a lot depends on what time of day you ride it and where you sit.

    Interesting to hear that Speed and Megafobia were quiet compared to the other attractions - though Bobsleigh has woeful throughput even on quiet days. I guess with it being the summer holidays the park clientele is mostly made up of family staycationers who might be drawn more the family-oriented attractions than the big coasters. Anyway I doubt there are too many other parks in the UK right now where you can get four re-rides in their flagship coaster and still leave by 3pm!

    It's good to hear they've got Drenched open now, it looked a bit mothballed when I was there in April. Pity that Bounce isn't up and running yet but hopefully they'll sort that out soon.
     
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  8. MattyH

    MattyH TowersStreet Member

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    At this rate you have a better chance of riding Wuzeball than Bounce...
     
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  9. Olivus Prime

    Olivus Prime TowersStreet Member

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    I went camping in Pembrokeshire with some friends this weekend, and got to visit Oakwood for the first time on Friday as part of our stay.

    It reminded me of my visit to Drayton Manor in 2019 - I thought the place seemed quite charming, and parts of it seemed quite fresh, but it was noticeable that investment was lacking in a few areas.

    Not only was Bounce not testing or operating when we went, but the whole thing didn't look ready to open at all. Lots of paint peeling from the ride structure and control cabin - surely if it's been closed for so long, they'd put the effort into giving it a fresh coat of paint? Or maybe they did 5 years ago and it's since peeled??

    Megafobia, Speed and Treetops got thumbs up from the three of us, though the former was noticeably rougher towards the back. Drenched had its water running for part of the day, but we didn't see whether it actually operated or not.

    Operations seemed slow across the park - our longest queue was about an hour for Megafobia, and we skipped a few other rides (notably Bobsleigh) due to their long wait times. Megafobia was running on one train and Speed on two cars. I regret skipping Spooky 3D, as I assumed it was a 3D theatre show and the wait seemed too long to justify. Maybe it was just a busy day, but it seemed like most of the rides could have handled the queues better.

    From what I understand the horror-themed area is the newest, but I wasn't much of a fan at all. You could tell it was a hodgepodge from the failed Roald Dahl sponsorship, with big stock graphic fences, an out of place teacups, claustrophobic design and the facade for Spooky 3D looking very tired. Teacups were fun as always though! The Peter Pan area on the other hand looked very fresh, I was surprised to find out it opened 8 years ago.

    The big improvement besides maybe getting some fresh rides in needs to be the food offering. We waited at least 30 minutes for an expensive pizza at the horror area, with most of the other outlets in the park looking similarly overwhelmed. If you have to install cattlepen queues for your restaurants, it might be a sign you need more restaurants.

    EDIT: The one final positive I'll add is that the closing time (8pm) is great. From memory the bigger Merlin parks rarely, if ever, are open that late? We had to leave around 5pm anyway to set up our tent but I imagine the long opening times being a godsend for anyone wanting to get everything done on a busy day.
     
    Last edited: 22nd Aug 2021
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  10. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    You would have been correct previously, but funnily enough, a lot of Merlin parks are doing longer hours now; for instance, Alton Towers has had a number of 8pm closes this summer!
     
  11. Matt.GC

    Matt.GC TowersStreet Member

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    I'm a fan of Oakwood. Whilst i don't understand where the park is trying to go, it's home to my second favourite UK woodie (behind Grand National of course).

    I'm in a strange camp where I love Icon and Megaphobia, probably because the thing I'm looking for in a UK coaster is airtime and both have it, something that's lacking outside Blackpool. Too much is made of Megaphobias roughness, it's a mid 90's woodie designed to thrill so why anyone expects a smooth ride confuses me. I don't care if I come off a coaster with some bruises and a headache as long as I've had a good time (can't say the same for Infusion or Colossus).

    I also enjoy Speed, pretty much what you'd expect from a Gerst but I'm not complaining as I'm not silly enough to expect a Rolls Royce Phantom ride comfort on that either. Capacity is shocking on it and queues for that and Megaphobia have probably put me off going this summer (I usually avoid all the main parks during the summer holidays and do the minor parks or bugger off abroad). I'm surprised to hear queues where so low for them only a few days ago. Maybe a trip is in order after Paultons this week?
     
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  12. Alsty

    Alsty TowersStreet Member

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    I didn't expect smoothness. However riding at the back it slammed me down hard in the seat after every airtime hill in a way that wasn't enjoyable. It was like falling down stairs.

    There's a difference between rough that's fun and rough that isn't. That threshold will vary per person.
     
  13. Poisson

    Poisson TowersStreet Member

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    I have a high threshold I'd like to say (multiple laps of Mouse/Nash/Ultimate sounds like a good afternoon) and I'd say Megafobia was too rough. Not for the discomfort, but for the loss of speed it suffers due to potholing. I could see the rides potential but it lets itself down.

    Regarding Speed, I think it just needs new wheels. It was rather unpleasant on the wheel seats though, getting towards Colossus levels of uncomfy.
     
  14. djtruefitt

    djtruefitt TS Site Team Team Member

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    I was at Oakwood on Saturday for my first ever visit. I had heard mixed reviews on the park, but overall I had a good day. The park wasn’t particularly busy, with no queue for megafobia or speed all day. And rides which did have some queues during the day, were walk on later in the afternoon.

    The park felt a little like lightwater valley to me, it’s had bits of investment here and there, but also you can tell it’s not really had any money spent on the place in years, with some airs looking a bit basic or bare, and not that much theming around the park at all. All rides were open except bounce.

    The park was actually open till 8pm (it really didn’t need to be). And had a DJ on the lawns all afternoon, however no one was really interested in that, however with no benches or anything I’m not sure why anyone would stand to watch a DJ. I guess with no food or bar near the stage either, means people won’t hang around.

    I really enjoyed Megafobia at the front of the train, plenty of airtime and was smooth, however I didn’t enjoy it at the back. Yes there was loads of airtime, but it was also so rough and proper chucked you around (not in a good way).
     
  15. AstroDan

    AstroDan TS Forum Team Team Member

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    Oakwood just suffers chronic underinvestment. I've not been in years and can't say I am fussed about returning.

    Sent from my SM-G991B using Tapatalk
     
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  16. JAperson

    JAperson TowersStreet Member

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    As much as we all say Oakwood is lacking investment I can never think what they could add that really would bring the life back to the park. I was thinking about this the other day and just couldn't think what would be that perfect addition for them that really would bring in the crowds and bring the whole park back to life. I just couldn't think of anything that would possibly be in thier budget and get past planning restrictions.
     
  17. D4n

    D4n TowersStreet Member

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    Knightmare

    Hehe.
     
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  18. Rick

    Rick TowersStreet Member

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    When did you first and last visit? What period are you wanting to recreate?

    Oakwood is a fun park, but it's probably at the size and scale that makes sense for its location.
     
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  19. NuttySquirrel

    NuttySquirrel TowersStreet Member

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    Yep, it is what it is, a small park in a remote location, with a couple of good coasters and some family filler attractions. I can see why some people wouldn't think it worth a multi-hour trip, and moreover such a trip can't be easily tied in with any other parks nearby (because there aren't any!)

    I do think there's possibly a sense of what could have been with Oakwood, given the involvement of John Wardley and the prestige of Megafobia (like it or not, most people here at least have an opinion about it!), which makes it feel like a bit of a missed opportunity for some people. But really given its location it was never likely to attract the same level of investment one might see for more centrally sited parks in the country.
     
  20. JAperson

    JAperson TowersStreet Member

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    @Rick I haven't ever visited thats why I'm asking, I always thought Oakwood was just fine for it's location and size and that it's investment is due to this. That's what I was questioning, is there really anything 'big' they could add that would make the park significantly better. Sorry I should have made my first post clear I apologise, reading it back I can see what you took from it.
     

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