Thorpe Park 2017: DBGT: Rise of The Demon

bluesonichd

TS Member
A really poor point in the ride is that no matter what side of the carriage you are sitting on or be it middle or end of carriage you end up with the same view in the same seat .

close it down and start again!

:confused:
 

pj

TS Member
A really poor point in the ride is that no matter what side of the carriage you are sitting on or be it middle or end of carriage you end up with the same view in the same seat .

close it down and start again!

:confused:


Can't tell if you are being serious or not?
 

Leah

TS Member
Doubt that video will stay up long. Thorpe will probably ask for it to be taken down as soon as they see it.

As for the vr, the main problem with that is if your sat on the end. You can feel a wall and you know its there, but you cant see it.
 

pj

TS Member
I don't understand why they are so desperate to keep the secrets, surely if you were the type of person who don't like spoilers you would avoid them? Some people might be worried either for themselves or a partner if it is too intense for them so appreciate the read through of what happens. I don't think it would stop anyone from going.
 

Sku

TS Member
I managed to get to Thorpe Park for a couple of goes on the Ghost Train today. I have put some of my post in spoiler tags but overall it is "spoiler lite", I don't go into real detail.

I find it quite frustrating as all the ingredients seem to be there for a great attraction, but little bits and pieces just don't seem to work properly. It seems "almost great", but like something is missing. I do suppose this is why it has been delayed so long, and why even now it is classed as a "technical rehearsal". I think with some work it could be really great, but it remains to be seen if further tweaks continue to be made.

I'll mostly talk about the ride operationally, since I'm sort of wait times/throughput geek. If we thought Sub-Terra, or Galactica required an enormous number of staff to operate, Ghost Train really takes it to a whole new level. The number of staff working on the ride was mind boggling, far too many to even count. It may be that less staff will be used after technical rehearsals, but here is what I remember:
-2 Staff at entrance to ride
-2 Staff queue line photo point 1
-2 Staff standing in queueline shop
-2 Staff queue line photo point 2
-2 Staff batching area
-2 Staff baggage storage
-1 Staff stairway after preshow
-2 Staff onload
-4 Staff in train carriage
-2 Staff offload
-3 Staff mid-show
-2 staff onload 2
-4 staff in train carriage 2
And then just the photo/shop staff

That seems to be a total of 25 minimum, up to maybe 40 staff across the entire attraction, to keep everything ticking over.

And even with this number of staff there seemed to be operational problems getting people through the attraction, though I suppose this is natural at this stage. Firstly, the 2 queue line photo points are massive bottlenecks at this point in time. The throughput of the actual ride is far quicker than the amount of time it takes to get everyone's photo taken. This means the entire queue today was held up before the first of two photo points, and spilling out the front entrance of the ride. However the entire snaking queue line after the photo point was totally empty, and a shortcut gate was even open BYPASSING the manned shop. I mean what the hell, there is an hour queue, and they are using a shortcut that bypasses an open queue line shop? I didn't even get my picture taken in either photo point the first time around because the manager came over and told them to batch through 60 guests without photos, as "our train had arrived". We proceeded directly to the front of the queue without getting to use either photo point. This seems like a massive oversight, the photos and queueline shop are in the complete wrong place in the line, and aren't able to process guests quickly enough.

When you get to the batching area, there is even more chaos, as the area is laid out poorly meaning that people waiting to board the ride, people putting their bags away, and those trying to enter the batching area are all standing in each others way. This slows down the batching process a lot, and people were still trying to put their bags away when we were being directed inside.

Once inside,
there is plenty of space in the preshow room for everyone, with 3 tiered levels so everyone can see. Personally for me, I loved the preshow. It seems to build a lot of tension, and you can tell that everyone in the room doesn't know what to expect and is nervous. This is really Derren Brown at his best, when he is just talking! I was starting to feel a little nervous which is unusual for me.

Next we moved into a small holding room but were not held, but instead persuaded to move through the room as quickly as possible, a very rushed feeling that persists throughout the ride. It's nice they care about throughput but it seemed to be at the expense of the experience a little bit. We then entered the train room which as others have mentioned is spectacular. No time to appreciate it though, as we were rushed immediately on to the train! "Go go go!"

Once on the train we had to figure out putting the headsets on without assistance. With half the train still struggling to put the headset on the ride got underway. The first section in the train is great and really builds tension, and the confusion as everyone leaves the train is a fun experience.

Into the mid-show room and the actors in here are great. This is probably the strongest part of the attraction. I had no idea we were getting straight back on the train afterwards which is a great touch. Other than being rushed the whole first train and mid show work great... Then for the finale...

The finale is a shame. It starts well, but then seems to switch to a grey screen where nothing happens for about 2 minutes. This happened both rides. I'm pretty sure something is missing, as the first time I actually took my headset off and saw others doing the same as nothing was happening which caused confusion, and for what seemed like a really long time. I thought it was an error but 3 hours later the same again, nothing happening for at least 2 minutes, just a grey smoky screen and the monster pops his head out every 30s on loop. After the bizzare 2m absence of action, the motion simulator reallly starts to show us what it can do for about 30s before the ride is over.

My main complaint is this underwhelming finale where nothing seems to happen for 2m, and the fact the simulation seems to be able to do some clever stuff which is underused in favour of nothing happening for 2 minutes! I really just have to think the finale is unfinished because it could be great without the random blank spot. And the motion simulator seems only properly used for the last 30s which is a waste considering the the finale is at least 5m long in total.

Not really a full review but those are some of my random observations. Overall I liked it but it was just missing something. I hold out hope that this can be a truly great attraction once everything is ironed out!
 
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Burbs

TS Team
Favourite Ride
Iron Gwazi
-2 Staff at entrance to ride
-2 Staff queue line photo point 1
-2 Staff standing in queueline shop
-2 Staff queue line photo point 2
-2 Staff batching area
-2 Staff baggage storage
As far as I'm aware, photo point staff will be employed by Picsolve, not Thorpe, but even so, it doesn't really reduce the staff count in total!
 

Sku

TS Member
As far as I'm aware, photo point staff will be employed by Picsolve, not Thorpe, but even so, it doesn't really reduce the staff count in total!
An even more interesting dynamic to the photo point problems then! When the manager came over she pretty much ordered them to send guests through without a photo being taken, which was met with some resistance before they relented and complied. The photo process takes far too long, the queue moves too quickly for it. Picsolve missing out on some precious £££!
 

Leah

TS Member
I understand what you mean when you say so things missing. It's an alright ride, but it doesn't live up to the standard of derren brown. The introduction is great, the middle section is strong, and the train itself is astonishing. The finale however, is disappointing, which leaves you feeling that the ride isn't complete. Also, i think another problem is that until the finale, the story makes sense. At the finale though, it all just tries to do too much - pushing the limits of the virtual reality as well as the storyline to breaking point.

Also, we were rushed through the second photo point "to reduce the queue time" (acording to the shop staff). Only thing that confuses me with this is that the ride was broke when I got to the photo point, so moving the queue faster made no sense. Think I know the real reason though, the shop didn't yet have the jars in stock, so couldn't sell them and didn't care if we had the photo or not.
 

Sku

TS Member
I understand what you mean when you say so things missing. It's an alright ride, but it doesn't live up to the standard of derren brown. The introduction is great, the middle section is strong, and the train itself is astonishing. The finale however, is disappointing, which leaves you feeling that the ride isn't complete. Also, i think another problem is that until the finale, the story makes sense. At the finale though, it all just tries to do too much - pushing the limits of the virtual reality as well as the storyline to breaking point.

Also, we were rushed through the second photo point "to reduce the queue time" (acording to the shop staff). Only thing that confuses me with this is that the ride was broke when I got to the photo point, so moving the queue faster made no sense. Think I know the real reason though, the shop didn't yet have the jars in stock, so couldn't sell them and didn't care if we had the photo or not.
Glad to hear you agree. Just to make sure I'm not going crazy there is a bit where nothing happens for about 2m in the finale right? Or was something going wrong today? I just don't understand that whole part! I took my mask off because I thought maybe it was over or broken!
 

bluesonichd

TS Member
When the gas fills the screen is a holding point while the sort out the next riders batching or something.
My last run through was on the screen so so so long even I started to question my sanity.

Sat there thinking. What if everyone has got off and I'm sat there like a numpty on my own

Should I lift the screen and look. Don't panic don't panic.

It this ever going to end.

It did in a glitchy sort of way.
 

Leah

TS Member
Glad to hear you agree. Just to make sure I'm not going crazy there is a bit where nothing happens for about 2m in the finale right? Or was something going wrong today? I just don't understand that whole part! I took my mask off because I thought maybe it was over or broken!
Don't think your wrong. There is a point where it just goes smoky and I wasn't sure if it was meant to happen or an issue with my VR (couldn't see much before that, my VR was broken most of the ride.
 

Sku

TS Member
Don't think your wrong. There is a point where it just goes smoky and I wasn't sure if it was meant to happen or an issue with my VR (couldn't see much before that, my VR was broken most of the ride.
Yeah that's what I mean, the smokey bit. Seems to go on for at least a minute too long but felt like an eternity! I half expected to take my headset off and see everyone else had got off the ride and I'd been left behind. Sorry to hear your VR was broken mine seemed to work as intended I think.
 

Leah

TS Member
Yeah that's what I mean, the smokey bit. Seems to go on for at least a minute too long but felt like an eternity! I half expected to take my headset off and see everyone else had got off the ride and I'd been left behind. Sorry to hear your VR was broken mine seemed to work as intended I think.
Not really spoilers, but I get the feeling I may accidently say something that will give something away:
I didn't feel that the smoke scene went on too long. Lasted for me around 40 seconds or so. Also had the knee grabs during this time (which added nothing since we couldn't see the creature).

I think My vr failed quite a few times throughout (on both sections of vr). Would appreciate people telling me if it wasn't a failure and was meant to happen, or I was unlucky to have multiple failures.
  • On the first section, I sort of flew out of the train and was looking at a green cylinder that looked like the CGI mapping of the train (hard to explain, but it was like I was watching it from the outside whilst it was in the process of being animated)
  • The image also had a strong green tint for some of the first section. I assume this is meant to happen, but I'm not sure why.
  • The second section was a disaster in terms of vr. For much of it, I was sat behind the seat, so the back of the chair was pretty much all I could see. I couldn't look around either as the image wasn't responding to my movement. As a result, I missed much of the section. It was like this from when the side of the train is torn off the the smoke scene.
This was probably all caused by the fact that it a was rehearsals, and hopefully the errors will be ironed out before I go again in august. Would have been nice if the staff helped me though. When I told them my vr wasn't working for the whole thing, they completely ignored me (literally just stood staring through me). Simply "go to guest services and explain" or - like on galactica - just giving me a fast track there and then would have been enough. Even acknowledging of my existence would make me feel better; say hi or smile or something?
 

bluesonichd

TS Member
Not really spoilers, but I get the feeling I may accidently say something that will give something away:
I didn't feel that the smoke scene went on too long. Lasted for me around 40 seconds or so. Also had the knee grabs during this time (which added nothing since we couldn't see the creature).

I think My vr failed quite a few times throughout (on both sections of vr). Would appreciate people telling me if it wasn't a failure and was meant to happen, or I was unlucky to have multiple failures.
  • On the first section, I sort of flew out of the train and was looking at a green cylinder that looked like the CGI mapping of the train (hard to explain, but it was like I was watching it from the outside whilst it was in the process of being animated)
  • The image also had a strong green tint for some of the first section. I assume this is meant to happen, but I'm not sure why.
  • The second section was a disaster in terms of vr. For much of it, I was sat behind the seat, so the back of the chair was pretty much all I could see. I couldn't look around either as the image wasn't responding to my movement. As a result, I missed much of the section. It was like this from when the side of the train is torn off the the smoke scene.
This was probably all caused by the fact that it a was rehearsals, and hopefully the errors will be ironed out before I go again in august. Would have been nice if the staff helped me though. When I told them my vr wasn't working for the whole thing, they completely ignored me (literally just stood staring through me). Simply "go to guest services and explain" or - like on galactica - just giving me a fast track there and then would have been enough. Even acknowledging of my existence would make me feel better; say hi or smile or something?
Have you thought they ignored you because they weren't really there, it was all part of the illusion.
Derren really got into your head :eek:
 

joelpagett

TS Member
NO SPOILERS, ALTHOUGH A RATHER CRITICAL REVIEW

Having waited nearly 2 years to get on this attraction, I couldn't wait to see what was hiding in that warehouse! Overall, the outside is visually impressive, and I like the overall theme of the attraction, but its down hill once you go past the pre-show. I thought the VR was not much better than Galactica and was so un-realistic that it was almost laughable. The story is erratic, unexplained and just simply doesn't make sense, to the point of wondering if the attraction was written whilst someone was on drugs. If 1000 people were involved with this I would say too many cooks spoiled the broth.

I really think they tried this 2/3 years to early, as I felt the technology wasn't there yet. Now I know it was a technical rehersal, but can they improve the visuals on the VR before it opens? I don't think so, and not at this late stage. The fact that the VR is not very good, as well as being batched in such huge numbers, it makes the entire experience feel rushed and un-realistic, which is a shame as the ride has so much potential, but has failed in my eyes. I know the GP will lap it up and will love it, but it feels so far fetched that I just cannot justify queuing more than 30 minutes for it. Fair play to Merlin for trying to create a unique dark ride experience, and they threw a lot at it, but it simply isn't cohesive enough to be a great experience.

I took some photos of the general area and theming, you can see them on my Flickr...

https://www.flickr.com/photos/themeparkmania/sets/72157670660505106

Derren Brown's Ghost Train at Thorpe Park by ThemeParkMedia, on Flickr

Derren Brown's Ghost Train at Thorpe Park by ThemeParkMedia, on Flickr

Derren Brown's Ghost Train at Thorpe Park by ThemeParkMedia, on Flickr
 

Leah

TS Member
What is this ride classed as? I know thorpe are claiming it's a dark ride, but is it? Should it be classed as more of a walkthrough, simulator?
 
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