Discussion in 'European Parks and Attractions' started by Ted, 11th Jun 2012.
This expresses my feelings about this better than any paragraph of words could...
As discussed in the Capex thread, Merlin and more specifically, Thorpe have lost perspective when it comes to remembering where their core product, and profits come from, I don't think it's any coincidence that the age of those people in charge at each respective park reflects their type of their latest installations, and by connection, how successful the operation of said installation is.
On one hand, I think this could be good. If Thorpe are actually going to theme this well, it could well be the best ride in the park, but this is Merlin....
Just forget the Walking Dead for a second, Thorpe are like retheming X to be like an actual ghost train, or dark ride, with a coaster. A really good theme can make a mediocre ride, great. And chances are it'll be scarier than the Ghost Train...
But on the other hand, Thorpe just has no limits to its lunacy. Why add that bloody Rockin Tug and kids drop tower, then change the only family coaster to this?!
Is there any park on the planet that struggles with it's own identity like Thorpe does? XD
Walking Dead is the perfect fit for Thorpe, it's lost half it's viewers in the last two years since Negan arrived and the entire storyline has forgotten the core product that made it so good (surviving) in favour of 'war', the only people left watching are those enthusiasts that likely read the comics and know Kirkman knew he screwed up went back to the core product as soon as he could.
Thorpe has mirrored this with their obsession with VR and actor led 'experiences' while abandoning coasters and flats, so hopefully they'll see the error of their ways too before it's too late.
At least they seem to be doing the right thing this time and adding a zombie maze to a ride that already has a long, and presently bland walk through rather than retrofitting one of the good rides or installing another white elephant, even though Lordy is right, talk about adhd ride management style, didn't X have a refurb less than a year ago?
I also find it very bizarre that they are putting Walking Dead... on a family coaster. X can accommodate guests as small as 1m tall. This IP will just alienate families completely, as I believe it is either a 12A or a 15 in this country. I've never watched it though, so I can't comment on the content.
On a side note, I completely agree with people who say that Thorpe is having an identity crisis. I'd personally say it's the only park out of Merlin's UK RTPs that doesn't have a distinguishable target demographic/target market. For example:
Alton appeals to just about everyone.
Legoland Windsor appeals to families with small children.
Chessington appeals to families with slightly older children than Legoland age, but still quite young.
Thorpe sort of doesn't appeal to a specific market anymore. They try and bring in families with Angry Birds Land in 2014, then they build a maze based on a post-watershed reality show in 2015 and a 13+ age restricted VR dark ride in 2016. And now they're rumoured to be retheming one of their few remaining family rides to a teenager-oriented IP. It makes utterly no sense. In fact, I think the last year where Thorpe had a clear direction was 2012 with The Swarm's opening. Come to think of it, the only era in recent times where they haven't had some sort of direction is now. When the park first opened, it was a water-themed educational facility. Then it blossomed into a family theme park. After that, Tussauds came along and ushered in a major era of change in the 2000s, installing thrill rides in large quantities and subtly redirecting the park toward teenagers and young adults. Merlin continued this trend upon their acquisition of Thorpe in 2007, really going full-on thrills with their marketing and removing many classic family attractions, which actually alienated many families. Then, in about 2013/2014, Merlin realised that this strategy wasn't working, so they half-heartedly tried to re-attract families. But I think the late 2000s/early 2010s had a lasting impact on Thorpe Park's stigma among the GP.
Yes it's nuts isn't it? TWD should be R18, I'll simply quote Chris Hardwick's reaction when one of the (English) actors dropped an fbomb on Talking Dead the other week: "hey come one you know that word is forbidden, we're allowed to broadcast people getting their faces ripped off and eaten by zombies to children, but we mustn't expose them to that kind of language".
As I said, Thorpe & TWD are a perfect fit for one another lol
As much as retheming X to the Walking Dead is a ludicrous idea, the brand actually suits Thorpe very well. In fact, I reckon it would have been a good IP for Thorpe to retheme Saw to once the license runs out for that. Saw already has loads of barbed wire and torture theming, so all it would require is some new signage and a new animatronic to replace the dummy. Think of the return on investment, Merlin. Think of the return on investment.
On a side note, why does every park and its dog seem to be rushing for the Walking Dead at the moment? Because Universal Studios Hollywood has built a Walking Dead attraction. Then Movie Park Germany and Parque De Attracciones De Madrid build them. And now Thorpe is rushing to build one. What's the big deal with the Walking Dead of all things?
I guess I've calmed down a bit since I initially heard about this retheme, Yeah the brand identity is perfect for Thorpe as mentioned but it will need some theming/effects to actually interest the new age target for the ride by adding some sort of scares within the ride though..
I'm gonna miss raving though...
$$$. Enough said.
Some actual good Thorpe news!
If the Thorpe Breaks website is accurate, it appears that we'll be seeing a 10pm close on every Thursday, Friday & Saturday during August!
Makes a change for hours to be increased, but then they have they cut a lot of 5pm closures to 4pm.
6pm closing in summer is still crazy really, should be like 8pm minimum.
Without adding them up it looks like we are getting more park hours overall (I’m not taking into account the closed days), how will 10pm close work with MOS?
According to the chart above, it looks like they'll be closing at 3am on MOS days!
Who stays at Thorpe until 3am though? Also, is the park open at all during the day or does it open at 7:30pm like the website says it does?
That would be ace but I'm sure that will be the music event in the dome and the rides will still close at 11. If not, I'm in for some Saw at 3am if anyone else is game
3am? How the heck has a UK managed to stay open until then. But I bet most rides close at 10/11 though.
Based on previous years Matt the park is open until 6pm and then re-admits MOS wrist band holders from 7:30 (usually more like 8 and then it takes forever to bypass security so 8:30). The rides shut at 11 and the music goes on until sometime in the morning. I assumed it was 1 but it could be 3. We always leave when the rides shut at 11.
There are no locals within a close vicinity of Thorpe as far as I am aware. From visiting, the park is surrounded by water on both sides, so they don't have the issue of NIMBYs.
Iirc Thorpe is one of the only parks in the UK to have no curfew, they could in theory open 24/7 but don't obviously, Merlin also made the very wise decision to buy some brownfield site to the Heathrow side of the lake last year to prevent some crooked developer building 500 homes on it and inviting in the NIMBYs, so it's not all nuts at Merlin.
Re: Walking Dead, it is the highest rated cable show in America and was, until they started the March to/All Out War section of the novels, a pretty good story of survival, but now it's just crap, like Saw it's had it's time. I guess even the prized 18-24 demographic can't suspend disbelief 100% of the time. It was the 'in' thing.... about 2 years ago. It is a good fit for Thorpe though, surprised they didn't grab the IP 5 years ago tbh.
Re: MoS, how busy are the rides on an MoS night? would I look completely out of place (as a mid 40 year old) attending just for the rides? A kind of middle-aged Summer Nights event just for me....
Thorpe had to apply for planning permission to keep the dome open till 3am, I think they wanted a certain amount a year and in the end I think they had to settle for half - thorpe have locals, the people in penton Park opisite the park objected quite heavily against the late openingns. I think the rides are aloud to operate till 11pm each night and on Sunday’s slightly earlier, something like that anyway!
Didn’t know thorpe/ Merlin bought that land on the other side of the lake - I remember seeing plans for housing there and Merlin objecting it - good idea from them if they did purchase it!
For MOS nights, rides run till 11 then it’s the club in the dome from 11 till 3am, they are usually pretty popular Tbf but the rides are generally quite quiet, it’s just the coasters which open for MOS - will be interesting to see how they deal with MOS along with 10pm park closings which I assume will include all rides.
It's worth going for although when you are in the queue to get in prepare to stand out like a sore thumb. We have stayed out in clothes we wore through out the day and got surrounded by (maybe not quite) 18 year olds in their finest clubbing gear.
As simps100 says the rides are dead and you can get back on the rides quickly. You can rack up a high number of rerides in the 3 hours it's open. Front row on nemesis inferno through the cave with smoke and lights is my favourite experience of Thorpe at night. Although Swarm is a much better coaster at night if all the effects are working. Saw is great but the second half of the coaster feels pretty lonely in the dark.
Just remember to take photo ID. They won't let you in without it and take as little as possible as most of it will be confiscated. We even lost our chewing gum last time.
If we end up going next year, you are more than welcome to tag along with us, unless you're in your finest Lyle and Scott shirt
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