Thorpe Park: General Discussion

Discussion in 'European Parks and Attractions' started by Ted, 11th Jun 2012.

  1. Rick

    Rick TowersStreet Member

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    I'm with you in terms of aspiring for them to build something cool, but Spiderman cost north of $100m in 1999, that's $156m today. There has to be an understanding that a regional theme park, on the outskirts of Staines is not Universal Orlando.

    On paper, with Ghost Train, Merlin had something somewhat unique, ambitious that could be refreshed as required. That's not what they ended up with - I grant, but I don't think the outcome was inevitable - it's quite a cool concept. That's not to say that the enthusiast community was positive about the announcement, because we're not positive about very much. We tend to start from a state of ambivalence, or dislike and slowly get won over with things like Wicker Man, or not with things like Ghost Train.

    You have to roll the dice from time to time though - sometimes you get a six, sometimes you get a two or sometimes it rolls off the table and you get nothing. It's all well and good people slagging it off when it's open, like a film critic demolishing 18 months of movie making in a sentence.

    Like Disney. It's a very similar model, at a scale suitable for the properties that they work with.
     
  2. Benzin

    Benzin TowersStreet Member

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    Even something akin to Thor's Hammer at Tusenfryd would've lasted a lot longer and arguably have been more impressive.

    Any ride that relied on staff physically touching guests for scares was never going to hit the heights of greatness.
     
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  3. jon81uk

    jon81uk TowersStreet Member

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    Given that the ride system is now available almost off-the-shelf (https://www.oceaneering.com/entertainment-systems/), there is no way it would cost that amount of money nowadays. I would expect they could have installed a dark ride system for a similar cost to the VR system and it would have had lower ongoing costs.
     
  4. OilyWater

    OilyWater TowersStreet Member

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    I agree with about Ghost Train's concept vs how it turned out, but I remember enthusiast response being different for Ghost Train, almost everyone I knew was ecstatic about it in the run up to its opening and went nuts about it afterwards. A lot of the public were ready to be surprised too and there was a buzz in the park when it opened.

    But it was all hype, some seriously ridiculous things were said by enthusiasts about how it was going to change UK theme parks forever and Merlin had a ride on level with Universal & Disney. The nonsense then slipped away and people saw the ride for what it really was— not very entertaining !

    I remember I was cynical about the hype but went in with a fresh mind ready to have fun, I came out feeling totally blank feeling like I was still in the queue.

    But it was great to see that the public were ready to enjoy something like it. Shame it was so bad in the end and turned people off
     
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  5. jon81uk

    jon81uk TowersStreet Member

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    Interestingly British Theme Park Archive mentioned today on Facebook that there was almost a plan to build an Oceaneering Entertainment built dark ride at Thorpe, but in the end the VR idea was chosen instead.

     
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  6. Alsty

    Alsty TowersStreet Member

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    SouthParks are reporting that Thorpe Park will be rolling out ANPR technology for their car parks this year

    "the new exit system will use ANPR, which guests pay for via an app or pre-payment online. Premium Passholders will still be able to access the car park as normal, with pay on exit also available."

     
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  7. Lurker

    Lurker TowersStreet Member

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    Kind of a shame I can't register my pass to the registration plate to speed up exit.

    I suppose this means the gates will no longer be manned.
     
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  8. ringo

    ringo TowersStreet Member

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    Pretty much what I said last year then re ANPR.

    The main issue will be how they manage the flow because you’ll have people in the wrong lane wanting the first exit at roundabout vice versa and the current barrier system controls the flow (indirectly) so the roundabout isn’t congested.

    Bit surprised passes can’t be registered to vehicle though as you can already see it, pass holder uses ANPR exit as there’s no queue and then gets a notice in post (if it’s enforced). That still means staff needing to man a barrier exit as sometimes passes don’t scan. Interesting to see what occurs in March.
     
    Last edited: 6th Feb 2020
  9. Rick

    Rick TowersStreet Member

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    This Experian advert has a real Ghost Train vibe to it

     
  10. djtruefitt

    djtruefitt TS Site Team Team Member

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    I imagine if the barriers are all removed, annual pass holders will either go on the app/website and enter their pass number and number plate. Or there would be somewhere on park where you could do that.

    If thy eu still have barriers for pass holders then it seems a bit backwards really. And you’ll just end up with other people trying to use it when they done need to.

    I suppose with ANPR there is no way of getting away with not paying for parking, eg leaving park really early or late when barriers are up. Also I guess you’ll get an automatic fine through the post and they’ll make plenty more cash.
     
  11. pluk

    pluk TowersStreet Member

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    I don't think the barriers will be removed. It'll mean when you pay for parking you provide your numberplate, when you approach the barrier to leave it'll read your plate and open if you have paid. No messing about coming to a stop and getting tickets scanned.


    It'll still be faff when people have not paid, and will just move the queue to the payment point as everyone fannies about entering their numberplate into the machine.
     
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  12. bluesonichd

    bluesonichd TowersStreet Member

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    Unti someone mistakenly putting in the wrong number plate in the app or their plate is a bit dirty and the camera can’t read it
    Barrier stays down
    Long long queue of people tired irritated people just wanting to leave.
    Oh the fun
    What a lovely day at Throp Pork that was :rolleyes:
     
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  13. rob666

    rob666 TowersStreet Member

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    You mean I would have to finally learn my car reg?
     
  14. djtruefitt

    djtruefitt TS Site Team Team Member

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    To be fair lots of car parks do this now, I’ve been to plenty where you don’t even get a ticket now and you simply enter your plate on the machine before you leave.

    Others give tickets, but don’t require them when you leave as it’s got your number plate.

    These car parks often have barriers at the entrance though where the camera is, so I wonder if Thorpe will do that. Or just install cameras at the entrance
     
  15. DiogoJ42

    DiogoJ42 TowersStreet Member

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    All this will do is cause further problems because "computer says no".


    I remind you all that a PRIVATE car park had no legal right to charge a single penny for "parking".
     
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  16. Alsty

    Alsty TowersStreet Member

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    How is that the case? It's a condition of bringing your car onto their land, the same way it's a condition you pay when you enter the park on foot.
     
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  17. rob666

    rob666 TowersStreet Member

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    I have repeatedly read, on a number of different sites, that paying for the car parking at Thorpe is not enforceable, because the land the car parks are on is reserved for free access leisure facility under the local plan.
    Thorpe are permitted to charge their customers for use, but the charge is not enforceable under law, both for punters, and people choosing to park there to use local leisure facilities.
    There are local walkers routes close to the car parks...one of the Thames islands, and Monks Walk, the public are allowed to use Thorpes parking with open and free access.
     
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  18. IanSR

    IanSR TowersStreet Member

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    I'm afraid it won't really matter if the Judge is a loony, our local Morrisons installed ANPR without planning permission which made their use 100% illegal and any tickets issued unenforcable (because when Safeway built the supermarket part of the permission was that they had to let people using the park, park in their car park free) after a year long Court fight that one resident had with Parking Eye, they eventually lost as the judge ruled that Morrisons and Parking Eyes failure to get planning permission was just a minor formality and didn't make any difference in the end because the person parking in the car park still stayed more than the free two hours, and because this went to the appeal court it's now case law for the whole country.

    Sorry... (Wasn't me but I do know the person who did fight it).
     
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  19. ringo

    ringo TowersStreet Member

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    If they are doing ANPR properly then that’ll mean there’s no escape from the charge but if they do it the usual Merlin way (on the cheap) then it’s still easy to avoid.

    But on the positive it’s a simple step to raise guest satisfaction as car park exit is usually a big gripe.

    If / when it’s linked to passes is when someone at Merlin realises they can make more money from data :rolleyes:
     
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  20. bluesonichd

    bluesonichd TowersStreet Member

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    With it being Thorpe. Make sure your number plate is secure
    Someone nicks it’s puts it on their car to get out the car park.
    o_O
    Actually that’s a good idea :D
    Free parking
     
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