Thorpe Park: General Discussion

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

  1. RicketyCricket

    RicketyCricket TowersStreet Member

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    As I mentioned before, good coasters sell themselves. B&M Hypers are great crowd pleasers.

    Look at Silver Star at Europa, often considered fairly average for a Hyper but that coaster is adored by the GP (German public ;)).

    A better quality overall product leads to more re-visits in the long term. Swarm seems very much like a one and done kind of ride.
     
  2. AT86

    AT86 TowersStreet Member

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    The Swarm marketing felt more like a campaign for a song/music video than a roller coaster to me. No idea if that was intentional or not, but could have played into the luke warm reception of the ride along with the other reasons that have been stated.
     
  3. Rick

    Rick TowersStreet Member

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    I agree that that approach worked in the 1990s, does it now?

    For something that would cost between £15 - 18m (assuming no further land reclamation was required), you'd have to be pretty sure you wouldn't be best taking the Wicker Man approach. Saw was essentially the Wicker Man of its day, take some not particularly remarkable hardware, dress it up and see great numbers on the back of it.
     
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  4. OilyWater

    OilyWater TowersStreet Member

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    The Swarm was just marketed really boringly. It didn't have much in the way of any advert. The promo at the park in 2011 was a bad actor wondering around with a sandwich board on him, and a tank parked up somewhere (I think) saying the end is coming. It was boring and vague.

    There were a few poor attempts at a "viral" marketing campaign which didn't work either and didnt even seem connected to the ride.

    The ride's appeal just wasn't very special. Some grey colours and an obscure name "The Swarm" that conjures up the wrong imagery. It just didn't hook the public or seem connected to the ride in the same way that the Smiler or Wicker Man did. Enthusiasts seem to love it, I don't personally know why, I don't really think the ride or the theme is that interesting how it turned out.

    I really don't think the park needs a B&M hyper either. That seems like the most auto-pilot idea to me
     
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  5. Ivsetti

    Ivsetti TowersStreet Member

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    I agree, Thorpe's famous enough for thrill rides that whenever anyone in the UK has some cash set aside to visit a theme park for thrills they'll probably go to Thorpe. I think they should refocus on their existing family areas so they're at the same standard attraction-wise as their thrill areas and also they should really offer something more during the main season than just rides.

    Their USP is an "Island Like No Other" with a focus on "escapism" but with potentially long queues and a run-down feeling, it doesn't really offer the escapism you'd expect on extremely busy days (which are the days that the park makes most of their profit and also the ones where they realistically have the lowest number of repeat customers).

    Also, I remember reading somewhere that the park wouldn't consider another B&M as they'd be unable to afford one.
     
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  6. djtruefitt

    djtruefitt TS Site Team Team Member

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    It said a lot with the original tv advert for the swarm and the following year when it went backwards. The second advert features a lot more coaster footage and you know it’s an advert for a coaster, the first advert could easily have been an advert for a film or game or anything other than a coaster. So it’s no wonder people didn’t venture there.
     
  7. AstroDan

    AstroDan TS Forum Team Team Member

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    Thorpe Park is not in need of any rollercoaster right now. Given the small size of the park, it is plenty and variety at that. In fact, the only one of the Merlin RTP's that desperately does at this stage is Chessington.

    Thorpe Park needs a total overhaul in the way it operates and markets itself.
     
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  8. Islander

    Islander TowersStreet Member

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    Is the marketing now that terrible though? The whole teen-thrill focus that they had a few years ago, with the bobble-heads and all that terrible associated marketing was, to be frank, dreadful, but they've shifted away from that, and I think the 'Island Like No Other' over-arching theme is a good one.

    Completely agree on the operational front of course.
     
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  9. OilyWater

    OilyWater TowersStreet Member

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    The current branding is alright and hints at what they're trying to do, but it doesnt represent the actual park, the real park needs to catch up with the image. There needs to be real appeal
     
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  10. AstroDan

    AstroDan TS Forum Team Team Member

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    It's alright.

    But what are Thorpe Park? That side of it confuses me.

    Sent from my SM-G973F using Tapatalk
     
  11. djtruefitt

    djtruefitt TS Site Team Team Member

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    The biggest problem is Thorpe seems to get a new director and a new marketing director every year (or more than once a year!) and of course each one wants to put their stamp on the place, so every year we get a slight new rebrand and it all becomes a bit miss match. We’ve had the entrance area rebranded two or three times now in the past few years, the same with the dome. Then other areas of the park just get forgotten.
     
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  12. kydog1299

    kydog1299 TowersStreet Member

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    We've also gone full circle with the marketing/branding for Thorpe.

    E.g. Pre-2011 we had 'The Nation's Thrill Capital', then some movement towards family-led experiences (Storm Surge, Angry Birds Land in 2011 and 2014), a few re-purposed existing Merlin rides chucked in to Old Town) before coming full circle back to 'The UK's Most Thrilling Theme Park' as displayed on the website link/SEO before you click on the page on Google. Then if you look at the marketing-led campaigns, we had GameFX tailored to young gamers, Love Island huts tailored to the older teen groups, Fright Nights tailored to older families & groups of teens/adults, you get the picture. It's very back and forth, and so on. Feels like they're trying to be all things to all people whilst shooting themselves in the foot.

    Think they need to establish what they are, who they want to target, and stick to it. Being a 'thrill capital' is a great niche in the UK because most other RTP's in the division and competitors concentrate on balancing a broad range of guest types or the opposite side of the coin. No where concentrates solely on the thrill market, which I'd argue is probably why the marketing was fairly successful pre-2011 (even if the bobble heads were quite freaky!).
     
  13. jon81uk

    jon81uk TowersStreet Member

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    I don't think there is anything wrong with Thorpe continuing to be a thrill park but they need to get the right branding that still attracts families with teenagers rather than just young adult groups.

    I don't actually think that adding the second hand kiddie rides was a good move. It would have been better to just stick to having no rides at all for those under 1m.
     
    Last edited: 12th Jan 2021
  14. djtruefitt

    djtruefitt TS Site Team Team Member

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    If you are a youngster there’s not much for you to do at Thorpe, I did like the induction of the dodgems and 4D, as Thorpe have always lacked indoor attractions, and also it’s nice to have a more relaxing ride every now and then inbetween all the coasters. But the angry bird franchise needs to go. I would simply retheme it back in to Amity, and get a new 4D film, or utilise the space for something else inside.

    The old town is also a waste of time now, with three small rides which never seem to get a queue, and even close mid afternoon during fright nights so they can use the space for Halloween. They are an odd choice for the park now which doesn’t really cater for that market at all, they would have been better being sent elsewhere, but I guess with Chessie, lego and towers all having those rides, Thorpe was the only option.
     
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  15. Connor98

    Connor98 TowersStreet Member

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    Am I the odd one out who wants an intamin mega coaster instead of a b&m hyper? :p Hyperion style trains too please.
     
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  16. Rick

    Rick TowersStreet Member

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    I think the original plan for Thorpe was THRILLS THRILLS THRILLS and they did push that approach for a long time in terms of the marketing, choice of new rides and not being precious about purging things that didn't fit that model.

    That said, as the transformation continued it became clear in both guest feedback and attendance that although the approach played well to teenagers, school groups and older families, a number of tween families with two kids, one able to ride the 1.4m coasters and one quite a bit smaller, it's quite a difficult day out - so they have tried to address that in a low cost, low effort way.

    If you place that same family in most of the parks, there's probably just about enough for both to do. At Chessington, there are enough small rides for the youngun and the older one can spend half their day waiting for Fury.

    If you love a good Merlin bash, call it indecision, if you're wanting to be a bit kinder, call it pivoting.

    I am sure the maintenance team would fall on the B&M side of the argument !
     
  17. Connor98

    Connor98 TowersStreet Member

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    Oh absolutely! They all look fantastic coasters, but like you say also reliable and crowd pleasers, I’m just a sucker for intamin layouts I guess.
     
  18. Benjsh

    Benjsh TowersStreet Member

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    I find Intamin coasters a bit over rated personally. They are certainly good to ride in their first few seasons but they age terribly compared to B&M's. I think the extra cost of a B&M more than pays for itself.
     
  19. AT86

    AT86 TowersStreet Member

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    Old SBNO Town is an embarrassment by this point.

    Saw Alive
    Canada Creek Railway
    Loggers Leap
    Slammer

    All rotting away.
     
  20. Benjsh

    Benjsh TowersStreet Member

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    A sure sign Merlin have given up on this park if there ever was one.
     

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