Wicker Man - General Discussion - Part Two

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Craig, 14th Mar 2018.

  1. imanautie

    imanautie TowersStreet Member

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    This reminds me of the argument against IMAscore, is there a point where there's possibly too much JW?
    Could merlin have been trying to avoid that?

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  2. Benzin

    Benzin TowersStreet Member

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    Can you ever have too many well designed rides and parks?

    Merlin just like to roll him out to placate enthusiasts who aren't particularly happy about new additions... He says a few positively spun words about the project and some take it as gospel...

    "If Lord Wardley AND Lord Sanbrooke say it's good then I like it!"
     
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  3. jon81uk

    jon81uk TowersStreet Member

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    No.

    He was retired, that's it.
    Whilst working on the Smiler he was already in Semi-retirement, then after consulting on that he retired from working with Merlin/Tussauds parks.

    Someone then realised a bit too late it seems rude not to ask the opinion of the person who tried several times to get Tussauds to build a Woodie at Alton Towers and asked his opinion.
    He was initially not involved as he no longer worked for them, he was retired.
     
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  4. OilyWater

    OilyWater TowersStreet Member

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    I guess he's really been retired since 2002, when he 'first' retired. Since then, he just comes out to add his advice to projects when Merlin ask him to and stand in front of cameras. The same for everything since Merlin asked him back.

    Although this is just speculation, Ive got to agree with others that his second retirement seems like he just wanted to be able to express his own opinions again and not just be Merlin's name-tag. Him 'retiring' hasn't actually stopped him being involved in meetings, projects, Q&As, etc. It was just more of an official statement.

    John Wardley didnt design rides when he was at Tussauds, he produced them with a team and directed development of Chessington, Alton Towers, PortAventura and Thorpe Park (for a short time). He doesn't have his own brand or style like IMAscore, so the comparison to IMAscore getting monotonous just isnt the same.

    John continues to show he has more perspective than most when it comes to producing attractions, even in retirement. Shows how Merlin's method of producing attractions is so burdened, that even designing the first drop gets overlooked, and it took a retired developer to fight for it to be changed.
     
    Last edited: 3rd Dec 2018
  5. JB1985

    JB1985 TowersStreet Member

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    Well I bet wardley was well cheesed off reading the post he made on his website

    I must say it sums Merlin up completely. I am also intrigued as to what the ride was like before he assisted.

    I for one would love to see some of his woodie designs, a horror circus based ride sounds amazing

    Shame. Wicker man is great and that cannot be taken away from the park or Merlin. But I do feel that out of respect wardley should have been able to drive this project
     
  6. pj

    pj TowersStreet Member

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    I would love to know how he seems to recall the conversations to clearly unless he wrote them down “just in case”. Whilst I don’t agree with how Merlin treated him over this coaster, that doesn’t give him the right to tell the world confidential phone calls.


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  7. Danny

    Danny Gugu Rides’ Number 1 Fan

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    I think if you had spent countless months working on concepts and ideas, lobbying for something you were greatly invested in and knew would work, only to be shunned over a phone call that made you realise you were purely just a marketing stunt for a project rather than on board to make any meaningful contributions, you'd be able to remember how the conversation went.

    This is what Merlin are very good at doing to people. Either turning you into a corporate "Yes sir, no questions asked sir" robot, or bitter and frustrated at the fact that you know full damn well you can offer improvements to the guest experience, only to be shunned in favour of cost cutting and laziness. Funnily enough, I can accurately recall many of the conversations I had during my time with Merlin which lead to the latter, so I can understand how John must have felt.
     
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  8. Altonadvocate1

    Altonadvocate1 TowersStreet Member

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    Interesting that Francis Jackson described Wicker Man as Alton Towers FIRST woodie.

    I'm probably reading too much into this, but with the clear success of WM, could Merlin's aversion to wooden rollercoasters be over?

    Wicker Man is one of few recent investments that has EXCEEDED our nerd expectations.

    Could a future SW project be a THRILL rather than FAMILY woodie?

    Would be difficult with the height restrictions but... NEMESIS!

    OK, I'll leave now!
     
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  9. WickerManiac

    WickerManiac TowersStreet Member

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    You are reading into this too much.
     
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  10. rob666

    rob666 TowersStreet Member

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    And Mr Whicker is ok, but it certainly didn't exceed my expectations for a new British woodie by a top park.
    How successful would it have been without the season pass for a day ticket offer?
    You can't seperate the two.
    If I do get a pass this year, it wouldn't be to focus on the new woodie.
     
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  11. Prophecy

    Prophecy TowersStreet Member

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    If Wicker Man exceeded your expectations, you have low expectations.
     
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  12. Alsty

    Alsty TowersStreet Member

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    Wicker Man exceeded my expectations, but that's because I expected it to be crap... which it wasn't. Sure it's not one of the world's best woodies but it's still good fun and it's what the park needs.
     
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  13. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    Wicker Man certainly exceeded my expectations, and I'd say I was quite optimistic for it compared to most! During construction, I was anticipating something similar in thrill level to Thirteen, and when I rode, I expected it to place no higher than my top 20.

    However, when I actually rode it, it just beat out Megafobia as my favourite wooden rollercoaster and slid in at the #9 spot in my top 10, which I certainly wasn't expecting! It's still my #10 coaster now, in fact!
     
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  14. JB1985

    JB1985 TowersStreet Member

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    Hmmmm
    What can I say that hasn’t already been said.

    The hardware itself is nothing special, it’s a good solid family ride, nothing more. Where it has exceeded my expectations is in atmosphere and themeing - which I feel with AT budgets will be short lived.

    I think at the very least it will open up the idea of woodies to other Merlin parks and maybe one day lead to them building a large scale thrill woodie. I am pretty certain it won’t be at AT though. I think that boat has sailed with the opening of wicker man and the abandonment of the FV coaster (which by the way I would love to see plans and concept art for)
     
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  15. OilyWater

    OilyWater TowersStreet Member

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    Wicker Man exceeded my expectations because it seemed to be designed to entertain and add value to the park's line up, it did these things really well. Rather than just intended to tick a box for the marketing stats with a super rushed design. It's a solid, really fun coaster. There are much better wooden coasters out there and it's a shame it wasn't longer, but what it does - it does really well!

    Shows up the value of fun and good atmosphere a lot more than gimmicks and inversions.
     
    Last edited: 29th Dec 2018
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  16. Stuie

    Stuie TowersStreet Member

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    It’s been a positive result for them against the backdrop of Colossus at Heide Park being a pain in the ass and costing millions so I guess they might get another one now?
     
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  17. Dave

    Dave TS Founding Member

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    The coaster itself is very very average but I suspect where people feel expectations have been exceeded is in the overall execution (theming, atmosphere etc.), you could easily argue the last time Alton towers got the Theme spot on for a rollercoaster was Oblivion (Air was mediocre, Rita non existent, Th13teen very patchy and Smiler one ok centrepiece then concrete as far as the eye can see....)

    I suspect the season pass helped but there have always been cheap ways to get into Alton Towers. You can’t deny Wickerman helped improve Towers fortunes in 2018.

    What we need now is an SW that gets both the ride hardware AND the theming right at the same time.
     
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  18. GaryH

    GaryH TowersStreet Member

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    First time I rode WM was 4 days after it opened. Did middle row, thought, hmm, ok not bad. Same day I did the back row later in the day and thought, wow.

    Rode it again throughout the year and finally over Scarefest , and thought, OMG who turned on the turbo boost.

    I just wish (as JW points out) they did something more with "boring corner".
     
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  19. Tibble

    Tibble TowersStreet Member

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    Looking back I think it is a good ride however its very safe

    There are features they could of put in to make it better - I would love to of seen it go through an indoor section where there are flames / flame effects as well as other changes.
     
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  20. RoyJess

    RoyJess TowersStreet Member

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    I agree, the indoor section before the station is such an anticlimax,
     
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