Wicker Man: 'That' Room

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by AstroDan, 16th May 2021.

  1. AstroDan

    AstroDan TS Forum Team Team Member

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    You know the moment. You've queued up in a well themed line with good views of the ride. You've entered the building, surrounded by theming at every moment. Either watched or passed through the impressive pre-show experience. You enter the superb station and board the train. Upon dispatch, you pass some themed tarpaulins before curving into the pre-lift room.,,

    Which has nothing in it. A smoke machine which rarely, if ever, delivers the level of smoke needed to disguise the fact you're in a themeless box. Black walls, metal on show. Totally destroying any aspect of the themed experience for that couple of seconds.

    Then... it's all perfect again for the rest of the ride. Newly replaced smoke machines and lights in tunnels, upgraded misters on the structure and of course the famous fire.

    What is with 'that' room? Surely the team in charge of sorting out the smoke machines and so on (which is a really good job) - have been on the ride and can't help but notice 'that' room.

    Even some Leek signs or basic banners in 'that' room would at least give something appropriate to look at as you pass through, rather than relying on the smoke machine.

    Any thoughts? Seems so awfully odd when every other inch of the ride is themed well.
     
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    Posted 16th May 2021
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  2. TheAverageNerd

    TheAverageNerd TowersStreet Member

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    Yeah, during my last three visits the smoke machine in that room hasn't worked at all. I've always thought a static scene with some hooded Beornen kneeling before a Wicker Man altar or something could be cool. You fly through that building quick enough that the figures being static wouldn't be an issue, and the smoke machine would disguise it further.
     
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  3. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    It would appear that we may have found a successor to the fabled Air tunnel…
     
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  4. TheAverageNerd

    TheAverageNerd TowersStreet Member

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    I'd argue it's not as bad as the air tunnel, as you fly through it at quite some speed and at least when the lights and smoke machine are working, it is disguised a fair bit. It still definitely feels out of place compared to the quality of the rest of the ride though.
     
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  5. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    That bit of the ride has never really bothered me that much, to be honest. The most out-of-place section of Wicker Man to me seems to be the dark maintenance shed at the end, and even that’s perfectly OK, with the audio playing and the little smoke and lighting blast at the end.

    Out of interest, wasn’t this bit (the pre-lift) originally intended to be a dark ride section, or at very least fully enclosed? I seem to remember the original plans having the station, pre-show, pre-lift, brake run/maintenance shed, exit path and shop all being within one big building originally, with the exit path being an enclosed corridor similar to Smiler’s, but the plans were amended a few weeks before the final decision to make these a series of separate buildings instead, and the pre-lift section was changed to be partially outdoors like it is now.
     
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  6. Rick

    Rick TowersStreet Member

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    My memory is not what it once was, I don't recall it being on very much at all after the first season? On the preview night on the Friday before it didn't opened it seemed to be operating on overdrive, I am not sure if there was additional hardware in there on that evening, like with the extra fire they brought in?

    Has the steam effect in the station worked (or been switched on) since the opening night/day?
     
    Posted 16th May 2021
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  7. AstroDan

    AstroDan TS Forum Team Team Member

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    The steam effect in the station isn't used as it causes visibility problems for the operator towards the back of the station, so in that regard it is understandable. I was there on press night and, although very cool indeed, it was hard to see properly in the station! The issue in the 'room' of which my post is discussing, is just that the smoke machine is inadequate and too temperamental.
     
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  8. Rick

    Rick TowersStreet Member

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    Ah ok, makes sense. I recall that evening being one of the most 'Wow' moments I've ever had at Alton.
     
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  9. AT86

    AT86 TowersStreet Member

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    It’s similar to the Nemesis Inferno tunnel. When it all works as intended it’s great. But more often than not the effects aren’t working and it looks pants.
     
    Posted 16th May 2021
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  10. RoyJess

    RoyJess TowersStreet Member

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    For me, the end of the ride was always an anti-climax. I would have rather seen the last part just before the station that you get some realistic special effects with realistic fake fire in giving the illusion that you are going to be burned alive.
     
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  11. jon81uk

    jon81uk TowersStreet Member

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    In the pre-lift just using rockwork instead of bare concrete would probably have helped.
    But the same can be said for the rapids / mine train tunnel, it is way too concrete on the inside.
     
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  12. Matt.GC

    Matt.GC TowersStreet Member

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    I've mentioned this room a couple of times on this forum and didn't think anyone else cared about it but me..... But yes, it is awful and jarring and it's what gives me doubts about Wicker Man when the inevitable Alton theming rot kicks in.

    I rode it first on opening day. That room was full of smoke, you dropped out of the station and into nothing but smoke until you emerged outside. It was a great effect and that's what the room is clearly designed for. It is indeed Altons version of the Nemesis Inferno tunnel, something which frustrates me as all inferno needs is the lights turned on an a working smoke machine.

    The end tunnel is also something that's never been the same since opening day. I'm glad I experienced it when it opened as now all we can do is sit back and watch as the rest of the theming and effects break over the coming years.

    Sent from my VOG-L29 using Tapatalk
     
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  13. AstroDan

    AstroDan TS Forum Team Team Member

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    When you say the end tunnel, do you mean the final curve into the station? If so... it's better than ever. Along with new smoke machines at the top of the lift and first tunnel, this final turn before the station has new lighting and smoke machines. Literally got it in the face yesterday!

    There are odd occasions when somebody hasn't topped fluid up somewhere on the ride, which is forgivable now and then. My beef with the room before the lift is it's nearly always just a dud.

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  14. TheAverageNerd

    TheAverageNerd TowersStreet Member

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    The end tunnel has actually been drastically improved this season in my opinion, even from opening day/season. It now features a lot more smoke and lighting. It's actually quite aggressive and gets a great reaction out of people on the train!
     
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  15. Matt.GC

    Matt.GC TowersStreet Member

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    I am referring to this curve, yes. I'm glad to hear that, I haven't been yet this season so I haven't had a chance to experience this for myself but now you've said that I'm very much looking forward to it! On opening day, all you could see in there was orange lights that looked like real fire through all the smoke in the darkness. It was an incredible end to the coaster and when the train stopped finally, everyone erupted into applause.

    On the 2 rides on opening day and on one the following season, that first room was full of smoke, and everytime the train exited the building, a huge plume would come out with it and engulf the last bit of queue line and bottom of the lift hill. I've never seen smoke in there again since early 2019.

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  16. Danny

    Danny Gugu Rides’ Number 1 Fan

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    Sod that room. The concrete pit outside it from the station is far more offensive.
     
  17. AstroDan

    AstroDan TS Forum Team Team Member

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    In all seriousness, what are you referring to? The concrete ground under the track? I mean... you'd only see that if you start craning your neck and looking down. The immediate sight lines have the various banners (which is the type of thing they ought to perhaps put in the room I am referring to).
     
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  18. OilyWater

    OilyWater TowersStreet Member

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    Smoke in that pre lift room was probably always a last minute solution and I bet that the original intention was to put something in there, but it had to be cut. I remember seeing something about this online before its opening.
     
    Last edited: 16th May 2021
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  19. Danny

    Danny Gugu Rides’ Number 1 Fan

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    The area immediately between the station exit and the entrance to the room you are alluding to. Seen from between the queue line fences, making that first turn out of the station and from the brake run.

    It isn't just the ground, there concrete walls are exposed other than the two banners which are placed directly ahead of the station from when you depart. I've hated it since day one.
     
  20. jon81uk

    jon81uk TowersStreet Member

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    That area really should of had rock work detailing, even if the banners were then placed over the middle so only the edges needed to look great.
     
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