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Everything posted by AstroDan

  1. I should think Thorpe Park are rather expecting more than a small live action horror maze for this. The budget rumoured that I heard last year was upwards of £20m!
  2. Shambhala at PortAventura certainly dies out. The first 3/4 of the layout is great... then it hits the MCBR (which is more of an almost-at-the-end brake run), does a poor left hand banked drop into a poor airtime hill and then small drop and hump into the brake run. Even though it's much better than Silver Star overall, they could have put in Silver Star's cool slalom ending.
  3. Surely the capacity on this is going to be appalling compared to the brilliant operations on GateKeeper and Raptor. 3x24 seat trains is low for a dive coaster of this size. Griffon's trains hold 30 and Oblivion at Alton Towers runs 7x16 seat, and dual loads... Why no dual loading? And why only 8-across trains? And why only 3?
  4. I didn't rate AC whatsoever when I visited BGW two years ago. It's probably the poorest of the B&M Mega/Hyper coasters I have done, out of 7. Do love this park though... truly beautiful! One of my favourites for sure.
  5. Just to clarify a few points re: disappointment for hotel guests over the weekend, as I was booked in for a 2 night stay. Once we checked in we were: - Given a free return stay (2 nights) to use any time in the next 12 months or the option of a full refund - Free and unlimited use of the waterpark, golf and tree trop quest (new high/low ropes course) - Free theme park tickets for the future - Letters of apology This meant that none of the hotel guests over the weekend were left disappointed. All were allowed to stay - and can now come back for free as guests of the resort. The service was second to none and I was very, very impressed indeed. Rides remained closed on Sunday for additional staff training, as far as I can tell.
  6. The park are currently making major alterations to their Splash Battle. The ride will be called 'Whale Adventures: Northern Lights' from July 2015 and EP are adding 2 dark ride sections and new thematic elements, along with a new ride entrance and bridge. I believe the aim is to reduce the 'soaking' aspect of the ride and instead make it into more of a scenic indoor/outdoor boat ride in a bid to attract more riders. English-language EP facebook page EuropaStreet has updated with some images from today of the development as it is ongoing: More images via the above EuropaStreet FB page.
  7. Just to clarify a few things: SRQ has been removed on Nemesis because it was delaying dispatches of the trains since it was on the offload side of the platform. The Merge point has not been moved to the SRQ line. Merge point still exists for Fastrack guests. The reason it was not in use on a few days is because the park was quiet and the Merge point was not open. Typically, it will be. There will now be a batching host on Nemesis to make bay loading swifter and more effective on most days. SRQ has been removed on Rita because the SRQ line was often longer than the main queue itself. The old merge point host has now been relocated to the ride entrance. SRQ has not been removed from Air, as far as I know. It also remains on Sonic Spinball, The Smiler, Oblivion and Th13teen. SRQ is generally effective on these rides. On Air, for example, they batch odd numbered groups into the station with SRQ access and even numbered groups into the other.
  8. I just find it a bit galling for a park like Busch Gardens that Holiday Park in Germany (small-time, low guest numbers) has one of these which is far better themed... Oh well. A new coaster is a new coaster!
  9. According to TowersStreet, the ride is a Zamperla. I saw the site today and I have to say I a quite impressed... it looks much better than a lot of the smaller Zamperla coasters and the train is MEGA CUTE!
  10. It's just a small kiddie coaster to replace The Beastie (Pinfari Super Dragon) which went a few years ago. I quite like the track colour. I reckon it's Zamperla, some sort of new track style.
  11. ...I wonder how long it took them to come up with this concept. In all seriousness, I do hope Merlin don't increasingly role out 'brands' across their parks - simply to save cash. They should be striving for unique attractions which suits each of their unique parks. That is now 2 Alton Towers concepts which have been used in their other parks - Nemesis (Inferno) and Oblivion (The Black Hole). What is next for Heide-Park? Air: The New Beast? If I was Mr. Gardaland I am not sure I would want some sort of dumbed down (thematically) version of a coaster which opened nearly 20 years ago? Furthermore, I am unsure if Gardaland really suits this type of theme? Merlin seem unable to develop major thrill rollercoasters with anything other than a sinister/scary theme.
  12. I recognise the sentiments, but as someone near Alton Towers - you simply have to get over these old Vekoma coasters. I guess with Vekoma being a Dutch manufacturer, perhaps it is even closer to the hearts of Efteling visitors, but when Alton Towers announced that Corkscrew was closing (a coaster which opened with the park in 1980) - yes there were some tears and a lot of emotion, but ultimately the park was losing a rough old coaster and getting something unique and modern which, whilst was ultimately over-hyped, is far more ride-able and enjoyed by far more people than Corkscrew was by the end of its life. For me, Python is outdated and doesn't really belong in an otherwise world-class, beautiful park.
  13. I was at Europa-Park over the New Year and it was quite astounding just how they managed to get rollercoasters open... 30th December AM - heavy snow and only Eurosat was operating. However, by late afternoon both Pegasus and Matterhorn Blitz opened. 31st December - Euro-Mir had technicians on the track working at 90' with brushes - snow was falling off several of the MCBRs. The ride opened around 1pm. Arthur also opened shortly after and so did Alpenexpress. 1st January - Same line up as 31st - although temperatures peaked at around 0C and were negative Celsius for a lot of the day. 2nd January - somehow, even with the cold and snow remaining around the park, Wodan opened early in the afternoon! Most parks just wouldn't have bothered even TRYING to get coasters operating in freezing and snowy conditions! The vast majority of other rides were open as expected. Kudos, EP!
  14. My god. Of all the rides I expected to see in this thread, The Rack at (defunct) Camelot was not it! I remember riding that around 2002.
  15. Furius Baco is appalling. Shakes you to almost death and leaves your head pounding.
  16. Europa-Park! Especially now that Wodan and Blue Fire both run. There is just so much to do at EP in winter - other parks are lovely too, like Phantasialand, but there's just nowhere near the amount of stuff to keep you entertained.
  17. Not really sure about this. They certainly 'copied' Disney a bit in the 1980's with their version of Haunted Mansion, Pirates and the Eurosat ball... but since then, I disagree. In fact, you could say that many parks take ideas from each other. How many parks have a 'wild west' theme area? How many parks have 'space' themed areas? And in any case, if you're saying that Europa-Park 'copy' - Disneyland Paris have just announced a Michelin starred restaurant. Does that mean they are 'copying' Europa-Park? The more recent attractions at Europa-Park: Blue Fire, Wodan, Arthur... most certainly not 'copied' from anywhere...
  18. Personally I felt that whilst Polar X-Plorer had a fun outdoor section, everything that followed was almost embarrassing. The theming quality (in fact, is quality even a word to use here) inside the mountain is nothing short of abysmal and the 'ending' of the ride, the way you travel at around 5mph over some hills into a corrugated tin shed where there are some penguins is very, very poor. You can tell that budgets were stretched for the ride and I am afraid that for me, it doesn't live up to the standard I would expect of such a well known theme park. Perhaps being given the VIP treatment gave you a better impression of it, but for me I was really quite unimpressed with the job on it.
  19. Wodan. That coaster is a good 5-6 seconds faster since the year it opened and the airtime is much higher and more sustained. I wouldn't have chosen it 2 years ago but I will now! The first drop on Wodan, especially at the back, is superb - and there's plenty more round the aggressive layout. I should point out that I have been on Wodan, Troy, Lightning Racer, Gwazi and Wildcat in GCI stakes.
  20. Yeah... I tried the fried cheese. I wasn't really sure how that could possibly stack up against the Tapas bar at Europa-Park, the buffets at Epcot or the wonderful Jambalaya available outside Black Mamba at Phantasialand... But hey!
  21. Perhaps I didn't "get" Knoebels. I am English, so perhaps their food is more appealing to you guys over the pond. But for me, what I ate in a couple of locations was either just 'OK' or downright disgusting...! I even went to ask what I should buy in the park to really hit the bar... Europa-Park have a Michelin starred restaurant now, for example. Epcot have some wonderful eateries... I don't really get Knoebels. The park seems to have a LOT of love in the Golden Tickets but isn't in the same league really... I was stunned that Helix wasn't even nominated as best new ride for 2014, but something like Flying Turns won. I guess it's the TLC that goes into Flying Turns that perhaps turns heads.
  22. There is obsession over the coaster rankings in these awards. They're crazy every year! People really ought to expect nothing less and get over them. What of all the other awards dished out? It isn't just about the rollercoasters... I find the other awards more interesting. For example, I went to Knoebels last year with an expectation of incredible food, and was disappointed by it. But others, such as cleanliness and so on - I often find myself agreeing with.
  23. I don't know why people expect the coaster list to be anything other than 'messed up'. Not least that it practically entirely ignores every other country of the world since with exception to just one or two rides, they're all in the USA. For me, it's the non-coaster categories that are of more interest (best park, food, events etc.). For a coaster poll, we've Mitch Hawker anyway!
  24. More to the point - a park NOT in the USA has won the best park category. Europa-Park! <3
  25. Steel: Kingda Ka (SfGAdv) Wood: Colossos (Heide-Park)
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