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Everything posted by AstroDan

  1. Efteling is a stunningly beautiful theme park, which invests oddly. They spend heavily - on things which arguably they don't need. They spend less on things which arguably they do need. With Troy opening at Toverland - Efteling needed to bounce back and they did, with Joris en de Draak. However, they stand firm with Python - a dire example of an old Vekoma Looping Coaster. With Black Mamba not so far away, it's a real suprise that they choose to invest in a Water Show, when for the same money, they could have an incredibly themed B&M Coaster - which they need more... Still. The Projections are amazing on Villa Volta!
  2. Europa-Park Heide-Park Hansa-Park Phantasialand Movie Park Germany Toverland Walibi Holland Walibi Belgium Bobbejaanland Wild & Freizeitpark Klotten Efteling Disneyland Park (Paris) Walt Disney Studios (Paris) Thorpe Park Chessington World of Adventures Legoland Windsor Pleasure Beach Blackpool Drayton Manor Park Camelot Theme Park Alton Towers
  3. Eurosat is renamed "Pumpkin Coaster" in Halloween season. The ride audio changes entirely, and halloween theming is in the queue ans ride areas. Extra lasers are also added, and there are pumpkins all the way up the lifthill, lit up orange! [EDIT: Oops, just seen the above post. D'oh!] Super report. Off next week myself!
  4. They're so lucky. Clearly this park is in a residential area, yet they can still build massive 300 foot coasters right next to peoples homes. In Britain such things are just impossible.
  5. Alton Towers: Scarefest 2011 - 15-31 October. Website: http://www.altontowers.com/events/Halloween-Scarefest/ Interactive Countdown Calendar: http://www.altontowers.com/interactive/scarefest-countdown/
  6. Lovely images! I am back off to Disneyland Paris at the end of the month; it's great to see so many improvements around DLP this year. The new halloween theming looks much better.
  7. Thank you for sharing. I am visiting THN again at the end of October, and am very excited!
  8. With us having Merlin overload here in the UK, I am really keen to see how this park feels on my next visit to Florida in a few years. Certainly, it'll be interesting to compare it with Legoland Windsor. Really pleased to see another major attraction oping up, though. It looks pretty!
  9. John Wardley said that Alton Towers' SW7 was in development from July of last year for an opening in March 2013.
  10. If the lift hill system is changed so that the train get gain a higher speed without too much height, then we could have a terrain 4D coaster at Alton Towers.
  11. I'd stick my next out and suggest that the next B&M prototype, potentially a 4D system, will be Secret Weapon Seven at Alton Towers in 2013.
  12. How come you are only doing Alton Towers for 1-day? It is by far the biggest of the parks. Thorpe Park, if quiet, can be completed in 1/2 day (although 1 day is necessary for re-rides). For nice pubs near Alton Towers, try Uttoxeter Town Centre (around a 15 minute drive). "The Old Swan" is a Wetherspoon pub and serves food daily until 22h. I hope you enjoy your trip.
  13. Have Golden Ticket heard of Nemesis? Never seems to get anything in these awards depsite being top 10 on Hawker for years and years. #5 this year it was. /fanboy
  14. I think this is more an exercise of "who lives where" than an actual true demographic of which coaster excited people the most. If all of the above were built right next to each other, I would probably gor for the B&M Invert at Astérix or Leviathan, merely beca8use it's B&M's first foray into a truly huge coaster.
  15. I am shocked that a small, unknown and VERY family park like this has installed what appears to be such an extreme coaster!
  16. Not in 2012. SW7 is 2013. The planning application posted this week is about a dark ride in 2012.
  17. As this news seems to have been missed here, Alton have this week placed a planning application for a new ride in 2012. From TowersTimes News:
  18. Apart from the fact that France is one of the most beautiful countries in Europe... As it is, this does look superb and I cannot wait to get on this thing next season!
  19. I too have had negative experiences arriving at Thorpe Park. As much as I understand that, due to the direction the park has taken in the past decade, their target market is now young people - and that, being in London, this brings with it a number of very socially depressed areas - I still find the entry to the park disgusting for what is a theme park linked to Merlin Entertainments, who are keen to repeatedly state they are "second to Disney". I arrived at Thorpe Park at around 9:10am on my visit, when the park was due to open at 9:30am. We had arrived so early to ensure we could rush to Colossus and Saw - The Ride, with minimal queues (as Colossus in particular gets horrid waiting times due to low capacity). Upon the barriers being raised at 9:25am, I had my Merlin Annual Pass ready for admission to the park. I was requested immediately to join a queue of around 20 people for security and bag search. The rest of my friends waited adjacent. It took around 10 minutes for this process and, when the security guard had been through every inch of my wallet, bag - the lot, I was let through. They were not particularly friendly and took all my cards out the wallet, leaving them on the side for me to "re-pack". By this point, we had lost any advantage we had hoped to gain from arriving at the park early, and i was thoroughly cheesed off. We actually went on to have a pretty good day at Thorpe, but it's the most awful first impressions to have to go through such rigorous security. I don't know how they could get around it, but it's certainly an awful park to enter.
  20. I would always maintain the view that to enjoy Europa-Park properly, you need 4 nights / 3 days. This way, you can ride all the attractions, including the cute boat rides etc., see all the main shows (there's about 5 hours worth if you were to see them all), eat in a range of restaurants and just soak up the ambience. Not to mention spend time in the hotels.
  21. I think that's a little insulting to the general public and let's be honest here, the coaster will be designed before any member of the public passes opinion. In my eyes, this is more a "you get to see stuff first" sort of thing, rather than having any genuine say. I was a member of a focus group in 2007 at Alton Towers, where they had 6 theme park enthusiasts on a panel for 4 meetings during the season. It was far from "i want everything". It was mutually beneficial - we loved the experience, and the park got some free input and opinion. Everyone was understanding and didn't merely make demands that could never be met.' For example - the return of In the hall of the mountain king as the parks main theme was largely down to those meetings coupled with the enthusiast community at that time. People weren't sitting down shouting "give me a coaster with a million loops" etc. People do tend to have an education, and I should think they'll choose carefully based on the applications received.
  22. I agree that Silver Star is running pretty well these days (when compared to say 5 years back). However, I don't think the back row is as good as it was. Now, I find the front row the best place on the ride. There seems to be a lot of airtime there. Also, from where the front row and main queue split, it's usually barely any more than about 15 minutes extra for the first row. Is all this to do with the fact they upgraded the brakes to magnetic? The first set last week weren't doing anything, but the second set were trimming.
  23. To be fair, Alton have never exactly been the most known of parks to do things like this with the community... so it's pretty cool. Certainly gets people talking and after what has been a pretty dull season so far (nul investment for 2011), it's all good! Still, I am keen to find out about 2012 as it is - the Lava Lump (old Dymano) site in Forbidden Valley is presently a rumour.
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