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About gax

  • Birthday 05/04/1990

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  1. I get what you're saying, I always thought that the juxtaposition of rides in Potterland at USO was slightly off, with Gringotts and FJ, you have rides themed to every tiny detail, with every aspect, ride cars etc. included, becoming a part of the story, then next to that you have two giant B&M's, where the theming ends as you leave the station, and just becomes a standard inverted coaster. For an area with so much focus on total immersion, it seems odd to have rides which are just 'rides' as opposed to 'experiences' (obviously the fact DD was there already is a major factor here..) Disney parks with occasional exceptions create these total 'experiences', never wanting anything to seem like a ride or a coaster but rather an immersive 'adventure'. Coaster track is generally themed to minetrains and the like and things like ride cars and 3D glasses are usually included in the story. So yeah I get what you're saying, and it does kinda seem odd to have a load of Coaster track when you are supposed to be inside Jurassic Park or whatever, but I guess if its a good coaster then does it really matter? I suppose it just comes down to levels of theming and immersiveness which as US parks seems to be sometimes quite inconsistent compared to Disney. It also comes down to personal preference, I am massively into themeing and 'experiences' whereas I know a lot of people dont really care and would rather ride a great coaster.
  2. gax

    TPR Vlogs?

    Would you guys ever consider doing a 'vlog' style video from any of your trips on youtube? I love the coaster videos and the photo TRs, and I know there is some short, vlog style videos from time to time, but a full length video of what you guys get up to on the trips is something I would love to watch!
  3. Question on Kong (apologies if this has already been covered), but does anyone know what they are going to do about the Jurassic Park/Kong transition? Will they keep the Jurassic Park entrance where it is and have Kong as a part of JP, or will they make Kong into its own separate area with JP shifted further on? As good as I think Kong looks I really like the 'distinct' islands of original IOA, and now with Kong coming and the Lost Continent being shrunk massively with Harry Potter, I feel like its becoming more of a Universal Studios style random attractions dotted around individually rather than total themed areas?
  4. Bad news for all Flamingoland Fans! The Rock Slide is no more! Always a Flamingoland favourite Now lies in tatters! However it has made way for a really nice new themed area behind Cliffhanger. All pictures from TPR park index or Flamingopics.co.uk
  5. All I can say is... wow This looks like one of the most immersive and well-executed theme park areas of all time! Unbelievable! Is the entrance to the Hogwarts Express themed to 'running through the wall' like in the books?
  6. Few more photos that I didn't add before if anybody's interested! They had to construct these temporary queue lines outside of Cbeebies land because of its popularity. Another look around the new area.. The famous Alton Towers frogs! Smiler's mess of track The station You get really close to the ride in the queue More photos from the top of the Towers It was pretty creepy inside! The Gardens Pirate show in Mutiny Bay More of Nemesis' awesome themeing! Sonic Spinball coaster Sonic is now one of a number of brands Alton has attractions themed around One last look at the Towers The mark of quality!
  7. I agree about Ripsaw, when I went the program was so dull! And even though it was a hot day the water didn't get anybody!
  8. So I had a day off today and thought I'd head over to Alton Towers as I probably won't have another chance to visit until after the summer. I really love this park! I've been coming since I was a kid, and even though its quality has dropped slightly in the last 10 years, it is still, for me, the number 1 park in the UK. With the introduction of the Smiler last year, the park now has 6 great coasters to boast, and even after nearly 20 years of visiting, I still have not got bored of the place! New for this year is 'CBeebies Land', a retheme of the old Storybook Land and Old MacDonald's Farm areas, designed for young children. I think it's great that the park have looked to add something more for this age group, and the area has been done really nicely. The only thing I would say is that it is a shame that there is no real 'new' ride hardware, everything is a rethemed version of something which was already in existence. I think it would have been great if they had brought in a few new rides, in a similar way to nearby Drayton Manor with Thomas Land, which CBeebies Land doesn't really match up to. Anyway, I'll get onto the photos: Definitely the best use of a Vekoma Corkscrew I can think of! A look down towards the towers themselves. CBeebies Land, based on a popular kid's TV channel here in the UK, is new for 2014. It is a very colourful area, aimed at young children. Most of the attractions are rethemed from their Storybookland / Old MacDonalds Farm days. The 'Get Set Go Treetop Adventure' is a rethemed Squirrel Nutty Ride. CBeebies 'bugs' push you around the track above the land's other attractions. The most popular attraction in the area is 'Postman Pat Parcel Post', a slow moving 'car ride' taking you in Postman Pat's van delivering mail around his village. The ride is very popular, with the queue standing at over an hour for most of the day. You enter through the post office. And are taken through scenes from the Postman Pat world. Kids seem to love getting to drive Pat's van. And eventually seeing the man himself! The area is full of brightly coloured kid's rides. Justin's Pie-O-Matic is a giant indoor play area where children can shoot foam balls at each other! The 'In the Night Garden' boat ride, along with Postman Pat, attracts most of the crowds. Kids can take a boat around the Night Garden world. There is lots of live entertainment and shows in the area, with the Big Fun Showtime arena being the main draw. There is regular shows put on throughout the day in here. Tree Fu Tom Training Camp is a large play area. Looks really fun! Children can visit Mr. Bloom in his allotment.. Or take part in experiments with Nina in the science lab! The sensory garden has tests of all the senses for kids to learn from. There is also loads of characters roaming the area. Overall, I think the new land really works well. It seems to be a huge hit with kids and families, drawing huge crowds all day. The themeing is great and there is a good balance between rides and 'learning' experiences for kids. The only thing I would complain about is that the park hasn't really added any 'new' rides. All of the rides in the area are just rethemed versions of rides from Storybook Land or Old MacDonalds Farm. There is apparently continuned expansion planned for the area, so hopefully we might see some new kids rides in the coming years. Overall though, I think the area is a great success, and has given Alton a much needed top quality children's area. Anyway, onto bigger and better things! The Smiler... Photos cannot do justice to how huge this thing really is... It has such a presence in the area, and is one of the most 'watchable' coasters I have ever seen. Everywhere you look there seems to be another inversion. Like most of the big coasters at Alton Towers, The Smiler is built into its own huge 'pit'. It is themed as a mind altering device built by the 'Ministry of Joy', with the intention of 'correcting' all of its riders. The huge structure in the middle with the screens is the 'Marmaliser', and is the center-point of the ride's theme. It has really taken over X-Sector. I really like this coaster. I wouldn't say it matches upto Nemesis, but it is definitely a solid number 2 coaster at Alton. I totally understand the criticism of it being 'two 7 loopers stuck together', but doing 14 inversions on one ride is still an immense experience. It does kind feel like 2 similar coasters one after another, but that is sort of a good thing. Its like you get to ride a great coaster, and just as you're annoyed its over, you get to do it again without even getting off! Ideally the park would have made the second lift into a launch or something, to make it seem more of a 'single experience', but, in my opinion, Smiler is still a must-ride! It is a shame that Oblivion has lost a bit of the limelight with Smiler being stuck next door! Even though there is much bigger and more interesting dive machines around now, Oblivion still packs a punch! The feeling of flying into this tunnel is still immense. It's just a shame it doesn't go on longer! Nerd fact alert! The reason 'SW4' is written on the side of Oblivion's queue is because of its construction code name; 'Secret Weapon 4'. Alton uses the Secret Weapon code name for all its big coasters. SW1 & SW2 weren't built, but were planned arrow pipeline coasters. The first one to actually to be built was SW3: Nemesis, and then Oblivion (SW4), Air (SW5), Thirteen (SW6) and Smiler (SW7). Oblivion got a repaint when Smiler opened and now looks fantastic! Alton have removed the 'Submission' flat ride this season and replaced it with this grass.. As painful as the ride was, there is definitely a distinct lack of flat rides at the park now. Enterprise is the only flat on this side of the park now! So here is the 'Towers' of Alton Towers. I thought I'd take a look around as they are now fully open to the public. Even though the park was busy, I was the only person walking around the castle! You can get some great views of the park! It was cool to see things from angles you wouldn't normally get. The green building in the middle of this picture houses the Vekoma Madhouse part of the Hex ride. A view of the castle ruins.. The Smiler from the towers! From the very top you can get a great view of Oblivion and X Sector. Gorgeous! More impressive than that though is the insanely huge pile of bird crap! Hex is a walkthrough attraction which ends with a cool Vekoma Madhouse, telling the legend of a curse put upon the Earl who used to live in the castle. The story goes that an old beggar woman said that for every branch of the old oak tree that fell, a member of the earls family would die. When this came true, the Earl chained up the oak, and put the fallen branch in a vault hidden in the Towers... The Dark Forest was the new area in 2010, but has aged quite rapidly since then. Now that Thirteen has somewhat shed the stupid 'Ultimate Roller Coaster' marketing hype it was given when it opened, it has established itself as a really fun and unique family coaster. The themeing is really nice looking, even if the story is kind of confusing.. This is pretty much all of the ride you can see from the park! Rita has become pretty poor nowadays. The ride has become quite rough and rattly, and the themeing is confusing and falling apart. Considering the fact that Alton are not allowed to build rides above the tree line, I think its a real shame they played their 'launch coaster' card with something as mediocre as Rita. It would be amazing to have a Cheetah Hunt style coaster flying through the trees! Charlie and the Chocolate factory still pulls the crowds and is still a fun ride. Ice Age 4D however, is quite possibly the most boring and poorly executed '4D' style ride I have ever been on! The '4D' element consists of some foam falling from the roof to represent snow and some wind blowing in your face. Alton really need to improve or replace this soon. I had a walk through the gardens to chill out after lunch. Alton Towers really is a beautiful park. There is so many places to explore. Battle Galleons is the park's really well themed splash battle ride. The whole 'Mutiny Bay' pirate area looks really nice. Sharkbait Reef is a huge aquarium with tonnes of different sea creatures. I wasn't expecting much, but was actually really impressed! I didn't ride the flume, but did make use of the new water cannons they have added.. ha! Katanga Canyon is my favourite area of the park theme wise. It looks really nice. One of the few parts of the park left from the 1990's when Alton Towers was at its prime. The rapids are fun and not too wet. And the Mine Train is a cool powered coaster. The first coaster I ever rode! (Yeah I know it doesn't count..!) Whilst Duel is fun, I miss the days of the old Haunted House. They do seem to have fixed a lot of the broken effects this season however. Any Alton Towers nerds know what is wrong with this sign? Nemesis Sub-Terra gets a bad wrap, but I honestly really enjoyed it! It is a kind of 'Alien Encounter' ride but with a small drop tower section and loads of live actors. It is a lot of fun and utilizes the nemesis story well. Air was the first B&M flying coaster to be built. Alton seem to like their 'prototype' rides, and sometimes this means the layout can suffer when compared to newer models.. Air is still a great coaster though. Other the Smiler Air seems to attract the biggest lines in the park. While it may be no Tatsu or Manta, is is a solid, smooth, fun ride. Ripsaw always attracts an audience! So this is what you have been waiting for right? Nemesis - the best coaster I have personally ever ridden! This ride just never gets old.. It is so well themed and gets so close to the scenery. I was lucky enough to get two front seat rides using the single rider line. Man this thing is intense at the front! So many near misses! Themeing themeing themeing! Taking the loop behind the monster! Just a brilliant ride! I ended my day with 4 back to back nemesis rides, what better end to a great day could there be!? After I left the park I went down to the nearby woods to look for the 'Chained Oak' from the Hex legend. Somebody told the the (kind of ) secret directions to the tree and it only took me around 10 minutes to find. So this is the tree that the Earl supposedly chained up to try and break the curse put on his family. Recently some branches have fallen off in storms. Apparently it has been confirmed that all of the Earl's ancestors are still living! So thats it! I hope you enjoyed my trip report!
  9. Only just caught up on this & skimmed the topic. Really upset about this news, RCT1 & 2 were huge parts of my childhood! I think despite what Atari said on facebook there's no way we're going to see any significant positive change when it comes to the full PC game. Yeah it might be a more 'complete' game, and have better gameplay and more extensive features than the mobile version, but I think it's safe to assume from looking at those screenshots that we will be disappointed. Why would Atari spend time creating a look and feel in terms of graphics and animation for the mobile version and then create an entirely different one for the PC. Yeah it may have been simplified for mobile but once you have a 'look and feel' set that surely isn't gonna change too much. And the issue is here the look and feel is the major problem, not the features and gameplay! The only hope we have is that they see the negative reaction and realise they need to go back to the drawing board, push back the release date and come up with something great for the PC release.
  10. Because this is a Roller Coaster enthusiast forum.. Really annoys me when people try to put others down on here for discussing things like this! This is a coaster forum, its the whole point!, if people can't discuss silly details like this here then where the hell can they!? Ps. wood or steel this looks insane!
  11. I'd love to see some of these built, never gotten to ride a 4d coaster but the 'jerkyness' would put me off I think. This looks like a great solution to the problem! I've always liked how 'enthusiastic' S&S seem as a company, the prototype looks awesome! One question though... credit?
  12. Flamingoland 45 mins Lightwater Valley 1 hour Alton Towers 2 hours
  13. Cheers Robb, I look forward to it!
  14. Now don't get me wrong, this isn't in any way a criticism or a demand, I know you guys work your ass off filling this site with content! just a genuine curious question.. I was just wondering if recent trips (such as the 2012 China trip) will be 'written up' as photo TRs on the site? I love reading through the reports of your trips and I'd be really interested to see the reports things like Ocean Park and HK Disney. (If these already exist and Im just being a moron please tell me, I did have a look first but maybe I missed something!)
  15. That is one of a few images which were reportedly some of the original concepts for Oblivion at Alton Towers. They have been floating around on the internet since at least 2006. Couple more here from the same set of pictures: Hopefully Gardaland will get something a bit more inventive!
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