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Everything posted by djmcbell

  1. Erm... DLP already has a Toy Story shooting ride (Buzz Lightyear Blast or something like that). However, due to awesome planning, it is in DLP and not the Studios park, where Toy Story Land is. In any case, I like this. I went to the Paris resort in 2014, shortly before Ratatouille opened. We were in Studios for 2 hours (got there in the afternoon). Did ToT, Aerosmith, RC and the tram tour before it closed, and felt no need to go back the following day (which we spent at DLP). Studios definitely felt incomplete and a bit of a mish-mash. Surprised they didn't have a Radiator Springs and instead just a spinning Cars ride. This sounds like an amazing overhaul and should make Studios into an incredible park, but I have two things I think I would have preferred: 1 - I think Frozen would be better suited to DLP itself, but have no idea where it would go. Disney does like putting lands in a wheel formation in their main park and there's no more space in the existing park for a full land, so I can understand it going to Studios. It just seems like a bit of a shame, but the alternative is having nothing. 2 - is the Star Wars land the same as the Florida one? I'd prefer to see a different location within the Star Wars universe (either existing or made-up), and think of the amount of rabid Star Wars fans who'd have to visit each one Either way, this is an incredible investment and I hope it goes well. Everyone goes to the DLP part of the resort but Studios just seemed neglected. This, and bridging the two parks, may give it a great one-two punch of US and IoA (the only parks I've been to with a similar setup - I know Disney in California is similar).
  2. The Wild Mouse was insane. I really don't know how they got away with the track being so close to the lifthill that people had to duck under it. I'm not especially tall and I had to. That and you could see that track moving pretty violently as cars went over it - a tad nerve-wracking as you passed under. My brother-in-law's son IS tall though, and we used to take him with us when he was in his teens (and he was taller than me then). We'd literally have to say to him that there's no way he was going on after a few years. The airtime you got on those drops too - though punctuated by some very sudden and painful inclines - was tremendous. And all that with only a seatbelt (or the person in front). The 180 degree turns were similar, and I'd usually try to make them a bit softer for my wife in front. It will be interesting to see what replaces it and Trauma Towers. Wonder if they're redeveloping that area and the fountains will go too (they've got to cost a lot, as well as the staff trying to get you to buy photos there - never seen anyone take them up on it). But after this, the Gold Mine and the closure of Noah's Ark, is anything safe?
  3. Well that was definitely unexpected, and a sad loss. I haven't been on the other three Wild Mouse coasters, and not as many coasters as most other forum members here, but this coaster was one that genuinely made you feel as if you could die - sliding around in the back of the car with someone else between your legs, bum leaving the seat on the drops, ducking under the track on the lifthill, and the car seemingly rounding corners on two wheels. You didn't dare put your arms in the air on this one because the Wild Mouse would instantly knock out your ribs. A truly unforgiving mistress. I was born and bred around Blackpool so the Wild Mouse is like a part of history to me. Never liked it much as a kid nut did as an adult. And there was always a steady line to ride - not necessarily a long one but it was there. Never a walk-on (possibly because of its low capacity). So farewell Wild Mouse, you will be sorely missed.
  4. Please tell me the Trump-o-tron endlessly repeats "build the wall!" over the others, and gets into childish arguments with the Obama one, even whilst the others are off and when people are entering and leaving. Alternatively, maybe Disney should go all modern and have it read Donald Trump's live twitter feed. And have they done their research and gotten the hand size correct?
  5. There are trains out towards Blackpool quite regularly from Manchester Piccadilly or Manchester Victoria (used to have to head over that way for work quite a lot). Preston is also a good railway hub that is further towards Blackpool, and I think you should be able to get services to either Blackpool North or Blackpool South, plus nearby towns, quite easily from there. You'll have to research where you're staying nearby and what times trains are and, as others say, book in advance. Trains in the UK can be quite expensive if you need to travel last-minute. (this is where I go into a rant about needing to travel for a meeting from Leeds to Godalming with only a few days notice, and being charged more than it cost me to fly to Paris, grab a TGV to Disneyland Paris and back, stay in a hotel, buses to and from the parks, return into Paris for a day, plus a bit left over) If the train costs still seem a lot, have a look at Split Ticketing websites.
  6. I can't comment on Thorpe Park as I've never been there, but both BPB and AT are probably worth two days as you've said. Depending on when you go, queues can seriously impact what you're doing. Alton Towers is probably the easiest to make an initial comment on - I've never taken public transport there, but I believe it is a pain. The park is quite secluded. Ensure you plan that one well. Blackpool Pleasure Beach should be easy to reach from just about anywhere in Blackpool, or the surrounding area. I'm an ex-local (born in Blackpool, lived in nearby Lytham for 18 years). Blackpool itself is absolutely awful - tacky, dirty... they used to have little machines on the front selling crotchless edible underwear. The Pleasure Beach does have its own train station - unsure if it's still in use, but if it is you could consider other places (Lytham or St Annes, if they both service it, shouldn't take long at all to get to/from). With the Pleasure Beach, like most parks, go there early and plan on staying late. When we've gone, Big One, Grand Nash and Avalanche are the ones with the biggest queues, but you really need to do everything (I've done BPB a load of times, and AT only a few). The park has so much about it that is unique. Obviously there's the coasters (make sure to do the Nickelodeon Streak, which is basically the old Rollercoaster / Velvet Coaster with a paint job), but also the Ghost Train, Alice In Wonderland, and River Caves (shame about the Gold Mine, which has now been replaced by Wallace & Gromit) that should be essential riding. For eating, there's a Burger King on site which is fair enough. I wouldn't rate anywhere else in the Pleasure Beach. There are numerous chippys outside it - we'd always go to Woodheads on Simpson Street afterwards. If you're looking at driving, we always use the giant car park on Yeadon Way, at the Blackpool South train station (another train station you can use) - the park is about a 10 - 15 minute walk from there.
  7. I thought I'd just on the Duelling Dragons-praising bandwagon for a moment. When I first went to IoA back in 2004, DD was my favourite ride. Spiderman was impressive, moreso than anything else I'd seen at the time. Hulk was pretty damned good. But DD? Somehow, that was my favourite of the trip for some reason. It had an excellent queueline that was so long you never really had to wait until you got to the very end. It was an inverted coaster, and I'd tried so few of them at that point. There were two of them, and the added thrill when it looked like your feet nearly touched the feet of the riders of the other train as you peeled out (despite the fact you were probably 2+ metres away). Subsequent trips however found me losing my fondness for the Dragons, replaced by my enthusiasm for Hulk, but they were still a staple of Florida trips - we had to ride both sides. They stopped duelling, the queue looked less impressive, and Montu replaced it as my favourite invert. Yet the Dragons are still Good Rides. Not brilliant, but Good. And IoA is a much lesser place now without them (now it only has one thrilling coaster). On future trips, I will miss them. Of course, this all depends on what Universal plans instead. The space taken up by DD is pretty large, although looking at Google Maps, the space taken up by Poseidon and Sindbad seems roughly the same. Of course, it all depends on how easy it is to develop those areas into whatever Universal has planned (I imagine Poseidon, for instance, will have a fair bit of custom utilities to deal with), but let's face it - what is the Lost Continent today? Who thinks Poseidon and Sindbad are anything special? It seems the consensus is just for Universal to get it over and done with, remove the area and redevelop. However, we don't know Universal's plans. Redeveloping Lost Continent into Harry Potter's Ego Trip v3 would mean that that entire corner of the park becomes Harry Potter Mania. Want another land, perhaps based on, I don't know, the Emoji Movie (why not - it has great reviews, honest!)? You're out of luck. This keeps Lost Continent as an area that Universal can redevelop without having to tread on Harry Potter's Bloated Wallet World. Still, a sad day. I do wonder if Universal is making the right decision, but the decision they're making is surely guided with the ability to plan 10-20 years down the road.
  8. I don't know why the BBC hasn't reported it (at least in the article I read), but other organisations (Guardian and, to my eternal shame, Daily Mail) have reported that she stood up on the raft to change seats whilst it was in motion.
  9. You seem to be doing nothing but park-park-park-park-park, which would be great but... ... when the hell are you going to be travelling or relaxing?!? We did a road trip a few years back (you can see my blog about it here). We did: 1 - travelling 2 - Six Flags Great America 3 - Chicago 4 - travelling 5 - Cedar Point 6 - Cedar Point 7 - Kelleys Island and Put-in-Bay 8 - travelling 9 - Six Flags Great Adventure 10 - Philadelphia 11 - Philadelphia 12 - July 4th 13 - travelling 14 - Six Flags America 15 - Washington DC 16 - Washington DC 17 - travelling 18 - Busch Gardens Williamsburg 19 - Water Country USA 20 - travelling I would recommend doing Kelley's Island and Put-in-Bay if you want a nice, relaxing day whilst in the Cedar Point / Sandusky area. Two nice little islands, and Kelley's Island has a good beach too.
  10. People who can't drive, and don't know how to use roundabouts. So me and another person get to a roundabout at the same time (one of those poxy "mini roundabouts" which are basically a small white circle at a junction). He's on my right, so it's his right of way, but he stays there anyway. There's nobody for him to give way to. After waiting for a few seconds (and being beeped by people behind), I decide to go anyway, and as I'm partly on the roundabout the other guy decides to go and nearly goes into my side. And people who don't indicate. Yes, I'll wait here because you're not indicating so I assume you're going straight on and hence I need to stop for you. Oh, you're going left so I needn't have bothered, but are too much of a lazy sod to indicate? And cyclists - get off the bloody pavement! That's twice you've hit my son's pushchair now. And yes, I have seen a pavement cyclist knock over some pedestrians and ride off, whilst the pedestrians he knocked over looked fairly bruised. Still surprised at the one who cycled through a zebra crossing full of kids and didn't stop, but instead went straight through a (pretty narrow) gap.
  11. 2/10. Facing legal lawsuit from Nike for use of "just do it".
  12. Pott's Park, "PARK OF THE FUTURE" (circa 1930). Still, looks pretty fun. Maybe they need to look at the Green Dragon coaster in Snowdonia, which is lifted to the top of the lift hill by the weight of the guests. Means the coaster essentially doesn't need electricity (but absolutely knackers the guests).
  13. Red Dwarf. Mostly love it (though series 7 and 8 were mostly rubbish - think Tikka To Ride is the only half-decent episode from them). I did manage to go and see one of them being recorded a few months back (series 12 episode 1) which was fantastic, and should be broadcast next year.
  14. Indeed true. Though in recent years the only other Disney show I've seen was the MNSSHP one at Magic Kingdom, Disney Dreams is stunning. Though I do wonder if they do it on purpose so they can "accidentally" torch the castle and claim on the insurance... Do other Disney parks take attractions down for months (in a lot of cases at DLP) for refurbishment? When we went Crush's Coaster and Indy were down, and I think Captain EO was either being refurbished or taken out (don't know whether that's still going). Somehow though we got there at 4pm and did Studios in 2 hours (RC Racer, ToT, tram tour, Aerosmith - this was before Ratatouille opened), then went to DLP and did SMM2, Big Thunder and Pirates before Disney Dreams, followed by a full day in DLP, then Paris itself the next day (and yes, the Catacombs are brilliant, and something everyone going to Paris should look at doing - like Skyrim in real life).
  15. Slagharen kinda reminds me of Lightwater Valley in terms of scale and style, at least in the review (never been there - heck, never heard of it until now). An unassuming little family park. Plus it looks like it's got a rip-off of the old Raccoons cartoon from the 90's as mascots on the logo. Anything with them in has got to be good (start humming "You can run with us").
  16. I'm in the UK. I just wait ten minutes for the rain to start again. Okay, if I'm in other countries I'll normally try and stick to shaded areas. Grab drinks, slow down, sometimes even queueing for a ride is pretty nice and cooling (I think that's how I managed 19 times on Hulk in the same day without passing out, as the queue, which was walk-on, kept me cool).
  17. From what few coasters I've been on, Cobra's Curse looks like a mix between Scooby Doo at Movie World (with the lift, which even appears to tilt) and Sonic Spinball (is it still called that?) at Alton Towers (with the spinning). Both, in my opinion, pretty good family coasters, and I've little doubt that this will do well for Busch Gardens. If I could offer some criticism, it would be that it needs more theming - or at least seems to - along the ride itself. Would be good to see a long tunnel or something, but then I'm probably being unrealistic.
  18. Not sure any would fit in my backyard. That and the local neanderthals would probably vandalise it (you can't even lock a bike up round here, they'll have the saddle/wheels or just kick it out of shape. Saw one once where they'd somehow set fire to the tyres, melting them).
  19. I remember once when I was a kid (absolutely yonks ago - well, okay, probably 20 years), we were stuck in a queue that wasn't moving and somehow they got the Jeopardy music going over the PA system. Also, at Six Flags Great America a few years back, the guy on V² (why do they say "Vee Two"? It's "Vee Squared!") doing a few amusing-ish lines, such as "Anybody know how fast this goes?" - pause - "I do." before setting the ride off, or "ANYBODY KNOW WHAT TIME IT IS?!? 11:58." and then setting it off.
  20. I do recall when I was at Blackpool Pleasure Beach a few years back hearing some people say they should get rid of all the old wooden coasters and replace them with modern ones. I nearly ripped off their heads and took them home as a souvenir.
  21. Efteling is a park that I did want to go to this year, but money and time haven't really allowed it. It does look great (like a lot of parks on the continent do). Also... For some reason I read that as Space Mountain meets The Birds (as in the Alfred Hitchcock film / Daphne du Maurier book). Which would've been interesting.
  22. The Catacombs in Paris were a huge surprise to us when we went a few years ago. It is probably as close to Skyrim as you'll get in real life. Very eerie and weirdly split into two sections - I think the first section was unfilled, and one of the builders years back even carved a model of the port town he called home all those years ago. The second, as you've seen from the photos, is where the bones were (and no, we most certainly didn't touch any). Of course, for those interested, it is a LONG walk down - and, of course, back up again! If you're in Paris it's definitely something to do, and we found it pretty easy to get to (hint - if you're staying at Disneyland Paris, you can pick up an RER/Metro ticket that gives you pretty good access to the trains. Can't recall if the train from Disneyland Paris goes to Paris, but you could go to Serris / Val d'Europe and go from there. Another hint - if you're flying into CDG, the CDG airport actually has a train station and you can catch a TGV that goes straight to Disneyland Paris in roughly 10 minutes)
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