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Found this article: http://www.alva.org.uk/details.cfm?p=413&codeid=320805 (link seems to be down at the moment but the google cached version works)

Exclusive: Merlin creative director reveals new details about Derren Brown attraction coming to Thorpe Park in 2016

Paul Moreton, global creative director for Merlin Magic Making at Merlin Entertainments has exclusively revealed to Attractions Management new details about Derren Brown’s new ride at Thorpe Park, which will use a number of modern and traditional techniques to create an experience right from the mind of the master illusionist.

 

Touted as a ghost train reinvented for the 21st Century, the age-restricted Derren Brown’s Ghost Train will incorporate grand illusion, live action, next-generation technology, 4D special effects and physical transit to create an experience unlike any other.

 

“We’ve taken the ghost train as an inspiration,” said Moreton speaking exclusively to Attractions Management. “The thing we love about a good ghost train is creating that sense of being scared, but laughing at the same time. We’re trying to capture that element and we thought it was about time we took that standard, that Victorian product which has been around 200 years or so, and gave it a 21st century makeover. It’s Derren’s interpretation of that.”

 

Upon entering the 2,300sq m (25,000sq ft) warehouse encompassing the ride, guests will encounter a large disused Victorian warehouse, which in its centre will have a 20 metre (65 foot) -long, seven tonne Victorian train carriage suspended in mid air by iron chains.

 

Little detail has been revealed about what will actually take place within the attraction. What is known is the ride is designed to leave guests questioning where their perception ends and where reality begins.

 

“Like with Derren’s show, he doesn’t really want everyone to say what happens so they can experience it for themselves because the less you know, the more you will get out of it,” said Moreton.

 

“Just like Derren’s shows we’re playing with your mind, making you question what’s real and what’s not. When the ride ends, we want you to come away with a thought-provoking experience. Did that happen? Did that not happen? That is the new generation experience we are talking about and that’s what will make it very unique.”

 

Moreton revealed that virtual reality would be one of the elements used to create the illusions, using an HTC Vive headset within the train. He was keen to stress however that the attraction is not a VR experience.

 

It’s not the same as our launch of Glactica at Alton Towers last week,” he said. “We’re using that to enhance the experience but crucially it’s just one element of several which are all equally as important as each other.”

 

One of the attraction’s key elements, is that each rider will have a unique experience. On the 10-15 minute ride, there are 12 possible journeys to get to two alternate endings. Dependant on choices made, each individual rider will encounter a different path as they go through the experience.

 

“If you and I went on the attraction together, you would probably experience something different to what I did,” said Moreton. “You may come out and say ‘did that happen to you’ and I’ll respond ‘no this happened instead’.”

 

“I firmly believe that this kind of multi-sensory, mind blowing attraction represents a glimpse of what the future holds for theme parks the world over,” said Derren Brown.

 

“Akin to my shows, I ask that when you board the train, the secrets remain mine and yours to share and fear, and you don’t spoil the experience by telling others ahead of their visit.

 

“People should also note that this is not an experience for the faint hearted. But to ensure you are in the right frame of mind to take full advantage of the journey I will send you on, I refuse to reveal any further details past the doors of the carriage.”

 

 

Can't say a VR-based immersive tunnel really interests me. I'm sure it'll look good, but it can't be long before it suffers the usual Merlin problem of either being forgotten about or gutted when they realise that it's going to cost them the same amount of money every year despite bringing in less and less.

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It seems like Merlin has lost their magic when it comes to illusions and special effects. I think they're trying to rely on VR too much now, and CGI won't get them any attention because it just isn't the same as real effects. John Wardley was a master at this and it's why the old school dark rides ended up being so good. I won't judge until I actually hear reviews on the ride, but I was hoping for a little more from their "expensive and revolutionary dark ride".

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Well that is obviously hands down the greatest name for a ride ever. Merlins creative have once again set the bar at an all time high for naming their attractions..........

 

Consider any interest in this ride now gone. Have no interest in immersive tunnels what so ever and if the name is anything to go by I can't imagine it will be that good of a ghost train.

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I guess so, although David Blaine is at least known worldwide, whereas by the sounds of it, Derren Brown isn't To be honest I don't think he's huge in the UK either. He's well known and most people know who he is, but I'm not sure how many people actually follow him.

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Just seems like Merlin is trying to jump on the VR train as quickly as possible... Considering how heavily they over-marketed Thirteen and Nemesis Sub-Terra as psychological experiences, you can bet they'll do it again with this one.

Edited by jedimaster1227
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Well that is obviously hands down the greatest name for a ride ever. Merlins creative have once again set the bar at an all time high for naming their attractions..........

 

Consider any interest in this ride now gone. Have no interest in immersive tunnels what so ever and if the name is anything to go by I can't imagine it will be that good of a ghost train.

 

Well, I guess it's a better name than "Derron Brown's Immersive 4D Experience."

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Well, I guess it's a better name than "Derron Brown's Immersive 4D Experience."

 

Well that sounds like a sex act that I want no part of.

 

Just seems like Merlin is trying to jump on the VR train as quickly as possible... Considering how heavily they over-marketed Thirteen and Nemesis Sub-Terra as psychological experiences, you can bet they'll do it again with this one.

 

I would almost be disappointed in them if they didn't over market things now, its basically a company trademark.

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My one hope is that these VR experiences crash and burn faster than a drunk high schooler on prom night.

 

That said, this seems like it could be a strange little side-attraction, kinda like that Krake haunt at Heide. That was fun but nothing to write home about.

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My one hope is that these VR experiences crash and burn faster than a drunk high schooler on prom night.

 

That said, this seems like it could be a strange little side-attraction, kinda like that Krake haunt at Heide. That was fun but nothing to write home about.

 

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!

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^ Probably mostly going to the actual train car motion base, if I had to guess. It looks like it'll be a walkthrough attraction with the VR portion being a motion-simulator subway car. Not necessarily a scary haunt, but that style with some cool effects themed to this guy's illusions.

 

The only reason I'm guessing a motion simulator is because of the suspended subway car in the trailer.

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If that's really the budget for this ride, I think I would rather have seen the park go with a Sally ride like Justice League. This could turn into Nemesis Sub Terra 2.0, where people will ride it a few times and get sick of the same cheap gags especially with VR involved. VR is a turn off for a lot of people before even riding.

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Sub Terra was my first thought too actually, and for me it all seems a bit too much like style over substance for my tastes. The press release is full of the usual rhetoric about playing with your mind, it being a psychological experience etc, but it all feels very familiar and I'm sort of bored of the whole schtick. The UK is overdue a really good dark ride, and I am not convinced that Derren Brown's Ghost Train is going to remedy this.

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The UK is overdue a really good dark ride, and I am not convinced that Derren Brown's Ghost Train is going to remedy this.

 

I think Valhalla covered the "really good dark ride" quota for the next century.

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As a Derren Brown fan I am probably looking forward to this ride a lot more than I am Galactica (Air Revamp) at Alton Towers. Derren Brown's stage shows are brilliant, and I also enjoy his specials on TV, I hope this ride doesn't disappoint (Much like Subterrra previously). Lets reserve judgement until we've given it a go. You never know it could be the greatest ride Thorpe Park has to offer...(tin helmet now firmly on ready for a backlash).

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As a Derren Brown fan I am probably looking forward to this ride a lot more than I am Galactica (Air Revamp) at Alton Towers. Derren Brown's stage shows are brilliant, and I also enjoy his specials on TV, I hope this ride doesn't disappoint (Much like Subterrra previously). Lets reserve judgement until we've given it a go. You never know it could be the greatest ride Thorpe Park has to offer...(tin helmet now firmly on ready for a backlash).

Oh no arguments from me, it could be really good, I'm just giving it a bit of the side-eye treatment at the moment because or Merlin's recent track record. The press release hasn't really got me very excited because it's the same kind of stuff they always come out with, but like you say the proof is in the pudding.

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