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WTF Merlin?

streetmagix

Member
How can you be so sure they won't be reading this forum?

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Fair enough, but the crossover in the Venn Diagram of 'Coaster Enthusiasts' and 'Love Island Viewers' are probably pretty small.

But still, I don't see why people are complaining. I don't like scare mazes or TWD but I don't complain about TWD or Scare Mazes at Thorpe Park. If it gets people through the door and, more importantly, gives us all longer hours during the summer then surely it's a good thing.
 

spicy

Active Member
But of a vent post but visited Alton and Thorpe this month and I can’t be the only one to feel that Merlin have really cut back and charged more than ever this season??

I feel that we are seeing the full effect Smiler has had on Merlin, there is clawing back and cutting back yet charging more at every opportunity..

Alton-

No more shows in the park, less restaurants.. Opening times are just bizarre across the whole resort..? Closing the Park/Waterpark/Golf/Spa all at 4pm on some days.. Yet they are adding more accommodation to AT..

Hotels were a shambles, way under staffed and restaurants couldn’t cope in the evenings and it wasn’t even particularly busy.

Waterpark £16 entry and £2 for a towel? Then slides only being opened for 45minutes the whole day?


Thorpe-

Samurai/Vortex down all day
Rush 1 swing operation
Swarm 1 train operation creating a 60minute queue
Inferno down until 3pm
£7.00 car park charge?!
Obviously cut loggers Leap and Slammer.

4pm Park closing at both parks is just a joke, should be 5pm earliest.

Just offering much less and charging way more seems to be the Merlin way at the moment.. ☹
 

Fluorineer

Member
I gotta say, the 4pm closings are really confusing me. Don't get me wrong, I love the ability of whoring the **** out of super quiet days, and for example I have been able to get on ~40 rides during my last visit to Walibi Holland which closed at 5pm and has, let's say "not the smartest" pathways. But if you can't run the place profitably on some days, why not just close it but instead run 10-8 on thursdays + sundays and 10-10 on fridays + saturdays?

And that is not taking into account that I don't believe into that "we're not making profit on certain days" bull****. Parks all around Europe are not stupid and can do the calculations as well, and they're not opening for most of the year as a pure "service" for annual passholders. I think the margins on these days are just too small for Merlin to be bothered with it, considering how overfocused they are on matching forecasts and shortterm-goals. Which btw is a good indicator for Merlin running just way too many places. If you can pay all the bills and salaries, I don't see there being anything wrong with opening on days where you barely break-even, as long as you do. But that's just me.
 

Will

Active Member
^
Fluorineer, whilst I don't agree with every word you say, I like your style. Welcome to the forums :)

Fair enough, but the crossover in the Venn Diagram of 'Coaster Enthusiasts' and 'Love Island Viewers' are probably pretty small.
Spot on - whilst it's a poorly kept secret that we have Thorpe management active on the forum (and all the more reason to make our feelings known rather than just offering robotic praise!), it seems we've reached a stage where Thorpe's target audience actually have a lower literacy level than Chessington's - if it's more than 140 characters or six seconds, then it's just too much like hard work. As such, they're unlikely to have anything meaningful to add to a forum!

It also speaks volumes that Thorpe now measure their success in terms of the IP they are able to score. Sure, they've at least managed to snag a couple of current 'brands' this year but that doesn't change the fact that what's being offered here belongs in a seedy student nightclub, not a major theme park. Everything feels cheapened, and it feels dumbed down - lest we forget this is the park that was proud to bring us Stormzy last year, whatever that is!

I work in finance, I know this isn't RCT and I'm not expecting them to throw a B&M up every time business is a little slow, but it's now five years since Thorpe managed to come up with an original idea that didn't need to have someone else's name slapped on top of it and six since there was a worthwhile investment.

I haven't made the trek to Thorpe since late 2015 now and the last few ideas have actually made me less likely to bother. Granted, I'm getting on a bit now, but if I ask if the park's current direction would appeal more to my 16-18 year old self, the answer basically remains: no. And of course, what was it that made the park so undesirable in the first place? The clientele.
 

Fluorineer

Member
^
Fluorineer, whilst I don't agree with every word you say, I like your style. Welcome to the forums :)
Thanks!

^
Spot on - whilst it's a poorly kept secret that we have Thorpe management active on the forum (and all the more reason to make our feelings known rather than just offering robotic praise!), it seems we've reached a stage where Thorpe's target audience actually have a lower literacy level than Chessington's - if it's more than 140 characters or six seconds, then it's just too much like hard work. As such, they're unlikely to have anything meaningful to add to a forum!
See, I think this is even more a fault of the British theme park scene in general than Thrope itself. Honestly, I can't even blame Thorpe anymore for taking offensive amounts of advantage of the current situation right now because it's not like there's plenty of truly better places. The target audience you're describing there is outstandingly insensitive to bad experiences like long queues, bad ops or just in general run down parks, which is mainly because all places that offer better service are so expensive that they can only visit them with their parents, and at that age everything your parents do sucks donkey-ass (I can't wait to see whether CF will censor that :D). Every student who has lived off Ramen and Frozen Pizza for more than 6 weeks consecutively knows what I'm talking about, it's just the kind of age where you're happy for almost anything, and Thorpe nails that with the line up they are offering: it's precisely what teens love and parents hate, and even better: parents hate it for very good reasons (bad operations), but the teens can pretend that their parents hate it for stupid reasons (Saw and The Walking Dead).

Now compare that environment to Europa-Park, where 10-year-olds are having battles in the Youtube comments about how Europa Park is the best managed Park in the world, who actually know what Ride-OPs do and how ridiculously good they are at EP. Yes, that's just the other extreme of the spectrum, and we all know how toxic the EP-fanboys can become, but this environment clearly had an effect over all of Germany, where the expecations in how a park is operated are just much much higher amongst all ages. Movie Park is one of the few places I've been to that is know for it's bad GP (as I said, it used to be one of the most Merlin parks that is actually not Merlin) and even they are on a really good road because their overall figures just suffered from that image (which existed for good reasons btw).
 

ThemeCrafter264

New Member
Sorry for being negative, but at least I'm less negative than on a certain (not coaster force) discord server. Thorpe park seen to not really have a consistent brand that they want to achieve. In 2014-15, you had a major focus with families with the Island Like No Other marketing campaign which I honestly love. In 2016 to late 2017 suddenly Thorpe became the scariest place ever for only thrill seekers like the older marketing strategy from before An Island Like No Other. However, then you had the family rides appearing (which should have been painted brown like the rest of Old Town, rather than bright blue and orange). Furthermore, the island soundtrack came out which went back to the Island Like No Other idea for the entire family. However, this year Walking Dead: the Ride appeared and even though I never found X amazing, it was at least not ANOTHER dark theme that was not needed. Love Island for Summer is interesting because the IP should not be needed when you could have marketed it as just being a massive beach party (easy marketing possible by setting a world record). I had to spend 5 minutes explaining why love island was coming to Thorpe to my family and they still thought it was rather random.

I just want some consistency with Thorpe park and not just have IPs and unnecessary dark themes everywhere. An Island Like No Other works so well meaning it just shocks me how little it is being utilized. Personally, loggers leap being "under development" doesn't affect me but I would rather the money going towards either the next coaster (which is desperately needed) or flats (Larson super loop would be an easy, cheap investment). Call it a coaster and I'm certain people will come.
 

nadroJ

Well-Known Member
Re 4PM closes - they’re very minimal and the fully closed days throughout the season were done so with opening til 10PM in mind. Believe it or not, Thorpe have been listening to feedback on this, know people want the park open for longer and have taken the measures to be able to deliver that in the summer, which I think is awesome!

They’re also well aware that Love Island is a polarising IP - but it also happens to be the most popular TV show of the summer therefore is going to be a surefire way to deliver success. It’s a lot more summery than zombies any way!

And again I reiterate -nobody is forcing you to join in with the Love Island stuff. It’s taking part solely on the beach, so all you have to do is walk past it and head straight over to the coasters, which again I’ll reiterate are open til 10PM Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays throughout summer - something we’ve not seen in a long time.




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Pokemaniac

Mountain monkey
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
They’re also well aware that Love Island is a polarising IP - but it also happens to be the most popular TV show of the summer therefore is going to be a surefire way to deliver success. It’s a lot more summery than zombies any way!
Looking forward to the inevitable crossover. Would "Zombie Love Island" or "Love Zombie Island" fit the best? Or perhaps something like "Night of the Loving Dead"?
 

Will

Active Member
^
:D ****ing hell, don't give them ideas. Scary thing is I wouldn't be a bit surprised if somebody had actually pitched that, so long as they could think of another passing fad to marry it up with.

On a serious note though, the seasonal theme of the attraction is one thing I'll admit makes sense - while I'm one of those that's quite happy to do a decent horror themed attraction in whichever month, it's been a little painful watching Thorpe try to extend the success of a semi-decent Halloween event and expecting that to fill their entire season, albeit backed up by a mighty 22 year old Vekoma. I'll also admit that 16-18 year old Will would probably have been swayed by the late openings, but there should have been a more tasteful way of organising it. If most other European parks were to do something of this nature, I don't think there'd be as many people defending them.

Finally, the fact that Love Island is the most popular TV of the Summer is a concern in itself, but not even I'm going to try to blame Merlin for that one :p They've got us talking about them again, I'll give them that.
 

zazobo

Member
I don't watch Love Island but this still appeals to me. Spending the day riding coasters and the evening drinking cocktails on a 'beach' with a live DJ - sounds like a decent day out!
Yeah... but it’s not really a ‘beach’ is it?! I can’t blame Thorpe for doing this event, people will go. But my God, that ‘beach’ is one of the most depressing parts of a theme park that I’ve seen in a long time.
 

zazobo

Member
Haha. To be fair if someone said ‘where would you rather be ‘x’ or Europa Park?’ Id usually say the latter...

Was there last week and I misssssss it.
 

Pierre

Well-Known Member
Love island will be a massive success and fair play to them for capitalising on such an ‘in’ IP. Like some fans will literally pay the entrance to Thorpe on the off chance of getting a selfie with Wes, Alex or even Hayley (...I am reliably informed by the wife these are names of ‘contestants’ in the current series... ;))

They’ll probably pull quite a chunk of the crowd to the beach area leaving smaller queues for the nerds. Win-win for Thorpe.
 

caffeine_demon

Well-Known Member
Back on the cutbacks - I'm over off season closed days, I can understand high season blackout days for annual passes (although I'd like to see blackout days being an upcharge, as frightfest or whatever is, the sort of amount where 2 or 3 peak visits, and you're still a bit better off than with a premium pass.

Also - I think with a small park like thorpe, you can just about get away with 4pm closings on a quiet day, but with a park like towers, where if you're on public transport you can't get there until 11 am, and where it can take about 30 minutes to get from one ride to another, it's just enexcusable - Can understand that they want to stay on good terms with the locals, but 5 or 6 should be the minimum.

Also - would be great if the waterpark opened later!
 

Will

Active Member
On to a different topic:


That was horrible, and I don't want it back, but again this marks a change as Alton stated on Twitter today that they will not be screening any of the tournament on park, despite the England fixture on Sunday lunchtime. This has been offered in the past (certainly in 2002, 2004 and 2006, not sure about subsequent years) and let's not forget the fab fanzones at Europa, Liseberg et al.

Even Thorpe are managing to pay attention to the actual TV event of the Summer! As the weather forecast's nice, I was considering dropping it at the weekend, but sod it. On the plus side, it'll be dead for those who don't care about the football ;)
 
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