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CWOA | Project Amazon | B&M Wing Coaster (Jumanji Land?)| 2023

CrashCoaster

CF Legend
The official plans show SEVEN airgates:-
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Why would they have a station with SEVEN airgates when you say the coaster will only have 6 rows? Not being funny but I think this evidence shows greater value and accuracy than Jared's.
 

Jared

Hyper Poster
The official plans show SEVEN airgates:-
View attachment 12919
Why would they have a station with SEVEN airgates when you say the coaster will only have 6 rows? Not being funny but I think this evidence shows greater value and accuracy than Jared's.
What to believe, a noise impact assessment which has to be legally binding and accurate, or a station building layout that doesn't? The plans show an indicative layout. As long as the scale and size of the building are accurate in the plans, the internal layout doesn't have to be.
 

MouseAT

Hyper Poster
Oh, FFS, here we go again. Another year, another Merlin gimmick. Just cut the crap, and build something vaguely worthwhile for once.

Sure, I'll probably visit with some CFers at some point for a good day out and a +1, but announcements like this just annoy the hell out of me, and make me itch for the return of easy international travel, so that I can start visiting parks that actually care about the quality of the attractions that they install.
 

MouseAT

Hyper Poster
Is there still time for Chessington/Merlin execs to look at these plans, realise they've ballsed up, and start again?

The new plan could include a tried-and-tested, high-throughput family coaster. One that is actually good. A much better ROI.
From their point of view, there's no balls-up. It's got the iconic look, and it's got its marketable gimmick, and that's all they seem to be interested in. Ride experience and practicality just aren't big considerations for them. Hell, it's the first new coaster at Chessington for 18 years, and I'm sure they'll milk that as much as they can.

I've been basically ignoring the UK Merlin parks for years, outside of the occasional group meet up, and it's stuff like this, along with the degradation of the parks, that are the reasons why. This is a company with access to enormous amounts of capital, yet we're consistently seeing far better attractions from small, family-owned parks. Paultons goes to all the effort with Tornado Springs, and this is what Merlin plans to build in response? 🤬 that. Not good enough. Not even close.
 

Crazycoaster

Giga Poster
The people that make these decisions don’t understand what makes a ride fun. I feel like the only way they’d be able to make this a fun attraction is to put it into a building and theme it like a dark ride.

Turn, twist, turn, straight section, super slow helix on your side, then a slow meander on the way back. The top of that helix is gunna slowdown so slowly, if this is just a standard wing coaster, you’ll be laid on your side for ages as it slows down and then gathers reverse momentum down a shallow helix. Sounds awful.

While Merlin make attractions that are initially interesting to market, the dumbf*cks don’t get the basic idea of marketing a ride, which is to build something fun enough that it’ll market itself through word of mouth. Someone telling you “We went to Chessington and their new ride is so good!!” Is so much more powerful than “we went to chessington, ended up queuing 2 hours for their new ride and it was pants, don’t bother”
 

Pokemaniac

Mountain monkey
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
It could of course be the other way around and this is a experimental ride on offer. Or as they are likely in regular contact, what with them owning other B&M firsts, the idea formed between the two companies.
I suspect part of the reason why B&M is involved (well, seems to be involved, there could be another manufacturer at work with a similar track style, but I consider that unlikely) is that they deliberately bid low to test a new product.

I've said it in the past - heck, made threads about it - that B&M might be focusing a little too hard on the "premium segment" to be sustainable in the long run. They build very big coasters exclusively (even the smallest B&Ms are huge thrill rides by most standards and take up comparably large footprints), and that's a market segment with lots of competition and limited demand - after all, there are only so many parks that can afford to build 40m tall thrill machines. Even the parks that can afford it do it relatively rarely, and when they do there are many manufacturers out there competing for the contracts. It might not be wise to continue focusing on rides only a handful of parks can afford to build once every decade or so.

So B&M might be trying to launch a product with a wider appeal in the lower segments of the market. A coaster that doesn't cost eight figures and a kidney. Something you don't have to bulldoze an entire area to fit into a park that has filled its footprint. Something compact, fun, yet not insanely expensive. Almost all the other manufacturers have rides like that. B&M may be trying their hand at that market segment, because I doubt they can live off of exclusively selling huge thrill coasters forever, given how rarely parks actually buy huge thrill coasters nowadays.
 

Themeparkmedia

Roller Poster
According to this article from Attraction Source, the entire project will cost £3.5 million. I have to say I am surprised at how little the entire thing is costing if that truly is the case. If you break it down, with the cost of the landscaping, IP costs, kiddy rides etc and so on, B&M could potentially be building a launched coaster for around 2 million. That just seems crazy cheap if that is the case. Does anyone have any other confirmation on the costs of the project?

I'm actually slightly taken aback that this is classified as a 'major investment' that is costing under 4 million. Sounds a bargain, might buy one myself!
 

Screaming Coasters

Strata Poster
^ Croc Drop definitely wasn't 2.5m; I can pretty much guarantee that. Having worked on projects with the same hardware with maybe slightly less theming, I'd say it's sub 2m.
 

Themeparkmedia

Roller Poster
I'd argue that the cost in that article isn't accurate. Croc Drop cost £2.5m and was a significantly smaller investment... I'd say we're looking around the £8/10m marks.

That's a more likely figure, pretty sure 3.5 million wouldn't even get you a cheap Gerst launched coaster, let alone a B&M!
 

Jared

Hyper Poster
^ Croc Drop definitely wasn't 2.5m; I can pretty much guarantee that. Having worked on projects with the same hardware with maybe slightly less theming, I'd say it's sub 2m.
I've personally had it confirmed to me by the park that the cost of the entire Croc Drop project was £2.5m. The costs released by Merlin are most of the time for the entire project. Rides aren't cheap and neither is the theming, but other things are factored into the budgets. Planning costs, marketing, etc.
 

Screaming Coasters

Strata Poster
Sounds too much. The hardware itself barely a million... But ok, if that's what Merlin's saying. :/

A lot of that probably went into infill.
 

Matt N

Strata Poster
Right; now I’ve had some time to digest these plans, I think I can make a more informed judgement. I obviously don’t want to be too hasty in judging it straight away, as I’ve certainly had my hands burnt in this regard before (Wicker Man says hi), but I do have some definite initial thoughts brewing. I’ll start with a list of pros & cons, and then move onto my overall opinion so far.
Pros
  • Hurray, Chessington’s finally getting a new coaster! By the time this opens in 2023, Chessington will have gone 19 years without a coaster, so at this stage, I think anything is quite applaudable!
  • B&M are a great manufacturer who will ensure that the ride is built to a good quality and pleases crowds. If there’s one thing B&M consistently provides, it’s quality.
  • It’s very unique, and has the potential to be a very interesting ride!
  • It’s a Wing Coaster; given that the UK’s current wing coaster is one of my favourite coasters in the country, I certainly see personal grounds for me to get excited!
  • The lion thing certainly looks like an impressive piece of theming.
  • The IP could be quite interesting. I rather liked the first Jumanji film, and I think it lends itself well to Chessington as a park!
  • The inclusion of support rides could be really good, and provide some variety to the park’s lineup, as well as some queue soakers to ease the burden on the main coaster.
  • The fact that this is a 1.4m height restriction coaster could present some rather exciting new opportunities for the park, and will widen its appeal a fair bit, which is always good! This will give the park an advantage over Paultons, who currently lack a coaster of this caliber. It also looks to be quite a good starter thrill ride, offering something that has a more thrilling edge over any of Chessington’s current coasters, while still not going full-on with the intense thrills; a good stepping stone from family to thrill, if you like!
Cons
  • While 720pph is by no means a horrendous theoretical capacity, it certainly won’t be the throughput monster that many wanted, and that the park arguably needed.
  • While I’ll admit it’s possibly too early to judge this too intensely, as rides can surprise you in terms of how they ride, I think it looks to lack many of the things that I personally think make the wing coaster a really great ride type (or should I say, makes The Swarm a really great ride). The really huge, floaty inversions, the huge wing over drop with the great hangtime, the raw size & sensation of speed of the thing, that amazing in-line twist that gives surprising negatives; I’m not really getting any of that from what we’ve seen so far. I know that it’s supposed to be a tamer ride than The Swarm, aimed at quite a different audience, but it doesn’t really look to channel many of Swarm’s greatest strengths, in my opinion.
  • The ride also looks to lack near misses, which can often really enhance a wing coaster. While I’ll admit that the huge lion looks very impressive, and I’m sure it will provide a very impressive effect from on-ride, I do think the ride might lose a certain je ne sais quois without those near misses (I’m thinking headchoppers & footchoppers like you get on Swarm) being there. Things like ducking under the plane wing or the billboard, or narrowly missing the edges of a wrecked church or the propeller of the helicopter, do add to the sense of excitement of Swarm, in my opinion. While I’m sure it’ll be a great, great ride for its audience without these near misses, and the layout itself will still deliver, near misses would have added an extra element to enhance the overall experience.
  • I’m not the biggest lover of shuttle coasters; I’ve ridden Revolution, Accelerator and Velociraptor now, and while they’re good rides, don’t get me wrong, they’re not really my favourite coasters. The sensation and forces produced by repeating the same layout backwards isn’t the most enjoyable sensation, in my opinion.
  • I’m not sure the layout really excites me that much at the moment; it looks more weird & intriguing than something I’m properly pumped & excited by. While it looks very interesting & unique, and it’s not really built to excite an 18-year-old enthusiast, I’ll admit I’m more intrigued and perplexed by it than properly excited at present; in spite of me being a Wing Coaster fan, nothing in the layout really leaps off the page at me, personally. I’m sure it’ll be an excellent ride when it’s done, and I’m sure I’ll end up liking it, but at this moment in time, I’m not too sure on the coaster layout itself, if I’m being honest.
  • While a 1.4m coaster does present an exciting opportunity for the park to diversify, in my opinion, I’m not entirely sure it’s what I would have picked for the park’s next investment (I reckon a 1.2m coaster may have worked better myself), and with the tamer, more “family-friendly” focus of this particular ride, I have concerns that it may end up alienating those that it’s aimed to appeal to; by the time kids hit 1.4m, some will be craving something more exciting and think it’s a bit too mild, while those who don’t may think it’s too scary, being put off by daunting things like the inverting element of it.
Overall Consensus
Overall, I am definitely excited for this project, and I do think it could present a very exciting opportunity for Chessington to retarget itself towards a more universal target demographic! Certain things about it do excite me very much (Chessie’s first coaster in 19 years is certainly exciting, and who’d have thought they’d ever get a B&M? Also, I’m certainly up for another UK wing coaster given how much I love Swarm!), and I’m very, very excited by what it represents, but I’ll admit that I do have some reservations about the coaster itself from what I’ve seen, and I’d say it’s something that I personally find more weird & intriguing than properly exciting at present. I’m sure these will be allayed with time, and as I say, I don’t want to judge it too intensely at present as looks can be deceiving, and I also don’t think it’s productive to be overly harsh, as any investment is applaudable, but these are just my initial thoughts. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure the ride will be great, and I’m sure I’ll be proved wrong, but I’ll admit that I’m currently more excited by what it represents than the ride itself. Is it OK for me to say that?
 
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toofpikk

Mega Poster
Backing @Jared on a lot of his points. He is a a reliable source with Chessington info, don't get it twisted.

Just because the drawings have, what in architecture is called a dictating/depicting arrow, it doesn't mean its a fact. If you look at the lines in the back air gates, you'll see that they differ slightly from the rest of the set in length. It could be an emergency exit/accessibility point for wheelchairs etc (with this being a launch shuttle coaster it may well be good for non-ambulants, another win for Merlin considering their recent history). As Jared has said, written facts in planning documents are statements that have to be adhered to, where as arrows and people flow can still be altered when constructed, and can be easily misunderstood.

The £2.5M figure for Croc Drop includes their marketing campaign, which (considering was the first ground up attraction Chessington have had since Adventure tree which was hardly something to scream and shout about) was extremely extensive. I imagine once the groundworks, theming & hardware was installed, the attractions construction figure was probably about 1/2-2/3 of the actual budget. We've had this trick before, being bewildered over how DBGT was £30 mil?

Cheap B&M? Yeah - it's much smaller than the other models out there, and is only going to be 1 train. The groundwork isn't extensive considering the slope that the picnic green already possesses. Whilst it's tried & tested hardware, the fact that B&M are doing something new so are kind of maybe running a risk could lead to a discount... we could also see another round of B&Ms pop up at Merlin parks in the future on a bulk buy discount? Idk, pure speculation, but also realistic possibilities in my opinion.

Honestly imho I'm echoing what I'm seeing a lot of here - Why B&M? Why such a mundane layout? Why this, why that, why the other... But also Chessington can finally tick the box of having not only a launched coaster, but one that goes upside down which won't be intimidating to their target market, and will probably have a recognisable IP attached to it. They've really killed several birds with one stone with this concept. Since I started visiting chessington I've always said, man, this place needs a launch, an inversion, and a woodie and it'd be set. They're 2/3 closer on these things once this ride opens.
 
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Serena

Miss CoasterForce 2016
Staff member
Social Media Team
Seeing people call Merlin creative staff "dumbf***s" is more disappointing to me than the coaster announcement itself.

I understand us goons can get frustrated by wacky decisions, but being an enthusiast doesn't automatically mean you know what's best for a park. Or how to market a ride. Why talk down about the people that made these decisions, when you have no idea what their creative constraints were?

Jumanji? B+M? Inversion and launch? Lovely! Sounds v. cool for Chessington. Definitely better than 18yrs of nothing.

I can't help but feel that there's a trend of being a tad unfair to Merlin parks of late.

Why was a small Mack spinner with a bit of generic Americana themeing the second coming of Christ - but this, a custom, unique B+M with a hugely popular IP seemingly the most disappointing thing in the world?

If Croc Drop is anything to go by, the standard of themeing on this new coaster could be very impressive!

Do I love shuttle coasters? Absolutely not. But I must admit I am certainly intrigued by these plans. It looks fun!
 

Gazza

Giga Poster
Why B&M? Why such a mundane layout?
Ummmm


Yeah I Dunno why anyone hates this. It's a step up from a regular Vekoma / Gerst family shuttle and looks like a fun in between ride.

Just so long as the height limit is appropriate. It would be absurd if it was 1.4m like Swarm.

Which makes me wonder why it has the inversion....A wing with seats like the chinese family inverts would actually be amazing.
 
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