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Thorpe Park | Angry Birds | 4D Cinema/area retheme

nealbie

CF Legend
furie said:
nealbie said:
I'm not so sure, especially having seen the massive amounts chavs and teens have spent trying to get hold of the red bird or the green pig on games stalls.

Yeah, that's not really proving your point is it Neal? :p

Kids (teens are still kids) and chav appeal - lovely ;)

Not that I actually care one bit by the way. They could turn Det into a giant dildo or an enormous Meccano bolt for all I care :lol:

That's MOST of their clientele though. ;) :p

And as you say, it doesn't matter either way. I didn't realise how much CF loved no theming and brown bins! :lol:
 

furie

SBOPD
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Absolutely Pierre, spot on on all counts :)

It's still awful though (in before Joey) that a company like Merlin has to rely on external IP though rather than creating their own stuff. Even Six Flags have a standard with the Warner owned stuff, Merlin's is just a scattergun approach of vacuuming up "popular" IP.

nadroJ said:
Is anyone else totally confused about the complete U-Turn Thorpe seem to be taking with regards to their target audience?

Amazingly, I think that most enthusiasts said (years ago) that it wasn't really a workable business model - but then most people didn't really care because it meant they got lots of new thrill rides.

Maybe sometimes we should be listened to? Nah, probably best to stay ignored :)

nealbie said:
furie said:
a giant dildo

That's MOST of their clientele though. ;) :p

Never a truer word spoken ;)

nealbie said:
And as you say, it doesn't matter either way. I didn't realise how much CF loved no theming and brown bins! :lol:

Yeah, I've never really understood the whole "Thorpe is really well themed" thing. It's nicely landscaped and well tealed in lots of places - then the odd bit of superb theme here and there. Mostly though, walking through Thorpe is like Alice falling down the rabbit hole with all kinds of random miscellany passing by...
 

peep

CF Legend
The thing I don't like about this is the IP they've gone for. Angry Birds is it feels like an over-saturated franchise. As far as I'm aware most people have stopped playing the games and it's now being marketed towards kids as they're the only demographic still showing a strong interest in it. Give it another year or so and they'll be playing the next fad app. If it was just the 4D film I could understand that because they already have a screen and once the film becomes unpopular they can just change it to something else. Pirates 4D lasted a good 5 or more years, I can see the popularity of this declining a lot quicker.

So basically if they introduced this area re theme a couple of years ago I could understand it but I think they're too late to the party in terms of long term investment.

For the moment though kids are going to be all over it. Most of the Facebook comments are from parents saying how excited their kids will be to go to an Angry Birds area.
 

Serena

Miss CoasterForce 2016
Staff member
Social Media Team
I find it odd that Thorpe are installing something that Lightwater Valley installed last year. They can't even market this as a 'U.K. first!' No offence to Lightwater, but I would have expected something a little more unique, special and expensive from a Merlin park.

From what I experienced of the Angry Birds Land's at Sarkanneimi and at Lightwater, the themeing elements are very plasticy and off-the-shelf. It's going to look pretty cheep in Calypso Quay.

Plus - the popularity of Angry Birds has already peaked, it seems a bit late for Thorpe to add this re-theme now. I don't think there's much longevity in Angry Birds as an IP.

But I agree that it's a suitable IP considering Thorpes attempt to become a more family-friendly park again; still I bet the Angry Bird figures will be covered in chewing gum and graffitti in a matter of weeks.

And when it comes to Detonator - they should leave it out of Angry Birds land, re-theme it to Geordie Shore and call it the Slut Drop <3 That way the chavs wouldn't feel too alienated by all the new kiddie stuff.
 

Robbie

Hyper Poster
Radaxian said:
I find it odd that Thorpe are installing something that Lightwater Valley installed last year. They can't even market this as a 'U.K. first!' No offence to Lightwater, but I would have expected something a little more unique, special and expensive from a Merlin park.

From what I experienced of the Angry Birds Land's at Sarkanneimi and at Lightwater, the themeing elements are very plasticy and off-the-shelf. It's going to look pretty cheep in Calypso Quay.

Plus - the popularity of Angry Birds has already peaked, it seems a bit late for Thorpe to add this re-theme now. I don't think there's much longevity in Angry Birds as an IP.
Well, the post in the OP has a bloke from Merlin saying "Thorpe Park Resort is the UK's 'Thrill Capital' and we believe the ideal environment for Angry Birds... theme park debut."

So Lightwater Valley is just being ignored! I think Rovio have realised they ballsed up and went into other agreements too hastily, and have now realised if they want Angry Birds to have any longevity they need to work with more experienced companies and do it properly. But as Disney and Universal are sorted, they've gone to Merlin! Surely won't be long before the 4D movie is in Florida, Sydney, and Hong Kong.
 

SaiyanHajime

CF Legend
Okay. Had a little time to digest this, so here's my initial [strike]thoughts[/strike] outrage.

First, let's not get carried away. This is no re-theme. When Merlin have a huge budget to play with their theming attempts are minimal, so the reality is that there's going to be a a few very temporary looking Angry Bird props dotted around the place. It works both ways, both when we wish there would be more elaborate theming and when I desperately hope no long lasting "damage" is done.

TLDR: This will be half hearted and temporary, don't panic.

I have no issue with a Detonator retheme in principle. But what I do have an issue with, much like my issue with Mach Tower at BGW, is why you'd take the most intense piece of amusement park hardware you can get and theme it to convey the exact opposite.

Amity Cove at Thorpe makes good use out of COMEDIC non dark themes that are ironic and funny. That's different. That's clever and well executed, but I still think it's wrong for Stealth - especially when you look at how the park marketed it. You can't get away from the conventions Stealth communicated as a piece of hardware - it's tall and fast = scary.

Angry Birds is a kids theme. Yeah the game has a wide appeal, but the branding and merchandising certainly does not. Is this a knee jerk response to the requirement for Thorpe to be a family park? How exactly is it supposed to help? If anything it's contributing to the problem... Families visit Thorpe, expecting a family experience, and are faced with a severe lack of experiences for the little ones. If that was happening when Thorpe were literally trying their hardest to put off the family market with grotesque marketing, it'll be ten times worse since that stupid advert last summer that showed nothing but footage of Tidal Wave. And now you're advertising a 1.3m ride, that also happens to be the most intense experience in the park, with a child's brand? Wat?

TLDR: Theming can increase and decrease the effect of visceral experience (intensity) to a point. It can't make Detonator suitable for the Angry Birds audience, certainly can't magically reduce it's height restriction. It continues to add to the problem of guest expectation vs reality that is plaguing Thorpe Park and the VERY REASON they've done this.

The 4D cinema thing... Well it's harmless, I guess.

The dodgems on the face of it are a fantastic idea. I'm thrilled they're actually DEALING WITH THE PROBLEM noted above and getting another ride with a low height restriction. The blessing and issue with dodgems though is that they appeal to older audiences as well and are the ideal platform for nightmareish scenarios involving Thorpe's previous target audience (who the park is still ONLY geared up to entertain). Not only that, their capacity is shocking and they won't bring people through the gates, only entertain those already there. But overall, probably are a good idea. No idea is perfect. It's about weighing up the pros and cons.

OH and most importantly, this cost more than you would think because it's an IP. They paid for the privilidge of using Angry Birds - a brand, once again, past it's prime.

Plus, it's just embarrassing bandwagon jumping.

Now we just have to sit back and wait to watch Thorpe cry or gloat thinking their attendance success or lack there of was based on anything other than the percentage of precipitation this coming season.
 

Ethan

Strata Poster
I actually like the idea of a Det retheme <3
Weird IP choice, but I suppose there is an Angry Birds film coming out in 2016 so... It's not dead just yet.
 

Jordanovichy

Credit Whore 2016
I'm looking forward to Scarlet's opinion about Det's retheme ;)

Anyway. I think the main reason Detonator has been chosen for this retheme is because it, to be honest, looks like the sort of thing you would see in Angry Birds. It's tall, straight, thin. I can imagine a pig sat on the top and flying a bird at it and it would fall over.

As far as the 'Angry Birds is for kids' thing is concerned, it isn't. Well it is, isn't it? We're all going to have our own opinions about that. Detonator is Thorpe's most intense experience...with the possible exception of Stealth, it does seem theming it is perhaps slightly daft, I'm wondering if this might not be Thorpe's idea...Think about it. Thorpe Park advertises itself as 'The Nation's Thrill Capital'. Last year Lightwater Valley opened the UK's first 'Angry Birds Land', well it's an Activity Park but the idea's the same. This was 100% aimed at kids with the playpark, people dressed up etc. Wouldn't it be fair to say Rovio want to reach to an older (ok chavvier, there I said it) clientele? Plus, in terms of Thorpe Park's advertising, it's gonna attract families anyway, because it's Angry Birds, a 'kiddy theme'.

Alton Towers are getting their Cbeebies land this year, obviously this is for really young kids and after The Smiler I should think Merlin want to show that Alton Towers IS a family park, which it is, much more than Thorpe, so for Thorpe Park they decided on something that can be conceived as 'for kids' but I think will be conceived as something for a little more than that, not necessarily adults, but certainly teenagers. It's Angry Birds, it's for everyone, isn't it?
 

furie

SBOPD
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Joey - well said and I completely agree with you :)

Jordan - I think you're probably onto something about Rovio/Merlin maybe trying to hit the "over 10's" market, but still within that family thing. However, I think that Joey's points are more valid and if that is what they're doing, then they're both fools :)

Robbie said:
Well, the post in the OP has a bloke from Merlin saying "Thorpe Park Resort is the UK's 'Thrill Capital' and we believe the ideal environment for Angry Birds... theme park debut."

He's talking about the 4D film being a début, not the "land". I had to re-read it and in the end, I decided that's what they meant in the badly worded quote.

I also think people are under estimating the popularity of Angry Birds. The IP is now bigger than the popularity of the game. It's become its own "thing" outside of the games and I'll bet the most money is made from merch, rather than the games. I think the games are almost marketing now for the physical goods and IP. It's a very young market though and LWV got it absolutely spot on.
 

Ian

From CoasterForce
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Social Media Team
Angry Birds is a good "bridge" IP between older thrill seakers and children. A wise choice.

My only problem is Thorpe is too small to have themed areas; it seems to me that only the rides are themed. As it stands at the moment, the Det area is a subtle blend between the Amity and Calypso areas. Most of them blend into one so sticking a plasticy Angry Birds theme in the middle of the park at "junction area" might make it feel disjointed.

At the end of the day, no matter how much lipstick Det is wearing, it will still ride like Det (albeit with cheesey soundbites) and two new attractions (dodgems and 4D Cinema) are something to look forward to.

Selfishly I'd rather Thorpe Park stick to the adult thrill demographic because thats what sets it apart from every other park in the UK. I'll try out the new look Det and the two new attractions but I'll still primarily visit for Thorpe for Swarm, Stealth, Inferno and Rush. Not Angry Birds.
 

spicy

Giga Poster
The area where Det and Pirates 4D are is tiny though? I can't even think where the dodgems are going in.

As for the Angry Birds IP I quite like it. Shows the direction the park is now taking and I think it is the correct decision which the park will only benefit from and adding things like this should eventually improve the overall atmosphere of the park by becoming more family orientated.

Can't help but think this IP would have worked much better at CWoA though.
 

silenthillXD

Hyper Poster
I must admit the IP is arguably a good choice, but I feel if Thorpe wanted to merge into a new market, they should have waited till they could afford a significant investment that would appeal to the non thrill seekers. I don't really see how Dodgems and a 4D cinema are going to be enough to appease people. Sure, it will draw in a crowd just because of the IP, but I bet the people who visit purely because of Angry Birds will be dissapointed by the lack of other rides for the family market. In all honesty, until Thorpe show signs of building a family friendly coaster (which I genuinely can't see happening any time soon) I can't really take this attempt at rebranding seriously!
 

Smithy

Strata Poster
Thing is this isn't a big investment year for the park (medium iirc, assuming they're still on the 3 year cycle) so any additions won't be about pulling in punters independently. To me, it's moreso still aiming the park at teenagers, but making sure that there actually are rides there to justify families tagging along. It's not a change of direction (yet), moreso just trying to ensure they can attract a greater target audience without changing their primary target.
 

DelPiero

Strata Poster
I'll appreciate what they are adding more than the IP. I don't care for it particularly, but we are getting a new 4D show and dodgems, so for this I am thankful.
Biggest question is regarding Det, best not be closed until May. I'll be spitting feathers if it's closed in March and April.
 

trav

Mega Poster
spicy said:
The area where Det and Pirates 4D are is tiny though? I can't even think where the dodgems are going in.


The only place I can think of is opposite the Fish & Chips shop, where the big floaty ball things are, and a couple of other games stalls.

I've done a really bad edit to show where I think it'd be. It doesn't seem it from the path, but there's actually a lot of space behind those games that isn't being used, all I've ever seen it used for was storing some fences just before Fright Nights.

2cdbhas.png


Just putting this in so you can actually see where I'm putting it because I am that bad with editing.

125s49i.png


Yeah, I said I'm bad with editing. But this is the dodgems from Lightwater Valley, which I remember being a pretty standard dodgem size, from the same height fitting into the space quite nicely, with just enough space behind the coffee shack to put a little cattlepen queueline. One thing I'd be interested in knowing is if the Fish & Chips shop will be rebranded to have something to do with Angry Birds, and maybe including Teacups in the franchise when Tetley's brand runs out.

As for if it's a good idea? I don't think so. As someone else has stated, a dodgems is not going to bring people to the park, but instead will only entertain those who are there for a bit longer. Plus, I wouldn't even say that dodgems are aimed at families, I'd be worried letting any little ones on there, especially considering the amount of chavs who will ram you up the backside. The 4D cinema is a huuuge disappointment. All year, we'd been told by a few 'knowledgeable' sources that the new ride for this year would be going in that building, but it'd be the old ride from the dungeons, the shooty 5D one. Sure, a 4D cinema may bring in a few guests, but how many more would a shooty 5D one bring in, where you're shooting Angry Birds? Plus, how many little kids (In the >1.1m range) are going to sit through a 4D Angry Birds video without their parents forcing them to? Realistically, I don't see Angry Birds bringing in many people, people with families are still going to prefer to visit Chessington on the whole, and Thorpe are still not building rides for the right age group. There are plenty of rides for the big kids, which this seems to be aimed at, it's the really little kids they need to build for. Trust me, after working on Rocky Express, I know how angry people get when they realise the only rides for their kid are Rocky, Carousel and Banana Boat.

Although one more point, someone said that Thorpe need to build a family coaster, but they've already done that - X. Yeah, enthusiasts may not love it, and the majority of people who can go on the 1.4m rides who were expecting it to still be backwards may have hated it, but families with small children absolutely loved it.
 

DelPiero

Strata Poster
Looks like a major bottleneck between battle beams and looney ladders, that's going to be mental at peak periods.
 

Crazycoaster

Giga Poster
UGH.

So now Amity is split in two? It's Tidal wave Amity, then suddenly angry birds land, then back to Amity again at stealth?
 

spicy

Giga Poster
Crazycoaster said:
UGH.

So now Amity is split in two? It's Tidal wave Amity, then suddenly angry birds land, then back to Amity again at stealth?

Yep, then again the land hardly flowed nicely through before anyway with Pirates 4D and Hungry Pirate restaurant before you got to the Stealth part of Amity. It just flows even worst now :lol:
 
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