What's new

Thorpe Park | Black Mirror | Glorified mirror maze

JoshC.

Strata Poster
I was hoping it would break down. After all, would it be at Thorpe if it didn't?

All jokes aside, I imagine it will be a reliable and simple attraction:

-No actors to get attacked by guests
-It isn't a scary / overly overwhelming attraction, so likely no need to e-stop for guest safety
-All the effects are simple, easy to maintain and quick to fix
-One broken light or something isn't going to ruin the experience

Ultimately, it is as the thread topic calls it - a glorified mirror maze, with a few extra bells and whistles. Hard to imagine it breaking down much if at all.

I really hope I haven't jinxed it and it dies tomorrow for many days...
 

Ian

From CoasterForce
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Social Media Team
I think it's fab.

It's a mirror maze. It's a "pedestrian" attraction. It's worth a 20 min-30 min queue perhaps 60 mins first time, but after three of four goes, it will probably lose it's appeal. But it's the best mirror maze I've ever done.

But there's a brilliant touch that makes it stand out.

They take your photograph before you go in. Your face is then simper imposed on the mirrors/screens throughout the maze. What's not to like about being part of an attraction? That's what made it special for me. There was my face throughout the maze. I was staring in my own episode of Black Mirror. I WAS ON A THORPE PARK RIDE!!

Add that to the music, lights, and other effects and, blow me sideways, Thorpe have the surprise attraction of the year.
IanSerenaBlackMirror.jpg
Ian wore a cheap pair of black trainers, Forest Green coloured chinos, a black pullover from Primark and a Regata rain jacket. Serena wore black trainers, fishnet tights, green skirt, black jumper and jacket. Serena had pink hair, Ian had none.
 

Serena

Miss CoasterForce 2016
Staff member
Social Media Team
I'm going to write a proper trip report soon, because I feel that thematically and sociologically there's a lot to discuss with Black Mirror Labyrinth.

But something that has initially struck me is that: I'm still thinking about this attraction now. And not just in a simple, "it's thrilling I want to do it again" way.

The notion of being deleted, of artificial intelligence manipulating you, the fragility of the digital self....I am a Black Mirror fan anyway, but I was not expecting a Mirror Maze to be so thought provoking. The way the speech in the maze talks down to you to play on your insecurities...the way the frustrating layout of the maze symbolises the attack on the senses that social media can cause....

This is an attraction with proper layers. And that's why I loved it.
 

Pokemaniac

Mountain monkey
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
One thing I'm wondering with this attraction: Do you see it have long-term staying power? Not just in terms of drawing guests, but, you know, just being in the park for the long run and providing something to do?

Consider a scenario in ten years' time, when we'll be discussing things like "They retired Quantum last year and Samurai the year before, and the Colossus replacement isn't due until next year, so Thorpe's lineup from the turn of the millennium is starting to dwindle ..."

Would it be likely that we'd be able to tack on "... but at least Black Mirror still isn't going anywhere" in that sentence? Or will this be a temporary thing that won't be part of the park's lineup five years from now?

If this is an attraction intended to hang around for decades, it'd be really great for Thorpe. They haven't installed many of those in the past few years, and it's important to have something to fall back on when the turn-of-the-millennium rides become too old to operate.
 

JoshC.

Strata Poster
One thing I'm wondering with this attraction: Do you see it have long-term staying power? Not just in terms of drawing guests, but, you know, just being in the park for the long run and providing something to do?

This is an interesting question actually.

Merlin have had a knack of adding in staff-intensive attractions the past few years. And Thorpe in particular has seen things like I'm a Celeb, DBGT and even something like Jungle Escape added, and one of the first thoughts that has jumped to my mind is "That's expensive to run, it won't last in its current state for very long". Black Mirror didn't give me that vibe.

They had actors around the queue line because it's a preview launch. I think the plan is to have them around at times throughout this year too, because it's the new thing. But after that, this is a very standard attraction which runs on a similar number of staff to any ride at Thorpe really. And the experience itself isn't going to be expensive to run or maintain. So if Thorpe ever experiences budget cuts or needs to save money from the operational budget, Black Mirror wouldn't save them that much money.

The story won't become dated, and I think it will have the same affect on a new 'rider' in, say, 5 years time that it does today.

So looking at it in that sense, it can stay on park for years to come and still be there I'd say.

But, how much mileage does it have. In 5 years time, will there be enough interest to actually justify keeping it open? Harder to say. Is it something that someone who visits once a year will do on every visit? Or is it just going to be a bonus 'if we have time'? And will your more irregular visitors understand what it is enough to be intrigued to pay a visit to it? I think the answers to those questions will determine how long Thorpe decide to stick with it.

Another issue is that it's effectively using the Slammer site too (it uses the queue at least). There will come a time, maybe not soon, but maybe within the next decade, that Thorpe could finally decide that the Slammer location is suitable for a new ride. Or if we live in crazy dream land, maybe Colossus will go, and Slammer will bite the dust too, for a new roller coaster. Or one day they may decide to scrap the pyramid building it lies in. In any case, if they develop that area for something new, it raises questions about what to do with Black Mirror.

So I guess the answer here is: yes, it's designed to have staying power. But at the same time, I wouldn't be surprised if it's gone within a decade, but not because there's anything 'wrong' with it itself.
 

Niles

Hyper Poster
Full walkthrough of the attraction below, I like the Black mirror IP compared to more recent ones they have used at the park and the ride itself looks ok, defiantly a one and done thing for me but I'm intrigued to try it.

 

Nitefly

Hyper Poster
I watched a different walkthrough and, despite completely spoiling it for myself, I thought it looked really neat and just about as good as they could have made it without grossly increasing the expense.

Good job, I think. Will try to head to Thorpe next month as it’s been a year or two.
 

Chris Brown

Mr CoasterForce 2016
I experienced it today and just wanted to jot down a few thoughts; it’s pretty good! The concept is cool, and the introduction / early scenes are great. The mazes are good and you get pretty lost which I found more frustrating than intimidating or thrilling, I guess that’s the idea tho. The ending was a bit disappointing. Just kinda seemed to fizzle out a little bit like DBGT pre rise of the demon and TWDTR. No real finale or crescendo which seemed a little lazy given the great start.
 

Peet

Giga Poster
I'm off to Thorpe on Thursday and have a question - apologies if this has already been mentioned/discussed but I'm trying to avoid spoilers - is there a particular episode or episodes that this references? I hadn't watched any Black Mirror before and I'm watching as many as I can before I go (loving it so far btw). But with every episode being standalone and completely different, I am wondering if there are certain ones I should watch to get the references etc?
 

Nitefly

Hyper Poster
@Peet as far as I’m aware, the attraction doesn’t reference any particular episode and is (in the usual Black Mirror fashion) standalone.

One could of course argue that once you’ve seen a single episode of Black Mirror, you’ve seen them all (technology = bad) 😅
 

emoo

Hyper Poster
Went today with no prior knowledge of the show and sure I still don't. Thorpe could easily remove the brand once the license is up or not worth paying for - but keep the attraction going as is.

I also thought it was much better than it ought to be. Strobe damage aside I was pleasantly surprised. Yes there's a mirror maze and there's only so far that can go, but it's well done and the other stuff is great too.
 

Ian

From CoasterForce
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Social Media Team
I'm off to Thorpe on Thursday and have a question - apologies if this has already been mentioned/discussed but I'm trying to avoid spoilers - is there a particular episode or episodes that this references? I hadn't watched any Black Mirror before and I'm watching as many as I can before I go (loving it so far btw). But with every episode being standalone and completely different, I am wondering if there are certain ones I should watch to get the references etc?
No references to any episode I remember. I guess the nearest is the social media ranking episode, whatever that was called.

Interesting point, emoo, guess it could be easily de-Black Mirrored when the license expires and still be the same. Or better still, reprogrammed to be different but with the same tech.
 

Benenen

Hyper Poster
I always thought this about the Walking Dead coaster too. Admittedly I gave up watching the show around season 5 but other than the use of the word 'walker' what does it have to do with Walking Dead? Without the characters or locations from the series it's just a generic zombie themed ride. At least the maze had the Negan scene, heads in a tank, etc. Feels like Black Mirror is the same from the POV I saw, take out that tiny White Bear logo on one of the walls and it's a generic Sci Fi walkthrough.
 

Peet

Giga Poster
I tried this today, honestly I found it pretty underwhelming.

It got off to a bad start with a 50 minute waiting time despite having a timed entry ticket. There weren't many people in the queue, it was just moving extremely slowly, and it stopped altogether for about 20 mins while they did cleaning; this attraction has an extremely poor throughput with COVID restrictions.

In terms of the ride experience itself, I had expected more, but it really is just a mirror maze with a pre-show and some interesting lighting. The "story" never really gets started, which is a shame because it sounds intriguing at the start. The ending is quite sudden and left me wondering if that was really it.

The only good thing about this attraction is that it's got me watching Black Mirror which is pretty great so far!

Edit - I've just read the reviews and watched Ian & Serena's walk through which I'd previously been avoiding and there are several effects that didn't seem to be working today including
having my face used and edited as seen at 4 mins in the video, AND the whole part at the end where you get deleted
, no wonder I was disappointed with it! I hope for Merlin's sake that we were unlucky and this was a temporary glitch.
 
Last edited:

Ian

From CoasterForce
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Social Media Team
That’s poo if the effects aren’t working already! I’ve heard a few reports of the face mapping tech not working. That’s what makes it imo, that’s the USP.
 

emoo

Hyper Poster
I had the lowest of low expectations which helped me enjoy it. Plus I am a sucker for addressable leds.

Have now watched the pov and I don't remember the final moments being quite like that.

No Stone Cold glass smash and thought I survived

but had everything else going. I did like the 4 min touch. @Peet do you remember what you saw at that stage?

Theoretically if everything always works do we know if there are intended variations? Or will that become lure with unreliable effects 🤔

It was however a disappointing surprise that on top of the timed ticket you still had to queue. Only 20 mins for me but that was still bleh. Same for the ghost train, so prepare for that. Also book them first thing if you are interested - there are QR codes on boards at the front of the park and on a quiet day they ran out before lunch time.
 

Peet

Giga Poster
I did like the 4 min touch. @Peet do you remember what you saw at that stage?
It may have been stationary pictures of our faces but we'd already had that in the previous room so I didn't think much of it, definitely didn't move.
 
Top