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Thorpe Park | Project Exodus | Mack Hyper Coaster? (UK's tallest coaster) | 2023/2024

Nicky Borrill

Giga Poster
I think some of this argument is slightly flawed;

The pit nemesis is built into is totally bespoke. Nemesis is also a truly iconic coaster. It makes total sense to retrack nemesis - and is probably significantly cheaper than going through the process of re-surveying the site and coming up with new attractions to squeeze into what is quite frankly impossible terrain. So yeah, I believe retracking is a very realistic possibility, just maybe not as soon as is implied. If garda's cruddy corkscrew can get a retrack, something like Nemesis definitely could.

Mako & Shambhala cost in the region of 15-20 million euros &/or dollars. The higher end of this is roughly the same price as the swarm.

Because of merlin's resort portfolio and the near-confirmation of the B&M shuttle coaster coming to Chessington, I really wouldn't think some sort of deal out of the picture.



I do agree regarding the cross-valley coaster, as well as the points about the pandemic. Merlin have become partial cheapskates since DBGT, but installations like Wickerman leave a glimmer of hope. I am also of the opinion that a hyper may not be the best fit for thorpe, but wouldn't be surprised if Merlin did some kind of bulk-buy deal with B&M on the back of the wing coaster. Although, the more I type, the more I realise that it feels like we're speculating over a bet-365 accumulator..
Another point is the assumption that Merlin have done terribly through the pandemic… Merlin said in their financial report for 2021 (which only covers up to part of 2020) that there was massively increased demand in parks on reopening, and it stated this was particularly so in the UK… Now I think they’ve, from my experience, been even busier this year, and considerably too!!! Of course we’ll have to wait for the 2022 report…

But perhaps Merlin see the UK parks as a safe bet once again, perhaps, just maybe, they want to sustain this kind of demand…
 

RG100

Roller Poster
Been reading this forum over the past few days as I am interested in ANY development at Thorpe Park… it would be nice to actually see something NEW and worthy. As said before, who truly knows what I going on behind closed doors at Merlin. Thorpe Park could be getting nothing new for all we know but with Chessington seemingly getting a B&M wing, I don’t see why a 3rd B&M wouldn’t work for Thorpe Park; the ones we already have are already very popular among guests so why wouldn’t the park/Merlin want another one. Yes, I would also appreciate an RMC/GCI, something focused on airtime but I think a Hyper is what Thorpe Park needs. A long, airtime filled coaster with that presence. I’m sure the park would get a lot of talk for that MASSIVE new coaster over that woodie in the woods. I personally don’t think it would look bad on the skyline at all, if anything emphasis it and make it look even more grand than it already is for any park we have in the UK. Even though I may be living in a dream land as I would love this Hyper, I think it’s the best bet for the park. Throw in a couple of new flats to the area as Chessington are with theirs and bring some life back into that area of the park.
Anyway, this is nothing that hasn’t been said before but just wanted to say what I thought on the whole situation.

As for the prediction video posted, I’ll take that with a very small pinch of salt as only time will tell, but like everyone else, I very much doubt Alton Towers will get this cross valley coaster unless a miracle can be performed, but I’m not a planner so I will eat my hat if that rumour comes to light… 🙄
 

Furiustobaco

Mega Poster
I think some of this argument is slightly flawed;

The pit nemesis is built into is totally bespoke. Nemesis is also a truly iconic coaster. It makes total sense to retrack nemesis - and is probably significantly cheaper than going through the process of re-surveying the site and coming up with new attractions to squeeze into what is quite frankly impossible terrain. So yeah, I believe retracking is a very realistic possibility, just maybe not as soon as is implied. If garda's cruddy corkscrew can get a retrack, something like Nemesis definitely coul
I totally agree in Nemesis will get a retrack when need be, but i doubt its going to need it for a while. The ride probably has a ton of years left in it, and the ride is smooth and still in good shape. Why retrack something that doesn't really need retracking yet? B&M's have great service lifes, i'm sure it could survive another decade without a retrack and still be a brilliant ride. With Gardas Vekoma, it is nearly a decade older and probably has nowhere near the service life and the pure durability and reliability that B&M are known for.

Mako & Shambhala cost in the region of 15-20 million euros &/or dollars. The higher end of this is roughly the same price as the swarm.
Is it just me or does it feel like Merlin kinda inflate how much they pay for investments. Like X flight, a coaster with very similar stats to Swarm cost about 12 million maximum, and X flight has a extra 500 foot of track.

Wickerman at 16 million also is baffling for a family GCI, Wodan cost about 8.5 million.. Even with inflation, thats a extra 1,000 feet of track for about half the price..
I do take Merlin's word with a pinch of salt.
 

Matt N

CF Legend
Is it just me or does it feel like Merlin kinda inflate how much they pay for investments. Like X flight, a coaster with very similar stats to Swarm cost about 12 million maximum, and X flight has a extra 500 foot of track.

Wickerman at 16 million also is baffling for a family GCI, Wodan cost about 8.5 million.. Even with inflation, thats a extra 1,000 feet of track for about half the price..
I do take Merlin's word with a pinch of salt.
I don't think Merlin inflate costs per se, but they report the total project cost as opposed to the ride cost like many parks do. Therefore, Merlin rides may appear to cost more than their counterparts based on the budgets given in press releases.

However, given that Merlin had no qualms about splashing £30m on DBGT (well, at least £20m, anyway; they reported it as their "most expensive investment ever"), I'd wager that they'd happily cough up for a hyper if it had enough marketing potential.

A B&M Hyper Coaster was actually planned for the 2012 Thorpe coaster according to Making Thorpe Park (who cited a conversation with John Wardley himself), and for what it's worth, that proposal wasn't scuppered by cost or planning restrictions. It was only due to Merlin HQ forcing the Wing Coaster ride type upon Thorpe from above due to having signed a package deal with B&M to build multiple Wing Coasters during the early design phase of the initial prototype (Raptor at Gardaland). The deal spawned Raptor, Swarm and presumably Flug der Damonen, and might also have been what spawned Krake and Oblivion the Black Hole too.
 

Joseph Hudson

Roller Poster
I call BS.
So first he mentions a Nemesis retrack, now sure Hulk got a retrack, but Nemesis is not at the end of its service life to my knowledge, The Hulk was an exception due to heavy trains, constant cycling, and year round operations. You gotta remember, Merlin really wouldn't do a retrack unless it was completely necessary. Just look to the horrible state they left their Intamin pre-fab for years..

Another thing, in the unstable times we live in, would Merlin really sign a expensive and costly B&M mega deal? A B&M hyper would break the bank, Thorpe hasn't received anything costly since 2016, why start now? A new coaster, fair enough. But a B&M Hyper? In our dreams.

Alton probably will get a new coaster, but something over the valley sounds very expensive, and even if it is planned, they're gonna have to get approval first.. Good luck with that.

I sound very pessimistic and negative, but i do believe some of this is wishful thinking. We will see another coaster eventually, but a towering B&M hyper at Thorpe is just.. Merlin would have to incredibly jacked up on LSD to spend millions upon millions on a B&M mega deal in the middle of a pandemic..
I think some of this argument is slightly flawed;

The pit nemesis is built into is totally bespoke. Nemesis is also a truly iconic coaster. It makes total sense to retrack nemesis - and is probably significantly cheaper than going through the process of re-surveying the site and coming up with new attractions to squeeze into what is quite frankly impossible terrain. So yeah, I believe retracking is a very realistic possibility, just maybe not as soon as is implied. If garda's cruddy corkscrew can get a retrack, something like Nemesis definitely could.

Mako & Shambhala cost in the region of 15-20 million euros &/or dollars. The higher end of this is roughly the same price as the swarm.

Because of merlin's resort portfolio and the near-confirmation of the B&M shuttle coaster coming to Chessington, I really wouldn't think some sort of deal out of the picture.



I do agree regarding the cross-valley coaster, as well as the points about the pandemic. Merlin have become partial cheapskates since DBGT, but installations like Wickerman leave a glimmer of hope. I am also of the opinion that a hyper may not be the best fit for thorpe, but wouldn't be surprised if Merlin did some kind of bulk-buy deal with B&M on the back of the wing coaster. Although, the more I type, the more I realise that it feels like we're speculating over a bet-365 accumulator..
I might be misremembering but wasn't their a rumours about Alton Towers closing nemesis next year for a refurb i'm sure I remember a thread about it on this forum and theme park worldwide making a video about it.
 

Jared

Hyper Poster
That video was interesting. I also believe there is a certain level of truth surrounding it, although I think the timings are likely wrong. Here's how I see things based on what I've seen and heard.

2022: Removal of Old Town. Relocation of the Timber Tug Boat and Lumber Jump rides to elsewhere. Rocky Express removed and retired. Land clearing and perhaps the total removal of Loggers and Slammer.
2023: Project Amazon - This is STILL awaiting planning permission, but this isn't hopefully too far off now. They're also hoping to open phase one of the safari lodges this season.
2024: Thorpe Park B&M Hyper Coaster - I believe planning will go in late this year, early next year for a 2024 opening. Just use the Project Amazon time scales and add a bit more time to it to allow for a bigger project.
2024: Alton Towers celebrate 30 years of Nemesis. They reopen Sub-Terra in some form.
2025: Nemesis re-track. It's long been on the cards. It's showing its age, it cannot be cheap to repair, So why not just do a like for like replacement. Merlin has recently shown form with this. With both Heide Park and Gardaland having had two of their most popular rides reworked.

As for what's next. That's anyone's guess.

Project Amazon represents part of a planned £60m worth of investments into Chessington. Now, I don't know if the others have been given a similar level of CAPEX, but even if it's a fraction of that amount, we could still be looking at Thorpe and Towers getting £20/30m each. That's not a small sum of money. Since Kirkbi and Blackstone have taken back over Merlin, investment has been gradually on the rise. In fact, in a recent interview. Nick Varney actually said that they were actively looking to expand the Resort Theme Parks portfolio. If they were doing that, I doubt they'd be worried about their cash flow post-pandemic.

I think Towers before the re-track will look to install a few new flat rides. I think the Retro squad proved a few things to Merlin / Towers this year and would be the perfect way to plug the gap between now and 2024/25. In fact, they're installing 3/4 new rides in CBeebies land for next season. So I can only see more flats coming in over the next few seasons.

And before anyone says it, no. The Sub-Terra towers haven't been bloody removed. :rolleyes:
 

Matt N

CF Legend
Cheers for the post @Jared; very insightful!

But just to clarify a few things, if you wouldn’t mind:
  • Are you suggesting that we should expect a planning application for whatever Thorpe is getting imminently (as in, within the next few months), or are you referring to 2023 by “next year”, with us not expecting an application until at least late 2022?
  • Do you have any suspicions regarding SW9 at Alton Towers, as I notice that it wasn’t mentioned in your predictions?
  • What is the timeframe for the £60m being invested into Chessington? I could have sworn I heard you say 5 years somewhere else on here, but I wasn’t sure whether it was a longer timeframe.
 

Jared

Hyper Poster
Cheers for the post @Jared; very insightful!

But just to clarify a few things, if you wouldn’t mind:
  • Are you suggesting that we should expect a planning application for whatever Thorpe is getting imminently (as in, within the next few months), or are you referring to 2023 by “next year”, with us not expecting an application until at least late 2022?
  • Do you have any suspicions regarding SW9 at Alton Towers, as I notice that it wasn’t mentioned in your predictions?
  • What is the timeframe for the £60m being invested into Chessington? I could have sworn I heard you say 5 years somewhere else on here, but I wasn’t sure whether it was a longer timeframe.
I think the Thorpe applications are being worked on at the moment, with a view to submitting them in 2022.
I'm not sure SW9 is on the cards just yet. They may be thinking up ideas, but I think Nemesis works are more pressing.
Yeah, 5 year plan of investment at Chessington.
 

Screaming Coasters

Strata Poster
I don't think Merlin inflate costs per se, but they report the total project cost as opposed to the ride cost like many parks do. Therefore, Merlin rides may appear to cost more than their counterparts based on the budgets given in press releases.

They do, as most parks, completely over-inflated the costings of a coaster or new major investments. I've seen some of the budgets / costings for these things whilst working for some dev firms and it's nowhere near what the PR-spinner says.

What I'd like to see is for the park to give Vekoma a go. Wishful thinking, but a new gen Vekoma hyper would be nuts and give them the chance they almost had with Energylandia!
 

bdrizzyb

Roller Poster
You do also have to remember that Merlin entertainments are now a private company again. Which means they don't have to worry about minority shareholders any more and the current handful of shareholders can take more power on spending! I do believe that now that have gone private, more capital is available for projects then there has been in the past 6 to 8 years, since the company floated. I do believe that a B&M bulk buy is on the cards and they can afford it now as the control is in the small number of owners rather than the many shareholders the company had when it floated!
 

Matt N

CF Legend
Interestingly, ZeroG over on Thorpe Park Mania has hinted that we should expect a Mack Rides coaster for Thorpe’s next coaster as opposed to the strongly rumoured B&M:
ZeroG on Thorpe Park Mania said:
Don’t get your hopes up for any theming for the 2024 Mack. Samurai looks like it’s staying for a while!

plans will be out soon 🤫
With this in mind, should we be expecting a Mack coaster instead of a B&M?

I personally feel that a B&M is a little more plausible, as recent developments at both Chessington and numerous Asian Legolands would suggest that Merlin is at very least in cahoots with B&M to a fair extent, and they do have a fair history with B&M, whereas Mack haven’t done much (if anything) for Merlin outside of a couple of clones for Legoland parks.

For what it’s worth, I also heard a rumour that Mack are not especially keen on Merlin as a client based on past projects, and would not be keen to enter into a custom, large-scale project with the company, but take that with a pinch of salt.

However, a Mack certainly shouldn’t be ruled out, and I do think it would still be an exciting ride!
P.S. Here’s the TPM topic: https://forum.maniahub.com/topic/10923-the-next-big-thing/page/20/#comments
 

Jw081

Roller Poster
Because of chessington’s project also under way, I think it is unlikely that Thorpe park will also be getting a new coaster soon, but I am also praying for a new coaster to be built at Thorpe park; it is my favourite UK theme park, and a new addition to their skyline would be great
 

Matt N

CF Legend
Because of chessington’s project also under way, I think it is unlikely that Thorpe park will also be getting a new coaster soon, but I am also praying for a new coaster to be built at Thorpe park; it is my favourite UK theme park, and a new addition to their skyline would be great
Chessington getting a new coaster in 2023 doesn't necessarily stop Thorpe from getting one in 2024; the parks have had majors in successive years before! For instance, Zufari at Chessington opened the year after Swarm at Thorpe Park! (Not to mention that Smiler at Alton Towers also opened in 2013)
 

Jared

Hyper Poster
Zufari actually paid the price for opening in the same year as Smiler, with it receiving a budget cut due to issues with Smiler. Zufari did actually prove move successful in boosting park attendance however. With the park getting a 15% rise.

Not sure how they’d do major things in the southern parks together, but linking a year up with towers shouldn’t cause them any issues.
 

bob_3_

Giga Poster
Chessington getting a new coaster in 2023 doesn't necessarily stop Thorpe from getting one in 2024; the parks have had majors in successive years before! For instance, Zufari at Chessington opened the year after Swarm at Thorpe Park! (Not to mention that Smiler at Alton Towers also opened in 2013)

Remember the days where 2002 we got Air and Colossus and 2003 we got Nemesis Inferno, 2004 we got Spinball and Dragon's Fury, 2005 - Rita and 2006 - Stealth.
 

Pokemaniac

Mountain monkey
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Remember the days where 2002 we got Air and Colossus and 2003 we got Nemesis Inferno, 2004 we got Spinball and Dragon's Fury, 2005 - Rita and 2006 - Stealth.
Looking back at those days, I can really understood why CF was founded around then and grew so fast. It surely was a time when every little local park seemed to get something new and exciting every year. Every year, the parks in the UK seemed to add approximately the same as we've seen in total over the past recent decade.
 
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