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

Sandman

Giga Poster
It's literally all themed to destruction, dereliction, and decay

I take it all back.
Thorpe Park is the most riveting, honest depiction of Brexit Britain.
Merlin have managed to capture the nuances beautifully.

Nigel Farage's The Swarm is an offensive take on the refugee crisis.
Saw is a gritty depiction of Britain's industrial downfall.
Nemesis Inferno takes on the preposterous rise of heating costs.
The Walking Dead touches on the government's lacklustre care home policy.
Etc etc.


I'll see myself out...
 

God have mercy

Roller Poster
I take it all back.
Thorpe Park is the most riveting, honest depiction of Brexit Britain.
Merlin have managed to capture the nuances beautifully.

Nigel Farage's The Swarm is an offensive take on the refugee crisis.
Saw is a gritty depiction of Britain's industrial downfall.
Nemesis Inferno takes on the preposterous rise of heating costs.
The Walking Dead touches on the government's lacklustre care home policy.
Etc etc.


I'll see myself out...
Derren Browns Ghost Train represents the Government can splash out multi millions on a pile of crap and have it closed down forever within the year.
 

spicy

Giga Poster
At least Amity Cove was an original idea which had a tongue in cheek vibe to the destruction the Tidal Wave was causing with the WWTP radio really adding to the area.

All the original ideas seemed to disappear with Tussauds; Original UgLand, Transylvania, Mexicana, Mystic East, Amity Cove etc.

Merlins attempts like land of the tiger, Wild Woods, Mutiny Bay, and recently David Walliams are just cheap overlays on the Tussauds era themeing. Wild Asia is probably their best attempt and even then still used the existing Beanoland buildings & rides.

Thorpe could really do with an up beat area next. I imagine this will just be called Exodus plonked in a re purposed Old Town with no real reason though 😂
 

Rob Coasters

Mega Poster
I've always thought a music festival themed area would be a great fit for Thorpe. They constantly have these upbeat entertainment events that really bring the place to life, and even had some live concert events such as Ministry of Sound and the Kiss FM opening ceremony that was supposed to take place back in 2020 (I wonder if that will still happen).

It makes way too much sense. Could these events be a kind of 'testing the waters with different genres of entertainment' for a permanent festival themed area? Straight-up copy Plopsaland with a world class music themed Xtreme Spinner? Blasting music, searchlights, strobes like we've never seen before? I've seen loads of times where some silly limited time interaction is a secret 'thing on a small scale to prepare for a much bigger thing' situation.

Might seem a bit far fetched but it's an idea I've been having for a couple years now.
 

God have mercy

Roller Poster
I've always thought a music festival themed area would be a great fit for Thorpe. They constantly have these upbeat entertainment events that really bring the place to life, and even had some live concert events such as Ministry of Sound and the Kiss FM opening ceremony that was supposed to take place back in 2020 (I wonder if that will still happen).

It makes way too much sense. Could these events be a kind of 'testing the waters with different genres of entertainment' for a permanent festival themed area? Straight-up copy Plopsaland with a world class music themed Xtreme Spinner? Blasting music, searchlights, strobes like we've never seen before? I've seen loads of times where some silly limited time interaction is a secret 'thing on a small scale to prepare for a much bigger thing' situation.

Might seem a bit far fetched but it's an idea I've been having for a couple years now.
Probably just build a coaster then and have Justin Bieber, Chainsmokers, Dua Lipa, Billie Eillish, etc blasting through the qué line and entrance and have the coaster sponsored by Capital FM. ' The Exodus Capital Fm Coaster' coming to Thorpe Park. 😂
 

JoshC.

Strata Poster
Thorpe is a very weird one when it comes to theming.

On paper, they are actually pretty good and bare a lot of jokes about shipping containers and other Merlin-isms, even if there is truth behind them as well. The trouble comes in two things:
1. Their upkeep is poor
2. Their stories are very similar

On point 1, the upkeep is just sad in many cases.
You look at things like special effects: many of the ones Serena posted are awesome for example. But I can't remember the last time I saw Swarm's fire work. Nemesis Inferno's mist is more temperamental than a toddler (but was actually pretty reliable last year). Ghost Train's hanging carriage scene is always rushed and never looks as good as it did in promo images.
Then theming and paintwork. Inferno's volcano has seen much better days. The cool Tidal Wave bridge near the splash zone was removed and never replaced. A lot of it is disguised by the fact Thorpe go for apocalyptic / ruined themes, so it kind of just...blends in.

And that carries me on nicely to point 2.
Colossus and Lost City is an uncovered ruined city.
Saw and Ghost Train is an abandoned warehouse.
Swarm is the apocalypse.
Amity and Inferno are ruined, but more upbeat / colourful, at least.
It is very easy for things to blend together.

But yeah, Thorpe do well with their theming in my opinion. But it would be nice to see things diversify more.
 

Sandman

Giga Poster
^ You raise a very good point about some of Thorpe's negligence being handily disguised by the dilapidated/industrial/post-apocalyptic themes.
Maybe I'm being pessimistic, but perhaps Merlin actually factor that into their creative decisions now haha.

"Oh, you don't like our broken fire effects, smoke machine or fading paint jobs? But it's immersive!"

Circling back onto Project Exodus - I know a lot of you mentioned previously that you aren't too bothered if it is substantially themed or not. But I would like to see Thorpe get a bit imaginative with it. It'll give it more staying power down the stretch, in my opinion.

Even if they continue with their dark, brooding themes, I hope they can diversify it a bit like AT did with Wickerman (lighter colour tones, bunting, rustic etc).
Realistically though, I reckon it'll look sorta similar to Hyperion with the corrugated metal, neon lighting/signage and maybe some glass sections.
 

Pokemaniac

Mountain monkey
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
You raise a very good point about some of Thorpe's negligence being handily disguised by the dilapidated/industrial/post-apocalyptic themes.
Maybe I'm being pessimistic, but perhaps Merlin actually factor that into their creative decisions now haha.
I'm 99% certain this has been factored in for years. That they deliberately select themes where vandalism, litter, and dilapidation plays into the setting so it won't matter if things are worn down or stop working. "If it rusts, it will just be more immersive!" A thinly veiled excuse to cut down on maintenance. Or perhaps it can be charitably described as an "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em" approach to degradation.
 

JoshC.

Strata Poster
I'm currently trawling my way through the 50 documents now...

It doesn't look like there's any significantly new things to learn though, aside from that lovely train picture above.
 

Matt N

CF Legend
To me this looks like it was possibly a proposal for a B&M alternative, that was probably first considered.
Is that where the B&M Hyper rumour could possibly have blossomed from, by any chance? That original proposal certainly looks very B&M... if that's what was planned, then maybe a source caught wind of these plans instead of the layout used and began to spread that a B&M Hyper was coming?
 

Coasterfreck

Mega Poster
Is that where the huge B&M Hyper rumour could possibly have blossomed from, by any chance? That original proposal certainly looks very B&M... if that's what was planned, then maybe a source got ahold of these plans instead of the ones used and began to spread that a B&M Hyper was coming?
I think that is quite plausible, especially considering this concept would have meant Slammer’s earlier removal for the first concept.
 

JoshC.

Strata Poster
Some additional highlights from me:

-The ride will feature trains of 20; 10 rows of 2. The trains will have lapbars.
*Not too surprising, but nice to know.

-No manufacturer is confirmed; this is not of interest for planning permission, but it is acknowledged it is of interest to roller coaster enthusiasts. Equally, the application just mentions ride comparison are done to a 'similar ride in Europe'

-The ride will reach a maximum speed of around 130km/h (though this is not definite)

-The ride will have a light track colour high up, similar to Stealth
*This was mentioned in the consultation period. I haven't found confirmation of *what* the colour is for the high points, or the low points. This is usually contained within there somewhere.

-The ride's highest points are: 72m, 50m, 48m and 43m
*This puts to bed an initial thought I had that the park might try to go for the world's tallest inversion record.

-Lots of trees will be planted around the station building

-During construction, the lake will be infilled partially. Originally, the supports were meant to go into the lake, but it looks like they will go into a small part of land within the lake. I guess this is a compromise between having a nice looking lake and ease of maintenance.

-The expanded construction area appears to just be for the *full* demolition of Loggers Leap, as opposed to just the bits in the way

-Construction should start late this year, and the whole process should last 16 months. So Spring 2024 opening

Now some more photos:
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1647283964762.png

275592336_10166582803690624_5630795992769820699_n.jpg


In past applications, we have gotten a look at the design of buildings, etc. But I can't find any of that. Usually we'd even get fencing plans, saying the style, height, material of every fence in an application. Again, doesn't seem to be here. Interesting, in a geeky sorta way. All I can say about the station is it has walls and a metal roof (a roof shouldn't be taken for granted). So there's no clarity on theming, style, colours or anything.

Random note: the transfer track is after the station and at the start of the ride, as opposed to at the end of the ride / before the station. Somewhat different.

I'll be trawling through the plans later still; maybe there's some tidbits hidden in the Drainage Strategy... ;)
 

Howie

Donkey in a hat
Is that where the B&M Hyper rumour could possibly have blossomed from, by any chance? That original proposal certainly looks very B&M... if that's what was planned, then maybe a source caught wind of these plans instead of the layout used and began to spread that a B&M Hyper was coming?

I'd say it was probably the other way round. Given how long Thorpe thoosies have been publicly clamouring for a B&M hyper - we're talking years here - I'd guess it was the sheer momentum behind that particular rumour that prompted park management to consider it in the first place, rather than a leaked plan starting the rumour.
Pure speculation on my part of course, but if true, then it kinda warms my heart that Thorpe Park would even entertain such an idea, just to keep the goons happy, but then simultaneously breaks it when they decided, for whatever reason, to ditch it in favour of this.
Reminds me of Alton's cross-valley woodie episode - so close, but ultimately, sadly, impossible. 😥
 

Nicky Borrill

Giga Poster
If there were any doubters, it's very definitely Mack nowView attachment 16604

I don't think there were any doubters... Just those keen to highlight Merlin's "official" position, and some others hopeful it's not Mack...

To me this looks like it was possibly a proposal for a B&M alternative, that was probably first considered.

That is 100% a B&M. Should explain to those disappointed why a B&M was not chosen... Also it doesn't look 'great.' *As much as you can ascertain from a simple top down.

The last sentence though!!! Does this mean it's 'Arch Nemesis's' fault there is no B&M? They didn't want to take away the curly fries...
 

JoshC.

Strata Poster
The last sentence though!!! Does this mean it's 'Arch Nemesis's' fault there is no B&M? They didn't want to take away the curly fries...
I know this is part in joke, but as the curly fries stand is being ripped out anyway, I don't think it's that ;)
I assume with that alternative idea, they would have to remove the BBQ restaurant, as well as Burger King, and they didn't want to remove them!

Anyways, I've had more of a trawl through (the advantages of having Covid and being stuck inside!). There's a nice write up here, with plenty of extra screengrabs: https://thorpeparkmania.co.uk/news/14-03-2022/Project+Exodus+Plans+Submitted

It covers a lot of what's in my original post, plus some extra info I've found, including:
-Project cost is estimated to be about £18m
-The park hope to gain just under 200,000 extra visitors in the year this opens
-The island between Swarm and Stealth was previously highlighted for a coaster of a maximum height of 40m, so the park are keeping that space free for a coaster there (hence why they went with Old Town)
-Construction to start late this year, and last 16 months
-The Loggers Leap Diana memorial has been moved to the garden behind Stealth
-There was around a 90% approval rating from local residents for the new investment (how much that was skewed by enthusiasts pretending to be local residents, is anyone's guess)
 

Matt N

CF Legend
That is 100% a B&M. Should explain to those disappointed why a B&M was not chosen... Also it doesn't look 'great.' *As much as you can ascertain from a simple top down.
I think B&M Hypers are a tough ride type to judge from a top-down view simply down to the type of layouts they typically have. Even something like Shambhala, which is raved about, probably wouldn't look terribly exciting from a top down view. For all we know, there could well have been some physics trickery in those turnarounds, or some slightly different hills... we don't really know.

I'll admit that that alternative proposal is more what I personally had in mind for this project (as many of you know, I was a keen advocate for a B&M Hyper during the rumour stage), but the jury's out on whether it would have been more well received than the Exodus we got. It's hard to tell what it would have been like from an overhead view, even though you can get some ideas.

With some of the locations that proposal used, though, it is interesting that Thorpe had some of the same thought processes that we on the forum did, as I seem to remember those areas coming up during B&M Hyper discussion on here... also, it appears that the lake wasn't necessarily off limits, as the hammerhead turn does jut out into it a bit.
 
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