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Thorpe Park: What could the future hold?

Luca B

New Member
What everyone is forgetting is that Thorpe’s last 2 major investments weren’t that successful considering the price, so it might still be some time until we see another large investment. Also, while it isn’t the most popular, DBGT was a large investment, and at the time that is what many enthusiasts were asking for so you can’t say that Thorpe isn’t getting any investment and Thorpe don’t listen to their fans. While I still don’t like Thorpe’s current direction, there is a reason they are doing this, and we probably won’t be seeing frequent major investments which most enthusiasts demand until Thorpe Park is stable in terms of attendance and finance.
 

Matt N

Well-Known Member
A bouncey castle is the big 2019 attraction...a bouncey :emoji_zipper_mouth:ing castle.

Bet a Larson loop is sounding real good right now.

Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
I was under the impression it was more like a Total Wipeout style assault course. Besides, it's only temporary!
 

JoshC.

Active Member
What everyone is forgetting is that Thorpe’s last 2 major investments weren’t that successful considering the price, so it might still be some time until we see another large investment. Also, while it isn’t the most popular, DBGT was a large investment, and at the time that is what many enthusiasts were asking for so you can’t say that Thorpe isn’t getting any investment and Thorpe don’t listen to their fans. While I still don’t like Thorpe’s current direction, there is a reason they are doing this, and we probably won’t be seeing frequent major investments which most enthusiasts demand until Thorpe Park is stable in terms of attendance and finance.
In fairness, though Swarm wasn't an instant success (in Merlin terms), it has stood the test of time. They should realise that and make it count for something.

I personally believe, in the current conditions, Thorpe should be investing in major attractions regularly (once every 4 years in line with Merlin's cycles is not exactly overboard), on top of other things. Key reason being I don't quite see how they're going to get stable attendance and finances without such investment.
 

theGman

New Member
In fairness, though Swarm wasn't an instant success (in Merlin terms), it has stood the test of time. They should realise that and make it count for something.
Not just that, but the season after Swarm opened, the park saw a big jump in visitors, breaking 2 million for the first time. There are likely several factors in this but I'm willing to bet the focus on The Swarm's advertising from "Look! It's the apocalypse! Aren't we edgy?" to "Look! Big coaster! It goes backwards now!" played a big part. Yet all Merlin seemed to take from Swarm's lacklustre first year wasn't the dark theme lightning failing to strike twice, it was that they built a rollercoaster instead of a confusing VR gimmickfest.
 

Kw6sTheater

Member
I just hope with that all the hype our forums is building for Thorpe Park 2020, that it will be worth it and not lead to an imminent letdown.
 

jj23w

Member
I just hope with that all the hype our forums is building for Thorpe Park 2020, that it will be worth it and not lead to an imminent letdown.
I mean a hype for nothing major. See I like what Thorpe have gone for this year it’s minimal but could be fab and fun if done correct. I’d say potentially we’d see a bigger project in 2021/22 which in my opinion is bad because it will have respectively been 9-10 years since the latest thrill coaster.
 

JoshC.

Active Member
Not just that, but the season after Swarm opened, the park saw a big jump in visitors, breaking 2 million for the first time. There are likely several factors in this but I'm willing to bet the focus on The Swarm's advertising from "Look! It's the apocalypse! Aren't we edgy?" to "Look! Big coaster! It goes backwards now!" played a big part. Yet all Merlin seemed to take from Swarm's lacklustre first year wasn't the dark theme lightning failing to strike twice, it was that they built a rollercoaster instead of a confusing VR gimmickfest.
Not true.

Thorpe went above the 2 million mark for the first time in 2010. The cumulative success of Saw and the introduction of Saw Alive piggy backing off that was a HUGE hit (they almost got 2m in 2009 too, and that was a big leap). They also were above 2m in 2011, and I think that was their best ever year attendance-wise.

In that sense, Swarm was doomed to fail. They were off the back of their 3 most successful years ever, hitting a natural peak for the amount of visitors the park could handle. People were less interested in theme parks due to the Olympics and cheaper holidays abroad. It would have been beyond miraculous if 2012 saw attendance stabilise, let alone an increase.

The numbers dropped (and quite significantly at that), so Swarm was deemed an instant failure. It doesn't matter that people enjoy it and even to this day remains one their best rated rides. It didn't get the financial numbers they wanted. 2013 was an increase, but not back up to 2009 levels. And then the park have struggled through since.

Personally, I don't think Thorpe focused enough on '2012 is the end of the world', which was such a big reason for going for am apocalyptic theme in the first place. That would have helped massively. Because outside that, Swarm's brand is just another generic invasion/apocalypse story which doesn't capture the attention or imagination of the masses.
 

Matt N

Well-Known Member
It might be worth remembering that Thorpe also invested a rumoured £30m into DBGT in 2016, and that wasn't hugely successful for them, either. I did hear somewhere that Thorpe apparently invested a further £15m into fixing it in 2017, so maybe that's where their major investment went.
 

holtjammy16

New Member
It might be worth remembering that Thorpe also invested a rumoured £30m into DBGT in 2016, and that wasn't hugely successful for them, either. I did hear somewhere that Thorpe apparently invested a further £15m into fixing it in 2017, so maybe that's where their major investment went.
I don't think the £30mill was ever confirmed it started as a rumour during the construction, If there's any truth to it then they need to rethink what they use their money for.. Imagine the coaster they could build with that budget
 

Hixee

Flojector
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
I don't think the £30mill was ever confirmed it started as a rumour during the construction, If there's any truth to it then they need to rethink what they use their money for.. Imagine the coaster they could build with that budget
To be fair, even if the actual price was half that, they could still have built a cracking coaster for that money. Invadr, Roar-O-Saurus, Heidi? Loads of good stuff they could have done.
 

Peet

Member
Wikipedia says £13M which sounds more plausible. But yeah still a poor investment; it's a ride that won't stand the test of time.
 

Matt N

Well-Known Member
I've edited the thread title as I feel that this thread now covers a more broad range of topics than just Project 2020, and the chances of Project 2020 actually being in 2020 are quickly decreasing.

In terms of Thorpe's next major project, are we now thinking 2021 for a potential opening date? As quite a few Merlin parks now seem to have reverted to a 5 year CAPEX cycle; Alton had 5 years between The Smiler (2013) and Wicker Man (2018), Gardaland will have had 5 years or more between Oblivion: The Black Hole (2015) and their next major investment (by the 4 year cycle, Garda's next major investment was due in 2019), and if you exclude Ghostbusters 5D (I'm not sure whether that's counted as a major investment or not), then Heide Park have had 5 years between Flug der Damonen (2014) and Colossos: Kampf der Giganten (2019). The only park that has stuck to the 4 year cycle in recent years is Chessington, who had 4 years between Zufari (2013) and The Gruffalo River Ride Adventure (2017).
 

Pokemaniac

Mountain monkey
Staff member
Administrator
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Social Media Team
One of the things I think Thorpe's recent investments have been missing is longevity. They seem to have built a lot of stuff that generates short-term buzz, but when you look at their recent investments and ask how it will look ten or twenty years from now, nothing really holds up since Swarm. A big coaster is fun for many years, a big flat ride likewise (Vortex is 18 years old this year and still draws quite a queue, to my knowledge), but a 4D cinema with Angry Birds or an I'm A Celebrity maze doesn't seem like it will have a shelf life of more than five years. And a VR attraction like Derren Brown is doomed to be outdated by technological advances long before it's a decade old, never mind the cultural relevance of its title character. The park has been building a lot of bells and whistles, but no rides that can form a backbone of their lineup in the coming decade.

Then again, I suppose one can look at this from another perspective and ask how many backbone rides they actually need. If they decide that they only want to maintain, say, twenty mechanized attractions, and that's the number they have today, and all of them still have some years left in them, I suppose they can make do short-term stuff for a while. But that means replacing attractions continuously as they reach the end of their lifespan, and some of them were built in pretty quick succession, so they would need to get ready for a similar burst of investment when that replacement time comes.
 

Jared

Member
^^ Can I just point out that Chessington is excluded from the investment cycle program and operates completely differently. Also, Gruffalo wasn’t a large investment, costing only £2m.
 

Matt N

Well-Known Member
^^ Can I just point out that Chessington is excluded from the investment cycle program and operates completely differently. Also, Gruffalo wasn’t a large investment, costing only £2m.
Oh! I never knew that; thanks for the info @Jared!

Also, I never knew Gruffalo cost that little; I thought it cost around £10m! If so, I applaud Merlin on what they managed to create on that budget!
 

theGman

New Member
Not true.

Thorpe went above the 2 million mark for the first time in 2010. The cumulative success of Saw and the introduction of Saw Alive piggy backing off that was a HUGE hit (they almost got 2m in 2009 too, and that was a big leap). They also were above 2m in 2011, and I think that was their best ever year attendance-wise.
Do you have a source on that? Not that I'm doubting you, I just think someone needs to update the List of Amusement Park Rankings article on Wikipedia. :p
 
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