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Thorpe Park: What could the future hold?

Pokemaniac

Mountain monkey
Staff member
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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
Look up the TEA attendance reports. They are published annually, and we usually make a thread here on the forums to discuss them as well.
 

bob_3_

Active Member
Anyone else miss the days where 4 years without a major rollercoaster was unheard of, let alone 7+.

And also remember when Tussauds bought the place and whacked in 2 major coasters from Intamin and B&M within 2 YEARS.

Litterally no one in the community is excited by this place anymore! It saddens me to see. The days when a huge woodie or flying coaster on loggers leap's site or a 150ft coaster next to swarm island would be feasible have long gone. I just want some legit hype, but it seems we've all lost hope.
 

Matt N

Well-Known Member
Anyone else miss the days where 4 years without a major rollercoaster was unheard of, let alone 7+.

And also remember when Tussauds bought the place and whacked in 2 major coasters from Intamin and B&M within 2 YEARS.

Litterally no one in the community is excited by this place anymore! It saddens me to see. The days when a huge woodie or flying coaster on loggers leap's site or a 150ft coaster next to swarm island would be feasible have long gone. I just want some legit hype, but it seems we've all lost hope.
To be fair, the Smiler crash had a major impact on Merlin as a company, which might potentially have changed what they want to invest in in the near future. But I have faith that we will see something large and noteworthy at Thorpe within the next couple of years. Merlin won't just leave Thorpe to waste away; they will get something.
 

JammyH

New Member
To be fair, the Smiler crash had a major impact on Merlin as a company, which might potentially have changed what they want to invest in in the near future. But I have faith that we will see something large and noteworthy at Thorpe within the next couple of years. Merlin won't just leave Thorpe to waste away; they will get something.
Except they have left it to waste away, arguably for maybe 4-5 years now? In my eyes, it's got to the point where the park is not even in a recoverable state anymore it's that bad and looks that trashy that I wish that they either just demolished the whole site or sold it off to a company who actually care about guest satisfaction, continual improvement, Kaizen, all of that stuff. There's so many active examples of parks out there who manage to do it right, Phantasialand, Europa, Efteling, Paultons, Toverland, Blackpool etc. but long gone are the days when Merlin might have actually cared about their parks providing a good day out and with top guest satisfaction, it's all driven by profits and share holders these days. And that's why Merlin will never get themselves out of the whole they have dug themselves into.

I haven't been to a Merlin park in a good few years now and I have no intention of ever going to one again(including the European parks), because I hate the company's approach to pretty much everything they do.
 

zazobo

Member
It's such a sorry state of affairs. I went a couple of seasons ago and got free tickets to the following season with their rainy day guarantee. We live perhaps 30mins from Thorpe and weren't even fussed to use the free tickets. Didn't go at all last year because it's just that ****e...
 

Jared

Member
I think what we need to remember when it comes to Thorpe Park is just how much change happens in terms of management and direction. The park has gone through an array of park directors, new managers, new marketing etc and up until a couple of years ago didn’t have a dedicated park creative.

Thorpe now has a stable Divisional Director and the team are no doubt working on producing their new master plan and brand. One of the biggest issues with the park is it’s lack of consistent branding, it’s a mess and I’m sure that’ll be their first aim, fix the brand and then fix the theme park. If you get the right brand, the right mix of light / dark fun and the right marketing, it goes a long way to getting people to visit.

The whole ‘year of the walking dead’ and ‘nowhere is safe’ marketing clearly went the wrong way and pushed people away as last year was the quietest I’d seen the place in a long time! I’m sure they’ll work on fixing the brand and then get some rides in there. If you don’t have a direction or a plan in mind, you’ll go no where. Everything they do has to be in keeping and match the branding or it won’t work.
 

Ethan

Well-Known Member
Thorpe now has a stable Divisional Director and the team are no doubt working on producing their new master plan and brand. One of the biggest issues with the park is it’s lack of consistent branding, it’s a mess and I’m sure that’ll be their first aim, fix the brand and then fix the theme park. If you get the right brand, the right mix of light / dark fun and the right marketing, it goes a long way to getting people to visit.
I would want this to happen, but I just don't see Merlin pumping enough cash into the park for it to be fixed considerably.
 

DelPiero

Well-Known Member
I think what we need to remember when it comes to Thorpe Park is just how much change happens in terms of management and direction. The park has gone through an array of park directors, new managers, new marketing etc and up until a couple of years ago didn’t have a dedicated park creative.

Thorpe now has a stable Divisional Director and the team are no doubt working on producing their new master plan and brand. One of the biggest issues with the park is it’s lack of consistent branding, it’s a mess and I’m sure that’ll be their first aim, fix the brand and then fix the theme park. If you get the right brand, the right mix of light / dark fun and the right marketing, it goes a long way to getting people to visit.

The whole ‘year of the walking dead’ and ‘nowhere is safe’ marketing clearly went the wrong way and pushed people away as last year was the quietest I’d seen the place in a long time! I’m sure they’ll work on fixing the brand and then get some rides in there. If you don’t have a direction or a plan in mind, you’ll go no where. Everything they do has to be in keeping and match the branding or it won’t work.
Interesting points. I've said for ages that if they have the right people making the right decisions at Thorpe then they can turn it around, it's clear they've had the wrong people in those roles for the past few years and the park is slowly being torn apart.
I have full confidence that the new brand manager will sort out the branding once and for all, at least until another one comes in and ****s it up again, hopefully the team who make the decisions on hardware and sponsorship, as well as the marketing team have also been upgraded and work together to put meaningful additions into the park. I think if we see the same kind of "additions" in 2020 then there's no hope for the next few years.
 

JoshC.

Active Member
I think what we need to remember when it comes to Thorpe Park is just how much change happens in terms of management and direction. The park has gone through an array of park directors, new managers, new marketing etc and up until a couple of years ago didn’t have a dedicated park creative.

Thorpe now has a stable Divisional Director and the team are no doubt working on producing their new master plan and brand.
hmmm, I think you make things sound slightly worse than what they were.

Over the past 15ish years (not including the current one who has just started), the park have had 3 Divisional Directors (4 if you count the interim one). There was clear direction most of the time, with backing from Tussauds/Merlin. There was a stable senior leadership team (many of whom had been at the park years, and with Merlin even longer). Any changes were dealt with with good handover periods to continue that.

Over the past year and a bit, that's all changed. Many senior level staff have left the park (either moving to different parts of the company or leaving the company entirely), and have largely been replaced with people who lack experience in the industry. This has even led to a revolving door within some senior roles. This also comes at a time when many redundancies have hit the park too, and the amount of investment within the park has decreased. So the change and instability in management is a new thing, and something which I'd say has had a clear effect on the park.

Having a dedicated park creative is good, but they're limited by the park in some respects. If the park keeps changing their management, their ideas, their direction, a dedicated creative can only do so much. That's very much a two way street.

And as I say, Thorpe have had stable divisional directors for the past 15 years. If anything, this is the first time in a long time where there should be questions over the stability - a new person bought in after the previous one left (probably the 'correct' term is by mutual consent, but we all know that usually means). This new person has no theme park experience whatsoever, and comes at a time when the park is in a precarious state.

Of course, not having theme park experience can be a good thing; fresh pair of eyes and all that. But theme parks are of course a very different kettle of fish to most other businesses and have a lot of challenges. There's plenty of brilliant people in the world who simply aren't the right fit for the theme park industry, and sometimes you can only find that out when they work there.

Just to be clear - I'm not saying that any of the people in their roles aren't fit for their jobs. All I'm saying is at this moment in time, Thorpe's senior management is one of the least stable, least theme park-experienced, collectives it's been in a long time.
 

bbyron959

New Member
Is anybody talking about the random piles of wood? And the 'RMC 2020' carved into a tree in the Colossus queue I've seen on twitter a few times? (probably is vandalism but it's in an off limits area and looks too neat?) what's your opinion on this?

Fair enough 2020 is out of the question but still? 🤷‍♂️

Just another RMC hopeful here haha (I'm new here hi)
 

Matt N

Well-Known Member
Is anybody talking about the random piles of wood? And the 'RMC 2020' carved into a tree in the Colossus queue I've seen on twitter a few times? (probably is vandalism but it's in an off limits area and looks too neat?) what's your opinion on this?

Fair enough 2020 is out of the question but still? 🤷‍♂️

Just another RMC hopeful here haha (I'm new here hi)
You say what now? This is exciting stuff; I think Thorpe could be hinting at something big here! I'm not sure how likely 2020 is given that no construction has occurred, but I could definitely see something big in 2021!
 

Howie

Active Member
As Matt alluded to in his opening post, there certainly seems to be 3 front-runners when it comes to people's wish list for Thorpe Park: B&M hyper, GCI woodie and an RMC.
Personal preference would be either the B&M (as long as they didn't skimp on the stats) or an RMC, but I suspect the GCI would be the most likely out of those 3, mainly because it would be the cheapest. I'd be pretty happy with that too tbh, as long as they spend what money they do have on the coaster's stats rather than flaming effigies that never work.
On the other hand, it would be just like Thorpe Park to throw us a curveball and chuck in a 4D free-spin or some other piece of gimmick-led junk that nobody wants.
Or, as Lofty said, we get nothing.
So yeah. Honestly not a clue.
 
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bbyron959

New Member
Because if this proposed Hotel is coming in 2020 that they have been hinting at, this will be a high level investment, thus meaning no new coaster for another 4 years?
 

theGman

New Member
Right, quick report on what was said during the TTSP event at Thorpe over the weekend (the same event that the 2020 concept art was shown off at two years ago). It seems that there's a lot of changes in the pipeline for Thorpe, with the new divisional director taking the park in a new direction and a new LTDP in development. This new trajectory has set back plans for their next ride back a bit and at the moment, nothing is finalised. That said, the long-term goal is for the park to be unrecognisable from its current state in 10 or so years.

There was also talk of moving from the darker themes a little bit, in addition to Fright Nights exploring other elements of horror instead of just lumbering zombies and grunting actors. The marketing lead in particular seemed enthusiastic about bringing in the families, while still keeping the park focused on the thrill market. I've been very critical of Thorpe recently but I hope this is a turning point for them because I really want them to succeed (mainly because of my selfish want of an incredible park within a 40-minute drive of me to be fair).
 

MakoMania

Member
The park needs a new major attraction quickly. They haven't had a good new attraction since 2012 which is quite a long time for what is a decently sized park.

Hopefully they stop wasting money on stupid short term investments.
 
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