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YAY Merlin!

Tonkso

Hyper Poster
Following on from last year's great visit to Thorpe, today's was fantastic too. It really does feel like the place is back on the up again (literally in Hyperia's case) and they've remembered how to run a Theme Park.

Breakdowns weren't too bad today with engineering getting rides back online pretty quickly. Queues were good with decent dispatch and nothing running single train. The park is looking really tidy with the project sparkle progress looking amazing, the park atmosphere is really good now too.

Colossus probably needs a full refurbishment at this point but still a fun ride capable of drawing a crowd, and the repainted sections are taking me right back to 2002. I really would like to see Inferno repainted too though, it's more brown than red these days.

Overall an amazing day with 21 rides done. Hyperia looks incredible.
 

Dan Nguyen

Mega Poster
You guys have no idea how good you really have it with these Merlin parks.

I went to Alton Towers for the first time and had a blast. It's easily one of the best parks I've ever visited. Operations are amazingly efficient. While the coasters aren't really in my top 10, they're all best in their class. The Towers makes a great focal point and you have this massive botanical garden surrounded by world class coasters.

My Thorpe visit was a little rougher, but you still have a really solid park with a great collection of coasters. They have a habit of underestimating wait times and ops were a little spotty so I was waiting a bit longer than expected for Swarm and Stealth. Inferno was closed for a good chunk of my visit so I wasn't able to ride that, but 3 rides on Hyperia made up for it.

I come from the US and I'm a bit of an outsider when it comes to these parks, but comparing them to some of the parks I've been to, Alton and Thorpe definitely top them for sure. At the very least, the operations at both would put a park like Hersheypark, BGT, or SFDK to absolute shame. Atmosphere-wise they stomp all over a pretty good chunk of parks in the US.

I'm looking forward to my first visit to Chessington, which is a park I've heard a number of people say is pretty bad. I'll have to see how it compares to an actual bad park like Kentucky Kingdom lol

I also really like the idea of attached hotels. Why more parks in the US don't take advantage of that, I'll never know.
 

Nicky Borrill

Strata Poster
You guys have no idea how good you really have it with these Merlin parks.

I went to Alton Towers for the first time and had a blast. It's easily one of the best parks I've ever visited. Operations are amazingly efficient. While the coasters aren't really in my top 10, they're all best in their class. The Towers makes a great focal point and you have this massive botanical garden surrounded by world class coasters.

My Thorpe visit was a little rougher, but you still have a really solid park with a great collection of coasters. They have a habit of underestimating wait times and ops were a little spotty so I was waiting a bit longer than expected for Swarm and Stealth. Inferno was closed for a good chunk of my visit so I wasn't able to ride that, but 3 rides on Hyperia made up for it.

I come from the US and I'm a bit of an outsider when it comes to these parks, but comparing them to some of the parks I've been to, Alton and Thorpe definitely top them for sure. At the very least, the operations at both would put a park like Hersheypark, BGT, or SFDK to absolute shame. Atmosphere-wise they stomp all over a pretty good chunk of parks in the US.

I'm looking forward to my first visit to Chessington, which is a park I've heard a number of people say is pretty bad. I'll have to see how it compares to an actual bad park like Kentucky Kingdom lol

I also really like the idea of attached hotels. Why more parks in the US don't take advantage of that, I'll never know.
Awesome post… We’re a nation of complainers, and when you spend 30 plus days on park a year, it’s easy to see all of the little flaws, which gives us plenty to moan about.

But you’re right, Alton Towers really is special, and the direction it’s taking lately has reignited my passion for the place, and filled me with excitement.

That being said, we don’t like to be beaten, we’re a nation of sore losers, and several parks in mainland Europe give us a lot to be jealous of, which probably helps to fuel the moaning.
 

Dan Nguyen

Mega Poster
Awesome post… We’re a nation of complainers, and when you spend 30 plus days on park a year, it’s easy to see all of the little flaws, which gives us plenty to moan about.

But you’re right, Alton Towers really is special, and the direction it’s taking lately has reignited my passion for the place, and filled me with excitement.

That being said, we don’t like to be beaten, we’re a nation of sore losers, and several parks in mainland Europe give us a lot to be jealous of, which probably helps to fuel the moaning.
My home park is BGW so I know where you're coming from. I've gone there and KD so many times, it's really easy to see the flaws, but visiting other parks around the world really helps me appreciate how good those parks really are at heart. I've noticed BGW declining over the years and it's sad to see, but the park has plenty of bright spots and it's still my favorite Sea World park in the whole chain.

Yeah I'm spoiled with being able to travel and see the best and worst parks around. I guess it helps that most US parks are concrete pits with no theming, little shade, and mediocre operations so when I visit a park like Thorpe, I end up being more impressed than the locals.
 

Niles

Giga Poster
So considering i was spited by Hyperia yesterday we had a nice day. While the park was busy we allways waited less than the time advertised (25mins longest wait) and on most of the rides ride ops were dispatching fast (guy running Stealth was rapid)

We left at 3:30 as we did everything we wanted, due to Hyperias closure sister got a free return ticket which is nice. Also we saw three groups queue jump and all got escorted off the rides which was great to see.

In total we did all the coasters apart from Hyperia and Colossus, for the first time ever i enjoyed Saw?? Im so very confused, it was nothing like i remember it, not rough and great forces. We also did the majority of the other rides.

Also Rumba Rapids is 18+ now, so it was quiet all day.

Staff were nice, sister got a decent curry, toilets were clean, no litter, compared to my last visit years ago park seems better. Also they have a euros football area with a big TV if thats your thing, i was amazed how many people were there watching it.

While i only saw it go backwards 😭 it is stunning on the skyline, once i get to ride it, it will be well worth it.
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Stealth is still breathtaking and for now my No1 in the park.
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But yea, ive now done all London Merlin parks this year. Had a great day at all and as i have the discovery pass, i think its good value. Not to far to travel for me and while 10£ is a bit much for parking its not awful. Alton i still have to do and my last visit was 2019 so im looking forward to it.

Really do hope they get Hyperia going consistently as i dont mind missing it but if people are coming from afar its not fantastic for them to have this uncertainty it currently has on if it will be operating.
 

JoshC.

Strata Poster
Rumba has been set to "you have to ride with an adult" during June/July for the past few years. This is because it's peak school trip season, and they do it to alleviate some of the risk of kids being stupid and standing up / jumping out. It's not a perfect solution, but after the Drayton incident, Merlin have done it to be extra cautious.

The adult rule will be dropped after school trip season ends.
 

Nicky Borrill

Strata Poster
Rumba has been set to "you have to ride with an adult" during June/July for the past few years. This is because it's peak school trip season, and they do it to alleviate some of the risk of kids being stupid and standing up / jumping out. It's not a perfect solution, but after the Drayton incident, Merlin have done it to be extra cautious.

The adult rule will be dropped after school trip season ends.
Didn't they do the same at Alton Towers too, or am I fabricating that memory...

Makes perfect sense to me, and it's genuinely to protect their lives. Unfortunately, as good as kids are these days compared to in the 90's and 00s, get groups of teenagers together and there's bound to be occasions where they stand or move around the boat. This is a perfectly sensible solution to that.
 

Ollie

CF Legend
Didn't they do the same at Alton Towers too, or am I fabricating that memory...

Makes perfect sense to me, and it's genuinely to protect their lives. Unfortunately, as good as kids are these days compared to in the 90's and 00s, get groups of teenagers together and there's bound to be occasions where they stand or move around the boat. This is a perfectly sensible solution to that.
They did and still do. Seems to be a policy across all the Merlin parks and pretty sure Drayton do it as well.
 
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