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CWOA | Project Amazon | B&M Wing Coaster (Jumanji Land?)| 2023

emoo

Mega Poster
My young, inexperienced and rose tinted memory thinks the rocks around the mine train were the best and made it so cool. It was a travesty they got removed. I even think highly of the hedges that used to be around the Flying Fish.

I hate to break it to me, and you, but they were a hollow façade that was lame on the inside and pretty good, but replaceable on the outside.

The log flume has been done up too. The park is slowly getting spruced up. Not that it should have been left to rot in the first place, and a quicker pace would be appreciated. But they are on it. I hope it continues whether they notice Paultons or not.
 

Nitefly

Hyper Poster
Went on this ‘bad boy’ this afternoon and is silly as it was, I really enjoyed it.

Queues are heavin’ so it’s a fast pass or go home day really.

edit - meant for the Croc drop thread, oopz
 
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Nitefly

Hyper Poster
Oof


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Themeparknewbie01

Roller Poster
This is exactly the same 'consultation' and artwork from circa 2017? Nothing came of it then, I doubt anything will come of it now.

I hope something good happens, but I doubt it.
 

Matt N

Strata Poster
This is exactly the same 'consultation' and artwork from circa 2017? Nothing came of it then, I doubt anything will come of it now.

I hope something good happens, but I doubt it.
It’s worth remembering that the consultation from 2016 was a more wide-spanning consultation regarding the park’s overall masterplan. This is focusing exclusively on one smaller project from the masterplan.
 

Matt N

Strata Poster
Still, it has taken 5 years to go from 'masterplan' consultation to 'smaller project' consultation.

My expectations are even lower now.
There have been other planning applications submitted for different parts of the project; I know the park did have planning approved for the mentioned lodges a couple of years back. Not sure what ever happened to them, though, as they don’t seem to have materialised...
 

Jared

Hyper Poster
This isn’t what your call a smaller plan. This coaster project actually should’ve happened sooner, but I believe it was pushed back due to the mounting issues of Rameses Revenge and Black Buccaneer reaching the end of their operational life-spans.

The park have been pushing for a new roller coaster for quite some time, but there were more serious issues to fix every time around, hence why it’s only now happening. A lot of the place has been fixed up, tarted up and rethemed over the past 10 years or so. Now they’re in a position whereby there aren’t any more pressing issues, they can now move on to the bigger developments.
 

Matt N

Strata Poster
This isn’t what your call a smaller plan. This coaster project actually should’ve happened sooner, but I believe it was pushed back due to the mounting issues of Rameses Revenge and Black Buccaneer reaching the end of their operational life-spans.

The park have been pushing for a new roller coaster for quite some time, but there were more serious issues to fix every time around, hence why it’s only now happening. A lot of the place has been fixed up, tarted up and rethemed over the past 10 years or so. Now they’re in a position whereby there aren’t any more pressing issues, they can now move on to the bigger developments.
So with the rollercoaster project, it was a bit like how Air was originally intended to be SW4 instead of Oblivion, but got pushed back due to the technology not being ready (except it was due to different rides being in more pressing need of replacement, in this case)? And if Rameses Revenge and Black Buccaneer hadn’t reached the end of their respective lifespans, we would have seen a new coaster in 2021 instead of Croc Drop/Blue Barnacle?
 
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Jared

Hyper Poster
^ Exactly that, yes. However I’m not 100% on the time line, it may have been a 2020/21 coaster project. Although, they are likely to have changed plans from the project as they’ve got a new creative team in the park now. So it could literally be anything coaster wise now. It’ll still be a large scale family coaster nonetheless.

As for the lodges, those are postponed I believe, there were lots of issues with planning due to drainage and green belt restrictions etc.
 

Matt N

Strata Poster
So is it theoretically possible that the ride could be something different from the two rides specified in the masterplan? Such as a family wooden coaster, for example, just to name another ride type?

Also, have we got a rough idea of when we could expect this to open? I’m personally expecting 2023 or so based on the fact we’re getting plans in mid-May of 2021; I’m not sure how planning compares down in Chessington to up in Alton, but for some reference, Wicker Man’s planning application was submitted in May 2016 and the ride opened in March 2018, which would lead us to an opening of around March 2023 in this instance if we’re working off of the same timeline, but it could be sooner or later. I wouldn’t be surprised to see mid-2022 if the application is quickly approved and construction starts rapidly.

Thanks for your informative posts @Jared; they are much appreciated!
 

Rupert

Mega Poster
This isn’t what your call a smaller plan. This coaster project actually should’ve happened sooner, but I believe it was pushed back due to the mounting issues of Rameses Revenge and Black Buccaneer reaching the end of their operational life-spans.

The park have been pushing for a new roller coaster for quite some time, but there were more serious issues to fix every time around, hence why it’s only now happening. A lot of the place has been fixed up, tarted up and rethemed over the past 10 years or so. Now they’re in a position whereby there aren’t any more pressing issues, they can now move on to the bigger developments.
I imagine you know much more about the park than me, but I think you’re being incredibly generous to the park here. The coaster project should have happened a few years ago, but some flat rides needed to be removed so they didn’t bother? Especially since plenty of other parks can keep top spins and swinging ships maintained and working for decades.

Chessington has a global corporation behind it turning over almost £2 billion each year. Regular ride maintenance, removal, and park refresh/sprucing up/retheming shouldn’t even touch the sides and definitely shouldn’t preclude the chain investing in a new coaster a decade and a half after the last one was installed. Similarly, if Rameses and Black Buccaneer coming to the end of their lives came as a complete surprise, I also question the park and their maintenance. Surely the issues with them, and a realisation that they’re becoming too expensive to keep, would have been predicted years in advance and built into their investment plan.

Maybe I’m slightly cynical, but like much of Merlin’s way of doing things, they have probably been trying to get away with really minimal investment and are now responding to the impressive competition in the family demographic. Paulton’s is only 1hr 15mins drive away so a direct competitor, and a couple of months ago I saw advertising for Tornado Springs in a motorway service station just outside Oxford. They’re clearly aiming to attract people across a pretty big catchment area and this is a direct threat to Chessington which arguably looks tired & dated in comparison.
 

Matt N

Strata Poster
My money is on Vampire disintegrating just before groundwork is due to start, delaying the project until 2030.
To be fair, if we’re talking about like-for-like replacements, that would still in theory mean that we get a new cred out of it, so it’s win-win either way!

But given that Vampire’s been going strong for 31 years (19 years in its post-refurb form), I’d personally be surprised if another 1 or 2 years of operation tipped it over the edge. It is certainly getting on a bit now, and parts are presumably hard to come by due to Arrow being defunct, so I wouldn’t be surprised if it does sadly go within the next 5-10 years, but I doubt it’ll be on its way out too soon, at least until after the new coaster has opened and bedded in a bit.
 

Crazycoaster

Giga Poster
Chessington has a global corporation behind it turning over almost £2 billion each year. Regular ride maintenance, removal, and park refresh/sprucing up/retheming shouldn’t even touch the sides and definitely shouldn’t preclude the chain investing in a new coaster a decade and a half after the last one was installed. Similarly, if Rameses and Black Buccaneer coming to the end of their lives came as a complete surprise, I also question the park and their maintenance. Surely the issues with them, and a realisation that they’re becoming too expensive to keep, would have been predicted years in advance and built into their investment plan.
This is the same park that let the rockwork on both the Mine Train and log flume get to such a rotten state that it became a health and safety hazard and had to be removed due to neglect. Merlin manage to turn over that sort of profit because they hoard all the money rather than reinvesting it into the parks. Ideally they want the parks to pick us up by the feet, shake us about so all our money falls out and then toss us away without spending any money on upkeep.
 

Tonkso

Mega Poster
To be fair, if we’re talking about like-for-like replacements, that would still in theory mean that we get a new cred out of it, so it’s win-win either way!

But given that Vampire’s been going strong for 31 years (19 years in its post-refurb form), I’d personally be surprised if another 1 or 2 years of operation tipped it over the edge. It is certainly getting on a bit now, and parts are presumably hard to come by due to Arrow being defunct, so I wouldn’t be surprised if it does sadly go within the next 5-10 years, but I doubt it’ll be on its way out too soon, at least until after the new coaster has opened and bedded in a bit.
Both S&S and Vekoma provide spares for various arrow coasters, and with Vampire using Vekoma trains it's probably more Vekoma than Arrow at this point.
I think the ride is in incredibly good nick to be honest.
 

Pokemaniac

Mountain monkey
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Ideally they want the parks to pick us up by the feet, shake us about so all our money falls out and then toss us away without spending any money on upkeep.
I'm not sure who said it first, but the ideal customer is the one who pays a lot but receives nothing in return. Running a business is all about maximizing income while minimizing expenses. For an amusement park, each ride represents a huge cost, but a necessary one to keep customers coming in. And then it's tempting to think: "People come to experience the park the way it is today. They would still come back next year if the park looked the same, so we don't need to add anything this year". From there, the road is short to: "But surely, it wouldn't hurt our visitor figures if this little thing was removed, reducing our expenses ever so slightly? It's still the same park." And then: "They come to the park because they like the park and it's tradition for them to come here. The stuff in the park is of lesser importance, so it doesn't matter if we remove a ride or two." Next is: "We run the only park in this area, it's not like this market segment can go to anyone else. We still have the moneymaking attractions drawing people in and they're working fine like they've done for 30 years. At least for one more year."

And the worst thing is, that strategy works fine in the short run. People don't notice the park's quality plateauing or dropping slightly. Force of habit, brand strength, and lack of alternatives can make people take the whole family to a decaying park year after year. The costs of the strategy won't be apparent for many years, and in the meantime the bottom line looks better than ever. "Look, no expenses! We're making big bucks!" all the way until "We're not making as much money as before, and all sorts of expensive things need fixing, but now we wouldn't balance the budget if we made those expenses."

The end of that road is "It's too expensive to do anything now, we'll finish the season then sell everything of value, including the land," perhaps with a cynical de-tour by way of the local press to say "It's not profitable to run a park anymore, just look at the park, it's falling apart. We need less taxes/more subsidies to retain our shareholder payou-, er, to save our beloved family business."

A park can coast on its existing infrastructure for a while, and neglect investments to make the bottom line prettier in the short run, but in the long term it will always have to battle decay. Every year it doesn't battle decay, it will fall further behind and it will require more effort to get back up to par. Merlin (and particularly Parques Reunidos) is still in the "Look, we're making big bucks!" phase, but the state of the parks is getting worse, and it's getting more and more expensive to get back where they were ten years ago. I'm really curious to see how it's going to go for a few of their properties. Thorpe in particular is one heck of a time bomb expenses-wise.
 

Matt N

Strata Poster
It’s worth remembering that it’s only 2 days until the planning documents come out for this, so I’m order to keep my eyes peeled, is there any particular place where the documents will become available, out of interest?

I’m intrigued to see whether they stick with the masterplan, or conjure up something different entirely…

I must admit that even though I know this will likely be more of a family coaster, I’m actually really excited for this, because it’s the first time in years that Chessington has had anything substantial coaster-wise!
 

Jared

Hyper Poster
^ It’s not confirmed that the plans will be available. They’re entering public consultation surrounding the development due to the fact that where they want to build isn’t technically part of their development boundary.

The public consultation starts tomorrow for 2 weeks. We’ll learn more then. I’m at the consultation tomorrow so I’ll come back here and post what I find out when I get the chance.
 
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