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YAY Merlin!

Tonkso

Mega Poster
Wtf has happened over the course of this season? It honestly seems like Merlin have got it together a bit and started running things properly.
 

JoshC.

Giga Poster
Tbf Thorpe in particular have been running most of their rides at full capacity, even on off peak days, since about 2019. But yes, more recently they have improved reliability further, which is good to see
 

RobCoasters

Roller Poster
I wouldn't be surprised if this "running things significantly better" is the start of a new arc of trying to get people to return more often - I predict a massive boom in international travel next year from people wanting to leave the country for holidays, and this might poke parks to start convincing guests "hey, you should come back here :)".

And you know what? I can get behind it, and I support that.
 

Ethan

Strata Poster
I wouldn't be surprised if this "running things significantly better" is the start of a new arc of trying to get people to return more often - I predict a massive boom in international travel next year from people wanting to leave the country for holidays, and this might poke parks to start convincing guests "hey, you should come back here :)".

And you know what? I can get behind it, and I support that.
It's almost as if this way of thinking would have been beneficial for them all along ;)
 

Will

Strata Poster
Too much time has elapsed for me to write a proper report now, but I had a really good day at Legoland on Thursday.
I was half-expecting to end up grabbing the cred and then wondering how the hell to kill the rest of the day, but couldn't have been more wrong.
Even on a quiet day when only Mythica had a line in excess of 5-10 minutes, the day flew by. I'd never properly visited before, despite going with CF for the fireworks three or four times, but the vast majority of rides seemed to be new since my last visit in 2012 and I went into most of them with no idea what to expect.

The vast majority of the park is looking very clean and shiny and the staff were very friendly, putting to rest any concerns that a lone male adult may not be entirely welcome there. The haunted madhouse is a laugh, as I always enjoy those and so was the Tomb Blaster type ride. Mythica's quite an impressive new area and I do enjoy flying theatres, though sadly, they do give me a fair amount of motion sickness. I always enjoy Lego 4D films, though the silent Mythica film (basically Ice Age with different characters) wasn't as good as Movie World Australia's take on The Lego Movie.

The only letdown was Ninjago the Ride, as the shooting system didn't seem to be working on my car - that, and the Lego PS4 games being closed due to Covid.

My favourite though was the Deep Sea Adventure submarine ride - I was expecting this to be a simulator, so you can imagine how thrilled I was to explore the actual aquarium. It was a bit of a shame you couldn't see the main tank from anywhere other than the ride though.

Obviously, it's not somewhere I'd rush back to or do often, but I wish 6-year-old Will could have visited Legoland as it is in 2021, as at that age, I'd probably have enjoyed it more than I could Alton. I rounded off the day by spending over £200 in the Lego shop. Oops.
 

Jamesss

Mega Poster
Went to Chessington earlier this week for my first theme park visit since pre-covid.

The biggest surprise of the day was the "Vile Villagers" scare zone for Halloween. I hadn't heard anything about it but it was a brilliant little scare attraction for Chessington. The actors were fantastic and took their time to interact with every member of my group. Was the highlight of the day. If anyone is going this coming week, don't miss it.
 

Will

Strata Poster
Can't find anywhere else to put this, but I met up with a few goons yesterday evening to watch Alton's fireworks and finish the 2021 season in the only way I know how...

The 40 year history storyline had obviously been postponed from last year, and I felt like the time-travel aspect had been done before - but that was the 2013 display which I absolutely loved. The first half was a delight and really blew it out of the park - I doubt 99% of those in attendance understood, but I loved all the little nods to the past, explaining how the park developed through the 90s. The Towers Street overture always brings a tear to my eye in that kind of setting and it's fab to see Nemesis getting the acknowledgement it deserves.

I did feel the story lost its way after that - I dislike fireworks being set to anything to songs-with-words and obnoxious pop of the last three decades made its inevitable experience. Trance music is fine, but nobody needs Usher - so the 'rewind' section toward the end felt forced and incredibly incongruous. Unsurprisingly, I've got a LOT of memories tied in to Alton since 1992 (the most powerful being a Scarefest evening in 2011) and prefer the reflective, sentimental stuff. The finale however, was great as ever :)

I took some pictures, but they're **** as I only had my phone with me (plus I think you know what a firework looks like!!)

I was also impressed that crowd control was obviously better than in previous years - getting away at the end wasn't too burdenous at all :)
... @Serena might disagree though. I was sad when I found out she was there but we missed eachother!
 
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