What we learned from Wardley and Varney Q&A

Nick VarneyDuring the recent celebrations for the Nemesis rollercoaster’s 21st anniversary, John Wardley and Nick Varney took questions from theme park enthusiasts.

The ride’s designer and the Merlin Entertainments chief executive – then a marketer for Alton Towers – revealed a number of interesting facts.

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Pleasureland Southport targets Knightmare ride

KnightmarePleasureland Southport is understood to be targeting the Knightmare rollercoaster as an addition to the amusement park.

Standing unused at the Camelot theme park since that’s attraction’s closure in 2013, the Schwarzkopf-manufactured ride has been up for sale.

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Alton Towers expands delayed ride opening policy

ThirteenAlton Towers has expanded its delayed ride opening times policy in certain areas.

The Dark Forest area – home to the Thirteen and Rita rollercoasters – now opens at 11am, one hour after the park opens.

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Alton Towers ends selected single rider queuing

NemesisAlton Towers has removed the single rider queues from the Nemesis, Nemesis Sub-Terra and Rita rides.

The park said that the Nemesis rollercoaster was able to “able to load and run quicker” without the feature.

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Alton Towers ‘reconsiders’ Blade mothballing

The BladeAlton Towers has “reconsidered” the decision to mothball the Blade flat ride, which will now continue to operate.

The 1980-built swinging attraction was scheduled to remain closed before its removal from the park later this year.

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How theme park car parking charges compare

Car parkHaving to pay for parking on top of admission is one of the theme park guest’s biggest gripes, but by how much do the charges vary?

A significant number of smaller independent parks retain free car parking, the trend has been one of the bigger park adopting the levies.

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Alton Towers mothballs Blade swinging ride

The BladeAlton Towers has mothballed its swinging ship ride The Blade after 35 years of operation.

Opening in 1980 as a traditional pirate ship ride, it is not expected to re-open before being removed from the park.

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Alton Towers changes ‘Early Ride Time’ offerings

NemesisAlton Towers has adjusted the line-up of rides and attractions available during its ‘Early Ride Time’ (ERT) period.

The Nemesis rollercoaster will now be the only thrill ride available from 9am – an hour before the park fully opens.

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Thorpe Park entry rises to £59.99 on ‘peak’ days

The SwarmOn-the-day admission prices to Thorpe park have increased by 20% to £59.99 for ‘peak’ days in 2015.

Last year’s entry price was £49.99 at the end of the season, and this price will remain for ‘off-peak’ days.

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Merlin Entertainments profits rise by 35%

Merlin EntertainmentsMerlin Entertainments has recorded a 34.6% rise in pre-tax profits during its first full year of public ownership.

The boost, which which slightly above analyst expectations, was put down to the effect of the Lego film released last year.

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