Archive for Features & Analysis

What is the future for independent theme parks?

Nemesis InfernoThe year is 2024 and Alton Towers is preparing to open its gates for the new season with its admission price of £69.

The park remains Britain’s most popular theme park, with over 3 million visitors coming through its gates last year to see the new £27 million world-first rollercoaster.

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What next for Chessington World of Adventures?

Chessington World of Adventures entranceIt has traditionally been the mid-range, families with growing children, theme park in Merlin Entertainments’ portfolio of UK theme parks.

But with Thorpe Park this year shunning its “thrill capital” approach and moving towards the family market, what could this mean for Chessington World of Adventures?

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Nemesis: 20 years of a world class rollercoaster

NemesisIt was built to redefine Britain’s most successful theme park. 20 years on, the Nemesis rollercoaster continues to set the standard at Alton Towers.

From claiming countless pairs of loosely-fitted Nike Air Max trainers in the mid 1990s, to spawning a spin-off ride last year, the ride continues to endure.

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Merlin’s new VIP annual pass: Worthy of £500?

Air at Alton TowersMerlin Entertainments has announced a £500 ‘VIP’ annual pass, which offers an extensive number of benefits at its attractions.

But how popular will uptake of the product be? We take a closer look at the new pass and its offered benefits.

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Volunteers helping Dreamland rise from ashes

by Peter Andrews
Dreamland Margate volunteersAfter months – and indeed years – of legal proceedings, court cases and appeals, Dreamland Margate opened its doors on 16 November after an emotional ribbon cutting ceremony.

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Could the Oblivion rollercoaster ever stall?

Oblivion / courtesy of M WellsBy all sensible definitions, it is the steepest rollercoaster in UK – and also has the fastest drop – but could Alton Towers’ Oblivion ever realistically stall?

With a 180 foot (55 metre) drop and a track length of 375 metres, it is difficult to imagine the ride stalling.

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The strange white paint on rollercoaster tracks

Rollercoaster track weldingIf you visit theme parks early in the season, you might have noticed that on some rides there are peculiar-looking patches of white spray paint.

Particularly noticeable on Blackpool Pleasure Beach’s veteran Wild Mouse rollercoaster, they are the remnants of off-season inspection activity.

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Why has The Smiler had so many problems?

The SmilerIf you’ve been to Alton Towers this year and found its latest rollercoaster closed, you are far from alone.

The Smiler opened more than two months behind schedule, but even then what was presented was not strictly ready.

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