Coaster Kingdom

Excalibur, Drayton Manor
Friday, March 02, 2007

This article contains spoilers. If you read on, please be aware that surprises or secrets may be revealed in great depth

Cry God for Harry, England, and St. George! With Drayton Manor being right in the heart of England, it's understandable that they should have adopted a patriotic stance in the construction of their 2003 ride, and what could be a more English theme than the knights of the realm?

Of course, knights aren't really what they used to be. Where we once had Sir Lancelot and Sir Galahad, we now have Sir Cliff Richard and Sir Elton John. Somehow, I can't imagine either of them risking life and limb to save the honour of a fair maiden, so it's probably wise that Drayton Manor should choose to celebrate the knights of the Mediaeval era.

In late 2001, signs appeared on the old Jungle Cruise ride, explaining that the ride would soon retire, to make way for the mysteriously named "Project Neptune". It was immediately made obvious that the ride would not be a thrill machine, but a gentle towboat ride around the existing Jungle Cruise lake. During 2002, the mountains of gravel that littered the site slowly took shape, and a castle turret slowly rose, forming the centrepiece of a rotating loading platform. Boats started to go on display around the area, and signs invited visitors to return in 2003 and ride "Excalibur: A Dragon's Tale".

It was announced early on that the ride system would be from BEAR rides of Switzerland, and the theming from Britain's Farmer Studios. This certainly gave the ride a good pedigree, being exactly the same combination of minds that brought us the highly regarded Storm Force 10 in 1999.

Despite the park being very proud of the ride throughout its construction, it somehow failed to set tongues wagging in the way you might expect. It actually shows how far the UK amusement park industry has come that the ride did not generate anywhere near as much publicity as it would have done just a few years earlier.

With work on the ride completed, one formality remained - the grand opening. Thanks to Drayton Manor's links with Birmingham radio station BRMB, all of their rides get opened by bland, tiresome pop groups. On the plus side, the "Drayton Manor Curse" does tend to lead to these groups splitting up within six months, and therefore the final choice of Atomic Kitten was highly agreeable.

So, with the ritual of the opening out of the way, the great unwashed were allowed to get their hands on the ride to find out what life was like as a Mediaeval knight - or so you might expect. In reality, Excalibur is anything but an educational look at the Arthurian legend...

The problem with some themed rides is that they can often come across as ludicrously overblown and pompous. There are only two ways to avoid this trap. Firstly, you can throw millions of pounds into lavish special effects, and magnificently detailed and genuinely engrossing scenery. The alternative is to neatly sidestep this problem by creating a ride that plants its tongue firmly in its cheek. Excalibur goes for the latter.

The story is simple enough. You are there to look around "Castleville", a new housing development for the upwardly mobile middle-aged folk of the Middle Ages. The developers are trying their hardest to push you into signing the contract as soon as possible. Throughout the queue line, you are surrounded by notices offering artists' impressions of your potential dwellings, along with extensive descriptions trying to put a positive spin on everything - houses with leaky roofs are described as having "Running water throughout", for example.

Now, I know what you're thinking. You'd love a little pad in a Mediaeval village, if it weren't for the nuisance of having dragons flying around the place, getting under your feet and setting light to your house with their fiery breaths. Well, have no fear - the developers go to great lengths to reassure you that there are no dragons in Castleville, or anywhere near Castleville. Nope, you'll have no problems on that score; you mark my words.

Finally, the queue heads under the turret, where the gatekeeper allocates a boat for you and up to fifteen other house-hunters to take the tour. As you board, you will be fed vital information about the dangers of falling into the water while wearing chain mail, and the procedure to follow should you spot any dragons. Not that you'll see any dragons in Castleville of course, but you just can't be too careful where those dreadful creatures are concerned.

Leaving the platform, we turn towards the gates of Castleville, and see the gang of merry knights hard at work building your dream house. Frankly, these aren't the most competent workers on Earth, and make you wonder whether King Arthur might have been a touch generous in handing out knighthoods to any olde-worlde Tom Dick and Harold.

Glossing over the workers' shortcomings, the commentary soon turns to the subject of contracts, and suggests that we really ought to sign up right now to avoid disappointment. Tragically, we lose the reception at this point and we instead hear a calm female voice, telling us that she has taken control of the boat, and is going to take us away through the town's rear gate. The voice introduces herself: "I am Cantata, and I am a dr... well, we'll come to that later". All she'll say is that she's beneath the water, dragging us along. Fair enough.

The guards at the rear gate are too clumsy and thick to prevent the boat from leaving, and so we find ourselves drifting out into the lake beyond Castleville. After sneaking past the town's rear lookout, Cantata bumps into the Lady of the Lake, who holds aloft Excalibur for us. She then conducts a quick and fairly informal chinwag with Cantata, asking her to pass on a message to Merlin about giving her something lighter to hold than a sword (her arm's killing her, the poor girl).

Reaching the back of the lake, you see what is presumably a dragon peering over the wall to see what's going on. Actually, it's the T-Rex from the park's "Dinosaurland" walk-through, but it works just as well.

Now that Cantata has our trust, she feels it safe to reveal herself. It seems that she is... wait for it... a dragon! Not only that, there are dragons everywhere. By Jiminy, that unscrupulous property developer lied to us - whoever heard of such a thing?

Cantata tells us her side of the story. Apparently, the whole lake used to belong to the dragons until the knights came swanning in, building houses on what has always been the dragons' home. The cheek of it. Anyway, Cantata has figured that if she can dissuade us from buying homes in Castleville, they'll eventually have the lake to themselves again. Well, it certainly beats hackneyed old tactic of breathing fire everywhere and killing everyone - that would have required more expensive special effects, after all (and anyway, Health and Safety law strictly forbids the killing of riders).

Up ahead, we see knights using a large wooden crane type contraption to capture a dragon a net. Goodness me, so that's how they were going to guarantee no dragons in Castleville! This dragon turns down Cantata's offer of help, claiming that the net is unlikely to hold him for long. Sure enough, he's soon free and, and joins Cantata for a natter. He is shocked, however, to find that she has a boatload of disgusting humans in tow, and takes her away.

We are left drifting towards "Dragon Manor" (AKA the old Jungle Cruise tunnel) in the hands of Merlin, who casts a spell on the boat to guide it through safely. Given how sharply the boat can strike the sides of the channel, I suspect Merlin needs to brush up a bit on his spells, but still, we get through in the end.

At the end of the tunnel, we finally come face to face with Cantata in her family home. As she excitedly dashes around, the children wake up, much to the annoyance of their father, who lets out a blast of flame to put them in their place. With this scene of heart warming domestic bliss, Cantata is satisfied that she has got us on her side, and bids us farewell, convinced that another group of prospective buyers will be looking elsewhere for their new homes.

We emerge into what looks like the knights' dressing room, where we see various artefacts, including an eye-less helmet belonging to Sir Veillance, and an expanded chest plate for Sir Lunchalot. From the white noise, the Castleville commentator emerges, bemoaning Merlin's choice of sound system, and makes one last attempt to get us to sign on the dotted line before we reach the turntable and return to 21st Century Tamworth.

It's true to say that Excalibur does not exactly set new standards in terms of presentation. Between leaving Castleville and entering Dragon Manor, the scenery is very sparse, and the ride relies almost entirely on the commentary to keep us entertained. In terms of scenery, only the tunnel has anything that can be compared to the highly detailed theming on Storm Force 10. In fact, if you look at it coldly, the ride is a bit of a disappointment.

Fortunately, the ride has one thing that redeems it immeasurably. Humour. An endless stream of self-deprecating humour, serving to make the ride's shortcomings much easier to accept. Anyone expecting Excalibur to be an informative look at life in the Middle Ages are in for a shock, as the only think we really learn is that the Lady of the Lake had a strong Brummie accent - the sound of this majestic and legendary figure gurgling a merry "cheerio" as we leave her is sure to bring a smile to riders' faces.

The easiest way to describe the strengths of Excalibur is to compare them to the weaknesses of Blackpool Pleasure Beach's Valhalla. On Valhalla, the tone is very serious. You really feel that you are supposed to sit there open-mouthed at the quality of the special effects. The fact that the quality is somewhat lacking is what makes the ride such a disappointment. Excalibur, by contrast, never takes itself remotely seriously, and there's always a tongue in cheek reference to the fact that, say, the lake isn't very big, or that much of the story (such as Cantata's conversations with the other characters) takes place out of the riders' view. It's hard to dislike a ride that has such an engaging sense of self-mockery. You simply can't help emerging from the ride with a wry smile on your face.

Looking for genuine criticisms, the biggest problem is that, at the half way point of the ride, we are meant to be surprised to find that Cantata is a dragon. In the first half of the ride, there are lots of references to "I am a dra..." or "Look, it's a dra...", without actually saying the word. Unfortunately, it's so screamingly obvious what it meant to be happening that the final reveal, complete with OTT musical crescendo to emphasise the surprise, falls rather flat. Maybe I'm just missing a joke, but this ham-fisted reveal is the only uncomfortably pompous moment in what is otherwise a very unpretentious ride.

Also, the name of the ride is slightly puzzling, given that we only get one passing reference to Excalibur, which is totally isolated from the story of the ride. You get the impression that the Excalibur reference has been shoe-horned in to justify the name. Given that “Excalibur” has already been used for quite a variety of rides, it seems a shame that something a bit more original and relevant couldn't have been used. Even more puzzling is the original name, "Project Neptune". The fact that neither name relates much to the story hints that maybe there was a change of mind at some point as to how the story should go.

Finally, the actual transit system is far from natural. In fact, every turn is taken by stopping dead, turning on the spot, and then jerking back into action. Again, a very minor criticism, but it does break up the pace of the ride slightly. The feeling of floating around the lake is temporarily lost due to the almost robotic turns.

Generally speaking, I am not a fan of "scenic" rides - meaning anything where the emphasis is on looking at the ride's surroundings, rather than on the ride itself. I tend to find it unappealing when a ride expects me to go along with some sort of overblown storyline. Fortunately, Excalibur's sense of irony separates it from such rides and is all the better for it in my opinion. Similarly, it distinguishes itself from other "comedy" rides (e.g. Alton Towers' Toyland Tours) by using a much dryer form of humour, without the sense of overbearing wackiness that inevitably grates on the nerves on such rides.

Quite simply, I cannot bring myself to criticise a ride that never takes itself seriously. Although the scenery is sparse, the soundtrack is entertaining enough to bring a smile to the face. It's not laugh-out-loud humour, but is a good mix of cheesy gags (early on), and sublime bathos (supposedly awesome characters conducting banal day-to-day conversations) later on. The references to Merlin and magic may be an all-too-blatant attempt to cash in on the Harry Potter craze, but this doesn't really intrude on the humour of the ride at all.

If Excalibur took itself seriously, I'd have no hesitation in administering a comprehensive slating. As it is, the comedy elevates it well above similar rides. It may not be technically stunning, even the most cynical rider will emerge with a smile on their face. In the theme park industry, the phrase "family ride" tends to mean a ride for toddlers, but Excalibur is one of those rare rides that the whole family really can enjoy, even if none of them will find it exactly mind-blowing.

Please, do not use our ratings to compare rides head-to-head. They rate only how well this ride meets its own objectives using criteria that may not necessarily be relevant with similar reviews.

Good points:

  • A ride the entire family can enjoy
  • A good British sense of humour

Bad points:

  • There are a lot of dead spots throughout the ride
  • The motion of the boats is very unnatural
  • The name is misleading - and the 'revelation' isn't much of a revelation
  • Reliability with effects means the ride is often absolutely terrible

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Star Flyer, German Fairs
Sunday, February 25, 2007

Sometimes you can add two and two and make three. Sometimes you can take the most mouth-watering ingredients and somehow end up with something that tastes like cardboard.

The good folk of Austria's Funtime Group obviously saw the universal popularity of the Zierer Wave Swinger, and then the enormous success of the myriad of tower rides littering the world's parks and fairs. They then whipped out their pencils and sketched out a ride that would neatly combine the two. Before you could say "These are a few of my favourite things", the Star Flyer was born.

The travelling Star Flyer, like any travelling tower ride, looks mightily impressive. With a dazzling set of patterned lighting running the length of the tower, it functions as a beacon for fair-goers, and a perfect advertisement for whatever event it visits. The brightly coloured seats and star-shaped structure combine with the strategically placed floodlights to make quite a majestic sight when the ride is in motion.

Getting closer, the standard of presentation is high. The huge number of flashing signs ensures that the ride's name remains burned into your retinas, as does the huge backflash that sits atop a parked lorry at the rear of the platform. Everything looks set for a truly extraordinary ride.

So, having exchanged your cash for a token, you head to your seat and prepare to do battle with the spider's web of seatbelts, chains, and restraints. Those of us who can remember when even theme park Wave Swingers relied on nothing more than a bar to separate you from a messy doom will be amazed at the rigour with which you are held in your seat, to the extent of an electronically locked belt to hold the lap bar in place. Unlike most Wave Swingers, Star Flyer offers all double-seats so that your flight needn't be solo.

And we have lift-off. OK, I use "launch" more in the Detonator sense than Power Tower, but as we move up the tower, the star begins to turn and the seats begin to fan out into a wide circle. Time to see what this supersized Chair-O-Plane can really do.

Up and up, and round and round, and up and up, and round and round we go.

Then down and down, and round and round.

Then up and up, and round and round.

Then down.

I'm sorry if this doesn't sound like the most exciting piece of prose you have ever read, but let's be completely honest, there's nothing else to be said. If Star Flyer was designed as a combination of a Wave Swinger and a Shot 'n' Drop, then there's two things that were left out at the planning stage.

1: The Wave Swinger is a fun ride because of the wave element. 2: The Shot 'n' Drop is a fun ride because you can feel the shot, and feel the drop.

What we're left with is a ride that, in all honesty, is little more than an observation tower that looks like a thrill ride. As such, it is difficult to know what to make of it. If you buy your token expecting a thrill ride, you will be left feeling let down, whereas anyone looking for an observation ride will almost certainly find a Ferris Wheel nearby to do the job far better.

Sure it's a nice novelty, but it soon wears thin. The frustrating thing is that it would not take much to turn Star Flyer into a highly enjoyable ride. Make the climbs and drops a little sharper so that riders notice them.

Turn half the seats backwards so that riders can see each other, and run the ride in both directions. Install some speakers in the tower and let riders listen to the same music as the spectators. As it is, Star Flyer relies on nothing but its height to excite riders, and that's a novelty that is never going to last long.

Even the length of the ride is a dichotomy. On the one hand, it is far too short, particularly for a fairground ride, where neighbouring competitors are likely to be charging less money for significantly longer rides.

On the other, the ride is so repetitive that you are hardly likely to be left wanting more. It is certainly difficult to imagine anybody leaping from their seat and reaching for their wallet to go and buy another token, that's for sure.

I truly wanted to like Star Flyer. I loved the idea of a gigantic Wave Swinger, but Star Flyer simply isn't the ride I'd been hoping for. I hate to say it, but this is one to consign to the "All mouth and no trousers" category.

Still, maybe we should just accept that, like Big Ben and perhaps even Power Tower 2, Star Flyer functions best as a way of attracting punters to the fair. Once they've been lured in, they'll hopefully find something a bit more substantial to keep them happy.

Star of the show? Nope, just a flight of fancy. Disappointing.

Please, do not use our ratings to compare rides head-to-head. They rate only how well this ride meets its own objectives using criteria that may not necessarily be relevant with similar reviews.

Good points:

  • A highly attractive and well presented attraction

Bad points:

  • Although tall, it is a short and repetitive ride with a lack of atmosphere
  • Star Flyer is a waste of a potentially brilliant idea

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Bubbleworks, Chessington World of Adventures
Wednesday, February 21, 2007

This article contains spoilers. If you read on, please be aware that surprises or secrets may be revealed in great depth

Go to Universal Studios, and you can ride the movies. Go to Chessington World of Adventures, and you can ride the adverts.

Chessington World of Adventures' new Bubbleworks is like a 15-minute commercial break without the luxury of a remote control. Like most adverts, it is monotonous, pretentious, charmless and at best, highly irritating.

Let's not mince our words here - the Bubbleworks is simply the worst thing Tussauds have ever done.

It is an utter, utter abortion of a revamp, well over and above any other sponsored rethemes such as The Flume and Rumba Rapids. It proves beyond all reasonable doubt that Chessington is Where the Shareholder Comes First (TM) and that they have even given up trying to entertain people in the quest for profit.

Professor Burp must be spinning in his grave.

To understand just how bad the new Bubbleworks is, you first must cast your mind back to 1990 when the original ride opened. It was the result of the creative partnership of Keith Sparks and John Wardley and became something of an institution, even into its dying days.

Guided by head honcho Professor Burp, guests were taken on a tour of a Transylvanian fizzy pop factory with a cast of hundreds of loveable animatronic characters.

In 2006, Tussauds saw that there was absolutely no need to dazzle visitors with a magical attraction. They could tile the walls, add some bubbles, ducks and company sponsorship and make money instead.

So they did. The deal was done, the Bubbleworks closed in 2005, and reopened the year after as an all new attraction, sponsored by a toiletries company.

Even outside you can tell that something isn't quite right with the all-new Bubbleworks. Swathes of glossy blue, yellow and red paint clash with the rest of Transylvania, while the new Bubbleworks logo has hastily been put on top of the old entrance sign.

The station is as much of a hatchet job as the outside. Remember those charming posters on the wall advertising various whimsical drinks (Craterade, Jackpot Juice etc). It was little touches like this that made the Bubbleworks so good. And it is little touches like this that are absent from the new ride.

Of course, all these posters have been replaced. None of them funny, and all computer generated so miss that personality that the hand-painted originals had.

Wake up and Wash proclaims one, for example, with a picture of an alarm clock and some bubbles. I mean, who for one minute thinks people want to read this stuff?

As the queue crosses the bridge, you'll notice that the silhouetted skyline across the back of the station remains, although for some reason - an idiotic one I suspect - a rubber duck is now flying across the sky in a submarine. It doesn't even make sense.

The boats are now festooned in sponsorship logos, as I suspect you would be if you stood still for long enough, and pass through the centre of the station on a conveyor belt.

Seating four people per tub, the boats pass under a shower of bubbles from a bubble machine before rolling down a ramp into the water.

One of the criticisms that the original Bubbleworks received was that many of the animatronics broke down. Problem solved with the new ride - none of the new characters are even designed to move. At times, it is like going through a gnome garden with all these grinning Bubbleheads standing lifelessly with a forced grin on their faces.

The first scene is a vague nod to the original ride with the boat passing through what was Professor Burp's office, now occupied by a bubblehead in a swimming costume and snorkel peeping out from a bath full of bubbles, clutching at a ringing phone.

The next scene really shows what we're up against, and shows the attraction's true colours.

A static bubblehead in a teacher's uniform points to a blackboard with - and I kid you not - some bubbles drawn onto it. As a rider, how am I supposed to react? With a cheery smirk? Well of course not, it's not funny. In amazement? Well no, it's not amazing.

Meanwhile, the floating cow bloated with gas that used to produce cream soda now floats above some bubbles in front of a 'bubble farm' before you move into the next scene, which is now apparently a tickle test.

Veterans may well remember the laughing gas scene. Well, this is the same, just with the belly-laughing Professor Burp ridiculously replaced with a colour print out of a montage of ducks and bubbles. If a tickle test turns that frown upside-down, stupid, stupid touches like this will certainly wipe that smile off your face.

The next scene is what was formerly the Pressure Chamber. The main camera fodder there is of course what was the bulging gas cylinder which has become a Rub-A-Dub Reactor, and there is a gauge on the wall marked with 'soap' and 'lather'

OK, just breaking away from the synopsis briefly, seeing these things, in particular when I saw the Rub-A-Dub Reactor, I was overcome with emotion. Was it happiness? Was it sadness? How about a little bit of nostalgia? No, complete and utter rage. It was at that point it occurred to me just what this ride had become.


Whoever authorised the revamp - they're an idiot. Whoever came up with the new theming - an idiot. The whole ride is now designed with the idiot in mind. Chessington - you are idiots.

It takes a special kind of idiot, though, to transform what was such a good ride into such a poor ride by doing so little.

But anyway, back to the ride. One of my favourite scenes in terms of cheeky humour and endless plays on words has now become my favourite scene in terms of showing up the new Bubbleworks for everything that it's worth.

Witty touches like ‘Spring Water' (a bucket of water bouncing on a giant spring) have been replaced with boring set pieces such as ‘Sea Mineral Extractor', a fairly boring piece of equipment if ever there was one with bubbles (not real ones, mind you) and pipes and not much else.

While we can pass off the Sea Mineral Extractor as being merely descriptive, a clear attempt at humour was made with the Hippo-Froth-A-Mous, a hungry hippo having his back cleaned by a giant pink elephant.

Seriously, who is coming up with these? Froth doesn't even sound like the 'pot' in hippopotamus, therefore it is unfunny, and therefore pointless. It isn't even clever.

The Lesser Crested Pop Whisker, meanwhile, has now been replaced by an unanimated Rub-A-Dub Duck Massage Hut (also highly unamusing), while opposite some bubbleheads sit in a jacuzzi.

While none of this is likely to conjure up anything approaching a smile, you have to muster a grin at the thought of what humourless husk of humanity even thought that this would even be vaguely entertaining.

The wind tunnel now has a bubblehead on the crest of a waterfall, while the other wall is decorated with signs saying such humorous things as Aloe Vera and Lavender.

Oh, I'm still laughing now! Oh no, my mistake - I'm not.

The next scene inexplicably has rubber ducks on telescopic arms, the sign above which tells us is 'Foamy Fun - Duckin' Ducks', before you go through an unthemed tunnel into the penultimate scene, which is still a fairground.

The Cola Coaster is now a 'Duck-N-Dive Revitaliser'. Try and guess what the coaster cars have been replaced with? Come on, you've got a 50/50 chance - it's either going to be bubbles or ducks.

Yep, rubber ducks, duckin' and divin' over a garish roller coaster made out of pipes.

As you approach the lift, there is a desperate attempt to cram the sponsor's name into your head for the last time with company logos stuck over anything big enough. There's a pile of crates, lots of bottles of shower gel going along a conveyor belt and many other inanimate objects caked in their logo before you climb the shallow lift affording a view of tubs in front rolling down the drop and through a giant plughole.

And so, the fountain finale, a scene best left untouched, surely, but no, even the creative cannibals at Chessington have left their mark here.

Thankfully, the boat still slaloms through tunnels of water, but the triumphant and magnificent theme music has been replaced with the fairly non-descript choral music that was previously on the lift hill.

With the mirrors removed, the fountain finale feels a shadow of its former self. No pomp and circumstance, no dramatic music, but worst of all, and this is honestly the jewel in the crown of stupidity, the centrepiece is an old Bubbleworks boat dumped on the side, some bubbleheads inside with a shower curtain surrounding them.

This is simply the laziest piece of theming I have ever seen in my life.

As I said earlier, this ride is idiocy of the highest order. The new ride is devoid of humour, has had nothing new of note added, has had many things of note removed, and every scene has been meddled with enough so that it makes little or no tangible sense.

Let's look at the things that made the original Bubbleworks so good.

The humour. Joke after joke after joke - there were so many that you couldn't possibly absorb every pun or play on words even if you tried. The original ride worked on several levels - entertaining children with bright colours and cheerful characters, and entertaining adults with the unique brand of pantomime humour.

The new Bubbleworks has nothing of the sort. Most signs are now merely for descriptive purposes, such as the Sea Mineral Extractor, Dunkin' Ducks and the Bubble Farm. They're not even funny, and seem to be some attempt at justifying the tenuous link between the set pieces and what exactly they have to do with shower gel.

The music. On the old version, the same theme was used throughout, changing style according to what you are looking at. The new Bubbleworks often doesn't have music, often just has some of the weaker themes from before, and many have been (rubber dub...) dubbed over with ducks quacking.

While the old Bubbleworks was tasteless, it was by design. The new Bubbleworks is just as shameless, just in a crass and charmless way.

It is sterile and plain to look at, mostly white washed with lots and lots of scenes that are not animated.

It is repetitive using soapsuds, rubber ducks and the same characters throughout the whole ride. There are no distinct scenes as a result.

It is bland. Nothing about it is entertaining - there is nothing about it to make you go wow, and there certainly isn't anything to make you laugh.

It is cheap. Really cheap. Many of the things removed have not been replaced. For god's sake, a colour print out of some ducks and bubbles replaced Professor Burp on one scene, while a scuttled Bubbleworks boat replaces him in another scene.

And, worst of all, it is boring.

If your memories of Bubbleworks are in anyway sacred, avoid at all costs. While Juice + Gas = Pop, a Classic Dark Ride + Sponsorship = Catastrophe.

Please, do not use our ratings to compare rides head-to-head. They rate only how well this ride meets its own objectives using criteria that may not necessarily be relevant with similar reviews.

Good points:

  • Excellent ride system with decent boats
  • Colourful set pieces

Bad points:

  • Ride looks plain and sterile - no humour whatsoever and now has limited appeal for adults
  • Crass and over-the-top sponsorship with bubbles, ducks and logos everywhere
  • Fountain finale is not as good as previously
  • Music is no longer memorable and in places very irritating
Relevant reading: Other rides to avoid
Ice Blast, Pleasure Beach Black...
Excalibur, Drayton Manor
G Force, Drayton Manor
Flume Unplugged, Alton Towers

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