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Richard last won the day on September 2 2022

Richard had the most liked content!


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  1. I'm reposting this here to hopefully clarify so that everyone is on the same page. Day-to-day unexpected closures or stoppages are of no interest to the vast majority, unless it's in the context of a new attraction, a sidenote in a larger trip report, or a significant occurrence. Notice how there's generally no interesting responses to these minute-by-minute screenshots of maintenance page updates? If you have something specific and interesting to discuss, like Leviathan's ongoing issues or The Wedgie/Fully 6 being closed for a long time, feel free to post in the main Theme Park Discussion forum, just make sure it's in a specific topic dedicated to discussing it. Take two minutes before posting something. Think critically. Are your posts contributing to a meaningful discussion? Are you directly replying to what others are discussing in the topic? Are you accompanying photos, links or screenshots with some sort of new information, opinion or additional questions that will further the discussion? If it's not directly related to what's being posted then it probably belongs in a different topic. If you're starting a new topic, make sure it's specific and will spark conversation. And if you are finding that no one is directly responding to your posts, it might be a sign to reconsider or find a way to make it more interesting. Sorry if there's been any confusion about the sort of discussion we want to foster, or where it should be posted.
  2. I'm just saying an incident that has seemingly never happened in the ~130,000 cycles prior (80 cycles a day, 330 days a year) might not have happened ever if the ride's geometry were a bit different. And I'm saying it with the luxury of not needing to know the root causes or having to come up with a viable solution.
  3. Everything that's being done is in full consultation and with guidance from the manufacturer. The risk aversion of both Village and Mack is almost unrivalled in this industry, so it's crazy to think that anyone is making this up as they go along or that no one thought of seemingly simple ideas such as disassembling the train. Yeah, it's pretty ridiculous it's taking this long, but everything so far suggests that this is a really tricky problem to solve. What's worked for other rides and manufacturers obviously won't work here. They wouldn't have left it fixed halfway up the non-inverting loop after the weekend's efforts. Whether it was always intended as a dry run, or they encountered issues along the way, they're not going to walk away from cranes loaded with several tonnes of roller coaster train for any significant amount of time. However unlikely this situation is, this might well have been a problem waiting to happen. The non-inverting loop is the slowest moment of the entire ride (45km/hr at its highest point), and the hill preceding it is shorter in height (38.2m vs 39.3m), which effectively means that if it loses too much speed between the top of the lift hill and the top of the loop, then it's going to valley in this spot. If the preceding hill were taller and/or the loop shorter, then each high point would effectively reset its potential energy and ability to complete the course. (Stats from here)
  4. Loving the enthusiasm for press releases everyone! Believe me I'd love nothing more than a homepage full of fresh stories from operators big and small. We can only share the releases we receive, though I can honestly say that we do share literally everything vaguely relevant that lands in our inbox, as I think an investor release about a WHS license demonstrates. Do feel free to reach out to the parks you've all mentioned here and suggest they get in touch with us. We only play favourites insofar as we'll publish it if they are proactive enough to send us a release in the first place.
  5. All I’m taking into account is the actual results. You’ve repeatedly misrepresented what I’ve said, and misrepresented the actual numbers. If you want to disagree that’s fine, but there’s no place for blatant misrepresentation of facts. All things considered (weather, covid, brand and wider tourism trends, etc.), I think they underperformed. I didn’t expect a profit this year nor did expect them to give Village a run for their money. It’s reasonable to expect an EBITDA profit in FY23, but it’s going to be more of an uphill battle than today’s presentation tries to convince us. They’ve gone to great lengths to put positive spin on the numbers — as all public companies do — but I don’t think much of the spin stands up to scrutiny. Investors seem to agree.
  6. I never said anything close to that. That’s a strawman argument that you’re welcome to debate further with yourself. Neither of those statements are correct. They’re up ~19% and 62% respectively on the prior corresponding period. In absolute terms FY22 is the second worst year on record (after FY21). Annual attendance is still about a third what it was pre-TRR and half what it was 2017-19 regardless of the creative language, cherry-picked benchmarks and obtuse graphs in today’s results. If you want to be optimistic about today’s results, that’s cool. But there’s a reason the market cap for Ardent is essentially the cash they have in the bank from the Main Event sale plus the value of the land Dreamworld occupies.
  7. Wait, what? Where’d you get that idea from? That’s not an argument anyone on the planet is making.
  8. Put to one side the bigger picture issues that plague Dreamworld concerning product offering and the brand’s reputation; no one is expecting them to be top of their game. But they were handed a win for the second half with Steel Taipan, Village’s shortcomings and the end of most Covid restrictions. These results don’t reflect any of that.
  9. Won't have the time for anything like that this time around. The results are abysmal though. 140,000 uptick in attendance (from their worst year on record) despite a major new attraction and pent up travel demand that smashed airlines, accommodation and the Village Parks for the second half of the year? Hard to read anything into these results other than something is seriously amiss with their overall strategy. It's more of a loss. That's a spectacularly misleading graph they put in there for some reason.
  10. I'm not asking you to take my word on anything. I'm relaying what I've seen because there's some questions about the walls at the ride entrance. I have no idea how it'll turn out until it's finished, I just know that the plans haven't been significantly changed in several years. The early artist renderings were known to be largely fiction from the very start. Just as artist renderings often are. Give me lush gardens and rockwork over clinical pseudo-sci-fi any day. You're right they didn't elevate Vortex as per most the model and concept art; it's probably a safe bet that the soil issues that were the reason for its pre-COVID delays were also the reason this wasn't feasible. This change aside I'd argue that this depiction is by and large what's there today. It was about as underwhelming then as it is now: and I don't think anyone could honestly say that things like the giant fountains right next to the incredibly narrow main path were a good idea that had any chance of being implemented.
  11. The plan was always vertical gardens around the ride entrance. They featured in the original model, and they featured extensively in the 3D walkthroughs I've seen of the final theme concepts. I've seen nothing to suggest that any plans were altered substantively as a result of Vortex. The Vortex we got is what they'd planned for; it's just a bit of a dud.
  12. A good place to start with grants and funding would be here: https://www.parkz.com.au/article/2020/08/11/692-Structural_changes_funding_injection_sees_Gold_Coast_theme_park_future_secured.html In short (and to augment the above with newer financials), during COVID: Village loans totalled $70M from existing lenders (i.e. banks) + Queensland Treasury Corporation (Qld Govt's investment vehicle). The exact breakdown between private loans and QTC is unclear, but they received $34M in government loans and grants in the second half of 2020, of which $1.7M was a grant under 'Supporting Australia's Exhibiting Zoos and Aquariums'. We lose public visibility of Village's financials after the BGH deal, but JobKeeper subsidies to June 2020 totalled $42 million. And under the guidelines of the 'Major Tourism Experiencing Hardship' Qld grant they would have been entitled to $3-4 million in the second half of 2021. Ardent received $66.7M loans from QTC + a no-strings $3M grant. It's unclear if this $3M is just the repurposing of the $2.7M koala grant (which itself is tied into a $1.8M grant for genome research announced as far back as 2016), but Ardent received government grants and subsidies totalling $8M in the second half of 2020, inclusive of JobKeeper. There was a $2M 'Major Tourism Experiencing Hardship' grant in the second half of 2021. I don't see anything to suggest Village were 'given' $30 million for Sea World before or during COVID, @StingRay. Feel free to dust off that Google machine and provide more info if you've got it. The fact that a STEM tourism (read: local school groups) project was to be funded by an Asia tourism development grant and pitched foremost as a research project to me is an indictment on government grants and the lobbying industry. But that's certainly not isolated to this situation. All in all it's totally irrelevant to try and compare the two operators. They are two vastly different businesses that faced vastly different problems during COVID and this is reflected in the fact that they took different approaches in the peak of the pandemic, and required different assistance packages. Dreamworld has been unprofitable for six years and even in their heyday was a business a third the size of VRTP. Village also has other Australia and Queensland based businesses. Of course they're going to get different things from government. Are the optics of this reallocation of funding great? Not really. But that's the worst you can say about it. Could a competent PR team have seen this coming a mile away and easily preempted it? I think so, but competent public messaging doesn't belong in the same sentence as government or Ardent.
  13. We have banned animal activists in the past for spreading misinformation about animal treatment at all of the theme parks and we will continue to do so.
  14. We’re always open to guest contributions if there’s something we’ve missed. Not much we can do in another state if the parks’ communications teams don’t reach out and help make it happen.
  15. There was some spam removed from this thread over the weekend which might have caused this. I've just tried permanently deleting the posts rather than hiding it like we normally do, so let me know if it happens again in coming days.
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