WC16 “disappointing” and “offensive” – says Thorpe Park ‘guinea pig’

By Michael Mander

Thorpe Park’s 2016 investment has been described as a “game-changer” by Nick Varney, and the park is already building hype with online marketing: but Micky Black, who claims to know all of the details thinks it could be “disappointing” and even “offensive”.

Michael Trinder, Romford, was purportedly approached by Thorpe Park to help conduct market research about the planned 2016 dark ride. In an interview with Airgates, he has said: ” I think it’ll be disappointing and an anti-climax”.

[Tweet “I think it’ll be disappointing and an anti-climax”]

After Tweeting that he’d been selected for market research, he described the process to Airgates: “A group of us were approached by a lady in the park during the day and asked if we’d mind participating.”

“We were given a description [of the ride], but it was thorough. We were in there for a good 45 mins to an hour,  and asked about several potential commercials.”

“We were asked what we thought it’d be, then told, spoke about the IP, signed confidentiality contracts, and given fast track for our time.”

“They described what it was, asked us who we thought it would appeal to and went through some adverts and logo designs and asked our opinions, what we might put on Facebook about it and which advert we liked best.”

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His story was corroborated by his friend Glen Foulger, Essex, who also claimed to be approached.

Michael Trinder
Michael Trinder, who goes by the name Micky Black
Glen Foulger, 25, declined to give details but confirmed his friend’s story

The IP – “borderline offensive” 

Trinder confirmed that the new ride will be based around an IP, ( we clarified the use of the phrase by describing an IP as a “pre-existing story/film/TV/book that is not the property of Thorpe Park”). The confidentiality agreement, however, prevented him from giving any details  about the IP.

[Tweet “The new ride (WC16) will be based around an IP.”]

He went on to express doubts about how the IP w ill be received: “Personally it didn’t appeal to me but to others maybe”.

“The theme could be borderline [offensive] depending on how sensitive people are.”

Thorpe Park
The building of WC16 at Thorpe Park. Source: Total Thorpe Park

The Adverts – “Awful and controversial”

Trinder then went on to describe the advertising campaigns he was shown to promote the new ride.

“Some of the ideas that Thorpe Park suggested for the advert were awful and controversial.”

“Certain character roles in some of the adverts had controversial figures involved. It could come back and backlash on Thorpe Park.”

“There was one or two things I personally thought some people could find offensive. One or two random unnecessary characters could be deemed offensive.”

He compared the level of offensiveness of the adverts with animal cruelty or Hitler, but stressed that he was not shown any adverts featuring either of these two examples:

“An example. which was NOT one they suggested, but say the advert had animal cruelty in it. The animal activist would kick off. Like say I had an advert with Hitler in it, it’d offend the Jewish community.”

However, he added that not all of the adverts were offensive, and said that he told the researchers his favourite was the one that could not offend anybody.

The Ride – “I’d be surprised if it was a success”

While the researchers did not give Mr. Trinder many details of the ride itself, instead focusing on marketing and the IP, he said of the ride:

“I’m pretty spot on at reading and predicting people’s behaviour, attitudes, etc and I think it’ll be disappointing . An anti-climax.”

“I’d be surprised if it was a success”

“I can see why [Nick Varney would] say game changer. But from what I’m picturing with the details I was given it didn’t appeal to me, and I imagine he’s probably biased!”

“I can see where he’s coming from saying it’s a game changer but it doesn’t mean it’s going to be good.”