Yes is the simple answer to that question. While many, many, many enthusiasts slate the ride for many different reasons, DBGT exist and sorely under appreciated. When you look at what we could have possibly had instead than there is no denying Merlin took a huge risk with it. Many will say it didn’t pay off and that we are now stuck with a sub standard ride than many enthusiasts will skip. But does it actually deserve the hate it gets? No! And here’s why?
Let’s start with how technologically advanced this ride is. When you actually think about how many different things need to communicate with each and then move and react at the same time and in time with each other, it’s completely mind bogging and utterly impressive that this thing even works at all. The ride system has to move at the point the VR does and move in time with the VR. I know its probably all computery but it’s utterly impressive and I’m always mesmerised every time I ride it at how much technology is used to create it. I mean, roller coasters are technological, but no where near as advanced and as new as DBGT is. Merlin took a huge risk with this and have proved that it can be done.
Next I want to talk about the VR. I will hold my hands up and say I’m not a huge fan of virtual reality. BUT. The first part is so good. It really sets the tone well and has some wonderfully placed jump scares, plus the little girl is super creepy. I will admit I wasn’t a fan of year 1’s second half VR (though, the TNT delivery van exploding was highly hilarious). The story in that second part felt weak. When the demon rose, I was really impressed at how much of a difference a change in VR could make. The story is dark and creepy and has some brilliant jump scares that are well timed. It has a comprehensive story. It’s also quite quirky and unintentionally hilarious too. The bit where the girl gets pulled through the roof I always find so funny. I’m a horrible person. The staff also add to the scare side with the touchy feely thing and it just adds to the atmosphere and intensity of the ride.
Leaving the VR, I want to talk about that last scene. Highly regarded as the best bit of the ride, this simple yet highly effective trick brings an already terrifying experience to a spectacular close. It’s an old school scare that works perfectly. And the fact it’s set in what people think is the shop adds to the whole ‘oh shit what’s happening’ experience. It’s always so great watching new people experience this bit as they always come out smiling after.
Thorpe Park could have just left it as is when they first opened the attraction back in 2016, but every year they make changes and keep updating it. It’s second year we got Rise of the Demon and that gave us the whole new second half plus that new ending. Year 3 they gave us a whole new middle section. I haven’t ridden it this year yet, but I’m excited to find out what changes they may or may not have made this year but the fact they keep updating and changing bits means it has rerideability every season and that’s awesome.
I won’t deny that it has had its issues but it’s got so much better with reliability since it first opened and there have been so many improvements that it just keeps getting better. I really don’t get why it gets the hate it gets as it’s actually a really good addition to the park. I really wish enthusiasts would be more positive about the ride given it’s the first of its kind in the world and its just a great ride!