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Thread: American Adventure Theme Park, Ilkeston Derbyshire-April 08

  1. #21
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    Thanks, although it's nice to know that (something!) remains, it's upsetting to see so much has gone, a lot of really quality theming has been destroyed. Surely somebody could have taken it on?

    What remains now is (more or less) what's left of what was built for Britannia Park back in 1985. For those who are interested, I wrote an article documenting the parks history a couple of years ago. You can read it here.

    A lot of my childhood memories lay in those ruins :(


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  3. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by WillPS View Post
    A lot of my childhood memories lay in those ruins :(
    But on the other hand, your childhood memories keep the place alive for you
    ...Hear me now from the Invisible Opera Company of Tibet...

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  4. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neosea View Post
    But on the other hand, your childhood memories keep the place alive for you

    Very true, look on the positive side of life! American Adventure (for those who loved it) lives on in our hearts!!!

  5. #24
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    Default openmike article


    Quote Originally Posted by WillPS View Post
    For those who are interested, I wrote an article documenting the parks history a couple of years ago. You can read it here.

    The openmike article was a great read, thankyou WillPS for sharing the link. It seems the AA had a grey cloud hanging over it from the start due to all the politics and re-ownerships.
    Last edited by jon_nic; 28th Apr 08 at 00:01.

  6. #25
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    yeah, it was basically trying to compete with alton + thorpe park + guilivers all of whic lay within an hours drive or so. so people would rather drive to alton!

    so instead of putting up big white knuckle rides they tore them down to sell so they could make it into more of a kiddies theme park, however, this was teh wrong desicion, as gullivers pretty much already did that an isn't 10mins down the road! infact from top of the loop coaster you could probably SEE guillivers kingdom!!!

    in this day and age how it failed and shut is beyond me, the management must have been blind, or ill informed

  7. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrickMan View Post
    yeah, it was basically trying to compete with alton + thorpe park + guilivers all of whic lay within an hours drive or so. so people would rather drive to alton!

    so instead of putting up big white knuckle rides they tore them down to sell so they could make it into more of a kiddies theme park, however, this was teh wrong desicion, as gullivers pretty much already did that an isn't 10mins down the road! infact from top of the loop coaster you could probably SEE guillivers kingdom!!!

    in this day and age how it failed and shut is beyond me, the management must have been blind, or ill informed
    A very different site to the one I visited about a year ago.

    I got caught by someone who has an interest in the site around January. The lack of development at AA seemed to be as much about politics as it did finance. There was apparantly a few planning ideas refused.

    Anyway, he seemed to think the site would be turned into a sort of country persuits thing- fishing, equestrian, maybe go karts. The kinds of things he thought people would spend money on.
    http://theossonline.wordpress.com/

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  8. #27
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    I abso dont agree with you BrickMan, sorry. AA had HUGE potential, and still has. Its very close to the main road/motorway, and deserves respect, if it wasnt for the lot that say people would rather go to Alton...it wouldv stayed, and expanded, id rather go to AA than Alton, even now, Alton is soo overrated. (Coming from an Euorpean Coaster Club member)
    TRN Photography 'Sploring Vehicle: 1996 Volvo 440 1.8i ES

  9. #28
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    As no one seems to have posted it,here is the link to a Forum about AA,some ex employees on it.

    http://www.towerstimesforum.co.uk/viewtopic.php?t=9072

  10. #29
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    meh, tis just my view, I wasn't on the committee, I wasn't runing it, don't even live local, that view was just based on what I know/knew about it.

  11. #30
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    If you ask me, the problem with AA was severalfold...

    The development was originally a way for the National Coal Board to say "look, we care", but Britannia Park did nothing but annoy residents, and that created a lot of ill feeling towards the place. Additionally, some of the work done by KLF (the owners of Britannia Park) and the NCB was shoddy, and resulted in subsidence (part of the reason for the closure of the wonderful top entrance, the other part being John Broome's desire for a one-level park).

    Then there's the issue of advertising - the park never advertised itself very well, particularly in the mid-90s. This meant the park's target audience rarely expanded beyond the East Midlands. Seeing as Granada (now ITV plc.) owned them at that time, that really shouldn't have been the case!

    The whole Adventure World thing in the late 90s was pure fantasy aswell... turn the place into Islands of Adventure (Universal Studios Complex, Florida) - that would have been amazing but with UK planning laws that could never have happened. A huge inverted rollercoaster (think Nemesis), a woodie to rival anything else in the UK - brilliant ideas but didn't even reach the council's planning board!

    The real clincher though, was Ventureworld/THG (park's last owners) lack of foresight. They quickly realised that with minimal input the same relatively mediorce audience would return over and over... and then they realised that they realised that taking away a large chunk of their maintenance budget wouldn't have any immediate effect either... in the long term this absolutely devastated the park. It got to the point where 3 key rides (Rapids, Missile and Nightmare Niagara log flume) were unreliable and unlikely to pass their annual safety check. All three would have needed a sizable chunk of investment just to get them running for 2005... and THG didn't see the need.

    So the park was literally forced to throw away Nightmare Niagara - probably the most popular attraction the park had during the summer. I literally cried when I saw them taking that thing apart. She really was on her last legs and was very poorly treated by the end - sizable hole's in her channel had been patched with something that looked suspiciously like Polyfilla.

    The Missile also went; the park disposed of the one thing they would need to succeed again - their planning wedge. Any objections could have been met with "but it's not as tall/loud as The Missile" - with that gone they were at the planner's mercy.

    The Shipley Lakeside site is _perfect_ for a theme park, and the basic infrastructure laid down by Britannia Park was very good. But with the Leisure industry the way it is and Merlin's (who own Alton Towers, Thorpe Park, Legoland etc.) dominance over the theme park sector... I can't see it happening. Perhaps Cedar Fair will come over and rescue it. Perhaps I should keep dreaming :).

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