Pirates 4D

 

 

With the incredibly high popularity of the 4D cinema at the moment it's strange to think the one that started it all in 1999 is no longer open. It introduced a lot of firsts to me, the first time something jumped out of the screen, and the first time water and air effects were used in a show.

The plot involved the notorious Captain Lucky returning to collect treasure on an island where he marooned his former queue. Unbeknownst to him the youngest member of the queue is still alive and has booby trapped the island in preparation.

One thing I found out later, that I didn't realise at the time was that Captain Lucky was played by Leslie Neilson. That made me think of the moment before he made his entrance when you heard a toilet sound. At the time I thought it was a cheap joke, I now reckon it was him flushing his career down the toilet.

The film ended with Captain Lucky's current crew finding the remains of his former crew. This results in a mutiny and Captain Lucky being made to walk the plank. The crew sail away, while Captain Lucky swears he'll be back, as he can hold his breath a long time. (If you know what that's a reference to, I'm impressed).

So what happened to the ride? It stopped showing at Thorpe Park in 2007, but according to the Wickipedia page the film is still popular, and is shown in several places around the world, and I wouldn't be hugely surprised if a park in the UK showed it again.

As for the cinema, for a brief time it had an alternate film called Time Voyagers, before the films stopped completely. Since then nothing has taken it's place, apart from an occasional seasonal show in the theatre. I'm surprised a new film hasn't been installed really, as with the right film I think it could still be a popular attraction today.

 
Old Review: 8

This ride is a 3D cinema with extra sensory effects, which consist of spraying you with water, and blasting you with cold air. These effects are fun the first time, but struck me more as a novelty, rather than a major innovation.
What really impressed me were the 3D effects. I was just expecting the odd scene where it looked like one person was standing closer than another. Instead there were some very impressive effects where it looked like bats and hornets had flown out of the screen, right in front of your face. OK, the story itself is a bit young for me, but the effects are impressive, and make it well worth seeing.

 
Old Review: 6

With it's tone and content aimed at a market younger than Thorpe Park's main target audience, and having been in the park for almost a decade it wasn't that great a surprise to see Pirates 4D updated with a new film. This does create some problems as the theming of the building doesn't in any way match the contents of the film. This is a flaw, but it's not one that detracts from the ride too much, as your focus is on the film itself.
The name Time Voyagers created an image of a ride themed around time travelling. It turned out this isn't the case, it's about a trip on a space trip, exploring a mysterious structure that's been discovered. It's a pretty basic plot, with much of it being mainly to allow for some of the special effects to be used. There's some light humour, and just about enough going on to keep your interest up, but it never ranks as more than an average film.
Overall it's an O.K. ride, but I still found it disappointing. I think part of this has to do with the fact it's set up as a show, with you having to turn up at a specific time, rather than playing throughout the day, with you able to join the queue at any time. For this to work it needs to offer more than an average film that only lasts around 5 minutes. I really did expect more than this. I think it is still worth a go if you haven't tried it before,  but it's not one I'd go out of my way for to try again.