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Thorpe Park (Surrey)
Member Name: magenta23
Thorpe Park (Surrey)
Advantages: Big scary rollercoasters
Disadvantages: Not much else anymore
I've been to Thorpe Park many times, from a little child right up to the rather bigger kid I am now! Yesterday I revisited for the first time in a few years. The theme park in Chertsey, Surrey is easy to get to by any means really. We opted to go by bus and regular services run from Kingston, Woking and Staines. Nearest stations are Chertsey and Staines, both a fairly long but manageable walk away, or a short bus or taxi ride. There is ample parking here even on the busiest days, and as ever the car is still the easiest option, but alas I don't drive.
At this time of year the park is open 10-6. Later on in the season it opens until much later, but I felt this gave us more than enough time to do all we wanted to do. I'd recommend getting there early to avoid queueing for ages especially now they've introduced some tough security measures. After queueing to get in you then queue again to go through and have a bag search (and this is thorough), body search and scan. I was amazed at this, I guess they've been having some trouble. They even get you to sign a declaration to say you don't mid being searched and remind you that if you refuse or indeed, have some unacceptable items on you they have the right to evict you from the park with no refund given. Of course, this is all told to you after you've paid and not before, so if you do object to being searched, you've lost your money! I really do think this should be told to you when you buy tickets. My other half was making some muttered comments about infringement of his human rights etc but hey, I have nothing to hide, and don't particulary want to get stabbed or blown up on my day out, so what has to be done has to be done I guess. I just wonder whether I'll be able to go anywhere without being frisked soon!
After queuing twice, we entered the park to do some more! This is the unfortunate thing with theme parks, but we always go outside of peak times, mid week at term time so usually it's ok. I was amazed at just how many people there were yesterday though. Every ride had a 20 minute queue minimum (apart from the kiddy ones).
When I used to go to Thorpe Park and it's sister park, Chessington World of Adventures, Thorpe Park was the family one and Chessington for the thrillseekers but this has been swapped around in recent years. Chessington has now made more of it's zoo, and added a Sealife Centre, whilst having lots of family rides and Thorpe Park has all the scary ones. Every year there seems to be a bigger, higher, faster, or scarier rollercoaster, this years being SAW.
Based on the series of horror films, SAW is Thorpe Park's latest creation. The main feature being a 'beyond vertical' drop of 100 degrees from a height of 100ft. When we got to SAW the sign above the ride said the waiting time was 70 minutes. Seeing as though this was 'the big one' we decided to queue. About 10 minutes in there was a 'security alert and the ride was closed briefly. Lots of people dropped out but we stuck it out. Sure enough it got going again pretty quickly. A further 40 minutes in the ride had to shut again due to a 'technical hitch'. Again lots of people left, we thought this could go in our favour. Two hours from when we started queuing we got on the ride. A minute later we got off! It really is an amazingly quick rollercoaster. I know the speed is all part of the thrill but it was so quick you couldn't anticipate the next turn or twist, even briefly, which I think with the parks other rides, like Colossus, is all part of the buzz. I guess I can say 'I survived SAW' but it really wasn't worth the 2 hour wait. The huge 100ft drop is beyond horrible, the bottom of my stomach I think came up to the back of the throat. Never again. To top it all, they film it. Yep, after the horrible experience, you can watch just how ridiculous you looked and have a crowd of people huddled round the screens laugh at you too. On top of that, for a bargain price of £12 for the 1 minute DVD you can take it home and have you family and friends laugh at you too.
Of course there are many other rides to keep you entertained if SAW isn't quite your thing. Here's my favourites-
Loggers Leap - One of the few more family friendly rides, the classic log flume, can fit five people per boat, one small drop and one big one. Prepare to get very wet!
Tidal Wave - One for sunny days only, trust me do this on a cold day and you'll be miserable afterwards because there is not one part of you that does not get wet on this ride. Basically an enormous log flume.
Colossus - Thorpe Park's best rollercoaster in my opinion. This one has all the tricks, big loops, corkscrew, drops and speed. Ten loops in all. Thrilling and fun.
Nemesis Inferno - Alton Tower's has Nemesis and this ride is it's little sister. Lots of twists, loops and turns with the added spin through a steam filled tunnel. Fun!
Rhumba Rapids- A gentle tyre boat ride like laid back white water rafting. One for after lunch!
X:No Way Out - A backwards rollercoaster in the dark. Not too scary but fun and a relatively long ride, a good warm up one.
Samurai - Moved as this was originally at Chessington, spins spins and more spins. Don't expect to be able to walk in a straight line after this. A definite legs- to- jelly one
And few to not bother queuing for -
Stealth - A huge drop that will make your stomach fly out of your mouth and land in your lap. That's it.
Mr. Monkey's Banana ride - Like a big swing boat. Doesn't go anywhere, a bit boring and makes you feel rather queasy.
Overall, the rides are good, there are certainly a lot for the thrillseekers and Thorpe Park have gone all out to be THE UK destination for big rides, though I have to say there was something missing. I like rollercoasters, but I like the charming little rides too and everything here now is big and show off. More rides along the lines of the log flume would be beneficial in my opinion, sometimes you just want a break from being flung around at 100mph and when you do, there's not a lot here to entertain. The Thorpe Farm used to be a great addition for a chill out between rides but this has been done away with now which I think is a great shame.
Food wise, we ate at the new Noodle bar, just outside Logger's Leap. It was overpriced at £5 for a little tub of what was essentially spaghetti and sugar. It was a little bit of variety I guess as the alternatives were burger, fried chicken or hot dog. Theme Parks still don't cater for people on a diet.
Price wise, Thorpe Park now charge and arm and a leg to get in to the Park. £35 for an adult ticket!! 2 for 1 tickets are always about however, check Money Saving Expert for where to get them. I personally would never pay the full price to get in.
Overall, Thorpe Park is the destination for thrillseekers, but for a more all round theme park day out, I would suggest Chessington, which is now my favourite of the two.
Summary: Tussauds main event
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