Trip report time!
After being picked up from East Croydon by Peaj, along with Jaymiee and Ben (TopsyTurvy), we set off to Chessie. But not without picking up from Han from Wimbledon station; she got the train there by herself! Well done Han!
Once arriving at the park, Peaj received a text from Mr Fish saying that “the car park is closed” – he’d gone to the wrong entrance, bless him While Peaj went to collect him, JamesC, Phill and Matt arrived! It was easy to tell that Matt was a TPM member with his annual pass and lanyard! However, Jaymiee had never met Phill before, so as he was arriving said “Who’s that man walking towards us?” Once Peaj returned with Fish, the entrance had opened and in we went, bumping into Adam (scarycoasterboy) on the way in! After initially losing James (his new MAP didn’t let him through the turnstiles at first!) we headed over to Hocus Pocus Hall and met up with Alex (ThrillseekerAlex), Jonny and Chris *I think* (TP1214). We did Hocus Pocus as we were right next to it and it was a good laugh, been ages since I’d done it! Han jumped a few times though bless her!
After this we had a bundle of laughs on Rattlesnake! I shared a car with Peaj, James and Matt and made sure we screamed the loudest! As the years have gone on I love this ride even more; not that I ever disliked it but every time I ride, I find it more and more fun! I also adore the queueline as it just reminds me of my first ever visit to the park, and Rattlesnake was my first ride (this was back when it had its original height restriction of 1m 17)!
While waiting for Jack and Ethan (EC!) to arrive, we had a ride on Safari Skyway. Nice way to chill and enjoy the views of the zoo. As you can see I was super excited to see the animals!
We then met Jack (and his mum) at the entrance and headed over toward Land of the Dragons to meet Ethan. Peaj got a nice photo of us 3 plus James in the sun here!
We then headed over to Tomb Blaster where Peaj explained the rules of the game “Empire” and where we had one of our group photos. Then it was off to Tomb Blaster for some fun! Really enjoyed the ride, and also while walking through the queueline, I was reminded of how good it all is! Good fun ride, sat with Ethan, James, Han and Fish and I beat all of them with a score of 13900! Not sure what my highest score on this is but I tend to score higher on Duel. Overall, out of the whole group, I came fourth with my score, not bad at all!
Don’t we look good
The time then came to try out the new ride…ZUFARI! The queue wasn’t too bad and at this point the sun really came out, so off came the layers! There is a photo point in the queue where some of us were given hats and snakes to hold for the shot. It’s a bit of a shame to have something like that in the middle of a queue as in some ways it just screams out money making, plus causes some delays. Then again it did provide extra amusement and any income to the park is positive I guess.
Now, onto the ride itself. Let’s start with the preshow…errrm It’s great for interaction and the children seemed to enjoy it, but it was also quite cringey, especially Ghozi the lemur (who is apparently male but has a female voice?!). And the animation of its mouth is rather terrible! We did have a laugh though, even if it was for the wrong reasons! So then it was time for our adventure to begin! I must say it was nice to have a different experience to the usual rides by being in a vehicle driven by someone, something about it is good fun! Ethan thought so too!
We were lucky that we had nice weather too as it meant the animals were all out; flamingos, giraffes, zebras and white rhino. There’s not really much else I can say about those parts of the ride, other than that you can get nice photos of the animals if they’re out. And they seemed pretty happy too which is nice to see. But we soon arrived at the Danger Cave! Having heard about this from others (well the whole ride in general to be precise) I lowered my expectations. And I found it to be better than I expected! As others have said, for something in the UK it really isn’t bad at all. The water effects were good and the children were all screaming The waterfall as you exit provided a good laugh too! Everyone in the group came off smiling and saying it was good and better than they’d heard! Hurrah!
My happy mood after the ride quickly left me as I had a mini heart attack at the exit; my phone was missing! It had been in my jeans pocket but I checked my bag thoroughly incase I had put it in there and not remembered (yes, I do that). But it wasn’t there so I figured it had fallen out of my pocket into the vehicle. Now at this point the rest of the group were slowly disappearing from the exit. I did call after them but they didn’t hear, yet there was too much of a crowd to go after them, explain and then return to the ride; I didn’t want to risk someone finding my phone and taking it! As Sheepie would put it – I was flapping! I asked the staff members if they could look for my phone and luckily, they found it! Phew! But the bad news? The guy who found it then dropped it! I’ve only had it 6 months and up until now was in pristine condition, but it now has some lovely scuff marks on But I was flippin’ relieved that it wasn’t lost, and I guess if I’d had a cover on it, it would have helped
I breathed a huge sigh of relief, checked it still worked after its dramatic turn of events, and thought that by now, the group would realise they were missing one person and one or two might have come back to see where I was. But NO! Never fear, I did eventually catch up with them by Rameses and of course, I could’ve contacted Peaj or someone if I couldn’t find them. But it’s a bit disheartening when nobody realises you’ve disappeared I know I’m small but I’m not THAT small am I?
But never mind, it was time to ride an old, creaky top spin! The queue wasn’t too bad and I chose to sit on the edge as I just wasn’t in the mood for a face full of water. I’ve not ridden Rameses (or Ripsaw) for a few years as I just don’t find top spins that fun, plus the restraints try to knock the wind out of you! But this meant that I did enjoy it, and I’ll always remember my first trip to Chessie when I was too short to ride it, watching it and thinking how big and scary it looked!
We then went towards Mystic East as we had seen Dragon Falls running earlier on in the day. However we were greeted with a sign informing us that the area was closed off while they updated the theming, and the ride was empty of water. Mystic East is one of, if not the best, themed areas of the park and it was rather saddening to see its main ride in such a state
But as Peaj would say, “Hey ho!” And off to Wild Asia we went. We did Monkey Swinger first, taking advantage of its short queue. Speaking of Peaj, it was time for my traditional “Peaj Hug!”
Love how I’m being used as a head rest! It was going nicely until Ethan decided to start his evil kidney jabbing! Had a fun ride as always but the water jets weren’t on which was a shame, but it was fun waving at Han every time we whizzed past her. While we were in the mood for spinning we headed over to Kobra, which had quite a queue but as always when you’re with such a great bunch of people, it doesn’t matter. Had a lot of laughs in the queue – to the point where I ended up collapsing onto the floor! - with conversations ranging from saggy melons to soggy biscuits (!), to whacking one out Don’t worry – it was just my mind being dirty! And I was appropriately named a “Dirty minded individual.”
We had a good ride on Kobra, and after finding it uncomfortable previously (not the back rests, but the fact they pushed me into the front part, crushing my stomach) I was determined to not suffer again, however I think I made my leaning back a bit too obvious and the staff member asked me to lean forwards. As you can see, I was not impressed...
I did try to lean back as much as I could though, and I think I know why I have an issue but no one else does; my height! The bottom of my rib cage – so roughly where the diaphragm is – gets pushed into the front part of the seats. Whereas for others who are taller, the front part would push against their belly instead, thus causing less or no discomfort. But this leaves me wondering what it’s like for children. It’s not awful, I mean if I brace myself I can push myself back and be fine, but I would like to be able to put my arms and legs up without feeling suffocated!
After our ride, MarkC had finally arrived and was waiting with Han! And what better ride to do for our first one as a full group than Tuk Tuk Turmoil! I really do love this as a group ride, it is so fun and I could easily do it more than once purely for that reason!
Group photo time by the talking elephant tree thing (forgotten its name)! Won’t post it as you’ve already seen it in Peaj’s trip report.
Our bellies were rumbling so it was time to eat. It went well considering people went off separately, no faff or disagreements or standing around for a thousand years debating where to eat I went with some of the others to Creaky Café, which is a lovely little place and not bad for money. I literally walked in and exclaimed to James “OOOH this is nice!” We sat outside to eat, where the others who had gone elsewhere joined us. It was at this point that I felt even more happy and excited about the whole day and how awesome it had already been!
We paid a visit to Bubbleworks while our food went down and experienced the new music. I have to say, it was quite jolly and some of us were dancing/bobbing around to it! Me and Peaj got right into it, so much so that I ended up marmalised!
Joining me in my tub were Han, Jaymiee and Alex. Ooh cosy! I know this is so repetitive to say but I miss the original ride so much, it hurts to see how different it all is when all I can think of is how good it was! Particularly the fountain finale, gaah I miss those strobes! It made me so mad I turned rather demonic!
Jaymiee decided we should scream as loud as possible when going down the drop and see if Peaj’s boat did the same in competition – and sure enough, they did! God knows what the operator thought!
Vampire was up next Again, it’s such a shame to see it like it is when remembering how great it used to look. The queue was quite long but as usual we all made it good fun, and got some funny photos!
And our game of Empire finished with Adam winning the flag! It was also funny when MarkC asked if my name was Meryl I nearly collapsed onto the floor again! Was a fun ride as usual, and I’ll always love that lift hill noise and the roar of the trains
Time was running out so we decided to go on Black Buccaneer and make Dragon’s Fury our last ride of the day. Whilst chatting in the Buccaneer queueline, I discovered that Alex is from Horley. Horley! Somebody on TPM is from where I am from It might not seem much of a deal to some, but hardly anyone I know has heard of the place! Small world, eh? We soon got on the ride, where we could smell weed, which led to me and James trying to guess who it was I still say the lady on the opposite side wearing the pearls looked pretty out of it Got some good interaction on the ride too; the operator asked how we all knew each other due to our large group size, and we explained. The ride start announcement turned out to be “No standing up, no throwing up, no touching the cross bars if you are sat in the back rows, and if you plan on writing about this on the internet later, please say good things!” We certainly have!
So it was time for our last ride of the day (or so we thought…) on Dragon’s Fury. The queue was long-ish, made worse by Mark’s sugar addiction I hate to moan (and contradict my statement about positive feedback), but the operation of the ride was pretty dire, with cars stacking up outside the station – there were four stacked at one point! This man certainly wasn’t impressed:
Han, Fish and Chris look on in disgust:
Ooh er! We planned our seating arrangements strategically, and I shared with Peaj and Ethan. This resulted in some epic spinning on the first half of the ride! Not so much after the second lift hill, but then again I’ve noticed that cars never seem to spin as much on that part. But yeah, it was brilliant fun and probably the best ride I’ve ever had on Fury!
At this point, we had to say goodbye to Jack and Adam, and had found out that Zufari’s queue was still open! So there was only one option…LEG IT! Han wasn’t up for the mad sprint so decided to go for a mad spin on Rameses instead! We made it to Zufari in one piece, albeit breathless, and had another good ride on it. Some of us sat in the front for the preshow and JamesC was cheeky to Ghozi and got to do a monkey impression! We didn’t see as many animals this time around but it was still good.
We then made our way out of the area and said our goodbyes to those who weren’t coming to the meal. It really had been a fantastic meet and I was glad it still wasn’t yet over. Mark clearly didn’t want it to be over either; while walking back to Peaj’s car, he came after me for more hugs, bless him! This frightened Han so much she pooped bricks:
We had to sit outside at the Monkey Puzzle as there were no tables inside, and it was getting a tad chilly. Nevertheless, it was a nice meal, a nice way to relax after the day and to have a chat. I had paprika chicken and spicy chips which was yummy, although part of my breast was overdone
James and Ethan soon had to leave, and the rest of us headed inside to the warmth where we found some tables, and Peaj, Alex and Mr Fish found themselves eating an enormous sundae between them! We chilled for while then decided it was time to leave and end our day
And wow, what a day it was! Firstly, I’d like to say that it was a fantastic group of people that attended, as Peaj said. It was different, as there were quite a few newbies/new-ish to meets members, but it was great to see so many new faces and that everyone joined in and felt comfortable
Mark isn’t as bad as he is online (I’m sure he won’t mind me saying that as I said it to him in person and he admitted it ), he is adorable! Meryl indeed! Apologies to Matt, Adam, Jonny and Chris who I didn’t get round to speaking to that much, but as I said it was nice to meet you guys! The same goes to Alex although we did speak a bit at the meal, and also thank you for offering me a lift home I would have taken it but as you know, I had to stay in Peaj’s car and be a good friend James and Ethan are as lovely as they are online – James, you’re a total geek for walking around with your drinks capsule and Ethan, despite being an evil kidney jabbing gremlin, you did make me laugh when you said “For some reason I thought Mer would be taller.”
It was lovely as always to see everyone else again and that the whole group in general got on well and stuck together. So thank you all for being so awesome! This was definitely one of the best meets
Finally, as always, thank you to Peaj for organising this meet and running it so well. Empire was a great game to play throughout the day and really helped everyone get to know each other. The meets actually feel like meets again, which is how it should be I can’t thank you enough!
Thanks for reading! x