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Matt N's Solo South East Jaunt 9th/10th June 2024 (10th June 2024: Thorpe Park)

Matt N


10th June 2024: Thorpe Park

It was the second day of the trip today, and another day can only mean another park; today, I visited Thorpe Park! Today marked my first visit of 2024 to the UK’s most thrilling theme park, so I was excited to get back on some of my favourites at the park for the first time in 2024!


After my night in the Premier Inn in Staines, my Thorpe day started at a little before 9am, when I took a short walk to Elmsleigh Bus Station in Staines to catch the Sullivan Buses 950, which is probably better known as the Thorpe Park Express bus, to Thorpe Park from stop 4:



Now, I had originally intended to catch the 9:10 service, which arrived at Thorpe Park at 9:20. However, lots of people wanted to get on at my stop and the bus was already extremely crowded. Therefore, I was at the back of the queue from standing aside to let others on first, so I ended up not being allowed on this bus and having to wait for the next bus at 9:25. However, the wait was only 15 minutes, and I still got to Thorpe well before opening, so I can’t complain too much.


When I got on the bus, it had to have been one of most crowded buses I’ve ever been on. The whole walkable area of the bus had patrons standing in it, and I was rubbing shoulder to shoulder with people at the very front of the bus. However, the bus was punctual, ran at a ridiculous frequency (15 minutes between buses is hardly any time at all!), and it got me there, so I can’t really complain! On an odd side note, the card machine on the bus was broken, and the bus driver waved me and others straight through and said "just get on" when I tried to present my bank card to pay for a ticket... so I actually got that bus journey for free!


After getting off the bus, I headed into Thorpe Park itself. By the time I got through security and past the turnstiles, it was around 9:40, so I was still in the park a good amount of time before rope drop even with me having to take a later bus:




Before I get into the main body of my day, I should probably address the main elephant in the room; Hyperia. The ride was one of the main motivations for booking this trip, but in the days leading up to today, I had a bad feeling that it might be closed, and this was unfortunately the case. It was disappointing to not get on the ride today, but I was determined to make the best of the situation and not to let it take away from my day at Thorpe Park. And even if I couldn’t actually ride it, it was quite cool to finally see it in person and see it test a little! It looks awesome; hopefully it can reopen soon:



Anyway, that’s enough about Hyperia. Let me get back to my day at Thorpe Park.


I decided to start my day by heading to the Saw/Colossus end of the park. My original plan was to start things off on Colossus, but the ride was still closed initially, so I instead decided to head down to…

Saw: The Ride

Saw was on an advertised walk-on queue, so I decided to take a ride on it. This queue looked as though it was quickly getting longer than walk-on, but as a solo visitor, I had a secret weapon I could use; the single rider queue! This worked very well indeed, with me getting on the ride in no time at all! So, how was the ride? Well, Saw isn’t an absolute favourite of mine, but I have to say that this morning run was one of the smoothest rides I’ve ever had on it! I was seated on the back, and while it was still a bit rough in places, it was nothing like it has been for me in the past; there wasn’t too much Gerst-ache here! As for the ride layout itself, there was some surprising airtime in places, and I think this might be the first time I’ve ever ridden Saw and had the water effect in the heartline roll actually work! I got very surprisingly wet from that effect! Overall, then, Saw wasn’t running badly at all this morning, and it was an interesting way to start the day:



When I was off Saw: The Ride, I noticed that Colossus was open, so I decided to head over to it…


Colossus was on an advertised 5 minute queue time, so I decided to give it a go. This 5 minute queue time turned out to be overstated, as I waltzed straight into the station and straight onto the back row; you can never complain about that! But how was the ride? Well, it was OK; Colossus isn’t a favourite of mine, but as with Saw earlier, my back row ride on Colossus today was on the much more favourable end of the spectrum. It was a bit rough in places, but not nearly as overbearing as it has been in the past. As for the layout itself; I really like the first half of Colossus, with the loop, cobra roll and two consecutive corkscrews packing a punch and the airtime hill even providing a small pop of airtime on this occasion! However, I’m not a huge lover of the second half, as I find the multiple consecutive heartline rolls a bit nauseating, and I also think the train and restraint design makes Colossus a bit uncomfortable even excluding any roughness. Overall, Colossus, while not a favourite of mine, wasn’t running too badly today:



After getting off Colossus, I decided to head to another major coaster…

Nemesis Inferno

Nemesis Inferno was on an advertised 5 minute queue time, so I decided to have a go on it. The queue times board was true to its word, as I walked straight into the station; it’s always great when that happens! But how was the ride? Well, I rode in row 3, and I have to say that this morning’s Nemesis Inferno ride was absolutely fantastic, and possibly one of the best I’ve ever had on it! The ride packed such an awesome sense of speed throughout, it was thrilling and had really good forces without being excessively intense, it was smooth, and overall, everything about the ride just clicked! Perhaps controversially, I must admit that I struggle to pick whether I prefer Nemesis Inferno or Nemesis Reborn; it will be a continual struggle, but that morning ride certainly made a strong case for Inferno:




After Nemesis Inferno, I headed to the next coaster…


Stealth was on an advertised 5 minute queue time, so I decided to take a ride on it. The queue time board was relatively true to its word, with the queue taking around 5-10 minutes. So, how was the ride? Well, I was seated in row 5, and it was absolutely fantastic! That hydraulic launch is always phenomenal; it really takes your breath away and gets you up to speed ridiculously quickly! Aside from the launch, the ride has many other great attributes; the speed throughout is brilliant, and the airtime over the top hat is also excellent! Overall, then, my ride on Stealth was excellent, and I thoroughly enjoyed it:




After Stealth, my original plan was to head over to The Swarm, on an advertised 10 minute queue. However, the queue was spilling out of the entrance and looking far longer than 10 minutes when I got to the area, so I decided to change course and instead head to...


Rush was on an advertised 15 minute queue time, so I decided to give it a go. This queue time proved roughly accurate, with the queue taking 10-15 minutes. So, how was the ride? Well, I'm a fan of a good S&S Screamin' Swing, and Rush is no exception; the speed and weightlessness are awesome! I love the airtime delivered at each peak, and the speed delivered in the troughs provides a real rush! However, I must admit that Rush seemed to be running a slightly underwhelming cycle today, with only one full height swing. I don't know if it's just me misremembering, but it seemed like it did more on previous visits. Nonetheless, Rush was a fun ride, with some nice airtime and speed:



After Rush, I had a reride on Stealth, with a 25 minute advertised queue time. I was seated in row 10 this time, and the ride was just as fantastic as earlier, if not more so. Right on the back, the airtime over the top hat felt notably stronger; I got some excellent sustained ejector going over it!:



After my ride on Stealth, I headed to the final major coaster I was yet to tick off...

The Swarm

The Swarm was on an advertised 35 minute queue time, so I decided to take a ride on it. This queue time turned out to be somewhat overstated, with the queue taking more like 25 minutes; it's always a bonus when the queue time is overstated! But how was the ride? Well, I was seated in the back left row, and I have to say that it was absolutely great! The ride had a truly awesome sense of speed throughout, it had some decent forces without being overly intense, it had some great, floaty inversions, and it was overall really good fun! The very rigid and tight vest restraints were a bit of a detractor for me, as they really dug into my collar bones and made me feel quite tightly pinned to my seat, but I have to say that these didn't seem to be quite as bad as they've been in the past; have Thorpe altered Swarm's restraints? Overall, then, my ride on The Swarm was thoroughly decent, and I really enjoyed it:



After The Swarm, I headed back towards the rest of the park. But as I walked by, I sampled a ride that I haven't done in a few years...

Flying Fish

Flying Fish was on an advertised 5 minute queue time, so I decided to have a go on it. The queue time board was relatively true to its word, with there only being a one cycle wait, and I was on the ride in no time. So, how was the ride? Well, I was sat in row 6, and it was a fun little powered coaster; it had its odd moments of speed and some fun turns! It's not exactly a spectacular example of the ride type, but for what it is, it does the job. Overall, then, Flying Fish was a fun diversion along my way back to the rest of the park:



After my ride on Flying Fish, I had a reride on Nemesis Inferno, on a 45 minute advertised queue time. I was seated in row 7, and as with my earlier ride, it was absolutely excellent, with great forces and speed, and hit the spot very nicely! On a side note, the operations were also excellent; there was a brief stoppage while I was in the queue, but once the ride was back up, the Inferno team were banging the trains out with no stacking whatsoever! Great job, guys:



After my reride on Nemesis Inferno, I headed towards Hyperia and sat down with a Burger King lunch to watch it test for a bit. It is a very impressive-looking ride, and I'm sure it'll be brilliant when I eventually get on it:



After I'd had my lunch, I decided to try another quick go on Saw via the single rider queue while I was nearby. The queue was once again quick, but I rather wish I hadn't, in all honesty. I was sat in the front, and the ride could not have been more different to the one I had earlier in the day. It was very rough, with some horrific jolts; the first drop and the ending were particularly bad. I'll digress to being a little confused as to how the front was seemingly rougher than the back on Saw, but I came off with a headache after that Saw ride, for sure:



After my reride on Saw, I had a reride on Stealth. I was seated in row 8 that time, and it was every bit as fantastic as the earlier two rides had been; that launch is such an awesome gut punch:




After my reride on Stealth, I then had a reride on The Swarm. I was in row 6 on the left side that time, and as with earlier, Swarm was an awesome ride with some great speed and great inversions:



After my Swarm reride, I had a reride on Nemesis Inferno. I was in row 5 that time, and the ride was once again brilliant, with a nice amount of force and a brilliant sense of speed:



After that, I had another reride on The Swarm. I was seated in row 5 on the right hand side that time, and it was once again a thoroughly decent coaster. I also had this ride during a bout of pouring rain, which added an... interesting dimension to the experience!


After my Swarm reride, I then had one final go on Stealth to close out the day. I was seated on the back row, and it was absolutely fantastic, with that ever punchy launch providing an amazing rush and the top hat providing some great ejector! It was a brilliant way to close out a great day at Thorpe Park:



After that final ride on Stealth, I left the park to get on the Sullivan Buses 951 back to Staines train station. The bus was very similar to earlier; extremely busy, but very punctual and getting me to the right place. However, I did not get this journey for free, as the card machine was working this time:



After I got to Staines train station, I did the final train legs of the trip to get me back to Bristol to meet up with my parents. I took 2 trains; a train from Staines to Reading and a train from Reading to Bristol Parkway. This journey was relatively simple and went without a hitch, so I can't really complain about that:




So, that brings my day at Thorpe Park to an end! I had an absolutely brilliant day; it was great to get back on some of my favourites at the park multiple times, and I was thrilled to get 15 rides in over the course of the day! Stealth was fantastic, Nemesis Inferno was awesome, Swarm was really decent, and overall, it was just nice to get back to Thorpe Park and get back on some of their rides for my first time in 2024! In terms of a particular highlight; my favourite ride at Thorpe, pre-Hyperia, would have to be either Stealth or Nemesis Inferno. I'm struggling to pick between the two, as they were both brilliant today!


Not getting on Hyperia was disappointing, but it didn't detract from the day in the slightest for me. I still had an absolutely cracking day at Thorpe Park without it, and when I was in the swing of riding some of my existing Thorpe favourites, the lack of Hyperia didn't really occur to me at all; I only really clocked it when I noticed it testing from a queue or on a ride! It does look like an awesome ride, though, and I'll be back very, very soon (potentially imminently) once it reopens... I can't wait to get on it, and given I had a relatively complete Thorpe day today, I'm not sure I'd even mind waiting a potentially considerable length of time for it at the expense of other rides in the park! Given how easy the train between Bristol and Staines is, I could pop back to Thorpe for the day with great ease whenever Hyperia reopens... I have plenty of money, and having just finished university, I've also got plenty of time to kill over the summer, so I'm hardly short of potential Hyperia-riding opportunity in the not-too-distant future once it's back open!


All in all, I do have a real soft spot for Thorpe Park. I rarely have a bad day there, and today was no exception! I think the park has a brilliant ride lineup, and for pure strength of rides, I'd struggle to think of a UK park on par with or better than Thorpe aside from Alton Towers! I also think Thorpe has some nicely themed areas and a nice atmosphere, and overall, I do just really enjoy it!


As well as the day at Thorpe Park, that also brings this trip to an end. And I have to say that I've overall been thrilled with how it's gone; I was very gratified by how surprisingly easy I found the logistics of managing a solo stay away with some additional public transport complexities, the whole process of staying in a hotel alone was much easier than I expected, and all in all, I'm really pleased to have pushed my solo trip boundaries that little bit further! From a pure theme park standpoint, the trip has also been relatively successful. Yes, I didn't get on Hyperia, but the trip was far from fruitless in terms of +1s, as I still got both Minifigure Speedway credits. It also got me back to both Legoland Windsor, a park I hadn't been to in 3 years, and Thorpe Park, a UK park that I'm very fond of, so that can never be a bad thing!


Thanks for reading; I hope you've enjoyed this report, and the overall duo of reports from this trip! To be honest, my next report is very likely to be another Thorpe Park report if Hyperia reopens any time soon, as I am eager to get on that ride ASAP!


Recommended Comments

Your experiences on Inferno and Stealth kinda reflect the years they are having so far. The operations on both have been stellar so far so it feels like something has changed in management for them both to be nearly flawless. Inferno is probably at the peak of its thrill levels now, it is running beautifully at the moment and is feeling very intense. 

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1 hour ago, Mark9 said:

Your experiences on Inferno and Stealth kinda reflect the years they are having so far. The operations on both have been stellar so far so it feels like something has changed in management for them both to be nearly flawless. Inferno is probably at the peak of its thrill levels now, it is running beautifully at the moment and is feeling very intense. 

Inferno had excellent operations; my recorded throughput average was nearly 1,100pph, and that’s the highest I’ve ever recorded on that ride by some margin! Normally, I don’t record an awful lot more than about 850pph on Inferno, but operations yesterday were brilliant, with no or hardly any stacking on any of my rides!


Stealth seemed to be a little more par for the usual course in terms of operations for me, with my recorded throughput average being a little below 800pph. However, I should say that I had only a small number of readings from Stealth, and that at least one of those also appeared to have some degree of guest faff. When I was actually on the platform, the staff were working really hard and only just missing the 40s dispatch interval on the timer. To be honest, I think it could do with a single rider queue or some way of filling the empty seats, as it seemed to slow things down when staff had to push down the restraints on the empty seats.


Another ride that I have to say had excellent operations yesterday was Swarm. As with Inferno, my recorded throughput average was almost 1,100pph, and there was very little stacking going on; there were quite a few dispatches with no stacking whatsoever, and stacking was very minimal where it did occur!

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In answer to your question re Swarms restraints, yes they have been altered. 


Before, the vests would lock in place when the train was dispatched. This season they no longer lock in place. Much more comfy and I can actually breathe on the breakrun now 🤣

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