Some love it, others love to hate it. That’s Thorpe Park! Home to numerous attractions, some are delightful, others are worse than that Hunchback Of Notre Dame sequel and a few are just alright.
Here’s my honest and “potentially” spoiler inducing opinions on the Island’s current offering.
It’s not for adults. Sorry Martin!
Who needs Brighton when there’s a whole beach to explore on here. If you ignore the ageing rock-work and everything behind, it feels like being at the sea side minus the good parts. Forgot the kids? Keep walking!
It’s flat settlement gives you a view of the better attractions when you enter the park
Serves no purpose for the majority of park goers
25/ Lumber Jump
“He’s a lumber jump and he’s ok, he sleeps all night and he works all day!” Ok, I’ll cut to the chase, I haven’t actually ridden this and it had to go somewhere, so here it is! Yay, mini drop towers!
Ideal if you are a kid or hate large rides!
Somewhat out of place and largely overlooked by adults, unless your a donut!
24/ Derren Brown’s Ghost Train Rise Of The Demon
One of the thins once largely talked about was how Thorpe was lacking a proper dark ride/experience attraction. Sadly this wasn’t the ride that would resolve this.
Don’t get me wrong, there are some cool features such as the floating carriage and added finale. However a lot of the attraction is purely a tonne of ideas executed in the wrong way, temperamental and already dated technology plus one of the most bland and tedious attractions to queue for! Not to mention it’s budget, resources and evidential failure have prevented Thorpe getting any noticeable investment until the end of time!
I’m usually someone who loves dark ride type attractions, but not this. Such a shame one of the best themed shops was paired with one of the worst rides. Plus given the state of things, I can’t really see this surviving much longer, if it hasn’t already received it’s death certificate. Darn I miss Wicked Witches Haunt!
It keeps you out of the rain and has a shop themed almost as good as the Disney store
Almost everything, making it the biggest failure in theme park history since Disneyland’s Rocket Rods but actually much worse in the long run!
23/ Timber Tug
Rockin Tugs are remarkably popular and pleasantly themed in some parks. Sadly this isn’t one of them and sits as a reminder questioning most of the park’s choices in recent years!
It’s better than Derren Brown’s Ghost Train (for what it’s trying to be)
The ride looks like it came from a sea life attraction and was shoehorned into whatever space was physically available. Oh wait!
22/ Storm Surge
This ride seems to have a cult of hatred from enthusiasts. It’s literally located slap bang in the middle of the park, looks worse than Staines on a Friday night and spends most of the ride soaking your feet like some strange paddling pool. Still theres some positives. It’s fun for groups , gives you decent views whilst you slowly ascend with a foot massage amongst a short part of the ride actually being enjoyable.
It’s the nearest I might ever get to Florida
If I wanted to get my feet wet I’d jump in a puddle!
21/ Depth Charge
Many Thorpe classics from the pre-Tussauds/Merlin eras have bitten the dust over the years. Depth Charge since however long has managed to the bullet. It’s lengthy queues, low throughput
and short duration don’t put this high on many lists. Even the staff probably don’t enjoy working on it.
However as RMC
’s (not the manufacturer) footprints on the park lessen over time, one must still look in awe over this attraction contributing to what’s there today and remembering park days of old. This might well be the last of it’s time to meet the bulldozer!
The ride hasn’t changed a bit in it’s almost 30 years of existence
Some of the better RMC
era attractions met wits end before this one!
20/ Mr Monkeys Banana Ride
The lone surviving attraction belonging to the parks long forgotten mascots. The banana ride isn’t the biggest or the best of it’s ride type but for now leaves guests with one of the last examples of what the park used to be before taking on it’s thrill seeking routes.
Is conveniently located opposite Inferno’s shop/exit
It’s not much of a pirate ship!
The ride that turned Thorpe upside down. Primarily because it was the first inverting ride for the park. The original was actually replaced in 2006 with a newer model from Drayton Manor due to reliability issues. It isn’t as scary as it looks, however the lack of restraint can be intimidating and may make you feel more nauseated than a heavy night out in Staines!
An ideal ride to progress with for wannabe thrill seekers
Likely a flat supporter because it no longer goes 360
18/ Angry Birds 4D
Years after the Pirates finished their voyage, a new flock of inhabitants took over the theatre. The attraction is simplistic yet effective and follows a quest between good and evil featuring a few effects along the way. It’s cheesy but makes for a pleasant break from the thrills.
Offers some great staff interaction on a good day
Watching Pirates 4D in German is still marginally more enjoyable
17/ King Pig’s Dodgems
Essentially a fairground ride but fun nonetheless. The setup of bird verses pigs helps for some fun and tactical bumping. The rubbery smell is strangely appeasing.
The Power pedal feels decent
The old ride bell sounded better
16/ Saw-The Ride
We’ve reached our first coaster. Sore, I mean Saw. They really nailed the horror theme with the waiting times, gum infested queues and rough rattly experience. I actually like (not love), the indoor section and the airtime Hill is quite fun too I suppose. As for the rest, it’s a little bit uncomfortable. Yay to the park’s most successful ride!
It features one the few working Park animatronics
Shamefully stands where a GCI
should’ve been alongside a saved Loggers (RIP)
15/ Rumba Rapids
This attraction features some of the most rapid (pun intended) history of the surviving attractions. It’s theme was simple yet effective when it opened in 87 before becoming more vibrant and whacky with Ribena sponsorship fifteen years later. Sadly the ride has become watered down (I’m sorry :p), thanks to removed effects, an absence of TLC and an unsuccessful retheme in recent years! Sadly the track record of these rides hasn’t helped either.
Doesn’t soak your feet like Storm Surge
Water quality leaves a lot to be desired, plus doesn’t run at night anymore
This is a sick ride, because it can make you vomit. I almost did on my first time which I blame on sweets and cola. The U.K. has lost a lot of flat rides over the years, especially top scans which makes Samurai top class now. I rarely ride but I know others do and they like it a lot.
Has cheated death more than James Bond
Worse at parking than Mr Fish
13/ Storm In A Teacup
Bow ye tops lads because we’re on to a right Classic now! Before the Tetley invasion the ride was known as the Teacup Twisters before losing it’s handle when it was rethemed to fit in with Stealth. It’s also the oldest attraction, having opened in 1986. This ride needs a pin!
Probably the most iconic surviving RMC
The cups are difficult to spin these days, especially being stiffer than Merlin’s Park budget
12/ Rocky Express
Some say it has cult status with Park fanboys and you’d be right. Rocky dominates what’s left of this ailing area giving off a perfectly balanced cycle to the soundtrack of Beetle Juice. It’s almost enough to distract you from the Loggers graveyard next door!
The best ride in the park that features trains in the theme
Doesn’t get enough ridership due to being in a ghost town these days (pun intended)
11/ Flying Fish
The park’s only non-thrilling roller coaster. Originally from outer space and the across the pond, the Fish lives on in it’s third form. Lacking the interaction and scenery from it’s last home it’s a bit like a movie remake, it isn’t as good as the original but still serves enjoyment value.
Snazzy yet comfortable trains
The announcements are almost as annoying as YouTube ads!
A ride that put the park on the map and firmly lead the park into the thrill market. Ten inversions lie ahead to riders, some more comfortable than others and that’s if you can fit in the trains which are more tightly packed than a cotswold sleeping bag. It breaks records but breaks down too sometimes.
Features some of the best park landscaping
Might have one of the worst designed coaster trains. Thanks Intamin!
Part of the flat pack that began the park’s thrill seeker journey. It may not reach the levels of newer model types such as Loke but still holds it’s ground relatively well. It’s dome and lakeside views make for some fitting interaction.
If you look at the floor correctly when it lowers, it’s like you are lifting up
The ride’s restraint system has a grudge against people of a certain build
When playground swings become less exciting Rush is the best thing. The lap bar restraints certainly provide a unique feeling especially on it’s top three swings!
This ride actually still intimidates me to this day
Sky Hawk is better because you can actually see the seat numbers
7/ The Walking Dead The Ride
A ride which has seen almost as many regenerations as Dr Who. It started backwards, then forwards and then became horror themed returning it’s original height restriction, so backwards. However I actually enjoy this ride and the new theme makes it something of an experience now.
The park finally has an experience attraction it has always needed
I think the park might have just a few too many dark themes now!
Arguably the most underrated ride in the park. As most attractions dominate the sky line, Quantum quietly waits in the corner for riders before doing it’s thing and what the ride does is great indeed. It’s fast, thrilling but most importantly fun. If I had to bulldoze all of Lost City and save just one attraction I would easily choose this. No joke.
Packs quite a punch
Was closed for almost all of 2019. I feel robbed!
5/ Tidal Wave
Given the state of things, this may be the best (operating) water ride in the country. It’s position dominates the surrounding area with criminally underrated theming, even if some has been ruined a little! But more importantly it gets you soaking wet, like a hundred tipping buckets hitting you at once.
The soundtrack is something of a masterpiece
Can only be ridden for two months of the year for most because it isn’t America!
I’ve done drop towers across the world and few come close to this one. You get some great aerial views here before you are released with a unique free fall feeling perhaps comparable to a reverse rocket lunch!
A free fall like no other!
The original music was better!
3/ The Swarm
Swarm is a quality ride. It’s smooth, reasonably themed but most importantly a B&M which has already become better with age (not Dragon Khan). Shame it wasn’t as successful as first hoped.
The ride works better running forwards
It’s station is an apocalyptic mess given the removed and dilapidated theming
Launching into second is the park’s accelerator (and arguable icon). Stealth really dominates the park and can even be seen from the M25! It may be a one trick pony to some but the launch packs a punch and the views/feelings from above being astounding. I actually prefer this to Red Farce and I’m not saying this because I mostly detest Port Av.
Probably my favourite accelerator coaster that isn’t Top Thrill Dragster
It Isn’t Top Thrill Dragster
1/ Nemesis Inferno
The ride that made me fall in love with Thorpe Park again, not to mention B&Ms. I still remember first going on this and given I did it six times on the same trip perhaps says volumes in it’s self. All these years later and Inferno has only gotten better with age.
TLDR- some photos not mine.