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Thorpe Park 10th September 2022


Matt N

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Hi guys. Today was, interestingly, my first visit to Thorpe Park of the season; by my usual standards, September is quite late in the season for me to be visiting Thorpe for the first time! Today was also the return of my solo theme park tripping; as with last September, my parents’ love of professional golf was greatly useful, as they were going to watch the championship at Wentworth and offered to drop me at Thorpe for the day.

 

We left early and made very good time; entry was very prompt, and I was in well before opening:

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Once the park opened, I headed to my first ride…

Nemesis Inferno

Nemesis Inferno was on a walk-on queue, so I decided to start my day there. As promised by the queue times board, it was deserted and I waltzed straight onto the second train of the day; always a bonus! So how was the ride? Well, I was seated on the outer seat of the back row, and I’ve got to say that it was absolutely brilliant! It was glass smooth, had just the right amount of force, had great pacing, and was an overall awesome coaster; having ridden the original Nemesis at Alton Towers a month ago, I perhaps controversially prefer its Thorpe Park sibling, and by a fair bit. I should also add that the operations were awesome on this run, with no stacking whatsoever! All in all, Inferno was fantastic, and a brilliant way to start the day:

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After Nemesis Inferno, I decided to try another ride nearby…

Detonator

Detonator was on an advertised walk-on queue, so I decided to take a ride. The ride was very quiet as promised; I only waited one cycle! But how was the ride? Well, it was absolutely fantastic! Even though I’m not generally a huge lover of flat rides, a glaring exception to that is drop towers; I can’t get enough of a good drop tower, and Detonator stacks up very well against others in the genre for me! In spite of it not being the tallest drop tower in the world, that drop is phenomenally punchy! One interesting thing that was also happening today was that the ride host appeared to be overriding the regular ride soundtrack and doing their own spiel, holding us up there for quite some time; it almost reminded me of HangOver at HPWW! Overall, though, Detonator was very good; I thoroughly enjoyed it:

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After Detonator, I went to do another coaster…

Stealth

Stealth was on an advertised 20 minute queue, so I decided to take a ride. It took slightly longer than this in reality, taking more like 30 minutes. So, how was the ride? Well I’ve got to say that it was absolutely fantastic! I was seated in row 5, and the launch hit just as well as it ever does, the airtime was brilliant, and the ride also seemed a fair amount smoother than it was last year; it seemed really quite jolty at times last year, but it wasn’t overly rough at all today, which made it a fair amount more enjoyable for me! Overall, Stealth was awesome today, and has definitely shot up a fair bit for me:

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After Stealth, I headed down towards Old Town to go on another coaster…

Saw The Ride

Saw was on an advertised 30 minute queue, so I decided to head over there and have a go on it. The advertised queue time absolutely skyrocketed before too long; it had hit 60 minutes by the time I reached the ride, and it quickly hit 120 minutes shortly after I joined the queue. However, I had a secret weapon up my sleeves… the newly added single rider queue! As anyone who’s read my recent Alton Towers trip reports will know, the single rider queue on The Smiler has been a very useful asset to me in terms of reducing queue time, so I was intrigued to see what it would do on Saw, particularly with a 120 minute queue time. It wasn’t quite as much of a remarkable silver bullet as Smiler’s, as I waited 40 minutes, but in fairness, I did only queue for 1/3 of the advertised main queue time, which I can’t really complain about! But how was the ride? Well, Saw isn’t really a favourite of mine, and today wasn’t too much of an exception, but in all fairness, my front outer seat ride was not exactly the worst ride I’ve ever had on Saw by any stretch. The first drop jolt got me pretty badly, and the ending was pretty rough, but the ride wasn’t too terrible other than those two sections. One thing I must commend about Saw that I’ve never really noticed before is that the ride actually has quite a bit of airtime; I can think of at least 3 pretty strong pops on there, and that drop off the MCBR gives off considerable shades of Silver Star! In reality, it is probably one of the strongest coasters for airtime in the UK, in my opinion; it’s a shame it’s so rough in places, as I think I’d really like it if it were smoother:

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After Saw, I decided to break up the coastering with a flat ride…

Rush

Rush was on an advertised queue time of 40 minutes, so I decided to have a ride on there. This ended up being pretty accurate; always a bonus! So, how was the ride? Well, I may have talked above about drop towers being an exception to me not generally being a huge flat ride fan, but Screamin’ Swings are another notable exception; I really enjoy Rush, and today’s ride was no exception! I really like the gorgeous pops of floaty airtime at the top of each peak, there’s a great sense of speed in each trough, and it’s also nice and thrilling without being overly intense, which always gets me on side! Overall, Rush was great fun; it’s always a ride I thoroughly enjoy, and today was no exception! Perhaps controversially, I'd take it over either of the gyroswings I've ridden any day of the week, and it's not even close for me:

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After Rush, I had a reride on Nemesis Inferno, as it had a mere 40 minute queue. I was seated in row 2 this time, and it was every bit as good as earlier; Inferno is just an incredibly solid ride, in my opinion, and really good fun! It’s definitely one that has considerably grown on me over the years:

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After Inferno, I sat down to eat my packed lunch on a bench near to Derren Brown’s Ghost Train, timing the throughput of Detonator as I ate (I had a very good vantage point!).

 

After that, I took a bit of a walk to my next ride…

The Swarm

The Swarm was on an advertised 40 minute queue time, so I decided to have a go on it. This queue ultimately ended up taking a bit longer, taking close to an hour in the end. But how was the ride? Well, I was seated in row 5, and I’m sad to say that while enjoyable, it was probably one of the weakest rides I’ve had on Swarm. I like Swarm, don't get me wrong, but I don't really love it any more like I used to, and I think today's ride reinforced that. It is a slightly frustrating one for me these days; there are still many elements of it that I absolutely adore, but there are a few niggles that do take away from it a fair bit for me these days. The first is its smoothness; this wasn't too much of an issue today, as the ride was fairly smooth on my inner seat ride, but it's definitely not the glossy smooth ride it once was, and I've had outer seat rides that were really quite bumpy. The second is the fact that I always grey out for several seconds on the helix over the water when I never used to; I know that some people like this, so I'm probably being overly picky, but I don't personally find it an overly pleasant sensation, and it does take away from my enjoyment of the ride somewhat for me. The third, and to be honest probably the main one, is the vest restraints. I used to really like them when I was young, but I'm afraid to say I'm not particularly fond of them at all anymore, and they do detract from the ride a fair amount for me. I'm not personally a fan of how rigid they are and how much they tighten during the ride; they seemed to particularly detract today, even taking some of the sting out of that awesome final inversion. It's a real shame, as Swarm was my first real Thorpe Park love; it spent a 2 year stint as my number 1 coaster of all time (yes, had I joined the forums prior to riding Mako at SeaWorld Orlando in 2016, Swarm would have been the coaster I'd have gushed about endlessly!), and it's also my most ridden coaster of all time outside of Alton Towers (some of those Towers classics are in another league of ridership numbers, really...). And there are still many elements I really love about it; the sense of speed, particularly on that first drop, is absolutely phenomenal, and that last heartline roll over the station is just absolutely sublime! Overall, while my ride on Swarm was still enjoyable, I'm afraid to say that it fell a bit flat compared to some of my phenomenal experiences on it in the past. I know I probably come across very picky here, so I apologise for being overly harsh, but I cannot lie about my own thoughts:

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After my ride on Swarm, I headed for a reride on Stealth at an advertised 50 minute queue, which ended up being closer to 70 in reality. I was once again seated in row 5, and it was just as fantastic as it had been earlier; Stealth really was riding excellently today, and I've really fallen back in love with it! I really need to get back on the front row at some point... my one experience of the front row, in 2020, sticks out in my mind as being my most enjoyable ride on Stealth by a fair margin:

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After my ride on Stealth, I headed down to Lost City to ride...

Colossus

Colossus was on an advertised 50 minute queue, so I decided to give it a go. Now anyone who has read my posts for a while will know that I do not hold much love for Colossus, but by this point it was one of the shorter advertised queues on park, and I also hadn't done it yet today, so I thought it might be worth giving it a spin. This turned out to be a slightly poor choice... because the queue ultimately took 110 minutes, meaning that I waited nearly 2 hours for Colossus and ultimately frittered away any opportunities to ride anything else today (I joined the queue at about 4:15pm, and by the time I exited the ride at about 6:05pm, I had to dash back to my parents in the drop off zone). Ah well; it can't be helped, and I'm sure that the ride staff were certainly trying their darnedest to shift the near 2 hour queue! But how was Colossus? Well, I'm afraid to say that I didn't enjoy the ride at all; I was seated in row 10, and it was incredibly rough and uncomfortable; I got very sore ears and a properly good headache out of the experience. I also find the cars/restraints extremely uncomfortable, and I'm not a fan of the consecutive series of slow heartline rolls. On the plus side, I think the layout of the first half is quite strong, and I did get a very, very slight tickle of airtime on the ride's airtime hill, which I've never had before! Overall, though, I do not find Colossus enjoyable at all; it's definitely one of my all time least favourite coasters. I apologise if that comes across harsh, as I know some of my reasons for disliking it are very picky, but I feel like honesty is the best policy when it comes to my opinions on these things:

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After Colossus, it was just gone 6pm and my parents were waiting in the drop off zone, so my day ended there:

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I had to rush out pretty abruptly, as I was informed that my parents only had 9 minutes left in the drop off zone... after I reached the car park, we all headed home.

 

So, that sums up my day at Thorpe Park! I had a really good day; I was very pleased with my ride count of 9, and it was great to get back on some of my favourites! Inferno was awesome, Stealth was great, Detonator was fantastic, Rush was really fun, Swarm was good... there were loads of really good rides today! Thorpe is a bit of a guilty pleasure of mine, and today was no exception; I had a great day!

 

Thanks for reading; I hope you enjoyed my report from Thorpe Park! That's probably going to be my final trip report of the 2022 season (I don't see myself going anywhere else this year), so... trip reports wise, I guess I'll see you in 2023!

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