So me and my other half have just got back from a 4 day trip - one day at Chessington and three at Thorpe. Very mixed trip which I’ll summarise in bullet points.
- Operations at Thorpe were (for the most part) very, very good. Two trains on all the major coasters (and TWD) every day and rapid dispatches. Chessington really needs work in that area though!
- Our ride on DBGT wasn’t bad, pretty much all of the effects were working well and it had hardly any downtime whilst we were on park. Only reason we went on though is because we had an hour of fast track for it included with the hotel stay, otherwise we wouldn’t have bothered. It’s bad that, for a ride that was supposed to be so re-rideable, we see pretty much absolutely no reason to go back on anymore. It needs to go.
- BounceZilla is a complete and utter monstrosity and we thought it looked mortifying for all involved. I’d imagine it’s probably quite fun, yes, but this should not be at Thorpe Park imo.
- Jungle Escape has flopped harder than anyone could have expected. We didn’t see anyone queuing or going in, or even glancing at it, whilst at the park. Considered giving it a go, but didn’t think it was worth the £10pp upcharge for what seems to more or less be IAC in sheep’s clothing.
- Went in GameFX for 45 mins or so when it was raining yesterday and was moderately impressed. Good variety of consoles and games, and plenty of them to go around. The VR experience also looked good fun. It was pretty quiet though, on a busy day when it was pouring down outside. Evidence that maybe people don’t want to go to a theme park and play video games? ?
- TWD:TR has improved since last year imo. Not sure why or how, but I enjoyed it a lot more this year. Much better experience with live actors than without for me personally as well.
- Quantum still looks a week or two away from finally opening this year to me. We watched it being worked on and it was tested a few times (that we saw), but it isn’t making a great sound when sent on it’s full cycle ?
- Best ride on Vortex that I’ve ever had, it’s running so well this year.
- Old Town looks as sorry as ever. I’m not going to even bring up SBNO rides as everyone already knows the situation!
- I’ve always had a soft spot for Thorpe Shark, however after this visit I think the park desperately needs a proper hotel. We stayed in a tiny Travelodge room after Chessington and it felt so, so, so spacious compared to the shipping containers.
- I’ve not been to Chessington before but I think I preferred it to Thorpe, which I didn’t think would happen considering the target markets (not that anyone, including Merlin, knows what Thorpe’s really is). Better theming, better atmosphere, better maintenance. However Thorpe definitely wins on the operations front.
- Impressed with the 40th anniversary merch on offer. They should be doing more to commemorate it than selling new stuff though.
- We left 2 hours early today due to the queue times. Our fault for (mistakenly) booking during half term but there you go!
Apologies for the long post! Just some thoughts on what will probably be my only visit this year. My second to worst visit that I’ve ever had unfortunately.