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Matt N

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About Matt N

  • Birthday 07/31/2003

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  • Favourite ride
    Mako (SeaWorld Orlando)
  • Favourite Theme Park
    Europa Park

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  • Gender
  • Location
    Forest of Dean (UK)

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  1. I know it’s a different park, but Alton Towers have always created a slightly modified version of their logo to fit whatever the new ride of the year is whenever they’ve built something major. Over the years, we’ve had the orange version of the logo for Wicker Man, the yellow and black swirly version for The Smiler, the green version for Thirteen, and the purple version for The Curse at Alton Manor, and that’s just off the top of my head… With this in mind, I wouldn’t mind betting that Thorpe might have an edited version of the logo specifically for Hyperia’s opening year.
  2. I’m wondering whether the new logo might have some sort of coaster track or something in it. I know it’s a well-worn approach for a theme park logo, but I would argue that coasters are one of Thorpe’s biggest selling points, particularly with the logo change coinciding with the opening of Hyperia.
  3. Sorry to double post, but I’ve managed to find video confirmation courtesy of an Instagram reel from Dominic Gardner: https://www.instagram.com/reel/CyLUqY_NUJG/?igshid=MzRlODBiNWFlZA%3D%3D Interestingly, it looks as though they’re starting with the huge outerbank into an inversion.
  4. I have exciting news… according to John Burton’s Instagram story, Hyperia has gone vertical! This is the day we’ve all been waiting for… I, for one, frankly can’t wait to see this beast of a coaster take shape!
  5. Hi guys. 2024 is set to be a pretty big year for UK roller coasters, with four different roller coaster-related projects happening for next year. These are: Hyperia at Thorpe Park, a Mack HyperCoaster that will be the UK’s tallest and fastest roller coaster. Nemesis 2.0 at Alton Towers, the rebirth of the much-loved B&M Inverted Coaster that is widely accepted to be the most revered UK coaster. Drayton Manor’s new coaster, an Intamin lift and launch coaster with spinning trains. Legoland Windsor’s new coaster, a duo of Zierer family shuttle coasters. It’s certainly a big year for UK roller coasters when you look at this motley crew of upcoming rides! But I’d be really interested to know; which of these 2024 coaster projects are you most excited for? Personally, I’d have to pick Hyperia at Thorpe Park. It’s so exciting that the UK height record is finally being broken after 30 long years, and even besides that, I think the layout of Hyperia looks phenomenal, with some really unique and impactful elements. I can’t wait to see how that first drop and outerbank into an inversion ride in particular, and the other elements like the Immelmann, stall/dive loop, and the outerbank should provide a real breath of fresh air to the UK coaster scene and provide sensations that have never really been felt on a UK coaster before! I have a huge amount of faith that it will be a big hit, and while it would be overly presumptuous to count your chickens before they hatch, I think that there’s a fair chance that we could be looking at the ride that will finally unseat Nemesis from the position of “most revered in the UK”! I am excited for Nemesis’ rebirth, but it is a coaster that I’ve already been riding for 10 years rather than anything new, so it does lack some of the anticipation of a new coaster project for me. I’m also excited to see what Drayton Manor’s coaster turns out like. It sounds like it could be a really intriguing ride, and I’m so glad to see them back on the coaster building map after so long! Legoland Windsor’s investment looks great for that park, and I’m sure the two coasters will ride really well and go down well with the target demographic, but I’m not as personally excited for them by virtue of them not really being aimed at my demographic. But I’d be keen to know; which of the UK’s 2024 coaster projects are you most looking forward to?
  6. In some interesting news, Scott from Your Experience Guide was told on a lift hill climb that Colossus is getting a technical upgrade for 2024 that will result in restraints being able to be released individually. This will mean that when a rider doesn't fit or needs their restraint adjusting, their restraint can be released on its own as opposed to the current situation where every restraint on the train needs releasing and rechecking. This should really help to improve throughputs on Colossus, as by my observation, the constant need to release and recheck all restraints due to guests not fitting or restraints needing to be adjusted is one of the biggest bottlenecks that's hamstringing the ride's throughput at present. Source: (Go to 2:55 if the timestamp doesn't work)
  7. Hi guys. We all have our favourite coasters, those rides that we rank really highly; for me, rides that come to mind in this category include phenomenal coasters like Mako, VelociCoaster, Silver Star, Hagrid's and Iron Gwazi, amongst others! Often, there will be a common thread running through our favourite coasters in terms of certain attributes they share to some degree. With this in mind, I'd be interested to know; what do you generally favour in a coaster? What makes a coaster good for you? What kind of coaster elements and attributes really tick your boxes? Personally, I'm going to answer this through both an analytical and instinctive lens. Looking at this analytically, I decided to play about with my full ranking of all 111 coasters I've ridden, plotting the correlation between Ranking and Height, Speed, Length, Inversions, Total Rides and Year Opened. Total Rides might seem like an odd metric to test, but I added it in because I wanted to figure out whether that good old chestnut nostalgia has much of an effect on how highly I rate a coaster. Will I rate something that I have an enmeshed relationship with and have ridden numerous times more highly than something I've only ridden once? When I tested this out, the ranking of how highly correlated certain attributes were with ranking were as follows (I've reversed the direction of the correlations to clear things up; the raw correlations given by Python were negative because ranking gets lower as a number as you rate something more highly): Ranking Attribute Pearson Correlation Coefficient (2dp) Spearman Correlation Coefficient (2dp) Average Correlation Coefficient (2dp) Strength of Correlation based on Average 1 Speed 0.57 0.57 0.57 Moderate Positive Correlation 2 Height 0.52 0.53 0.52 Moderate Positive Correlation 3 Length 0.47 0.48 0.47 Weak Positive Correlation 4 Total Rides 0.37 0.52 0.44 Weak Positive Correlation 5 Opening Year 0.33 0.39 0.36 Weak Positive Correlation 6 Inversions 0.18 0.21 0.20 No Significant Correlation So my rankings would suggest that the attribute I favour most strongly in a coaster is greater speed, with there being moderate evidence in favour of me generally favouring greater speed. There is similarly moderate evidence in favour of me generally favouring greater height, there is weak evidence in favour of me generally favouring greater length, a higher number of total rides and a newer opening year, and there is insufficient evidence in favour of me generally favouring inversions. To be honest, I would have instinctively said that speed was my favourite of the main 4 statistics before even doing that analysis, so that tallies up quite well, really! If you were asking me more instinctively what I enjoy in a coaster, though; I would have to say that simply put, I really enjoy coasters that are fun and thrilling, with good smoothness, comfort and rerideability. The main fundamental criteria for me to rate a coaster highly are simply that it's fun, thrilling and rerideable! There are specific elements I do enjoy, however. In terms of specific elements I enjoy; I absolutely relish the feeling of airtime on a coaster, and 9 times out of 10, a coaster in the upper echelons of my rankings needs to have at least some notable degree of airtime or negative g-forces. That's definitely something I specifically look for and rate highly in a coaster. I also really relish a coaster with a great sense of speed, and to be honest, I do often tend to gravitate towards taller coasters; for instance, a 200ft+ coaster is nearly always a winner for me, with 4 of the 6 200ft+ coasters I've ridden being in my top 10 and even the 5th being only just outside it at #12! But I'd be keen to know; what do you generally favour in a coaster? What makes a good coaster, in your opinion?
  8. With my year now having ended, I figure that I should update my top 30 again, as I have visited Flamingo Land, Brean Theme Park, Thorpe Park and Chessington since I last posted my list. This resulted in 1 new addition to the top 30 and numerous reshuffled entries, as well as my coaster count increasing to 111. Following some consideration, my end of year top 30 is as follows (for some idea of proportional ranking, I've also put the minimum thresholds for my top 10% and top 25% next to their respective rankings): Mako - SeaWorld Orlando (10/10) Jurassic World VelociCoaster - Universal's Islands of Adventure (10/10) Silver Star - Europa Park (10/10) Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure - Universal's Islands of Adventure (10/10) Iron Gwazi - Busch Gardens Tampa (10/10) Wodan Timbur Coaster - Europa Park (10/10) SheiKra - Busch Gardens Tampa (10/10) Icon - Blackpool Pleasure Beach (10/10) Ice Breaker - SeaWorld Orlando (10/10) Wicker Man - Alton Towers (10/10) Oblivion - Alton Towers (9/10) (Minimum threshold for top 10%) Stealth - Thorpe Park (9/10) Montu - Busch Gardens Tampa (9/10) Revenge of the Mummy - Universal Studios Florida (9/10) Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts - Universal Studios Florida (9/10) Blue Fire - Europa Park (9/10) Nemesis Inferno - Thorpe Park (9/10) Nemesis - Alton Towers (9/10) Mine Blower - Fun Spot Kissimmee (9/10) Rita - Alton Towers (8/10) CanCan Coaster - Europa Park (8/10) Sik - Flamingo Land (8/10) Kumba - Busch Gardens Tampa (8/10) Kraken - SeaWorld Orlando (8/10) Megafobia - Oakwood Theme Park (8/10) Rock'n'Rollercoaster - Disney's Hollywood Studios (8/10) Cheetah Hunt - Busch Gardens Tampa (8/10) (Minimum threshold for top 25%) Thirteen - Alton Towers (8/10) The Swarm - Thorpe Park (7/10) Slinky Dog Dash - Disney's Hollywood Studios (7/10) Of the 17 new coasters I rode this year, 4 made my top 10% and 5 made my top 25%, which I wouldn't consider a bad hit rate at all, personally! If you're interested, here's how I rank the 17 new coasters I did this year (the top 5 are kind of self-explanatory, as they're in the list above, but I thought some might find the breakdown of the other 12 interesting): Jurassic World VelociCoaster - Universal's Islands of Adventure (10/10, #2/111) Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure - Universal's Islands of Adventure (10/10, #4/111) Iron Gwazi - Busch Gardens Tampa (10/10, #5/111) Ice Breaker - SeaWorld Orlando (10/10, #9/111) Sik - Flamingo Land (8/10, #22/111) Kumali - Flamingo Land (6/10, #44/111) Mumbo Jumbo - Flamingo Land (5/10, #58/111) Pipeline: The Surf Coaster - SeaWorld Orlando (5/10, #60/111) Mandrill Mayhem - Chessington (5/10, #61/111) Astro Storm - Brean Theme Park (5/10, #68/111) Velocity - Flamingo Land (4/10, #78/111) Scorpion - Busch Gardens Tampa (3/10, #91/111) Super Grover's Box Car Derby - SeaWorld Orlando (3/10, #93/111) Magic Mouse - Brean Theme Park (2/10, #100/111) Bulldog Coaster - Brean Theme Park (2/10, #106/111) Sand Serpent - Busch Gardens Tampa (2/10, #109/111) Hero - Flamingo Land (1/10, #111/111) I must say that I've found this year truly brilliant for coaster riding overall!
  9. Based on my experience yesterday, the ride needs more staff before they should even think about bringing back the 3rd train. One operator was handling both batching of main queue guests and restraint checking for the entire right hand side of the train, and another was handling both the batching of RAP guests and restraint checking for the entire left hand side of the train. These two staff were working very hard and doing a prompt job, but the lack of additional staff definitely slowed things down on there. The whole process of the operator checking restraints, pressing the send button and then having to jump over the separating fence, batch main queue guests and then jump back over to repeat the whole process again was definitely adding inefficiency, and as a result, I timed a throughput average of 418pph, which equates to an average dispatch interval of 3.5-4 minutes. In some of the slowest cases, I timed dispatch intervals of over 4 minutes. This is on a ride that I would have said was fairly easy to attain quick dispatch intervals on on paper, so I'd wager that the staffing was at very least a significant contributing factor to the low throughput. Stacking was routine on 2 trains, and I certainly don't think a 3rd would have been of any benefit yesterday; for the time being, I feel that they'd get far more benefit out of investing into 2 additional bayloading staff than they would out of investing into reinstating the 3rd train.
  10. I went to Chessington yesterday, and I managed to get throughput timings and insights from the 3 coasters I did. Dragon's Fury (Theoretical: 950pph on 8 cars) - 497pph (unknown number of cars, 17th September 2023, average of 10) Note: This number assumes that all 4 seats in a car were full for the sake of simplicity. Due to a rule imposed by Chessington allowing no more than 3 adults per car, seats were going out empty more often than not; some cars were going out full, but most seemed to be going out with only 2 or 3 seats filled out of 4. Therefore, the actual attained figure is most likely a fair peg lower than the one given above. For some idea, the average dispatch interval I timed was approximately 28 seconds, and in the period I wasn't timing, I'd say that the average interval looked to be somewhere around the 30 second ballpark. Mandrill Mayhem (Theoretical: 840pph on 1 train) - 575pph (1 train, 17th September 2023, average of 9) Vampire (Theoretical: 1,200pph on 3 trains) - 418pph (2 trains, 17th September 2023, average of 6) Tomb Blaster (Theoretical: Unknown on 5 trains) - I could not time Tomb Blaster exactly, as I was ushered onto the ride too quickly to gain any timings, but my very vague timing (aka checking my watch) of the dispatch I was on came to roughly a 3 minute dispatch interval, which would equate to around 600pph if all 30 seats on the train were full. (unknown number of trains, 17th September 2023) Overall, I'd say that the park was mixed to weak operationally, if I'm being honest. The staff on the ground were working very hard and trying their best, but I would say that the park had some of the lowest throughputs I've ever seen relative to the crowds it gets. The throughputs of most of the rides I did seemed to be stunted to some degree by either procedure, a lack of staff, or both; the operations were certainly no fault of the staff themselves. The strongest operations of the day were on Mandrill Mayhem, by my reckoning. Yes, the procedure that means that guests can't wait on the platform behind the airgates is a considerable stumbling block for efficient operations, and that's probably something that could have been avoided during the design phase, but there's not a lot that they can do to rectify that now. With all things considered, I thought the ride was being operated very well. With the cards that have been dealt in terms of the intrinsic throughput of the ride and the H&S-related loading procedure, I thought that an average dispatch interval of just shy of 3 minutes was very, very good, personally; I was certainly pretty pleased with this figure seeing as the ride only has 1 train and has to load in the way it does. The ride seemed relatively well staffed, and the staff were doing an excellently prompt job of checking restraints and such. Great job, Chessington! Weight limits notwithstanding, Dragon's Fury definitely wasn't operating as promptly as Spinball Whizzer at Alton Towers mostly does. On Spinball, the cars continuously motor through the station, with the continuously moving loading system being well utilised and not really having any kind of delay, and dispatch intervals as quick as 20 seconds are achieved. On Dragon's Fury, however, the continuously moving loading system was not really being used (I could have sworn it had one the same as Spinball's from previous visits, but I could be wrong there), and 2 or 3 cars or so often seemed to be stacked up in the station at once. With that being said, a good number of cars were seemingly running, and 30 seconds certainly isn't a terribly slow dispatch interval by any stretch of the imagination, although the weight limit definitely limits the throughput potential of the ride and the likes of Spinball do show that faster dispatches can be achieved with the same ride hardware. Vampire definitely had some of the most surprisingly slow operations of the day, and this was due in large part to the fact that the ride was seemingly lacking staff. One operator was running the whole show for the main queue, being left to both batch and check the restraints on the entire right hand side of the train. They had one companion, who was batching what appeared to be the RAP queue and checking the restraints on the entire left hand side of the train. These staff were working incredibly hard and certainly putting all their energy into checking the restraints and batching, but at very least, I feel that a separate bayloader for each queue would not have gone amiss and would have sped things along considerably. The whole process of the operator checking restraints, pressing the send button and then having to jump over the separating fence and batch people before jumping back over to check the restraints for the next train and repeat the whole process again definitely slowed things down, and as a result, dispatch intervals of over 4 minutes were timed in some of the slowest cases, with the overall average coming to around 3.5-4 minutes per dispatch, despite Vampire looking like a ride that could quite easily attain quick dispatch intervals on paper. It reminded me of Flamingo Land, where they run things in a similar manner, and with queues being markedly longer at Chessington than they were on my visit to Flamingo Land, I don't think this method is as proportionate to the crowds at Chessington as it is at Flamingo Land. The situation at Tomb Blaster was very similar to that on Vampire. One operator was running the entire show on their own here, being left in charge of batching, checking restraints and sending the ride. The operator was working very hard and doing a very prompt job, but the fact that they were having to do everything slowed things down, and as a result, a ride that looks like it should attain fairly quick dispatch intervals on paper was dispatching around every 3 minutes. To be fair, though, the queue was not as long for this, with me only waiting around 30-35 minutes, and the ride's fairly large train means that a throughput of roughly 600pph would still have been attained, which, if I had properly timed it, would probably have been the highest on park. Similarly to Vampire, though, 2 additional staff members (one bayloader and one operator sat in the cabin sending the ride) would not have gone amiss and would have sped things up notably, in my view.
  11. If anyone’s interested, I rode Mandrill Mayhem and saw the World of Jumanji for the first time today. I’ll split my review into two parts; a brief review of the land as a whole and a longer review of the main point of interest, Mandrill Mayhem. Let’s start with the area as a whole… The Area Overall, I have to say that I really liked the area itself! It’s got some very nice theming; the main jaguar shrine centrepiece provides a really striking visual, and there are some other really nice sight lines and really nice bits of theming within the land. In terms of some of the subtler bits of theming, I quite liked the Bazaar section; to me, it gave off almost Animal Kingdom-esque vibes! There are also various other nice bits of theming around the land, and while the landscaping is still a little scant at the moment, I think it will look really nice and make the area look really wooded when it’s grown in! One thing I did notice is that while I like the area soundtrack and think it’s quite a cool, motivating piece, the loop is quite short. I can imagine that it might get a little grating to hear the same thing over and over if you’re in the area for any extended period of time. Short music loops do seem to be quite a Chessington-wide thing, though, so perhaps I’m just being overly pedantic… If I’m being pedantic, it is also somewhat lacking in seating. As far as I could tell, I couldn’t really see any benches or anything for people to sit down on. Overall, though, I did really like the area; from a visual standpoint, it certainly looks very nice, and overall, I think it’s quite well executed and will grow to look really nice once the landscaping is bedded in! Now let me move onto the main point of interest… Mandrill Mayhem I was interested to ride Mandrill Mayhem, as it’s certainly one of the more unique contraptions I’ve ever seen from B&M. I was very intrigued to see how a family launched wing shuttle coaster rode, as to me, that seemed like quite an eclectic combination of ride types; I, for one, was certainly very surprised when Chessington announced that Mandrill Mayhem was to fuse all four buzzwords together! But did Mandrill Mayhem live up to the hype and the fairly positive reviews for me? Well, I’m sorry to say that overall, I was definitely somewhat disappointed with Mandrill Mayhem as a coaster. I had 3 rides, and don’t get me wrong, it’s far from a terrible coaster, but I wouldn’t say that it was an especially brilliant one either, and it wasn’t one I overly rated. In the interests of fairness, I’ll start with the positives… The Positives It’s a very striking ride visually; B&M track is always very visually attractive, and Mandrill Mayhem is no exception, with the track winding around the Jaguar Shrine making for a very nice visual! I think the audio sequence in the station is quite good fun. I particularly liked the “not that way!” when the train shot backwards! The initial sequence of elements is quite good fun, particularly towards the back. The swing launch sequence has two reasonably potent launches that are fun and punchy, the little mild pop of airtime off the launch track is quite fun, and towards the back of the train, the Junior Scorpion Tail provides some very fun floater airtime! It’s an element that I felt worked really well on Ice Breaker back in June, and it’s an element that works well here too. The Junior Scorpion Tail didn’t really do anything on the front, though; that one is definitely best experienced towards the back, in my view. As inferred by my initial line, however, there are quite a few negatives I feel I need to discuss… The Negatives Once you get past the initial swing launch sequence, I honestly found the layout a little bit bland. It just lacked a certain spark, a certain… je ne sais quoi for me. I just found it a bit something of nothing, if I’m being totally frank. There were bits that I thought looked quite spicy and like they might provide some really fun moments before I rode, but they didn’t really do anything for me when I actually rode. I also don’t really think the layout plays to the strengths of the Wing Coaster as a model, and that was a concern I had from day one. In my view, it could quite easily have not been a Wing Coaster. I wasn’t a fan of the principal helix stall at all. The helix itself was perfectly OK, but I found the stall at the top very uncomfortable and awkward to experience; it’s a part of the experience that looks a lot better than it rides, in my view. While it’s absolutely not horrifically rough in the same vein as, say, an SLC, Mandrill Mayhem definitely isn’t smooth for a brand new B&M roller coaster. I found it to have a very noticeable rattle in both the inner and outer seats, and on all 3 rides, I came off with a bit of a headache. In a somewhat linked point, I’d also argue that in some aspects, the ride generally feels a little bit awkward and unrefined in its execution and the way it navigates the layout. For instance, in some of the more dynamic parts of the layout such as the dive to the left out of the station and the s-bend before the principal helix, the train almost seemed to shudder up and down quite noticeably, and the whole backwards lap felt a bit awkward, in my view. I don’t think dynamism and snappy transitions are really where the Wing Coaster shines as a model, and I think Mandrill Mayhem evidences that quite well, personally. In terms of the trains, I feel that it shares the same flaws as The Swarm in that I don’t find the vests particularly comfortable, and the restraints do seem to tighten and leave you feeling quite uncomfortably constrained during the ride. That is more of a general Wing Coaster flaw than anything specific to Mandrill Mayhem, though, so that’s by the by. Away from the ride experience itself, I do also feel that the throughput is an aspect that leaves much to be desired. The ride was being operated very well by the staff on the ground with all things considered, but I think that even for the type of ride they went for, there were some ways that throughput could easily have been increased. For instance, they could have found some way of running 2 trains and some kind of dual station mechanism on the ride, and in terms of a simpler fix, even installing full height airgates in the station would have increased the throughput by not forcing riders to wait off the station platform and only cross onto the station platform when the ride has ended. Mandrill Mayhem was the highest throughput coaster at Chessington today by my measurements, but I think the park needed a queue muncher and I don’t think Mandrill Mayhem fulfils that particular brief, personally. So overall, then, I liked the land, but was disappointed by Mandrill Mayhem itself. The land is nice and Mandrill Mayhem itself is by no means terrible or without merit, but I do personally question whether this coaster was the right fit for Chessington as a park, or the best 1.2m calibre coaster they could have built. Perhaps I’m just somewhat out of touch, though. I am not the ride’s target demographic; it’s aimed at kids riding their first big coaster, whereas I rode it as a 20 year old enthusiast who was riding his 111th coaster. It did seem to be going down quite well with the kids who were riding, from what I could tell, and that is the important thing after all! I apologise if I come across overly harsh or nitpicky, as I’m aware that some of my points are quite pedantic, but those were just some of the thoughts I had.
  12. 17th September 2023: Chessington Hi guys. Today was the second of my two London theme park visits this week, and a rather interesting one for me; it was my first visit to Chessington in almost a whole decade! To put things into some perspective, I was a fresh primary school leaver last time I went to Chessington in July 2014, so an awful lot has changed since then; I couldn’t wait to get inside and see some of the new things that hadn’t been built last time I was at the park, most notably Mandrill Mayhem and the World of Jumanji! I was able to visit the park today due to my mum and nan taking a trip to the nearby Hampton Court Palace, so the three of us left Gloucestershire at about 7:30am. The journey is supposed to take around 2h 15m from where I am, but it ended up taking a touch over 3 hours, in large part due to a bad bout of traffic on the M25 where it took about 30 minutes to drive a mile up our exit. As such, I arrived in the park at around 10:40am after my mum and nan dropped me off: Now before I get into my park day, I should mention that I did use the Virtual Queue system for Mandrill Mayhem, as I would like to share my experience and offer a corresponding piece of advice. Despite there being a Single Rider Queue for Mandrill Mayhem, the consensus was very divided with regard to whether those using it still needed to book a timeslot in the Virtual Queue or not, so I booked a timeslot just in case. When the Virtual Queue opened at 9:45am, I was still in the car on the way to Chessington, so I got in early despite not being at the park and booked a slot for around 10:45am while I was still in the car. I had a 30 minute window within which to redeem the slot, so as I figured that I would probably be able to make it to the ride entrance by 11:15am unless something went drastically wrong, I booked the slot and wasn’t too worried about making it in time. However, when I got to the park at around 10:40am or so, the app informed me that my timeslot had been moved forward by around 20 minutes, so I only had 10 minutes to make it to the ride and redeem it. This certainly made the panic set in, and I had to hotfoot it over to the ride at a fair pace! So if I were to give you one piece of advice, I would say; do not do what I did unless you are pretty sure that you can make it to the park a good bit before your entry window begins, as your slot may move forward and you may get caught out if not! With that being said, I did make it in time, and I was ultimately told by the entrance host that I did not need a Virtual Queue timeslot to use the Single Rider Queue. As such, I made my way straight into the Single Rider Queue to start my day on… Mandrill Mayhem Mandrill Mayhem was the main draw I had come to Chessington to experience, so as I did not need a Virtual Queue timeslot, I hopped straight into the Single Rider Queue to give it a go. As is often the case with Single Rider Queues, this was very fruitful, as there was only one person in front of me and I was batched into the ride and ready to go within minutes! I was very interested to experience Mandrill Mayhem, as the ride seemed like easily one of the most unique B&M coasters out there, and I’d always felt that it seemed like a very eclectic combination of ride types. I think Sarah from Coaster Studios put it quite well when she described it as being “like B&M picked a load of different ride types out of a hat”! But how was the ride? Did this unique blend of coaster types work well? Well if I’m being completely honest, I’m sorry to say that I didn’t overly rate the ride. I was seated in the front row outer left seat, and I have to say that I was definitely a bit disappointed with my first go on it after hearing some fairly positive reviews. It starts off quite well, with the initial swing launch sequence being fairly fun and providing some good speed and a surprisingly potent launch in terms of punch. The initial turn to the left provided some mild airtime, which was good fun, although the Junior Scorpion Tail wasn’t really up to much in the front. After the initial moments, though, I wasn’t greatly enamoured by it. My first critique is that if I’m being honest, the layout kind of feels a bit… bland, for lack of a better term. The inversion is OK, but perhaps taken a little bit too slowly for my personal taste, as someone who doesn’t massively love slow, hangy inversions. The various turns felt less dynamic and fast-paced than they looked off-ride and didn’t provide as much fun as I’d hoped, and the execution of them with the huge winged trains felt a little bit awkward (which I’ll touch upon in my second critique). I also wasn’t a fan of the main helix at all; the sideways hang was very awkward and uncomfortable for me. My second main critique of the ride is that for a brand new coaster, it is definitely not the smoothest. My first ride packed a fair old rattle, and in some of the more “dynamic” parts of the layout, such as the backwards dive out of the station and the s-bend before the big helix, the train seemed to almost shudder up and down in a very awkward fashion. The rattle was definitely noticeable and did detract from the ride for me, and I did step off with a little bit of a headache. Overall, then, Mandrill isn’t a terrible coaster by any means, but it wasn’t one I overly rated either. Based on the first ride, I was somewhat disappointed by it, and it definitely wasn’t one of my favourites. I apologise if I come across overly harsh or nitpicky, but that’s how I genuinely felt: After my first ride on Mandrill Mayhem, I looked at the app and considered my options. Nearby Dragon’s Fury was advertising a 100 minute queue, so that was swiftly vetoed, but another major coaster was on a much shorter wait… Vampire Vampire was on an advertised 5 minute queue, so I decided to head over and have a ride on it. When I arrived in the area, the queue looked a fair bit longer than 5 minutes, but as Rattlesnake was closed, Dragon’s Fury was on 100 minutes and I’d just ridden Mandrill Mayhem, I figured that I might as well give the queue a chance anyway. The queue initially moved faster from people leaving it than from the actual ride throughput, which did not bode well, and it ultimately took 60 minutes. The queue likely wasn’t helped by what may be the slowest operations I’ve ever seen in a Merlin park. The throughput average I clocked was somewhere in the ballpark of 400pph, with dispatch intervals clocking in at over 4 minutes in some of the longest cases. When I got to the station, I figured that this was likely due to the fact that the ride was seemingly lacking staff; there was only one operator on our side of the queue, who was handling both batching and restraint checking simultaneously, with another handling the seats on the left and what appeared to be the RAP queue. The staff were checking restraints at a fairly rapid pace and trying their best, but I do feel that the ride could have done with more staff on this occasion. But enough about the operations; how was the ride? Well, I hadn’t remembered particularly liking Vampire on my last visit to Chessington in 2014, but I was seated in row 5, and I have to say that it was a fair amount better than I’d remembered; some of the twists and turns through the trees were great fun, and the ride has some really surprising moments of intensity and thrill for a family coaster! My critiques from 2014 do still stand to a degree, though; the ride does have somewhat odd pacing, with a few moments where it’s quite slow, and while it was notably less rough than I’d previously remembered, it is showing its age a tad, with a couple of moments of slight headbanging and a couple of bits where the train kind of shunts forward awkwardly. Overall, though, Vampire was definitely a more fun coaster than I’d remembered from my last visit; I certainly found my lap on there pleasurable: After my ride on Vampire, another coaster was on a shorter queue than earlier, so I headed over to… Dragon’s Fury Dragon’s Fury was on a 40 minute advertised queue time, but the queue was only stretching back to the queue line shop and looked relatively innocuous, so I decided to give it a go. The queue ultimately took around 40-45 minutes, so broadly similar to what was advertised; it’s always great when that happens! So, how was the ride? Well, I’d remembered Dragon’s Fury being my favourite coaster at Chessington on my last visit, but I hadn’t remembered an awful lot beyond that, so I was interested to get back on. It wasn’t as enjoyable as I’d remembered, though; it probably isn’t helped by spinning coasters not being my favourite ride style in general these days, but the ride also seemed to have quite a few pretty rough and uncomfortable bits where it really threw you around, similar to Spinball Whizzer at Alton Towers (albeit perhaps not quite as uncomfortable as Spinball). I do have to say that it has a strong layout, though, with some surprising intensity and even the odd surprising pop of airtime, and I definitely prefer it to Spinball. Overall, Dragon’s Fury wasn’t my favourite; even though I do concede that its layout is strong, I’m not the biggest fan of spinning coasters these days, and the ride also had a fair few uncomfortably rough moments for me: After my ride on Dragon’s Fury, I headed for another ride on Mandrill Mayhem using the Single Rider Queue. I was seated in the row 3 inner right seat this time, and while the Junior Scorpion Tail did feel a little more potent this time and was good fun, my opinion was broadly unchanged from my first ride: After my reride on Mandrill Mayhem, the heavens opened, so I quickly made a beeline for an indoor attraction to ride while the rain came down… Tomb Blaster Tomb Blaster was on an advertised 30 minute queue, so I decided to have a ride on it. I initially feared the worst, as the queue was coming down the stairs near to the entrance, but the extension queue going around the whole plaza was thankfully shut off, so the queue took about the advertised 30 minutes; when a queue is exactly as advertised, I can’t really complain! But how was the ride? Well, I’d been on Tomb Blaster before, as it was one of only a select few rides I could ride with a plastercast on my visit in 2013, but I hadn’t really remembered an awful lot about it. And to be honest, I thought it was pretty good! I liked the storyline with the ancient priest, and there were some neat animatronics and surprisingly grand-scale physical set pieces! The interactivity also worked quite well, and I overall felt that the ride was definitely superior to something like Duel in its last year. On a side note; if anyone is interested to know my score, I got 2,850! Overall, then, I rather enjoyed Tomb Blaster; it was definitely a fun way to stay dry: After my ride on Tomb Blaster, I headed to another attraction nearby… Croc Drop Croc Drop was on an advertised 15 minute queue, so I decided to take a ride on it. This queue ended up being even less than advertised for me; as a single rider, I was ushered forward by the operator when a seat was going spare, so my queue only took 5-10 minutes. It’s great when that happens; it’s one of the definite bonuses of visiting parks alone! So, how was the ride? Well, I’m a fan of a good drop tower, and I thought that Croc Drop was good fun! It’s certainly on the far gentler end of the spectrum, but that’s to be expected from a family drop tower, and similarly to Magma at Paultons Park, the ride had some surprisingly fun moments of airtime! Overall, then, I found Croc Drop an enjoyable ride; I definitely had a fun time on there: After my ride on Croc Drop, I sat down and ate my lunch for a bit before heading over to Mandrill Mayhem for a third ride using the Single Rider Queue. I was seated in the row 5 outer right seat this time, and even though the Junior Scorpion Tail was at its most potent yet and very fun in this ride, my overall thoughts remained pretty much unchanged from my first ride: After that, Vampire was showing as a 30 minute queue, so I headed over intending to reride. However, it was approaching 3pm, and my mum rang me not very long after I joined to say that she would be in the drop off zone in 15 minutes. As the advertised queue time swiftly jumped up to 60 minutes and the queue didn’t appear to be moving anywhere very quickly, I ultimately bailed and left the queue: After I bailed on Vampire due to the increasing queue length, my mum and nan were approaching, so I decided to call it a day there and exit the park: So, that just about wraps up my day at Chessington! I had a nice day; I was glad to get on Mandrill Mayhem, and I was just generally glad to get back to the park after 9 years! I do maintain that it’s not one of my favourite UK parks, though; I’d probably say it’s the weakest of the Merlin four for me, as while it’s got some fun rides and some nice theming, there aren’t any rides there that I absolutely love, even for the family demographic, and the park does also appear to suffer from some notable capacity issues that can make queues quite long. For large parts of the day, Vampire and Dragon’s Fury both had queues of comfortably over an hour even though the park did not appear to be crazily busy, and I’d probably say that it has some of the weakest operations I’ve seen relative to the crowds it gets. Nonetheless, I had a fun day, and I certainly enjoyed my time at Chessington; I’m very glad I came back! Thanks for reading; I hope you enjoyed this report! I’m not sure when my next report will be or where it will be from, as this was almost definitely my final theme park visit of 2023. I’ve had a phenomenal season, and this was a nice way to end it!
  13. I was at Thorpe Park yesterday, and I managed to get some throughput readings on the major coasters! Overall, I’d say operations were pretty good; in some cases, there were truly excellent operations that were the best I’ve ever seen on the respective rides! Colossus (Theoretical: 1,300pph on 2 trains) - 592pph (2 trains, 15th September 2023, average of 7) Nemesis Inferno (Theoretical: 1,150pph on 2 trains) - 693pph (2 trains, 15th September 2023, average of 6) Saw: The Ride (Theoretical: 1,000pph on 8 cars) - 770pph (unknown number of cars, 15th September 2023, average of 3) Stealth (Theoretical: 1,000pph on 2 trains) - 867pph (2 trains, 15th September 2023, average of 8 ) The Swarm (Theoretical: 1,100pph on 2 trains) - 983pph (2 trains, 15th September 2023, average of 6) I should say that I was unable to get as many readings as I would normally like (I normally aim for 10), as the queues often weren’t long enough (a very good problem to have!). I should also say that on both The Swarm and Stealth, the averages I’ve listed here were skewed by an instance of “guest faff” that produced one particularly slow dispatch. Without these instances of faff, both ride teams were managing faster averages than the averages I have listed here. The Swarm was seemingly managing a consistent string of 90 second dispatch intervals with mere seconds of stacking (if any at all) all day, and Stealth was managing a pretty consistent string of 75-80 second dispatches, with the operators quite literally running down the train to get restraints checked! I was very impressed with the operations on both rides; the throughputs were the best I’ve ever seen on those rides in both cases! Saw was also operating absolutely brilliantly; the average I got for it is as good as I’ve ever seen on that ride. The average listed above was also lower than what I saw at another point in the day; I did a longer string of readings earlier in the day where it seemed to be getting somewhere in the ballpark of 800-850pph, which is the best throughput I’ve ever seen Saw get, but I accidentally messed this string of readings up by pressing the dispatch button twice, so I could not save this reading and save the final average… The picture of excellent operations was not entirely consistent, however. The throughput of Colossus was not terrible compared to what I’ve seen in the past, but it wasn’t particularly amazing either; I’ve seen it go slower, but I’ve also seen it go faster as well. Nemesis Inferno was also letting the side down a bit; when I sat down and timed it, it was getting a pretty consistent string of 2.5-3 minute dispatches, with the average above only being as high as it was due to a faster dispatch at the very end. Every time I rode, stacking for a fair period of time was routine, and in general, the operations seemed slower on Inferno than elsewhere in the park. Overall, though, the operational picture from Thorpe Park was very good yesterday, with numerous rides having some of the best operations I’ve ever seen on those rides! The operations also weren’t causing much issue, for the most part; there was always a coaster queue below 15 minutes somewhere on the park, and to my knowledge, no queue exceeded an hour all day. At one point, Inferno hit “55-60 minutes” as per the tannoy, but that was pretty isolated to that ride and didn’t last all day; nothing else got a huge amount above 30 minutes, and even Inferno dropped to more like 30-40 minutes after that brief period of 55-60. EDIT: I’m unsure why “average of 8” on Stealth turned into an emoji…
  14. 15th September 2023: Thorpe Park Hi guys. Today was an exciting day; it was the day of my dad’s trip to Wentworth, and thus my now annual solo trip to Thorpe Park! I know I’ve been to Thorpe Park many times, but I always look forward to my solo trip there, so I was excited for today! My dad and I left Gloucestershire at around 7:25am this morning, and even with a stop for petrol and a stop at Reading services, we made it to Thorpe Park by around 9:30am. After making brilliant time, I was then dropped off by my dad, so I bade him goodbye before making my way into the park ready to wait for the 10am opening time: When opening time came, I decided to deviate from my normal strategy of starting with the Stealth/Inferno end of the park and take a gamble on a different strategy. As such, I started on… Colossus Colossus was on a near walk on queue, so I decided to have a go on it before a queue built up (it’s a low capacity ride that often generates long queues later on). This queue took merely 1 or 2 trains, so I was on the ride in very little time. I was interested to see how Colossus felt having done Sik, its modernised clone at Flamingo Land, last month. But how was the ride? Well, it did feel notably inferior to Sik, but with that being said, that ride was probably the best I have ever had on Colossus by some margin! Don’t get me wrong, Colossus still isn’t a favourite of mine due to the uncomfortable restraints, a sequence of repeated heartline rolls I don’t overly like (and this sequence was definitely less enjoyable than on Sik for me), and some roughness, but the roughness was nowhere near as overbearing as it normally is; I was sat in row 13, and it was a bit rough in places, but it did not provide nearly the same degree of pounding as it normally does, and today’s ride definitely shot Colossus up a fair few spots in my rankings: After my ride on Colossus, I had a ride on its neighbour… Saw: The Ride Saw was on an advertised 10 minute queue, so I decided to give it a go. My original plan was to use my secret weapon, the Single Rider Queue, to bypass this and take a gamble at reducing my queue time, but this was closed, so I had to get into the main queue. By the time I’d gone into the SRQ (which had an open entrance and 2 other people waiting in it), been ushered out by the operator and gotten into the main queue, the advertised queue time had gone up to 20 minutes, but this was slightly overstated, as I only waited for 15 minutes or so. The queue is besides the point, though; how was the ride? Well, as with Colossus above, that was possibly the best ride I’ve ever had on Saw! I was seated in the back middle seat, and the ride was a bit rough in places, but certainly not as headache-inducing as it has been in the past. There was also some absolutely brilliant airtime, and overall, I came off Saw pretty headache-free this morning! While I would still like it if the ride were smoother, my ride this morning was certainly not nearly as rough as Saw has been in the past: After my ride on Saw, I headed east to ride my next coaster… Nemesis Inferno Nemesis Inferno was on an advertised 10 minute queue, so I decided to take a ride on it. This queue time estimate ended up being broadly accurate, with my wait being around 10-15 minutes; it’s always great when that happens! So, how was the ride? Well, I thought that it was thoroughly great; I rode in row 5, and I thought that the ride was fast and intense without being excessively intense, and it was also perfectly smooth, with not a modicum of headbanging anywhere! When a ride is fast, smooth, and just the right level of intense, what more can you ask for? Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed my ride on Nemesis Inferno; I’ve always found it a thoroughly decent coaster, and today was no exception: After my ride on Nemesis Inferno, I headed to another coaster situated nearby… Stealth Stealth was on an advertised 15 minute queue time, so I decided to take a ride on it. The queue time was accurate or possibly a little underestimated, taking only 10-15 minutes to get to the station. Operations were absolutely excellent on here, with a number of consecutive dispatch intervals as quick as 75-80 seconds being attained! As the queue was overstated and I was doing quite well on the ride count front given that I had only been riding for just over an hour, I decided to wait for a little additional time and ride in the front row of Stealth for the first time since my only prior front row experience in 2020, where I got it by chance in batching. So, how was my first front row Stealth ride in 3 years and only my second ever? Well, I have to say that the front row firmly lived up to my memories; it was absolutely fantastic, and it reinforced my prior view that front row is easily the place to be on Stealth! The sense of speed on that launch is absolutely ridiculous in the front, with the combination of the unshielded wind in your face and the view of that track being devoured at a phenomenal rate making the ride feel every single bit of its 80mph top speed, and perhaps surprisingly, I’d also argue that the airtime is stronger in the front, with the airtime being sustained for the entire way over the top hat rather than only dropping out of it like it is in the back and the braked airtime hill being notably more potent in the front. As an added bonus, it also seems slightly smoother in the front! Overall, I absolutely loved my experience of front row Stealth; it was absolutely fantastic: After Stealth, I went for a ride on the final big coaster I hadn’t yet ridden… The Swarm The Swarm was on an advertised 15 minute queue time, so I decided to have a ride on it. This queue ended up being slightly underestimated, with the queue ultimately taking around 20 minutes. I must say that operations were absolutely brilliant on here; there were numerous cycles where there was mere seconds of stacking, and dispatch intervals as quick as 90 seconds were being attained for numerous dispatches in a row! So, how was the ride? Well, I was seated in the back right inner seat, and it was a fairly decent ride; there was a very good sense of speed and some great inversions, and it was relatively smooth as well! However, it's not an absolute favourite for me anymore like it used to be. I'm generally finding myself a little less keen on some of the ride's more brain-draining moments of sustained positive g's, most notably the helicopter helix, with time, but my main bone of contention with The Swarm these days is its vest restraints. I'm not a fan of them at all; the rigid vest and the way they tighten throughout the ride do make these restraints detract noticeably from the overall experience. Nonetheless, my ride on Swarm was relatively decent, with all things considered; I'll be intrigued to see how Mandrill Mayhem compares in 2 days' time: As I had already managed to have one ride on each of Thorpe Park's big 5 thrill coasters by before 12pm, I decided to stray away from the coasters for a little bit to go and ride... Detonator Detonator was on an advertised 5 minute queue time, so I decided to take a ride on it. This queue time proved relatively accurate or slightly understated, as the queue took 5-10 minutes and a couple of cycles overall. But how was the ride? Well, I'm a big fan of a drop tower, and Detonator is a very good one, in my view; that drop is so punchy, and you get a fair degree of airtime for such a small tower! Overall, Detonator is a brilliant drop tower that I absolutely love, and today's ride was no exception; these Fabbri towers are a real guilty pleasure of mine: After my ride on Detonator, I decided to sit down for 15-20 minutes to have a drink and eat lunch, timing the throughput of Colossus as I ate. After my sit down, I headed to another flat ride in the immediate vicinity of Colossus... Rush Rush was nearby and on a 10 minute queue, so I decided to have a go on it. This queue time was pretty accurate, with the queue taking 10-15 minutes overall. So, how was the ride? Well, despite not generally being a huge fan of flat rides, I'm a big fan of an S&S Screamin' Swing, and Rush was fantastic; there was an excellent sense of speed and nice acceleration in the troughs, there was nice sustained floater at the peaks, and the ride was thrilling without being overly nauseating! I was also intrigued to see how Rush stacked up after having ridden Serengeti Flyer, the giant Screamin' Swing at Busch Gardens Tampa, earlier this year, and while Rush was not quite as impressive as its giant sibling over in Florida, it still offered a fantastically enjoyable experience in its own right, in my view. Overall, I loved Rush; I thought it was a fantastic flat ride, and I thoroughly enjoyed its airtime and speed: After my ride on Rush, I headed over to Stealth for two back-to-back rides, as the ride was on an advertised 5 minute queue time which turned out to be pretty much walk-on. When my favourite coaster at Thorpe is on a queue that short, who would I be to resist a ride or two? I took a ride in the front, as well as a ride in the back, and both were absolutely fantastic, although as I inferred earlier, the front row does usurp the back row on Stealth, in my view: After my two rides on Stealth, I headed over to The Swarm for a reride on a 10 minute queue. This time, I was seated on the row 5 outer right seat, and similarly to earlier, it was a pretty decent ride. It was perhaps a little less smooth, but in fairness, it was notably smoother than I'd previously remembered the ride's outer seats being: After my Swarm reride, I headed for a reride on Rush on a 5 minute queue. As with earlier, it was a fantastic flat ride with great airtime and speed: After my reride on Rush, I headed to do an attraction I'd never done before for the first time... Vortex Vortex was on an advertised 5 minute queue time and looked to be pretty much walk-on, so I decided to give it a whirl. Despite having visited Thorpe Park numerous times before, I had somehow never ridden Vortex before today, so I thought I'd finally give it a try. Despite controversially having not been a huge fan of the two other gyroswing-type rides I've done (Cyclonator at Paultons and Maelstrom at Drayton), I was interested to try Vortex, as I'd never ridden a KMG Afterburner before and I know these are slightly different to a regular gyroswing. So how did I find the experience? Well, I'm afraid to say that I still wasn't a massive fan. In my view, it suffers from exactly the same flaw as the other two gyroswings I've ridden in that the spinning makes it a little bit much and ruins it. There was some fair weightlessness and speed in places, but it wasn't as potent as on a ride like Rush, and when the ride properly got going, this seemed to disappear in favour of intense spinning, and as someone who has quite a weak stomach for spinning flat rides, I didn't personally find that overly enjoyable. Overall, Vortex is similar to other gyroswings in that I can see why people like it, but it's not really for me: After Vortex, I decided to head and try out another flat ride that I hadn't done in a long time... Samurai Samurai was on a 10 minute advertised queue time, so I decided to give it a go. The queue looked to be a cycle or two long, but as I was a single rider, the host ushered me onto the cycle that was about to go pretty much as soon as I joined, as there was a spare seat; it's always great when that happens! But how was the ride? Well unlike Vortex, I had done Samurai before; it was one of only two rides that I did during a school trip to Thorpe Park in July 2018, with the other being Rush. At the time, I thought it was pretty decent and not too nauseating, and when I first rode it, I even considered that I might have preferred it to Rush out of the two flats I did that day. With this in mind, I was intrigued to see how it stacked up after over 5 years. I'm very sorry to say, however, that my recollections could not have disagreed more with the experience I had today... because I'm afraid that I personally found Samurai absolutely vile. Today's experience moved it down considerably in my estimations and has it in close competition with Air Race at Drayton Manor for the title of the most sickeningly vile flat ride I've ever done. It was horribly jerky, it did that horrible slow flipping like Air Race does (where I swear I can physically feel stuff moving around inside my stomach), it had horribly long periods of inverted hangtime, and overall, I'm sorry to say that I didn't like it at all. Overall, I did not enjoy Samurai, and I'm afraid that it did not live up to my relatively positive 2018 memories of it; I'm not sure if something has changed with the ride or if I've simply grown more fragile over the last 5 years, but for whatever reason, I just didn't like it at all today, I'm afraid: After getting off Samurai, I felt a little worse for wear and needed a sit down, so I sat down in Angry Birds Land for 15-20 minutes or so to eat a snack out of my bag and have a drink, timing the throughput of Nemesis Inferno as I sat. After my sit down, I headed for a reride on Detonator with a 5 minute queue time, which was just as awesome as it had been earlier; that punchy drop never gets old!: After my ride on Detonator, I headed back over to Stealth for two more back-to-back rerides on a 10 minute queue; I had a ride in row 9 and another on the front, and both were absolutely fantastic, with a phenomenal sense of speed and great airtime: After my two rerides on Stealth, I headed for another reride on The Swarm on a 10 minute queue time. I was seated in the row 3 inner left seat this time, and as with earlier, it was a thoroughly decent ride: After my ride on The Swarm, I headed over to Nemesis Inferno for a reride on a 10 minute queue. I was seated on the back row, and as with earlier, it was a great coaster, with excellent speed and some good inversions: After my reride on Nemesis Inferno, I headed over to Saw for a reride on a 10 minute queue. I was seated in the back edge seat this time, and similarly to earlier, the ride was very much on the smoother and more enjoyable end of the spectrum as Saw goes; the ride had some excellent airtime, and I exited relatively headache-free!: After my ride on Saw, I headed back towards the rest of the coasters, but the attendant of Rush saying "there's no queue here; you can get straight onto the ride!" was too much to resist, so I had a walk-on reride on Rush. Once again, it was fantastic, with great speed and airtime: After my ride on Rush, I had a brief sit down with a bottle of water and a Magnum before heading back over to Stealth, where I had two further back-to-back rides on a 5 minute queue. I had one ride in row 9 and one ride in row 8, and both were just as fantastic as ever; Stealth is such a fantastic coaster, in my view: After my two rides on Stealth, I headed over to Detonator for another reride on a 5 minute queue. It was a fantastic drop tower once again; that punchy drop and awesome airtime just keep on giving: After my ride on Detonator, I had my three final back-to-back rides on Stealth for the day on a 5 minute queue. I had one ride in the front, one ride in row 5 and one ride in row 7, and all three were absolutely fantastic! On a side note; I clearly wasn't the only person hammering Stealth today, as the ride operator gave a shoutout to a couple who were having their 20th consecutive ride on it on one of my last rides: After my final rides on Stealth, I had three back-to-back rides on Nemesis Inferno on a 5 minute queue which turned out to be walk-on. I had a ride on the back row, a ride in row 5 and a ride in row 6, and as with the earlier two rides, all three rides were great, with great speed, intensity and inversions! It was great to be able to make the most of an inverted coaster like this, what with the current absence of Nemesis at Alton Towers: After my three rides on Nemesis Inferno, I closed out the day with a final ride on Detonator. As with the earlier 3 rides, the drop was fantastically punchy and there was great airtime to be had! I also had quite a unique experience in that I was the only member of the public on the ride, so numerous ride hosts joined me on it: After my final ride on Detonator, it was only four minutes away from the 6pm close time and my dad was waiting in the drop-off zone in the car park, so I bade Thorpe Park goodbye for the day and headed home: So, that wraps up my solo day at Thorpe Park! I had an absolutely phenomenal day; I'm going to go out on a limb and say that it's my favourite day I have ever spent at Thorpe Park and quite possibly one of my favourite theme park days ever! I managed a total of 30 rides during the 8 hours I spent on park; if you lost track, these are the rides I managed: Colossus x1 Saw: The Ride x2 Nemesis Inferno x5 Stealth x10 The Swarm x3 Detonator x4 Rush x3 Vortex x1 Samurai x1 I was chuffed to bits with having done 30 rides; that is joint with my June 2022 day at Drayton Manor for the most rides I've ever done in one theme park day, and my 10 rides on Stealth are the most I have ever ridden one attraction during a theme park day! As an added bonus, the weather was lovely, the rides themselves were absolutely great and I had some brilliant runs on them, and overall, it was one of those wonderful days where the stars aligned and everything seemed to go just right! If I'm being sentimental, it's theme park days like today that remind me why I love theme parks and roller coasters as much as I do. My day at Thorpe today has left me with some absolutely wonderful memories to cherish, and I have to say that in some of the moments lapping rides like Stealth and Nemesis Inferno, I felt truly in my element and like there was nowhere I'd rather be. In terms of Thorpe itself; I have to admit that today made me realise that as much as enthusiasts seemingly love to hate it, I personally absolutely love Thorpe Park! The coasters are great, there's some great theming and surprising greenery in places, and there's just something about the place that I really like! In terms of a specific highlight ride-wise from today; Stealth was absolutely fantastic. Today's rides definitely raised it a fair amount in my estimations, and I now view it as my comfortable favourite ride at Thorpe Park, one of my favourite coasters in the UK and in my high top 20 overall. Nemesis Inferno was also awesome, Detonator was fantastic, Rush was fantastic, Swarm was decent, Saw was OK, and even Colossus was not nearly as bad as normal! Thanks for reading; I hope you enjoyed this report! My next trip report will be coming on Sunday, when I make a solo trip to Chessington for my first visit in 9 years! I can't wait to see what Mandrill Mayhem is like, and I'm generally very interested to see what Chessington is like after nearly a decade of not visiting. Today will certainly be a tough act for it to follow, but if my day at Chessington is even half as brilliant as today was, then I'll be very happy!
  15. It is what it is, really. If you go there expecting anything world-beating or even UK-beating, it doesn't live up to that particular billing, but when you consider that it's a small seaside amusement park in the South West, I think it fills that role perfectly adequately. Thank you; I'm looking forward to both visits! I always enjoy my annual trip to Thorpe, and I'm particularly interested to do Chessington again seeing as I haven't been in nearly 10 years!
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