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  1. It would appear that Chessington is installing 2 new rides in Pirate’s Cove for 2022, according to Chessington Buzz: https://chessingtonbuzz.com/news/two-new-rides-for-2022/ The planning application was submitted today, and the two rides are: A Zamperla Watermania (basically a mix of a teacups and a splash battle) that features water guns around the outside and a nautical feel, with a lighthouse tower operating console. The ride is to be named Bobbing Barrels. A Zamperla Rockin’ Tug, thought to be Timber Tug Boat from Thorpe Park, that is being named Trawler Trouble. Some of the artwork has also spawned a rumour that Pirate’s Cove is being rethemed to more of a nautical theme as opposed to a pirate theme. That would make sense given the general aesthetic of The Blue Barnacle compared to its predecessor, in my opinion. Isn’t this interesting! What do you guys think? It does certainly appear as if the level of investment into Chessington is stepping up somewhat, with these new rides now and Project Amazon in 2023!
  2. As a themepark enthusiast, I thoroughly enjoy visiting themepark and attractions and trying out new rides and experiences. However there are many themeparks and attractions out there that I dream of visiting and have yet to visit. So the question is, which ten themeparks and/or attractions in the world would you like to visit that you haven't seen yet and why? For me, the list has to be 10/ Gardaland, Merlin international sister park which has the exciting looking Raptor 9/ Heide Park, I like the look of all those rides plus Kraken too 8/ Disney Land Paris, looks amazing and magical with exciting rides plus the nearest big park to uk 7/ Knotts Berry Farm, lots of roller coasters and a big sized park 6/ Sea World, amazing area with a great sea theme 5/ Phantasialand, Black Mamba looks amazing 4/Universal islands of adventures, one word, Harry Potter world 3/ Walt Disney World, amazing giant scale rides there 2/ Port Aventura, Shambhala looks mind blowing 1/ Europa Park, just watching videos of the place has made me fall in love with the park it looks wonderful.
  3. http://youtube.com/user/Ridelover123 Hi all! This isn't so much a site advert but more of an advert to my youtube channel. I do not earn money or anything from it and I do it purely for fun and would appreciate if you could take a moment of your time to subscribe! I will also do updates of the new videos and will embed them into my posts when I upload a new video to my channel! Many thanks to all and I'll leave you with one of my videos of a wild mouse rollercoaster I hope you enjoy it and please subscribe!
  4. 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. 27/ Wet Wet Wet Literally says what it does on the tin. You go down a slide and then get wet, wet, wet. Mind blown, who would’ve thought it! Next you’ll tell me it’s only intended for kids. Oh wait, it is. Pros/ It’s existence Cons/ It’s not for adults. Sorry Martin! 26/ Amity Beach 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! Pros/ It’s flat settlement gives you a view of the better attractions when you enter the park Cons/ 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! Pros/ Ideal if you are a kid or hate large rides! Cons/ 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! Pros/ It keeps you out of the rain and has a shop themed almost as good as the Disney store Cons/ 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! Pros/ It’s better than Derren Brown’s Ghost Train (for what it’s trying to be) Cons/ 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. Pros/ It’s the nearest I might ever get to Florida Cons/ 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! Pros/ The ride hasn’t changed a bit in it’s almost 30 years of existence Cons/ 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. Pros/ Is conveniently located opposite Inferno’s shop/exit Cons/ It’s not much of a pirate ship! 19/ Zodiac 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! Pros/ An ideal ride to progress with for wannabe thrill seekers Cons/ 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. Pros/ Offers some great staff interaction on a good day Cons/ 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. Pros/ The Power pedal feels decent Cons/ 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! Pros/ It features one the few working Park animatronics Cons/ 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. Pros/ Doesn’t soak your feet like Storm Surge Cons/ Water quality leaves a lot to be desired, plus doesn’t run at night anymore 14/ Samurai 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. Pros/ Has cheated death more than James Bond Cons/ 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! Pros/ Probably the most iconic surviving RMC attraction Cons/ 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! Pros/ The best ride in the park that features trains in the theme Cons/ 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. Pros/ Snazzy yet comfortable trains Cons/ The announcements are almost as annoying as YouTube ads! 10/ Colossus 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. Pros/ Features some of the best park landscaping Cons/ Might have one of the worst designed coaster trains. Thanks Intamin! 9/ Vortex 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. Pros/ If you look at the floor correctly when it lowers, it’s like you are lifting up Cons/ The ride’s restraint system has a grudge against people of a certain build 8/ Rush 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! Pros/ This ride actually still intimidates me to this day Cons/ 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. Pros/ The park finally has an experience attraction it has always needed Cons/ I think the park might have just a few too many dark themes now! 6/ Quantum 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. Pros/ Packs quite a punch Cons/ 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. Pros/ The soundtrack is something of a masterpiece Cons/ Can only be ridden for two months of the year for most because it isn’t America! 4/ Detonator 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! Pros/ A free fall like no other! Cons/ 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. Pros/ The ride works better running forwards Cons/ It’s station is an apocalyptic mess given the removed and dilapidated theming 2/ Stealth 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. Pros/ Probably my favourite accelerator coaster that isn’t Top Thrill Dragster Cons/ 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. Pros/ The mist tunnel is sublime when running properly Cons/ The Inbetweeners Thorpe Park episode has some inaccuracies Thanks for a reading a review like no other! TLDR- some photos not mine.
  5. Starting a conversation for the best ride documentaries you’ve seen. Great to discover new info on rides you even think you already know and great to watch when there’s nothing on tv! I’ll start off with this Documentary on probably the greatest Huss Top Spin ever built:
  6. Hi, I am going to go to Thorpe park but I Saw that some rides have a maximum height, someone knows if they measure you in the entrance of the ride or if you spend a little you can ride?? If someone have seen or know a person who have been in that situation. Thanks!
  7. Somewhere in the rural Hamptonshire countryside, lies a mysterious theme park. But this isn't any ordinary theme park, which is home to dinosaurs, Cobras, wonderful beasts and a famous animated pig (to name a few). This is a park that is certainly on the up, investing in attractions that improve the park whilst retaining and complimenting it's character and values. It's a place so renowned for its greatness, legend has it adventurers have travelled to the depths of boots to witness it's golden gates. WELCOME, TO PAULTONS PARK Home to the weird and wonderful, like this raining tree. For 2016, the park have invested at great lengths to bring us this wonderful prehistoric land through dedication of 8 million coins. It's well spent if you ask me. One the main new discoveries of this new lost area is one of two coasters, Flight Of The Pteranosaur. A veto a family suspended coaster which dominates the centre of the world. The rock work theming is superb and of high quality. And what a great family coaster this is. The coaster is great fun and interacts with the area superbly alongside a good proportion of theming. The end helix is also superb. As far as I'm aware the layout may be clone of another (maybe Grona's) but that doesn't take anything away from the ride which certainly looks to be a hit for the park. It's the perfect fun thrilling coaster for the family. Theming, with working animatronics. The second new coaster is the Veloceraptor. Another Vejoma, but this time a boomerang style coaster like Ben10. This is another superfluous coaster for the park and another fun ride. Whilst it doesn't beat Pteranosaur for me, I do prefer it to Ben 10 as this gives more a kick I think. But the area is more than just coasters though (listen Merlin). They also have one of these crazy fun spinning rides like the Crazy Taxis at Europa Park. This ones called Boulder Dash. This small Triceratops coaster, which I didn't get chance to ride ( ). Fact, this ride isn't actually brand new and was rethemed into the new area. It used be known as the Flying Frog I believe. They also have a Safari track ride too which is neat. Some very good theming here too. It's great to see park put so much effort into something just like this whilst a number of others (not naming) are either ripping theirs out or leaving them to rot. Best car style attraction in the uk by far. Theres also an interactive Dino show too, which is good to see the park not just focus on the ride side either. Plus there's some roaming dinosaur animatronics in the area too. They even have an area shop which is themed to a good level also. They've also added a new food place and smaller flat ride to the area too. Certainly making one of the best themed areas in the uk. Also in the park, resides my second home. Critter Creek. The theming quality they have here has been done very well, especially for a park like Paultons. And here is the Cat-O-pillar, which again has been rethemed into the new area. The theming again is fantastic, weird and wacky. The coaster was alright but not my favourite. The area is also home to a random aquarium type place. For a park like this, it's a nice little walk through. The park is also home to Cobra, arguably their signature ride. The queue line was a little shabby (spilt mess in the queue and a few areas of chipped pant), but that can be forgiven for the moment. There is even a shed tunnel, and that isn't the best part. Cobra is a really fun coaster and possibly my favourite ride at the park (either this or Pteranosaur). Two things to note about this ride are that it is a Gerstlauer, and an enjoyable one at that and that its 10 years old and was working fine. No lifeless structure here. Speaking on lifelss, this ride was shut (at least when we went passed it) which was a shame as it looked fun. They however have a Disko called The Edge (not Kobra) as Paultons know how to spell. This one is also run on a better setting too as you really get a good cycle. My only criticism are you were required to wear leg seat belts and mine was very tight. (Which ruined the experience in a way) and the ride doesn't feature much in terms of theming, but I'm sure that will be sorted one day. The park also have a 4D cinema which features a fairly quirky but nicely themed facade outside (not cheap looking). The movie itself was alright, nothing amazing but was nice for a sit down and seemed entertaining enough for the guests. Its no Angry Birds but is good for what it is especially being the only undercover attraction so far. The park even have a loverly grand carousel. Featuring some loverly shrubbery too. But the one thing park are famous for is Peppa Pig World, the investment (alongside Cobra) which have really helped the park develop in the last few years. Sadly I didn't anymore photos here because my phone's camera reached capacity but all I can say is, it's a loverly themed area for the park's clientele and the park got the right balance with everything there too. We only managed one ride in the area, that was Windy Castle. From the outside it looks like a little innocent spinning observation ride thing, think again! Peaj, Steve, Alex and I all shared one capsule and when you have no spin limits on a ride that also rotates upwards on a 4-5 minute cycle you're in for one hell of a white knuckle ride. it was honestly crazy and ridiculous how crazily fast we were all going here and whilst it was hilarious to start with, I'm certain my thrill limit has been reached as it felt very painful and comftable towards the end of the ride and pretty nauseated for the tail end of the day too. Think this has put me off tea cups for the time being. As much as things post 2006 have clearly marked the up for the park (moreso post 2010), there's still a fair few number of areas in the park that look bland and in need of an update. one of these is the park's log ride which is pretty much an off the shelf Reberchon. Considering this ride isn't even 20 years old does show how superior their new stuff is now. I could probably say the same for the Go Karts. I didn't try these either as I think there was an up charge. that being said, there isn't a massive amount of upselling at the park. Considering I didn't see any HB leisure stalls or any posters trying to persuade me to buy a pass. Although the park exit is deliberately through a massive toy shop, that is more a tactical decision (and a cunning one at that). But Paultons isn't just home to a decent selection of family rides. There's also a very reasonable amount of gardens and green spaces which help enhance a day here. Which made for a really enjoyable day out that was enjoyed by all. Unfortunately though Peaj was eaten by a giant hedge snake and hasn't been seen since. Paultons is definitely a loverly park and worth a visit. its a place that puts effort and dedication into everything they do. Whether that be building a giant new themed area, staff friendliness or keeping the place tidy (we saw someone pick up litter minutes after it was dropped). With the possible exception of Cobra's queue, everywhere was beautifully well kept with no signs of wear and tear anywhere and a good atmosphere throughout. The future for the park is bright and seeing the massive improvements they've made in the last few years (each one better than the last). All they need to do is build a proper flume and add a dark ride and they will then have a perfect full lineup. Whilst the park have little to nothing in terms of merchandise, I think they have it right by housing a massive toy shop at the exit which will no doubt be blissful joy for many of the kids (and a nightmare for many of their parents). Chessington step aside. This is what a family park should be. Jump in the boot and let's go!
  8. Hi! I am considering handing in an application to Thorpe Park either applying for Admissions or Ride Operations. I am hoping for a seasonal position and want to save up for uni. I was wondering if anyone had any idea what the interview process is like and if anyone has worked for Thorpe Park what it's like working for Thorpe Park, preferably in Admissions or Rides. Even information on how these sectors work in other resorts such as in Alton Towers or Chessington would be really helpful Thanks
  9. Following on from the joys of Joyland, it was time to experience the third and final new park wonder of our park trip; this place was Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach. After driving down the seafront from Joyland, something that seems a cross between a larger Southend and slightly cleaner Blackpool, we arrived at the Pleasure Beach's car park which more of just a grassy field on the seafront really, luckilly though it was free for us [due to tickets]. So once we collected our wristbands from the ticket collection area [unfortunately on the other side of the park], it was time to start riding. OMG We're at Disneyland! Actually, Disney haven't built any Mulan based attractions at any of there parks [even the Tokyo & Hong Kong ones ], so the Pleasure Beach beat them to it with this ride. Not a bad ride actually, a lot more forceful than the likes of Rocky Express & Knights Quest. One random feature this ride also included was how the ride cars were suddenly covered up by a giant green canopy half way round the ride resulting in riders not seeing where they were going. Tivoli World had this on their ride equivalent but decided to get rid of it a few years ago for some reason. The only drawback on this ride resulting in a chunk of the fun factor disappearing was I got crushed during most of my ride by a [Mr] Fish Welcome To The House Of Fun! [gotta love Madness]. This is the park's fun house attraction which features lots of crazy moving stair cases, paths and spinning things inside whilst inside a dimly black lit room featuring 3D objects around the whole interior. Really enjoyed this one a lot, ending up doing at least a couple more times during the trip. For some reason, the background energetic upbeat music reminded me of the Spongebob Squarepants theme tune. Now this is frightening; frighteningly bad I'm afraid as I found this ghost train very bland and average really and definitely not a favourite. Still better than Tivoli's Ghost Train & Storm Surge however. As you can probably tell, we are not at Alton Towers however this ride used to be. It used to be at Alton Towers from 1982 until 1997 when it was removed from the park to this place. The ride wasn't terribly interesting and just done for the cred really, still it's a good coaster for people getting in to coasters and clearly fits in much better here than it does at Towers [it would stick out more than Spinball ever could if it was still there]. The Twisted Steel Log Flume thingy. Didn't ride this actually as I didn't really want to get wet then [nor did the rest of the group] so we moved on. If you time your walking around the ride's area really badly, you would get soaked during the ride's main drop. Now what is that sticking out there? That's right, a metal pole that guy in to place. But this is the ride though that really makes this park worth visiting for [aside from those creds], The Roller Coaster [got to love creative names ]. Such a great coaster, the way the ride flew up and down the drops throughout was superb and the pacing as a whole made for a great thrilling family coaster. This coaster is very different from many others as instead of having brakes/stops scattered throughout the circuit, this ride used a brakeman who rides on the coaster train on his own seat with the riders and applies brakes throughout the whole circuit when required. This not just results in each ride technically being unique, but means on some rides you can get some really good airtime on the ride, something which seemed to improve steadily during our time here making for a fun ride. The ride was only running one of a possible four trains [two were stored in workshop areas and the other was off the track completely] however luckilly there wasn't much a queue at all meaning we never waited more than 5 minutes for each ride. The ride's complex structure also helps add further fun factor and interaction as there's a few head choppers there too. Whilst it doesn't topple my top 10's or even favourite woodies from the list [Megafobia 1st, National 2nd, Dipper & Wild Mouse 3rd], it still a ride I thoroughly enjoyed and is probably 5th on my wooden coaster list. Since experiencing this ride, two milestones have [sort of] been reached, one being it's my first ever Scenic Railway, the second being I have nearly done all the UK woodies now with just Gulliver's Antelope & The Scenic left, however one of those is still closed & the other is at a park which is difficult for child-less adults to enter to so this is closest I'll get to a completed list for now. They also had their own Sky Drop tower which was identical to the one at Adventure Island. Good drop tower really, not a patch on Jolly Rodger but better than Bounce. Another ride however that was on the must do's was the historic yet charming Snails & Fairytales ride positioned in-front of the Roller Coaster. Loverly charming ride where after seeing pirates & farm animals along a track which interacts with the roller coaster flying above, this happens. You are taken through a secret portal to Disneyland for a couple of minutes seeing all the wonderful characters from the films whilst the It's A Small World music plays through your ears, before returning back to the real world and exiting the ride. I really liked this attraction alot and whilst it's definitely not going to any rewards anytime soon, it is such a charming relaxing attraction that should be second on your to do list after the big coaster here. Whilst Jadam & co. got to experience an impressive Mack spinner under the title dwervelwind, I got also to experience a new spinner coaster here called Whirlwind. Despite being a kids coaster, I enjoyed this ride quite alot, was surprisingly fun and is worth a go, better than the Apple Coaster at least. Then it was time to tackle the park's Family Star coaster. Was alright as coasters go, but nothing special really. Time for a fairground classic which was the Twister, this one however was quite different as it was slanted as opposed to the normal flat layout which made for an interesting ride, not to mention the cycle was pretty good too. Then on to the first Waltzer I've done in a while [enjoyed a lot more than I expected actually]. Other rides at the park [not-pictured] were a monorail style ride which went around the park, you got some good views of the Roller Coaster & Snail rides [amongst the more fairgroundy ones] and a small Disko ride like Ramba Zamba, although it wasn't my favourite ones. Once we'd done all of these, we did Roller Coaster & Snails once more before heading off back on our long journeys home ending what has been my highest splash of new creds at once for a long time. As park's go, Great Yarmouth isn't the best park around, lacking the large scale of Blackpool or the thematic element of other parks and the fact it feels a bit like a permanent fun fair in parts. However what wins the park over as the place to go is the park's classic Roller Coaster, Snails & Fun-house attractions which are all great in their own ways and the former makes me excited for when Dreamland's open reopens amongst the day I visit Tivoli Gardens & Bakken [to a lesser extent]. Until then Oakwood, Disney and countless Halloween events remain ahead plus my second big non Uk park in November on my first trip to Efteling.
  10. Many Weeks ago I had planned and booked a weekend away at Alton Towers, to check out the new attractions, re ride the existing favourites and a behind the scenes lift hill walk on the Smiler . However unfortunately, 5 days prior to our trip, a terrible accident on the Smiler occurred, resulting in the park being closed for days and the park's worst ride accident in it's history. With our plans changing constantly on the few days before including a proposed changed walk to Nemesis instead, by the friday afternoon we learn't that our park trip and lift walk just like an old bottle milk, were off. Fortunately whilst our plans were rather badly bloodened, they certainly were not beaten, thanks to pre-trip plans, clever reorganising and great help from some wonderful friends who were able to not just help make the best of a bad situation but deliver a weekend trip that was just as good from the original plans. The first stop was to Madame Tussauds to check out the brand new Star Wars section which opened recently, the rest of the attraction was very much as usual although Spirit Of London was stopping and starting a bit. You have done well Madame Tussaud's. I really liked the Star Wars area, which takes place after the Marvels show which is transitioned quite well (no idea what used to be in this area). The section included characters from all the films on top of main scenes. We also visited the Dungeons and eye in County Hall which were the same as always. We also got to see how the construction of the new Shrek adventure was progressing, there's scaffolding all over County Hall at the moment and the former London Aquarium sign has now been replaced with a Shrek Adventure one in the same style. After training it from Euston to stoke direct by Virgin trains which took only 85 minutes with no stops either before reaching our crash pad, Newcastle Travelodge. Unfortunately, Alton Towers was still closed on Saturday which meant we couldn't go, however we were fortunate to be able to visit somewhere just as good. That place was Blackpool Pleasure Beach, and this also meant I was able to try out the new Sky Force ride, which to an extent is the biggest new ride in the UK this year. For an addition this size, the ride and surrounding area have all been very well themed as it certainly looks very well themed (better themed than any of Thorpe's Flats). The ride itself was quite fun and enjoyable getting some interesting views of the area too, although I wasnt able to get much spinning done due to the strong wing and not mastering the technique all too well. I think it's a good addition to the park as it offers the park a much needed flat ride to the line up and is so far a unique ride to the UK. My only concern (something that has been mentioned here a lot) is the ride's throughput of 12 riders per cycle, as for a ride (let alone a new one) is very low on capacity and is unlikely to achieve anything over 300 PPH. It would've been nice if the park could've opted for a larger model like a 15 or 18 seater version or even install two of them, but it's still a good ride, 7/10. When it came to lunch, we all headed to the nearby (appropriately named) Velvet Coaster Weatherspoons, where I had to Hog Burger which was ok as Weatherspoons food goes. It's definitely my favourite Weatherspoons I've visited so far and is also on three floors of greatness. One of the great things at being back in Blackpool is not just getting to experience the brand new ride, but experiencing some of the ones I missed from last time; one of those was River Caves. River Caves is a classic dark ride at the park which I think is around 100 years old now and comprises several small'ish boats travelling around a series of scenes of pharaohs, dinosaurs amongst other things. There also used to be a brief interaction with the now defunct gold mine (which closed in 2012) and has been replaced by glowing lights and an eiry soundtrack. This is a loverly historic ride. If you look at River Caves from the perspective of comparing it to something like Pirates Of The Caribbean or something, you'll probably come off quite disappointed, however if you look at it from the historical point of view, it's a deeply interesting and iconic attraction that will hopefully live on for the forseable future and after all, it is the forefather of pirates to an extent. Other new Fred's on this trip included the Avatar air bender which is the most intense Disko I've done and beats Mia and Ramba Zamba with Kobra only beating it on the theming side. Dora's World Voyage was a happy little tide, basically a Dora version of its a small world but outside, I liked this ride more than I was expecting to, but could've been better and the Chinese puzzle maze which felt like a more crammed but not so good Loki's Labarynth. I also experienced the flying machines which is a wonderful piece of machinery and offers some good views in the park. We also got to re-experience most of the wonders from last trip including Valhalla which was as fantastic as ever except for the slight lack of ice this time. This is a ride that wouldn't look out of place in Efteling or Phantasialand. Big Dipper was as great as ever and ironically the smoothest woodie there despite being the oldest, Infusion was still ok first half rough second half and the grand national was as great as always although the second ride in the day was a bit on the rough side. The rest of the rides were about the same as the last time I went (though I missed ghost train, ice blast & Grand Prix this time). Wild Maus seemed incredibly rough today (even for my standards), but I still like it as this is such a unique ride whilst the Big One was shut all day due to wind, which is another of the ride's many flaws. After the park closed, we all had a walk down the promenade whilst eating chips,cheese and gravy (because why the heck not!). First stop was Coral Island and despite hating this place last time, I tried out their ghost train which for £1.50 isn't bad (based on 2 sharing). The ride's very mediocre, but is still better than most travelling fair ghost trains (along with Tivoli World's) however to an extent it makes even Blackpool's look like the haunted mansion. We also checked out the North and Central piers too (because we can) and had a drink on the latter. The piers were definitely a lot quieter than they were when I last went there in September, although that was probably because that was during the illuminations. We also visited Pleasurewood Hills briefly to try out their new dodgems set (or maybe not) And even a quick trip to Disneyland (stretchy does not approve) On our way back to the car, Stretchy gave me a very brief crash course in to getting some decent sunset ride photographs. I will leave it up to you to decide whether I passed or failed this! And then it was on the journey back to Stoke, I couldn't believe how quickly the car journey was especially to the five hour journey I had experienced last time I came, it was almost a bit overwhelming (although we were crashing in the Midlands). Knightmare by the way has been taken down, hopefully a sign the ride is getting a new home. Blackpool is still a park I very much love and whilst some of the wow factor had naturally dryed since my first trip, it was good to be back and I really enjoyed it. The park is on top form and definitely on the way up, although I would like to see better merchandise as bar Wallace & Gromit and Skyforce, there is generally not a lot to see really and like invisible ink, there was nothing to write about. Apart from getting no Big One, the only major disappointing thing in my day was not being able to buy a coaster wheel from the old parts shop as I had been particularly interested in getting an old wheel for my collection from something like the Wild Mouse. A small part of me died when I found the shop closed after planning to buy something, but oh well. Day 2 Unsurprisingly, towers was closed again on the Sunday, but that didn't stop us from going, because the secondary hotel attractions were still open when we went. However first, a very Midlands style breakfast. Oatcakes!!! Oatcakes are a novelty food I'm in the Midlands and for anyone who does not know what they are, they're essentially like Oaty pancakes and are absolutely delicious. I naturally opted for two double bacon oatcakes (because I couldn't get enough) on top of taking a pack of a dozen back home which I had for Monday's tea, I certainly didn't regret anything I did that morning! If you haven't had an oatcakes before, get yourself down to the Midlands for the weekend and try one, they're absolutely amazing and you won't regret it. The picture you see here definitely does not justify this culinary delight's greatness and outside of Staffordshire is very hard to find. From one kind of Oak, to another Oak, as we explored the nearby woodlands around Alton Towers, to find the legendary chained Oak. The Old Oak is an amazing sight to behold, and whilst the tree is now very old with some branches having now fallen off whilst some chains have loosened or dug in to the tree itself, it's still an interesting sight to behold and to think nearly 200 years ago the legendary tale of the earl took place here, The place where very same tree was cursed, resulting in the mysterious death of one of the Earl's family and then completely chained up. On top of this, having also inspired the creation of one the best dark rides in the uk. Once leaving the ancient woodland [thankfully not meeting any old women who appeared to be cursing along the way], we eventually headed off to Alton Towers [or at least what was still open to see there]. The main entrance to the park was actually closed up when we went, which meant using the staff/deliveries entrance when we arrived, which was an interesting way to the park [although noticeably longer] seeing old park signs and the like and areas of the [closed] park such as Cbeebies land and X Sector [ironic in a way really]. Once parked in the Hotel parking lot, we first headed off to Treetop quest to book a time for the high ropes course, the earliest option they had was 2:40pm, which whilst cutting things a bit fine for our train back we decided to go for and then did more exploring in the resort. Having quite alot of time to kill, we decided to play a 18 hole Extraordinary Golf which was great fun and many of the holes are cleverly designed and well themed towards rides in the park [even if around half of them no longer exist]. I drew with Daniel whilst Stretchy stood out on the game. During our time, we could see Air testing from all the way over the car park, which was a sight that definitely gave me quite a blow to the stomach. The Hex,Duel and Nemesis sound effects in the golf only added insult to injury. After completing the course, we checked out the resort's hotels starting with the Splash Landings before moving on to the Alton Towers hotels, both places I haven't visited properly before. Both hotels here are very nice and different too. Splash Landings obtains a tropical style theme which reminds me of Hotel Gold River at Port Aventura whilst the Towers Hotel seems to have a more stately traditional theme, which feels like an english version of DLP's Newport Bay. Despite the park being closed, all the hotels were buzzing with life featuring lots of entertainment characters throughout to keep hotel guests happy and still obtaining much atmosphere. I think all the staff at the resort have dealt with the current situations at the resort following last weeks tragic events very well. We also went in to one of the hotel shops where all Smiler merch [as expected] had disapeared, although they still had smiler monopoly and giant resins featuring the Smiler on, which I naturally had to buy [plus it would help waiting for my next towers visit slightly too]. Afterwards, we had a look around the park's latest accomodation offering, the Enchanted Village. I wasn't too sure about these at first, but having seen them in person, they definitely look rather rather and the area as a whole feels very much like a middle earthesque area. After an enchanted walk, it was off for some lunch at the new Crooked Spoon Restaurant which was naturally very quiet when we went, although featured another amazing soundtrack in the background created by the fantastic IMA score which very much had a LOTR and irish style feel to it. In the end, I went for a tuna and cheddar pannini with chips and salad, which wasn't bad for the price and definitely unique when it comes to appearance and style. After the fairly tasty lunch, it was time to do our Treetops Quest, however unfortunately they were running very behind there with almost an hour behind schedule, which meant in the end having to cancel out our time here [lucilly we got a full refund]. This might be the reason why we didn't get chance to do the ropes ;] After this, we left Alton Towers and found some other way to pass the time before we got our train back to Euston shortly followed by home. And this shall hopefully keep me going until next time [which might not be until 2016 now]. Despite turning in to a weekend much different from the original plans, it was still a great time away. A massive thanks goes to Stretchy whom without the trip wouldn't have been a patch on the overall outcome of the trip. Getting back to Blackpool was a bonus considering I was not expecting a return visit until at least 2016 and the towers staff have handled everything well. Whilst it's still not near enough to warrant me coming during the non themepark time, it's great to see Towers have so many additions to the resort now aside from the themepark, the hotels, the golf, the waterpark and the treetop quest which help things even more so in this difficult time. It's just ironic that the park only reopened the day after my trip away
  11. As very much everyone is aware, I will (hopefully) be making my first ever trip to a Disney park one month from today, a time even this far off I'm absolutely buzzing for. However, still being a 'Disney park virgin' for the time being, I though I would conjure up a series of rides, places and attractions ive been on that I believe the closest 'present' experiences I've had to the authentic disney rides I shall be riding, whether the result of this is fairly close or just a complete joke in comparison. All in all, this list is just a bit of fun at the end of the day. 1/ Big Thunder Mountain- Runaway Mine Train Alton Towers Plus Inferno's volcano for the theming 2/ It's A SmallWorld- Bubbleworks Chessington 3/ Phantom Manor- Duel Alton Towers Probably the closest accuracy in the list 4/ Pirates Of The Caribbean- Pirate Falls Treasure Quest Legolañd Windsor Apparently it's not a pirates life for me. 5/ Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast- Laser Raiders Legoland Windsor 6/ Autopia- Grand Prix Blackpool Mark9 will appreciate this one 7/ Pinoccio's Daring Journey- Pinoccio Tivoli World Slightly more accurate 8/ Snow Whte's Scary Adventures- Alice In Wonderland Blackpool Only one I could think of places I've visited 9/ Peter Pan's Flight- Fireball Adventure Island Southend Yes, very accurate. Really, I couldn't think of anything in terms of suspended dark rides I've done, so this had to do. 10/ Indiana Jones Le Temple De Peril- Turbo Brighton Pier Ok,I'm didn't actually ride this, but I saw it. I think it's pretty accurate at least in the layout though. 11/ Storybook canal boats- Fairy Tale Brook Legoland Windsor 12/ Star Tours- Angry Birds 4D Thorpe Park Since I'm yet to do a simulator, this is the closest I could find. Maybe I have hit a new low. Now for the Studios rides 13/ Tower Of Terror- Hex Alton Towers More so on experience than hardware. 14/Crush's Coaster- Sonic Spinball Alton Towers Couldn't find anything exact so this will have to do. 15/ Rock an Roller Coaster- X Thorpe Park The only comparison it could ever be. 16/ Ratatouiee- Wallace & Gromit Blackpool Pleasure Beach http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/70/Wallace_%26_Gromit's_Thrill-O-Matic.JPG 17/RC Racer- Kobra 18/ Dumbo- Flying Jumbos 19/ Slinky dog- Knights Quest 20/ Tram Tour- Orient Expedition p 21/ Space a Mountain is again X due to lack of dark rides, but it will be closed when I go. One Month to go now!!!!!!!!!!! I shall be reviewing the place for real when I finally visit. I don't own the photos.
  12. For 2015, it is my intention to make each and every blog loosely based on something from film and television. Within a spin of an old caroulsel from the end of the last season, the 2015 park year has somewhat come upon us and for my first theme park kick of 2015 why not spend it my home park Thorpe? (Chessie and towers were too far ) We begin our trip in to the wild (concrete) Jungle here. All bush tucker trials have been mentioned on the board for the experience. I'M AN ENTHUIAST GET ME OUT OUT OF HERE!!!!!!! New for 2015, the home camp has been updated and renamed Fin's Bar & Grill. Now a look inside the home camp. [/img] [/img] And this is just one of the many meals you can win in the Jungle after completing all the trials. I found it absolutely delicious and certainly an improvement over what the equivalent was last series. The mighty queen of the jungle (Swarm) stands tall and proud and in her fourth season, she's still as fantastic as ever. So is the mighty king of the jungle himself (Stealth). He was also running impressively well today snd didn't show any signs of giving up (breakdowns). However we found it irritating when he decided to throw little rocks at the camera (front row in the rain is just painful). https://fbcdn-sphotos-g-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xfa1/t31.0-8/10974522_1071195562897707_3461605405998762029_o.jpg?dl=1 Today we are joined by two new faces in the jungle, Ant (CWOA Malcolm) and Dec (Coasterdude) to do some bush tucker trials. The first Challenge for the camp mates is Celebrity Cyclone. The outcome in which results in a near by water tower being completely destroyed. Followed by an eating trial Let's not forget a face to face team challenge too for camp immunity. But who will be doing the next trial? Professor Drunk's Teacup Twisters CWOA Malcolm is chosen to do this trial (voted by the public). Unfortunately he drops all the stars (his bag) half way through the challenge. And is taken to the Jungle Jail. https://fbcdn-sphotos-b-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xap1/t31.0-8/10863979_1071197029564227_5152407034567841733_o.jpg?dl=1 But he is soon released as it's not quite ready. This section of the jungle was out of bounds today. So is this section. Shame this isn't appearing in the start of the series. The Dead end of the jungle. Crossing this will end up will being bitten by Live Snakes. Somesay this slide is plagued with critters :] The Camp mates are suddenly sent to mysterious area Where numerous tests [scientific tests] will await them to see who makes it to the next show. [off topic] Braniac was an absolutely fantastic show, full of interesting experiments and tests which was very entertaining to watch. Well worth making a trip in to the jungle for. Despite the limited line up of trials availible, all the additions open proved to be very reliable with no problems and difficulty. Except The Fish which despite his reduced time in the camp had to be taken off a couple of times because of suddenly stopping through the routine. Lets hope this bit of the jungle receives some tlc next season. The votes have been registered for who the next to leave camp will be And Unfortunately it is Matt Creek [me], which means we will have to end the update in a moment. Critics Review Despite the lack of attractiones open, Thorpe Park's February Half Term proved to be a great day out, not just opening two of their best coasters Swarm & Stealth, both of which ran faultless [except for that front ride stealth in the ride] but performing the Braniac show [which considering I didn't see it at easter] I found highly enjoyable. . The Dodgems and Tea cups were as fun as ever and depth charge and the fish were okay too. Angry birds was good too except the lack of water during the show [ oh Merlin ]. The coasters were only on one train as whilst it shouts 'Old Thorpe Problems' it didn't need the second ones as the queue rarely passsed 10 minutes all day. Shame more rides weren't open, X & Inferno being good examples but still had a good day and look forward to the main season. The Real Thing comes the end of the next month. But bigger better things are coming in the future ;] Sponsered By Iceland [the country]
  13. With closed season no more than 3 weeks in and the blues, I was in major need of a major themepark kick to keep me going during this bleak season. Seeing as many are off (or even been already) to Disney Land Paris , something which for me is sadly not an option (at least at the moment (roll on 2015)). Apart from Winter Wonderland & the midway attractions (places I'll hopefully get to see next month), there was one other option left. Legoland Christmas event. Arriving just after 12:30pm (as a full day here isn't really required), my party and I headed towards the Hill Train area where after checking our tickets in the mostly unrecognisable Sweet shop building, we boarded the Hill Train where the overly enthusiastic station master helped us move the train with some magic words down to the wonderland that lay below! Above is the map of the park and what was open during the day. 14 attractions were opened up to guests including Laser Raiders, Spinning Spider and The Dragons Apprentice [amongst others]. There was also an elves workshop and Santas grotto for kids and several shops and restaurants also open too. Heading first to the Egyptian area and taking a ride the shooting ride Laser Raiders then Scarab Bouncers, we had now entered the park wonderland, however there wasn't too much to see greatly apart from the tree as it wasn't dark yet and the weather wasn't great. Several Caroulsel rides followed And a ride on the Big Wheel. Followed by numerous other attractions and the like, before having a sit down festive meal at the Knights Table. The food was pretty nice here, whilst certainly not the best it was still good quality. They even had some Christmas music playing inside which had it not been clashing with another nearby P.A system playing another somg wouldve made the perfect Christmas dinner atmosphere. And here's the castle area, which was home to the Grotto which was located around the pathway near the bug Dragon. Sadly the ride wasn't opened for the event. After doing a few more rides, my party and I took the train back to the top for some Christmas shopping in the Big Shop, wander through the Star Wars Walkthrough and claiming our free drink (given with the ticket) which was a needed relief before heading back down to the main park again where it was getting dark and really came to life with its beutiful lighting. And here is some of the many views of the Christmas lights you can see, and this is before we've even got in to the main park too. Snd this was the furthest point of the park accessible as Lego City and places beyond were off access during this event, infact theres a few bits of work going on in the area and the train's carriages were all missing. '241111_852667978117233_7606062392746846913_o' to? - See more at: http://s798.photobucket.com/user/mattthemepark/media/Facebook/Legoland%20Christmas%202014/241111_852667978117233_7606062392746846913_o.jpg.html? "]http://s798.photobucket.com/user/mattthemepark/media/Facebook/Legoland%20Christmas%202014/241111_852667978117233_7606062392746846913_o.jpg.html] But if you think this section of the park looks great at night, just wait until you enter the Castle area! The area is just so magical at night. If it had any more magic, it could almost be Disneyland. The park was really quiet when I went. So quiet not just could you get on a ride without queuing, but quite often have it to yourself [which was very often the case when I was here that day]. I also managed to ride Dragons Apprentice 3 times without even having to queue up and all by myself. I received 7 laps each time I rode meaning [Yes that's right], I got an impressive 21 laps on the ride without even leaving my seat, which is something you definitely couldn't do in main season, even on the quietest of days [which of course there are few]. Due to all the festive magic, we all stayed right until the end of the event which closed at 6pm. After taking the incline on the Brickmas Express back to the Beginning [which is the only way in and out of the park on these events], we headed towards the exit seeing yet more loverly park christmas lights. And we shall end this update on a Buzz [because he is Disney[. So, what were my thoughts? Legoland have done a fantastic job this year decorating the park in magic lights and making it look all festive and beautiful, not to mention all the christmassy atmosphere and getting a decent chunk of the park up and running to guests which is far better the previous years where only the shops are open [with perhaps just one ride too]. We had a great day out which due to the atmosphere and lack of guests felt far more relaxing than a normal day at Legoland which is something I thought I would never say. Staff there were absolutely fantastic and really helpful and not just were there no queues for pretty much everything but quite often we would get whole rides to ourselves and be the only ones on there, which was such a fantastic experience plus also getting night rides on just about everything [which you could never do during the main season even during fireworks]. This was such a good event and definitely kept the closed season blues at bay and hopefully one day we will see the return of a near full lineup at the park for christmas events [like back in the early days 99-2000]. All I could ask for more to make this event the perfect trip would be for the big Dragon to be open and perhaps a show. The Big Question- Is it worth the money? The answer to this question is Yes! Whilst at first glance, paying almost £19 for pass holders to get in to the park during the winter season to only experience around a quarter of it's attractions does sound quite steep and expensive, the park offers quite a lot to guests. This includes, 1 14 rides and attractions open 2 Free hot drink 3/ beautiful park lights and atmosphere 4/ night rides 5/ no queues to any rides [you have them to yourself] 6/ much more relaxed day 6/ no queue when leaving the park 7/ park discounts 8/ festive activities So if you fancy any other theme park based activities this closed festive season [apart from Winter Wonderland etc.] and can't go across sea to the likes of Euro Disney. I would recommend visiting Legoland for it's Christmas event.
  14. I have recently created a youtube channel covering the UK's theme park rides. Up until now I have been using still photos in my videos. Is there an official policy as to whether video cameras are allowed on rides at Thorpe Park? If I use my camera, is there a chance of it getting confiscated?Any help will be appreciated
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