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  1. As we approach the start of the 2022 season, I thought I'd do a few blog post ramblings on some nostalgic Thorpe memories I have. I started off with Dr Pepper Sun Scream, now it's time for Brave it Alone back when it opened in 2013... I have hazy memories about this, but recently I found an old post I made after I experienced it and thought I'd spruce it up a bit and share! - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - We did Cabin in the Woods way back on Sunday 13th October 2013, when the experience was brand new (and in my opinion at its best!) So... Here's what happened! After park closing at 10 pm, we met the Director, his assistant, and some park managers along with the other 'brave-it-aloners' at the bar area in Clypso BBQ, where we were read a very long and elaborate warning speech while having a drink. We then had to sign an agreement that stated that 'you are prepared for anything to happen' and that 'TP takes no responsibility for anything', blah blah... After around 20 minutes, when the guests had all left the park, the 10 or so of us were then given one of the classic "Don't wet yourself" ponchos to protect clothes from fake blood, dirt, facepaint and bodily fluids (yep, really). We were then split up and were walked with a park manager to our chosen mazes, where we were asked further questions such as "are you aware that literally anything could happen in here", and "please you must tell us now if you have any reason to not experience this"... At this point the nerves were setting in - why did these warnings keep coming up? What on earth was going to happen inside? After waiting outside the cabin door for a few moments listening to the actors inside, I stepped in to the cabin's first room, the one with the 4 doors, which was brightly lit. I was alone. Suddenly the lights turn off for a second, then back on, but now there are 2 actors standing right in my face! Do any of you remember the guy who played Les Coogan back in 2011/2012? Well I had asked him if he's still known as Les Coogan earlier in the day, But I'll come back to that in a minute. 'Les' pushed me backwards in to a chair in the corner of the room, where I was screamed at and told of the horrors I was about to see. The chair was then tipped backwards and I was led on my back! This was amazingly intense. The interrogation continued. The actors were hillbillies of some sort, so there was... Umm... dribble.... lol! I was then told to crawl in to the next room. Here I was left alone with a single actor who after a while forced me to 'kiss the moose' on the wall, similar to the film. Interrogation went on for a couple of minutes, lights flashed on and off, the actor started getting crazy bouncing off the walls, when my friend crawled in to the room with an actor riding on his back! (I did laugh at this!) I snuck out in to the next room at this point... This room had a person in a plain white mask, and was one of the most surreal parts. She forced me against a wall and slithered around me... very odd! The lights then went out, flashed back on, revealing her mask right up in my face. This happened a few times with her appearing and disappearing at different points. I was then grabbed by another actor who looked panicked, saying "don't look, just get over here". He stood facing me and grabbed me by the shoulders, then pushed backwards (quite fast!) through several flaps and doors until my back banged against a wall!! I was then pushed (very violently) back down on to the floor by a different actor, and told to continue onwards. This next part is a blur to be honest, but I did a lot of walking, crawling, being pulled and pushed around, had lots of jump scares, until I reached the spinning tunnel, which had 2 female clowns inside... Both clowns had 'penis shaped' balloons which they, errm, 'rubbed' me with in various ways... Yeah I'll leave that to your imagination... They then taunted me with them and popped them in my ears. One of the clowns then got behind me, wrapped herself around me and held me still, while the other licked my face and neck while the other laughed in my ear. This was very uncomfortable and weird!!! CLOWNS!?! All of this while the tunnel was spinning around me! I can't remember what happened between here and the final room., however when I did reach the final room, the actor who played Les Coogan in previous years (remember from earlier?) stormed up to me, with about 5 other actors in tow! They each took hold of one of my limbs, picked me up and put me flat on my back on the floor.... 'Les' then completely went crazy!! They were dragging me around, and Les's final words to me were "DON'T YOU ****ING DARE CALL ME LES COOGAN AGAIN BOY. GET OUT OF HERE NOW." I was then pretty much forced to apologise to 'Les', and literally thrown in to a door leading out of the maze! The look on the faces of the park staff was hilarious when I came out! I particularly remember one of the managers looking genuinely worried! It was absolutely fantastic and much more intense than I could have imagined. The whole experience lasted around 10 minutes. Worth every penny of the £15! Bargain. I have probably missed bits here, and probably haven't done it justice, but you get the basic idea. We then all made our way back from the various mazes and met back at the 'bar' in the BBQ, where we all had a good chat about it! Some of the other guests had done Asylum, which was totally mad apparently. They were all drenched in fake blood, and said that many of the asylum patients were completely naked. Lots of 'adult' themes going on in there, including a performance in the bed scene which I'm not sure would hold up today. Some of the others had done Saw Alive which was apparently amazing as well. I can't describe how good Brave it Alone was in its first year! Genuinely terrifying to have literally ALL of the actors focusing on you the entire time.
  2. Hi guys. Since Tussauds' purchase of Thorpe Park in 1998, Chessington & Thorpe Park, two of the UK's largest theme parks, have operated under the same corporate umbrella (Tussauds from 1998 through to 2007, Merlin since 2007) within very little distance of each other; both parks serve the London area, and they are only a very short drive away from each other. Tussauds' initial reasoning for purchasing Thorpe Park was in order to eliminate Chessington's closest competition within the South (Thorpe was a family park to the same, if not a greater, extent than Chessington at the time, and as John Wardley put it, Tussauds' mentality was one of "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em"). While acquiring Thorpe did clear this particular roadblock for Tussauds in the short term, I believe it created them a rather different dilemma to grapple with in the long term; both Tussauds and Merlin seem to have had real trouble getting the two parks to coexist happily alongside one another. Now given that both have operated alongside one another within Tussauds/Merlin for 23 years, that might seem like an odd thing to say. But what I mean is; whenever one park in the duo succeeds from a business perspective, it seems to have the unwanted side effect of sending the other into a downward spiral. For evidence of what I mean, let me cite the UK Merlin park attendance graph shown during the Project Amazon consultation: (For reference, Chessington is the blue line and Thorpe Park is the red line; if you want a clearer image of this graph, here's a link to another thread on TowersStreet: https://towersstreet.com/talk/threads/uk-merlin-park-guest-figures-through-the-years.5778/) If we take a look at this graph between 1998 and the present day (well, 2020), I think it unveils some extremely interesting trends, and implies that a rather odd dynamic is at play among Merlin's southern RTPs. For instance, the first period where Thorpe's attendance really skyrockets on the chart is 2001/2002... which is exactly where Chessington's attendance starts to sharply decline. By the Merlin buyout in 2007, both parks had gone in vastly opposite directions attendance-wise, with Chessington having dropped right down to 1 million flat (from a solid 1.5-2 million prior to this period and very close to 2 million in the late 90s) and Thorpe having skyrocketed to nearly 2 million (from slightly below 1 million prior to this period). However, the tables began to turn in the late 2000s and early 2010s. Chessington's attendance began to steadily rise again during this period... while Thorpe's substantial growth began to level off and eventually turn back to decline. By 2019, Chessington was on an upward trajectory and had offset the losses of the 2000s entirely, reaching an attendance level of slightly above 1.5 million; this is roughly on par with 2000, the year prior to this cycle starting. Thorpe, on the other hand, was on a downward trajectory and had offset the bulk of what they gained during the 2000s; 2019 attendance was 1.5 million or a touch below, which is around on par with 2002, one of the very first years of the cycle. Chessington actually overtook Thorpe Park again in 2019, for the first time since the cycle began in 2001/2002. I don't know about you, but I personally think that this shows that a vicious cycle is at play within Merlin's two London area Resort Theme Parks; whenever one park prospers, it seems to be at the expense of the other. While Thorpe initially prospered in the 2000s, Chessington really struggled. While Chessington prospered in the 2010s, Thorpe really struggled. The two parks seem to cannibalise each other's attendance to an extent, and I can't think of any other situation in the world quite like it (in the sphere of theme parks, at least). So my question to you today is; can you think of any ways that Merlin could make this duo of parks coexist happily, and kick the cycle of attendance cannibalisation to the curb? Are there any other similarly situated groups of parks that have made it work? Why did this cycle begin in the first place? I'll admit I'm struggling to think of things myself, so I'd be really intrigued to hear some of your thoughts.
  3. 2542464

    2020 Season

    For things that will occur during the 2020 season and isn't really something being done over closed season I felt it was right to create this thread. Thorpe Park are getting proper lifeguards next year this year (link to job ad for the supervisor position): https://merlin.csod.com/ux/ats/careersite/4/home/requisition/5304?c=merlin The description states that Amity Beach used to be run by the attractions department (didn't know that tbh) but they're transitioning to lifeguards: I'm not sure why they've made that decision but one could make the leap that they're planning on doing something to that area for 2020/ future years.
  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. Hi, I am very much new to these forums so sorry if I miss anything, I purchased three thorpe park annual passes at around the start of january (which the thorpe park shop website said would be delivered in 2 weeks) , I have been constantly emailing asking about the location, with each reply having some automated “passes will be sent out before the 23rd” reply. I am just wondering if anyone else has this problem or if it is just me, I wouldn’t want to miss out on the start of the season thanks
  6. Hi everyone, Halloween is coming up and that means we will be holding the annual TPM Thorpe Park Fright Nights meet. Based on a poll the date of the event has been set to Saturday 13th October 2018. Please message or reply below if you plan on attending even if you voted in the poll. The event will take place over the whole day as the park will be open 10am - 10pm, with horror mazes from 3PM. Below is the provisional plan for the day: Park opening - Meet in the dome 10:15 - Start making way around the rides 1:30ish - Lunch 2:30 - Meet back up and start making way to first maze choice. 3:30 onwards - More mazes and rides in the dark until close (maybe another stop for food later if people hungry) The meets are great fun and everyone is invited, even if you have never posted before or even been to a meet at all. If it's your first meet, I understand it can be nerve breaking - but we were all there once before, so all know the feeling, please don't let this stop you from attending. Once you are there you'll be part of the group in no time at all! Everyone attending will have my number or be a part of a FB messenger group. Attendees ChiapasC (evening) Doc EpicSmatty J.S217 Jessica2 Jenzie1997 Marc Marhelorpe Mattgwise Mattymoo TallGuyDom Terrortomb Maybe David B Jack MarkC Terry Terry Ben MoweR
  7. J.S217

    X Playlist

    Hi guys I have been thinking but what would your perfect X soundtrack be pick 10 songs that you think may fit with X mine would be: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yj_alR22hCI https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=olWPS-B-9-M https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k6lVhGeyXuw
  8. So, SAW - The Ride is now about to enter it's TENTH season.. Time flies! Personally, I feel like the ride is ageing relatively poor, with the last couple of years becoming unbearable to ride, I mean; they sold Paracetamol in the store once upon a time for a reason! What does everybody think lies in the future of this attraction? I always presumed that the ride would be re-themed with the end of the Lionsgate contract, but now that Jigsaw has been released in the cinemas, I should think the contract has therefore been extended?
  9. As always, me and Mer will be going to the Fright Nights passholders preview night. If anyone was able to get tickets this year and is going, feel free to join us.
  10. Hello THORPE PARK MANIA, just a quick question; does anyone know about some nights or is it not going ahead or if it hasn't been planned because I have no idea and keep on getting different answers.
  11. Hello my fellow keen beans, At long last, I am here to start the topic for the Thorpe Park Open Season Meet 2017! The provisional date for this meet is currently Saturday, 25th March 2017, however you may vote otherwise if you wish, unfortunately the dates aren't especially flexible this time round simply because this is the first and only 'normal' weekend in March, so apologies for that! You will have two weeks to place your votes, and the polls will close on Thursday, 2nd February at 9pm! Should you decide to come out with us to the Island Like No Other, this is what we could be doing... 09:30- meet in the usual place by the AP entrance/cash machine, so we can promptly enter the park for 10 10:00 onwards- we will just be dithering about the park, going on what people want to ride until people get peckish (or hangry) 13:00-13:30- it'll be time for lunch! the group may split to go and have whatever tickles their fancy, or we might all fancy the same thing which would work out nicely 14:00/14:30 - park close- we'll all go back to getting on those rides until it's time to head off for the post-meet social! like we've done with the previous couple of meets, where we eat is all down to you forum lot, and there's always room for creams... I know that there will be a fair few rides that people won't want to/can't do (I am a veteran at scoping out benches myself by now!), you will of course be able to go off and do your own thing whilst you wait, but try to make sure you don't lose the group entirely There will again be no specific 'extra' meet points throughout the day for the sake of ease and simplicity so those latecomers can come to the group, as Ryan and I will both be running this meet I am sure either one of us would be able to come and fetch you if you're a bit lost! but remember, if you are late you will be left behind! If you are up for this meet, feel free to contact myself or @Ryan to let us know, and feel free to leave any comments or suggestions below! Hope to see you there ***** Who's coming?? CWOAFanMalcolm (might be working, definitely coming for meal) (plus meal) Daniel.S312 (plus meal) David B (plus meal) Doc (plus meal) Felicity (plus meal) Joestar Marc (plus meal) Martin C (plus meal) Martin Doyle Matt Creek (meal only) mattgwise Mer (plus meal) Mitchada04 (plus meal) Paige (plus meal) he who shall not be named (plus meal) Ryan (plus meal) StevenVig Stuntman707 (plus meal) special guest (plus meal) terrortomb (plus meal) Weronika (plus meal) total: 19
  12. Just wondering who will be going to the Thorpe Park preview day on the 19th of March? Me and Mer managed to get tickets so we will be going. I'm looking forward to going a week before the official start of the season. Can't open soon enough now! Annual Pass days are always nice and quiet so hopefully we will be getting plenty of rides in ahead of the opening meet. If you were fast enough to get tickets, we'll maybe see you around!
  13. Just a quick question, as I have a ticket for THORPE PARK RESORT AP PREVIEW DAY, I was wondering whether It will be busy or not based on previous years or the number of tickets being given out on eventbrite. Thank you Regards Callum
  14. The Closed season is here, Christmas music and decorations are around everywhere and the sight of new year isn't far away. This means one thing, time to review 2016. This year will be a two part edition, with part one focusing on the UK and part two on the wonders abroad. The Merlin Machine/ Given the circumstances of 2015, it was fairly imminent this wasn't going to be the best year for them. With Park-wide budget cuts, ride closures and controversial decisions, there has been a fair share of negativity. However, not everything they've done has been unacceptable. Alton Towers As expected, 2016 was not going to be Towers's year as a result of ruthless management operations to lessen the bleeding of 2015's unfortunate events. This resulted in budget cuts, leading to staff redundancies, closures of shops and food outlets , knee jerk safety precautions and the closure of seven attractions. Whilst Hex is the only major casualty here, closing down a family park staple, sufficient flat ride and more has certainly left a big gap in the family market. Galactica for me feels like an attempt at shoe horning a gimmick onto what was already a popular ride just so it can be marketed as a new major attraction. The VR element leaves something to be desired, although I did find the audio descriptive version highly amusing. That being said, I do really like the new space styling, soundtrack and station enhancements. However on the upside, the new Roller Coaster Restaurant is a fantastic addition to the park, featuring much character and a flagship park restaurant. The Steak I had last time was remarkable. The TLC scheme has certainly enhanced run down areas of the park such as Forbidden Valley and Towers Street which look noticeably better. Though some areas are still fairly run down it's a start and if this is the only way for Merlin to do upkeep, so be it. Fingers crossed they can keep a similar scheme in place Post 2018. The Galactica fireworks were highly enjoyable too and made for a great end of a season. The park still has magic but it may be a little drier for the time being. 2017 seems to be another year CBeebies land add ons, with a round ride and indoor attraction being installed amongst it's own hotel. None of the above is appealing to anyone over 6, however if it's successful let's see what happens. SW8 construction is where it all lies though. Thorpe Park 2016 has been very divided for the park with lots of positives and negatives happening at the park this year. The park has continued an acceptable level of small improvements in places from updating the Amity toilet block to refurbishing the main Burger King which is good to see. The Tidal Wave improvements also look nice. That being said a major TLC scheme could really benefit the park as lots of park areas have been neglected for a while now, including Colossus, Rumba, Canada Creek and even Inferno (to a lesser extent). Breakdowns have been inconsistent this year with some rides such as Stealth and Samurai suffering major lengths of downtime but other rides like Swarm, Slammer and Rush remaining generally reliable all season. Some rides of course are out of the park's control when it comes to issues, but it would be nice to see a better consistency on reliability though. Derren Brown's ghost train is where things become more complicated. The ride now offers the park with a much needed indoor/dark ride. The pre-show and live action elements (though without their faults) are the best elements of the attraction for me. Providing amusement and excitement that may controversially be the best we've seen at a UK park in the post Hex days. The virtual reality (VR) element however I am not a massive fan of, the first section is okay but the second one feels disjointed and almost anticlimactic but that may just be the ride's reliability. Speaking on reliability, the attraction hasn't been great, with the attraction constantly breaking down, headsets failing and other issues. The state of the attraction last October was shocking to say the least and that's before I mention the two month plus delay. Let's hope 2017 does wonders to this ride and it can finally prove to be a solid addition instead of the embarrassing handful it seemed to be this year. Losing Loggers this year feels like a massive blow for the park, which despite it's age was still a popular and firm favourite for people of all ages. 2017's confirmation has only dampened the doubtful reopening of this attraction further which is a shame. Ending this on a positive, the street food and temporary outlets in Old Town were decent additions to the park's catering lineup. The chip place place proved to be great and a very quirky idea at the very least. The I'm A Celebrity improvements were also acceptable. The kiddie rides in Old Town is a bizzare one but if they enhance the younger guest offering which the park lacks, it can't be all bad. Chessington Right, remaining optimistic here may be a little more difficult but let's see what happens. Tomb Blaster (the park's veteran dark ride), was set for what was supposed to be a major refurbishment, giving the ride much needed TLC and restoring it into the best state in years. How wrong could we be? The new lasers are blocky, tacky and ruin the look of the attraction and the scoring system makes no sense. And not only this but the new UV lighting (which was supposed to enhance the ride) has actually ruined this. As a result of exposing out of house areas and the metal warehouse the ride resides in. The removal of ambient sound effects has only added insult to injury and goes to show what a shoddy refurbishment this was to begin with. The reduction in car stopping has only added to the rot as a result of the ride being less in sync. In the contrary, the Bubbleworks was shut down forever to make way for the next revolving door IP attraction. Whilst many will disagree here, I still had a liking for the attraction even to the end as it provided a fun ride for all ages and was an amusing experience. From the whirling fairground rides to the fountain finale. The ride may be gone but it will always have a place in my heart. Especially my last ever ride. Where my girlfriend and I shared our first kiss in the fountain finale. The rest of the park is still a mess. Bits of theming looking worn and neglected, Vampires station is still a mess, Falls is still naked and breakdowns seem to be happening more frequently. Skyway was also spited after barely surviving the last few seasons. Shame they didn't maintain or rebuild it as that would've been much better than an animatronic panda show. Glamping won't save the park either sadly. Only good things I can say about Chessington this year are the small TLC bits were acceptable, the Smokehouse place is good and I met my girlfriend here. 2017 will be interesting to say the least with Gruffalo re-theme and new Market Square carousel. Let's see. Legoland Windsor Despite turning 20 years old, 2016 has been a quiet one for the park, as a result of adding anything major or notable. The Lego Movie 4D was the main new attraction this season and is a fantastic addition to the park and one of the most amusing 4D shows I've seen. Featuring the return of many of the lovable original characters and more from the original film. 2016 also saw the Star Wars miniland extended,in the form of the Death Star occupying space previously part of the Star Wars store. The new addition is fantastic and the combination of interactive features and vast models, makes for an excellent finale. The Star Wars store has also been renovated as a result of the updates. The model makers workshop has also been refurbished marking the return of the brick busts on the top floor which is really great to see again. Whilst much of what the park has done this year, even with the opening show (it's location also resolving the terrible entrance bottleneck), one word. Farmer Joes Chicken Shack! Theming aside this is one of the worst theme park eateries I've been too as the food tastes dull and barely edible; Was rather expensive too. Change however is on the way for the park, with Dino safari and Loki's Labyrinth being demolished in the same year. A major Ninjago dark ride and area will replace the latter with the former becoming home to the park's second hotel featuring a castle theme. Blackpool Pleasure Beach The historic seaside amusement park turned 120 this year making it the oldest operating U.K. Park and one of the oldest in the world. Apart from that, not much else really happened this year, although the new bridge and ghost train scene are both highly acceptable additions. The park still retains it's charm and character well amongst remaining one of the better kept UK parks. That said, the operations over my two day visit did leave something to be desired as National and Avalanche were on one train operation over the weekend joined by the Big One on day two. However given circumstances and they're an independent park they are solely forgiven. 2018 will hopefully be the year to bring wonders here, but there's still a while yet. Paultons Park A place I've always wanted to visit for a while and somewhere I can safely say is the underdog of UK parks currently. It's not so much the big things that make paultons, but all the small touches from park tidiness, staff friendliness down to the organic feel of the place. No HB leisure or in your face upselling here. The Lost Kingdom area has done wonders to this park and set the bar high for future investments on this upcoming park. The theming is of a high standard whilst the two coasters provide the perfect family thrill consistency amongst the other great attractions. Paultons is definitely the park the watch in the coming years and once they bring in a decent water ride, woodie and dark ride, they will for sure be one of the best parks in the U.K. If they are not already. Drayton Manor Yet another place I've been longing to tick off my check list, but past opportunities encountering misfortune resulting in me not able to visit. Maybe that's an omen? Drayton is the perhaps the blandest park I've ever visited. It lacks style, atmosphere and boasts the worst main coaster double act I've seen at a park. With all that negativity said and done on to the positives. Thomas Land is a loverly charming park area and one of the parts with atmosphere. Their flats rides such as Apocalypse, Maelstrom and Air race are all enjoyable and the Haunting was actually an acceptable attraction too. So is Ben10. Still won't be rushing back there yet, until they add a major attraction or receive enough persuasion. Still it's been ticked off the checklist right? Other not-so theme parky bits Went heights of Abraham in Matlock Bath which consists of a cable car, numerous caves and ruins.The views are fantastic and the caves were intriguing to say the least, especially given one actually featured an animatronic figure (sort of). Matlock bath is also pleasant enough with countless fish and chip shops, independent stores and a mediocre aquarium. It's almost like a Sea Side Town, away from the sea. With Bikers. Thanks for reading part 1 if you managed to not get bored. Part 2 will follow shortly. Adios
  15. HELP PLEASE! If anyone has been to Thorpe Park before please can you answer my questionnaire all about your customer experience at Thorpe Park. This is for my dissertation, it will take about 10 - 15 minutes to complete and if you add your email at the end of the questionnaire you will be entered into a draw to win a £20 Amazon gift card!! Your experience matters to me! If you can like and share it would help as I need to obtain as many responses as possible! Thank you! Thorpe Park Questionnaire>>> http://kbs.az1.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_3xxOP7NnTp6MYPX
  16. Welcome, to the Haunted Reviews, Mwoarhaha 2016 has provided me with a vast number of park trips and adventures. A trend which has continued happily for the Halloween season. Due to excessive number of events done and trying not to bore you with maze review after maze review, I thought I would try and compact my trips into just one report. Where I intend to focus mainly on the best bits (and sometimes the worst). Xtreme Scream Park/ Beginning with a bang. This was my first event and it certainly did not fail to disappoint. Despite its fairly remote location and its budget not being massive I was highly impressed with this event, from the interaction and portrayal of roaming actors to the scattering of spooky theming. Pie Factory was by far my favourite maze, down from the consistency of actors and scenes throughout and the fact some scenes worked fine without any actors as they helped build up the suspense and fear factor. Apart from The Dungeon which I wasn't a fan of, was strongly impressed by all mazes there (a total of six). Stilton House Hotel and Hunted are honourable mentions. Scarefest It may surprise some of you that prior to October this year I had never been to a Scarefest event before (although I tried and failed last year). And finally losing my Scarefest virginity finally happened With no regrets attending. All three maze offerings were of acceptable quality, Terror Of The Towers being surprisingly good despite being a largely established maze. Sub Species was my preferred maze, which I liked the split elements and the preshow which was of good quality. Altonville Mine (or Skin Snatchers) seemed the weaker one and looked like it had potential, but I feel we may have just experienced a poor run through which was a shame. Aside from the decent park lighting, the amusing flash mob and acceptable theming, the addition that Pleased me the most was House Of Monsters. A family based attraction which was more funny than frightening, the use of scenery and acting proved and was certainly an entertaining attraction that was worth the £5. Particularly liked the Skeleton and vampire actors and was certainly 15 minutes well spent and reminded me of Shrwk's Adventure in a few ways but maybe better. Night rides are cool too Fright Nights No Halloween would really be complete without at least a visit or two to Fright Nights, especially being one of my local parks. The event celebrated it's 15th anniversary by bringing back some of the park's popular roaming actors from deceased mazes including the Freezer and Experiment 10. This is always one of the things I like about Fright Nights and would like them to add a scare zone one day. Big Top was much better this year. The flow was better, the acting was consistent and it generally felt more of a maze than a few disjointed scare zones. Face It Alone was as enjoyable as always but cannot help feel last year's was better. Whilst I've tried to remain positive, this is where it sort of dwindles. The park was rammed on literally each attendance. Whilst some may see this as a positive thing, the crowd handling certainly has room for improvement. Three and a half hours for Platform 15 just can't be justified, as the queue was barely moving and not even completely full. The maze itself however was better than expected and offered something different and unique from the rest with its location and plot line. The long tunnel was one of the stronger elements which I thought built up suspense rather well. Cabin is still cabin, acceptable but rather stale now. I can't comment for the rest as I never got to try them . Howl O Ween Despite possibly saying I probably wouldn't go I visited anyway (call that unacceptable if you must). The only reason I visited was because it was on the way for other scare attractions and night rides never go a miss. A round on tomb blaster, Carousel later and a final night ride on Fury ended the season. Didn't manage any mazes as they're the same as last time and Vampire was dead. The theming however was quite good though. Acceptable theming! Tulley's Shocktoberfest Tulleys is somewhere I've been wanting to go for a while now and was finally able to do so this year. Though lacking the exterior theming and roaming actors, this event certainly impressed me which provided a sufficient of mazes, eight to be precise. The Horrorwood Tractor ride was certainly my favourite with it's interactive scenery and theming elements and vast range of different actors appearing throughout from scary cowboys to mad scientists. Certainly more of a ride than a maze and clearly better than Zufari. Other mazes that impressed me included the Colony and its large length and variations, The Cellar with its haunted theme and Pandemonium with its use of 3D elements. Hellements was the only maze I wasn't taken with as it seemed weaker than rest, though Creepy Cottage was rather on the short side though. Only other negative was the location as a whole looks very temporary and the use of temporary loos but that can't be helped given the location. Legoland Brick Or Treat Perhaps not a Halloween event in the traditional sense but still appropriate. At the end of each year Legoland holds themed fireworks to end the season with a bang, alongside a selection of kids Halloween activities in their enchanted forest area. This year's fireworks were themed to Nexo Knights (one of their current product lines) which featured audio dialogue synchronised to the fireworks. The display as a whole was good, although not amazing. Helped by it's audio plot line and glasses that turn the fireworks into Lego bricks (worth the £1.50). I particularly liked how the harbour area (one of the main viewing areas) was sort of turned into a pre-show before the main event as a result of the connected fountains and light being synchronised to the music. Apart from the lack of good nighttime lighting and the number rides closing at dusk, was a very good event. And this marks the end of another good Halloween season which has certainly been a good one (most of. The time). Didn't do Screamfest Burton and Screamland, but hopefully they can be done for another year. so, in brief: Best maze- Pie Factory Xtreme Scream Best non maze attraction- Haunted Hayride- Tulleys best fun scare attraction- House Of Monsters- Alton Towers Best scare event- Xtreme Scream Park Most improved maze- Big Top Thorpe Park Most awkwardly hilarious moment- Walking out of a fire exit on the Twisted maze at Xtreme Scream Best lit park- Alton Towers StormmSurge- Hellements- Tulleys Until next time, Farewell.
  17. One of my friends who is going to Thorpe Park's Fright Nights with me has weak ankles, which often hurt when walking or standing for long periods of time, the Doctors are yet to find the problem so she doesn't have a note which she could use to get out of queuing. Would she be allowed to use a walking stick for getting around?
  18. I'm going to Thorpe Parks Fright Nights however I have recently had knee surgey. I can walk no problem but I don't want to push it, so I was wondering which of the horror mazes would involve running as I'd like to avoid them. The walking ones are fine,I just don't want to run on it.
  19. On Sunday the 9th of October 2016, me and a few other forum members (and a few other non-forum members) set out on a venture to Thorpe Park Resort. However, this was not just any ordinary day at Thorpe Park; Fright Nights had kicked just two days prior to this visit, and we were all extremely excited to get into the six attractions that the park had to offer. Before the mazes opened to the public for the evening, we had the pleasure of experiencing a behind the scenes tour of Saw Alive and Cabin in the Woods (special mention to Shannon, our fantastic guide for the tour). It was very intriguing to see all of the detail and effort that goes into the making of the attractions, especially in Saw Alive, and I will definitely be purchasing another tour for a different two mazes next year! But now, onto the reviews! SPOILER WARNING - THERE ARE SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW! YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED! Cabin in the Woods - 7.5/10 Cabin in the Woods was the first maze of the night, and was definitely one of the better attractions the park this year. Returning for it's fourth year, I was worried that the maze would feel stale and boring after such a long period of it being here. I was very wrong indeed! We managed to loop around the maze twice, and got to go into every room that the maze has at the start of the maze. The theming in each room (excluding the blackout rooms with virtually no theming) was great and the actors throughout were trying their best to squeeze every scare out of our relatively small group of just four people. The second half was much weaker unfortunately. The elevator scene wasn't working with no actor behind the glass, the rotating tunnel will never work again which is a real shame, the actors were lacking, especially the finale where there was only one or two. Overall however, this maze is still going strong, despite a weaker second half. I do feel though, as much as I like it, it is time for a change. Containment - 6/10 Containment was poor last year, very poor in fact, and I was quite reluctant to hand over £8 for an attraction which I did not enjoy at all previously. But due to the great reviews it had been getting, I felt obliged to try it out and see whether it had improved or not. To cut to the chase, it was good! Massively improved on last year, with some returning rooms, some new rooms, and completely new puzzles to get our brains ticking. The narration at the start of each room was a great addition; it explained the fear in each room and was a rather nice touch. The actors in each room were spot on, especially the clock room with two actors who were both funny and scary at the same time. Whilst we're speaking of scary, the attraction as a whole wasn't all that scary. It's a good bit of fun and provides something different instead of another standard horror maze, but if you're expecting a terrifying escape experience then I recommend you look elsewhere. Overall, Containment is a good and unique addition to the lineup, however take it as a puzzle-solving escape room, not a terrifying horror escape room, in order not to be disappointed. Platform 15 - 3/10 I knew when Thorpe released the video of Zombieboy being the "curator" of Platform 15 for publicity, I knew it was going to be bad. Little did I know, it would be utterly dreadful. It does have some moments of light though! The Scottish (but not really Scottish) tour guide at the beginning was definitely the best part of the attraction; he was an excellent actor! The walk up to the train with the fire and the flashing lights was also quite cool. After that, it goes very quickly down hill. The graveyard scene is very sub-par and the tunnel and finale has got to be one of the worst I've seen in a horror maze. It's basically a crap Molly Crowe ending, without any movement or any chase. For a new attraction, Thorpe should be ashamed with the end product; it is disgraceful. The worst part is the actors are all clearly trying their hardest, but even with their endeavors, it is very close to being the worst maze of the night, and the year! The Big Top - 9/10 The Big Top last year was diabolical, and when I heard it was returning I was not ecstatic. I went in with low expectations, despite the general consensus I was getting from people who had done it saying it was a lot better. So, we went in, experienced it, came out, and I can safely say after four runs in the maze, it is very very good! Everything has been so greatly improved: the fortune teller, all the other scenes, the ending, everything! The strobe maze is by far the most intense strobe maze I have ever done! The slow pattern they've been put on means it is extremely difficult to see anything in the tent at all, and with actors bursting out from every direction with your impaired sight, it leads to a terrifying outcome! The chainsaw chase ending, despite it's unoriginality, is very effective when working properly and has left me running for the exit each time. I only have a few bugs with the maze. Firstly, each time I've been in I feel it's lacked actors, especially in the strobe maze. Secondly, some scenes are too open (in particular the clown wash and the cage), and finally, the only major one, when it is light outside, light streams into the tent, completely ruining the strobe section of the maze and ruining the atmosphere. Overall though, I thoroughly love this maze; the best I have experienced at Thorpe in my 3 years of visiting Fright Nights. Saw Alive - 5/10 Saw Alive is never a strong maze, yet usually I do enjoy a good run through of it. This year though, the highlight of the entire maze was seeing Amy's seashell in the corner of the bathroom scene! The theming is top quality in this maze, the best on park. However, the actors need to at least try in order to make this a half-decent maze. The actors on our run, did not. The minimal 5-6 that were in the entire maze clearly wanted to go home after a long evening of scaring people, and none of them seemed to really care that we were in the maze at all. A lot of them just stood there and snarled as we walked on. It's definitely time this maze moved on, with either a complete re-them, or the complete removal of it. Blair Witch - 2/10 Blair Witch, new scenes for 2016, can't be much worse than it's predecessor? Well, clearly it can! With the addition of a few nice looking red lights, nothing seemed to have changed with Blair Witch. There were no more than 6 or so actors in the entire thing, all of which made the same pig snort noise whenever we past them. There was no audio playing in the maze and we also had numerous queue jumpers before we could even get inside. To put it bluntly, Blair Witch is s#!t. I would avoid this maze at all costs if I were you! Before I conclude this blog entry, I have a few more small details to add. The Experiment 10 roamers that we saw a fair few times were excellent! One of them knew my name, which was rather confusing to me at the time but I did realise that somebody who I sort of know and have on Facebook is working as a roamer this year. Theming around the park did exist but was quite minimal; I do like the headless monk on the bridge! Overall, Fright Nights is a good event this year, however there is still a big gap for improvement in the attractions and around the park as a whole! That's the end of this blog! Thank you all for reading
  20. WARNING - This review has very STRONG spoilers Choo Choo... No this isn't Runaway Mine Train, this is MY Ghost Train (Well actually it's Derren's, but I got to experience it last weekend). Delayed for two months, a hype built higher than Kingda Ka and being the largest investment in Merlin HISTORY! I, of course, had low expectations. EXTERIOR I'll begin my review on the outside, we were greeted by a 90 minute queue in the baking heat, so I had lots of time to sink in the exterior, unfortunately, most of the poster theming had been destroyed by the guests'. Apart from the huge red shed that Thorpe has proudly placed at the front of the area, the actual building itself is well themed and the music was loud, maybe a little too loud (is that possible?). Apart from the AWFUL photo spots, the queue itself wasn’t that bad, the baggage room was well themed and the batching area kept the hype going… now it was time to go through to the pre-show. INTERIOR The pre-show started, with the worlds lamest ‘jump scare’, Derren waffled on about fear (I did pay attention, honest!) and another lame jump scare, although I did appreciate the special effects, this pre show felt like it was actually him talking to me, not just a video. We move onto the main room and I was taken aback, the train looked incredible and really looked like it was hanging! I have no idea how it’s done, the way the trains are hidden is actually the most mind bending thing about this attraction. The VR headsets come on and the story begins, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6... The scares begin and I was already screaming before the video started, the whole first VR section felt so realistic and I was immersed in what they was saying, I had the young man, old lady and old man so I got to experience a difference in the stories, my 3rd ride on DBGT 1st VR experience was the best VR I have ever experience, so crisp and clear. So after my knees were attacked by Thorpe’s ride host, we moved into the second part of the attraction, after a lot of shouting and confusion, this huge train comes swinging towards us, the effect would work well if they had more smoke and less lights but I still jumped back in time. Onto the second train and off we went, this time the story got confusing for me… why the explosions? Where’s Derren gone? Is Derren a member of the Green Party? But the demons did scare me, but the extremely long gas section made me loose interest and I could feel myself wanting to remove my headset, next thing I know, we’re falling to my second home, 5,4,3,2… an abrupt ending and back to reality. We exit into the highly themed shop and I had experienced the ghost train. Pros – - The physically train and underground theming. - The first VR experience nearly made me fall off my seat - The ride system works SO WELL. Cons – - The whole ‘sub core’ story comes out of nowhere, it feels like they’re two different plot lines happening throughout the whole attraction, Derren Brown & Sub Core. - Second VR section comes across very out there, making me confused to what was actually happening. - Making me change my pants because it scared me THAT much. Overall Review: The newest major UK theme park attraction, was certainly an experienced I’ve never had before, the plot line and lack of physically theming let it down for me, but it did what it was created for, to scare you. I’m unsure how this will keep up in a few years’ time, the technology is far too underdeveloped for how much it gets used and was already straining when I visited, I have a strong opinion that VR is NOT the future of theme parks, but that’s a debate for another day. Trolley Dolly 7/10
  21. 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
  22. As we'd expect, 30 years ago, Thorpe Park was a very different place. In fact, it wasn't really until 1983 that the park saw investment in 'theme park rides'; until then, the park was a more educational/leisure area. One attraction which opened in 1983 saw Phantom Fantasia - the first incarnation of what many knew as Wicked Witches Haunt. The ride was rethemed into WWH in 1994, before its untimely closure in 2000 due to the infamous Thorpe Park Fire. Whilst I never got a chance to ride the original Phantom Fantasia (would be a bit difficult considering I hadn't been born then ), I've heard / read a couple of accounts of the ride, and it seemed to be a very British attraction - it had that eerie / scary tone, yet had humour to it as well. It was a ride which sounded fun for everyone, and was just spot on. When we remember that at this time, Thorpe was a small business, and the idea of a theme park wasn't really around in Britain (something which Wardley discussed about so well in his autobiography I thought), it's - in a way - an astounding achievement. Here's a few photos of the original Phantom Fantasia, from either 1983 or 1984 (put in spoilers to save on space and such): Unfortunately, I can't really offer much explanation into the scenes and such. However, Neilfever added a brilliant video of the ride onto his Youtube account a few years ago... One final Phantom Fantasia photo to leave you with is this one... Anyone recognise him? You walk past him as you exit Nemesis Inferno! I think after the fire, he appeared in MHFS, and now keeps guard of the now abandoned area... Wicked Witches Haunt I did get a chance to go on WWH, however. Several times. My memory of it is rather hazy, seeinghow the last time I went on it I was barely 6, but there are some scenes that I remember. I think that in itself speaks volumes of this attraction - for me to remember it 13 years after my mind shows that it was an attraction that stayed with you. It might not have been the best dark ride, but that doesn't mean it didn't affect you. My personal memories of the ride was that it was one of the attractions you 'love to hate'. Not in Storm Surge way, but in a way that it always left me scared or spooked out, I'd have to close my eyes really tightly or cover my eyes and I'd sometimes let out a scream. As a child, it was ride that scared me, but that's why you like it. The best way I can word it is that it's the child-equivalent of a scare maze, or watching a horror film. The witches didn't scare me really. I guess at that age, you're introduced to stories that split opinions on witches - some seem horrible, but are actually nice and vice versa. The thing was though, it did give me a 'feeling'; something bad could well happen here. The scenes that never failed to scare me were the ones with spiders - there were big, fair, ugly hairy spiders. They jumped out at you and stuff. I was petrified. I think the finale, or a scene very close to it, involved the carriage turning to face a wall, and then the biggest spider there was jumping out at you. Scary stuff. For the family audience the park had at the time, it must have been a huge hit. So, that's really all I have to share. Whilst the ride was not 'iconic', it certainly played its part in Thorpe's history, and is probably something that will be mentioned for years to come. I do doubt that the ride would have stayed at the park much longer anyway, due to the shift in target market, the age of the attraction and such, it is a true shame it burnt down. But c'est la vie. A couple of links which show of PF/WWH really nicely - http://www.memoriesofthorpepark.co.uk/phantomfantasia.html http://www.baffles.me.uk/features/tpg/features/wwh/index.html Would be great to hear others' memories of the ride too!
  23. So what do you think is the best B&M Rollercoaster in the UK? Is it Air: The World's First Flying Coaster Nemesis: Europe's First Inverted Coaster Nemesis Inferno: The World's only Inverted Coaster to feature a set of Interlocking Corkscrews Oblivion: The World's First Vertical Drop Coaster Or our newest B&M... THE SWARM: Europe's Tallest and Fastest B&M Wing Coaster Vote!
  24. Causing a bit of a gap to the long speculated trip reports of certain members visiting several new major parks [surprisingly not Benin in this case], you may be wondering what the Creek will be able to provide to contend with this. If you were hoping for reports of new visited parks and the like, you may leave feeling rather disappointed [there are big plans in the works for the near'ish future though], however what I will offer instead will be in the shape and form of unique and different theme park activity. Having been a big fan/enthusiast of parks and coasters for a long time, there is something I had always wanted to do at a park for a long time in my life; that was walking up to the top of roller coaster lift hill. Following the foreseeable cancellation of my Towers lift hill walk [due to the unfortunate accident of a certain ride], I instantly booked myself a coaster climb on one the coasters at Thorpe [whether it's a good idea to this the day after a heavy night clubbing and drinking is another story however] Judging from the [poorly quality] picture above you can tell right away which ride I went for; Colossus After having experienced my chosen ride at the end of the day before closing, I waited patiently outside the ride's exit [as instructed by the details on the email I'd received when I booked it], where I was soon approached by a member of Thorpe's stuff and when clarifying my name, I knew my experience was about to begin. Being directed in to the Swarm's control booth with others taking the walk [a dad and his son], we were given an informative talk about the ride's generally statistics from basic things such as opening in 2012, being built by Bolliger & Mabillard and costing 20 million to more complex and interesting facts. When it comes to dispatching the ride, the operator in the control booth must press both green buttons with his hands in-addion to the platform staff pressing the other four buttons. If one of these buttons isn't pressed the ride will not dispatch. Interestingly, there are four positions staff can be allocated to on this ride, control operator, baggage room, front and back of station, where are total number of seven staff are required on two trains operation and six on one train operation. The ride's console is a lot smaller and advanced from the park's older consoles [inferno's apparently strikes similarities but is noticeably bigger]. Not only can individual rows of restraints be released individually [no need for the recheck all bars here] but the computer system can also calculate how many trains have been running on the system and give a general count of throughput. Speaking on throughputs, one train operation on Swarm allows for about 600 people per hour [pph] whilst two trains allows up to 1200 PPH. As you can witness from the photo [and the giveaway on the booth] the ride was on just one train at the end of the day, however this was to ensure final checks on the ride's others train which would be checked up through the evening/night and then run on the circuit the next day whilst the existing train would then receive it's inspection. Interestingly whilst the work shop is located on the right to the station building, there is a giant cold fridge in there too [ I forget why though]. Other interesting things the console allows [pictured above] is to open/close gates, stop and start the ride and also stop and start on the lift hill too. The ride was naturally locked down when we were there which only the engineering crew would be able to open to stop any possibility of the ride operating whilst we were there. One of the other proceedures of loading aside from the buttons and thumbs up is all seats must be closed and locked for dispatched regardelss of them being with or without riders. The second part of the console, this allows the operator to speak to through the tannoy systems, and press automated announcments such as weather closing and reopening. There's naturally a phone too for the operator to contact platform staff. like all ride's alike, the ride uses CCTV throughout the surrounding area which is to used to ensure the ride is working correctly and that no one has trespassed in the surrounding area [which would result in an e-stop]. Before doing the actual part of the lift walk, everyone was instructed to put on safety harness vests, which involved putting the main part on your chest whilst adjusting and tightening the giant clip and then getting your legs through the holes then adjusting them. This was finalised by the ball hold which would connect to the coaster wire itself. Then it was time for the walk itself to begin. This gaint bit of machinery operates the lift hill of the ride. The harness I was wearing was connected to the chainwire at the side, which involved in the positioning of the clip. Every so often, you would need to push the clip through a check point area so to ensure maximum safety. If you folded the clip in, then it would stick you to position. The design of this safety figure has been designed to prevent slip backs, so if you accidentally trip up on the way up or down, the clip safely locks you in place preventing any major accidents from happening. One of things talked about was the actual meaning of the ride's project name LC12. I naturally put it down as Lez Cougan, however the actual meaning of the acronym was infact Lost Cause. Mentions of other project names such as Project Odyssey [Colossus] and Project Dylan [saw] were also mentioned briefly there too. And many steps later, we finally reached the top. It was a very nice day so I was able to get some pretty good views of the park and surrounding area whilst I was up there [including Heathrow]. Who Thought Thorpe was so beautiful I learn't many interesting new facts on my climb which was great to hear whilst taking in the stunning views below. These included, 1/ Stealth & Rita were originally supposed to be one big coaster however due to some difficulties in planning it, this was split in half. So Thorpe got one half [the better half IMO] whilst Towers got Rita. 2/ The reason why Nemesis Inferno was themed like a volcano was because of the fire that took place on the site the ride replaced [Tropical Travels]. 3/ If Thorpe were to build something massive on the empty island next to Swarm, they would need to remove something equivalent in size [my tour guide described the park's landscape as being like a Lilo. I naturally had to ask/enquire about WC16 [Thorpe's new dark ride] during the climb. However unsurprisingly he wasn't able to provide much information except that it would be the first kind of ride to ever exist in the world and that it would be a top class ride. Even facts down to when it would open [spring or summer] could not be provided. He did mention there would be more interesting in vestments on the way within the park and that Thorpe's target was now all age groups. When it came to Fright Nights, he said that this years one would be bigger and better, however couldn't confirm completely if there would be any new attractions or face it alone returned [but hinted the former was likely]. On the operational front, the ride cannot operate below 5 degrees or in winds over 35 MPH, there's a wind tracking device at the top of the hill which is sort of in the form of a micro wind turbine. The main Thorpe hotel is expected to open around 2018/2019. It was mentioned how a spruce up of the entrance would be liked [depecting a very RCT style appearance] and hinted that a redesign in the future would probably happen however the dome would remain for the foreseeable long term due to it's complex structure and helpful functions within the park. One of the most eager questions I asked I did manage to get an answer for though was the future of the now closed Chief Rangers Caroulsel? When dismantled the ride was stored temporarily in the staff car park for a while, however unfortunately the ride will never be able to return to the park. This is because it's going to a different park. Which though wasn't said however apparently it isn't close to any major European parks and the country of location is unknown [so tracking of the ride will likely be extremely difficult]. I am happy to confirm though that many prominent items from the old ride have been salvaged including the old ride centrepieces which are apparently now located in the education centre. The other horses on the ride are believed to have been kept to use on the ride's new home. I asked on what the forseeable future for Mr Monkey might be and he reckons the ride is here to stay as a tribute and lone survivor of the Ranger area that once dominated the park. When it came to potential rides going, the answer was generally that Thorpe like to keep their rides and that Samurai was closed so that they could give it out the attention it needed to work again as it was still a popular ride at the park. When it came to Colossus's 'potential' repaint he was unsure on whether it would get fully done and did agree that ride presentations are an important aspect of rides. He did however hint towards the possible return of the railway in the future and the re-theme of Rumba though. Proof this is real A pic of me and my guide I'm a long way up! After this unique,interesting and insightful experience, I gradually made it down from this giant coaster back to the ground where I thanked my host before grabbing my belongings and making my way. The Big Question Was The Walk Worth £50? Just about, in this experience, not only do you get to go up and down your coaster of choice, but you are presented with stunning and amazing views of the surrounding area not just in the park but on for many miles throughout the landscape. You also learn a lot of new facts and information on different things in the park from the operational and management side to how the park works as a whole. Seeing the control cabin of one of my favourite coasters was another interesting sight and I enjoyed my time doing this experience where all the VIP team were extremely friendly and helpful and this was no rush or pushing ahead on the experience at any time. I will probably do another lift walk here at somepoint in the future [not sure when though] on Colossus to see how it compares and look how different the ride works from an operational view, B&M were described as the creme de la creme of coasters when I was there. If you're in to different theme park experiences and wish to experience a lift hill walk, I would definitely recommend experiencing one on The Swarm!
  25. 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]
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