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  1. Hi guys. Thorpe Park may have arguably one of the UK’s most well-known and well-liked selections of thrill coasters, but another aspect of the park that is commonly revered is its lineup of flat rides. Thorpe’s flat ride lineup is arguably one of the most expansive and varied in the UK, or dare I say the world, with quite a plethora of thrilling flat rides on offer. There have also been some intriguing past residents within Thorpe Park’s flat ride lineup. With this in mind, I’d be interested to know; which past or present Thorpe Park flat ride is your favourite? Personally, I’m not the biggest lover of flat rides overall, and I’ve only actually done 3 of Thorpe Park’s flat rides, but I am a big fan of drop towers, so of the ones I’ve done, I would personally vote for Detonator. I love a good drop tower, and Detonator is a great one; for a smaller drop tower, the drop is so punchy! I do have to say, however, that I also really enjoy Rush and would place that firmly in a close second. It’s not too nauseating, and I love the speed and sustained floater airtime it provides! The only other Thorpe flat ride I’ve ridden is Samurai. I found it OK, and surprisingly not too bad nausea-wise given the reputation of Mondial Top Scans as intense flat rides, but it’s not one of my favourites, and definitely a peg below the other two for me. But I’d be keen to know; which past or present Thorpe Park flat ride is your favourite? P.S. I included every Thorpe flat ride, past and present, listed on Wikipedia within the poll, but if I missed your favourite, there is also an “Other” option you can vote for.
  2. Hi guys. I was scrolling through the Project Exodus thread, and I noticed that in some of the most recent posts in there, people were talking about the other things Thorpe Park needs to sort after Project Exodus is completed. With that in mind, I thought a thread discussing the things people would most like to see done at Thorpe Park after Exodus might be interesting. So, what do you think most urgently needs sorting at Thorpe? Personally, I'd like to see the following happen at Thorpe Park in the not-too-distant future: Either the installation of a new dark ride with universal appeal or a more family-friendly retheme/rework of Derren Brown's Ghost Train. I feel that Thorpe could really do with a dark ride with greater universal appeal; I had hoped that this might come with WC16, but the ride that Derren Brown's Ghost Train ultimately turned out to be is/was arguably far too niche in appeal to add much to the park's lineup for most. The installation of a non-inverting thrill coaster of some description with a lower height restriction. I think that Thorpe could really do with a non-inverting, 1.2m height restriction thrill coaster to heighten the park's appeal for older families and add a little more depth to their coaster selection. I think something like a GCI wooden coaster would fit the bill nicely. The retheme of The Walking Dead The Ride back into a more family-friendly theme. As much as The Walking Dead The Ride looks very well done, I do feel that retheming a Vekoma junior coaster to such a blatantly adult theme was perhaps a questionable move, and I think that making that ride a little more family-friendly again could widen the park's appeal and offer more for the older family market. In general, I would like to see the park focus less on things with overly niche appeal going forward. I've used the phrase "niche appeal" quite a bit within this post, but I do feel that Thorpe Park's recent undoing has been focusing on things that don't have especially wide appeal, even within the thrill market. Within the wheelhouse of thrills, things like thrill coasters and thrilling flat rides have fairly wide appeal, but the sorts of things that Thorpe Park have been doing in recent years arguably don't have a wide appeal in the same way. Things like DBGT, Walking Dead, Black Mirror and such appeal to quite a limited cross-section of the thrill market, and I feel that focusing on thrilling things with wider appeal could reverse the park's fortunes without necessarily reinventing the wheel. I have no problem with Thorpe installing attractions like that from time to time, but these types of niche attractions have been the park's primary focus for the best part of a decade now, and I do think that things with wider appeal should be the absolute bread and butter of the park's additions. But what do you think that Thorpe Park needs to focus on after Project Exodus?
  3. Hi guys. Scare season has well and truly begun here in the UK; theme parks have embraced the Halloween spirit, scare parks have opened, and YouTube and social media are filled with nothing but scare event vlogs and reports. Two popular UK events, based at two of the UK’s most popular theme parks, are Alton Towers Scarefest and Thorpe Park Fright Nights. These events are similar in some ways and different in others, but they are often compared due to them both being based at Merlin theme parks. So I’d be keen to know; which event do you prefer? Are you an Alton Towers Scarefest person, or are you more of a Thorpe Park Fright Nights fan? I’m not a scare fan at all, therefore I have done neither and can’t really pass judgement, but I’d be really keen to know which you prefer if you’ve done both!
  4. Hi guys. Thorpe Park has 7 different roller coasters which are arguably a big part of what makes the park what it is today, but surprisingly, we don't appear to have a topic ranking them and discussing our favourites, so I thought I'd make one! With that in mind, my simple question to you this evening is; how would you rank Thorpe Park's coasters? Which is your favourite? I'll get the ball rolling with my list (the bold bit after each comment is my rating out of 10 compared to the other coasters I've ridden, as well as the ride's ranking within my overall count): Nemesis Inferno - This never used to be top, but I've got to say that it's grown on me a fair amount over time! The forces are solid without being too excessive (no unpleasant grey out moments here!), the ride holds its pace well throughout, it's smooth, it has some nice inversions, and overall, I just think Inferno is a really solid coaster! I never fail to enjoy it, and it always offers a solid inverted coaster experience, in my view. As for the Nemesis comparison... I'm in the minority who actually prefers Inferno. I find Inferno to keep its pace more consistently throughout, I find that it hits a nicer sweet spot intensity-wise (I find the grey out in Nemesis' helix a bit unpleasant), and Inferno is also smoother. Overall, though, Inferno is a very solid coaster in my view! 8/10, #13/91 Stealth - Coming in at a close second, this is a ride I do really like! Stealth might be a one trick wonder, but it does that trick very well indeed, in my opinion; that punchy hydraulic launch never fails to deliver, and there's some decent airtime to be had over the top hat! It also felt a fair bit smoother on my recent visit; I don't know if they've done something to it for 2022, but the roughness that was there in 2021 seemed mostly gone aside from a fairly mild rattle, which enhanced my enjoyment of the ride a fair bit compared to last year! It is a great ride! However, there are a few reasons why it's not higher. The first is how short it is; I love what the ride does, but there's just so little of it. Even compared to a fellow one trick ride like Oblivion (firmly in my top 10!), it does seem like a bit of a "blink and you'll miss it" type ride, which will inhibit how highly it can rank for me. The second one is comfort; I'm not a huge lover of the ride's restraints, and I'd like it a bit more if it had different ones. The final one is consistency; I've done the ride on the front row, and it is legendary (you'd be surprised by just how much difference the front row makes to Stealth)... but none of the other rows hit quite as hard. Even though the ride goes very fast and you definitely feel the force of the launch, you feel somewhat shielded from the sense of speed in the other rows in a way that you don't on the front. One quality I really rate in rides is consistency, so Stealth does suffer for me due to the fact that it has quite a distinct "magic seat" that outweighs all of the others. Still, it's a cracking coaster, and one I always enjoy! Although perhaps controversially, I actually prefer Rita of the two British Intamin launch coasters... 8/10, #15/91 The Swarm - Swarm is good fun, but a slightly sad one to write about for me. Swarm is a coaster I enjoy, don't get me wrong... but I've gone off it somewhat in recent years. It spent a 2 year stint as my all time number 1 before I rode Mako in 2016 (well, technically Montu, but Mako was its more significant successor on the same trip, a day later), and it spent many years as both my favourite Thorpe coaster and one of my favourites in the UK. It's my most ridden coaster outside of Alton Towers. In terms of what I love about it; I think the winged seating position produces such a brilliant sense of speed, and I think some of those elements are terrific (that first drop where you rush towards the ground, and that final inversion that flings you out of your seat over the station, are just pure ecstasy, in my view!). However, I've been increasingly finding a few niggles with the experience that are becoming harder for me to overcome with time, hence why the ride has slid down my rankings over the years. The first is the smoothness, and overall consistent delivery; the ride isn't as smooth as it used to be, and while the inner seats are still fine for the most part, the outer seats seem to jitter a fair bit these days, which does detract a bit for me and make the ride lose points for consistency. The second is the intensity; I almost consistently grey out for multiple seconds during the low turn over the water, and while I know some enjoy this sensation, I personally find it somewhat unpleasant, and it does detract from my enjoyment. The third, and probably most pressing, niggle for me is the restraints. I used to love the B&M vest restraints, but as I've aged and gotten bigger, I've grown to not particularly like them. I'm not a fan of how rigid they are and how they tighten throughout the layout; I find that the tightening can sometimes really take away from the experience, and take the sting out of some of the ride's best elements (that sublime inversion at the end can certainly have some of the sting taken out of it by a tight restraint, as was the case on my last ride in 2022). Overall, Swarm is a fun coaster that I do enjoy for some of its stronger aspects, but various niggles are keeping it from ranking any higher for me these days. 7/10, #23/91 Saw The Ride - Saw is a weird one for me. There's many elements of it I really like; the airtime is absolutely smashing, the dark ride section is great, and the pacing is really good! However... I can't rate it overly highly because it's just so rough in places. Admittedly, my last few rides haven't been too bad, hence why the ride doesn't fare too badly placement-wise at the moment, but there are some very prominent headbanging moments on it that detract from the ride fairly significantly for me, namely the transition from the first drop into the Immelmann and the dive loop after the MCBR. These can leave you with a real headache if you ride the ride on a bad day, and they're pretty unpleasant moments of roughness even on a good one. The ride can also be fairly rattly in other places, and I always come off it feeling somewhat battered and bruised, even on one of the ride's better runs... which is a shame seeing as I actually really like the layout itself. The roughness doesn't seem to have been quite as bad as in the past recently, though, hence why it doesn't fare too badly compared to where it has ranked in the past... my recent rides have been a spate of "good" runs. 5/10, #47/91 The Walking Dead The Ride (last ridden as X) - I haven't actually done this since it was rethemed to The Walking Dead, so I'm basing this review off of one ride back in 2014, but I remember X being a perfectly fine, if not earth-shattering, family roller coaster. It was perfectly adequate as a family coaster, but nothing about it really stands out in my memory 8 years on. 4/10, #56/91 Flying Fish - This is a perfectly fun little powered coaster; not one of the stronger powered coasters I've done, but for what it is, I think Flying Fish is a perfectly fun ride; it has some nice speed in those helixes, and it's overall not a bad little family ride! 4/10, #67/91 Colossus - I've ridden this numerous times as of late really wanting to like it, but I never seem to enjoy Colossus at all. From my experience, it is excruciatingly rough to the point where I never fail to walk off with a headache and very bruised ears, and I don't like the cars/restraints at all; I'm not particularly tall, but I find them hard to get in and out of, and I find the restraints really clasp to my thighs and leave me feeling pretty uncomfortable. Roughness and cars notwithstanding, I'm also not a fan of the series of slow heartline rolls that make up a considerable percentage of the ride; I find the slow hangtime uncomfortable, and I tend to just cling on and wait for the rolls to end rather than enjoy them. It's a shame that it's so rough and uncomfortable, because the ride looks stunning, and even though the second half isn't my cup of tea regardless of the ride comfort, I think the first half actually has real promise! Sadly, though, I don't enjoy Colossus at all; it's easily one of my least favourite coasters of all time. 1/10, #90/91 I apologise if I come across overly negative or nitpicky in some of these reviews; I try to be a balanced, constructive and generally positive reviewer, but I also strive to be 100% honest about my opinions and experiences. I do think Thorpe has a good coaster selection, but strangely, none of their coasters are among my very favourites. Hopefully Exodus will change that! But how would you rank the Thorpe Park coasters?
  5. Hi guys. Today was, interestingly, my first visit to Thorpe Park of the season; by my usual standards, September is quite late in the season for me to be visiting Thorpe for the first time! Today was also the return of my solo theme park tripping; as with last September, my parents’ love of professional golf was greatly useful, as they were going to watch the championship at Wentworth and offered to drop me at Thorpe for the day. We left early and made very good time; entry was very prompt, and I was in well before opening: Once the park opened, I headed to my first ride… Nemesis Inferno Nemesis Inferno was on a walk-on queue, so I decided to start my day there. As promised by the queue times board, it was deserted and I waltzed straight onto the second train of the day; always a bonus! So how was the ride? Well, I was seated on the outer seat of the back row, and I’ve got to say that it was absolutely brilliant! It was glass smooth, had just the right amount of force, had great pacing, and was an overall awesome coaster; having ridden the original Nemesis at Alton Towers a month ago, I perhaps controversially prefer its Thorpe Park sibling, and by a fair bit. I should also add that the operations were awesome on this run, with no stacking whatsoever! All in all, Inferno was fantastic, and a brilliant way to start the day: After Nemesis Inferno, I decided to try another ride nearby… Detonator Detonator was on an advertised walk-on queue, so I decided to take a ride. The ride was very quiet as promised; I only waited one cycle! But how was the ride? Well, it was absolutely fantastic! Even though I’m not generally a huge lover of flat rides, a glaring exception to that is drop towers; I can’t get enough of a good drop tower, and Detonator stacks up very well against others in the genre for me! In spite of it not being the tallest drop tower in the world, that drop is phenomenally punchy! One interesting thing that was also happening today was that the ride host appeared to be overriding the regular ride soundtrack and doing their own spiel, holding us up there for quite some time; it almost reminded me of HangOver at HPWW! Overall, though, Detonator was very good; I thoroughly enjoyed it: After Detonator, I went to do another coaster… Stealth Stealth was on an advertised 20 minute queue, so I decided to take a ride. It took slightly longer than this in reality, taking more like 30 minutes. So, how was the ride? Well I’ve got to say that it was absolutely fantastic! I was seated in row 5, and the launch hit just as well as it ever does, the airtime was brilliant, and the ride also seemed a fair amount smoother than it was last year; it seemed really quite jolty at times last year, but it wasn’t overly rough at all today, which made it a fair amount more enjoyable for me! Overall, Stealth was awesome today, and has definitely shot up a fair bit for me: After Stealth, I headed down towards Old Town to go on another coaster… Saw The Ride Saw was on an advertised 30 minute queue, so I decided to head over there and have a go on it. The advertised queue time absolutely skyrocketed before too long; it had hit 60 minutes by the time I reached the ride, and it quickly hit 120 minutes shortly after I joined the queue. However, I had a secret weapon up my sleeves… the newly added single rider queue! As anyone who’s read my recent Alton Towers trip reports will know, the single rider queue on The Smiler has been a very useful asset to me in terms of reducing queue time, so I was intrigued to see what it would do on Saw, particularly with a 120 minute queue time. It wasn’t quite as much of a remarkable silver bullet as Smiler’s, as I waited 40 minutes, but in fairness, I did only queue for 1/3 of the advertised main queue time, which I can’t really complain about! But how was the ride? Well, Saw isn’t really a favourite of mine, and today wasn’t too much of an exception, but in all fairness, my front outer seat ride was not exactly the worst ride I’ve ever had on Saw by any stretch. The first drop jolt got me pretty badly, and the ending was pretty rough, but the ride wasn’t too terrible other than those two sections. One thing I must commend about Saw that I’ve never really noticed before is that the ride actually has quite a bit of airtime; I can think of at least 3 pretty strong pops on there, and that drop off the MCBR gives off considerable shades of Silver Star! In reality, it is probably one of the strongest coasters for airtime in the UK, in my opinion; it’s a shame it’s so rough in places, as I think I’d really like it if it were smoother: After Saw, I decided to break up the coastering with a flat ride… Rush Rush was on an advertised queue time of 40 minutes, so I decided to have a ride on there. This ended up being pretty accurate; always a bonus! So, how was the ride? Well, I may have talked above about drop towers being an exception to me not generally being a huge flat ride fan, but Screamin’ Swings are another notable exception; I really enjoy Rush, and today’s ride was no exception! I really like the gorgeous pops of floaty airtime at the top of each peak, there’s a great sense of speed in each trough, and it’s also nice and thrilling without being overly intense, which always gets me on side! Overall, Rush was great fun; it’s always a ride I thoroughly enjoy, and today was no exception! Perhaps controversially, I'd take it over either of the gyroswings I've ridden any day of the week, and it's not even close for me: After Rush, I had a reride on Nemesis Inferno, as it had a mere 40 minute queue. I was seated in row 2 this time, and it was every bit as good as earlier; Inferno is just an incredibly solid ride, in my opinion, and really good fun! It’s definitely one that has considerably grown on me over the years: After Inferno, I sat down to eat my packed lunch on a bench near to Derren Brown’s Ghost Train, timing the throughput of Detonator as I ate (I had a very good vantage point!). After that, I took a bit of a walk to my next ride… The Swarm The Swarm was on an advertised 40 minute queue time, so I decided to have a go on it. This queue ultimately ended up taking a bit longer, taking close to an hour in the end. But how was the ride? Well, I was seated in row 5, and I’m sad to say that while enjoyable, it was probably one of the weakest rides I’ve had on Swarm. I like Swarm, don't get me wrong, but I don't really love it any more like I used to, and I think today's ride reinforced that. It is a slightly frustrating one for me these days; there are still many elements of it that I absolutely adore, but there are a few niggles that do take away from it a fair bit for me these days. The first is its smoothness; this wasn't too much of an issue today, as the ride was fairly smooth on my inner seat ride, but it's definitely not the glossy smooth ride it once was, and I've had outer seat rides that were really quite bumpy. The second is the fact that I always grey out for several seconds on the helix over the water when I never used to; I know that some people like this, so I'm probably being overly picky, but I don't personally find it an overly pleasant sensation, and it does take away from my enjoyment of the ride somewhat for me. The third, and to be honest probably the main one, is the vest restraints. I used to really like them when I was young, but I'm afraid to say I'm not particularly fond of them at all anymore, and they do detract from the ride a fair amount for me. I'm not personally a fan of how rigid they are and how much they tighten during the ride; they seemed to particularly detract today, even taking some of the sting out of that awesome final inversion. It's a real shame, as Swarm was my first real Thorpe Park love; it spent a 2 year stint as my number 1 coaster of all time (yes, had I joined the forums prior to riding Mako at SeaWorld Orlando in 2016, Swarm would have been the coaster I'd have gushed about endlessly!), and it's also my most ridden coaster of all time outside of Alton Towers (some of those Towers classics are in another league of ridership numbers, really...). And there are still many elements I really love about it; the sense of speed, particularly on that first drop, is absolutely phenomenal, and that last heartline roll over the station is just absolutely sublime! Overall, while my ride on Swarm was still enjoyable, I'm afraid to say that it fell a bit flat compared to some of my phenomenal experiences on it in the past. I know I probably come across very picky here, so I apologise for being overly harsh, but I cannot lie about my own thoughts: After my ride on Swarm, I headed for a reride on Stealth at an advertised 50 minute queue, which ended up being closer to 70 in reality. I was once again seated in row 5, and it was just as fantastic as it had been earlier; Stealth really was riding excellently today, and I've really fallen back in love with it! I really need to get back on the front row at some point... my one experience of the front row, in 2020, sticks out in my mind as being my most enjoyable ride on Stealth by a fair margin: After my ride on Stealth, I headed down to Lost City to ride... Colossus Colossus was on an advertised 50 minute queue, so I decided to give it a go. Now anyone who has read my posts for a while will know that I do not hold much love for Colossus, but by this point it was one of the shorter advertised queues on park, and I also hadn't done it yet today, so I thought it might be worth giving it a spin. This turned out to be a slightly poor choice... because the queue ultimately took 110 minutes, meaning that I waited nearly 2 hours for Colossus and ultimately frittered away any opportunities to ride anything else today (I joined the queue at about 4:15pm, and by the time I exited the ride at about 6:05pm, I had to dash back to my parents in the drop off zone). Ah well; it can't be helped, and I'm sure that the ride staff were certainly trying their darnedest to shift the near 2 hour queue! But how was Colossus? Well, I'm afraid to say that I didn't enjoy the ride at all; I was seated in row 10, and it was incredibly rough and uncomfortable; I got very sore ears and a properly good headache out of the experience. I also find the cars/restraints extremely uncomfortable, and I'm not a fan of the consecutive series of slow heartline rolls. On the plus side, I think the layout of the first half is quite strong, and I did get a very, very slight tickle of airtime on the ride's airtime hill, which I've never had before! Overall, though, I do not find Colossus enjoyable at all; it's definitely one of my all time least favourite coasters. I apologise if that comes across harsh, as I know some of my reasons for disliking it are very picky, but I feel like honesty is the best policy when it comes to my opinions on these things: After Colossus, it was just gone 6pm and my parents were waiting in the drop off zone, so my day ended there: I had to rush out pretty abruptly, as I was informed that my parents only had 9 minutes left in the drop off zone... after I reached the car park, we all headed home. So, that sums up my day at Thorpe Park! I had a really good day; I was very pleased with my ride count of 9, and it was great to get back on some of my favourites! Inferno was awesome, Stealth was great, Detonator was fantastic, Rush was really fun, Swarm was good... there were loads of really good rides today! Thorpe is a bit of a guilty pleasure of mine, and today was no exception; I had a great day! Thanks for reading; I hope you enjoyed my report from Thorpe Park! That's probably going to be my final trip report of the 2022 season (I don't see myself going anywhere else this year), so... trip reports wise, I guess I'll see you in 2023!
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. 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
  13. 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?
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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
  17. 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!
  18. 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
  19. 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
  20. 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
  21. 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.
  22. 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?
  23. 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.
  24. 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
  25. 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
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