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Drayton Manor Trip Reports

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Luke & Liam & A Manor in Drayton!

Ok so today me & Liam visited Drayton Manor. I hadn't been to this park since I was aged 2, so it may as well have been a new park to visit for me. The park was not busy but not quiet, most rides had 10-20 minute queue's while others were 5 mins-walk on, although I expect G-Force had a horrendous wait time later in the day, I'll get onto that later...

There was no queue at all at the ticket booths, so it was a simple and hassle-free process to get entry to the park, the turnstiles seemed to be all out of use, I'm not sure if they are broken or if it's seen as more efficient to have staff stood there scanning tickets with hand held scanners or not? Bit of a weird decision in my opinion to do this.

Apocalypse.

I had heard mixed things about this Intamin drop tower, some said how it's not as good as the Fabbri alternative because the drop is less "powerful" or something along those lines, having ridden and loved Detonator and Mega Drop (now Jolly Roger at PW Hills) and only 1 other Intamin drop tower at Hayling Island, I was expecting mixed things from Apocalypse.

I went straight in for the stand-up side with floor, seeing as it was walk-on in the morning and only running 1 side of every option. The seat adjusts to your height and then you begin lifting, about 10ft up the tower the seats tilt forwards slightly, a very simple but awesome addition to the experience which makes all the difference, the speed of the lift picks up and you reach the top. The exposure is great, nothing really beats (other than floorless ;0 ) being 180 feet in the air, standing up, tilted forwards, knowing that you are going to be dropping back down to earth anytime soon. You drop, the drop is long and is just pure floaty free fall, I have to say I preferred this feeling to the forced drop of Fabbri towers. The floorless side was my favourite out of all, the feeling of exposure on this side is unbeatable. I rode Apocalypse 5 times in total today with a variation of all sides. Liam was nervous doing the sit down side at first but he loved it so much he ended up doing standing too... But didn't like that so we did sit down again... ;)

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If Slammer gets removed from Thorpe Park then Apocalypse will take it's place as my no.1 Theme Park thrill ride, it does everything perfectly and I can't wait to ride more taller Intamin drop towers in the future, currently it is at no.2 I'd say in my top theme park thrill rides list, an absolutely 100% brilliant ride. :)

Apocalypse - 10/10

G-Force.

G-Force was mine and Liam's first Maurer X-Car coaster, we'd heard bad things about this and I personally didn't expect much from it, so I was only left to be surprised; well I was not. It was awful.

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From the outside you enter the fully hidden queue line to be greeted by a metal building filled with 2 cattle pens on the ground floor, this is followed by 4 long flights of steps and another small section of queue at the top, all of this happens whilst some early 2000's dance music plays in the building whilst the queue moves at a ridiculously slow rate due to the ride only having 1 train and therefore terrible capacity. This wasn't helped by the slow staff who weren't very quick at checking bars or letting people onto the ride, the car was sat in the station for about 30 seconds before they let us on after having a conversation between themselves. It was like a woman's weekly meeting.

You take your seat and move the lap bar across your chest, it can be quite tight and uncomfortable... The lift hill is the worst decision ever, the blood rushes to your head as you're pinned into your seat hanging from your waist, you then leave the lift and enter an airtime hill, of course none of this airtime is felt because your middle body cannot move at all due to the restraints. The inversions are slow and badly paced and nothing interesting happens during the ride. I entered the brakes feeling somewhat "What on earth just happened to me" but Liam enjoyed it a little more.

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G-Force - 2/10

Shockwave.

Shockwave was the best coaster of the lot at Drayton in my opinion. The staff were efficient at loading the ride as it was only running 1 train, a much more bearable queue than G-Force, odd bits of theming inside were nice as well, as was the outside of the station which is built above the Rapids. The 'saddle' section of the seat was not even near me during my ride... Therefore it was not painful at all and the ride is actually very smooth, you would think it's a B&M if you weren't already told it's an Intamin/Giovanola hybrid. The Zero-G roll is a great element, if you imagine the way the Swarm's Zero-G twists you round, but standing up. It's a very unique and gracious element, this is what possibly made the ride for me, you don't really think of the straight sections of track which follow it. The brakes are a little sharp at the end but other than that it was a fairly good rollercoaster.

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Shockwave - 5/10.

Stormforce 10.

Stormforce was great fun! The theming is very good, we said that it was the best themed ride at the park. The lighthouse in the queue is a wonderful element!

You leave the station area in your lifeboat and go into a bay where a roller-shutter comes down behind you and a sailor/RNLI person (can't remember) starts to talk to you, the boat then lifts on a tilt. We were sat in the back seats and omg! The airtime you get coming off of this first drop is incredible! It's like the wild mouse at Blackpool, you have nothing holding you in your seat so you fly right up off of your seat and then land with a bang when the boat goes into the splash down. Certainly got us by surprise!

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You meander through a flume section before going up another lift and into the backwards drop. Being in the back seats this got us completely drenched, the ride ends with a drop similar to that of loggers leap, again giving a nice little pop of floaty airtime! The ride was certainly a lot of fun and as a group it would be awesome. This could well be contending with Tidal Wave as my favourite UK water ride, we loved it! Only bad thing was the ewwy yellow lake water.

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Stormforce 10 - 9/10 :D

Overall, today's trip to Drayton was good. You've just not got to expect the best of everything from the place, it's good but does lack in many areas. Although, I do think the general direction the park is going in is great with all the recent investment. Maelstrom was also a great ride, if that and Vortex were to be running the same cycles I'd say they are about the same, I rate swing rides with good airtime quite highly usually and this lived up to the expectations! :)

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Visit Pros.

- The park is filled with really unique rides, some unique for the worse you could say. It's definitely worth a visit if you haven't been already!

- Not too busy

- All rides operating

- Pretty good weather and was good to see Liam again! ^_^

Visit Cons.

- Staff really should try a bit harder on some rides to get good throughputs, some were great whilst some not so great.

- All of the Picsolve kiosks do not accept card payments at Drayton, very annoying seeing as when we wanted to buy a photo on Apocalypse at the end of the day and had no change left with little time left to go hunting for a cashpoint, it's just little things like this which can be annoying, you'd expect better from such a major attraction.

- Rides running on 1/2 capacity, Shockwave was on 1 train, G-Force only has 1 train, Apocalypse only running 3 sides of it's tower when the sit down side had about 15/20 min queue.

- The park opening system is ridiculous, the park opens at 9:30, and rides 10:30. Meaning that everyone is queueing outside the entrances of rides waiting for them to open. The park also closed at 5, could have been better but typical UK park operating hours I suppose...

Thanks for reading! Sorry it's been pretty text heavy... I just felt I had to explain some things properly to do them justice.

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Shockwave best coaster? It's all about ben10 or troublesome trucks tbh.

Not actually lying.

This times a million...

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I've ridden Shockwave a few times, although it was a few years ago. I actually can't even remember it though, not a single thing about it. I think that makes it worse than if I remembered it for being particularly bad.

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I have to say I preferred G-force to Shockwave's but only because Shockwave's was rough to bumpy to me, and Shockwave's breaks are enough to knock someone's front teeth flying

My rating for the day was:

Shockwave - 4/10

G-Force - 5/10

Stormforce 10 - 9/10

Apocalypse - 10/10

And with the Ben10 vs Troublesome Trucks I prefer Troublesome Trucks, that last bend :wub:

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My last theme park trip of the season! While the fireworks display itself is usually good and worth seeing, it’s the rides at night which really make the day.

I arrived just after 3.00 on a bitterly cold afternoon. There was quite a bit of traffic at the entrance to the park, although staff were manning the entrance kiosks and directing people to the car parks.

This was handled absolutely brilliantly and the traffic was moving very quickly. 10/10 to Drayton for their forward planning there!

Considering the amount of cars on park, the queues weren’t too bad at all. First up was Shockwave. I know it’s hated among enthusiasts, but I have a soft spot for it. I guess you could say it’s one of those coasters you love to hate.

After a ride on Maelstrom, it was over to Drayton’s finest. Apocalypse was pretty busy and saw queue times of 30 minutes for the sit down element, yet this side offered the best views of the park at night.

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It was nearing 7.00 now, so I did Shockwave twice, before taking a place down by the lake for the fireworks. The fireworks weren’t bad, but nowhere near as good as last year. There wasn’t a big finale, nor lasers and other effects. Still, the fireballs across the lake were pretty cool.

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The rest of the evening was spent whoring Apocalypse.

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Random pictures

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To sum up - there’s something pretty magical about Drayton Manor at night. You could almost be forgiven for thinking you’re at an amusement park, yet there’s still that theme park atmosphere. Drayton really do need to stage a large Halloween event, with rides open till 9.00 pm during October. There so much potential.

Ride count:

Shockwave x4

G Force x1

Apocalypse x10

Maelstrom x1

Thanks for reading!

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