Having vowed to do more family days out we decided to start off at Thorpe Park, what with it being on our doorstep and all that. And then Mr B had to duck out as a family friend was over and you can’t miss once a year drinks with a mate you have grown up with. And J couldnt make it as he was at school. Still, Mr B’s loss was Ms C’s gain as my lovely friend who lives near by said she was free and would love come along.
No queues, straight in, though I can imagine in the summer it gets very busy at the turnstiles but there were lots of staff on hand to whisk anyone through who had a problem. And it is under cover so if you do have to queue in the rain, you are dry for at least some of the time.
Along with the entry tickets we had fast track tickets that let you skip the queues. They are timed, which makes things so much easier, you just need to be there within half an hour of the time to get pretty much close to the front of the queue. We had an hour before our first ride so the teens all went off to have a go on the other rides and Ms C and I had a much needed coffee and planning session.
Nothing is too far apart and the map is fantastic. Lots of symbols for food stops / cash points / shops / first aid centres and toilets. We didn’t see too many maps around the park, which might have been useful. Who doesn’t love a “you are here” and a huge red arrow.
Swarm Backwards was first. Yep, two rows of cars on this huge rollercoaster that face the other way. So as it climbs the first incline you are racing forwards, and continue to do so as you hurtle around the track at 90 km per hour. There is a 127ft drop and a pull of 4Gs (and I am not talking mobile phone coverage when I talk about 4G). Add to this the fact that there is nothing to hang on to and you get some idea of how stomach churning it is. Terrifying but utterly brilliant.
And having braved it backwards, we had to do it forwards too, well it would have been rude not to.
Next was Stealth. 0 to 80 mph in 2 seconds and a climb of 200 feet. I have to admit that I couldn’t face this one so sat underneath it. Literally. A great spot to watch people waving their hands in the air, screaming their way around!
Swiftly followed by Nemesis Inferno (cork screw twists and volcanoes), Colossus (10 loops. Ten. Count them. T en) and then to end with Saw where you get dragged up 100 ft, vertically and then hurtle down towards a spinning saw blade. Blood curdling.
Interspersed with the smaller rides such as Slammer, Detonator and Rumba Rapids this was a full on adrenaline rush of a day.
We ended on Tidal Wave where we knew we were going to get what can only be described as soaked. To the skin. An 85 ft drop into water where we knew the water was going to cover us but we didn’t realise just how soaked to the skin we would end up. To our underwear and to the extent we had to shed clothes and literally wring them out. An hour and a half later at home and we were still wet!
Well there have to be some when doing a review:
- There didn’t seem to be enough loos. Fine today but when busy in the summer I could imagine lots of queues.
- I didn’t really like the idea of the “Ride Me” hoodies for women on sale in the shop
- The rides are not geared up to larger people and there seems to be no uniformity of whether people will be able to ride on them or not. We saw some people turned away from rides that we knew had ridden on others. A 51 inch chest is not really “that” large.
- Don’t wear jeans when you go on Tidal Wave. They will get very wet. They will stick to you.
- Wear layers.
- Take spare pants. If Tidal Wave doesn’t get you then you might need them after the other rides anyway.
- Don’t bother with the lockers. They cost a lot of money and it is easy to leave bags whilst you are on the rides and whilst the park can take no responsibility for loss it is hard for anybody else to steal your stuff as they are all on the same ride as you, and nobody else can get close to them as all are by exits.
- Beware of the over shoulder harness on Vortex if you have big boobs. It is like having a mammogram. Oh and if you are short of leg <ahem> ask for the portable steps.
- Do keep an eye out for special deals on tickets. At the moment for instance Frijj are doing a two for one deal here: Frijj on Facebook
- Or how about going by train and getting 2 for 1 tickets with South West Trains? You can do just that here: South West Trains
- Buy the book of photo vouchers for £20, it makes each pic £5 each instead of £8 and you will definitely want at least 4 pictures, especially if you are in a group. We did a mix of photos and key rings so that everybody got a souvenir of the day.
All in all we had such a laugh, it was superb. Ms C exclaimed it the best day out she had in years. The teens exclaimed it “fantastic” / “great fun” / “awesome” / “yeah it was good”.
We did the rides, we bought the souvenirs (included medals proclaiming “I survived…. “) on every ride and the official photos. We laughed, dodged the rain and had a blast.
Definitely on the “must return with the boys” list for later this year.
And if you want info on individual rides Thorpe Park have come up with this handy infographic, which is all sorts of cool:
We were guests of Thorpe Park and received complimentary tickets in exchange for a review. All thoughts are ours