Thorpe Park – Ride Review
I hate kids. I hate crowds. Actually, within the last few years, I think I’ve learned that I basically hate people. This is why, it was a shock as much to myself as anyone when the words ‘shall we go to Thorpe Park on Bank Holiday Monday?’ came out of my mouth. I mean, if you hate crowds and you go to a theme park on the busiest day of the year, you are doing life right surely? Add in to that the fact I went with my Mum, who ignores her sat nav on a regular basis and my friend who 50% of the time I want to cuddle because she’s so cute and then 50% I wonder if our friendship would survive me locking her in a cupboard because she annoys me that much. Actually, that is quite a generous ratio. She’ll more than likely be in the cupboard before the year is out.
Sounds like a great day out doesn’t it? Well, it actually was. It wasn’t too busy at ALL, we managed to get on a decent number of rides, and the only disappointment was Derren Browns Ghost Train was closed and that we didn’t quite realise HOW WET we would get on Tidal Wave. I actually love rides, they are my favourite. The only one I don’t like is the Bubbleworks at Chessington, creeps me right out. But I actively do look up about rollercoasters, who has designed them etc, I REALLY am that much of a geek, so I’ve decided to review each ride.
The SAW ride is a Eurofighter coaster developed by Gerstslaur. If you are a roller coaster enthusiast, you will have drawn parallels between this and ‘The Smiler’ in Alton Towers, and that is because they were designed by the same people.
One thing I like about rollercoasters with themes is that they make quite an effort with the queue experience nowadays, and although neither the SAW films OR ride remotely scare me, it was quite funny to see my friend jump out of her skin before we had even got on. Obviously, the ride experience is based around the SAW films, and jigsaw, so a bit freaky for younger riders I’m sure.
The crescendo of the entire ride, is the ‘beyond vertical’ drop, which Gertslaur have kind of made their own (my ultimate goal is to one day go on their ‘Takashiba’ roller coaster in Japan). I am actually the sort of person who can hold full conversation on a roller coaster, however my audience were not very reactive to me proclaiming I ‘love an inverted drop’.
Great ride, all I’d say is, it’s really really short. If the queue time is over an hour, I wouldn’t bother.
Let’s go on a water ride at the beginning of the day, they said. It will be fun, they said. Actually, it was my idea. As far as idea’s go, mine range from horrific to excellent. There is no ‘in-between’. I’ll never have a moderately successful idea. It’s always one extreme or the other.
Having been to Thorpe Park a few times, I was prepared for the ‘wet bumage’ and massive ‘Tidal Wave’ that was to attack us. What I failed to recall however was just how WET you get on this ride. I’ve washed my hair three times since Bank Holiday Monday and I’m sure I can still smell minging log flume water.
Go on it last.
The Swarm is a steel wing coaster by Bollinger & Mallibard. That may mean nothing to you, but when I tell you they designed ‘Air’ at Alton Towers, another dangly leg ride, you will see the similarities. It was at this point, we made friends in the queue, because a lady over heard me saying I like rides that ‘do twisty twisty but not too much round and round’ (in case anyone wonders, yes I did get A’s and A*’s in all of my English exams, and yes, that still is the way I chose to explain it). They were the ones that actually warned us Stealth had been closed, which was a bit disappointing, but it all worked out in the end.
The Swarm has a post-apocalyptic theme, whereby the end of the world actually starts in Thorpe Park. It sounds unrealistic, but I assure you had they have run out of doughnuts it would of happened. The actual coaster is really good, and thankfully, a lot longer than the SAW ride.
It does do a lot of twisting, so unless you keep your eyes open you might not really know what way up you are. I like that though, life’s too predictable to always know what way up you are.
My poor Mum had hurt her neck, so the water rides were about her limit for the day. I obligingly went on, thinking I wouldn’t get wet. I mean who expects to get wet AGAIN after being drenched on Tidal Wave. One thing I like about rapids, is because they are designed for kids, they actually aren’t that rapid. It’s just like going on a little boat ride with a few bumps.
A couple of minutes in, I’m quite relaxed, so I rest my eyes. Theme parks are tiring, so I thought I’d take this opportunity to catch up on some well-deserved rest. Unfortunately, this isn’t the strangest place on the list of places I’ve fallen asleep, which includes a shoe shop in Thailand, the kids play area of a pub, and the Jacuzzi in David Lloyd.
The only issue was, I didn’t account for the massive, abrupt splash that ended up soaking me and waking me up. 1-0 Thorpe Park.
Another Bollinger & Mallibard, and another Nemesis. Swear every theme park you go to, there’s a Nemesis ride. This one is again a legs dangly one, and I must say, it’s the only one that made me feel a bit sick. There is a LOT of upside down. There are a lot of g-rolls and corkscrews to contend with on this one, and being opposite a Mexican Cantina isn’t the best idea (it didn’t put me off eating lunch though).
The corkscrews, are actually interlocking, so once you are in, you are in.
Take a cyclizine before you ride.
I’m impatient. It’s well known. So as you can imagine, a ride that goes from 0-80mph in 2 seconds is basically amazing to me. Never mind that it doesn’t last that long, at least it doesn’t beat around the bush. It’s also HIGH. 205ft to be precise.
Realistically, it is a long queue for the time that the ride actually lasts, but if you want to feel for a few seconds like you are being launched into actual space, I’d recommend it.
I have absolutely no pictures of this day because all of my ride pictures were horrific.