Original date 20/9/11
The Nation’s Thrill Capital
We visited Thorpe Park which has great transport links and is only 20 minutes from central London by car. It is very easy to get off the M25, but also has good bus and train links so makes it a very easy place to get to for a great day out without spending too much time travelling.
After purchasing your tickets (I would suggest booking online not only to save money but to speed up your entry to the park) you enter the park through a great big dome that houses some shops, coffee bar, sweets and souvenirs, bar & grill, photo collection point and guest services. There are also tables and chairs in the centre when you can sit to eat you lunch or just have a break. Make sure you pick a park map so you can play your way around the park and select a meeting point for any of your party if they wander off on their own.
When entering the park (opening time was 9.30am – 6pm but please check the website for opening times before your visit as the open as late as 10am and stay open until 10pm depending on the time of year and what events are running) the first thing the children wanted (both 9 years old) was a drink so we got them an All Day Cup for £6 each but this allowed them to refill their drink when they needed more and saved a lot of money in the long run plus they get to keep the cup at the end of the day.
The first ride we decided to go on was the Flying Fish rollercoaster (a great first time rollercoaster for children or adults). One of the children was scared of going on and cried the whole time around the ride but they continued to ride it an extra 4 times throughout the day and became both children’s favourite ride to the point were they would have happily stayed on it all day long given the chance.
We then went on Wet, Wet, Wet which is a big water slide which the kids loved especially as they were trying to race each other to the bottom and you don’t get too wet. We also tried Storm in a Teacup , Zodiac, Quantum (I would suggest not eating just before getting on) and then trying the bigger, more exciting rides like Logger’s Leap, Storm Surge (new this year) and finishing with Tidal Wave. I would suggest leaving Storm Surge and Tidal wave until last as you will get very wet and bring a change of clothes as you may need them for the drive home. You may also get very wet at the Tidal Wave viewing area as this ride creates a very big splash and gets the crowd nice and wet as well.
There are plenty of rides throughout the park for children, teenagers and adults, but a majority of the park is for teenagers and young adults.
For the young thrill seekers you have:
Wet Wet Wet
Neptune’s Beach (for families with young children)
Chief Ranger’s Carousel
Canada Creek Railway
For the older thrill seekers you have:
Time Voyagers (may be scary for the younger children)
Mr Monkey’s Banana Ride
Storm in a Teacup
And for the more extreme thrill seekers in your party:
SAW – The Ride
SAW Alive – Live action horror maze (No wimps under 12)
X:/No May Out
I would recommend arriving early to try as many rides as you can. The staff were very friendly and kept us informed. The rides were showing waiting times but we found most of these we got on quicker than time displayed but be prepared to wait especially on the bigger more popular rides and holiday periods. If you want to come back the next day to try rides that you have missed or just to do it all again you can get a next day ticket for only £6, a great bargain.
There are plenty of places to eat and drink including healthy eating and lots of staff to help with any information, directions or problems.
Book online for the best price tickets, £26.52 online or £40.80 on the day (prices correct as of September 2011). Or purchase one of the Merlin Annual Passes for as little as £84 (see http://www.thorpepark.com/ for latest prices). Fastrack tickets are also available to get you onto the rides quicker (please see website as prices vary for rides).
Great deals are also to be had on photos taken while on the rides. £20 got us a photo pass which gave us vouchers for 5 photos, magnets or keyrings from any photo opportunity ride.
Thorpe Park is a great, fun day out for teenagers and young adults with rides like SAW, Tidal Wave, Colossus and Stealth, with some smaller attractions for younger children. Queuing times better than expected and even though the park is more suited to teenagers and young adults I would recommend it for families or groups as there is something for everybody.
For more details on rides and pricing visit www.thorpepark.com