Reviewed by Tanya Moyes
Well what can I say about Thorpe Park? Wicked, excellent, awesome were just a few of the words I heard when we visited the theme park recently. I went with another adult and took our 13 and 14 year old cousins with us; it was a great day out. We got there for when the park opened at 10am and headed straight for Saw. Unfortunately it was closed as I think they were doing tests on it – safety first of course, so we went on Collosus as it was opposite. This is a great ride, I think it’s one of the older ones at the park and although I have been on it before it was much scarier that I remembered! Afterwards we went on Samurai which we found highly amusing, I screamed and giggled during the whole ride, much to the embarrassment of the two young teenage boys with us. We then noticed that Saw was open so we went straight over, this is a fantastic ride and not for the faint-hearted. You see the huge drop whilst you are walking round the park and queuing for it so you prepare yourself for this bit, but actually there is much more to it. Although most rollercoaster rides are over in a matter of seconds this is definitely one of the more scary rides, there is much more to it than ‘the big drop’ you that can see.
After our first round of rides we stopped for a bit of lunch, which we had taken with us. It was really handy because we left our bags in the lockers for the morning so we didn’t have to carry them round. One note to point out though, is that you get charged every time you open your locker which surprised us when we first went back to them. You put your £1 in as normal but you don’t get it back like most other lockers. There are signs but as we thought we knew how to use a locker, we did not read them. So just be aware of this.
As usual, the boys were eager to get on the next ride so they went on the Slammer which was far too much for us adults just after eating our lunch so we sat that one out! We did however join them on Nemesis Inferno and Stealth. Now if you like speed then Stealth is the ride for you, it is breathtakingly (literally) terrifying. I watched the colours change from red to green and heard the countdown 3…2…1 as we were ready to whiz off at 80mph, I was ready for it yet it still took my breath away for a couple of seconds due to the sheer speed. None of us had ever experienced anything like it and it is certainly one to remember. I saw a comment online saying “Stealth; Europe’s fastest rollercoaster! There’s nothing else you need to know” I most definitely agree with this and advise everyone to try it at least once.
The boys then went on Rush and Vortex, these are rides which my stomach can no longer handle. They spin and swing and according to the boys were ‘wicked’ but I cannot comment, they certainly look like tummy turner rides and I thought it best to leave them to the teenagers (or at least anyone with a stronger stomach!)
Finally, we went on the big one. The Swarm. It was long awaited, all day we had all been looking forward to what this new ride had to offer. First impressions were excellent, you can see that so much thought and effort has gone in to making this ride look impressive. There is a fenced off area where an aeroplane has crashed, there are sirens going off and a stranded fire engine spurting out water (watch out for the splash zone, you may get wet!). Further round there is a helicopter which has crashed in to the water, the whole set up really makes you feel like you have come across a place where something awful and unexplained has happened. The ride itself is again different to anything we have ever seen. You sit at the side of the track as opposed to on top or hanging from underneath like other rollercoaster’s. It is thrilling, scary & exciting and it is built so well; the seats are comfortable and the ride is so smooth it’s like you are gliding through the air (you are ‘The Swarm’). It really is a superior ride and Thorpe Park should be proud.
We then went back to get ourselves a snack from KFC, one thing we all noticed about Thorpe Park was the extensive choice of food. There really is something for everyone, from Pizza Hut Buffet, KFC & Burger King to a noodle bar, grill bar, Mexican and kebab. You can get snacks almost everywhere or actually sit down to a meal in one of the restaurants.
A few positives which we all noticed was that we could leave our bags at each ride (after realising the lockers kept our money we didn’t use them again), and although Thorpe Park do not take any responsibility for your left belongings, you do feel like they are looked after and we were quite happy to leave them at the beginning of each ride and then collect them afterwards. It was also an easy area to walk round, it’s not huge or ‘hilly’ like some other theme parks, and it was very clean and tidy. The kids area looked great fun for the little ones, as we didn’t have any young children with us we didn’t experience this area but the entrance to it looked rather enticing and seemed to have a good choice of rides. The staff are also very helpful, polite and friendly.
An impressive part of our day was that the longest queue time was 15-20 minutes. This is not what we would normally expect from a Theme Park (usually a 30-40 minute wait is good), but we obviously picked a good day for it. This meant we got to go on all our favourite rides at least twice – double the fun!
I would recommend Thorpe Park to any thrill seekers out there, and would say that you could easily go with friends or family of different ages as there really is something for everyone.
After all the excitement, we were exhausted and found our way home.
Overall, a superb day out.
For more information, ticket prices, opening times or to book tickets visit www.thorpepark.com