Thorpe Park Review

Got a free day in September? If it’s a weekday, why not check one of England’s premier theme parks? In this blog post I’ll review the main thrill rides the park has to offer.

General Information
If you book at least 2 days before the day you visit, you can get around 50% off the standard ticket price, you also won’t need to queue for the tickets either.

You can also get 2 for 1 vouchers from cereal boxes or certain newspapers.

We went as a group of four and I found this an optimum number as most of the rides can seat 2 or 4 people in each car. Despite that, it’s also fine if you go as a group of 3 or by yourself.

With the park opening from 10am to 5pm in September, there’s enough time to check out all the major thrill rides as well as do a few of them twice.

One thing we found was that the afternoon was much quieter than the morning and queue times were very short. This means that you can opt for the afternoon pass which allows entry after 2pm at only 15 quid!

The rides below are reviewed in the order we did them in, if you’re visiting it might be worth doing them in reverse order for perhaps shorter queue times.

Queue Times:
30 mins (morning)
15 mins (afternoon)

Duration: Medium
Intensity: Medium-High

Walking into the Park, Swarm is one of the first ride’s you’ll encounter, because of this queue times in the morning are more likely to be longer than others.

If you’ve read Michael Crichton’s novel Prey, you’ll think that this ride pays homage to the novel. Based around the end of the world, Armageddon, mass disasters and overstretched emergency services, this ride places you on a “flight” which tours the broken world.

You’re also given the option of doing the ride backwards for a different experience. The coaster cars themselves are unique too, instead of sitting in a normal seat you’re actually seated on the wing of the seats. It doesn’t alter the experience that much, but the queue does split into two – one for each side of the car. The queue to the right hand side of the car does appear to be shorter than the otherside, but I don’t think it makes that much difference.

Queue Times:
25 mins (morning)
5 mins (afternoon)

Duration: Short
Intensity: High

When you first arrive, one thing you’ll notice about Thorpe Park is that there is a large arch-inverted U type rollercoaster. It extends around 205ft into the air and has the fastest acceleration of any rollercoaster in Europe.

If you’ve done Swarm, the next logical ride is ‘Stealth’ which is just around the corner.

The American speedway themed ride is ideal for speed junkies out there. It’s relatively short lived so make sure you don’t get overwhelmed by the sheer acceleration force. One thing you make sure you do is to admire the scenery from the apex of the ride. At 60m high the tallest of all the rides, you can a great view of the surrounding area and preview the other rides at the same time!

Inferno Nemesis
Queue Times:
25 mins (morning)
5 mins (afternoon)

Duration: Medium-Long
Intensity: Medium

In this ride your legs dangle! It doesn’t really make that much difference though and doesn’t alter the experience.
This ride is one of the longer duration rides in the park and it can be split up into 2 sections. The jungle forest theme is a nice touch.

The first section warms you up for the upcoming. Despite it being named ‘Inferno’ the inferno-hot-part actually takes you through a red lit chilled section of the track, refreshing on a hot day, I think it serves to raise your heart rate before the real action happens.

The second section takes you up a climb, but instead of dropping you at the top, it lets you take a slight breather where the track straightens before the drop happens. You’re quickly transported to a corkscrew in the track after which you travel on the outside of an inverted ‘U’ shaped section of the track. This part can be quite disorienting as you go through a series of loops – you aren’t quite sure which way is which after a while.

Queue Times:
15 mins (morning)
5 mins (afternoon)

Duration: Very Long
Intensity: Medium-Low

This ride is marketed as the world’s first rollercoaster with 10 looping sections! Just by judging from the above picture, you can sorta tell why!

The itensity of this rollercoaster isn’t that huge, after a big initial climb (remember to admire the views) the ride proceeds through a number of loops and corkscrews. Halfway through the ride, the speed seems to drop so the cars can travel safely through those multiple condensed corkscrews (pictured above), there are two of them but by the time the second one is reached it’s a case of ‘here we go again’.

Saw – the Ride
Queue Times:
5 mins (morning)
0 mins (afternoon)

Duration: Medium
Intensity: Medium-High

In this ride, there are loads of things to look out for. Dead bodies, swinging axes, walls of spikes, circular saws… the list goes on! It’s a very nicely themed ride.

Queue times were short perhaps because there were about 4 to 6 cars going on the track at once. The most notable feature is the section of a 90degree climb followed by a 100degree (more than 90degree) descent. There are 3 sections of the ride.

Section 1 – The dark part
Before the ride starts when you are seated, close your eyes for a while and allow your eyes to adjust to the upcoming darkness. If possible it’s best to get the front row seats as this will give you the best view of the ride.

The dark part takes you through a series of dips where you gain speed and are faced with spikes and swinging axes. Exiting the dark part takes you through a very loud and noisy section of ‘steam’ followed by a corkscrew which takes you over a deadbody squirting water at you!

Section 2 – The 90degree climb
The car then enters a 90 degree climb where if you tilt your head backwards, you can admire the horizon – upside down! Careful though because in a few seconds a series of rotating circular saws will appear and you’ll be flying down (at 100 degrees angle) gaining speed.

Section 3 – A few drops
The next part of the ride is essentially unthemed, but it doesn’t mean it fails to deliver. The route back to the start moves you through a series of big drops and a corkscrew which give you added thrill. Just as the ride seems over and loses speed, watch out because there’s another drop which leaves you feeling weightless for a second or two.

Queue Times:
5 mins (morning)
0 mins (afternoon)

Duration: Long
Intensity: Low

X is an indoor ride and it’s nestled away so many people don’t find it. It’s housed inside a large pointy building near the Colossus. During a lengthy walk from the entrance, you’ll be treated with Trance music which sets the tone for the ride.

It isn’t marketed as a thrill ride as such, but more of a light and sound show. Definitely worth a check out if you have time as chances are the queues will be shorter on this one.

This ride will play a few optical tricks on you and the highlight of the ride is a part where it looks like you’re going into Hyperspace… Most of the ride is quite dark, and because it isn’t as intense as the others, you can sit back and enjoy the show!

Tidal Wave
Queue Times:
5 mins (morning)
0 mins (afternoon)

Duration: Short
Intensity: Low – and you get wet!

Ever wondered what it’s like to try outrun a tidal wave? Yes? Well this ride is a must for you! It’s a typical roller coaster through the water ride. After the decent the car hits the water and displaced water rises around 7 metres in the air on all sides flying in all directions.

Due to the flying water, there isn’t much to see except for a wall of water. Natural instinct is to cower down and try to escape getting wet. But it’s impossible. The torrent of water than comes down on you… – it keeps on coming.

I recommend you brining some waterproof trousers and top for this one!

Packed with rides and other attractions (not reviewed) Thorpe park is a definite must for the adrenaline junkies out there. Make sure you go on a weekday during school time and queue times will be so short you’ll be able to do all the rides before the mid afternoon.

If you book early online, it’s only 25 pounds and you get to skip the ticket purchasing queue. There’s also no need to get a ‘Fasttrack’ pass which allows you to get ahead in the queue.

So what are you waiting for? Go Thorpe! Go Thrill!

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