Continuing on along our UK journey we were on our way to Thorpe Park Resort. Thorpe Park was one of the parks I was more excited for, especially with the addition of Derren Brown’s Ghost Train which was billed as a one of kind dark ride/experience. Also we were arriving at Thorpe Park for the night during their Fright Night event and staying at the small but totally neat Thorpe Shark Hotel. Let’s begin!
Swarm was actually a very good wing coaster. I was originally not a fan of the wing coasters since my first experience was Gatekeeper at my home park of Cedar Point. Which yes Gatekeeper is still not very good but for the most part other wing coasters have been decent rides and this was no exception. My feelings on wing coasters are now that they are decent rides and Gatekeeper and X-Flight are the two bad exceptions to that rule.
Nemesis Inferno was another one that I feel like gets a lot of hate, and yes I know it’s brother Nemesis at Alton Towers is the original and still the better coaster. (I had yet to ride it at this point, so Nemesis Inferno was my first of the two.) Anyway it was still a very decent ride, may have been helped by the fact of it being night time and dark but still good coaster.
So yes I don’t have many pictures from the first night since yes it was dark and I only took my phone with me but also since we were trying to ride as much as possible the first night since we had heard of Thorpe’s somewhat Six Flags like reputation of rides closing randomly and being down frequently.
Derren Brown’s Ghost Train was no exception to that and in fact didn’t open until late in the summer. We were visiting in October but just like Lightning Rod here in the States the ride was a hit or miss on when it would be open or not. Earlier in the night Derren Brown was not open, but it ended up opening later and when it did we headed straight for it. We had heard it was an experience not to be missed.
So how does the ride stack up?
It was actually very good, and definitely a lot of fun. While not exactly groundbreaking as the hype had suggested it was a great way to mix VR with a ride and even a show. We rode it twice during our visit to Thorpe Park and both times the ride and show was slightly different so it’s definitely worth a re ride or few.
After getting our ride in on Derren Brown we decided to check out one of their Fright Night mazes which we did the Blair Witch maze. The maze or lack there of was mainly just walking through a wooded trail with the scare actors using flashlights to light up their faces to scare you. The one noticeable difference compared to Halloween events in the United States was that the actors could touch you.
With our package deal of staying at the Thorpe Shark Hotel we were invited to try out their escape room called Containment. Normally an up charge attraction, it was included with our hotel package, bonus! We had never done an escape before, and I know Knott’s Berry Farm was one of the originators of the idea, so it was going to be an interesting experience. Overall we did pretty good and we solved all the puzzles except the first room, with the last puzzle coming down to the final seconds. The actors did a good job even though a few of them had such heavy English accents that for us it was hard to understand their hints at times, but like I said we still solved all the puzzles but one. But for now its time to get some rest to explore the park again tomorrow.
While we have the much bigger Top Thrill Dragster at Cedar Point, rides like Stealth are still a lot of fun with the powerful launch that Intamin always provides. Still a great fun ride, even if it is a one trick pony.
Again not much more to be said about Derren Brown other than what a creative and new type of experience for a “ride”. As the posters around the park indicate with the nature of the ride and the VR element they can change it up every year to keep the experience fresh. Hope to see more attractions like this pop up in parks around the world in the future.
Rides like X are almost trapped in another time period where enclosing a ride and turning the lights off suddenly made it more thrilling, which in some cases it does work. More often than not though its poorly done and nothing can stand up to the original, Space Mountain. This one had to make things even worse and play techno music very loud and have flash lights like you were at a rave. Rode it for the credit and not for much else.
Colossus was another ride that was down during the night before at the park, luckily however it was up and running today as well.
Colossus was another surprise, it was actually a lot of fun! Another ride that I’m not sure why it gets the hate it does, yeah it wasn’t super smooth but it wasn’t horribly rough either like I had heard. Hell we even rode it twice we “tolerated” it that much. When Colossus opened it held the world record for the most inversions at 10 and even today while it may not still be the record holder its still near the top of the list for most inversions on a coaster. Still a relevant and fun ride, one not to miss in my opinion.
While Thorpe Park had the reputation of being similar to a Six Flags in terms of operations and crowds we actually quite enjoyed our visit. It ended up being one of our favorite parks of the trip, yeah not everything was perfect but it had a good collection of rides and a great one in Derren Brown’s Ghost Train. If you’re in the area, Thorpe Park is definitely worth a visit.