Thorpe Park 10/10/2016

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!

After just a tiny bit of backtracking we headed further west on another short quick 30 minute drive to Thorpe Park Resort!
One of the close up spots in the parking lot that we were able to get since we were hotel guests.
The entrance from the parking lot into the entrance plaza. Doesn’t look like too much yet.
Here’s a little bit of a snazzier entrance sign.
Welcome to Thorpe Park Resort!
The weird thing is the hotel is actually inside park grounds, so you enter through the main park entrance even when checking into the hotel. So naturally all hotel stays include admission to the park.
We definitely took advantage of our Merlin Annual Pass, giving us discounted stays here and at Alton Towers.
After the entrance section, you then cross a bridge onto an island unlike any other!
Thorpe Park is actually mostly surrounded by water and hence their slogan makes sense calling it an island unlike any other.
The entrance to our lovely hotel for the night.
After crossing the bridge but before entering the park there is a giant indoor plaza called the Dome. The Dome hosts a gift shop, a restaurant, lockers, bathrooms, and a few other miscellaneous services. This is actually where we would have breakfast in the morning.
We’re not heading into the park just yet though, time to check in.
As you get closer to the entrance to the hotel, it really is a neat little entrance plaza for what is on the other side….
Well shall we?
Which way to the room?
On the other side of the shark mouth entrance is shipping crates, in which your lovely hotel room is setup inside.
A look down the outdoor hallways.
A very interesting concept indeed.
Here’s a look at our corner TV inside the hotel room.
The other side of the bed.
Now with the mood lighting haha
One of the other beds, also the one on top folds down for another bed.
And the bathroom, and yes it doesn’t look like much because it wasn’t much haha. But honestly even though the space was very small it used all the available space very well.
Another look at the bathroom.
The only window in our room was the porthole on the door…..
…and this is how you covered it up.
The view from our balcony outside the room was quite nice.
There was even a little walkway with some tables and chairs set up to relax.
So after resting for a bit this was our view right outside our room. Time to go ride!



Naturally we headed right for swarm which had an interesting station because it was………….
…missing a roof!
I don’t quite remember where the photo spot was but I’m sure I shut my eyes because of the bright flash since we were riding at night.

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.

The park looked pretty neat at night, especially with the fog and everything for Fright Night.
Our next stop was Nemesis Inferno, which again you can really tell how dark it was even in the stations. The park is not normally open late and when it is, it is very dark.
Time to ride!
Our first ride on Nemesis Inferno at night!

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.

Time for some Derren Brown Ghost Train!

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.

Derren Brown is part dark ride, part walk through, part VR experience. Almost reminds me of a spooky version of a Poseidon’s Adventure at Islands of Adventure but ramped up on the creepiness and the VR.
The hanging railway car, which is one the rooms where a VR experience takes place. There are multiple times throughout the ride that you move into a separate area and then put back on VR googles. It’s sort of like put on the googles, ok now take them off and come here, put them back on, ok take them off and come here, put them back, and so on and so forth.

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.

After our night in the park here’s a look back at the park from the entrance area.
While we only spent a few hours in the park tonight, it was a great time. We would definitely return in the morning to finish up all the credits and explore the park more but first…..

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.

After enjoying some breakfast in the Dome restaurant it was time to head back off into the park.
Another advertisement for Derren Brown inside the dome plaza at the entrance of the park.
So before continuing onward we got ourselves a beer. And the best park of the UK parks was again the beer and food prices! It was about $4 for a beer that size, you can’t beat that, especially when in the United States it would be $10.
Holly enjoying a beer next to a palm tree in 50 degree weather haha. Why is their palm trees in England but we can’t have them in Ohio?
Representing our Cleveland Indians yet again through a memorable 2016 post season.
The Swarm was a great B&M wing coaster and it definitely provides some great photo opportunities as well.
The Swarm also has the same flip over drop that Gatekeeper and a few other wing riders have.
That was a tight and quick inversion, a lot of fun. Again not like the long drawn out slow inversions on Gatekeeper.
This is also a great spot to take some photos of the park’s Intamin launch coaster Stealth, more on that one later.
There were 2 people riding Tidal Wave which was quite impressive as I stated the weather was about 50 degrees and they were about to get soaked.
Thorpe also had one of these, but we had such a bad experience on the one at Six Flags America that I don’t think we’ll ever ride one of the White Water West raft spinners again. We were so dizzy when we got off the first time, why would we ever want to ride another one?
The Flying Fish which we rode at night was another fun powered kiddie coaster credit. Not really much to see here.
Containment where we had our escape room challenge the night before.
Riders ready to brave The Swarm!
Drops like these almost demand picture taking from every angle. Don’t worry more to come! haha
Thorpe Park has a whole has this sort of apocalypse end of the world theme going on throughout the whole park. The Swarm though is where it’s definitely noticeable.
Even looking up at the drop, a crashed airplane wing photo bombs the shot.
It does create a neat prop for the ride to fly under though. Impressive that the fog effect of the engine was running too.
The quick and snappy inversion over the airplane sends the ride into it’s second half.
The second half is even more twisted and the ride never lets up, keeping its speed nicely until the final brake run. Again unlike a coaster at Cedar Point named Gatekeeper, see a trend here?
More of a look at the rides theming, definitely going for that blown out apocalyptic look.
Take a flight into paradise.
Eliminates Headaches…. Fast!
The final inversion which again is made so much better because of theming, need I compare it to that other ride again? Flying over the gate once is cool, twice and its a cheap gimmick.
Even though the inversion is the typical B&M slow roll, it feels like the perfect ending to the ride.
Soak Zone! The theming on the ride even has some water effects.
Even the bathroom building contains the theming of a destroyed area.
We saw this advertised the night before and we were determined to try it later in the day.
Thorpe Park does a few nice quaint non apocalyptic views.
Continuing on though….
Time to enjoy our ride on the Flying Fish. As you can see I think we were the only ones on the ride.
Front row? Why not.
Another view of that horrible White Water West spinning rapids ride. Don’t even recall the name of it here, and frankly don’t care.
Who wants to see a big splash? See what Im talking about with the park theme though, we’re in a new section of the park known as Amity and even the station appears to be “sinking”.
Big Splash!
So it was about time for lunch and nothing says lunch at a theme park in England like….
Even the entrance sign for Tidal Wave has the destroyed look to it.
Maybe this area of the park isn’t “blown up”…..
This was a popular food item in England the Jacket Potato, baked beans inside a baked potato covered with cheese.
We skipped the Angry Birds land in search of something better….
… a Burger King?…..
…maybe some Fish n Chips?…
What’s that peaking above the trees?
That’s right we arrived at Stealth.
3…2…1…. launch!

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.

Enjoying our launch on Stealth. It’s a bummer that it has the over the shoulder restraints, but we didn’t hit our head or anything on them so it wasn’t a big deal.
Unlike on Top Thrill Dragster the dive down is just a slight twist, not a full twist that you experience on Dragster.
And as promised here’s another look at The Swarm’s first drop over in the Stealth area of the park.
B&M’s are always so great to photograph.
Speaking of B&M…….
But first should we ride the tea cups and pretend we’re at Disney?
Or attempt to get soaked on a 50 degree day?
Maybe you don’t get that wet…
Nah… we’re here for coasters and for the Inferno in that volcano.
Kick the sky.
You must be this tall to ride.
The area around Nemesis Inferno has a lot more trees and vegetation than other areas in the park. Wonder if they were trying to stay closer to the original over at Alton Towers.
Nemesis Inferno climbing the lift.
This particular spot gives a decent view of the first loop on the ride.
Then peoples feet fly right over you, pretty neat.
Train goes under….
Then train goes over….
Our second ride on Nemesis Inferno, definitely a fun coaster and again not sure why it gets the hate it does.
About to give Derren Brown’s Ghost Train another spin, while this poster teases new experience in 2017.
Here we go.
Even though the sign said 40 minutes this was probably the longest we waited the whole day and it was more like 20 min.

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.

Again every park in the UK had these fresh donuts stands everywhere.
Now it was time to ride one of the most bizarre coasters on the trip.
Clearly there’s not much a demand for this thing.

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.

Nemesis Inferno says hello.
What does that sign say?
Yup proceed to the Poop Deck.
After a stop at the poop deck it was time to try the Nitrogenie ice cream that we had seen advertised.
Ice cream from magic.
It was almost more like a pudding than an ice cream but it was still pretty neat.
And here’s all the fun facts about it.
Unfortunately the I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here maze was closed for our visit. Heard it was a wacky experience so I’m bummed we didn’t get to try it.
More tropical style vegetation in this section of the park.
And a good old fashioned wishing well.
Stopped at Burger King for a waffle dessert with ice cream on top. Pretty good, why don’t the United States BKs have this?
The Slammer is a one of a kind ride, and truly one of a kind. It was the last Sky Swat still in operation when we visited. Today however it’s being removed to make way for other attractions, so I’m definitely glad we got to ride such a unique flat ride.
The ride starts out flat for boarding and slowly raises up while remaining level….
Then… the ride starts to spin and you begin to flip either backwards or forwards depending on which side you are sitting on.
They’re having so much fun.
It was a great fun ride, and it was also a fun ride to just sit and watch also. Definitely a bummer that it’s no more. 🙁
Thorpe Park has a few great and unique flat rides, definitely adds to their overall ride selection.
Time for this bad boy?
So during the night before we tried to get on this coaster, but we experienced the Six Flags like reputation that the park has for rides going down at random times. This ride was down when we walked over to it at night but it was open now so let’s do it.
Jigsaw is lurking… waiting for unsuspecting riders…
Saw: The Ride was your standard euro fighter, but it was decently themed which made it quite more enjoyable. Comparable to Mystery Mine at Dollywood when you theme a euro fighter and do it well, it makes for a great ride.
Apparently I was looking right at the camera for this one.
A wider view of our whole row.
Colossus was up next.
Colossus is known for it’s 10 inversions and for also being quite rough.
Another look at Samurai in action before heading to Colossus.
Shall we?
And yet more palm like trees in the queue.
It was actually quite a walk to get to the entrance from where you first see the ride in action.

Colossus was another ride that was down during the night before at the park, luckily however it was up and running today as well.

Hands up!
Everywhere you look around the ride, there is an inversion to be seen.
Do a barrel roll.
The mighty cobra roll of Colossus.
Some the inversions take place right next to pathways and over your head.
It makes for a great ride area for spectators to view riders going through the 10 inversions.

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.

We don’t look like we’re in too much pain.
Even enjoying this ride see….
After Colossus we continued onward back toward the front of the park, but as you can see Colossus still flies over this area as well.
Not that busy of a day at the park today, a pretty nice day overall.
They have a few digital boards around the park with the wait times but obviously they don’t photograph well.
Almost time to go… 🙁
Are those water slides?
Another look out at the park from the top of the slide tower. In it you can see The Swarm, Stealth, and Flying Fish in the bottom left.
A look toward Nemesis Inferno.
And like I said earlier The Swarm demands pictures be taken.
Even continuing on to the inversion.
The slides looked fun, so of course we gave it a try. A unique attraction to have outside of a water park. Since there was no splash pool at the bottom and just mats, you didn’t really get wet either.
Inside the dome they have the typical cell phone charging station, but you can lock your phone up and have it charge and come back later.
A unique design on the ground of the dome.
A look back at Fins where we had breakfast earlier in the day.
Thrills Workshop huh, wonder what that could be?
Walking out, we noticed some of the theming we presumed for their Fright Night event in the water below.
Overall it was quite the nice setting for a park.
Signing off from our visit to Thorpe Park.

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.

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