We worked it out that we hadn’t been to Thorpe Park for over 18 months. In theme park terms (considering it is only an hour and a half from home) this is a long time. So James booked a day off work and I am still awaiting a start date so we headed down to the thrill capital on Friday.
Of course the main reason for this trip was to experince ‘The Swarm’. If you’ve not seen the adverts ‘The Swarm’ is a winged rollarcoaster (so the track is neither above or below you) which supposedly brings you some near misses if you believe the newspaper articles of test dummies with missing limbs. The ride is short and the experince of hanging about and the views of the park grab your attention – there were no near misses that I noticed. It is very much like ‘Air’ at Alton Towers, but instead of flying you are whisked around in the grasp of a giant alien. The seats are very comfortable like Air also.
It is becoming clear that Thorpe Park and Alton Towers are finally latching on to the full ride experince that is standard in American parks. Like with Saw and Thirteen the surroundings of the ride and the queue line are themed to match the purpose of the ride. There are fire engines and helicopters littering the streets around The Swarm. The gift shop is named ‘Emergency Supplies’ and the queue line videos show news reports of ‘The Swarm’ taking over and abducting unsuspecting citizens of Thorpe Park.
Not that we witnessed much of the videos.
That’s right. We worked our way around the queues which could easily slow down your day. On arrival we saw that the queue time for The Swarm (which is a bit of a walk from the other thrill rides) had a queue time of 45minutes. So we headed for Stealth which had a queue time of 10minutes. This was made slightly longer by our wait for the front but it had to be done once. We then worked our way west hitting Nemisis (which had a slightly longer queue of 20mins) then Samurai and Saw (5 minutes!). We had a quick go on Collosus which is simply a walk on ride now, 10 years after being the icon of the park. Then lunch at Pizza Hut where we fueled up. Then we felt it was time to experince ‘The Swarm’.
We shocked ourselves at the lack of queue and it wasn’t until we were secured into our seats 10 minutes later that I wondered if my pizza would be making a reapperance. Luckily it isn’t a sharp ride. (Although we did witness a kid hurl up outside the ride, eww.) On the initial climb you get a good view of the park. Then you are chucked into a fun ride of swooping, side turns and twirls above the queue line. The end is slightly disapointing as you stop above a random swamp. Bit of an anti-climax. Once the ride was over we hopped straight back around for go 2. You couldn’t have timed it worse in fact. The moment James and I were strapped into our seats the heavens opened and a ridiculous amount of rain crashed upon us. A sarcastic ride attendant announced that due to new developments on this ride you may get wet…
Once off we headed straight to X:/ No Way Out, along with half the park. But it was nice to get out the downpour and the queue, once again, wasn’t too long. A bored ride attendant tried to scare little girls with a zombie head mask, but I was more impressed with sitting in the seat and seeing my hands go green like The Hulk (oh the memories.) X:/ No Way Out was my favvvvvourite ride when I was a kid and it still is a fun ride, but everythime we ride it we are braced for the fact it could be the last 😦
On leaving the ride the rain had vanished so we decided to dry ourselves on Rush, a giant swing ride. Another walk on and stay on if you want ride, it is A LOT shorter than I remember. You just get into swinging high above the park that it slows down again. Spoils the fun. So we got off and went round to Quantum. Should have taken the hint from Vortex being broken that we shouldn’t have been there. The ride was fun, it is a magic carpet ride and again it slowed down just as it got going, and then we were stuck in the rides claws for 10 minutes. (That’s a full queue and ride on Saw!) Didn’t help having some loudmouth scottish girls flirting with the ride attendant sitting infront of us.
And I believe from there the day was a case of going around and doing it all again. We had two more rides on The Swarm before being stopped by a broken ride. I don’t know if it restarted that day but we never saw it going round. On a second go on Samurai I was the ride coach for a Spanish lady who was scared but wanted to ride with her 11 year old. I’m always a little weary when a stranger holds my hand. And I couldn’t enjoy the ride because once it started the talkative lady stopped talking and I couldn’t help worrying about her all the way around. And no, we’re not fans of detonator. We like to try them once or twice but once you’ve done it why do it again? It doesn’t feel nice at all. (Although the new Lex Luther drop ride at Six Flags California has to be done!)
We didn’t try the new Storm Surge either, water rides on cold days are no fun. But the fact they stuck it over what used to be the octopus garden of kiddie rides shows that they have no interest in young families visiting anymore. That is what Chessington is for. Anyways, perfect for an older family, perfect for teen friends and perfect for thrill seeking couples. Thorpe Park all the way.