Top 5 Favourite Things At Thorpe Park

Last weekend a bunch of coaster nerds headed to Thorpe Park Resort for the first CoasterForce meet of the season. And for me, it was my first visit to the park as a guest ever that I can recall outside of Fright Nights or just staying late after work to meet some friends. I've always been wary of it potentially feeling a bit like a busman's holiday given I work there but by the end of the day I was more than glad I made the choice to visit. As we crossed the bridge back to the car park the consensus was generally one of of delight, satisfaction and exhaustion - signs of a day out at a theme park well spent if there ever was! And it made me realise how much I've taken the place for granted. Being there five days a week for my job has made me get complacent in taking the time to really experience everything Thorpe has to offer and to appreciate just how excellent a park the place really is. So I thought I'd take some time today to take a closer look at the things I love about Thorpe and get them down on paper whilst I'm still recovering from last weekend's shenanigans.


Look, I think you'd be extremely hard pressed to find me a better coaster line-up in Europe. Think about it - what other park has as solid a five coaster line-up as Thorpe does? I'm not saying there aren't parks with better coasters than Thorpe, but they'll be one offs. Helix, Taron, Red Force, etc - stand alone all better than the coasters at Thorpe in my opinion. But line up any five coasters at any other park in Europe and try telling me they're better than Thorpe's and I think you'd have your work cut out for you in arguing otherwise. Stealth is still one of the best coasters in the UK in my opinion and 13 rides on the beauty last weekend only served to further confirm that. The Swarm is easily the best B&M wing coaster I've been on to date, Nemesis Inferno does an excellent job of living up to its namesake, Colossus might not be your cup of tea but it's certainly an impressive beast and I still shit myself to this day crawling up Saw's vile lift-hill. When you lay it out in black and white the coaster line-up is fucking great and I think it's easy to forget how lucky those of us in the South are to have them right on our doorstep.


I will argue until my dying breath that Thorpe has the best food options of any UK theme park. You've got the KFC and Burger King options for the basic among us, fabulous Pizza Pasta buffet in what is easily the best themed Pizza Pasta in all the Merlin parks, Fin's for the Wetherspoons approach fans out there plus newer options like the dirty dogs and fries you can now get at Wilderness Bar & Kitchen (delicious if you like properly nasty, indulgent food smothered in cheese and sauce, which let's face it we all do!) But the crowning jewel of course is a place unique to Thorpe Park which only goes to make it even more special than it clearly already is. I'm speaking of course about Amity Kebabs, the obvious choice for any self-respecting Thorpe Park fan. Chicken Tikka is clearly the best option here and I have been known on a rare occasion to even pop out on my lunch break at work to treat myself because sometimes I just can't concentrate knowing that deliciousness is waiting for me right across the bridge.


Not only does Thorpe have a killer coaster line-up, they've also got an incredible flat ride line-up too! Now, personally I'm not a huge flat ride fan and spin-and-spews tend to be attractions I'll hold bags for and let others inflict upon themselves, but that doesn't mean I can't appreciate the sheer variety on offer at Thorpe. Vortex is swinging back to its former glory this season, Zodiac is an old classic that still packs a punch, Quantum is one of those quiet but deadly types that looks like it'll be a gentle ride but is secretly one of the most terrifying and intense at Thorpe Park, Detonator is so terrifying and intense that I actively go out of my way not to ride and Samurai is an excellent Topscan for both rider and observer alike. But my favourite flat ride at the park is fabulous Rush - so much airtime and I adore the thrill of racing through that downward swing and floating out of my seat the other side as you take in the view of the Island upside down as you defy gravity for just a little bit. Perfection.


I don't know what it is about the music at Thorpe over the years that's so infectious but to this day I'll be sat somewhere totally nondescript and out of nowhere the duun-dun-dun-dun-dun-dun-dun-DUN of the old Colossus soundtrack will come slithering into my head. The entire Island soundscape is the same to me - if I hear an old 50s bop somewhere out of context it immediately places me on Amity Speedway watching Stealth scream along its launch track. The new IMAscore needs a few more years to solidify itself in its synonymity with the park, but I've no doubt that in ten years future enthusiasts will feel the same way about those tracks as us millennials feel about the noughties ones!

And then there's the atmosphere -  Fright Nights speaks for itself and to me nothing says Halloween is here like wandering through the gates of Thorpe Park as the unmistakeable scent of Thorpe Park fog juice fills my nostrils. But summer too - I absolutely adore a summer evening at the park, getting in tons of re-rides on my favourite coasters before settling down on the veranda with a cocktail from Fin's, watching the sun set across the silhouetted skyline. Bliss.


Very few better places to people watch than Thorpe Park and I don't mean just while the world goes by. Something I've always loved about the rides at Thorpe is that there's always loads of space for non-riders to stand and watch their friends and family enjoy the rides. Watching people shriek in disbelief after their drenching on Tidal Wave is a particular favourite of mine, as is watching people trying desperately to hold on during Stealth's insane launch. I love a good spin on Samurai but equally I adore sitting on the rock opposite and cracking up laughing at those on board as they flail around, completely at the mercy of the machine they're strapped into. But above all, Rush is my favourite ride to watch people enjoy. The way they're sat, all lined up and the way they all come hurtling towards you, terrified, is just so, so funny to me and I never fail to catch a glimpse of a brilliant reaction from someone who's finding out in real time that this ride wasn't as gentle as they'd first expected.


And thus ends my love-letter to the Island like no other. Honestly I could write all day on the subject of things I love about Thorpe and I'm so grateful for the awesome visit we had this weekend as it's rejuvenated my adoration for the place in perfect time to kick off the 2019 season. Here's to a fabulous one!

Talk later xoxo,

CONVERSATION

5 comments:

  1. rmc 2020 plz!

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  2. rmc 2020 yes!

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  3. Thorpe just needs a world class coaster, it keeps building ok coasters, but is ok really good enough! If Thorpe get an RMC they need to go all out with it, and if it's not an RMC the same still applies for what ever they do decide to build.

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  4. Wasn't a fan of the park. Too many smokers, Especially when compared to other UK parks

    Derren Brown was cool.

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  5. wow, this looks kind of a fun place. Cool

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