Friday 16 May 2014

International Thrill Seekers head to Thorpe Park

Earlier this week I lost my husband for the day.... I lost him to taxiing duty for twelve 18 to 24 year olds on a day out to Thorpe Park and you know what? I think it was the best thing, he came back in the cheeriest of moods despite the M25 traffic.

Regular readers will know that I live in the grounds of a very large Christian conference centre and at any one time we have around fifty young adults from all different countries living and working here. It can be quite isolated for them without a car and the bus does not even stop for us so the chance of a trip to somewhere like Thorpe Park was eagerly grabbed. Twelve went this week and another sixteen thrill seekers are going next week.

I know that in recent years Thorpe Park has been remodelled into the ultimate theme park for those who like the big scary rides - it is a thrill seekers paradise. The kids and I like a more serene day at somewhere like Chessington or Legoland but I know that my dh sometimes misses the chance to 'feel the fear and do it anyway!' so it was perfect for him to have some more adventurous companions.

Nowadays there are over 30 spectacular rides and attractions at Thorpe Park and later in May the new Angry Birds land and 4D theatre open as well and the experience gets even better. The types of rides that you can enjoy at Thorpe Park are -

Stealth - the UK's fastest roller coaster where you will go from 0-80mph in 2 seconds and reach 205ft.
The Swarm - the UK's first winged roller coaster where you can brave the action backwards!
Colossus - is the one for you if you like classic roller coasters which loop the loop - there are ten of them.
Nemesis Inferno - is the one where your feet swing free as you twist and turn.
SAW – The Ride - the world's first horror movie rollercoaster as you experience a ‘beyond vertical’ drop of 100 degrees from a height of 100ft.
Tidal Wave - You'll plunge 85ft on one of the UK's highest log flumes and you will get totally soaked!
Slammer - You will face a 360 degree freefall experience on this one.
Rush - Experience the feeling of 4Gs as you swoop back and forth in this air powered swing.

There are so many rides that I can't even begin to tell you about them all and to be honest I believe a picture speaks a thousand words, so here are some showing the fun my husband had with the gang on Tuesday.

My husband was super impressed that when they arrived at about 10.30am on Tuesday (which was in term time, I imagine this makes a difference) to find that literally every roller coaster and ride was queue free. I think this made a massive difference to their day and by the time they had lunch at about 1.30pm they had rode most every major ride in the park - result! Look at these photo, you can not grumble with a maximum queue time of 10 minutes, lol.

In fact the only grumble my husband did have is that there was a number of rides he could not go on. As a larger man, his chest (and perhaps tummy, sorry babe) is too big for the rides which have pull-down harnesses. By looking on the website I see they have a maximum size requirement of a 51" torso and there are trial chairs by the side of the rides but quite fairly he pointed out that if he would have to miss out on about 50% of the big attraction rides he would rather know this at the entrance when  he paid and no-one pointed this out to him and he did not see any signage about this and of course with the price being £48 for an adult if they pay on the gate on the day you would want to know!

Maxi trying out one of the test seats!

Of course if you are planning a visit to Thorpe Park then make sure that you book in advance to secure the best price, it is just £24.99 when you book 2 or more days in advance as an adult and if you are part of a group of 10 or more that price goes down to £23.99 and you can have a 2 day pass for £29.99 which I think is superb value if you can stay over locally.

Once the group were back I went to have a chat with some of them to see how they enjoyed their day and they told me it was a great day and all were thrilled to have been to Thorpe Park. Bella from Romania had organised the day as she is a second year volunteer and had been last year and she knew that everyone would have a great time. I asked her for a word to sum up her opinion of Thorpe Park and she told me 'crazy', I checked she meant good crazy and she said 'Of course Michelle, it is so much fun, I love it, you must come next time'. On asking her what her favourite ride was she said it was 'Nemesis Inferno' as it takes her breath away and gives her a heart attack. I did inform her she was not really selling it to me as I am a complete woss but she continued to gush about what a superb place it is and there is no-where like it in Romania.

One of the more tame rides - Loggers Leap

Upon talking to the others I found that the three girls from South Korea had been to theme parks at home before but nothing that came close to the thrills at Thorpe Park. The three Brazilian lads that went were a mixed bag with two of them telling me Thorpe Park was the best theme park they have ever visited and the other enjoyed his day there but said he had been to a bigger park in Brazil that was even better. The other people who went were from Indonesia, Poland, Kazakhstan and Spain and the Spanish girls were the only ones who could really claim to have been to a park that boasts more thrills than Thorpe Park as they had both visited Port Aventura a number of times.

All in all it was a excellent day and something really amazing for the international volunteers to experience. My husband says that he would thoroughly recommend Thorpe park as a great destination if you like white-knuckle rides and he says to visit in term-time on a weekday to get the best out of your time there.

If you have not been to Thorpe Park before then this short film will give you a good idea of what to expect -

Disclosure: I was gifted 4 tickets for Thorpe Park, there was no requirement for me to write anything but as our group had such a wonderful time I wanted to share.
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