For me, 2016 has been the year of what could have been at THORPE PARK. There was so much promise and potential, however this just didn't seem to be fulfilled.
As with many people, I had high hopes for Derren Brown's Ghost Train, especially given the amount of marketing and build up created by the Resort. Even though the attraction's initial opening was put back from March to May this still didn't dampen the anticipation for me as, at this point, I thought it was just the Resort being sensible and ensuring everything was fully ready for when it did open. However, my anticipation for the attraction was soon to be diminished as the May opening date came and was once again postponed, replaced by a huge amount of uncertainty as to just when the attraction would actually open. When the attraction did eventually open, although it is very cleverly done, it just didn't seem to fulfill the promise of the marketing and the hype. It was over-reliant on VR and it was disappointing that only a small number of the journeys were active. It is sad that come the end of the season I really wasn't bothered if I rode it or not, something which just shouldn't be the case with a large new attraction like DBGT.
FRIGHT NIGHTS was perhaps the weakest I've experienced since I first attended in 2013. Whilst THE BIG TOP and CONTAINMENT were vast improvements on 2015, the rest of the event just fell flat, with PLATFORM 15 in particular falling way short of what it could have been. I can only hope that the 2017 event sees a total re-vamp to give FIGHT NIGHTS the new leas of life it so desperately needs.
What was really missed this year was the additional summer events - Summer Nights and Island Beats. Whilst I can see why the park didn't hold the concerts this year, the extended opening offered by summer nights was much missed. Even if the Resort reduced the numbers of weekends it was offered to just 3 or 4, that would have been better than none at all. Instead, what we did get was a passholder only event held on a Friday, a day which was impractical for so many people. Even then, these didn't quite work out as planned.
I do hope that 2017 sees a much better year for Thorpe. Although I am sceptical about the new ending I do hope that it means DBGT will finally fulfill its full potential.