Thorpe Park on 7th August 2016
Recently i visited Thorpe Park. Before I start, I will say my ride/ flat ride count was quite low just because I wasn't feeling too well at times and some of the ride reviews are from my past visit (like stealth). Sorry about not posting any pictures but here is my ride count.
Storm Surge- 1
Nemesis Inferno- 1
King Pig's Wild Dodgems- 1
Detonator: Bombs Away- 1
Tidal Wave- 1
Rumba Rapids- 1
Depth Charge- 1
Angry Birds 4d- 1
Derren Brown Ghost Train- 1
When I entered the park, it was 5 minutes late because gates opened at 9:35. However, the Thorpe theme wasn't playing and was replaced with pop music as well as the screens not doing the coaster medley/ video which I love. Even though, there was this, Thorpe park is very impressive when you walk in on the bridge and go on the onlooking platform of the park and see all of the rides.
Storm Surge (5 mins wait)- 7/10:
Starting off the day, once gates had opened slightly late, I knew this would be my first stop due to the queues being so long later on in the day. Despite the queue moving slowly, I got on the ride and I do have to say I really enjoy it. I love how fun the ride is but 2 things I dislike are how ugly the metal supports are and the low capacity of the ride causing queues to move at snail's pace.
Nemesis Inferno (10 mins)- 8/10
To be honest, I was quite nervous to ride because this coaster was first proper upside down ride (not counting air). I sat in the middle seat of row 4 I think and enjoyed the coaster but there was no smoke in the pre-section. However, I thought the layout flowed well despite it being short meaning it is my 5th favourite coaster. If only the volcano theming inside the station and entering the station on the break run was better.
X (1st time on 5 mins)- 7/10:
I found the ride quite good but more effects would improve the ride as well as theming it somehow to lost city. Going on back row, it was nothing spectacular but I just had an enjoyable ride with some good audio/ lights. I think the ride was on a 2 train operation.
King Pig's Wild Dodgems (walk on)- 8.5/10
Personally, I just love dodgems and it is one of my favourite flat rides. Bumping and being bumped into created a fun experience which I thoroughly enjoyed. Only slight improvement would be to make it look less like a traveling model but still a great ride. There was a funny moment at the end of the ride where the ride attendant said the speech about entering and starting the ride as oppose to leaving.
Detonator: Bomb's Away (5-10 mins)- 7/10
Unlike some enthusiasts, I don't find drop towers intense and really that scary. If only audio was louder for the counting down on the drop at the highest point, would create a far scarier atmosphere. Who else thinks the ride would be greatly improved if the angry bird was at the top of the ride?
Tidal Wave (15 mins)- 6.5/10
Let me get this clear Tidal Wave is not a bad ride, but I think the only thing going for it is the theming and the offride views. The drop just gets you too wet and due to all the water in the air, you can't enjoy the drop. However, I was happy to ride with a shorter queue bearing in mind the queue went to a 90+ minute queue in the afternoon with all the sun. I still can't understand why people would wait that long with the splash zone getting you just as wet with no queue whatsoever.
One of my group members did a ride on Storm in a Teacup in 5 mins but the issue was that his teapot did not spin. Despite this, he seemed to enjoyed the ride though.
Rumba Rapids (15 mins)- 6.5/10
Rumba Rapids is a good ride but just is not wet enough. When I rode, I probably got the wettest but that was just a few drops of water. Later on, when some of my group rode, whilst I was queuing for DBGT, they got a lot wetter perhaps due to it not being fully balanced I presume. Final thing about Rumba is please re-add the water container theming next to the camera!
Depth charge (weird queuing time)- 6/10
I was queueing up for depth charge for about 20 mins when it closed down due to some breakdown. Being told the issue could take up to an hour, I was a bit annoyed so I went to guest services and got some fastrack. When I returned, it had reopened so I was on in about 5 mins. Good points were it was a fun ride and it was something different but the extremely short length and slow moving queue meant it was not amazing.
NOT FROM THIS TRIP: Flying fish (walk on)- 7/10
This ride was done on my previous visit so I decided to ride depth charge instead (see above) but from what I remember, it was a fun, family friendly ride but the lack of theming ruined some of it. The person riding in my group seeemed to smile on-ride.
Lunch was next next to ccl, loggers leap and rocky express. One group member rode rocky express and seemed to enjoy it. Looking (more like attempting and failing) above the fences for loggers leap, I failed to see much but could definitely see ccl track being removed- presumably with platform 15. At this point, I started to feel a bit ill so I let my group do some other rides.
NOT FROM THIS TRIP: Loggers Leap (10 mins)- 7/10
I remember the good theming elements in the station but apart from that, there was very little. On the final drop I got soaking wet. It was also good to go through the woods lower on the ground unlike the flume From log flumes, this to me is worse than pirate falls but better than the flume and dragon's falls.
NOT FROM THIS TRIP: Mr Monkey's Banana Ride (10 mins)- 5.5/10
From my previous trip, I thought the ride was OK but I just don't like the forces on pirate ships. However, the theming was good enough but needed a repaint. The people in my group seemed to enjoy it whilst I was seeing if the carnival games could be possible because why not!
Derren Brown's Ghost Train shop was next but I will go into more detail later.
Angry Birds 4D Experience (probably queued for 20 mins)- 8/10
Bearing in mind, this was the 3rd attempt for riding after being 1 mintute too late first time and there not being enough glasses on the 2nd time, I was very happy to ride at last. Compared to ice age at Alton towers, it was a more enjoyable show with far better effects. In fact, I might say it is my favourite theme park 4d cinema ride. One BIG issue is queuing. The way it works is who can push in the most rather than who has been waiting the longest can watch the film basically. This is worse than ice age which has a queue so people who came early can enjoy the show. One family only got in on the 4th attempt which is shocking with the amount of empty seats. Still something fun to do.
THE SWARM (done twice with 10 mins queue with priority passes both times)- 9/10
Finally, Th13teen at Alton is not my favourite coaster anymore. My 20th coaster credit (I know it is low but I do 1/2 theme park trips a year) was absolutely fantastic. One part I especially liked was the restraint system because for once on a 1.4m coaster, I could put my head wherever I wanted without having major head banging. Theming on the ride truly improves the ride atmosphere both on/ off ride and I can only think how amazing front row would be. My favourite part of the ride is definitely the drop when I was in the left side 3rd row especially because I had the feeling of falling out of the ride win the restraint only allowing me not to drop down. On regard to the island behind swarm, it loos like it will be the site of the next coaster possibly (hope for RMC or B&M hyper). Like other enthusiasts, I wish the ride was longer but the swarm is just a really FUN coaster to do, probably better ride for 1st inversion than Nemesis Inferno.
X (2nd time using priority passes for 10 mins)- 6.5/10
This time round on x had some differences with the first time round. Firstly, there was confusion about where to go with priority passes because it isn't labelled very well. Also, boarding was a mess (explains my score). Having just 1 member of staff in the boarding station, telling people where to sit and sorting out both main queue/ fastrack made me feel really bad for him. There was confusion about which row to sit on. Eventhough I had these issues, I preferred the light show and found sitting in front row improved the experience (couldn't really tell the difference forces wise).
NOT ON THIS TRIP: Stealth (twice with 5 mins and 10 mins)- 8/10
Stealth is a crazy coaster that is fun but has minimal theming (but the music in Amity area is amazing). It was my first proper 1.4m coaster and I prefer it to Rita as well as Nemesis Inferno but swarm beats it anyday!
Now the part you have all looked forward to- Derren Brown's Ghost Train review. To stop anyone worrying at seeing spoilers, I will write everything in spoilers but due to most of you knowing what happens, I won't post what happened exactly, second by second.So for each part/ aspect of the attraction I will write a rating out of 10, then will I give an average rating and overall opinion.
First Impressions of the Area- 8/10
Personally I just love the look of the building which is very impressive and unique for a theme park attraction. The small details that wouldn't necessarily be at a merlin park but a Disney park make the structure look more realistic and well designed. I do quite like the flooring around the area which makes a change from the standard bland 1 colour floor. Ahem Lost Kingdom at Paulton's Park. Only things I disliked is seeing the building when you come from the x side but to be honest, the red fits with x so it isn't a complete eyesore and not having the tower in the plans. Don't get me wrong, Nitrogenie makes epic ice cream but hearing the loud pop music and seeing a purple shipping container ruined some of the atmosphere.
Imascore have done extremely well to produce such a great masterpiece creating the perfect atmosphere of the ride. If I am not mistaken, I think the audio is on a 30 minute loop but it contains so many styles of music that even though there was little to do in the queue, I was enjoying hearing the music! Reason why it is not a 10/10 is the speakers were loud but the sound quality was not perfect.
I mean it is nice merlin tried but I wished there would be some television screens showing some info about subcore or some large theming aspects. Still there were some nice details and it the cattlepen fences were slightly themed which was good. Unfortunately, due to the way the queue was working, every 15 mins or so, people were let into the queue but it only went to the wooden fence without the overhead cover meaning I had no pictures taken. Due to the way queueing worked, I had a queue of less than 55 minutes which was amazing bearing in mind I had feared I would be in a 2.5 hour queue.
This part of the experience is like something that came from his TV shows (which I love) so I found it interesting. Pepper's Ghost was used but the original screen which was reflected was a screen and not 3d so Derren brown looked a bit 2d but that doesn't really matter. Another slight issue is that the real smoke at the end came slightly too late so it made it a bit obvious to me Pepper's Ghost was used. These things are seriously minor!
Entering the Train- 7/10
A bit of waiting was involved but entering the Victorian modern train was very good. Only wish the audio was a bit different at this point; perhaps a heartbeat could work. Tip: When you enter the train, pick the vr headsets that have no mind the gap bags on them!
First VR- 7.5/10
I had the woman in this scene and it was alright picture quality, bearing in mind I had expected a lot worse from all of the negative reviews. The movement of the carriage felt real, especially when I take the tube nearly everyday and this really added to the immersion even when I took off the headset. Before riding I found out that there are currently only 3 journeys here so the person I was with had the homeless man. By far, the weirdest part was seeing no-one on the train with the very first part of vr yet I could feel the person mentioned above's hand.
As I took off the vr goggles earlier, I didn't really understand why we were exactly evacuated and being rushed off the tube, nobody could realise the amazing illusion with the modern/ Victorian train. When we were in the room, we were there for probably 1 minute with no extra actors like protestors or construction workers. When the train came, I didn't jump but most of the group did (including the person above who denied it).
Second VR- 7/10
Going back on the train, the illusion was still not noticed and after this vr section began, it got a bit too much for me who has never done a scare attraction. No leg ticklers or smoke could be seen throughout but I did get a basic storyline from the screens above showing the demons. I didn't really think they were noticeably CGI (ahem unlike pan: obvious CGI the movie) and they looked quite scary. Bearing in mind I saw some very young children (looked about 10) somehow riding, I could only suspect how frightening it would be for them. The gas section was awful because the person I was with took the headset off.
Wow, wow, wow. Merlin have created an impressive shop with great theming and effects as well as some very unique merchandise. When speaking to a member of staff when dbgt was closed, I was told the effect of video screen Derren has no sensors and looks over randomly. The hidden bookcase turns around every minute unless someone passes these bars with sensors which will mean the effect has to be reset due to h&s. Sadly no purchases today but when I ride fully, I will buy some things. Also Derren as the fortune teller is seriously freaky!
Every staff member was friendly especially one off the management called Andy. Some of the information mentioned from him has been posted and it was clear to me he would especially do anything to make guests have great days. Even the actors on the train were OK with me taking off the headset. Not exactly a staff thing but my companion felt like the actor in the evacuation scene was overacting.
One final thing is if you don't want to be touched much, sit in the middle of a section because the actors touch those at the ends more. Don't scream too much or the actors will try to scare you the most- I saw a girl being touched 3 times because of her loud reaction.
Overall Rating- 8/10 (when rounded up)
For what the attraction is, it is spectacular, especially bearing in mind how unique it is in Europe and the world. As long as you are good with scare attractions and have a good headset, you are sure to have a great time. This is a Disney style attraction in a Merlin park with a universal halloween horror nights twist.
Overall, the day was fantastic (except for feeling iil) but I look forward returning in the summer from the return ticket given at the end of the day due to dbgt and stealth being shut for most of the day. Next time, maybe stealth will reopen and I will experience dbgt fully. When I return after (probably in 2019), I am looking forward to ride loggers leap and seeing what more the island like no other has to offer! Also thanks for reading and I am more than happy to answer any questions!