Thorpe Park 7th September 2021

Discussion in 'Your Trip Reports and Plans' started by Matt N, 7th Sep 2021.

  1. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    Hi guys. Today, I went to Thorpe Park for a bit of midweek fun; my uni course doesn’t start until 20th September, so I thought I might as well make the most of it! I say “I” because today’s visit was actually my first ever solo theme park visit; my mum & dad dropped me off at Thorpe and went to Wentworth, so I was there entirely on my own. As such, I was interested to see how solo theme park visiting actually worked out for me. I was able to get there bright & early; after bag check, I was able to be in the park just in time for opening at 10am:
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    Something I didn’t realise before visiting is that it was actually the park’s Oktoberfest event today, and it looks like they did a nice job! There were lots of stands around selling different types of food and drink, and the park has some banners and actors around, as well as some themed ride announcements. Nice job, Thorpe!

    Anyway, getting back to my day, I got through the gates at about 10am and went to my first ride...
    Stealth
    Stealth was on an advertised 5 minute queue, so I decided to join it. In reality, 5 minutes was a rather pessimistic estimate, as it was a station wait, with me only needing to wait for the next train before being able to board; great stuff! So, how was the ride? Well, I was seated in row 5, and it was pretty good; I do like Stealth, and that launch is certainly a rush! The airtime over the top hat is amazing too, although as I found on my last Thorpe visit, I did find it to be getting a touch on the rougher side, although by no means really rough. Nonetheless, I still enjoyed the ride:
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    After being woken up with a bang on Stealth, I initially decided to head over to Nemesis Inferno, but the ride was “delayed”, so I decided to give it some time to reopen by riding...
    Detonator
    Detonator was on an advertised 5 minute queue, so I decided to give it a go while I waited for Nemesis Inferno to stop cycling empty trains around. Also, I was fancying a go on it anyway, as I love Detonator and hadn’t ridden in a while. As it turned out, 5 minutes was once again a somewhat pessimistic estimate, as I was the only one in the queue and only had to wait until the ride cycle was over. As such, I was only joined by 2 other people on my Detonator ride! So, how was the ride? Well, it was great as usual; that drop is so deceptively punchy! Overall, I thought Detonator was great, and is definitely right up there with WMSP’s Venom as one of my favourite UK drop towers; I love those Fabbri towers! I’d say Venom just pips it for me, but that’s no slight against Detonator; it’s a great ride:
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    After Detonator, Nemesis Inferno had reopened, with a mere 10 minute queue...
    Nemesis Inferno
    Nemesis Inferno had now reopened with a mere 10 minute advertised wait, so I decided to give it a go. Yet again, 10 minutes was a very pessimistic estimate, with me being able to waltz straight onto the ride with no wait at all! So, how was the ride! Well, it was very good indeed, with good pace throughout and just the right amount of force for my liking! There was a little bit of head banging in the corkscrews, but nothing too terrible (it was fairly smooth for the most part), and on the whole, it was a great ride:
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    After Nemesis Inferno, I decided to head over to The Swarm, which had a 30 minute advertised queue; this seemed like a fair estimate, as it was one of the more substantial-looking queues of the day and was also the first remotely substantial queue I’d encountered so far. However, I would never know because merely a few minutes after I joined the queue, the ride broke down with all guests being advised to leave the queue. As such, I heeded this advice and instead headed over to...
    Rush
    Rush was on an advertised 5 minute queue, so I joined it. I was keen to get back on Rush, as I really like it and it’s not something my parents will ride, so I don’t very often ride it. As with the earlier 3 rides I rode, the queue was minimal, so I had little waiting to contend with. One interesting thing I did observe was that the ride was only running 1 of its 2 swings; I didn’t even know S&S Screamin’ Swings could do that! I don’t know whether this was due to a technical problem or whether it was just an operational choice, but regardless, this did result in the ride having one of the park’s longest queues for the remainder of the day; I certainly lucked out by riding when I did! But enough about the queues; how was the ride? Well, it was really good fun; in spite of the fact that I’m not especially into flat rides on the whole, I do really enjoy Rush, as it’s not too nauseating and provides brilliant bursts of airtime! So overall, I had a great time on Rush, and certainly enjoyed riding:
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    After a great ride on Rush, I headed back over to…
    The Swarm
    The Swarm’s earlier technical issues had subsided, and it once again had a 30 minute advertised wait time. I’d say this was about accurate, possibly slightly understated. So, how was the ride? Well, I had a back row outer seat on the left hand side, and while I enjoyed it as per usual, it was unfortunately the roughest ride I’ve ever had on Swarm, with a definite judder throughout. I wouldn’t have called it unbearably rough by any stretch of the imagination (“roughest ride I’ve ever had” is very much speaking in relative terms), but there was a definite noticeable vibration, and it did detract from it a tad for me. I still very much enjoyed the ride on the whole, though; that first drop is amazing, the overall sense of speed and exhilaration is amazing, and that final inversion still wows me every time I ride Swarm regardless of how many times I ride it! The rattle did detract for me a touch in this particular ride, though, and the harnesses also seemed to be digging in more than I’d remembered on my previous visit:
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    After my ride on The Swarm, I headed back over to Stealth for a reride, as it was only on a 25 minute queue (the shortest on park at this point; crowds had notably increased by this point). This time, I was seated in row 4, and my thoughts were much the same as earlier.

    After that, I headed for a reride on Nemesis Inferno, which also had a 25 minute queue, although I ended up waiting closer to 35. This time, I actually queued a little extra for the front row, as I’d never done Inferno in the front before, and it was pretty good! I will say, though, that I don’t think Inferno in the front provides quite the same upgrade in experience as it does in the original Nemesis at Alton Towers. Maybe Nemesis’ interactions play a role on that particular ride?

    After reriding Inferno, it was about 12:30 (if you haven’t been keeping track, I’d already done 7 rides by this point!) so I sat down on a bench for a few minutes to reapply sun cream and eat my lunch before joining the queue for…
    Saw The Ride
    Saw was on a 40 minute queue, so I decided to give it a go. This actually turned out to be a little overstated, with me actually waiting closer to 30-35 minutes. So, how was the ride? Well, as much as Saw is by no means my favourite coaster, I have to say it was not running badly at all today! I was seated in the back row in a middle seat, and I’m happy to say that it was quite possibly the smoothest ride I’ve ever had on Saw! Yes, while “smoothest ever” is very much relative in this case, like I said with Swarm earlier, it was certainly an improvement in terms of roughness on many of the previous rides I’ve had on Saw. Don’t get me wrong, the first drop and post-MCBR section were still very rough and bashed me around a fair bit, but the stuff from the first drop up to the MCBR wasn’t particularly rough at all, and the headache when getting off certainly wasn’t as strong today as it has been! And that reminded me that for all the ride’s flaws, I do actually really like Saw’s layout; it’s fast-paced, has a fair bit of airtime and on the whole, I think it has many really strong elements! Overall, while it is still a bit too rough for my personal liking, and that is ultimately why it’s not one of my favourite coasters, Saw was running pretty well today all things considered, and I certainly had a more enjoyable ride than usual on it:
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    After Saw, I decided to head back over to The Swarm, and I then had 3 back-to-back rides on it (well, one ride, then a brief break to go and get a Magnum and a bottle of water, and then two back-to-back rides), as the queue had drastically shortened compared to earlier (advertised 15, but the queue barely extended beyond the old baggage hold area), and I’m happy to report that these rides were considerably more enjoyable than the one I’d had earlier; I had a row 4 inner right, a row 5 inner right, and a back row inner left, and all 3 were really excellent!

    After my little Swarm session, I headed over to the other side of the park to go and ride…
    Colossus
    Colossus was on an advertised 15 minute queue, so having had a decent fill of the park’s other major coasters, I decided to give it a go. Surpisingly, I actually didn’t queue for long at all (not much before the Fastrack merge point), which is a bonus! So, how was the ride! Well, as many of you may know, I’ve never been a fan of Colossus, and I’m afraid that today’s row 10 ride did nothing to change that, as it was easily my least favourite ride of the day and quite possibly the worst ride I’ve had on it in a while; extremely rough, with those restraints really digging in to my thighs quite horribly. I came off with very sore ears and a pounding headache! It’s a shame, as I think Colossus is a very aesthetically pleasing coaster, and I think that in spite of the fact I’m not huge on the second half irregardless of ride smoothness, the first half would actually ride quite well if it were smooth:
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    After Colossus, I headed over for a second ride on Detonator, with a minimal 5 minute queue, which was just as great and punchy as earlier! Then, I rerode Stealth with a 15 minute queue; this time, I was directly on the back, and I have to say, the airtime moment coming off the top hat is absolutely superb in the back when compared to the middle!

    After Stealth, I noticed that a somewhat more relaxing ride was walk-on…
    Flying Fish
    Flying Fish looked practically deserted as I was walking by towards Swarm, so I decided to hop on. As there was basically free reign in terms of picking where to sit, I went for a seat near the back, and in terms of how it rode; it was a fun little ride for what it was! Sure, it’s nothing too special from a thrill-seeker’s standpoint, but for its family audience, I think it’s a fun little ride:
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    After Flying Fish, it was getting towards 4:10pm, so I had one final ride on Swarm (virtually walk-on) before my parents picked me up (they’d said 4:20pm). The ride was in the row 5 inner seat on the right wing, and it was really excellent; quite possibly my favourite ride of the day! Alas, I ended my day on a slight lowlight, as I ended up being sat on Swarm’s brake run for 20 minutes due to the ride breaking down, meaning that I didn’t ultimately leave until about 4:45pm. After finally getting off Swarm, I met back up with my parents and we all headed home.

    So all in all, I had an absolutely smashing day at Thorpe Park today! If you didn’t keep track, my final ride count between 10am and 4:20pm (I’ll exclude getting stuck on Swarm at the end) was a shockingly high 16 (!!!), and when combined with the gorgeous weather, I’d have to say that it was one of my favourite days I’ve ever had at Thorpe Park! Solo theme parking was also far less strange than I’d anticipated; I was somewhat nervous before visiting, but it was absolutely fine, and worked well!

    I hope you enjoyed this report; my next one will be a 2-day one from Alton Towers Oktoberfest, coming this weekend!
     
    Posted 7th Sep 2021
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  2. JAperson

    JAperson TowersStreet Member

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    Sounds like you had a great day @Matt N
    I personally am looking forward to my first solo trip although I imagine I'd like to go with some friends first (might be difficult as I only have a few and none of them are remotely into theme parks) before I venture it on my own.
    Now the most important question of which your answer will have grave consequences:eek: what sort of magnum was it? Nothing better than a magnum in a queue line on a theme park day and I have indulged several times on such a practise (a posh way of saying I shove it down my gob while waiting for a ride and then wait ages with the stick trying to find a bin in the queue I'm in).
     
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    Posted 7th Sep 2021
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  3. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    I’m unsure what your personal Magnum preference is, but being a lover of caramel myself, I went for a Gold Caramel Billionaire Magnum on this particular occasion!
     
    Posted 7th Sep 2021
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  4. JAperson

    JAperson TowersStreet Member

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    No! No! No! Come on @Matt N I thought you'd be an original man like myself. So disappointed!
    In all seriousness I can't really stand caramel unless in Rolo's and a magnum is a great option in a theme park as they're not too big. It has being absolutely boiling today so I bet you really needed it to cool down too.
     
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  5. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    Oh believe me, I have been known to partake in an original Magnum in a theme park in the past, and I am definitely a fan of the original Magnum, but the Billionaire flavour just caught my eye today… in fairness, I was just desperate for something cool, so I kind of reached for the first flavour I saw that I liked! Besides, I’m not even sure if the fridge I was picking from in the Thorpe Megastore even had any original Magnums…

    In terms of caramel in general; each to their own, I guess!

    Sorry to hear my answer was disappointing…
     
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  6. JAperson

    JAperson TowersStreet Member

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    Oh Matt I was joking like you say each to their own. Magnums at theme parks are elite and there's no argument there. I know might create a thread in corner coffee ranking magnum flavours.
     
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    Posted 7th Sep 2021
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  7. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    In terms of actually consuming it; my method was eating it on the way to my next ride (in this case, Swarm), and then dumping the stick in the bin before I joined the queue. That way, it was already dealt with before even entering the Swarm queue line!
    Good plan!
     
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    Posted 7th Sep 2021
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  8. Burbs

    Burbs TowersStreet Team Team Member

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    Getting there, getting there, still, room for improvement. ;)

    Glad you had a good day, looks like going solo/without your parents results in a better day out for you. :)
     
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  9. Matt878787

    Matt878787 TowersStreet Member

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    Looks like you had the perfect day for it, Matt!

    I’m quite surprised to hear you had a little bit of a rough ride on The Swarm. I haven’t ridden it in two years but it’s always been a coaster that’s delivered one of the smoothest rides.

    Whilst Saw is a headbanger I do love the indoor section. I’d have loved for them to do a Kärnan and built a separate indoor tower for Saw’s main drop so it’s in the dark, maybe with some flashing lights as you pass under the rotating blades.
     
    Matt N likes this.
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  10. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    What sort of number do you have in mind as “ideal”, and how would you go about improving my ride count?

    Admittedly, I stopped riding 40 minutes before close time, and getting stuck on Swarm for 20 minutes at the end certainly didn’t help, so I could possibly have gotten in 1 or 2 more rides had I stayed to closing time, but other than that, I’m struggling to see how I could physically have done more.

    I wouldn’t necessarily say I had a “better” day without my parents, but I certainly did have a great day, and I did get on more rides! I’m unsure whether that might partly be down to the day, however; I’m unsure if I could have accomplished this ride count on a peak weekend, for instance.
    I certainly did; it was gorgeous!

    I wouldn’t say my ride on Swarm was “rough” per se, but on the back row outer seat, it certainly juddered a fair bit, and it did detract from the ride a tad for me. Thankfully, this was seemingly a one-time anomaly, as the other 4 rides I had gave the smooth ride you describe!

    I do like Saw’s indoor section; dare I say it, but I actually think that Saw might have some of the strongest theming if any UK coaster! I find that what’s outside often gives me a pounding headache, however…
     
    Last edited: 7th Sep 2021
    Posted 7th Sep 2021
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  11. D4n

    D4n TowersStreet Member

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    If you wanted even more rides then you could have skipped Saw and Colossus, which no doubt had some of the longest queues in the park, in favour of rerides on quieter attractions or a few more flats.

    If you have never ridden Quantum then consider it a must for next time. Usually walk-on, not particularly intense, but an extremely fun flat ride.

    Rule no.1 is never leave early! Especially on a 5pm close. I'm sure it would have quietened out a bit at the end and you would have got a few more rides in if you had stayed. I think 20+ can be expected on a quiet day at Thorpe.

    Certainly sounds like a much better day than your usual theme park days though! For once, I am jealous. ;)
     
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    Posted 8th Sep 2021
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  12. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    Admittedly I might have made an error joining Saw’s queue when I did, as it was the longest queue in park (I didn’t know this, and thought that 40 minutes seemed short for Saw), but Colossus surprisingly wasn’t one of the longer queues on park when I joined it.

    If I had been left entirely to my own devices, I think I would have stayed until 5pm, but I didn’t want to be late for my parents, who were waiting in the drop off zone at around 4:20pm. Of course, being stuck on Swarm for 20 minutes at the end of the day ultimately scuppered that, but my point still stands.

    As for Quantum; it’s never an attraction I’ve ever really thought to try, but I’ll certainly give it a go next time. Thanks for the recommendation!
     
    Posted 8th Sep 2021
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