So you may recall in this post here that we wanted to visit THORPE PARK as it was the place for thrill seekers, and that between Friday August 23rd and Sunday September 1st 2013 there is the added benefit from Sun SCREAM – FREE family fun extras, including daytime silent discos, adrenaline-fuelled stunts, plus freestyle hip-hop and beatbox performances and workshops - so off we went on Saturday August 24th 2013.
I have to admit to being pretty scared before I even went reading some of the reviews about the rides. I’d even talk to my son about how the thrill comes from rides going wrong and how I was scared I could fall out of the ride. I also explained that I didn’t know of anyone ever dying on a ride, that they were very safe and rigorously tested.
As we went through the park we straight away ended up at The Swarm. The scene was set really well, visually and with sounds. It was really quiet frightening. I refused to go on the ride, to which my husband told me that I was silly – it was just a rollercoaster and that I’d been on loads before. Instead I stayed with the two younger children firmly on the ground and took in the scenery. Including a spectacular fire engine that a big gush of fire came out of every now and then as the ride past.
My son came back and reassured me, he told me it’s ok, if the harness going across comes undone there’s like a seat belt holding you in. They, however, did not decide to “brave it backwards.”
The two youngest children (ages 4 and 5 years) had been really patient whilst they waited (we had fast track passes), so next we found a ride for them. We found the Flying Fish. Which we could all go on, and were thrilled to find that it went round three times! Everyone was amused at the play on words of “First Plaice Riders.”
So when we arrived at Stealth I was asked the question, “Are you going on?”
I absolutely love Rita at Alton Towers and Stealth seemed to have the same concept – only faster (0-80 mph in 2 seconds), which was great. My problem lay in the fact that it then went up – 205 ft !!!!!
It started to rain as we were waiting just before the lights were going to change, and a warning came on about how the ride might not be as comfortable because of the rain!
Here it is though – the evidence that I did do it!
It was scary (I’m not fond of heights). And I did close my eyes for at least some of the way down. The fact that my thrill-ride hungry, not long tall enough, 10 year old was sitting next to me didn’t make it any less frightening for me!
But it was so adrenaline pumping that my body shook for ages after the ride had finished.
And the 10 year old? He loved it so much that him, and his teenage brother went back on it again with their dad. Do you think he has exactly the same expression in both photos?
Again the younger boys had been waiting a little while and so next we went on Storm in a teacup.
and Mr Monkey’s Banana Ride – which was so popular we had to go on it again later on in the day.
There were lots of other things to entertain around the park, and youngest was pleased to see Mario there.
We stopped for a bite to eat. You could bring your own food into the park if you wished, but there were plenty of places to buy food at a reasonable price. We went into Burger King where the staff were very friendly – when I had a mini break down as I’d forgotten my pin number and didn’t have enough cash to pay for the meal. I must have been such a great pain in the back side (it was an order for 6 people) – but they never made me feel that way. You will be pleased to know that I did remember my pin! I am not a big Burger King fan so am very pleased to report that the food was great!
Whilst waiting in the queue for Colossus I got chatting to the couple in front (both adults). They had left the kids at home so they could enjoy all the thrills by themselves. They’d been to various theme parks, including Disney in Florida and that Colossus was in fact their favourite ride as far as rollercoasters go, as it has 10 vertical loops, the UK’s only quadruple barrel roll! In fact they bumped into me in the park later on and stopped me to ask how I enjoyed it, and my husband asked me if I knew them.
I have to say it was a really interesting ride. It made me wonder about the physics (how geeky is that), and it wasn’t one that made me close my eyes, just look in wonder.
SAW -The Ride has an advisory age of over 12 years on it. Our 10 year old could have gone on it if he we had wanted him to. Given how upset he was after his experience on Nemesis Sub-Terra at Alton Towers, we decided that the age guidance must be there for a reason. We didn’t want the teen from missing out though so we split up, me and the youngest three, and my husband and the teen. They came back and reported that the ride itself would have been okay but the concept may have been a bit disturbing for the 10 year old, and things like razor wire, etc – so his dad is glad that he didn’t take him on.
Meanwhile, me and the 3 youngest went to go on Rocky Express - but unfortunately it is too fast, and so both little ones needed an adult (over 18 years) each.The lady operating it had been very nice and tried to help (suggesting the 10 year old looked after the youngest whilst I went on with the 5 year old) but there was no way possible due to my son’s special needs. So we headed to the Chief Ranger’s Carousel - where we sat in a nice Rapid with monkey. We did however go on the Rocky Express once reunited with the rest of the party.
Next was my turn to go with the big two whilst my husband took the youngest two children back on the Chief Ranger’s Carousel. We headed for Nemesis Inferno: I liked it because it was scary but not enough to make me shut my eyes and miss it. It turned me this way and that so I never felt the fear of falling (which I don’t particularly like – have we established this yet lol). I have to admit I was like screaming like a girl at the very start, and then realised that the ride hadn’t even actually begun!!!
Despite the rain the Sun SCREAM pulled in a crowd of listeners and dancers during the Beatboxing and Lyrical Freestyling session.
The ultimate ride for our 4 year old with suspected Sensory Processing Disorder has to be, without a doubt X, and with it raining there was a time when there was no queue and our sensory seeker got me to go on it 4 times in a row, with just us in the front carriage and no-one else at one point. With lights and sounds and a descent sized roller coaster (as far as roller coasters for 4 year olds go) our sensory seeker was in heaven. Plus there was lights and music as you queued inside to get to the ride through dark corridors too. I would liken in to the Rock and Roll Rollercoaster starring Aerosmith at Disneyland Paris, but a much more child friendly version.
My husband took the other 3 off to ride on Storm Surge at this point, as the youngest wasn’t tall enough and really wanted to just keep going on X.
Being a typical Bank holiday weekend it rained pretty much all day. This meant that unfortunately Wet, Wet, Wet and Neptune’s Beach were not open.
We had brought spare clothes with and so saved the water rides until the end.
It was great that we could all go on one ride but Loggers Leap was only 5 in a car. The youngest 2 needed adults so the older 2 went in a car on their own. Sometimes our youngest does not like getting water in his face – luckily this wasn’t one of those times and he laughed and laughed.
We did get to all go on the Rumba Rapids together.
Saving the wettest until last (we had been warned), myself and the oldest two went on the Tidal Wave. I was surprised to see so many half naked bodies and there was a lady in her swimming costume. As we went up I thought it a magnificient view of the park and all the rides. As my 10 year old claimed it was the highest ride in the park we looked towards Stealth and could see that it clearly wasn’t. Then a sudden realisation of how high up we were and that it was one drop; before the 85ft plunge!!! I’d covered my face before the water even hit to shield my eyes from seeing the height we were dropping – eek!!!
We had a great day and it definitely is a park for thrill seekers. There were rides for the younger children but even some of those were thrill rides (perfect for my little thrill seekers). The park may not be suitable for young children who are not wanting thrills unless they have come on a sunny day, or are with older children.
Other Useful Info
Photos were £25 for 4 including downloads with each. Disabled guests have to pay £5 for parking, but if they hold a blue badge can park in the bays provided on a first come first served basis. There is a concessensiory price for one disabled guest and one helper (who must be over 14 years old). Annual pass holders with a disability are entitled to a free helper pass. Disabled guests who are unable to queue may be eligible for a ride access pass for themselves and one helper.
We received free entrance tickets and fast pass tickets to certain rides in return for this review. All opinions are honest and my own.