This year we are absolutely thrilled to be given the opportunity to be Thorpe Park Ambassadors. We have previously had Merlin Premium Passes and had decided to give other parks a chance this year. Problem with that is our 9-year-old had just reached the magic 1.4m to go on the biggest and best rides. Thorpe Park in my opinion is where those rides are – so that was the first child excited. Next we have been offered a Coastal Climb – tick for the teen! And a stay in the SHARK Hotel – tick for The Sensory Seeker. Plus as part of our Ambassadorship on the Island we get Thorpe Park Annual Passes – tick for the parents – because that will cover a whole year of entertainment!
What is so great about Thorpe Park?
So if you have never been I bet you are wondering what is great on the Island and why we would want to keep going back. I would like to think of us as a thrill-seeking family and Thorpe Park definitely ticks this box. I would say that most of the exciting rides are for those who meet the 1.4m criteria but there’s still enough for the smaller ones to do (although for us this generally means splitting up as a family). There are plenty of places to eat or you can bring a packed lunch. 2017 has seen some new places open up and we were all excited to try out the Donut Factory which had some very delicious donut and ice-cream combos. Plus I was really taken aback with the wonderful flowers just everywhere – they did such a wonderful job with them. You can purchases photographs of your memories of the day on the rides and have them in a variety of ways (we like to collect fridge magnets). A great way to do it (especially if you are planning on coming throughout the year) is to buy a Digipass – that way you get each copy to digitally download for one set price*.
Thorpe Park and the Disabled/Those with Additional Needs
The Island is made as accessible as possible to all whilst trying to remain fair. Disabled guests may have a helper/companion enter the park for free (proof is required at the Annual Pass Building and includes a blue/orange badge, disability benefits, etc). There is disabled parking at the SHARK hotel but parking charges still apply. Wheelchairs are available to hire for a £50 deposit (but there is only a limited number). Guests are provided with a Resort Access Guide (from guest services) and if eligible a Ride Access Pass. Proof of entitlement is only needed once per season where it is logged on the computer. This allows those who are unable to queue and up to 3 companions (with at least one over the age of 14 years old) to access the ride via the exit or Fast Track queue. Before they go onto certain rides the attendant will write a time on their card (which has 10 spaces) which correlates with the time of the length of the main queue. They can then not go on these rides again until that time is reached. The Guide has all information required about what to expect from each ride and any restrictions.
Rides If you are over 1.4m at Thorpe Park
Number one on my list of rides to go on would be Stealth. This ride goes from 0 to 80mph in 2 seconds – STRAIGHT UP! I am petrified of heights but this is such an adrenaline buzz. This is an honest blog so I will warn you that you may be in for a long queue or find that it has broken down. But honestly it is worth the wait and you should keep preserving. The staff do their best to get it back up and working as quickly as they can, plus there is the option of purchasing fast track tickets (currently the online day ticket price is just £5 less than with a fast track).
Colossus – this is possibly my favourite ride and was the Island’s first major attraction. With its 10 inversions it had the record for the World’s most until The Smiler at Alton Towers took the record in 2013. There is a vertical loop, a cobra roll, two corkscrews and five barrel rolls. There is also THE SWARM, Samurai, Saw – The Ride, Slammer, Nemesis Inferno, Derren Brown’s Ghost Train: Rise of the Demon, and Vortex. Of which I have not experienced but my husband and other sons have enjoyed (apart from the Ghost Train) and the 9-year-old is hoping to go on them all by his next visit.
Rides If you are over 1.3m at Thorpe Park
For those who aren’t quite at 1.4 there are a couple of other rides to help them feel a bit more grown up. Detonator: Bombs Away – which takes you up high and then just drops you. My son found it highly amusing that I said a word let’s say is not polite to say when I was dropped down! And there is also Rush – again not my cup of tea but the others enjoy it.
Things to do If you are over 1.2m at Thorpe Park
This is the category I know most about as it is where my youngest is and I tend to stay with him due to his sensory needs – oh and because I am more of a chicken! My favourite ride is X and can be linked to Disney’s Aerosmith Rock n Roller Coaster. You can actually ride it if you are over 1m with someone over 16 too. It is great for The Sensory Seeker because it has lots of flashing lights, a lovely breeze as well as the twists and turns. The major drawback of the ride is the access is quite dark and narrow through the exit. Tidal Wave – you literally sit in a boat and it drops down and you get soaked! It is an amazing feeling and we always leave it until last and bring spare clothes with us. Honestly you won’t get wet on this ride – you will be saturated from head to toe! Quantum – this is a flying carpet and a new discovery we have made as one of the great rides in the park. Zodiac, Depth Charge, Flying Fish, Storm Surge, Storm in a Teacup, Wet Wet Wet, Rocky Express, I’m a Celebrity Maze, Mr Monkey’s Banana Ride, Rumba Rapids, King Pig’s Wild Hot Dodgems, Amity Beach** and the ANGRY BIRDS 4D Experience are also suitable for my son of 1.2m (some of which you can go on if you are smaller).
We also saw that there is a new ride – Timber Tug Boats opening which is for those minimum of 0.9m but those under 1.1m must be accompanied by someone aged 16+.
I am sure to write about our experiences again as the year goes on but if you have any questions just pop them in the comments below as we have visited a fair few times. I look forward to telling you more about The SHARK HOTEL and Coaster climb!
* The person on the pass must be in the photograph.
** Amity Beach is opening 1st May 2017 – weather dependent.
We were invited to be THORPE PARK Ambassadors and received Annual Passes for our visits. All opinions are honest and my own. We already loved The Resort and were thrilled to be invited.