Afterwards, I signed up for alerts for Thorpe Park’s Crash Pad and ended up getting notified when they had a discount on. I booked for myself and my very good friend Gemma, back in February, and have spent the last couple of months very excited about returning and seeing it a) with a mate and b) in the summer, although I didn’t expect the weather to be as good as it was.
We made our way from my brother’s to Clapham, where we caught the train to Staines and jumped on the very crowded shuttle bus. It took us right to the theme park, and we went in, walking over the bridge to enter the dome. Downstairs we found the lockers, and I did something very stupid.
I accidentally locked my suitcase in a locker….without a key. So, we spent some time at Guest Services, being helped by some very kind guys to get the suitcase out. Once that was done, we found some lockers with keys, dumped our bags, and headed out to the park.
(As a side-note, you should know, stuff like that happens to me…too much. I just…blank out sometimes and do stupid things like that.)
After our little delay, we made our way to the closest ‘coaster. It also happened to be one that was closed when I was there in October. Colossus. We walked for what felt like forever until we reached the end of the queue. We spent maybe just over forty-five minutes in the queue, listening to the announcement after we’d been queuing for a while that those at the back could now expect to wait ninety minutes. As it turned out, we got there just in time. And Colossus was brilliant! Ten loops, spread out over a brilliant track. Well worth the wait.
Thanks to the sun, and it being the last Saturday of half term, by the time we came off Colossus the park was parked. We knew there would be queues for over an hour each, and it was already gone midday. (We’d also checked with the Thorpe Park employee guarding the fast track queue for Colossus what time the park closed. Six, but at that point there was the possibility of it staying open until seven.)
So, with that in mind, we headed to buy some fast track tickets. As Gemma’s birthday is coming up, I paid for both. £20 for Full Throttle, which got us one off fast track for Swarm, Saw, Stealth, Colossus and Nemesis Inferno. We had to go at certain times, but it was well worth it.
Swarm and Saw remain my favourites, although Colossus was close to taking the top spot. I just love the build up to them. The picture above was taken just outside Swarm. As you walk up, there’s the sound of sirens, and coming from a phone booth is a voice begging for the emergency services to come. We basically skipped the queue every time we went on (Fast track for the win!) but caught glimpses of what, in a way, really made the ride for me last time.
TV monitors are set up in the queue, with fake news reels playing over and over, detailing the destruction in Thorpe Park and the story around it. Interviews, questions, warnings. It makes the queue itself interesting, and gives you something to focus on while you’re waiting to enter a ruined church. It gives the whole thing a back story, and I’d love to meet the person (or people) who came up with the whole thing.
Similarly, Saw gives an experience beyond just the ride. As you approach the warehouse, there is a police car with its siren playing. The area around is themed for the ride, and entering the warehouse you get a glimpse into some of Jigsaw’s toys. Now, I was a huge fan of the Saw film after I saw it, and actually enjoyed the next few, but haven’t seen the last couple (three? Four? I don’t even know how many there are anymore.) Either way, if you know anything about Saw there’s something to give you excitement as you approach the ride, including glimpses of the puppet every now and then.
Stealth is good, but I’d only recommend it if you get the fast track ticket. It’s too short to really make it worth the queue, although the music played is quite entertaining. Nemesis is interesting, but again, personally, I don’t think it’s worth queuing too long for.
The big surprise of the day had to be X. Neither of us really knew what to expect. It’s inside, in a sort of more modern warehouse than the beginning of Saw, and you walk along in the dark with very little light to guide you. It gives a great sense of expectation. The only thing we knew about it was that it involved ‘riding a wave of light and sound’, which made us throw out different suggestions. Personally, I thought it was going to be waltzers in strobe lighting (which I’d experienced in Blackpool years ago). Someone in the queue behind us thought it was a simulator. I’m not going to spoil it, but I will say it is a very fun ride, no matter your age. (And it is one little kids can enjoy, too!)
So, day one, we basically enjoyed the coasters and wandered around the park for a while. I ended up winning an Angry Bird in a claw machine, by pure fluke. We sampled some of the food – the fish from the fish and chips place was delicious – and soaked up the whole atmosphere, making the most of it by going on Colossus shortly before the park closed. As most people made their way home, we headed for our digs, The Crash Pad.
To be continued (with thoughts on The Crash Pad, the night entertainment and including pictures of me! Prepare yourself.)