Of Musings and Wonderings

{June 8, 2013}   Thorpe Park & The Crash Pad – 1st & 2nd June 2013

8885_10152899623565195_1177859148_nIn my last post, I mentioned that Thorpe Park was supposed to close at six but they were considering keeping it open until seven. When we were queuing up for Stealth, there was a  staff announcement – standard closing. The staff cheered, threw their arms up, and I just kind of looked at Gemma. Couldn’t blame them. And their happiness about it kind of made me not disappointed it wouldn’t be staying open an extra hour.

Anyway! Crash Pad!

The girl at reception was very helpful, detailing exactly what we needed to know and adding in that it was a good idea to book in for food as they were quite busy. It was nice, and felt like a proper welcome. Actually, every staff member we interacted with over the two days was very helpful. It’s always nice to have good customer service.

The room itself was small, but it served any purpose we needed. Hell, there were even a couple of bottles of water in there for us, which was great as it meant we had something to drink on the way home. We hung around for a bit, sorted ourselves out and headed for the Dome for the evening.

IMAG0102As it turned out, there was going to be a band playing as well as a picture quiz. Enough to keep us entertained for the evening, which is always good. We ate – food in the bar was decent, reasonably priced and drinks weren’t too expensive – and sat out in the  main area with our drinks as the band began to play.

They were okay. Nothing outstanding – a ‘modern covers’ band that played a few current songs. The surprise was when they did No Doubt. Me and Gemma just kind of looked at each other, a little surprised. If by some miracle, the band ended up reading this, there is one thing I would like to say to them.

Guys, change your name.

The band are called Please, though the website’s events page indicates it’s spelt Please..? You know what comes up when you Google ‘Please the band’ or ‘Please..? the band’? An American indie band called ‘Please’. For any band, it’s kind of crucial to have somewhere people can find out more about you, and I have no idea if the band we saw have that. If you want to stand out, you need a stand out name. ‘Please’ is not a stand out name. (We spent a while discussing this between the two of us.)


Oh look, it’s me!


Anyway! We were rubbish at the picture quiz. I never do very well on those things. We milled around, had a few drinks and watched the band. The staff did try very hard to get everyone in a good mood, to keep people happy and entertained when the band weren’t on stage, but there’s only so much you can do with only a few people.

Luckily, the weather was still good so we often sat outside for a bit, looking out over the park. From outside the bar, there’s quite a nice view, even if it is a little spooky in the dark. We wandered around the Dome, went on a couple of the claw machines and finally headed back to our room to crash out. Beds were comfortable, and we slept all right, waking up early the next morning to grab some breakfast.

I have a weird love for continental breakfast. It’s only recently I’ve started having cereal in the morning, and that’s only because I end up starving in work if I don’t eat something. Anyway, for those that don’t know, continental breakfast typically consists of standard breakfast things; you can help yourself to cereal, bread (which you can toast), croissants, orange juice, butter, jam, etc. I toasted my bread, and it didn’t come out very toasted, so I used another toaster-type thing (not a toaster. More like a small contraption that you put bread in and it goes around and comes out the other side toaster) and it ended up burnt. Like, black. Sooo…not great. But that was all my fault. Ah well.

We headed outside while I had a cigarette, looking out over the park as they started up some of the rides, before heading back to the room, grabbing our stuff and checking out. We headed for the lockers and put our stuff away – with no mistakes this time. That’s success, kids! – and hung around for a while outside, waiting to be let in to go on Swarm.

We spent a while discussing the general...wrongness of this part of the map. Bets are that a man drew it.

We spent a while discussing the general…wrongness of this part of the map. Bets are that a man drew it.

One of the perks of staying in the Crash Pad is being allowed early into the park. The only ride open is Swarm, but it was enough to get people excited and running towards it. The pair of us had already decided to get on the most desired spot on the ‘coaster that morning. So we went through the ‘back row’ queue – which was obviously empty – and got on the ‘coaster. After we got off, the park had just opened, so we legged it around and went on, again, in the back row.

The last two rows on Swarm are backwards. And it’s amazing! It’s insane how much different it makes, and it is without a doubt worth doing both backwards and forwards if you can.

We headed over to Saw, deciding to get that done before the park got busy, and basically made another round of the ‘coasters, ending up deciding to get a couple more fast pass tickets after lunch.

With a few hours to kill, we headed over to a cluster of smaller rides. We’d done Slammer the day before, and I didn’t like it. So, we did Vortex, Rush and Zodiac. In the queue for Rush – which is basically like a huge swing – I got hit by either a flying coin or flying jewellery that someone had possibly kept in their pocket. All I know is it hit the top of my arm, hurt like hell, and I saw a 50p on the ground not far away (though I think whatever hit me bounced behind).

I’m begging you, whenever you get on a ride take everything out of your pockets. Thorpe Park has places to leave your bags on every ride, so no excuse okay? (Unless you have zip up pockets. They’d be handy.)

Anyway, totally worth checking out the smaller rides. Zodiac was quite nice, fairly chill and actually gives you a strange, ‘OMG I’m flying sensation.’

We grabbed some hotdogs, watched those on the Log Flume, and grabbed some fast passes for Colossus, Saw and Swarm. Totally worth doing again, and we ended up in the front row (of two) for Saw. Which is always fun as hell.

That done, we realised we almost ready to head home.

Almost. But not quite.

We did two more rides. The log flume, and then Gemma said something I’d been waiting to hear all weekend. “We might as well do Tidal Wave, now.”

We’d been avoiding Tidal Wave. Even walking past it can get you soaked, and I lost count of the amount of times we legged it past the spot where you can get splashed.

Tidal Wave was awesome. I made the stupid mistake of wearing my hoodie, which meant I couldn’t wear it the whole way home, but I really didn’t care. We got soaking!

That wave in the background? Yeah, we'd just been hit by that.

That wave in the background? Yeah, we’d just been hit by that.

We stopped in the shop on the way out, loaded up on sweets and I picked up a cool Swarm t-shirt, and headed for the train.

Overall, it was a brilliant weekend. We had a great time, and it’s well worth staying at The Crash Pad.

Now, I just need to find if anyone fancies coming to Thorpe Park or Alton Towers for Halloween…


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