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Thorpe Park


Activities
,
attractions, sightseeing, amusement ride, amusement park, roller coaster



Thorpe Park, styled THORPE PARK Resort, is a theme park with a temporary hotel in between the towns of Chertsey and Staines, Surrey, England, UK. It is operated and owned by Merlin Entertainments. After demolition of the Thorpe Park Estate in the 1930s, the site became a gravel pit.

Thorpe Park was built in the 1970s on the gravel pit which was partially flooded, creating a water-based theme for the park. This essentially allows guests to view the park as an island, which is where the "island like no other" slogan originates from. It was officially opened to the public by the late Lord Louis Mountbatten in 1979.

Major attractions include Tidal Wave, Colossus, Nemesis Inferno, Stealth, SAW - The Ride, The Swarm and Derren Brown's Ghost Train.

The park is mainly geared towards a young adult/teenage audience due to the vast majority of signature attractions being roller coasters and thrill rides. The tallest of these being Stealth, an Intamin Accelerator Coaster, which launches riders from 0-80 mph in 1.8 seconds sending them 205 ft into the air. As well as this, The Swarm, which is the only B&M wing coaster in the UK, has a total of 5 inversions and is 127 feet tall. The latest attraction is Derren Brown's Ghost Train.

 

History

The demolition of the Thorpe Park Estate in the 1930s saw the site transform into a gravel pit, originally owned by Ready Mixed Concrete Limited. In the late 1970s they decided to flood part of the site and create an educational theme park. The park opened as a small attraction, building slowly up to RMCs first large installation of "X:\No Way Out" in 1996. In 1998, The Tussauds Group bought the park (they also owned the nearby Chessington World of Adventures). From the outset the park started opening key attractions such as Tidal Wave in 2000, Colossus in 2002, Nemesis Inferno in 2003 and Stealth in 2006.

In 2007, Merlin Entertainments (a subsidiary of Blackstone Investment Group) bought the Tussauds Group; the attraction target market was moved towards a teenage audience with large investment in the form of rides such as Saw: The Ride and The Swarm. This was to prevent it competing with Legoland Windsor, and Chessington World of Adventures Resort, both within close proximity of Thorpe Park; Legoland was to cater for children and Chessington World of Adventures Resort was to have a variety of attractions.

Events

As of 2014, Thorpe Park Resort operates three yearly events. Ministry of Sound club nights in the Port Atlantis Dome occur one Saturday night a month from April to September. These club nights feature well known music DJs playing a variety of themed nights. Summer Nights is when the park reopens after a normal day on Friday and Saturday Nights in July and August from 7pm-10pm for some late-night rides consisting of The Swarm, SAW - The Ride, Stealth, Colossus, Nemesis Inferno, X and others.

Fright Nights, formerly "Fright Nites" is Thorpe Park's halloween event and also its largest. It's an annual event that has been running at Thorpe Park since 2002, celebrating Halloween with the park staying open until late at night, as well as operating a range of temporary halloween attractions. Roaming actors in costume or with make up can also be found around the park.

In 2013, Fright Nights was relaunched with a horror movie theme, courtesy of a three-year contract with Lionsgate. All of the pre-existing Fright Nights attractions were removed with the exception of The Asylum to make way for new horror-film themed attractions.

Rides and Attractions

Rollercoasters

Flat rides

Water rides

Other Attractions

Theme Park areas

Thorpe Park is split into themed areas: Amity Beach, The Jungle, Old Town, Lost City, Swarm Island and Angry Birds Land and Port And Basecamp .

Amity Beach, previously Amity Cove, is themed as a 1950s fishing village that has been left devastated by a tidal wave. The attractions in this area are: Tidal Wave, Stealth, Flying Fish, Storm in a Teacup, Depth Charge, Wet Wet Wet, Amity Beach and Storm Surge.

Old Town, previously Canada Creek and SAW Island, opened in 1989 and 2009 respectively. It is themed around the Canadian Rockies. The main attraction of the area, is Saw - The Ride a Gerstlauer Eurofighter with three inversions. It is the only coaster themed around a horror film. This area also has the UK's tallest water ride, called Loggers Leap, the world's only Sky Swat: Slammer, and the small train ride named the Rocky Express. Canada Creek is also home to the now defunct Canada Creek Railway, which closed in late 2011.

The Jungle, previously Calypso Quay, is an area in the park themed around a tropical caribbean jungle, with a volcano as its centrepiece. Four rides reside within this area: Nemesis Inferno, Mr Monkey's Banana Ride, Rumba Rapids and the I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here Maze.

Lost City opened in 2001 and is themed around an ancient Aztec land. Main attractions include: Colossus, Quantum, Rush, X, Samurai, Vortex, Zodiac.

The Swarm Island was the new area for 2012, the land was reclaimed from the water that surrounds the island. It paints a picture of an apocalyptic end to the world with the roller coaster The Swarm.

Angry Birds Land opened on 24 May 2014, and is themed around the Angry Birds video game franchise. The area was previously part of Calypso Quay (now the Jungle), and Amity Cove (now Amity Beach). Attractions include: Angry Birds 4D, Detonator: Bombs Away and King Pig's Wild Hog Dodgems.

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Amity Beach

Amity Beach has an American 1950s fishing village theme that has recently been hit by a tidal wave. With the attraction Tidal Wave as the key attraction. The Area, when opened in 2000 contained only a Tidal Wave, KFC and a games stand. It was extended in 2006 with the arrival of the Stealth rollercoaster located behind Tidal Wave, adding with the pre-existing Storm in a Tea Cup ride to Amity Cove's lineup. In 2007 the Flying Fish roller coaster was moved into Amity Cove, increasing the attraction list. In 2011 Storm Surge opened on the old Octopus Garden site. Storm in a Teacup is located near Stealth. Following the addition of Angry Birds Land in 2014, the area is now split in two, with guests having to go through Angry Birds Land in order to reach Amity Speedway, which has Stealth and Storm in a Teacup. Near the Flying fish there is Depth Charge, Wet Wet Wet, and the Amity Beach.

The Jungle

The Jungle is a Caribbean jungle themed area with four rides. The key attraction is Nemesis Inferno, a B&M inverted coaster themed around a volcano. Mr Monkey's Banana Ride is also in the area, near to the I'm a Celebrity Get Me out of Here Maze attraction. Rumba Rapids water rapids ride, and is the oldest attraction in the park. Part of the area was originally known as Ranger County, but after the removal of the Carousel in late 2014, the areas were merged due to having a similar theme.

Angry Birds Land

Angry Birds Land opened on 24 May 2014 and is based on the Angry Birds video game. The area was previously part of Calypso Quay and Amity Cove. Attractions include: Angry Birds 4D, King Pig's Wild Hog Dodgems, and Detonator: Bombs Away (previously known as Detonator).

Lost City

The Lost City theme is that of ruins of a recently unearthed Atlantean civilisation with the Colossus roller coaster as the main attraction opening in 2002. The area opened in 2001 with the Vortex and Zodiac rides as the only attractions. In 2003 Quantum, a magic carpet ride opened. Two more attractions have since joined the rides line up with Samurai opening after being moved from the also Merlin owned Chessington World of Adventures in 2004 and Rush an S&S Screamin' Swing opening in 2005. In 2013 the X roller coaster was renamed and moved to the area.

Old Town

Old Town opened in 1989 and is themed around the Canadian Rockies. It has five attractions, a Burger King and the Wild Wings Noodle Bar. The main ride in the area is Saw - The Ride a Gerstlauer Euro-Fighter with a 100-degree drop and 3 inversions. It is based on the Saw franchise and the coaster's station and indoor area is themed as a sawmill. The area also houses the Slammer, an S&S Sky Swat, and Rocky Express, a small Mack Seastorm ride. Lastly, the Loggers Leap log flume is currently closed until further notice while essential remedial work and decisions around the ride's future are made.

The Swarm Island

The Swarm Island only contains one attraction, The Swarm, an apocalyptic ride that interacts with the areas landscape.

Records the park holds

  • Loggers Leap is the tallest log flume in the UK, although it lost that record for several years to The American Adventure's Nightmare Niagara, then regained the record when that ride closed.
  • Nemesis Inferno has the longest pre lift section of any inverted B&M coaster in the world, and is the first inverted coaster to feature interlocking wingovers (corkscrews)
  • The Swarm, is the only winged coaster located in the United Kingdom. Also, between 2013 and 2016 it was the only backward winged coaster in the world (back 2 rows).
  • SAW – The Ride is the only rollercoaster themed around a horror movie, and is dubbed as the world's scariest ride. It also holds the record for the rollercoaster with the steepest free-fall drop in the world, at 100 degrees, and sixth steepest drop overall in the world after Steel Hawg at Indiana Beach in the USA, Mumbo Jumbo at Flamingo Land in the UK, Timber Drop at Fraispertuis City in France, Green Lantern Coaster (with an angle of 120.5°) at Warner Bros. Movie World in Australia and Takabisha (with an angle of 121°) at Fuji-Q Highland in Japan. The drops on the proceeding S&S Worldwide manufactured roller coasters and Takabisha are controlled by braking fins, whereas the drop on Saw is not, hence it holds the title of steepest free-fall drop. It's also Gerstlauer's 2nd steepest rollercoaster, preceding Takabisha, the current world record holder for the steepest drop.

Thorpe Shark Hotel

The Thorpe Shark hotel is themed around a metal shark, made from scrap metal, that appears to be rising out of the lake. The hotel is linked to the Dome. It is also the entry point into the park.

Developments

In 2010, the park outlined a 5-year development plan. The development plan highlighted a potential developmental area for a new roller coaster, with a target opening year of 2015, but has since been delayed to at least 2017.

In October 2014, the park submitted plans for an indoor attraction, codenamed 'Project Whitechapel', or 'WC16', due to open in March 2016. Featuring a pre-show area and a post-ride shop, the ride is being constructed on the site of the old arena as well as Chief Ranger's Carousel. On 26 October it was confirmed that illusionist Derren Brown has partnered with Thorpe Park to create a world's first immersive, psychological experience. recently Thorpe Park released a teaser website 'www.mindswanted.net' which shows project updates and new teasers for the new attraction. On the 18th of January 2016, it was officially announced the name for the attraction will be "Derren Brown's Ghost Train", and will open on May 6th 2016.

On 27 March 2015, Thorpe Park Resort opened the worlds first "I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here!" maze, set in the building which was home to Studio 13 during Fright Nights 2014. The attraction is home to three of the popular television programs Bushtucker Trails, including The Chambers Of Horror and Celebrity Cyclone. The attraction was announced on 11 February 2015 on social media websites, following a series of hints posted by Thorpe Park on their Twitter and Facebook pages. The maze has been fitted with the latest technology and special effects, including multisensory 'leg ticklers' and a vibrating bridge walk way.

 




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