Thorpe Park

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Thorpe Park
ThorpeParkLogo.gif
SloganAn Island Like No Other
Locationbetween Chertsey and Staines, Surrey, England, UK
Coordinates51°24′17″N 0°30′47″W / 51.40472°N 0.51306°W / 51.40472; -0.51306Coordinates: 51°24′17″N 0°30′47″W / 51.40472°N 0.51306°W / 51.40472; -0.51306
OwnerMerlin Entertainments
General ManagerMike Vallis
Opened24 May 1979
Operating seasonMarch - November
Rides
Total28
Roller coasters7
Water rides5
Websitewww.thorpepark.com
Statusoperating
 
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This article is about the theme park. For the Lincolnshire village, see Thorpe Park, Lincolnshire.
Thorpe Park
ThorpeParkLogo.gif
SloganAn Island Like No Other
Locationbetween Chertsey and Staines, Surrey, England, UK
Coordinates51°24′17″N 0°30′47″W / 51.40472°N 0.51306°W / 51.40472; -0.51306Coordinates: 51°24′17″N 0°30′47″W / 51.40472°N 0.51306°W / 51.40472; -0.51306
OwnerMerlin Entertainments
General ManagerMike Vallis
Opened24 May 1979
Operating seasonMarch - November
Rides
Total28
Roller coasters7
Water rides5
Websitewww.thorpepark.com
Statusoperating

THORPE PARK Resort, commonly referred to as Thorpe Park, is a theme park and temporary hotel complex 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 1979 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.

Major attractions include Colossus, Nemesis Inferno, Stealth, SAW - The Ride, and The Swarm

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.

History[edit]

Thorpe Park Lake in July 1979, the year the park opened to the public

The demolition of the Thorpe Park Estate in the 1930s site 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;[1] the attraction target market was moved towards a teenage audience with large investment in the form of rides such as SAW: The Ride and 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[edit]

As of 2014, Thorpe Park Resort operates three yearly events that occur each year. 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.[2]

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[edit]

Rollercoasters[edit]

NamePictureTypeOpenedAreaManufacturerAdditional Information
The SwarmThe swarm drop, thorpe park, england.jpgWingrider2012Swarm IslandBolliger & MabillardThe UK's first winged coaster. Features an inverted drop with the rear two rows of each train reversed, allowing riders to experience the coaster backwards. Height Limit 1.4m
SAW -
The Ride
Sawopen.jpgEurofighter2009SAW - Island/Canada CreekGerstlauerA custom Eurofighter themed around the SAW horror movie franchise. Height Limit 1.4m
StealthStealth Thorpe Park.jpgIntamin Launch2006Amity SpeedwayIntaminAn Intamin launch coaster themed around 1950s drag racing, stands at 205 ft tall and goes from 0 - 80 mph in 1.8 secs. Height Limit 1.4m
Nemesis
Inferno
Nemisis inferno.jpgInverted2003Calypso QuayBolliger & MabillardB&M inverted coaster themed around the eruption of a volcano, sequel ride to Nemesis at sister park Alton Towers. Height Limit 1.4m
ColossusColossus (Thorpe Park).jpgSteel Sit down2002Lost CityIntaminWorld's first ten looping rollercoaster (record now beaten by The Smiler), and was the parks first major attraction. Height Limit 1.4m
XX-nowayout.jpgSteel sit down1996Lost CityVekomaWorld's first, backwards in the dark rollercoaster, however now runs forward after being revamped for the 2013 season, the ride is themed around a night club. Height Limit 1m
Flying FishThorpe Park flying fish 1.jpgSteel powered coaster1990Amity CoveMack RidesPowered coaster themed around a surfing fish, originally opened in 1983 as space station zero, rethemed and refurbished for 1990 as flying fish. Height Limit 0.9m

Flat rides[edit]

NamePictureTypeOpenedAreaManufacturerAdditional Information
Detonator: Bombs AwayFasten Your Safety Belts^ - geograph.org.uk - 1165821.jpgDrop Tower2001Angry Birds LandFabbri Group35m tall drop tower. Re-themed to Detonator: Bombs Away for the opening of Angry Birds Land in May 2014. max speed 50 mph. Height limit 1.3m
Rush'Rush' at rest - geograph.org.uk - 1294739.jpgS&S Screamin' Swing2005Lost CityS&S WorldwideGiant swing with an incident in 2008. Height Limit 1.3m
SamuraiSamurai Thorpe Park.jpgTop Scan2004Lost CityMondailTop scan ride that use to be located at Chessington World of Adventures Resort. Height limit 1.4m
SlammerSlammer at Thorpe Park - geograph.org.uk - 467533.jpgSky Swat2005Canada CreekS&S WorldwideThe last S&S Skyswat in the world. Height limit 1.4m
Rocky ExpressThe Rock Express - geograph.org.uk - 1294763.jpgSea Storm Ride1989Canada CreekMack RidesFamily friendly mock train ride. Height limit 0.9m
QuantumThorpe Park Quantum ride.jpgMagic Carpet2003Lost CityFabbri GroupLarge magic Capet ride, more intense than it looks. Height Limit 1.2m
VortexVortex in action - geograph.org.uk - 1294900.jpgAfterburner2001Lost CityKMGKMG afterburner ride that opened in June 2001. Height limit 1.4m
ZodiacZodiac thorpe park.jpgEnterprise2000Lost CityHUSSHUSS enterprise that opened in July 2000 after the fire. Height Limit 0.9m

Water rides[edit]

NamePictureTypeOpenedAreaManufacturerAdditional Information
Loggers LeapOff to get wet - geograph.org.uk - 1293811.jpgLog flume1989Canada CreekMack RidesIt was the tallest log flume ride in the UK when it opened.
Rumba RapidsRiver rafting ride1987Calypso QuayIntaminIt opened in 1987 under the name of Thunder River, and is the oldest ride currently still in service at Thorpe Park.
Storm SurgeThorpe Park - Storm Surge.jpgRiver rafting ride2011Amity CoveWhiteWater WestThe ride contains a 19.5 metre lift hill, and gradually 'spins' to the bottom of the slide.
Tidal WaveTidal Wave Thorpe Park.jpgShoot-the-Chutes2000Amity CoveHopkins RidesWhen the ride was constructed in 2000 it was the tallest water ride in Europe.
Depth ChargeThorpe park skyline.jpgWater slide1991Neptune's KingdomNV Aquatic

Other Attractions[edit]

NamePictureTypeOpenedAreaManufacturerAdditional Information
King Pig's Wild Hog DodgemsDodgems2014Angry Birds LandBertazzonOfficially opened on 24 May 2014.
Angry Birds 4D4D Cinema2014Angry Birds LandSimWorkx4D Cinema showing the Angry Birds 4D movie.
Neptune's BeachThorpe Park fly motion.jpgBeach Area1979Neptune's KingdomReady Mixed ConcreteOriginally called 'Fantasy Reef".
The HideawayStage2014Ranger CountyMerlin Entertainments StudiosPerformances throughout the year.

Theme Park areas[edit]

Thorpe Park is split into various themed areas, which include: Amity Cove, Amity Speedway, Calypso Quay, Canada Creek, Neptune's Beach, Lost City, Ranger Country, Swarm Island and Angry Birds Land, which opened on 24 May 2014.

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

Canada Creek opened in 1989 themed around the Canadian Rockies. This area 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.

Calypso Quay is an area in the part themed around a calypso in a jungle, with a volcano as its centrepiece. Four rides reside within this area: Nemesis Inferno, Storm in a Teacup and Rumba Rapids.

Ranger Country opened in 1994 and is an area aimed mostly at younger visitors, the main attraction is Mr Monkey's Banana Ride, alongside the Chief Rangers Carousel.

Lost City opened in 2001 and is themed around an ancient Aztec land. Main attractions include: Colossus, Quantum, Rush, X, Samurai, Vortex, Zodiac. Neptune's Kingdom is mainly a small beach and water area for children, with two separate water slide attractions. Neptune's Beach opens on warmer days from May onwards, along with a separate attraction Wet Wet Wet. Beside this attraction is Depth Charge, a four lane water slide. The Swarm Island is a new area for 2012, it paints a picture of an apocalyptic end to the world with the roller coaster The Swarm.

Angry Birds Land is the newest area and opened on 24 May 2014, and is themed around the Angry Birds video game franchise. Attractions include: Angry Birds 4D, Detonator: Bombs Away and King Pig's Wild Hog Dodgems.

Amity Cove[edit]

Visitors at the destruction-themed Amity Cove

Amity Cove is themed to look like a 1950s fishing village that has been hit by a tidal wave. With the attraction Tidal Wave as the key ride. The Area, which opened in 2000 originally only contained Tidal Wave, KFC and a games stand, however it was extended in 2006 with the arrival of the Stealth rollercoaster behind Tidal Wave, adding itself and the pre-existing Storm in a Tea Cup ride to Amity Cove's lineup. Again in 2007 when the Flying Fish rollercoaster was moved into Amity Cove, its attraction list was increased. In 2011 Storm Surge opened on the old site of the Octopus Garden.

Amity Speedway[edit]

Amity Speedway is themed around an American 1950's race circuit. It was originally part of Amity Cove until Angry Birds Land opened in 2014, splitting the area in two. Its only attraction is Stealth a 205 ft tall Intamin Rocket coaster which opened in 2006.

Ranger County[edit]

Ranger County is a children's area that is themed to the now non existent Thorpe Park rangers. There is Mr Monkey's Banana Ride a small Huss Rides pirate boat and Chief Ranger's Carousel as the only attractions.

Neptune's Kingdom[edit]

Neptune's Kingdom is a children's water based area with three attractions, only one is open for the whole season. Depth Charge is main attraction in this area and is a four lain water slide. Neptune's Beach is a small water play area for families and is open from May until September. Wet Wet Wet is a selection of water slides that lead into Neptune's Beach.

Calypso Quay[edit]

Calypso Quay is a Caribbean themed area with three rides. The key attraction is Nemesis Inferno, a B&M inverted coaster themed around a volcano. Storm in a Teacup is also in the area, which is next to the Rumba Rapids water ride.

Lost City[edit]

Colossus

The Lost City is themed to the ruins of a recently unearthed Atlantean civilisation with the Colossus rollercoaster 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 rollercoaster was rethemed in the area.

Canada Creek[edit]

Canada Creek opened in 1989 and is themed around the Canadian Rockies. It has three attractions, a Burger King and the Wild Wings Noodle Bar. The main attraction in the area is Loggers Leap a Mack log flume with a double drop. The area also has the Rocky Express Sea Storm ride. Located just outside of the area is SAW - The Ride, a horror themed rollercoaster based on the SAW franchise.

The Swarm Island[edit]

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

Angry Birds Land[edit]

Angry Birds Land opened on 24 May 2014 and its based on the Angry Birds video game. Attractions include: Angry Birds 4D, King Pig's Wild Hog Dodgems, and Detonator: Bombs Away (previously known as Detonator). The area has three entrances: one from Calypso Quay, one from Amity Cove and one from Amity Speedway.

Records the park holds[edit]

Thorpe Shark Hotel[edit]

Port Atlantis Entrance

The Thorpe Shark Hotel (formerly The Crash Pad) is a temporary metal hotel. The hotel is themed around a metal shark, made from scrap metal, that will appear to be rising out of the lake. The hotel is linked to the Port Atlantis Dome. It is also the entry point into the park.[citation needed]

Developments[edit]

In 2010, the park outlined a 5 year development plan. The development plan highlighted a potential area for the next roller coaster which was originally set for 2015, but has since been pushed back.

In October 2014, the park submitted plans for an indoor ride set to be open by the summer of 2016. Featuring a pre show area and a post ride shop, the ride is expected to be a unique themed experience and will replace the old arena as well as Chief Ranger's Carousel.[4]

Incidents and controversies[edit]

Gallery[edit]

Main gallery: Thorpe Park Resort at WikiCommons

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ BBC News (March 2007). "Tussauds purchased in £1bn deal" (Online). BBC News. Retrieved 2013-12-25. 
  2. ^ "Haunted Attractions UK - Thorpe Park Fright Nights... an EVILution!". Retrieved 30 August 2007. 
  3. ^ "Thorpe Park's Horror Rides For Halloween". What's Good?. 2014-10-01. 
  4. ^ "2016 Attraction Plans Released". Thorpe Park Mania. 2014-10-30. 

External links[edit]