Thorpe Park Resort

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Thorpe Park Resort
ThorpeParkLogo.gif
Thorpe Park entrance - geograph.org.uk - 883543.jpg
Old park entrance
SloganThe Nation's Thrill Capital
LocationChertsey, 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
Opened24 May 1979
Previous namesThorpe Park
Operating seasonMarch - November
Rides
Total28
Roller coasters7
Water rides5
Websitewww.thorpepark.com
 
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Thorpe Park Resort
ThorpeParkLogo.gif
Thorpe Park entrance - geograph.org.uk - 883543.jpg
Old park entrance
SloganThe Nation's Thrill Capital
LocationChertsey, 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
Opened24 May 1979
Previous namesThorpe Park
Operating seasonMarch - November
Rides
Total28
Roller coasters7
Water rides5
Websitewww.thorpepark.com

Thorpe Park Resort is a theme park in Chertsey, Surrey, England, UK. 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. The park's first large roller coaster, Colossus, was added in 2002. Merlin Entertainments own and operate the park.

History[edit]

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

Originally a gravel pit 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 be a family attraction.

Opening times

As of 2013, the theme park is open from March until early November. The park and its attractions open at 10am every day on which it is open. The park closed at 5pm on weekdays, 6pm on weekends and 7pm on peak days. During the halloween event Fright Nights, the park is open until 10pm.

Timeline[edit]

1930s-90s[edit]

2000-2006[edit]

Water rides

2007-present[edit]

Events[edit]

Fright Nights[edit]

Fright Nights, previously named "Fright Nites", is an annual event that has been running at Thorpe Park since 2002.[2] For a period of time during October, the park opens until 10 pm on peak days to allow guests to ride in the dark. To continue the Halloween celebration, special temporary attractions such as scare mazes are constructed for the event. Actors in costume and make up are also found around the park.

These included The Asylum, recently criticised by mental health campaigners including the charity Rethink Mental Illness[3] and Thorpe Park's local NHS mental health hospital[4] for its portrayal of persons with mental illness. Thorpe Park have officially stated that "We have taken this debate extremely seriously, and will take all of the points raised into account when planning any future events for 2014."[5]

Current yearly attractions

The five main Fright Nights attractions are located around the park. They are usually set up around September and dismantled during February. The lineup of mazes for 2013 was:

Former yearly attractions

Thorpe Park Blows It Up[edit]

An extreme firework show reintroduced in 2011 with the previous title 'Thorpe Blast'. The event in 2011 started with a secret celebrity effigy burning which later was revealed as Jedward chosen by the public via Facebook. The second part of the event was the main fireworks display which lasted around 10–15 minutes, in conclusion to the fireworks; sirens sounded with the voice 'stay where you are, we are under attack' echoing around the park, after a short period another voice cuts in with the speed 'attack imminent in 5,4,3,2,1 with the 1 triggering an explosion linked to a fire engine hoisted above the lake. The explosion was a marketing scheme for the 2012 coaster The Swarm. The event also played host the return of the 'Thorpe Park Radio' with up to date tunes playing park-wide.

Over 18's Club Night[edit]

The Ministry of Sound brand was introduced in 2012 and operates the Thorpe Park 'club nights'. These feature well known music DJs playing a variety of themed nights.

Summer Nights[edit]

An event introduced in 2013 that will possibly return in 2014. The park reopened after a normal day on Friday and Saturday Nights in July and August from 7pm-10pm for some late-night rides consisting of Tidal Wave, Storm Surge, Nemesis Inferno, Saw the ride, X, The Swarm, Colossus, Flying Fish and others. The event was a moderate success with more dates added during the run.

Rides and Attractions[edit]

Rollercoasters[edit]

Ride NamePictureTypeOpenedAreaManufacturerAdditional Information
The SwarmThe swarm drop, thorpe park, england.jpgWingrider2012Swarm IslandBolliger & MabillardThe Swarm is themed around apocalyptic devastation. It is built on its own island. Height Limit 1.4m
SAW - The RideSawopen.jpgEurofighter2009SAW - Island/Canada CreekGerstlauerCustom Eurofighter themed around the SAW horror movie franchise. Height Limit 1.4m
StealthStealth Thorpe Park.jpgIntamin Launch2006Amity CoveIntaminIntamin launch coaster themed around 1950s drag racing, stands at 205 ft and goes 0 - 80 mph in 1.8 secs. Height Limit 1.4m
Nemesis InfernoNemisis 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 CityIntaminWorlds 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 CityVekomaWorlds 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 RidesPowerd 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
DetonatorFasten Your Safety Belts^ - geograph.org.uk - 1165821.jpgDrop Tower2001Calypso QuayFabbri Group35m tall drop tower, max speed 50mph. 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. currently suffering major maintenance issues. Height limit 1.4m
Rockey 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 CityFabbri GroupFabbri 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 fly motion.jpgWater slideNeptune's Kingdom

Theme Park areas[edit]

Port Atlantis Dome

Thorpe Park is split into various themed areas. With Port Atlantis as the park's main entrance, where the pavilion-style The Dome greets visitors; the theming is meant to remind people of the tale of Atlantis.

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: Stealth, Tidal Wave, Flying Fish and Storm Surge. Canada Creek opened in 1989 themed around the Canadian Rockies. This area has Europe's tallest water ride, called Loggers Leap, alongside a smaller 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. Three rides reside within this area: Nemesis Inferno, Rumba Rapids and Detonator.

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, Slammer, X, Samurai, Vortex and 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.

Amity Cove[edit]

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 Storm in a Tea Cup ride to Amity Cove's lineup. Again in 2007 when the Flying Fish rollercoaster was moved into Amity Cove, it's attraction list was increased. In 2011 Storm Surge opened on the old site of the Octopus Garden. A Burger King resturant can be found be Storm in a Tea Cup.

Ranger Country[edit]

Ranger Country is a children's area that is themed to the now non existent Thorpe Park rangers. There is Mr Monkey's Bannana Ride a small Huss Rides pirate boat and Chief Ranger's Carousel as the only attractions. There is also the Caypso BBQ & Bar resturant in the area.

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.

Caylpso Quay[edit]

Caylpso Quay is a Caribbean themed area with three rides. The key attraction is Nemesis Inferno, a B&M inverted coaster themed around a volcano. Next to Nemesis Inferno is Detonator, a 100ft tall drop tower. At the edge of the area is the Rumba Rapids water ride. Calypso Quay has a Pizza Hut restaurant, a fastrack booth and the Nemesis Inferno Shop.

Lost City[edit]

Colossus

The Lost City is themed to an ancient Aztec land 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. Lost City has the Colossus Shop, Colossus Snacks and Crust snacks facilities.

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 Rockey 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 is the newest area and only contains one attraction, The Swarm, an apocalyptic ride that interacts with the areas landscape.

Records the park holds[edit]

Incidents and controversies[edit]

Gallery[edit]

Main gallery: Thorpe Park Resort at WikiCommons

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]