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Thorpe Park

By: Rex Inego | Jun 13, 2006 04:54 PM

So you're planning a day out to one of many UK attractions, but not quite sure where to go... Read on to find out why Thorpe Park is fast becoming Britain's most popular theme park.

We went to Thorpe Park recently after spending our Tesco club-card points on two free tickets. We arrived at the entrance and waited in line for tickets for about half an hour. There was no hassle in using the club-card vouchers, it was as easy as paying with cash, and we were given a complimentary map of the park.

While walking towards the park entrance, I noticed adverts for other rival theme parks (Chessington, Alton Towers) but it seems that all of these parks are owned by the same company (Tussauds). This is a good thing, as it means you'll find some of the rides you liked from Alton Towers have also been built at Thorpe Park, and the same goes for Chessington too. You will, for example, find Alton Tower's Nemesis, Chessington's Samaraui, and many other familiar rides at Thorpe Park. However, the park isn't just filled with the stuff you've seen before; Rest assured that there are plenty of exclusive rides that await you such as Stealth or Collosus.

The park isn't huge, and you'll find it hard to get lost in. You can usually see most of the big rides from wherever you are standing which tells you how small the park is. However, there's a lot of quality rides in the park and if you go at the right time of year, you will skip most of the queues, allowing you enough time to see everything.

We went in April and our longest queueing time was about 15 minutes on Stealth, a thrill ride taking you from 0 - 80mph in 2.3 seconds before launching you 205ft into the air. I highly recommend this attraction, and would suggest at busy periods that you queue for this one early, preferably before lunch.

While we are on the topic of food, the choices of restaurants available is pretty vast when you check the map, but on foot the only recognisable food venues was ''KFC'', ''Burger King'', and ''Calipso's BBQ & Bar''. However after studying the map, you can in fact dine at Pizza Hut as well as other smaller venues where you can get Fish and Chips.

We ate at Calypso's BBQ & Bar expecting to pay premium prices for mediocre food, but in fact the food was cheap at about ?4.50 per person and was fresh & tasty.

The park was free from litter and kept tidy most of the time.

Pros: - Clean park - Some great thrill rides, with smaller rides for younger kids. - Short waiting times at off-peak dates. - Tesco clubcard deals allow you to acquire tickets for free. - Rides from other theme parks can also be found here.

cons: - Stealth broke down before we were able to get on it, with a piece of the ride apparently falling off. While it was fixed reasonably quickly, it didn't fill me with confidence that part of the ride had detached itself. - In busy periods I would be disappointed queueing for so long for some of the rides.

conclusion: Of all the UK theme park's i've been to in recent years, Thorpe Park is by far the most impressive and has come a long way since I last went about 12 years ago.

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