||This article appears to be written like an advertisement. (October 2011)|
|Slogan||The Nation's Thrill Capital|
|Location||Chertsey, Surrey, United Kingdom|
|Owner||Nick Leslau, leased to Merlin Entertainments|
|Opened||24 May 1979|
|Area||500 acres (2.0 km2)|
Thorpe Park (officially stylised as THORPE PARK) 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. In 2007, Tussauds was bought out by Merlin Entertainments, who now operate the park on a lease from Nick Leslau.[clarification needed] In 2011 Thorpe Park had 1.9 million visitors making it the joined 2nd most popular theme park in the United Kingdom alongside Legoland Windsor, but trailing Alton Towers which had 2.6m guests. Thorpe Park is the 10th most visited theme park in Europe.
Originally a gravel pit owned by the Ready Mix Concrete Ltd; in the late 1970s they decided to flood part of the site and create an educational theme park. The park had slow start until The Tussauds Group bought the park in 1998 (they also owned the nearby Chessington World of Adventures). In 2007, Merlin Entertainments (a subsidiary of Blackstone Investment Group) bought the Tussauds Group; they in turn sold the park as well as Alton Towers to Nick Leslau of Prestbury. He, in turn, leases the park back to Merlin for them to manage.
The Park 
Thorpe Park is, somewhat informally, divided into:
Port Atlantis which is the park´s main entrance. The pavilion-style The Dome greets the visitor; the theming is meant to remind people of the legendary tale of Atlantis.
Amity Cove is themed as a New England fishing Village in the 1960s that has been left devastated by a storm. The main attractions in this area are: X:\ No Way Out, Stealth, Tidal Wave and Storm Surge.
Lost City opened in 2001 and contains most of the thrilling flat rides found in the park, despite being called Lost City this area does not have a very discernible theme. Main attractions include: Colossus, Quantum, Rush, Slammer, Samurai, Vortex and Zodiac.
Canada Creek opened in 1989 and has a slightly Canadian feel to it with a wild water river ride in a wooded area, called Loggers Leap.
Calypso Quay is yet another area of the park with limited theming, more or less having a theme of a jungle, but it has a good variety of different rides to offer: 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.
Neptune's Kingdom is mainly a small beach and water area for kids to enjoy, main attractions: Flying Fish, Depth Charge.
Saw Island was opened in 2009 to complement one ride: Saw – The Ride. It has since been joined by a horror Maze with live actors and scary effects Saw Alive(the attractions are inspired by the movie Saw).
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 taking center stage.
Some of the major attractions at Thorpe Park include:
- Nemesis Inferno, a Bolliger & Mabillard inverted roller coaster featuring interlocking corkscrews and a pre-lift section themed around a volcano. It is the sister of Alton Towers' Nemesis.
- Colossus, an Intamin multi-looping roller-coaster with a record breaking 10 inversions.
- Saw – The Ride, a Gerstlauer Euro-Fighter themed around the Saw franchise.
- Stealth, a launched roller coaster which accelerates to 80 miles per hour (130 km/h) in approximately 1.8 seconds.
- X, an enclosed rollercoaster that used to travels backwards through the dark and was themed as being trapped in a computer virus.
- Loggers Leap, the tallest log flume in the UK from 1989–1993 and from 2005–present.
- Tidal Wave, a 'Shoot the chutes' water ride.
- Storm Surge, Opened in 2011 as a Spinning Rapids Ride, themed around 'Hillbillies'.
- The Swarm, a Wing Coaster that opened on 15 March 2012. It is themed as an apocalyptic destruction. The Swarm underwent construction at the beginning of 2013 and now has the last two rows backwards and added a new near miss Billboard. New tagline was created 'Dare To Brave it Backwards?'
Ride guide 
Roller coasters 
|1||Colossus||2002||Lost City||Intamin||A former record-breaking roller coaster, with the record recently beaten by The Smiler. The roller coater includes 10 inversions, featuring a vertical loop, cobra roll, corkscrews and heartline rolls.|
|2||Flying Fish||1983||Neptune's Kingdom||Mack Rides||Originally the indoor, blacked out ride, Space Station Zero, before being moved outside to make space.|
|3||Nemesis Inferno||2003||Calypso Quay||Bolliger & Mabillard||Inverted Coaster based around the Theming of a Large Volcano waiting to erupt; features Interlocking Corkscrews, Zero-G Roll and the longest Pre-lift hill section in the world.|
|4||The Swarm||2012||The Swarm Island||Bolliger & Mabillard||Wing Coaster based around an apocalyptic theme with full scale replica elements including a crashed aeroplane; Features a head first 127 ft drop and the two back rows face backwards.|
|5||Saw – The Ride||2009||SAW Island||Gerstlauer||Eurofighter Coaster themed around the SAW horror movie franchise, features one of the steepest incline drops in the world, at a height of 100 ft.|
|6||Stealth||2006||Amity Cove||Intamin||Powered Launched Coaster taking riders from 0–80 miles per hour (0–130 km/h) in 1.8 secs reaching a height of 205 ft (62 m) with a bunny hill finishing the ride|
|7||X||1996||Amity Cove||Vekoma||An enclosed roller coaster.|
Thrill rides 
|8||Detonator||2001||Calypso Quay||Fabbri||a 115 ft (35m)tall drop tower, which reaches speeds of up to 50 mph and can hold up to 12 people; height limit 1,3m|
|9||Rush||2005||Lost City||S&S Worldwide||A Screamin Swing ride with 2 swings which can hold up to 32 people per ride, takes you up to 75 ft and goes at speeds of up to 50 mph; height limit 1,3m|
|10||Samurai||2004||Lost City||Mondial||Top Scan ride (formerly located at Chessington World of Adventures from 1999–2003); height limit 1,4m.|
|11||SAW Alive||2010||SAW Island||Thorpe Park||Live action horror maze themed to the SAW series of movies. -Currently closed and only opens during the park's fright nights. It has been boarded off from the pathway entrance next to Saw – The Ride; age limit 12 years.|
|12||Slammer||2005||Lost City||S&S Worldwide||A Sky Swat that goes 105 ft off the ground and completes a 360° rotation; height limit 1,4m.|
|13||Vortex||2001||Lost City||KMG||Mega swing, a Chance Revolution 32 flat ride; height limit 1,4m|
|14||Zodiac||2000||Lost City||Huss||An Enterprise style ride, with 20 gondolas which can each hold 2 people; height limit 1,2.|
|15||Quantum||2004||Lost City||Fabbri||Magic Carpet ride; height limit 1,2m.|
Water rides 
|16||Depth Charge||1991||Neptune's Kingdom||N.V. Aquatic||Dingy water slide racers, 35 meters long; height limit 90 cm.|
|17||Loggers' Leap||1989||Canada Creek||Mack Rides||Canadian themed log flume on a 521m long course that includes a tunnel, two drops - the higher is 15m tall; height limit 1,2m.|
|18||Neptune's Beach||Neptune's Kingdom||N.V. Aquatic||Paddling pool area and sand-pit area for young children, with a few small slides. It is separated into 2 sections, with the second section only opening if the "beach" is very crowded.|
|19||Rumba Rapids||1987||Calypso Quay||Intamin||A 460m long river rapids ride that opened as Thunder River until 2002 when it became Rumba Rabids; height limit 90 cm.|
|20||Storm Surge||2011||Amity Cove||Whitewater West||64-foot (20 m) spiralling 'team' raft water slide; height limit 1,1m.|
|21||Tidal Wave||2000||Amity Cove||Hopkins Rides||Spillwater/Super Splash set within the New Hampshire setting of Amity Cove that ends in a 85 ft (26m) drop; height limit 1,2m.|
|22||Wet Wet Wet||1998||Neptune's Kingdom||N.V. Aquatic||Set of bodyslides for young children.|
Family rides 
|23||Time Voyagers||2008||Calypso Quay||3DBA/Kraftwerk||4D film; height limit 1m|
|24||Mr. Monkey's Banana Ride||1994||Ranger County||Huss||swinging ship ride; height limit 90 cm|
|25||Chief Ranger's Carousel||1994||Ranger County||merry go round|
|26||Storm in a Teacup||1986||Amity Cove||Mack Rides||Spinning cups; height limit 90 cm|
Thorpe Park is situated on the site of a former quarry on the border between Chertsey and Egham in Surrey. Then owners Ready Mixed Concrete Limited flooded the site after the quarry's closure in the late 1970s, with the intention of opening an educational leisure park. When Ready Mix Concrete sold out to Cemex, a Cemex UK office opened on grounds owned by the park. On 24 May 1979, Thorpe Park was officially opened by Lord Mountbatten who lent his name to the Mountbatten Pavilion, a large domed structure located at the entrance to the park. At this early stage in the park's history, the complex consisted of educational exhibitions such as Model World, a collection of famous structures from around the world built in 1:36 scale, with the Mountbatten Pavilion housing a standing aircraft display.
- The grounds are owned by the Lord of the Manor for centuries before 1930.
1941 - 1971
- The land now home to Thorpe Park is used as RMC (now a part of CEMEX) as an excavation site.
- Thorpe Park opens to the public as an open air exhibition centre. The park was opened by Lord Mountbatten.
1980 - 1983
- Attractions included the Cinema, Magic Mill, Waterbus services, Model World, Railway, Teacups, Nature Trails, Phantom Phantasia, Thorpe Farm, and Sunken Gardens.
- Space Station Zero opened.
- Thunder River water ride opened, at a cost of over £2 million.
- The 630 seat Palladium Theatre opened.
- Canada Creek area opened.
- Space Station Zero was re-themed into the Flying Fish and moved outdoors.
- Carousel Kingdom opened.
- The Rangers Show opened.
- Drive in the Country opened.
- Fantasy Reef area was refurbished.
- Depth Charge opened.
- Children's area was refurbished.
- Viking Rowers opened.
- Hudson River Rafters opened.
- Calgary Stampede opened.
- Virtual Reality Centre opened.
- Magic Mill closed.
- Ranger County area opened.
- Carousel opened.
- Mr. Monkey's Banana Ride opened.
- Mr Rabbit's Tropical Travels opened.
- Miss Hippo's Fungle Safari opened.
- Drive in the country closed.
- X:\ No Way Out, the world's first dark backwards roller coaster, opened.
- The Tussauds Group purchased the park.
- Palladium Theatre closed.
- Ranger Show closed.
- Dare Devil Drivers opened.
- Wet Wet Wet! opened.
- Pirates 4-D, a 4D cinema attraction starring Leslie Nielsen, opened.
- Carousel Kingdom closed.
- Viking Rowers closed.
- Tidal Wave, a Shoot the Chute made by Hopkins Rides, opened, becoming the tallest ride in the park at that time. The ride was promoted with a new version of the ThorpePark.com website that featured a skeuomorphic "water-damaged" interface. This was the first attraction website developed by web agency Semantic Limited, who later collaborated on brands for The Tussauds Group and Merlin Entertainments that included (in chronological order) Warwick Castle, Chessington World of Adventures, Tussauds Annual Pass, Merlin Annual Pass, LEGOLAND Discovery Centres, The Dungeons, Blackpool Tower and Weymouth Sea Life Tower.
- Dare Devil Drivers closed.
- "Dino Boats" closed.
- On 21 July a major fire broke out in the centre of the park.
- The fire destroyed The Wicked Witches Haunt (previously known as Fantom Fantasia) and the inside area of Mr Rabbit's Tropical Travels. The Wicked Witches Haunt was closed immediately. Mr Rabbit's Tropical Travels was reopened until the end of the 2001 season; it was then demolished to make way for the 2003 rollercoaster, Nemesis Inferno.
- A Huss Enterprise was drafted in as a replacement.
- The Lost City area was established, with the Enterprise (now rethemed and renamed Zodiac) and Vortex (a KMG Afterburner) as its first rides.
- Thunder River closed, ready to be revamped into Ribena Rumba Rapids for the 2002 season.
- Detonator, Mega Drop made by Fabbri, opened in Calypso Quay.
- Colossus, an Intamin roller coaster with a record-breaking 10 inversions, opened. The 2002 website featured a Shockwave 3D "virtual ride" of Colossus.
- Safari High Dive show opened for one season.
- Thunder River re-opened as Ribena Rumba Rapids.
- Debut of the park's annual Halloween event, Fright Nights.
- Nemesis Inferno, a Bolliger & Mabillard inverted roller coaster themed around a tropical volcano, opened.
- Also Quantum, a Fabbri magic carpet ride, opened.
- Eclipse, a Fabbri Ferris wheel, opened.
- A Spider- man show was performed in the arena. This continued into 2004 and was replaced in 2005 by Stuntzmania.
- Calgary Stampede closed to make way for Samurai from Chessington World of Adventures.
- Eclipse closed mid season due to a lack of riders, having lasted just over one season. It was moved to Chessington and was renamed 'Peeking Heights'.
- Samurai, a Mondial Top Scan moved from Chessington, opened.
- New Spiderman show opened.
- Tea Cup Twisters rethemed to 'Storm in a Tea Cup' to fit with nearby Amity Cove's theming.
- Flying Fish closed at the end of the season to make way for Stealth in 2006.
- Slammer, an S&S Sky Swat, opened on 26 March, after being delayed due to technical issues.
- Rush, an S&S Screamin' Swing and the world's biggest air-powered speed swing (until the opening of Skyhawk at Cedar Point in the US), opened during the afternoon of 27 May.
- Stealth, an Intamin Accelerator Coaster which launches riders from 0–80 miles per hour (0–130 km/h) in 2.3 seconds, opened with the park on 15 March. A 'Ride It First' competition was held with the lucky winners experiencing Stealth before it opened to the rest of the guests.
- Zodiac was replaced by another Enterprise, sourced from Drayton Manor.
- StreetXtreme replaced Stuntzmania in the Arena.
- Flying Fish returned, located between Tidal Wave and Wet Wet Wet.
- Thorpe Farm closed, mainly due to a lack of visitors.
- Canada Creek Railway reopened as a small circuit around Canada Creek, and it no longer travelled to Thorpe Farm. The railway takes a bear hunt where riders spot models of bears around the journey.
- Ribena's sponsorship contract ended and so 'Ribena Rumba Rapids' changed its name to 'Rumba Rapids'. The ride remained unchanged.
- Stealth was 'upgraded'. The ride now accelerates from 0–80 miles per hour (0–130 km/h) in 1.8 seconds; previously it had been 2.3 seconds.
- No show was hosted in the Arena, although the Se7en scare maze was still hosted there in Fright Nights.
- The park started opening for February half term; in previous years the park had not opened for the season until March. During February reduced entrance fees applied, as limited rides were available. Many rides were still closed for winter maintenance.
- X:\ No Way Out was slightly refurbished, with a new storyline added about how 'X Laboratories Facility' lost control of their super-computer, thus sending
riders into the strange and disorientating ride. Also, robot dummies and new lighting were added to the queue line and ride.
- New 4D Cinema film "Time Voyagers" opened to replace "Pirates 4D".
- It was announced that Canada Creek Railway would not run for the whole season due to construction of SAW: The Ride.
- The arena was once again used for shows this season after having not been used the previous season.
- Saw – The Ride, a custom Gerstlauer Euro-fighter rollercoaster opened.
- Canada Creek Railway re-opened with an altered route.
- Miss Hippo's Fungle Safari closed.
- Fastrack for Rumba Rapids.
- Thorpe Blast was due to return but was cancelled in August.
- Saw: Alive is opened. This is the park's second Saw-themed attraction, and its first permanent horror maze
- Two new outlets - Desperados Mexican cantina and The Coffee Shack.
- Thorpe Park adopts a new brand image, aimed towards the teenage and young adult market, introducing the 'Fat Heads' mascots. The entrance is repainted and most signage around the park replaced.
- Octopus Gardens closes in September and is demolished to make way for the relocation of Storm Surge from Cypress Gardens in 2011.
- Construction of Storm Surge begins in late September.
- Thorpe Park released an iPhone App. The app displayed information about shopping, food and drink, queue times, and the park map as well as various other fun & games.
- Storm Surge opened on 17 March 2011, after being relocated from the former Cypress Gardens in Florida. (Now Legoland Florida )
- Two new food outlets were opened: Bar 360, replacing 'The Glass House' in the Dome, and Amity Kebabs replacing Amity Bugle in Amity Cove.
- The official iPhone app was updated to display real-time queue times in the park.
- On 5 April 2011, a fire broke out at the park and caused minor internal damage at the Saw Alive Maze. On 2 May 2011, work started on restoring the attraction.
- Thorpe Park Blast returns but is renamed as 'Blow It Up'.
- British wrestling organisation the Frontier Wrestling Alliance (FWA) presented matches over the four day Easter weekend in the Dome in front of thousands of the park's visitors.
- To celebrate the 10th anniversary of Fright Nights, the park introduced Experiment 10.
- Time Voyagers 4D closed on 6 November 2011, after just 4 seasons.
- The Swarm a Bolliger & Mabillard Wing Coaster, opened 15 March 2012
- Noodle Bar re themed Wild Wong's Noodle Bar
- Canada Creek Railway closed after 22 years.
- Amity Fish & Chips re-themed to Battered Fish And Chips
- Lost City Donut's re-themed to 'Ben & Jerry's Scoop Shack'
- Thorpe Park introduced smoking areas around the park alike sister parks Alton Towers and Chessington World Of Adventures
- SAW Alive's operational days cut down to popularity decline, only open during Fright Nights.
- Single rider queues are removed: the former single rider queue for Flying Fish is now a queue for 'First Place'. That of Stealth's is now an accessible queue for guests with disabilities.
- To celebrate Colossus's 10th birthday, Thorpe Park opened early.
- Fright Nights 2012 introduced "The Passing", a new 2nd gate horror maze.
- A temporary hotel, "The Crash Pad" opens.
- The two back rows on THE SWARM's trains are turned backwards, and more theming is added to the ride, such as a large billboard which is also a 'near miss' feature.
- X:/ No Way Out is renamed to 'X' and given a large 'upgrade'
Fastrack is the current name for a priority queuing system in place at Thorpe Park as well as other Merlin parks. The system is based on the idea of assigning a limited number of guests a time to ride a particular attraction and allowing them reduced queuing time. The system has worked in a number of ways at the park and under a number of different names. Fastrack is normally popular on busy days and can easily sell out.
The Fastrack queue is a shorter queueline that joins on to the main line - minimising queue time. The visitors have to pay to use the shorter line, and are given tickets to be used at a certain time, letting them enter the Fastrack line.
The first such system to be introduced, which was trialled for three seasons, emerged in the 1990s and attracted attention from BBC programme Tomorrow's World. This system gave guests a pager-like device which beeped when it was their slot on a particular ride.
The Virtual Q system emerged in 2000 and worked by using a number of machines by the entrance to a ride where guests would scan their park tickets and received a printed out a ticket with a time to ride the particular ride. The system was renamed "Fastrack" in 2003.
The current system is based on the "4Play" ticket which was introduced in 2004 as an adjunct to the ticket machine issued Fastrack tickets. The ticket allowed guests to pay £4 and get a non time limited ticket for one Fastrack ride on Colossus, Nemesis Inferno, Tidal Wave and Logger's Leap. The range of rides that Fastrack is offered on has since been extended. From 2006, tickets could be purchased in themed packages or individually. Fastrack tickets are also available for Thorpe Park's Fright Night maze attractions. Thorpe Park have released their prices for the 2012 season. The current packages available in the 2012 season are:
|Price (£)||Ticket name (Each ticket holds one ride per person)|
THE SWARM - £5.00
Stealth Pole Position or SAW - The Ride £4.50
Stealth - £4.00
Colossus, Nemesis Inferno, Samurai, Rush, Tidal Wave, Loggers Leap, X, Storm Surge £3.00
Flying Fish, Rumba Rapids, Slammer & Vortex £2
|£7.50||Hydration - One ride on each of the following: Rumba Rapids, Loggers Leap, Tidal Wave & Storm Surge|
|£10.50||Extreme - One ride on each of the following: Colossus, Nemesis Inferno X & Loggers Leap OR Tidal Wave|
|£10.50||Accelerator - One ride on each of the following: Stealth, Samurai, Vortex & Rush|
|£19.50||Full Throttle - One ride on each of the following: THE SWARM, Saw - The Ride, Stealth, Colossus & Nemesis Inferno|
|£70||Ultimate Fastrack - Unlimited Fastrack rides all day long and one entry pass to Detonator|
The prices are currently per rider and may only be once. Fastrack tickets are also available for the Fright Night attractions for a bundle price.
- Colossus was the world's first roller coaster to feature ten inversions (the highest number of inversions in the world). It has been equalled by an identical coaster in China. It has been surpassed by The Smiler at Alton towers in 2013 which fetures 14 inversions.
- Stealth was previously the fastest rollercoaster in Europe until Furius Baco took the record in 2007. Stealth still holds the record for the fastest acceleration of any roller coaster in Europe (0–80 miles per hour (0–130 km/h) in 1.8 seconds as opposed to Furious Baco's 0–83.9 miles per hour (0–135.0 km/h) in 3.5 seconds) and is still the fastest in the UK.
- X:\ No Way Out opened as the world's only roller coaster to travel backwards through darkness for the entire length of the circuit, however has since been re-themed and runs forward (new for 2013)
- 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 was removed.
- Tidal Wave was the tallest water ride in Europe until 2002 and possibly the wettest water ride in the UK.
- Nemesis Inferno has the longest pre lift section of any inverted B&M coaster in the world, and was the first inverted coaster to feature interlocking wingovers (corkscrews)
- Saw – The Ride is the only rollercoaster themed around a horror movie, and is therefore 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.
- The Swarm, is the tallest and fastest winged roller coaster in Europe and the first winged roller coaster in the UK.
The music played at Thorpe Park is a combination of commercial tracks, library music, and commissioned music. Composers such as Crispin Merrell and Ian Habgood have composed music for various attractions including Nemesis Inferno and Colossus respectively. In 2010, the usual entrance theme by Ian Habgood was replaced with chart music.
The Swarm has its own theme song made by local band You Me at Six.
Saw and Thorpe Park 
Lions Gate and Twisted Pictures started their partnership with Thorpe Park in March 2009, when SAW - The Ride opened. After this, during Fright Nights 2009, a film called SAW - MOVIE BITES was shown in the Time Voyagers cinema and SAW music was played around the park. A year-round horror maze based on the franchise, named Saw: Alive, was opened in March 2010. It features recreations of scenes from the movies, using live actors and sensory effects to scare visitors. Located on the plaza in between SAW - The Ride and SAW Alive is a SAW store.
2012 and beyond 
On 31 January 2011, Thorpe Park submitted a planning application for its 2012 Wing Coaster, to be manufactured by Bolliger & Mabillard (B&M) of Switzerland named "The Swarm". With a height of 38.6 metres (127 ft), The Swarm will be the second B&M Wing Coaster to ever be built. It is to be themed around a crash site, focused around an alien invasion of earth with features such as a broken helicopter and parts of a destroyed aeroplane to be situated around the ride. Riders will also interact with this 'near-miss' scenery whilst riding "The Swarm". The teaser poster for the coaster was released online on 17 December 2010 along with the project codename, "LC12", and the tagline: "The end is coming". The poster depicts a giant mushroom cloud beside a silhouette of Stealth.
On 30 March, the plans for The Swarm were approved for construction with full planning consent. At the start of 28 April 2011 marketing of the ride started. Construction of the coaster is due to start in May 2011 for its Spring opening in 2012. On 3 August, it was reported that the first piece of track was delivered to Thorpe Park and was put on the construction site of The Swarm. But only on 11 August were the track pieces photographed for the first time.
On 18 November, the official website of "The Swarm" announced that the track had officially been completed, with over 1000 tonnes of steel and almost 800 metres of track installed, two weeks earlier than the scheduled deadline for track completion,The Swarm has been completed and is currently testing, this coaster will be the most themed in the park next to Saw – The Ride . It is due to open on 15 March 2012.
In November 2011, plans were re-submitted to build a hotel. If the slightly altered plans are approved the construction could start at the end of 2013 or early 2014 with it opening for the 2016 season. A planned extension to the hotel will then be added after the official opening of the hotel. Thorpe Park have applied for planning permission to introduce a temporary hotel for a three-year period from 2013, until the permanent Thorpe Park Hotel opens.
On 21 January 2013, it was announced via the official Thorpe Park Twitter feed that "The Swarm" would now feature reversed seating on the last two rows of trains, allowing guests to experience the ride backwards in the 2013 season.
Medium term development 
Thorpe Park has released plans for a hotel adjacent to its current car park with a boardwalk and 250 rooms as well as a boat service which would link the park to the hotel.
Planning documents outlining other future plans for the park over the period of 2010–2016 were released in early 2010. These plans include updating and extending many facilities; the addition of a few new flat rides within nine potential locations, and two new major roller coasters to be sited within three potential locations. One roller coaster opened in 2012 (see above) and the other will be completed in 2015.
Special events 
Fright Nights 
Fright Nights, previously named "Fright Nites", is an annual event that has been running at Thorpe Park since 2002. 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, including in the queueline for Saw - The Ride.
In 2011, the park announced the arrival of a new attraction for the 10th birthday of Fright Nights. "Happy Bloody Birthday Fright Nights returns for its 10th terrifying season. More scares, awesome new Fright Night attraction for 2011, some awesome rides in the dark". The new attraction is called 'Experiment 10'.
Current yearly attractions 
The four main Fright Nights attractions are located around the park. They are usually set up around September and dismantled during February.
- The Asylum is a 'live action horror maze' attraction that has been a part of Fright Nights since 2005, replacing The Freezer. It uses a maze of chicken wire fencing, smoke and strobe lighting to disorentate guests. The Asylum involves various actors, including a patient armed with a chainsaw to chase guests out of the exit.
- The Curse was introduced for the 2008 Fright Nights. This maze is based around an old ship wreck that was washed ashore to Amity Cove.
- EXPERIMENT 10 Unleashed for 2011, journey through a chilling and disturbing government test lab where the latest project, Experiment 10 takes you through isolation rooms, dark tunnels and an experience you'll never forget.
- Saw: Alive a former year round attraction which has formed part of the fright night line up since opened in 2010. In 2012 Thorpe announced that it would only reopen for Fright Night.
- THE PASSING New for 2012, prepare to be tried, tested and sentenced to death in The Passing, a uniquely interactive, intensely horrifying experience that will terrify even the bravest of thrill-seekers to their core.
Former yearly attractions 
- For 2002 only, the stretch of park from Canada Creek through Ranger County was converted into Scare-Zone. Two haunted-mazes, The Freezer and Freakshow 3-D were installed at either end of the area.
- The Freezer ran from 2002 until 2004. The attraction consisted of a maze which was entered through a large freezer-style door. The Freezer was altered slightly for the 2005 season and was renamed The Asylum.
- Freakshow 3-D ran from 2002 until 2004 Guests wore 3D glasses through the maze style attraction.
- Ultimate Horror Movie Bites was a film being shown in the Pirates 4D (now Time Voyagers) cinema featuring clips from The Ring, The Birds, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre and The Haunting.
- Saw - Movie Bites was shown in the Time Voyagers theatre. It featured short clips from the SAW films and was strictly for guests over the age of 18.
- Hellgate was introduced in 2005 and was located inside the X:\No Way Out pyramid, with the entrance at the rear of the building. The attraction was based on a run down stately home, ruled by the fictional evil spirits of Lady and Lord Denham. The attractions last operational year was 2010.
- DEAD END is a 'scare-zone' that was introduced in 2010. It is based around the park's past, and features pieces of 'dead' rides and theming, as well as actors. Due to poor feedback, the attraction lasted just one season.
- Se7en open in 2006 was the gruesome third maze, based on the Seven Deadly Sins - lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy, and pride. The attraction was situated in the Arena in the centre of the park where a temporary structure is erected inside a tent. In 2011 it was then moved to Neptunes Beach, which was the attractions last operational year.
Thorpe Blast 
Thorpe Blast took place after Fright Nights every year in early November. All attractions remained open until 8 pm and a fireworks display with popular music ended the night—hence the name, Thorpe Blast. The event stopped taking place after 2008.And returns for 2011 as announced on Thorpe Park's Website and is called "Blows it up".
Sun Scream 
Sun Scream is a Dr Pepper sponsored period during August which offers 'stunts, rides and festival vibes'. During this time various shows and events take place throughout the park - in 2010 this included karaoke and motorcross show. Cans of Dr Pepper are given out freely during this time and most of the park's theme music is replaced by chart music.
THORPE PARK Mash Up 
THORPE PARK Mash Up, formerly known as Cirque du Freak and Twisted Carnival is an annual event that takes place during Easter and began in 2010. Past acts have included Flawless, Skate Naked, Aerial Acrobatics and contortionism. The event replaced Head Rush, which now takes place during the Summer.
The event was renamed Twisted Carnival for the 2011 season, and included performances from:
- Stevie Starr, The Human Regurgitator
- Tobias Mead
- Soul Mavericks
- Babes with Blades
- Halo & Flamo
More performances take around the park, and feature 'twisted' circus acts.
The event is to return in April 2012, renamed 'THORPE PARK Mash Up'. Details of the event have not yet been confirmed.
Head Rush 
Head Rush is an extreme sporting event involving motocross stunts. Based in the Arena at Thorpe Park you can witness daredevils take to the ramps on motobikes in a freestyle motorcross bonanza. The park is in association with Xtreme Action.
Based from 29 to 2 June you can view in the Arena at 12.30 pm, 1 pm, 3.30 pm and 5 pm.
Thorpe Park Blows It Up 
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.
Under 18's Club Night 
RELOAD, introduced in 2011, was an event held so under people under 18 could experience a club night with a select few rides open. For 2012, Thorpe Park have rebranded their under 18 club and rides night as TRAX.
- In 2001, the BBC consumer affairs programme Watchdog featured Thorpe Park for falsely advertising Vortex as open when it was yet to be built. A short investigation was carried out until Thorpe Park opened the ride later that year.
- In August 2009, the theme park introduced a 'ban' that stopped riders being allowed to put their arms in the air on hot days in an attempt to stop body odour (BO). Comedic signs were put up on the main rollercoasters with the words "Say No to BO" and "Seriously, it's Called Deodorant." Many national and online newspapers reported the act. The 'ban' was in fact never enforced, and was most likely a publicity stunt to gain attention for the Summer.
- After opening Saw: The Ride and Saw: Alive, Thorpe Park came under criticism for making their newest attraction too unsuitable for the young audience that would be allowed to ride them. The horror maze was deemed too gory by some.
- After releasing the plans for the 2012 coaster, codenamed 'LC12', Controversy was raised by BALPA. BALPA stated the park were tasteless for incorporating a crashed plane into the rides theming with London Heathrow Airport and Gatwick Airport in close proximity.
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- In Rumba Rapids opening year of 1986 (then known as Thunder River), an 11 year old boy called Jonathan White was thrown from a boat and lost an ear. The news was broken by Children's BBC TV news programme, Newsround.
- On 21 July 2000, seven thousand people were evacuated from the park after Mr Rabbit's Tropical Travels boat ride caught on fire. The fire was allegedly started by a stray cigarette butt. A number of other attractions were also damaged, including Wicked Witches Haunt, which was totally destroyed as the majority of the ride was housed underground beneath the area of Mr Rabbit's Tropical Travels that caught alight.
- On 31 August 2000, a 11-year-old boy broke both his legs and was left with slurred speech after suffering a brain injury on X:\ No Way Out (left vertebral artery dissection) after falling out of the car.
- In September 2001, two teenagers were left dangling from a gondola on the Zodiac Enterprise ride. The two pupils from an East Sussex school, Gemma Clark and Scott Reeves, were on the ride when a support holding the gondola snapped, leaving it hanging by a single support. When the operator tried to halt the ride, the gondola repeatedly hit decking at the bottom before coming to a stop. Minor injuries were sustained. In 2004, Tussauds Theme Park, the owner of Thorpe Park, were fined £65,000.
- On 29 May 2008, a 4ft piece of metal fell off Rush and fell 100 feet to the ground. The ride was closed immediately for inspection and repairs for a week. The ride reopened shortly after.
- On 5 April 2011, the park's horror maze, SAW Alive, suffered damage after a fire broke out in the building. It was caused by an electrical failure by one of the timers used in the films. The park was closed at the time of the fire, and no guests were in the attraction.
See also 
- "Merlin sells Alton Towers, the better of the two parks, in a £622m deal". News of The World (London). Archived from the original on 30 September 2007. Retrieved 30 July 2007.
- "More about Thorpe Park - Three decades of thrills". Retrieved 28 August 2007.[dead link]
- "A History of Chertsey - Modern Times". Retrieved 28 August 2007.
- "The History of Thorpe Park". Retrieved 28 August 2007.
- "A restoration success story". Retrieved 28 August 2007.
- "Thorpe Park: Explore The Park: Stealth". Retrieved 1 September 2007.
- "Six Flags Debuts Queue Management". Archived from the original on 7 August 2007. Retrieved 29 August 2007.
- "Picture of Nemesis Inferno's entrance showing Fastrack ticket machines in operation". Retrieved 2 September 2007.
- "Total Thorpe Park: 2012 Coaster". Retrieved 13 February 2011.
- [dead link]
- "Thorpe Park". The Swarm. Retrieved 2013-04-01.
- "What's New at Thorpe Park: The Swarm - Brave it Backwards (Roller Coaster) (New for 2013), X (New for 2013), The Crash Pad (New for 2013), Thorpe Park Hotel (New for 2016) | Thorpe Park Guide". ThemeParks-UK. Retrieved 2013-04-01.
- "Twitter / THORPEPARK: The wait is over! THE SWARM". Twitter.com. Retrieved 2013-04-01.
- "Total Thorpe Park: Future". Retrieved 13 February 2011.
- "Haunted Attractions UK - Thorpe Park Fright Nights... an EVILution!". Retrieved 30 August 2007.
- "Thorpe Park:Fright Nights". Retrieved 15 September 2007.
- "Screenshot of TV advertisement falsely showing Vortex as open". Retrieved 30 August 2007.
- "Thorpe Park BO ban stunt". The Daily Telegraph (London). 18 August 2009. Retrieved 30 August 2009.
- Pyatt, Jamie. "Article in the Sun newspaper claiming Saw Alive as too unsuitable for under 18s.". The Sun (London). Retrieved 30 August 2007.
- "Pilots criticise Thorpe Park's 'tasteless' new ride". BBC News. 7 March 2011.