|Slogan||An Island Like No Other|
|Location||between Chertsey and Staines, Surrey, England, UK|
|General Manager||Mike Vallis|
|Opened||24 May 1979|
|Operating season||March - November|
|Visitors per annum||2.100 million (2014)|
|Status||Active, with some ride closures|
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 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.
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 0-80mph in 1.8 seconds sending them 205ft into the air. The newest is the swarm, which is the only B&M wing rider coaster in the UK, and has a total of 5 inversions and is 127ft tall.
- 1 History
- 2 Events
- 3 Rides and Attractions
- 4 Theme Park areas
- 5 Records the park holds
- 6 Thorpe Shark Hotel
- 7 Developments
- 8 Incidents and controversies
- 9 Gallery
- 10 See also
- 11 References
- 12 External links
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 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.
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
|The Swarm||Wingrider||2012||Swarm Island||Bolliger & Mabillard||The 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|
|Eurofighter||2009||SAW - Island/Canada Creek||Gerstlauer||A custom Eurofighter themed around the SAW horror movie franchise. Height Limit 1.4m. Temporarily closed until further notice, due to the Smiler accident at Alton Towers on june 2nd 2015.|
|Stealth||Intamin Launch||2006||Amity Cove||Intamin||An 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|
|Inverted||2003||Calypso Quay/ The Jungle||Bolliger & Mabillard||B&M inverted coaster themed around the eruption of a volcano, sequel ride to Nemesis at sister park Alton Towers. Height Limit 1.4m|
|Colossus||Steel Sit down||2002||Lost City||Intamin||World's first ten looping rollercoaster (record now beaten by The Smiler), and was the parks first major attraction. Height Limit 1.4m|
|X||Steel sit down||1996||Lost City||Vekoma||World'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 Fish||Steel powered coaster||1990||Amity Cove||Mack Rides||Powered 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|
|Detonator: Bombs Away||Drop Tower||2001||Angry Birds Land||Fabbri Group||35m 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||S&S Screamin' Swing||2005||Lost City||S&S Worldwide||Giant swing with an incident in 2008. Height Limit 1.3m|
|Samurai||Top Scan||2004||Lost City||Mondial||Top scan ride that use to be located at Chessington World of Adventures Resort. Height limit 1.4m|
|Slammer||Sky Swat||2005||Canada Creek||S&S Worldwide||The last S&S Skyswat in the world. Height limit 1.4m|
|Rocky Express||Sea Storm Ride||1989||Canada Creek||Mack Rides||Family friendly mock train ride. Height limit 0.9m|
|Quantum||Magic Carpet||2003||Lost City||Fabbri Group||Large magic Capet ride, more intense than it looks. Height Limit 1.2m|
|Vortex||Afterburner||2001||Lost City||KMG||KMG afterburner ride that opened in June 2001. Height limit 1.4m|
|Zodiac||Enterprise||2000||Lost City||HUSS||HUSS enterprise that opened in July 2000 after the fire. Height Limit 0.9m|
|Loggers Leap||Log flume||1989||Canada Creek||Mack Rides||Currently the tallest log flume in the UK.|
|Rumba Rapids||River rafting ride||1987||Calypso Quay/ The Jungle||Intamin||It opened in 1987 under the name of Thunder River, and is the oldest ride currently still in service at Thorpe Park.|
|Storm Surge||Spinning Rapids Ride||2011||Amity Cove||WhiteWater West||The ride contains a 19.5 metre lift hill, and gradually 'spins' to the bottom of the slide.|
|Tidal Wave||Shoot-the-Chutes||2000||Amity Cove||Hopkins Rides||When the ride was constructed in 2000 it was the tallest water ride in Europe.|
|Depth Charge||Water slide||1991||Amity Cove||NV Aquatic|
|King Pig's Wild Hog Dodgems||Dodgems||2014||Angry Birds Land||Bertazzon||Officially opened on 24 May 2014.|
|Angry Birds 4D||4D Cinema||2014||Angry Birds Land||SimWorkx||4D Cinema showing the Angry Birds 4D movie.|
|Amity Beach||Beach Area||1979||Amity Cove||Ready Mixed Concrete||Originally called 'Fantasy Reef".|
|I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here! Maze||Themed Maze||2015||Calypso Quay/The Jungle||ITV Studios & Merlin Entertainments Studios||Maze based on I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here. Partnership between Merlin Entertainments and ITV Studios.|
Theme Park areas
Thorpe Park is split into themed areas: Amity Cove, Calypso Quay/ The Jungle, Canada Creek, Lost City, Swarm Island and Angry Birds Land. 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. 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. Also home to SAW-the ride. Calypso Quay/The Jungle 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 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 is now loothemed to look like an American 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. Storm in a Teacup is located close to 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 Stealth and Storm in a Teacup. Near the Flying fish there is Depth Charge, Wet Wet Wet, and the Amity Beach.
Calypso Quay/The Jungle
Calypso Quay/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.
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 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
The Swarm Island only contains one attraction, The Swarm, an apocalyptic ride that interacts with the areas landscape.
Angry Birds Land
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).
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 was removed.
- 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)
- The Swarm, is the only backward winged coaster in the world (back 2 rows), it is also the only winged coaster that is in the United Kingdom.
- 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.
Thorpe Shark Hotel
The Thorpe Shark 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 Dome. It is also the entry point into the park.
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 attraction, titled "Project Whitechurch",due to be open by the summer of 2016. Featuring a pre-show area and a post-ride shop, the ride will replace the old arena as well as Chief Ranger's Carousel.
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.
Incidents and controversies
- Main gallery: Thorpe Park Resort at WikiCommons
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Thorpe Park.|
- Merlin Entertainments
- The Tussauds Group
- RMC Group
- "Thorpe Park", an episode of The Inbetweeners where the main characters visit Thorpe Park
- BBC News (March 2007). "Tussauds purchased in £1bn deal" (ONLINE). BBC News. Retrieved 2013-12-25.
- "Haunted Attractions UK - Thorpe Park Fright Nights... an EVILution!". Retrieved 30 August 2007.
- "Thorpe Park's Horror Rides For Halloween". What's Good?. 2014-10-01.
- "2016 Attraction Plans Released". Thorpe Park Mania. 2014-10-30.
- "Thorpe Park: I'm a Celeb". ThemeParks-UK. 2015-12-13.