Now that I finally have a couple of hours to my self, I'll do a trip report of my recent 2 day trip at Thorpe park......
21st: We arrived at the park at about 11 and the car park looked empty. After sorting out our tickets we where in. The first ride we headed for was quantum but it was closed. Instead, we headed for vortex. It was closed....
Thankfully Rush was open and on a 5 minute queue (only 1 swing operating) so we had about 6 rides in a row. It's a great ride, not that intense but just fun. It seemed like it was for running slightly longer than last year, I think we had up to 4 swings at full height. After this we headed to nemesis inferno because all of the other coasters hadn't opened. It was on a 25 minute queue but we where behind the airgates in the station after about 10. Just as we where about to get on, someone decided to empty their stomach all over the floor in front of the back row.
After the poor ops had finished cleaning we had a great ride. The mist in the tunnel (not in the queue) was working and it rode very well (strong G's, very smooth, generally a great ride). We headed to rumba rapids, then storm in a tea cup, then the dodgems in angry birds land (much much better than hyper drive). Stealth's queue board said 5 minutes but it looked nearer 30 so we gave it a miss. Unfortunately this queue grew through the the day so I didn't get on.
Over the other side of the park vortex and quantum where now open so we headed over. Vortex was a bit of a mixed bag. There was no queue so we had a fair few rides in a row but it was only good on two of them. To be honest I have to say that cycle for cycle, fireball beats it. Yes, when vortex gets a good cycle it is better, but when it's not, it's a bit dull whereas fireball has a more consistant ride quality. Qauntum was a great little flat with a good amount of airtime in the back rows. Its just a pity there aren't more of them in the UK.
We had another go on Rush then went to check out colossus. Closed for maintenence, come on merlin you've had the whole closed season... Oh, and samurai was closed as well.
Slammer was open so I had my first ever ride on it and it was downright unpleasant. I didn't feel sick or anything but it have me a pounding head ache. Horrible.
We then headed to saw. The queue board said half an hour but on closer inspection it was 5 minutes. I've always been a strong defender of saw and our first ride was fine, not perfectly smooth but still a great ride. The second was unbearable... Horiffic head banging and I actually think my head nearly came of my head at the bottom of the first drop. Seriously, they need to get someone from gerstlauer to come and look at it. It used to be my number 5 coaster before oblivion but now I'd take oblivion or even wipeout over it in a heartbeat. What's worse is that it has potential. It has 3 awsome ejector airtime moments and some great force.
One thing that was apparent is how bad the condition of some of the rides and areas of the park where in. The entrance signs had peeling paint, swarms audio and fire effects weren't on for both days, colossus is in dire need of a repaint, there where one train operations the whole time (nothing new) and the brake run back to the station on saw was covered in bird sh@/:t. It really shows how crap the uk theme park industry is compared to the rest of Europe. It's not like merlins's going to change any time soon either. They won't have any real competition unless a smaller park gets some serious investment. Oh well, maybe paramount (hopefully) opening will give them a kick up the arse.
Anyway... We went to rocky express, another great little ride, then to X. It's much better now than it was when it was no way out and it seemed to have a few more laser effects then last year. The swarm had just opened so we legged it over to try and beat the groups of school kids. After a 15 minute queue we where on. It's a brilliant, brilliant ride with great themeing, my second favourite overall coaster after stealth.
Everything after this was a bonus really. The park was becoming more and more quiet and the only ride that maintained a queue was stealth. We did I'm a celebrity for the first time and it was a bit, well, meh. It was well themed and everything but I was very consious that I was in a warehouse.
By this point there was about half an hour left. We did nemmy inferno once more, I did detenor for the first time and we finished the day with a front row ride on the last train of the day on swarm. I thought detonator was a bit lack lustre. I know it's very similar to JR but it felt force less in comparison. I don't know it might just be me trying to defend my home park but it just wasn't as as intense.
That was day one, I'll do day two as soon as I have time.
22nd: We arrived at the car park at roughly half 10. Firstly we went straight to colossus and it was running with water dummies. Apparently it was in its last day of maintenance. They've only had a year so I guess I can forgive them...
I was a bit irritated at the time because colossus is another ride I've always defended. I must have been on it over 30 times since going to Thorpe park for the first time in 2012 and I've never found it rough or painfull. I'd even go as far as saying I prefer it to the smiler. Instead we headed back and did rush, vortex and quantum.
Seeing as we didn't get on stealth the previous day we headed over. It was walk on so we had a load of rides. It is definitely the best ride at Thorpe park and it's currently my number 1 coaster (of...err, 48). The launch is brilliant, as is the drop and you get some nice floater over the the top hat and final hill. It's just a pity they didnt do anything more with the layout and themeing.
Afterwards I had another go on detonator (my freinds who don't like drop towers decided they wanted to have a go on one of merlin's over priced games). It was a little bit better second time round but my opinion hasn't really changed. It's a good thrilling ride but it just doesn't have the force that the likes of apocalypse and Jolly Roger have. We then did the dodgems again and then angry birds 4D. It was good fun but it relied too heavily on effects (particularly the air blaster).
After a few more rides on stealth and nemesis inferno we did Rumba Rapids. It was walk on like just about everything else but was a bit of a disappointment. It was still fun but for the majority of the time I barely got a drop on me whereas on other times I had a wave of water deposited on my lap.
I had another go on slammer and I still hated it. Same story, came off with a banging headache. Saw was advertised on a 30 minute queue but was walk on again. It didn't matter anyway because I can still feel the vibrations against the side of my head....
We had another go on nemesis inferno where I nearly died of pain because one of the ops decided to put her entire weight into closing my restraint. Not fun....
While heading back down to the flats near the entrance we saw samurai was testing. We hung around for a bit to see if it would open but no had luck. Rush and Vortex still had no queue so we had another go on them both. On vortex we encountered someone who had to be the arseiest ride op in existence. He complained about having to work on vortex instead of rush or something, about people joining the queue at certain points because he would have to load the ride more, about people sitting in different rows because he'd have to walk further and he wouldn't allow re-rides despite the absence of a queue. When I put my shoulders forward slightly to stop the restraint from coming down too far and killing the airtime he muttered something like "nice one mate" under his breath while giving me a dirty look.
After this is was over to the swarm. It was on a 10 minute queue and illustrated a perfect example of why they need to stop with their stupid 1 train opReactions. Still, we had another great ride on what is now my number 2 coaster.
By this time it was about half 2 and we wanted to be well off the M25 before all hell broke loose so we went round the coasters again finishing with stealth.
Despite all of the niggles we genuinely had a good time. I don't want to be negative on PWH, but if you put Thorpe park or Alton towers against it there is no real comparison. The same can really be said for a lot of other UK parks. Merlin have put in a lot of quality attractions, just look at the swarm as an example, but they do let their quality slip because they don't have a reason to keep it in the first place and untill places like flamingoland, BPB or even PWH start getting quality, highly themed attractions it will never change.