When you think about half term, or a weekend away to treat the kids, many parents thoughts naturally turn towards theme parks such as Thorpe Park. But with ever-increasing prices, are these parks value for money or would you be better off spending your hard-earned cash elsewhere? A full price ticket for a one day pass costs £42 for an adult and £32.60 for a child (under 12 yrs old). You can get 15% off if you book two days in advance online or pay an extra £6 for a two-day ticket for an adult. There are various other ways of getting an online discount; you can save around £100 to £128 by buying group tickets for 7 – 9 people, and around £246 by buying a group ticket for 10 people. But you are still forking out a whopping couple of hundred quid in both instances for one days worth of entertainment. However, if you consider that Thorpe Park has some of the best rides in Europe, is this not an attractive price to pay? So what rides do they have?
Well, there is The Swarm – in which you can experience a death-defying flight through apocalyptic devastation on Europe’s tallest winged roller coaster. Take on this unique ride head first, then get inverted and drop from 127ft as you are flung into this merciless flight for your life. Or you could try out Saw – now more terrifying than ever. You won’t know what lurks around the corner as you enter Jigsaw’s blood-curdling twisted world! You’ll be strapped in, fired through a gauntlet of twisted metal then dragged up 100ft and dropped through rotating blades. Survive and you will appreciate life or sit there and rot. Make your choice! If you are one of lifes thrill seekers who live life in the fast lane you must have a go on Stealth. This is the best ride of all if you love exhilarating roller coasters and extremely fast rides. Whilst Colossus sees you scream through an awesome ten vertical loops as you hurtle, white knuckled, towards your destiny – the UK’s only quadruple corkscrew! Colossus is one of Thorpe Parks’ most extreme rides. The most famous ride however is probably Nemesis Inferno. Here they’ve flipped the roller coaster on its head with this mad inverted Hell ride into the fiery pit of a volcano! If you dare to ride Nemesis Inferno you won’t know which way is up as you loop, spin, side-wind, dive and corkscrew through the crater to confront your greatest foe… fear. If you remember your local park and the see-saw, perhaps you’d like to try Rush – where you’ll be dangling somewhere between terror and relief as this playground nightmare swings into action! Hold on tight as you soar back and forth to 75 feet at over 50mph, with forces topping a staggering 4G’s.
When you look at all the rides and attractions Thorpe Park has to offer, it seems to be a no brainer about the cost, but I have first hand information that may surprise and certainly disappoint you. My sister went on the second day that Thorpe Park opened for this season and was shocked to see the state of the place. With litter everywhere she looked, evidently from last seasons’ customers, which included chewing gum stuck to benches and the pavement, old faded posters stuck to trees and notice boards,and overflowing bins, she was not impressed. Added to the fact that the queuing times for many of the major rides were over 90 minutes long, you had to pay up to £3 each for the smaller rides, and that a couple of the bigger rides were closed, (Rush being one of them) she definitely felt the cost of the ticket was over priced. And when she and her family were queuing for the biggest ride of all, Nemesis Inferno, they closed this ride for an hour because of ‘wet on the rails’. I mean, we are in the UK! If you have ever been to Disney World or any of the major theme parks in America, you’ll know immediately the difference between a well run, customer driven attraction, and one where standards have clearly fallen short. In the US, where customers queue up for the rides, there are shelters to protect them from the sun or the rain. Not here in the UK! And as for litter from the previous season! Unheard of! If you happen to visit Thorpe Park in the next few weeks, perhaps you could give our readers here at Shoppersbase an update, to see if things have improved, but for the moment, we shall not be recommending it to our client base.