After twenty four hours of solid rain, it was the most beautiful day...
and this was our first glimpse of Thorpe Park...
Now the first thing I will say about Thorpe Park is that the rides are seriously amazing. It is quite a compact park, but there is certainly plenty to do especially for the thrill seekers. So what can I tell you about our day at Thorpe Park?
The Water Rides Are Epic!
If you like water rides, this is the place for you. The water rides are epic and if you don't mind getting drenched more than a few times during the day, you will have a blast and you will probably end up looking like this ...
L who is seven, LOVED the water rides and I mean loved them. It was a momentous day for him as unlike his big brother, he is not really the bravest when it comes to rides and often prefers the rides for younger children, but we started off with the Storm Surge, which is like a cross between a helter skelter and the rapids and he was hooked. After three goes on that ride, he quickly spied the Tidal Wave which is like a higher, wider version of a log flume that absolutely drenches you and he declared that to be his absolute favourite ride of the day. Not only are there those two, but he also tried out the speedy blue slides of Depth Charge and was even brave enough to do two runs on Logger's Leap, which was a very steep log flume that made me scream a lot.
No mention of water rides is complete of course without the rapids and the Rumba Rapids were great and we managed to stay pretty dry.
Fortunately there are lots of driers around the park, but if you love the water like L, make sure you pack a towel.
There are some SERIOUS roller coasters!
And I mean SERIOUS! I have never seen such a collection of rollercoasters in one place in all my life. The first glimpse across the park kind of gives you a clue, there are five big rollercoasters and six other rides that make up the Thorpe Park 'Extreme Thrills' set of rides. For R, he couldn't get on them quick enough. Considering that he is only 9, he is a true thrill seeker and he will go on anything and by the end of the day out of the 11 Extreme Thrills, he had managed all five rollercoasters and four of the other rides, which I think is pretty impressive.
The big white one in the photos above is called Stealth and I don't think I have ever seen anything as tall as that. It travels from 0 - 80mph up to 250 feet and I took one look at it and said no way. Even the teen looked up and said no way and my husband just laughed. Luckily for R, my husband gets his names a bit muddled so when it was time for Stealth, off he went with R all smiles, he returned looking decidedly less smiley and somewhat paler. It turned out that he thought they were queuing for a different one and it was only when they arrived at the front of the queue that he realised. He said it was amazing and terrifying. R didn't bat an eyelid however.
Then it was my turn for one of the big ones so I opted for Saw - The Ride. How bad could it be?
That's how bad it could be and was. I sauntered on feeling all cool and calm and staggered off in complete shock. Only after I had recovered did I read that it is billed as "The world's most terrifying rollercoaster" and I can quite categorically say that it is. But I survived by closing my eyes tight shut and this was the only one where R did get a bit nervous, but he can't wait to brag to his friends that he did it.
Is it suitable for younger children?
One of the reasons why we hadn't visited Thorpe Park previously is that I wasn't sure about its suitability for younger children. Now I have to be honest and say that if all of my children were five and under, you could have a nice day out as there are a few rides for younger children and a really lovely beach area, but it wouldn't be ideal. If you have older children or a mixture of ages, it is the perfect place as there is something for everyone.
A was a little bit overwhelmed to begin with as she often is when we go somewhere new and she was quite happy to watch her brothers. Then we discovered in a far corner of the park three rides that caught her eye; Mr Monkey's Banana Ride, Chief Ranger's Carousel and Rocky Express. Apart from the gentle carousel, these rides aren't for the faint hearted I can tell you and she loved them. After this, she was even happy to go on the Flying Fish; which is a mini roller-coaster, several times.
The one bonus of these rides is that most people head for the bigger rides, so the queue time for these rides was never any longer than five or ten minutes and we certainly made the most of that by going on all of them several times. A is three and a half and she hasn't stopped talking about what a lovely day that she had yesterday and is already planning her return visit.
As I mentioned before, there is also an amazing beach area with a swimming pool that has big and small slides. I had pretty much packed everything except swimming kit which was a shame as A and L would have really enjoyed playing in there while the older two did their extreme rides.
Would we go again?
DEFINITELY! I am sorry that we haven't been before, but it really was an amazing day and everyone enjoyed themselves. There were certainly lots of smiles (with a few screams, mainly from me!) As I said before, there really was something for everyone and even today we were all talking about the brilliant experience that we had.
You can find out more about Thorpe Park on their website and look out for the special offer where you can buy a full-priced ticket and for a small fee you can upgrade it to a Thorpe Park Annual Pass, giving unlimited access to the park for the rest of the season until it closes on 4 November, 2013.
Also check out Sun Scream: from Wednesday August 23 to Sunday September 1, experience 10 days of extra thrills around the park. Plenty of FREE family fun extras, including daytime silent discos, adrenaline-fuelled stunts, plus freestyle hip-hop and beatbox performances and workshops.
We were given free entry and fast passes to Thorpe Park in return for this review, however, we did genuinely love Thorpe Park and all opinions and images are my own.