I live about half an hour away from Thorpe Park so when when the idea of a trip comes up, it’s quite easy to say yes. Especially when there’s the promise of a free trip. Some kind of witchcraft was done and a pass was produced that let us get in without paying – amazing!
I’m certainly not a veteran of the park, but I’ve been a few times so I know what rides I like. I know Nemesis Inferno makes me sick, Colossus batters my head and spine, and the water rides make me a little grumpy, so I avoid those and go straight for my favourites.
We headed for Saw straight away as the ride time was listed as 5 minutes. This, of course, was a giant lie but the queue was really fast moving and it wasn’t long until we were on the first ride of the day. I love Saw and it makes me scream and giggle like a mentalist – everyone likes sitting next to me as I’m such a source of amusement. It was on this first ride that I realised my decision to wear a dress was incredibly stupid, and I would appear in most of the photos desperately trying to stop it from flying up.
After Saw, we hopped on Samurai which never fails to amuse me, before walking over to Stealth, almost getting distracted with the sight of a Henry Hoover cuddly toy (mainly me). We were pretty pleased with ourselves by our progress so far, and the park really wasn’t very busy so as the sun came out, we expected to be done with Stealth pretty quickly and on to lunch. The queue didn’t seem that long at all, and certainly the shortest I’ve ever seen it. And then we waited. And waited. And waited. We realised that they only had one car on so it took forever to get to the front and we may have gone a little mad with hunger and sun exposure.
But then we were on, and up, and down again, and all was right with the world. Bless you Stealth, you trusty classic. We trundled off to the Calypso BBQ for some food which we did eventually get after a long queue to order and a longer wait to get the food. They also need to get bigger tables as we couldn’t quite all fit comfortably, but they all did their best. I developed a mini-crush on employee Drew who was RIDICULOUSLY adorable, Tim punched a man into spilling his drink (accidentally of course), and we all stuffed our faces with burgers and lattice fries. Yum.
And then the newest ride at Thorpe Park, Swarm, which is admittedly 2 years old now. I remember being not particularly impressed with it two years ago as it felt far too safe and I managed to pull my shoulder out, but thought I may as well go on it again. The queue here was really short as well, so we actually went on it twice – once forwards and straight back on it to go backwards.
There was much discussion in the queue about what the Swarm actually was. Were we battling the Swarm? We were the Swarm? I don’t think anyone knows, including the marketing people at Thorpe Park who seemed to change their mind halfway through coming up with the theme but they’d done a fair job at making the whole place into a disaster scene. I’m pretty sure this is the only ride I’ve ever done sitting both forwards and backwards and whilst I was still pretty ‘meh’ at the forwards, the backwards was AMAZING. We got strapped in at the back of the ride, and it only really hit me about a second before moving off that we wouldn’t be going forwards. I loved not knowing what was coming and seeing what you’ve ‘missed’ once you’ve gone passed it was so fun – like the billboard that wasn’t there in 2012. Going up the first incline seeing the view from the back was actually quite stunning and we could see for miles. Backwards was definitely my favourite, and a much shorter queue too.
People needed caffeine and a sit down at this point – we’re not young folk anymore – so we stopped at the “meat baguette” place to get harassed by some geese. I thought we’d done pretty well so far but we hadn’t yet done my favourite so I dragged everyone to the only non-S ride we’d do that day – Rush.
I love Rush- this is a pretty terrible photo for such a great ride but the queue moved so quickly that I didn’t get a chance to photograph it properly. I was going to GIF it, but it comes out a bit pixelly. No matter. Only four of us went on, which was a bit ironic as Rach pointed out this was the only ride that we’d all fit in one row. The hydraulic noise immediately makes me so excited and the swinging sensation is so relaxing. My favourite thing is to look backwards when you get horizontal, although it made me miss Jaina as we used to do this together! It’s also hilarious to watch the other riders, and one woman in particular made me laugh with the utter fear written across her face.
With about an hour left until the park closed, we thought we could sneak one more ride in, so Ryan, Nikki, and I went on Saw again whilst the others very graciously waited. The queue was a bit longer, but not quote long enough for me to digest my coke so I got a bit hiccuppy actually on the ride.
We were all pretty tired by this point, and I’d ended up with very localised sunburn, so we started to make our way back to our various cars. I drove Tim back to the station and I ended up on a mission to find Husband a wired keyboard where I ended up buying some My Little Pony PJs. I think the other shoppers in Tesco were quite wary of the slightly sunburnt, grimy woman, stumbling about the shop with arms full of 80’s themed PJs and computer hardware. And milk.
I feel a bit battered and bruised today, and I’ve yet to regain full movement in my weary arms. My knees aren’t too happy either but it was worth it to spend the day hyped up on adrenalin with my favourite people. As Tim and I noted, there was a bit of a UKIP vibe to the Thorpe Park customers, and I do wish they’d ban smoking like Disney have, but as the park wasn’t nearly as busy as normal, we managed to avoid most of the crowds. And I only a saw a couple of stag and hen parties! 31st May – good day to go.