The park is famous for its white-knuckle rides: the Stealth launches riders 205ft in the air, going from 0 to 80mph in 2.3 seconds; Detonator winches riders 100ft into the air and then fires them back to earth at 75km an hour; Tidal Wave is an 85ft drop through water; Colossus is a rollercoaster which climbs to 100 feet then hurtles riders through ten loops; Nemesis Inferno is a suspended rollercoaster featuring a journey through the heart of an erupting volcano; Quantum is a stomach lurching vertical repeating ride; and The Swarm, Europe’s tallest wing coaster offering ‘a head- first, inverted drop from 127 ft’ (since selected seats on 'The Swarm' face backwards).
Rides are regularly updated, and any new additions a bit of big deal. 2016 saw the arrival of Derren Brown’s Ghost Train – an immersive experience with twists and turns beyond the usual rollercoaster. Think VR, zombies and the apocalypse and you won't go far wrong.
Many of the rides - such as Saw, Nemesis Inferno and Quantum - are designed for teens and older children, and have height restrictions. That said, parents with young (or short) children will find plenty to do at Octopus Garden (little, friendly rides) and the delightful Mr Monkey’s Banana Ride, with its slightly sinister commentary.
You can pick up tickets online for around £35 but do be aware that if you’re going during the school holidays Thorpe Park has the potential to be incredibly busy, so fast tracks may come in handy. It’s worth booking online beforehand as tickets on the door can be almost double the price, there’s also deals for group tickets available.
If you really don’t want to go home, there’s also the option to stay on site at the Thorpe Park Shark Hotel, prices start from £58 per person, and you get unlimited fast track passes for all the rides until 11am, beating the rush.
Top ride: The Swarm
There isn’t another ride in the country quite like Thorpe Park’s Swiss-made ‘winged-coaster’. Instead of sitting on the track, or dangling below it, riders perch beside it, and the sci-fi bat-shaped cars have plenty of near-misses with plane wrecks and ruined buildings.
Don’t want to go home?
Thorpe Shark Hotel is just a few steps away from the park entrance. It’s effectively just a place to sleep, but it’s cheap when combined with park tickets. Rooms that sleep up to four people cost from £58pp, which includes two days at the park and breakfast.