In most of our theme park guides, we divide the “not to miss” rides suggestions into two sections: one for adults, and one for younger guests. At Thorpe Park, though, there is so little on offer for kids that we really suggest that their families visit Chessington World of Adventures or LEGOLAND Windsor instead.
For adults and teenagers, however, Thorpe Park is packed with some of the most thrilling rides in the country. Our reviews are designed to help you decide which ones to prioritise, but if you only have a limited period of time in the park then put the attractions below at the top of your list:
- Stealth – towering some 205 feet over Thorpe Park, this high-speed coaster is the fastest ride in the UK. After a few seconds of teeth-gritting anticipation, guests are launched from a standstill to 80 miles per hour in under 2 seconds. After admiring the views at the top of the tower, there’s very little else to experience – and there really doesn’t need to be, as you’ll be grinning from ear-to-ear anyway.
- The Swarm – Thorpe Park’s new roller coaster for 2012 is its most ambitious and impressive yet. The first “Wing Rider” coaster to open in the UK, it sees guests suspended on either side of the track. This enables a number of “near-misses” with the impressive theming elements, which depict a post-apocalyptic landscape. After an update in 2013, you can now ride in the last two rows facing backwards, too.
- Nemesis Inferno – a sequel of sorts to the world-renowned Nemesis roller coaster at Alton Towers, Nemesis Inferno does not quite live up to its predecessor. The underwhelming “volcano” setting aside, though, it’s still a spectacular ride, from the misty opening tunnel section through to the interlocking corkscrews that provide its highlight.
- Saw – The Ride – basing a ride on the “Saw” horror movie series might seem like a strange decision, but it has proven to be a good fit with Thorpe Park’s teen-heavy audience. While the roller coaster can be a little rough, the combination of creepy theming and an excellent indoor section make this is an essential stop on any tour of Thorpe Park. Queues can be long, though – head to Jigsaw’s lair as early as possible.
- Tidal Wave – it may have lost its title as the tallest water ride in Europe, but this is one attraction that more than lives up to its name. After Tidal Wave’s boats plummet down its single drop, they’ll leave not only riders but also any onlookers within a huge splash zone absolutely drenched.
- Colossus – Thorpe Park’s first major roller coaster is a sprawling monster, packing an incredible 10 inversions into its circuit. It’s not as smooth as it once was, and you’ll probably end up with a slight headache from spending so much time upside down, but there’s really nothing else like it in the UK.
- Rumba Rapids – like all river rapids rides, the thrill of riding Rumba Rapids comes from not knowing whether you’ll get soaked or not. The fountains and waterfalls located around the track add a random element to the experience, and you’ll probably be grateful for the slightly slower pace of the ride after braving Thorpe Park’s other attractions.
- Rush – one of the first thrills experienced by every child is the simple joy of swinging backwards and forwards. Rush takes this experience to the next level, standing at some 75-feet-tall. It’s not as scary as it looks, and the views are stunning – though you may need to hold onto your stomach.
- Samurai – relocated from nearby Chessington World of Adventures (where it was seen as a little too thrilling for a family audience), Samurai is a spinning, whirling frenzy. Just watching it might be enough to give you motion sickness, but it does offer a very different experience to Thorpe Park’s many coasters and water rides.
- Logger’s Leap – if you’ve ever been on a log flume, you’ll know exactly what to expect from the tallest one in the UK. Hiding at the back may keep you somewhat drier, but it won’t protect you from the coin-operated water cannons located at the end of the ride.
- Slammer – the only operating S&S Sky Swat in the world, Slammer resembles a giant fly swat. While it suffers from regular breakdowns, when it’s up-and-running it offers an intimidating but exhilarating ride. After boarding one of its two paddle-shaped gondolas, you’ll find yourself rotating backwards and forwards, hitting a maximum height of some 105 feet.
What are your favourites?
Let us know what your favourite rides and attractions at Thorpe Park are by adding your own ratings and reviews.