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In-depth: Thorpe Park plans new rollercoasters in 2012 and 2015

Colossus rollercoaster image

Thorpe Park's development plans for 2010-2016 have been released online, revealing that the park hopes to open major new rollercoasters in 2012 and 2015.

As TPT reported on Thursday, the park also plans to add five new flat rides alongside the two rollercoasters. Thorpe Park's "Medium Term Development Plan" details a number of smaller additions and changes that it hopes to make during the period - all of which are covered in our detailed analysis below. The park expects to spend £22.3 million on the upgrades, and to see a 3% increase in visitor numbers as a result.

As was the case with previous medium-term plans outlined by Thorpe Park (for the periods 1999-2004 and 2004-2010), it is likely that not all of the upgrades will be made by 2016. Several of the planned additions are carried over from the previous plan, and the park will still need to seek individual planning permission for each new ride.

Thorpe Park (which is based in a flooded former gravel pit) hopes to locate the new rollercoasters on two previously unused islands behind the existing Stealth rollercoaster. This will mean seeking an extension to the area on which it is currently allowed to develop (of around 5%), and the park has also suggested an alternative location for the 2015 rollercoaster close to the entrance of the park should this prove unsuccessful.

Thorpe Park rollercoaster locations

The proposed locations of Thorpe Park's new rollercoasters.
Image © Thorpe Park

Details of the proposed coasters are still light, although the plans do include early "sketch designs" for the layout of both. The 64 documents that comprise the park's planning application do reveal a few other details, which are summarised below.

2012 rollercoaster

2012 rollercoaster location

An early outline sketch of Thorpe Park's 2012 rollercoaster.
Image © Thorpe Park

The first of Thorpe Park's planned rollercoasters is planned to be the tallest, reaching a maximum height of up to 50 metres (164 feet). This is 12.5 metres shorter than the park's current tallest coaster, Stealth. The park plans to situate the coaster close to Stealth, on a currently unused island. Sections of the coaster will extend out over the park's lake, with up to 30 support columns set to jut out from the water.

2012 rollercoaster profile

The new coaster will be slightly less tall than nearby Stealth.
Image © Thorpe Park

Thorpe Park's plans include early designs for the new coaster, which appear to show a massive first drop followed by a series of high-speed twists and turns. The design includes a heartline roll just after the lifthill, which would see riders starting the first drop in an upside-down position before roaring down into an upright position for the ensuing turns. The ride will have a maximum length of 850 metres, and no more than 9 vertical loops - although it's not clear from the current drawings whether any inversions other than the heartline roll will be included.

No mention is made of the type of rollercoaster or its planned manufacturer, and it is likely that the current design could change significantly prior to the ride's eventual opening.

2015 rollercoaster

2015 rollercoaster location 1

The 2015 rollercoaster could be located close to the 2012 addition.
Image © Thorpe Park

Two potential locations are under consideration for Thorpe Park's second new rollercoaster. The first (and seemingly preferred) location is on two islands in the north-west corner of the park, extending slightly into areas on which Thorpe Park does not currently have permission to locate rides.

2015 rollercoaster location 2

The alternative site is highly visible from Thorpe Park's entrance.
Image © Thorpe Park

The second, alternative location is next to the Port Atlantis dome at the front of the park, close to its existing Education Centre. This would make the ride highly visible to guests as they enter the park via a bridge across the lake.

Few details are given of the 2015 coaster in Thorpe Park's outline plans, although like the 2012 coaster it will have a maximum length of 850 metres, and no more than 9 vertical loops. It will be slightly less tall than the 2012 coaster, at a maximum height of 40 metres (131 feet). The current outline given in the plans shows two long, straight sections (possibly hills) and several twists and turns.

Flat rides

Flat ride locations

Potential sites for new flat rides at Thorpe Park.
Image © Google

Thorpe Park plans to add up to five new flat rides by 2016, and has highlighted 9 possible locations for them (as shown on the map above). Three of the locations are on the new islands, close to the proposed new rollercoasters. None of the rides will exceed 25 metres in height, and all will have surface areas of less than 750 square metres. Given the park's focus on the thrill-seeking market, it is likely that most will be off-the-shelf thrill rides in the same vein as the existing Slammer and Samurai attractions.

Other changes

Thorpe Park plans a number of smaller changes and upgrades to the park during the 2010-2016 period. These include:

  • Pizza Hut extension - the park plans to extend the existing Pizza Hut (building on the outdoor seating section at the rear of the restaurant) in 2013.
  • Burger King extension - the Burger King at the rear of the park (close to Logger's Leap) is also set to be extended, in 2011.
  • New fast food restaurants - new fast food outlets are planned - one next to the 2012 rollercoaster, and one in the same building as the Nemesis Inferno shop.
  • Shop extensions - the sweet shop close to the park's 4D theatre could be extended in 2011, with the Thorpe Mega Store also set to be extended in 2013.
  • Bridge widening - the bridge over which guests enter the park (which often acts a bottleneck) is due to be widened, though it is not clear when.
  • New bridges - new bridges will be added linking the currently unused islands on which the new coasters will be located with the rest of the park and each other.
  • Open air stage - a small stage of less than 70 square metres is due to be added in 2012, close to the Rumba Rapids attraction. It will host low-key family entertainment such as jugglers and acrobats.
  • Arena refurbishment - Thorpe Park's arena, which hosts seasonal shows, is due to be refurbished.
  • Entrance upgrades - the park's entrance area is scheduled to be updated in 2016, adding additional ticket booths.
  • Hotel - the park has already submitted a separate application for a 245-bedroom themed hotel, which would be built at a cost of £31-33 million and include a health spa and conference facilities

Despite the expected attendance increases over the next few years, Thorpe Park has pledged to keep guest numbers below 17,000 per day during peak season. To do this, it will encourage guests to visit on off-peak days, possibly by offering discounts on mid-week and out-of-holiday visits.

Please note that all of the dates and plans given in Thorpe Park's Medium Term Development Plan are subject to change. Theme Park Tourist will keep readers updated on any further details released by the park.

You can keep up to date with the latest confirmed and rumored opening dates for new attractions through Theme Park Tourist's "New Attraction Watch" section, and by signing up for our weekly newsletter.

There are 5 comments.

I've looked at the new layout pictures of the new coaster, to me it looks like a new WingRider Coaster. without launch, it could have a small inclined launch going upwards. However, look at the station platform on the layout you only see them that large aside each other on wide coaster's like furious baco. so this could be the next step to the wing rider. OR, this ride could be the new Vekoma rollercoaster i can't really remember the name. but i know its something to do with an eagle souring. and my other suggestion is. Same owners of the X-Car.. if you look at the Layout, they look very similar as the heartline roll before drop, but without vertical lift.

I have also scene leaked pictures of the cars.. maybe FAKE. but i don't really know unless you check out them updates on Youtube. then you could answer the question for me. but people thinking that this ride could be a new wingrider based ride. like X2.

Thanks, Keep updates coming,

P.S I will be updating on Facebook shortly.

Search: LC12 - The End Is Coming! on Facebook, you'll find my page...

Thanks - we'll take a look.

Looks like Thorpe Park will be leaking out details of the coaster over the coming months, given the recent teaser image release.

I have heard that this coaster will be a B&M launch coaster, which seems the most likely option, for these reasons:

- A launch coaster would fit the explosion theme.
- I believe that LC12 stands for Launch Coaster 2012.
- B&M rides are always popular, no matter how small.
- The track on the plan looks a typical B&M box-track.
- Stealth opened with less than rave reviews.

check out totalthorpepark.co.uk for the new coaster plans it looks fantastic and the themeing of and around the ride looks amazing, something thorpe park normally fall short on,on many rides.

Thanks - you can also read full details and see a lot of concept art for the new coaster in our in-depth preview.

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