Thorpe Park has begun construction work in preparation for the 2011 season, which will see the addition of a new spinning rapids water ride to the park.
The former Octopus Garden children's area in the centre of the park will host the new attraction, with its rides having been removed in September. The spinning rapids ride is set to open in March 2011, and extensive work is now underway to prepare the site for its arrival.
The new attraction was known as Storm Surge in its previous home at the closed Cypress Gardens park in Florida, and a hurricane theme looks likely to be carried over into Thorpe Park. The ride is set to become park of the park's Amity Cove area, with a "post-disaster" theme being hinted at by the sign shown above.
The spinning rapids ride will see guests boarding rubber rafts that can hold up to 6 people, before being carried up a conveyor belt to the top of a 19.4 metre-tall hill. They will then be propelled by water down a spiral chute, with the rafts spinning rapidly on the descent before splashing down into a channel at ground level.
More details of the new ride can be found in Theme Park Tourist's extensive preview, while further construction images can be found in our gallery.
With the Fright Nights Halloween events underway at Thorpe Park, the Slammer attraction remains out of action. Repair work is still being carried out on the S&S Sky Swat ride, which has been closed throughout September and October. The cause of the downtime is unknown, although the extended duration could indicate that the ride requires a new part.
One of only two Sky Swat rides to have been built (the other being Catapult at Six Flags New England), Slammer has suffered from frequent downtime since its delayed opening in 2005. It sees guests seated at either of a large arm, which is carried to the top of a tower. The arm then spins round in a circular motion, tipping guests up and down and resembling a large "fly swat".
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.