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Thorpe Park: Is it good again? (Fright Nights 23')


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It is 2012, and Thorpe Park just built Swarm. They had received 3 coasters since 2006, and seemed to be endlessly expanding. The park were laying down coasters, flat rides, and Thorpe was "the park" in the UK. Then we saw a decade of nothing, literal nothing. Temporary half baked "attractions" got fed to us slowly to try and appease us, but everyone has been screaming for one permanent big flat ride or coaster. Then, we got it.

Exodus/Hyperia is everything Thorpe needed, a big new marquee attraction. It will dominate the skyline, and will breathe life into the park. If the park lacked a pulse now, this would be the shock to bring it back to life. I know nobody has ridden it yet, but a Hyper Mack is more than enough, we could of got a new family coaster and we would be grateful. The slow decline of the park has left it to become a bit of a joke to us enthusiasts here in the UK. Even just the idea and the construction site brings a sense of excitement to the park, and it invoked a feeling i have not had in a long time in regards to my home park.


So i visited Thorpe today, and honestly i was surprised at how well the park has held up. This is my first time at Thorpe this year, so i am little late to the season.

The park was running really well today. 2 trains operations, and speedy dispatches. Slow dispatches were always down to guests being silly, and the staff seemed more speedy than usual. Mazes were batched efficiently too, with a perfect mix between throughput and not making the maze too congested (this is a hard thing to do!).
I usually am a Merlin skeptic, so honestly i would say you know its good if i'm admitting it.

Ghost Train:
Man, i really came out of this frustrated. I think i mentioned a while ago that i think adding actors to DBGT instead of VR would drastically help the attraction. Honestly, it just kinda, still fell flat. The problem is that the carriage section was designed for VR, and trying to fill up that time just does not work. Both carriage sections feel elongated, boring, and flat. The attraction has one cool effect during the middle, which was the only part that really hooked me, but the rest of it just honestly felt dull. I think honestly just starting new would be better. Derren Brown's Ghost Train was a mess from the beginning, which just got worse year on year, and now this is the literal pieces of the park's biggest mistake in its history. Thorpe seemed to try with this one, but i think the whole thing is just in need of a bulldozer. I liked the ending audio clip though, that got a chuckle out of me!

Quick Thoughts:
Colossus felt smoother today, maybe some of the retrack paying off? Stealth and Inferno rode like usual, great rides. Samurai still sluggishly lags through its cycle. Saw is rougher than ever.


Stitches i went into with a fresh virgin mind, and i am glad i did. If i had to describe it, it is basically a scare maze that plays with the psychological aspect of mazes. It has a lot of gore, a lot of creepiness, and the actors all have disgusting costumes. Some of the costumes are beyond disturbing, and the atmopshere is creepy. The dim lighting and the heavy use of smell pods just ice the cake. The use of smell pods are very well done here, and it really is immersive when you can smell the putrid smells. The theming is also really good (the first room is lush!). I really enjoyed the length of the maze, and the idea of the ending. In a small group (our second run through) it is brilliant, but in a normal group of 10 per se, the reveal just kinda falls flat. Maybe with three actors in there? Overall a very good maze, maybe my favourite. It has such an eerie and creepy theme, and overall manages to be a perfect compliment to the more brash Surival Games.

Survival Games is wild. While in the queue we watched two actors dragging people into the maze group by group. This was very fun, just the spectacle of seeing the actors drag willing patrons into their doom was very fun, and horrifying when it becomes you. The maze was intense as usual. You get dragged, pulled, and pushed as you make you way through the arena. It is a short maze with minimal theming, but when you have a hoard of agressive actors pushing you in different directions, who cares? It is honestly such a brilliant maze, which now feels more complete with a good old fashioned finale. It works all too well in this maze. My only critique is that it is very inconsistent. I always find my group can literally have opposite opinions to each other. This can be damning if you get a bad runthrough, and you have to pay £10 to get back in.

I gotta be honest. I usually do not like this maze. I find it really segmented, too well lit, and generally not scary. Today though, it was great. The cast really brought it alive tonight, it seemed they were really good on numbers tonight in Trailers, actors were everywhere and anywhere, more often running on high energy. It still is my least favourite maze of the bunch, but the maze was brilliant tonight. I really enjoyed the doll room and the one way mirror in the Big Top section, they were both brilliant scares.

I loved this! They have basically created a mini maze with this. I loved the indoor sections mixed with the outdoors, the lighting, and overall the crazy hiding spots that the crows use. Maybe we can see a full scale maze next time around?

I really enjoy this one. Sure it is completely inconsistent, the door concept is impractical at times, but it just has a real element of fun to it.

Lucifer's Lair:
I love this. A bunch of show's, some good roaming actors, and a good atmopshere. This is exactly what Thorpe needs! It really gives a good hub area, and somewhere to make it feel like a Halloween event.

£20 for three mazes is steep. I paid £40 for Tulleys and got 10. I also really think that they need to time slot the mazes more specifically, doing 3-6 is very vague. I feel like doing slots like "3:00, 3:15". I know this can be hard with reliablity and variables, but i think this would help the park. Queues were rocky for mazes, and thats on a quiet Monday where ride queues max out at 30 minutes. I also think that they need to extend their hours for mazes. I believe Alton used to do 1-9 for their mazes, and that used to work well (this is a while back). I feel this would work especially well during the half term when demand is high.

Overall/The Future:
Today was a very strong showing off Thorpe, Fright Nights is a brilliant event that is good (albeit expensive). Another maze is certainly is needed, but the current lineup is great. The park as a whole has a bright future with Hyperia literally starting to loom in the background. The park still has its problems (Ghost Train, grafitti), but it certainly isn't the hopeless mess it was in 2021.