|Slogan||The Nation's Thrill Capital|
|Location||Chertsey, Surrey, England, UK|
|Opened||24 May 1979|
|Area||500 acres (2.0 km2)|
Thorpe Park is a theme park in Chertsey, Surrey, England, UK. After demolition of the Thorpe Park Estate in the 1930s, the site became a gravel pit. Thorpe Park was built in 1979 on the gravel pit which was partially flooded, creating a water-based theme for the park. The park's first large roller coaster, Colossus, was added in 2002. Merlin Entertainments own and operate the park. In 2012 the park received 1.8m visitors, down from 2.0m visitors in 2011.
Originally a gravel pit owned by the Ready Mix Concrete Ltd; in the late 1970s they decided to flood part of the site and create an educational theme park. The park opened as a small attraction, building slowly up to RMCs first large installation of X:\ No Way Out in 1996. In 1998, the The Tussauds Group bought the park (they also owned the nearby Chessington World of Adventures). From the outset the park started opening key attractions such as Tidal Wave in 2000, Colossus in 2002, Nemesis Inferno in 2003 and Stealth in 2006. In 2007, Merlin Entertainments (a subsidiary of Blackstone Investment Group) bought the Tussauds Group ; the attraction target market was moved towards the 'up for it' thrill seekers with large investment in form of rides such as SAW: The Ride and SWARM. This was to prevent it competing with Legoland Windsor, and Chessington World of Adventures, both within close proximity of Thorpe Park.
Thorpe Park is split into various themed area.
Port Atlantis which is the park's main entrance. The pavilion-style The Dome greets visitors; the theming is meant to remind people of the legendary tale of Atlantis.
Canada Creek opened in 1989 themed around the Canadian Rockies. This area has Europe's tallest water ride, called Loggers Leap, alongside a smaller train ride named the Rocky Express. Canada Creek is also home to the now defunct Canada Creek Railway, which closed in late 2011.
Ranger Country opened in 1994 and is an area aimed mostly at younger visitors, the main attraction is Mr Monkey's Banana Ride, alongside the Chief Rangers Carousel.
Neptune's Kingdom is mainly a small beach and water area for kids to enjoy, with two separate water slide attractions. Neptune's Beach opens on warmer days from May onwards, along with a separate attraction Wet Wet Wet. Beside this attraction is Depth Charge, a four lane water slide.
Saw Island was opened in 2009 to complement one ride: Saw – The Ride. It has since been joined by a Fright Nights horror Maze with live actors and scary effects Saw Alive(the attractions are inspired by the movie Saw).
The Swarm Island is a new area for 2012, it paints a picture of an apocalyptic end to the world with the roller coaster The Swarm.
|Colossus||2002||Lost City||Intamin||A former record-breaking roller coaster, with the record recently beaten by The Smiler. The roller coater includes 10 inversions, featuring a vertical loop, cobra roll, corkscrews and heartline rolls.|
|Flying Fish||1983||Amity Cove||Mack Rides||Originally the indoor, blacked out ride, Space Station Zero, before being moved outside as the Flying Fish.|
|Nemesis Inferno||2003||Calypso Quay||Bolliger & Mabillard||Inverted Coaster based around the Theming of a Large Volcano waiting to erupt; features Interlocking Corkscrews, Zero-G Roll.|
|The Swarm||2012||The Swarm Island||Bolliger & Mabillard||Wing Coaster based around an apocalyptic theme with full scale replica elements including a crashed aeroplane; Features a head first 127 ft drop with the two back rows face backwards.|
|Saw – The Ride||2009||SAW Island||Gerstlauer||Eurofighter Coaster themed around the SAW horror movie franchise, features one of the steepest incline drops in the world, at a height of 100 ft.|
|Stealth||2006||Amity Cove||Intamin||Powered Launched Coaster taking riders from 0 to 80mph in 1.8 secs reaching a height of 205ft with a bunny hop at the end of the ride.|
|X||1996||Lost City||Vekoma||An enclosed roller coaster, running through a light and laser show in a large pyramid.|
|Detonator||2001||Calypso Quay||Fabbri||a 115 ft (35m)tall drop tower, which reaches speeds of up to 50 mph and can hold up to 12 people; height limit 1.3m.|
|Rush||2005||Lost City||S&S Worldwide||A Screaming Swing ride with 2 swings which can hold up to 32 people per ride, swinging up to 75ft high; height limit 1.3m|
|Samurai||2004||Lost City||Mondial||Top Scan ride, rotating and spinning 360 degrees. Formerly located at Chessington World of Adventures from 1999–2003; height limit 1.4m.|
|Slammer||2005||Lost City||S&S Worldwide||A Sky Swat that rises 105 ft off the ground and completes a 360° rotation; height limit 1.4m.|
|Vortex||2001||Lost City||KMG||Afterburner - 32 seat flat ride; height limit 1.4m|
|Zodiac||2000||Lost City||Huss||An Enterprise style ride, with 20 gondolas which can each hold 2 people; height limit 1.4m.|
|Quantum||2004||Lost City||Fabbri||Magic Carpet ride; height limit 1.2m.|
|Depth Charge||1991||Neptune's Kingdom||N.V. Aquatic||Four lane water slide.|
|Loggers' Leap||1989||Canada Creek||Mack Rides||Canadian themed log flume on a 521m long course that includes two lifts and two double drops; height limit 1.2m.|
|Neptune's Beach||Neptune's Kingdom||N.V. Aquatic||Paddling pool area and sand-pit area for young children. Wet Wet Wet is also based on Neptune's Beach and opens as demand requires.|
|Rumba Rapids||1987||Calypso Quay||Intamin||A 460m long river rapids ride that opened as Thunder River until 2002 when it became Rumba Rabids; height limit 0.9m.|
|Storm Surge||2011||Amity Cove||Whitewater West||64-foot (20 m) spiralling 'team' raft water slide; height limit 1.3m.|
|Tidal Wave||2000||Amity Cove||Hopkins Rides||Shoot the Chute water splash ride, based around a 1950s Fishing Village, devastated by a Tidal Wave..|
|Wet Wet Wet||1998||Neptune's Kingdom||N.V. Aquatic||Set of waterslides for young children.|
|Mr. Monkey's Banana Ride||1994||Ranger County||Huss||Swinging boat ride; height limit 0.9m.|
|Chief Ranger's Carousel||1994||Ranger County||Euro Sujets||Carousel ride themed around all 'old rides' at Thorpe Park.|
|Storm in a Teacup||1986||Amity Cove||Mack Rides||Spinning cups; height limit 1.1m.|
Thorpe Park is situated on the site of a former quarry on the border between Chertsey and Egham in Surrey. Then owners Ready Mixed Concrete Limited flooded the site after the quarry's closure in the late 1970s, with the intention of opening an educational leisure park. When Ready Mix Concrete sold out to Cemex, a Cemex UK office opened on grounds owned by the park. On 24 May 1979, Thorpe Park was officially opened by Lord Mountbatten who lent his name to the Mountbatten Pavilion, a large domed structure located at the entrance to the park. At this early stage in the park's history, the complex consisted of educational exhibitions such as Model World, a collection of famous structures from around the world built in 1:36 scale, with the Mountbatten Pavilion housing a standing aircraft display.
- The grounds are owned by the Lord of the Manor for centuries.
1941 - 1971
- The land now home to Thorpe Park is used as RMC (now a part of CEMEX) as an quarry.
- Thorpe Park opens to the public as an open air exhibition centre. The park was opened by Lord Mountbatten.
1980 - 1983
- Attractions included the Cinema, Magic Mill, Waterbus services, Model World, Railway, Teacups, Nature Trails, Phantom Phantasia, Thorpe Farm, and Sunken Gardens.
- Space Station Zero opened.
- Thunder River water ride opened, at a cost of over £2 million.
- The 630 seat Palladium Theatre opened.
- Canada Creek area opened.
- Space Station Zero was re-themed into the Flying Fish and moved outdoors.
- Carousel Kingdom opened.
- The Rangers Show opened.
- Drive in the Country opened.
- Fantasy Reef area was refurbished.
- Depth Charge opened.
- Children's area was refurbished.
- Viking Rowers opened.
- Hudson River Rafters opened.
- Calgary Stampede opened.
- Virtual Reality Centre opened.
- Magic Mill closed.
- Ranger County area opened.
- Chief Rangers Carousel opened.
- Mr. Monkey's Banana Ride opened.
- Mr Rabbit's Tropical Travels opened.
- Drive in the Country rethemed as *Miss Hippo's Fungle Safari.
- X:\ No Way Out, the world's first dark backwards roller coaster, opened.
- The Tussauds Group purchased the park.
- Palladium Theatre closed.
- Ranger Show closed.
- Dare Devil Drivers opened.
- Wet Wet Wet! opened.
- Pirates 4-D, a 4D cinema attraction starring Leslie Nielsen, opened.
- Carousel Kingdom closed.
- Viking Rowers closed.
- Tidal Wave, a Shoot the Chute made by Hopkins Rides, opened, becoming the tallest ride in the park at that time. The ride was promoted with a new version of the ThorpePark.com website that featured a skeuomorphic "water-damaged" interface.
- Dare Devil Drivers closed.
- "Dino Boats" closed.
- On 21 July a major fire broke out in the centre of the park.
- The fire destroyed The Wicked Witches Haunt (previously known as Fantom Fantasia) and the inside area of Mr Rabbit's Tropical Travels. The Wicked Witches Haunt was closed immediately.
- A Fabbri Enterprise was installed in the park, opening late Summer 2000.
- The Lost City area was established, with the Enterprise (now rethemed and renamed Zodiac) and Vortex (a KMG Afterburner) as its first rides.
- Detonator, Mega Drop made by Fabbri, opened in Calypso Quay.
- At the end of the season, Thunder River closed, ready to be revamped into Ribena Rumba Rapids for the 2002 season.
- Colossus, an Intamin roller coaster with a record-breaking 10 inversions, opened. The 2002 website featured a Shockwave 3D "virtual ride" of Colossus.
- Safari High Dive show opened for one season.
- Thunder River re-opened as Ribena Rumba Rapids.
- Debut of the park's annual Halloween event, Fright Nights.
- Nemesis Inferno, a Bolliger & Mabillard inverted roller coaster themed around a tropical volcano, opened.
- Also Quantum, a Fabbri magic carpet ride, opened.
- Eclipse, a Fabbri Ferris wheel, opened.
- A Spiderman show was performed in the arena. This continued into 2004 and was replaced in 2005 by Stuntzmania.
- At the end of the season, Calgary Stampede closed to make way for Samurai from Chessington World of Adventures.
- Eclipse closed mid season due to a lack of riders, having lasted just over one season. It was moved to Chessington and was renamed 'Peeking Heights'.
- Samurai, a Mondial Top Scan moved from Chessington, opened.
- New Spiderman show opened.
- Tea Cup Twisters rethemed to 'Storm in a Tea Cup' to fit with nearby Amity Cove's theming.
- Flying Fish closed at the end of the season to make way for Stealth in 2006.
- Slammer, an S&S Sky Swat, opened on 26 March, after being delayed due to technical issues.
- Rush, an S&S Screamin' Swing and the world's biggest air-powered speed swing (until the opening of Skyhawk at Cedar Point in the US), opened in late May.
- Stealth, an Intamin Accelerator Coaster which launches riders from 0–80 miles per hour (0–130 km/h) in 2.3 seconds, opened with the park on 15 March. A 'Ride It First' competition was held with the lucky winners experiencing Stealth before it opened to the rest of the guests.
- Zodiac was replaced by another Enterprise, sourced from Drayton Manor.
- StreetXtreme replaced Stuntzmania in the Arena.
- Flying Fish returned, located between Tidal Wave and Wet Wet Wet.
- Thorpe Farm closed, due to a lack of visitors.
- Canada Creek Railway reopened as a small circuit around Canada Creek, and it no longer travelled to Thorpe Farm. The railway takes guest on a 'Bearhunt' where riders spot models of bears around the journey.
- Ribena's sponsorship contract ended and so 'Ribena Rumba Rapids' changed its name to 'Rumba Rapids'. The ride remained unchanged.
- No show was hosted in the Arena, although the Se7en scare maze was still hosted there in Fright Nights.
- The park started opening for February half term; in previous years the park had not opened for the season until March. During February reduced entrance fees applied, as limited rides were available.
- X:\ No Way Out was slightly refurbished, with a new storyline added about how 'X Laboratories Facility' lost control of their super-computer, thus sending
riders into the strange and disorientating ride. Also, robot dummies and new lighting were added to the queue line and ride.
- New 4D Cinema film "Time Voyagers" opened to replace "Pirates 4D".
- It was announced that Canada Creek Railway would not run for the whole season due to construction of SAW: The Ride.
- The arena was once again used for shows this season after having not been used the previous season.
- Saw – The Ride, a custom Gerstlauer Euro-fighter rollercoaster opened.
- Canada Creek Railway re-opened.
- Miss Hippo's Fungle Safari closed.
- Saw: Alive is opened. This is the park's second Saw-themed attraction, and its first permanent horror maze. This lasted for two years until 2012 where it was reduced to opening for the Fright Nights event only.
- Thorpe Park adopts a new brand image, aimed towards the teenage and young adult market, introducing the 'Fat Heads' mascots. The entrance is repainted and most signage around the park replaced.
- Octopus Gardens closes in September and is demolished to make way for the relocation of Storm Surge from Cypress Gardens in 2011.
- Construction of Storm Surge begins in late September.
- Storm Surge opened on 17 March 2011, after being relocated from the former Cypress Gardens in Florida. (Now Legoland Florida )
- Two new food outlets were opened: Bar 360, replacing 'The Glass House' in the Dome, and Amity Kebabs replacing Amity Bugle in Amity Cove.
- Thorpe Park Blast returns but is renamed as 'Blow It Up'.
- The park introduced Experiment 10 as its newest Fright Night attraction.
- Time Voyagers 4D and Canada Creek Railway closed permanently.
- The Swarm a Bolliger & Mabillard Wing Coaster, opened 15 March 2012
- Fright Nights 2012 introduced "The Passing", a new 2nd gate horror maze.
- A temporary hotel, "The Crash Pad" opens.
- The two back rows on THE SWARM's trains are turned backwards, and more theming is added to the ride, such as a large billboard which is also a 'near miss' feature.
- X:/No Way Out is renamed 'X' and refurbished.
World records held or currently held by the Attraction
- Colossus was the world's first roller coaster to feature ten inversions (the highest number of inversions in the world). It has been equalled by an identical coaster in China. It has been surpassed by The Smiler at Alton towers in 2013 which features 14 inversions.
- Stealth was previously the fastest rollercoaster in Europe until Furius Baco took the record in 2007. Stealth still holds the record for the fastest acceleration of any roller coaster in Europe (0–80 miles per hour (0–130 km/h) in 1.8 seconds as opposed to Furious Baco's 0–83.9 miles per hour (0–135.0 km/h) in 3.5 seconds) and is still the fastest in the UK.
- X:\ No Way Out opened as the world's only roller coaster to travel backwards through darkness for the entire length of the circuit, however has since been re-themed to instead run forward.
- Loggers Leap is the tallest log flume in the UK, although it lost that record for several years to The American Adventure's "Nightmare Niagara", then regained the record when that ride was removed.
- Tidal Wave was the tallest water ride in Europe until 2002.
- Nemesis Inferno has the longest pre lift section of any inverted B&M coaster in the world, and was the first inverted coaster to feature interlocking wingovers (corkscrews)
- Saw – The Ride is the only rollercoaster themed around a horror movie, and is therefore dubbed as the world's scariest ride. It also holds the record for the rollercoaster with the steepest free-fall drop in the world, at 100 degrees, and sixth steepest drop overall in the world after Steel Hawg at Indiana Beach in the USA, Mumbo Jumbo at Flamingo Land in the UK, Timber Drop at Fraispertuis City in France, Green Lantern Coaster (with an angle of 120.5°) at Warner Bros. Movie World in Australia and Takabisha (with an angle of 121°) at Fuji-Q Highland in Japan. The drops on the proceeding S&S Worldwide manufactured roller coasters and Takabisha are controlled by braking fins, whereas the drop on Saw is not, hence it holds the title of steepest free-fall drop. It's also Gerstlauer's 2nd steepest rollercoaster, preceding Takabisha, the current world record holder for the steepest drop.
- The Swarm, is the tallest and fastest winged roller coaster in Europe and the first winged roller coaster in the UK.
Fright Nights, previously named "Fright Nites", is an annual event that has been running at Thorpe Park since 2002. For a period of time during October, the park opens until 10 pm on peak days to allow guests to ride in the dark. To continue the Halloween celebration, special temporary attractions such as scare mazes are constructed for the event. Actors in costume and make up are also found around the park.
Current yearly attractions
The four main Fright Nights attractions are located around the park. They are usually set up around September and dismantled during February.
- The Asylum is a 'live action horror maze' attraction that has been a part of Fright Nights since 2005, replacing The Freezer. It uses a maze of chicken wire fencing, smoke and strobe lighting to disorientate guests. The Asylum involves various actors, including a patient armed with a chainsaw to chase guests out of the exit.
- The Curse Opened in 2008 themed around a cursed shipwreck in Amity Cove.
- EXPERIMENT 10 Opened in 2011, a walk through maze of a scientific experiment. It was the first attraction to be created by Merlin Magic Making.
- Saw: Alive A walk through maze themed around eight different SAW scenes. Opened in 2010 as a full time attraction, leading to only opening in Fright Nights from 2012 onwards.
- THE PASSING Replacing Hellgate, the Passing is a themed walk through maze which replicates death, and being buried alive. This was the first attraction to use headmasks with Bluetooth technology to provide a commentary.
Former yearly attractions
- For 2002 only, the stretch of park from Canada Creek through Ranger County was converted into Scare-Zone. Two haunted-mazes, The Freezer and Freakshow 3-D were installed at either end of the area.
- The Freezer ran from 2002 until 2004. The attraction consisted of a maze which was entered through a large freezer-style door. The Freezer was altered slightly for the 2005 season and was renamed The Asylum.
- Freakshow 3-D ran from 2002 until 2004 Guests wore 3D glasses through the maze style attraction.
- Ultimate Horror Movie Bites was a film being shown in the Pirates 4D (now Time Voyagers) cinema featuring clips from The Ring, The Birds, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre and The Haunting.
- Saw - Movie Bites was shown in the Time Voyagers theatre. It featured short clips from the SAW films and was strictly for guests over the age of 18.
- Hellgate was introduced in 2005 and was located inside the X:\No Way Out pyramid, with the entrance at the rear of the building. The attraction was based on a run down stately home, ruled by the fictional evil spirits of Lady and Lord Denham. The attractions last operational year was 2010.
- DEAD END is a 'scare-zone' that was introduced in 2010. It is based around the park's past, and features pieces of 'dead' rides and theming, as well as actors.
- Se7en open in 2006 was the gruesome third maze, based on the Seven Deadly Sins - lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy, and pride. The attraction was situated in the Arena in the centre of the park where a temporary structure is erected inside a tent. In 2011 it was then moved to Neptunes Beach, which was the attractions last operational year.
Thorpe Park Blows It Up
An extreme firework show reintroduced in 2011 with the previous title 'Thorpe Blast'. The event in 2011 started with a secret celebrity effigy burning which later was revealed as Jedward chosen by the public via Facebook. The second part of the event was the main fireworks display which lasted around 10–15 minutes, in conclusion to the fireworks; sirens sounded with the voice 'stay where you are, we are under attack' echoing around the park, after a short period another voice cuts in with the speed 'attack imminent in 5,4,3,2,1 with the 1 triggering an explosion linked to a fire engine hoisted above the lake. The explosion was a marketing scheme for the 2012 coaster The Swarm. The event also played host the return of the 'Thorpe Park Radio' with up to date tunes playing park-wide.
Over 18's Club Night
The Ministry of Sound brand was introduced in 2012 and operates the Thorpe Park 'club nights'. These feature well known music DJs playing a variety of themed nights.
- In Rumba Rapids opening year of 1986 (then known as Thunder River), an 11 year old boy called Jonathan White was thrown from a boat and lost an ear.
- On 21 July 2000, the park was evacuated from the park after Mr Rabbit's Tropical Travels boat ride caught on fire. The fire was allegedly started by a stray cigarette butt. A number of other attractions were also damaged, including Wicked Witches Haunt, which was totally destroyed as the majority of the ride was housed underground beneath the area of Mr Rabbit's Tropical Travels that caught alight. 
- In September 2001, Zodiac was subject to an incident where a pod has detached from the one of the two supports holding the gondola to the steel support framework. Minor injuries occurred to two guests. 
- On 29 May 2008, a 4ft piece of metal fell off Rush and fell 100 feet to the ground. The ride was closed immediately for inspection and repairs for a week. The ride reopened shortly after. 
- "Themed Entertainment: Park Attendance Figures" (in English). 2013. Retrieved 13 June 2013.
- BBC News (March 2007). "Tussauds purchased in £1bn deal" (Online). BBC News.
- "More about Thorpe Park - Three decades of thrills". Retrieved 28 August 2007.[dead link]
- "A History of Chertsey - Modern Times". Retrieved 28 August 2007.
- "The History of Thorpe Park". Retrieved 28 August 2007.
- "A restoration success story". Retrieved 28 August 2007.
- "Haunted Attractions UK - Thorpe Park Fright Nights... an EVILution!". Retrieved 30 August 2007.
- "'Boy's ear severed in park accident'". Glasgow Herald. Retrieved 18/06/2013.
- "Fire hits London theme park". BBC News. Retrieved 18/06/2013.
- "Theme park accident owners fined". BBC News. Retrieved 18/03/2013.
- "Scream park". News International, The Sun. Retrieved 18/06/2013.