Last week, my kids gained a new-found love for my blog. Why? Because we got the opportunity to go to one of their "favourite places everrrr" - Thorpe Park. If you haven't been to Thorpe Park, you haven't lived. Apparently.
bore thrill you with the details of our day out, I thought it would be polite to introduce you to our party:
|OH: over 40, repressed thrill-seeker|
|Me: over 40, total wuss|
|Tween 1: 12 yrs old, 147 cms, not keen on big rides|
|Tween 2: 11 yrs old, 141 cms, brimming with confidence|
|The Boy: 8 yrs old, 127cms, adrenaline junkie|
As you can imagine, the build-up to this day was huge! All 3 kids had spent the entire week pouring over You Tube clips, deciding which were the best rides and even writing an itinerary for the day. I, on the other hand, had spent every night dreaming about unsafe rollercoasters and conjuring up excuses for not attempting any of 'The Big 5'! I spent the 40 minute journey to Thorpe Park in silence; already feeling sick from nerves, the cacophony of excitable voices coming from the back seat wasn't helping. Once through those gates, there was no going back....
One of the things which slightly concerned us about Thorpe Park, is that The Boy - my adrenaline junkie - wouldn't be able to go on many rides. I had heard from various sources, that "there is no point in going to Thorpe Park with children under 12 years of age". How wrong they were! Although you do need to be a minimum of 140 cms for The Big 5 (Swarm, Stealth, Colossus, Nemesis, Rush) there were plenty of other rides that children over 120 cms are allowed to go on. He enjoyed: Quantum, Zodiac, X , Tidal Wave - all having adequate thrill-factor (thank goodness!) and on top of that, all 3 children could go on Flying Fish, Loggers Leap, Depth Charge, Storm in a Teacup, Mr Monkey's Banana Ride, Rumba Rapids and their favourite - The Rocky Express. Almost all of these rides can be enjoyed by children over 90 cms (accompanied by an adult).
There were various places to eat around Thorpe Park, which pleased me as I had decided not to complicate things by trying to organise a picnic in my slightly anxious state: KFC, Burger King, Pizza Hut, Mexican, BBQ, Noodle Bar, to name but a few. We ate at the 360 Bar and Grill which was perfect for our needs and gave us a place to shelter from the torrential rain which hit us around midday.
So the question I know you're all dying to ask.....did I brave any of The Big 5?! As we had Fast Track tickets to every single one of these rides, it would have been rude not to try at least one; in fact I had promised my family that I would, so I couldn't let them down now, could I? Having studied each ride closely, even down to watching the people exiting the ride, to guage what level of fear they were displaying, I plumped for Nemesis. The OH pretty much had to force me into my seat and once in, I did lean over and hiss: "If I weren't strapped in here so tightly, I would be getting off right now" But I loved it! Like a giddy teenager, pumped full of adrenaline, I grabbed Tween 2 and forced her to come on it again!
And then there was no stopping me.....Swarm was next and of course I screamed "like a girl" (according to Tween 2) but that's part of the fun, isn't it?! Next up was Colossus: famous for being the world's first rollercoaster with 10 loop to loops, and this one was probably my favourite. Why? Because it felt like the biggest achievement for me - I had finally conquered my fear of rollercoasters!
But enough about me. Here's what the kids thought.....
Tween 1: "X was my favourite ride because it was fun but not too scary. Last time I went to Thorpe Park it went backwards and that was the best!"
Tween 2: "I liked Stealth the best (yes, she was braver than I - no way you'd get me on that one!) because it was fast and I liked the feeling of being lunged back into your seat when you go up the hill (0-80 in 2.3 seconds to be precise!). I gave it a 10/10!"
The Boy: "Zodiac was my favourite ride because it went upside down over and over again and it was really fun!"
Do: Arrive early - the rides open at 10am and don't really get busy until around midday.
Do: Purchase the rather unattractive-looking rain capes -you will be very thankful for them after riding Tidal Wave!
Do: Wrap up warm - unless you're going in the height of summer, it's pretty exposed and once you get wet, it's very cold!
Do: Look for deals on entry tickets - book 7 days in advance and you will save 30% on tickets but better still, purchase a bottle of Frijj and you can gain 2 for 1 tickets (visit Frijj on Facebook for more info).
Do: Go to the loo before you arrive - they are pretty scarce around the park.
Do: Ask stall-holders for directions - they are very helpful and the park isn't all that well signposted.
Don't: Wear jeans - my kids told me not to, I went against their advice and regretted it! You will get wet and jeans will stick to your legs and retain water for approximately 4 hours.
Disclaimer: Thorpe Park provided us with 5 entrance tickets and 5 fast track passes for the purpose of this review. All words and opinions are our own.