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Posts tagged ‘theme park’

113. Alton Towers v. Thorpe Park

I went to Alton Towers for the first time recently and I couldn’t help but compare it to Thorpe Park. The reason I’d never been before was because it’s 5 hours away by public transport but some of my Towers Watson colleagues were going and I thought it would be a good way to get to know them better. I went with such random people, most of whom I’d only known for a day and some of them I’d never seen before. I’m surprised I went at all. Moreover I’m surprised my parents let me.

The Crew

The Crew

That aside, I ended up having a great time!

aliyasmile

Huge grin

Onto the comparisons!

Size of the Park

Alton Towers is mahoosive. It’s spaced out; there are ponds and castles and greenery everywhere so it’s a beautiful location. However that also means the rides are far apart so you feel like a lot of time is being wasted just walking to the next ride let alone waiting in the queues. I should add that they do have ‘Sky Rides’ which transport you from one section of the park to another which is helpful. If you don’t take the Sky Ride however, there’s a good chance you’ll get lost in the meandering paths through the trees.

Look at all that green! (Picture was taken from Sky Ride)

Look at all that green! (Picture was taken from Sky Ride)

Meanwhile Thorpe Park isn’t small but the rides are much closer together- you can run to them even if you’re fitness challenged like I am. The natural consequence is that there is less scenery.

Family Friendly

Alton Towers definitely caters better for families; they’ve got more rides for the the little ones and stalls where you can win fluffy teddy bears and whatnot. As a university student I’m not fully appreciative of this but it’s a huge plus for children.

Food

This is not really a big issue for me. I’m there to have fun- as long as there’s something to keep the hunger at bay I’m good. Both Alton Towers and Thorpe Park fulfil this basic requirement.

THE RIDES

This is the big one really. Alton Park definitely used to have edge what with its rollercoasters but Thorpe Park has responded strongly in recent years with the arrival of The Swarm, Saw: The Ride and Stealth. Even with the arrival of Smiler (the world’s first 14 loop rollercoaster) at Alton Towers, I think Thorpe Park still has the edge.

These are some of the best rides at Alton Towers (in my opinion):

  • Air– This was a great ride. It felt smooth and I really did feel like I was flying. This is quite similar to The Swarm at Thorpe Park and though you’re not in ‘flying’ position (you lie on your stomach with your legs up during ‘Air’), I thought it was just as good.
  • Nemesis– Thorpe Park has the Nemesis Inferno rollercoaster which is very similar but the Alton Towers’ version was longer and you go upside down more so I liked it better.
  • Rita– You get catapultedĀ from 0 to 100 kmph in 2.5 seconds! Sound good? Yeah not as good as going 0 to 128 kmph in under 2 seconds as you do on Stealth. There’s no competition. In fact if you’ve survived Stealth and go on Rita, you might be a little disappointed.
  • Oblivion– Not gonna lie I was crapping myself at the top when they hang you and all you can see is the ground way down below you. However I really enjoyed it- definitely one of the best rides at Alton Towers. Valid comparisons can be made to Saw: The Ride at Thorpe which is similarly awesome.
  • Smiler– I haven’t been on this (BECAUSE IT WAS CLOSED DAMMIT) which is a huge shame. I really hope it lives up to the hype but if it doesn’t there’s still Colossus at Thorpe Park which is a mere 4 loops less.

Basically this whole long convoluted blog post is saying I like Thorpe Park better. All of the best rides at Alton Towers can be matched by something at Thorpe Park and that’s not even considering rides like Rush, Samurai and Tidal Wave. Smiler is a huge plus point for Alton Towers but not enough to sway me.

[Aside: I felt most sick when I was being driven from Alton Towers to the station by some cray cray taxi driver. That guy’s driving license needs to be revoked. He was doing 80mph on a 40mph road. Da eff?!]

Over and Out!

97. Thorpe Park!

It has almost become tradition for me to go to Thorpe Park after the university year is over! Someone complained that there were no new rides out this year… err are you telling me you’re used to going from 0-80 mph in under 2 seconds like you do on Stealth? I’ve been on it several times and I was still bricking it beforehand. Every time I get to the top and see just how high up I am, in what is essentially a clever little box, I question my sanity. Is this fear and precarious height worth the ‘thrill’? And every time the ride finishes, I think to myself ‘yes, yes it does’. I vote that every student should go on Stealth before taking an exam because my god it wakes you up like nothing else!

English: The roller coaster Stealth at Thorpe ...

English: The roller coaster Stealth at Thorpe Park. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This year I fell victim to the lure of Tidal Wave. It’s just too fun- I have to go on it. Now I fully expected to get wet on this ride but even I was shocked from the complete and thorough drenching that I suffered. I was soaked from socks to underwear. I spent the next two hours waddling around awkwardly smelling of chlorine because I was so wet. I do this every year and each time I swear not to next time but I’m an idiot and don’t listen to my own advice.

hair plastered to my face

hair plastered to my face

I even went in one of those heater things which was deliciously warm but it wasn’t enough to dry my jeans. All five of us squished into the heat cubicle and at one point we were all just crouching to dry our butts. Nice and classy as always!

The good thing about going to Thorpe Park on Thursday at this time of year is that the queues are short. We didn’t wait more than half an hour for any ride and we managed to go on all the big rides. Some rides lose their charm when you go on them several times, like Slammer for example but Rush (essentially a huge swing) is always so fun for me which is why it is my favourite ride (Saw is second and Stealth third).

rush

RUSH

colossus

Colossus mid-ride

 

 

 

 

 

Our last ride of the day was Vortex and no-one wanted to get off. Everyone started shouting ENCORE and they let us stay on for another go! (They probably do that for everyone- shut up and let me feel special)

So gangster. So thug!

So gangster! So thug!

Some other pictures…

The only ride in Thorpe Park that makes me feel sick!

The only ride in Thorpe Park that makes me feel sick…the banana ride!

Leaving the park...I was sad to go :(

Leaving the park…I was sad to go šŸ˜¦

Over and Out!