After Stefan unfortunately couldn’t come with us to England last year due to a small fracture and we received a ticket for this season through the Guest Relations, we went to the English island once again, where we not only encountered minimal waiting times at Pentecost, but also the best weather to celebrate O.D. Hopkins masterpiece Tidal Wave extensively.
Tour of the park
X:\No Way Out
The beginning of the visit was the magnificent and completely screwed up indoor roller coaster X:\No Way Out made by Vekoma. For many roller coaster fans of the world this ride is wrongly considered one of the worst steel roller coasters par excellence, but the ride only does what it was designed for. The strange lifthill passages, the reversing train, as well as the computer virus that the ride reflects story-wise, make the ride something very special.
In the immediate vicinity is Tidal Wave, a masterpiece of a spillwater from O.D. Hopkins. Tidal Wave scores with its enormous wave and the resulting high – but pleasant – degree of wetness. Unfortunately, the founder of the spillwater manufacturer O.D. Hopkins died shortly before our visit, so some laps on Tidal Wave were made in his memory.
Because Stealth was not running for a while the nearby Inverter of the park was visited. Nemesis Inferno is the bigger brother of its sister ride Nemesis from Alton Towers and has an equally good and fun layout.
Of particular importance is the start of this layout, where after a downhill bend you pass through a fog-filled tunnel before the train enters the lift. After having climbed it, a curvy descent follows in order to be released in a powerful loop. Typical for the manufacturer now follows a wonderfully intense Zero-G Roll, which then releases you into the interlocking corkscrews. After the last curves are completed, the short ride is unfortunately over again.
Thematically, Nemesis Inferno forms a fiery unit with the Fabbri Freefall Tower Detonator. While the inverter is completely dedicated to the volcano, Detonator is already a little bit aside at the foot of it. The fall from the only 40m high tower lets nearly every other tower look old, because here you are not only dropped, but shot down by a preloaded spring.
As Saw – The ride was out of service and there were high queues at the Maze Saw Alive, as well as at the neighboring multi-inversion coaster Colossus, the Canadian area was examined more closely. Unfortunately there seemed to be a lot of downtimes in general, so it was no surprise that the huge S&S Power Sky Swat Slammer didn’t ride.
However, the neighbouring log flume Logger’s Leap sent one boat after the other down its double slope, so a ride on the ride was targeted. The small boat tour starts quite nasty with a shot in the dark before it gets quite strangely closer and closer to the big shot. Once up it goes immediately downhill and this luckily with a pronounced airtime on the second gradient. Unfortunately the level of wetness is limited, but the ride on the log flume is always a pleasure. Besides there is also Tidal Wave to get you wet.
Since Stealth was back on the road again, we went to the Amity Cove area again to be transported to the sky with the appropriate music playing. Stealth offers quite a short ride time, but you can rarely be faster in 60m height and back again, especially since the launch just rocks. Unfortunately, the ride doesn’t end after the Top Hat, rather on a hill where you get to know the shoulder restraints in an unpleasant way. At least the whole package is convincing, especially since the trains here are a bit bigger than on Desert Race and Rita.
A little bit hidden and since the Swarm probably also more popular, you can enjoy the probably coolest powered coaster by Mack Rides. The Flying Fish does not only greet its passengers with the word Dude but can also show a quite interesting train. Unfortunately, another train rarely seems to be a good choice for a powered coaster of this model, especially since the whole thing can turn out quite painful like in the travelling version Feuer und Eis (fire and ice); over here, the train seems a bit too wide. This is evident in the ride, but the unharmonious transitions are hardly disturbing, as the train itself is equipped with the latest generation of seats and restraints.
Saw – The Ride
Because Saw – The Ride finally started to run again, we had to dare a ride there as well. Unfortunately, the course already showed significant losses in the second year, which was mainly due to the additional queue for the fast pass owners.
After finally being cleared, the car is starting to move. The first part can still be seen as brilliant, but unfortunately the outer part of the ride seems to have taken a turn for the worse. The first change you notice is the lower speed, as there is no longer the almost indescribable rush and the resulting forces. The second change is the rather ungentle approach with its passengers; the ride was suprisingly rough.
More or less next door and unfortunately a little bit inappropriately designed for this area is the Top Scan Samurai by Mondial. This ride, that is very popular especially in the United Kingdom, is very convincing – at least if the rotation of the gondola also allows some rollovers. But the constant shifting of the legs to the right is not very pleasant in the long run.
Also the world’s first 10 inversions roller coaster Colossus wanted to be ridden. The very photogenic ride, which by the way has the same epic soundtrack as its namesake from Heide-Park in Lower Saxony, continues to convince, provided you have completed the first three inversions. What the looping and the following cobra roll do to you isn’t that nice, but what follows is basically just great. The two corkscrews are passed with a wonderful speed before the four Heartlinerolls are started. These are slightly monotonous but are – at least in Europe – a unique experience and the prelude to the best inversion of a roller coaster par excellence, the final fifth Heartlineroll in the opposite direction. The roll is something special and rides wonderfully harmonious; a basically unique feeling.
Rush, Quantum, Vortex and Zodiac
In the same area there are still some rides, like the boring S&S swing Rush, where with a bit of luck a giant dragonfly is slapped in your face, which can be considered a highlight during the short ride program. The flying carpet Quantum and also the neighboring Afterburner Vortex show hardly any ride characteristics worth mentioning except for their manufacturers. The HUSS Enterprise Zodiac is a very interesting ride, not only because of its short ride program, like all rides in this area, but also because of its safety belt to attach the grid to the nacelle.
The park’s Intamin Rafting ride is not really worth mentioning, because Rumba Rapids clearly gives away a lot of potential. The course itself features a wonderful wave pool that could flood the boats nicely. As always on European rapid rides, one remains dust-dry.
Pictures Thorpe Park
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