If you can’t think of anything better on a Sunday than to drive to Thorpe Park and skilfully ignore any weather forecast and let yourself be dazzled by the sunshine on Saturday, it can happen that the English weather shows its supposedly typical side and thus makes for a very wet visit. What do you do for a ride on Nemesis Inferno…
The Island like no other
When you enter Thorpe Park, you still have that unique feeling of being immersed in a completely different world – something that amusement parks usually don’t manage to do. However, since this year, the view from the bridge is a bit clouded, because while the left side shows an idyllic panorama, the view on the right side is no longer dominated by Tidal Wave and Stealth, but disturbed by the rather unfavorable angle on The Swarm.
Although it had been raining all the time, the novelty from last year was particularly popular. The queue of the Storm Surge round boat slide was well filled until the afternoon, which is certainly not only due to the low capacity of the installation. The ride in the smaller version of the Spinning Rapids Ride by WhiteWaterWest is gentle and, due to the tight curve radii and the resulting frequency of the brake mats, hardly gives you a noticeable spin – as you can experience for example in the Rio Dorado of Hansa Park. As with other installations of this type, the ride only gets you wet with a lot of luck, if only there weren’t the water jets and water cannons at the end of the ride. While the former helped the guests to cool down in the Cypress Gardens amusement park in Florida, this is of course not enough in the comparatively cold Surrey. Therefore some water cannons were provided for the park guests, which have a rather high range. If one should not be shot straight frontally with these, the degree of wetness is quite pleasant. The circumstance that the never visited toddler area of Thorpe Park was torn down was welcome.
Probably the most popular attraction of the day is located only a few meters away from Storm Surge’s entrance, a prankster who thinks of the indoor roller coaster X:\ No Way Out. Of course it’s the great Shoot the Chutes ride Tidal Wave by O.D. Hopkins, which now even soaks its already superficially soaked passengers’ underwear. The results showed after the ride in the full body dryers confirm this thesis clearly.
X:\ No Way Out
The Vekoma Enigma roller coaster X:\ No Way Out had a breakdown in the early morning, but since the guests of Thorpe Park were left waiting in the rain in front of the ride, instead of waiting in the anyway way too long covered queue, more and more people joined the line, which is a rather rare sight on a roller coaster like X:\ No Way Out. The world’s longest and probably only backwards running dark roller coaster is an often underestimated roller coaster, which may be due to the family-friendly ride of the ride. Unfortunately, since the installation of a light effect above one of the block areas it is much too bright to use the darkness of the hall as an advantage. Now, the ride still goes haphazardly through the hall, but instead you can see the track next to you and which one you have already completed. The computer virus theme is still very odd, but it’s what makes this roller coaster so special; however, it would be immensely helpful to introduce a soundtrack within the whole layout.
Not far from the brilliantly staged fishing village of Amity Cove, things are a little more tropical, or rather more fiery. Inside a volcano is the station to Nemesis Inferno, the younger brother of the roller coaster Nemesis from the sister park Alton Towers. Luckily, both coasters are completely different and share the same type of ride, apart from the preference for more special layouts. After the first drop on Nemesis Inferno, you complete a swinging S-curve combination through a tunnel, usually in combination with a fog effect, before hooking into the lift. This is followed by the steep curve drop with looping and zero-g roll following, which are very intensively ridden. A curve follows before you see yourself upside down again in a corkscrew. Untypical for this type of track, another curve is followed by the second part of the Interlocking Corkscrew, which pulls you along nicely at the back of the train. Further curves and a helix follow until you are standing happily in the brakes of Nemesis Inferno.
It is the one big difference that makes Nemesis Inferno better than the first Inverted Coaster on European soil. Here you don’t get the feeling that the track could have been even longer, here you don’t do two slower turns that both end in an inversion and here you don’t advertise to be the most intense coaster in the world, which wasn’t the case at the opening. Nemesis is a good ride with a huge fan community, a unique layout that makes good use of the limitations of the environment, only the experience in all its attributed intensity is not as satisfying as it is on Nemesis Inferno.
Thematically to the Inverted Coaster Nemesis Inferno belongs in close proximity the Fabbri Mega Drop Detonator, which does not have the traditional arrangement of the seats, but has designed them in a circular pattern. The ride in a Fabbri tower is outstanding, because a spring is tensioned when the car is lifted, whereupon noticeably higher negative G-forces are generated when releasing the Detonator. Strangely enough the deceleration was unexpectedly smooth.
Slammer and Samurai
Another interesting ride in the area around the Inverted Coaster Nemesis Inferno is the S&S Power Sky Swat Slammer. As luck would have it, the ride is currently closed and will probably not open again until Halloween. Since this was also announced on the website, the loss of a ride is not as shocking as it was in May 2010; if you have already enjoyed a Sky Swat ride once, you would like to repeat it. A few metres further on, one could see the Mondial Top Scan Samurai partly dismantled lying around in the way, practically set in a way that it was also not possible to make a trip in the railway of Thorpe Park. According to speculations, the ride is supposed to be renovated and repainted.
Saw – The Ride has turned to the good again after its disastrous second year, at least as far as the speed of the ride and the condition of the stirrups are concerned. The cars, completely intact, are once again racing down the track, so that the inequalities during the ride are hardly noticeable. The biggest crime at the roller coaster still remains, the fast-pass queue still exists and generally makes the waiting time in the stand-by line feel a lot slower. It’s more convenient if a queue is moving and doesn’t stand still for minutes just because the other side is currently being let into the building. In this respect and for the sake of the ambience, which was destroyed by the division in front of and on the stairs, one wishes the old system back.
The 10 inversions roller coaster Colossus, which besides its name also shares the soundtrack with Colossos from Heide-Park, is a prime example for the design of a roller coaster, because the way the paths run here, especially the queue, is simply breathtakingly beautiful; as long as you can see over the blue painted tunnels. The ride in the ride built by Intamin is also very borderline in the first three inversions, everything that follows from the two wonderful corkscrews, over the four consecutive heartlinerolls to the final, but directionally reversed roll, is just lovely or, as with the last roll, just outstanding. What Intamin has created with this inversion is simply perfect.
On the way to the novelty of the year you will pass a powered coaster by the manufacturer Mack Rides called Flying Fish. Previously located in a cul-de-sac, visitors willing to ride now frequently pass by, but this does not mean that the queue gets packed – the train only runs more often. Due to the wide wagons, Flying Fish offers an unusual and strange riding experience on a powered coaster of this kind. Although one also has the feeling in the normal trains to hit the supports as soon as one raises the arms, it seems to be more distinctive in this train.
Strangely enough, the close calls at the Bollinger and Mabillard roller coaster next door don’t create this feeling and in general it is hard to say if and where it triggers feelings at all. The left side of the train experiences a very weak ride at The Swarm, while the passengers on the right side experience a very solid roller coaster ride. Above all, it is a much more impressive experience to ride over the top than underneath to experience the first inversion and simultaneous first drop. The following inversions are all more intense on the right side and even the Inclined Loop is much more fun due to the inner radius.
Hardly any other roller coaster made the classification as difficult as The Swarm. While the left side is even weaker, the right side with the ride experience is very nice, but nothing more. It complements the portfolio of Thorpe Park and makes sure that a few more people come to this part of the park, also the park doesn’t seem so small anymore due to the expansion.
Due to the rather bad weather, most of the rides were left behind, also the Intamin Accelerator roller coaster Stealth was closed. But since the ride programs at all flat rides are hardly worth mentioning, which by the way also applies to the oversized compressed air swing Rush from S&S Power, this is not necessarily a tragedy. Apart from Storm Surge and the Rumba Rapids, a rafting ride with a level of wetness where you get off drier than you got on at the end of the ride, no water ride was visited. Regarding the Rumba Rapids, it should be mentioned that the installation not only has potential, but also convinces with the existing soundtrack. Although this facility is as wet as most other European rafting rides, it is nicely laid out.
Conclusion Thorpe Park
Thorpe Park is quite a nice amusement park. The park’s clientele is generally young, so there are some families to be found around here, but without small children – they are better off within 15 miles of the amusement parks Chessington World of Adventures and Legoland Windsor anyway. Its reputation as a thrill capital naturally attracts a group of visitors that don’t like to be seen in a park, but in general all visitors were able to behave themselves. The oh-so “grubby” park map with its hidden details is not as disgusting as many people think – it rather reminds of some of the details you can find in the Miniatur Wunderland. Of course, one can argue about the style and maybe a serious appearance would be better, but that’s just the way it is in Great Britain.
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