As the month of May is not one of the busiest months for English amusement parks, Merlin Entertainments has launched a very nice promotion for Annual Pass holders, where they can take their friends to the group’s four amusement parks in England for £15. Compared to the 50% discount that already exists, this offer is much more worthwhile and so my English friend and fellow student Connor went back to Staines after some time.
A relatively empty park
The park was relatively empty for a Sunday of a Bank Holiday Weekend in the sunniest weather, but occasionally there were longer queues, for example at the beginning of the day 120 minutes were spent at Colossus, while at Saw the Ride one could walk up to the station. Also at Stealth and The Swarm there was a longer queue, but not necessarily with the reverse option of that.
While the right side of the Swarm can generally be quietly considered the better one, it is the left side that scores much more when riding backwards. While the forward ride through a single Near-Miss could convince since this year, you don’t notice anything of it when going backwards, but you are surprised by almost every element, which was mainly unexpected on the last roll. It’s a funny feeling, which keeps me laughing all ride long.
The second novelty this year is the redesigned roller coaster X:\ No Way Out, which now operates under the simple name X. After entering the redesigned queue, the now quite nice and atmospheric queue goes towards the station, where you enter the new trains, but leave the station in a forward motion. In the hall you can expect good lighting effects and a great soundtrack. The forward and backward passages on the lifts don’t exist anymore and so you race down the track until the last two block sections. There you can wait a little bit longer, which isn’t that annoying with the light effects, moreover this break offers a good view of the track.
Merlin Entertainments and Thorpe Park did nothing wrong with the redesign of X, because last year’s X:\ No Way Out was really not an interesting ride anymore. The music, the ride and the lighting effects are quite nice, even though you missed the fact that the trains are running in reverse.
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