Nemesis Inferno in the rain


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.

Storm Surge

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.

Tidal Wave

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.

Nemesis Inferno

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

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.

Flying Fish

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.

The Swarm

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.

Rumba Rapids

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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Stand up when you get to Drayton Manor!

Drayton Manor Theme Park

Close to the English town of Tamworth, in a small town called Drayton Bassett, is the Drayton Manor Theme Park. The animal and amusement park offers some interesting and rare rides and can almost be called a showcase for the Liechtenstein company Intamin due to its impressive number of rides by the company.

When you enter the park through the main entrance you will immediately see the flagship of the park on your left. The Thomas Land consists of several smaller attractions and has been designed to match the children’s series Thomas and friends. The park was one of the first in the country to use a well-known IP – an unparalleled success, even though the amusement park is now often reduced to the Thomas Land.

Thomas Land

Troublesome Trucks Runaway Coaster

Among the larger rides in the Thomas Land area is a suitably designed train ride which has its second stop in the zoo area of the park, as well as the small Gerstlauer roller coaster Troublesome Trucks Runaway Coaster. The ride itself starts with some curve changes before you climb up the lift hill to start the fast paced ride, which has a very funny turn around. For children this junior coaster is simply fantastic, furthermore the Troublesome Trucks Runaway offers an excellent smooth ride.


Opposite the Thomas Land is the visually very appealing Intamin Gyro Swing called Maelstrom. Compared to swings of various manufacturers, a ride on the Gyro Swing is surprisingly brute and absolutely brilliant. The airtime, as well as the acceleration are simply breathtaking. A great fun!


Interestingly, there is another swing in the park, but it was not until a few years after Maelstrom that it found its way into the park. We are talking about the boat swing of the park, which again comes from the manufacturer Intamin. The ride called Bounty also accelerates very fast, but it has a much more family-friendly ride program.

Beside a typical English horse carousel you can take a quite interesting round trip with the well established Chance Rides C.P. Huntington trains. During the ride you will not only get good impressions of the main attractions Shockwave, Stormforce 10, Splash Canyon and G-Force, but you will also learn that the park used to be operated according to the Tivoli system.

Stormforce 10

The last attraction of the themed area known as Fisherman’s Wharf, which could also include Maelstrom, Shockwave and the rafting facility Splash Canyon below, is the Stormforce 10 whitewater ride.

After you have taken a seat in the boats the journey can immediately begin. Joyfully approaching the first shot, you are stopped shortly before and a gate closes behind you. The following effect is absolutely unexpected and surprising and ends as expected in cool water. Passing waterfalls we head towards the first drive up, where a turntable is waiting at the end to start the short and rather nasty backward ride. The problem of this is not the level of wetness, but the force with which the boat is braked, so the ride is definitely not for someone with a weak back. After you have turned around once again and passed under the station, you’ll be heading out into the lofty heights again and eventually reach the final shot at a snail’s pace, which will bring the ride closer to its end with a double drop.

The ride built by Bear Rides is not only unbelievably photogenic, but also simply unique due to the built-in effects, which is why you should not miss it.

Splash Canyon

Meanwhile, the rapids ride Splash Canyon offers a dry ride, which amusingly is declared to the passengers as a soaking wet one. The rapid ride itself is nicely designed and has, similar to Thorpe Parks Rumba Rapids, a very active wave pool. If one is lucky enough to be wetted by one of the numerous rapids, one can surely also be happy about the water jet shower at the end of the ride, if it catches one at all.


A few meters above the turntable of the rapid ride is the station of the only Intamin Stand-Up Coaster in Europe. After you have left the beautifully designed queue to Shockwave with all its stairs behind you and a train is waiting for you, you can try to get on your seat in some way, which is quite funny to watch, especially with small children. After the seat has been lowered slowly so that you are standing on your feet again and the two split bars, as well as the standing row, are locked, you slowly move towards the lift.

The rather strange first drop ends in a wonderfully intense loop, whereupon one tries to pull the ground from under one’s feet in a zero-g roll. The feeling to roll over the Splash Canyon is simply ingenious, especially as it increases the fear of losing something from your pockets during the ride. The two corkscrews that follow are the crowning glory of an all-round balanced ride, which in the end should not be any longer. The ride feeling is really something different and so it is a pity that there is only one ride of this kind in Europe. Due to the empty queues during the visit, the rides on Shockwave were unfortunately only held in the first row, so the ride sensation of the other rows could not be included in this review.


In the direct vicinity there is a roller coaster of German production, which unfortunately doesn’t form a unit with the surrounding attractions. Rather, it represents something completely different and thus formed the basis for the theme area Action Park at Drayton Manor Theme Park. The musical background in the queue to G-Force, which takes the floor level of the station building, is outstanding and creates a great unity with the roller coaster. As soon as you have left the stairs behind you can take a seat in the Maurer Söhne X-Cars and wait for your passengers for a few minutes if necessary.

After leaving the first downhill run behind you, you go up the strangely shaped lift to do an even stranger but ingenious downhill run. On the following hill you can experience a lot of airtime before the Cuban Eight completes the ride. Contrary to the Sky Wheel from Skyline Park or Abismo from Parque de Atracciones de Madrid, G-Force offers a completely satisfying ride, which also has a very smooth ride. Unfortunately, there is also the problem with the bars, which from time to time adapt to the human body in a rather unpleasant way and thus spoil the ride, as one hardly gets any air.

Pirates Adventure

A little bit off the beaten track is the Pirates Adventure boat theme ride from Mack Rides at Drayton Manor Theme Park. The ride itself is beautifully designed, but – like most pirate themed dark rides – it lacks that certain something that only Disney can do. Unfortunately, the effects are rather sparsely set, the lighting is too dark in some places and the background music is as little dominant as the undisguised hall ceiling.

Ben10 Ultimate Mission

The newest roller coaster of Drayton Manor Theme Park is the smallest Boomerang variation by Vekoma, which is completely dedicated to the cartoon network series Ben10 Alien Force. Why they decided to go for the second, much weaker series remains a mystery to me, but the roller coaster Ben10 Ultimate Mission can convince from the beginning of the cue. The ride is fast-paced and especially during the forward ride quite intense. The backward part is unfortunately rather gentle, but if you consider for whom this roller coaster was created, this is absolutely acceptable.

The Haunting

Passing the 4D cinema of the park, where this year a film about the little prince is shown, we take a small path to a small mansion, where a research team is already waiting for us, so that we can watch the paranormal activities of the house a little bit closer. The story of The Haunting is brought closer to you through video recordings in a container in front of the mansion, but the other pre-show rooms also contribute well to the story. The main room seems to be quite small compared to other Vekoma installations, but is designed very well. Unfortunately the music during the ride is slightly monotonous but full of atmosphere. The compressed air effect simulating bats flying around did not work everywhere and the effect at the end of the ride is just unnecessary. All in all The Haunting is a really good Mad House by Vekoma, but unfortunately it can’t match the Hotel Embrujado from the Spanish Parque Warner, which is the closest comparison.

Wild West Shoot Out and Drunken Barrels

If you slowly climb the neighbouring hill you will find the interactive theme ride Wild West Shoot Out next to the beautifully designed Intamin Drunken Barrels, which unfortunately were broken at the time of the visit. This small dark ride, manufactured by Zamperla, offers an absolutely worthwhile ride, which is not only beautifully designed, but also has some funny effects.

At the top of the hill there is a restaurant, the Grill Inn, which is not only open to park guests and will probably not be very popular until some time after the park closes. Also the beautiful, although from the outside rather plain, park owned hotel can be found here. If the cable car would be running, one could play a round of mini golf at this place.


At about half height of the small ascent is the entrance to Apocalypse, one of the best free fall towers in Europe. The 54m heighted tower offers five lanes, two of which each have the normal gondolas and the stand-up gondolas with corridor. The last gondola is a stand-up gondola without corridor. For the real freefall tower lovers, of course, only the stand-up gondolas are suitable, as they enhance the experience. But it should be said that also the normal gondolas are completely convincing. While the stand-up gondola without corridor is simply outstanding, the stand-up gondolas with corridor are a little strangely designed. After closing the bar, one has to move upwards here, so that at some time, one stands in the right position that was also approved by the personnel.

Apocalypse is similar to the freefall tower La Lanzandera from the Parque de Atracciones de Madrid and in contrast to the bigger versions like Huracan Condor from the Port Aventura Park it is simply convincing. The fall is breathtaking and intense, but unfortunately, the gondola on the Intamin Giant Drop is brought to the tilt position quite early during the ascent.


One level lower, next to the Ferris wheel, is the Fabbri Pandemonium, named Pandemonium. This is basically a beautifully designed and much larger version of a Cataclysm ride made by the same company. Like the Flying Oil Pump from the Zoo Safari- and Hollywoodpark Stukenbrock, the degree of freedom of this upside-down swing is simply high, which guarantees a fun ride with a lot of hang time. By the way, during the ride you have to be very careful not to scream, as the park does not want to make itself unpopular with its neighbours and points this out quite clearly.

Flying Dutchman

The latest Intamin ride at Drayton Manor Theme Park is a flying swing variation called Flying Dutchman. Here you fly through the air in small boats attached to steel cables, which is very relaxing due to the inclination of the seats.

Buffalo Coaster

The last roller coaster at Drayton Manor Theme Park is the Zamperla Powered Coaster Buffalo Coaster. The ride itself isn’t that spectacular, but it’s quite satisfying, because the ride is not as slow as it looks on video. But the track is very unconventional and can show some bizarre peculiarities.

Drayton Manor Zoo

The zoo area in Drayton Manor Theme Park is quite large and is located away from the park’s rides. Here, one can discover not only game animals, as one often finds in theme parks with animal enclosures, but also more exotic animals. Remarkable is, besides the large number of owls, the enclosure of the meerkats and the lemurs. Both animal species were quite astonished about what the other animals were doing in their environment. The zoo itself is well comparable with the zoological gardens from the Tier- und Freizeitpark Thüle, but also with the one from Chessington – World of Adventures.

In the back part of the zoo you can find a Thomas Museum, which is basically just a bigger model railway, as well as some attractions that fit the theme, but also Drayton Manor’s version of Cedar Fair’s Dinosaur Alive can be admired here. Although the animatronics idea has been left out from the beginning and there is no upcharge fee, the little tour with all its presentations is worth the time and is even more impressive than Nigloland’s Dinosaurs Aventure, which can score with animatronics.

Pictures Drayton Manor Theme Park

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Conclusion Drayton Manor Theme Park

Drayton Manor Theme Park itself is a good theme park with, at least in Europe, quite unique attractions. The smoothness of all attractions is comparatively high, and with minor exceptions, every ride is a sight to behold. It would be nice to see how the park will develop in the next few years, because there is clearly still a lot of potential. So I will definitely come back someday!


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In Honour of O.D. Hopkins


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.

Tidal Wave

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.

Nemesis Inferno

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.

Saw Alive

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.

Logger’s Leap

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.

Flying Fish

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.

Rumba Rapids

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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