Nice report, Jer! When I visited SFGAm in 2005, I never realized how special it was in the SF chain. Now, though, I know more its good variety of rides and how it seems to value its older rides more than other SF parks. I think it's awesome that they're celebrating Batman's 20th anniversary; I don't see many other parks do that. It's good that SFGAm has good operations and many open rides in bad weather, because I know some parks shut down with a single drop of rain. X-Flight looks excellent, even better than I was first expecting! I really liked Raptor when I rode it in August last year, and I'm sure X-Flight be just as good as it looks once I get the chance to ride it.
Once again, great report! I hope I can get to SFGAm again to check out X-Flight, as well as the other improvements the park has made over the last 7 years.
Doesn't know how to spell 'Enthusiast'... or 'Hyundai'.
Wow, I know what everyone is thinking... Why have I not been updating this thread more often? Well today is your lucky day because I have a few trip reports I can post onto this thread! Not like anyone cares about this... but let's continue!
Over the summer, a couple of my friends and I headed around England hitting up a few theme parks (Thorpe Park, Alton Towers, Chessington, Drayton, and Legoland) and I had a great time. The parks are similar, yet very different than the typical American parks. The rides were great and instead of every park having a boomerang, a powered coaster was the ride to have! Let's start off with Thorpe Park.
So flashback to August 9th, what were you doing that day? I was enjoying my day at Thorpe Park. I never knew I'd visit the park this early in my life, especially the year The Swarm opened, and I was impressed! The park was a lot smaller than I thought it would be, but I guess it's because I'm used to American parks. There are mostly thrill rides in this park, as Chessington is more of the family park, but it still didn't disappoint. The biggest problem with the park are the Fast Track passes. I waited over an hour for Nemesis Inferno, even when the line was not that long. They are probably on par with Fast Lane in terms of customer satisfaction. But let's just go into quick detail on some of the coasters...
The Swarm: Oh. My. God. Even though I got one ride on this, it's still the best wing-rider that opened this year. It is better than X-Flight, and loads better than Wild Eagle (which is my least favorite). Swarm has the same drop as X-Flight, but I rode in the back row, and wow!!! My favorite part of the the ride was the inclined loop into the low to the ground turn. The plane at the bottom of the drop was cool, but even the barrel roll over the station was really good. And like I said, the best wing-rider that I rode, but I haven't been on Raptor at Gardaland yet, but maybe someone else can chime in on which they like better?
Saw: The Ride: Overall, shaky, rough, good airtime, and one of the better Euro-Fighters. You could say it's on par with Mystery Mine with a bigger outdoor section. I prefer Mystery Mine but this isn't too bad. The theming is really good, and I love the Saw movies.
Colossus: I heard the countless complaints that this ride is rough, breaks your neck, and overall isn't an enjoyable ride. I rode in the 5th row and like Swarm, I was surprised. The ride doesn't slow down until the barrel rolls, and I *LOVED* the diving in and out of plants and the ground, the play with the terrain is so good! It's weird to say, but it's my favorite ride at the park. I'm not promising you'll enjoy your ride either, but I really enjoyed mine.
Stealth: The best seat is definitely in the front row. Fast acceleration, and airtime on the top hat and the airtime hill. I wish the ride was longer, in the sense it did a turn or had another turn etc. I prefer it over Top Thrill Dragster and Kingda Ka!
I will also add that the park has a lot of greenery. So many tree, bushes, and plants, although there are some funky smells around the park. Whether is was a trash can or the park guests that don't like deodorant, it didn't ruin my day! And onto the pictures.
I don't have a picture of it, but when you enter the parking lot (or car park!) there is a mini-roller coaster over the road. Apparently it's Intamin track, but I thought it was pretty cool. This is the park entrance though.
The first ride we headed to was Saw. As it is still a relatively new ride with low capacity, it was a smart move. While it wasn't crazy busy, we were able to avoid 30 minute lines by getting there early.
While the outdoor section is a lot crazy than the indoor section, I preferred the indoor part. I don't wanna give too much away, but if you ride the back row first time around, you'll be in for a big surprise!
I honestly was not excited for this ride after hearing all the bad reviews for it.
They were only running one train, so it was a smart move to get on it at the beginning of the day. I will add that even though it has 1 train, they had the train in and out of the station very quickly. Props for that crew!
If you read what I posted above about this ride, the ride weaves under and over the path, and in between plants and bushes and it really adds to the ride.
Nemesis, a huge disappointment. This was even before I rode the one at Alton Towers, but compared to Batman, Raptor, or any B&M invert in the US, it isn't very forceful. The pre-lift is pretty cool though.
There's nothing really impressive about this ride. I think Thorpe wanted to live off of the Nemesis name, but yeah, it didn't work out well.
As far as pretty coasters go, Stealth takes the crown.
I'm always happy when a part has one of these :)
This ride, ew. I'm not sure why these are popping up at random parks, but they aren't that good. I skipped it, but in 10 years, I can't wait for them to be removed.
Stealth has a great entrance.
The whole day was leading up to Swarm, and I was so excited.
It was my 300th credit after all, so it was going to be special. The drop into the plane was really cool.
See what I mean?
The theming around the ride is well done. Although the queue line is something to complain about.
Mmmmm! This was so well done, and I'm glad I rode in the back.
I'm glad Thorpe Park was able to having something unique for Swarm. The drop and barrel rolls and corkscrews were all taken for other layouts, but the inclined loop is one of my favorite elements anywhere.
I've always said Swarm looks by far to be the best of the Wing Riders...at some point I'll actually get on it and be able to confirm!
It sounds like you got Colossus on a good day. I've mostly had really good rides on it but there are times when maybe they haven't been taking that good of care of it or it's not a full train that it can rattle a lot similar to the Eurofighter rattle. It's a great ride for sure!
Seems you caught Thorpe on a good day. It is nice to see someone say mostly positive about a park that most people slag off. (Not going to lie I do that as well a good amount of the time).
Jerrykoala2112 wrote:And like I said, the best wing-rider that I rode, but I haven't been on Raptor at Gardaland yet, but maybe someone else can chime in on which they like better?
I think for anyone who knows me I do not like Wing Riders at all and slated Swarm and Raptor a lot. That being said if I was to pick a favourite I would say it would be Raptor. I would say that a lot more definitively if the vests didn't tighten throughout the ride on Raptor. That was an issue I don't remember experiencing on Swarm.
I find the weird thing about Saw is it depends on what train you ride as to how smooth of a ride you get. I believe they have a rolling rehab schedule on that ride so there is always one car being worked at any one time. If you are lucky enough to get one of the trains that have just come out of rehab you can actually have a fairly smooth ride.
I am glad you enjoyed your day at Thorpe and look forward to see what you thought of the other UK parks you visited.
What a GREAT Photo TR! I've always wanted to go to England, especially to visit Thorpe Park and hopefully one day I will... This is a good Photo TR due to the fact that it goes in depth, makes me somewhat feel like I'm there Swarm looks incredible, the POV's of the ride leave me with my jaw dropping. Again, great Photo TR and I hope to see coverage of the other parks!
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