Every time I look at Thorpe Park photos there's one thing that always bothers me, and this one is no exception. Does this park have any family rides?! I know trip reports don't usually focus on family or kiddie rides, but you usually at least see them in the background of photos or see signs for them or something. Their lineup of coaster and thrills rides are still pretty impressive, but I just never seem to see anything to prove that Thorpe has anything else to offer.
Thank you all for the comments and taking the time to check out my report! Means a lot, and since you guys did that for me, I'll post another park from my adventures in England over the summer. (Alton Towers is next!) So on August 10th, 2012... I took a trip to Drayton Manor!
The weather was perfect - blue sky and white clouds, no rain clouds in sight. It was a bit crowded that day but the lines were manageable. G-Force wasn't open until an hour and a half after the park opened, and the line filled up fast with only one train running. Waited 45 minutes, and I felt bad for anyone that had to wait in the extremely long queue. Operations were great and I gotta say, all these England parks really impressed me with their attention to scenery and foliage, they really take care of themselves. Drayton really kept up on repainting their rides and making everything seem fresh and new, even if it might now have been.
I also wanna say that Drayton Manor was my favorite British theme park that I've been to (Out of Thorpe, Alton, Legoland, and Drayton) as I felt it had a great collection of rides. While none of the roller coasters are *AMAZING* or come near my Top 20, I still think they were fun and unique to the park. The operations were great and I liked the food they had, and they had the best collection of flat rides out of any park in England. I did not have time to do the zoo but I did manage to get to Thomas Town and it is very, very, very well done.
Shockwave: After riding Cobra at La Ronde and finding that complete crap, Shockwave actually turned my view on Intamin stand ups into a 180. While it's not better than a B&M stand up, the zero-g was a lot of fun and has a great setting over the rapids. The double corkscrew I was worried about as well, but it's not bad either. Has a superb station too, very well themed.
G-Force: I don't know, really. It's not that good. I think Drayton was looking for a signature coaster, something that separates it from the rest, and they certainly did that. It doesn't really make the park awful as it looks nice (besides the station) but they could have gotten something better.
And special shout out to their flume ride! For a park the size of Drayton Manor, I did not expect it to have that well of a themed log-flume style ride if I can even call it that. It's very cool! And now onto the pictures... I edited them a bit because my camera is crap, and if you guys don't like them, I won't edit the Alton Tower pictures.
Welcome to Drayton Manor!
To minimize our wait times that day, we went straight to the Ben 10 boomerang. Good for Vekoma at marketing this ride as a family ride as it is very popular, but does nothing for me. At least it's not rough like the other Boomerangs... And like any ride at Drayton, they did an *amazing* job theming it.
It takes you up one spike backwards before releasing you forwards and then you go through the course backwards. The kids loved it though, and that's what matters.
Early in the park opening and this ride was down for maintenance.
It's a pretty ride though, at least the paint doesn't fade as quick as those roller coasters in southern California.
At first, I wouldn't consider this an inversion but I guess you do go upside down, this ride is full of wacky stuff.
I just want to applaud Drayton for repainting Shockwave, it looks brand new and really looks like they care for the park.
The ride goes *through the trees*!!!
The zero-g is what I was looking forward to most on this ride, and if I can add, it was worth it.
This ride has many Millennium Force style 'straight ways' where the track just goes straight, but it doesn't make the ride any less boring because it gives you a sense of speed.
Great setting for the park. Looks a lot better than many areas at parks like Cedar Point, SFMM, etc.
The ride finally opened with one train operations and we went in line right away. While we still had to wait 45 minutes, the line got to at least a 2 hour wait. Ridiculous.
At least it's a hit with the public. I want to try out SHOCK at Rainbow Magic Land because I feel that the Maurer Sohne rides with 2 carts are not as good with the rides with 1 car. Yeah...
Definitely one of the better Frisbees. I haven't been on MaXair, but it has a long ride cycle and you get some good forces while spinning.
I wish it was as good as it looked. It is extremely loud and goes at a sloth's pace through the whole course.
Rolling through the zero-G. Props to Drayton Manor for running 2 trains on Shockwave even though the ride was a walk on. Good for them.
I love how they built the ride around/over the rapids, it makes it that much more special. Especially the funky supports.
See what I mean about the supports?
It's a very pretty sight. Oh, but the water for the rapids was very dirty. For a ride that doesn't really get you wet though, it had a long line. (It was pretty hot that day)
Those people are deciding whether or not to risk 2 hours of their time waiting in line for G-Force to find out that it would not be worth it.
Not much airtime on this ride because the restraints hurt a bit. They strap you in at a weird angle.
This is the 'log flume' I was talking about...
Oh yeah, forgot what park I was at, thanks for the reminder!
WHAT IS THIS??!?!? A BACKWARDS SECTION??!? AND IT GETS YOU ***SOAKED***
The park is situated on the lake and makes it look so beautiful that not many parks in the US can compare. They would fill in the lake with dirt to make room for a new giga coaster, but not here!
The only picture I got of the powered coaster. Pretty weird but still fun. I forgot why though, there was something about this ride that made it special. I think it's rumored to be taken down for their new addition in 2 years?
UGHHH! One of the scariest drop towers around! I did the stand up side and it's taller than I thought it was. And it TILTED. Nearly shat myself. I love drop towers, but they scare me so bad.
I love how they take your picture on the ride. My face was priceless.
The last photo I took at the park. On their website, the park was going to close at 5, but they stay opened until around 7 due to the crowds. Another reason why it's my favorite British park! Hope they don't lose their charm next time I visit! Thanks for reading...
I wasn't too thrilled with Drayton when I was on TPR's 2006 UK trip, although I did find Pirate Adventure and The Haunting quite amusing and thought Apocalypse was great. I understand that it's been improving a lot over the years, and wouldn't mind giving the place another look.
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