Is thorpe park the number 1 hype at the moment?

Friday, November 1, 2002 12:54 AM
Thorpe park has grown tremendously with these new big rides being built, but has it lived up to the standards which Alton Towers have set. When I last visited thorpe park in the summer, me and my mates got round the whole park within about three hours or so. So we got to go on all the rides as many times as we wished, but when we went to alton towers for the day, we had trouble trying to go on all the rides in the park. The point I am getting at here is that Thorpe Park is beginning to grow, but I feel its still got quite a bit of a way to go before we can really start comparing it to Alton Towers. A few more variety of rides are needed to make a day out at Thorpe really worth the visit.

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build me a coaster to ride

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Friday, November 1, 2002 5:02 AM

as thorpe park is my home park i feel qualified to comment!

last season, thorpe park was still one of the smaller parks in the UK, but with the addition of colossus in 2002 the park is now only second in the UK to alton towers IMO.

2003 sees the opening of a B&M inverted, only the second in the UK after nemesis opened at alton towers in 1994. two other smaller rides are also expected to open next year at thorpe park (a magic carpet and an observation wheel). with these new rides combined with the current attractions should make a great park. maybe not alton towers standard, but it will be a very close second.

thorpe park is a very small park but has a large amount of rides for such a small space. i feel this is good as you dont have to walk so far to get to all the good rides. i also think that the themeing at thorpe beats alton towers' hands down.

its personal opinion i guess, but TP is improving a lot and will be a world class park by this time next year

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Friday, November 1, 2002 11:15 AM
YES Thorpe Park is improving by a long way, I mean back in 1998, the park did NOT have any of these rides/attractions

Pirates 4D
Tidal Wave
Vortex
Zodiac
Detonator
Colossus

and of course it gets better in 2003 with Nemesis Inferno, and the rumour of 2 other flat rides(A Magic Carpet and Ferris Wheel Ride) so Thorpe Park has definatly come a long way since then. Basiclly its all because Tussards wanted Thorpe to be more of a Thrill Park and concentrate Chessington on being more of a Family Park(Thorpe was always a Family park, and so Tussards wanted to change that) I think they have done very well in those 5 years personally.

Also I really enjoy visiting Thorpe Park now, all the new thrill rides have given the park a new lease of life, and I have visited the park several times this year. Also the one thing I love about Thorpe is you dont have to rush around the park trying to get all the rides done, Its very easy to achieve even on Saturdays, and you still get enough time left over for re-rides.

Paul(Who will be visiting thorpe every other weekend next year for obvious reasons ;) )

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Saturday, November 2, 2002 9:15 AM

Thorpe is getting there, but there are loads of UK parks with a better selection of rides than Thorpe. Of course its down to opinion, but I disagree that Thorpe is only 2nd to Alton. One shouldn't forget the likes of Fantasy Island, Drayton Manor, Blackpool, Southport, Flamingoland, all of which have a wider selection of rollercoasters (stand-ups/ shuttles/ hypers/ woodies/ multi-loopers/ inverts/ etc), as well as a variety of flat rides. I think as Laurence's home park is Thorpe, he's based in the south of England, most of the UK's parks are in the North.

When you consider the catchment area of these parks, Thorpe is incredibly lacking. Being so close & accesible to the most populated area in the country (London), Thorpe has the potential to be the busiest park in the country, but (untill 2002) has not had any major rides. By comparison, all the parks mentioned above are located in countryside locations, or small towns. Their profit margins are obviously smaller (with the exception of Blackpool & Alton) and therefore its clearly more difficult for them to invest, yet their management have had the inspiration and imagination to travel the world looking for ideas, and bring them to the UK.

If we're talking about themeing, Thorpe prob is 2nd only to Alton. Being part of the Tussauds group they have an advantage. However, themeing efforts of other parks (Drayton especially, and even Blackpool with the introduction of Valhalla!) should not be overlooked in favour of the 'professionals'!!

To summarise, "I'm sorry Laurence but your opinion is clearly biased"!!

*** This post was edited by colin mcwilliam on 11/2/2002. ***

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Saturday, November 2, 2002 9:31 AM

Well living very close to Thorpe park I just love the fact that i'm that close to a very good intamin and i'm hoping a soon to be very good B&M. I still think Thorpe park is a bit to small for my liking but I think if you catch it on a non-busy day the rides can keep you amused for a very long time.

Also i'm sure tussauds haven' t finished their big investment into the park as I think we will see one more big investment in the next couple of years. Then it will slip into a more regular large ride investment rota. It's a great little park and has masses of potential execpt for the annoying height restriction (100ft). This however forces tussauds to come up with more imaginative designs.

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Saturday, November 2, 2002 9:52 AM
Collin, I'll agree with you on all except...WHAT!!!! How could you possibly consider Fantasy Island a park?!! That crammed up market stuffed with some rides isn't even worthy of the title of amusement park, stick with fun center. I'm sorry but a carnival isnide of a Jerry Springer trailer park isn't a theme park in my case.

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Lake Compounce-So Fresh and So Clean Clean

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Saturday, November 2, 2002 10:19 AM

How is Thorpe second to Alton? Thorpe is a better run park by far. Next year in terms of ride quality they will also be about equal and the theming is better and more consistent at Thorpe. The reason it took you all day to ride everyting at Alton is because of how large the place is. Thorpe being fairly compact allows quick movement between rides instead of a 20 minute walk in the woods.

In terms of a pure 'theme' park then Thorpe is the best in the UK because the management don't treat customers (sorry guests) as an inconvenience and walking wallets. I love what Alton Towers has done for the industry but this year it really has shown itself as a money-grabbing park, particularly by installing but not finishing what should have been a stunning ride. At the moment it is just 'good.'

The two best parks in the UK are still Blackpool and Oakwood however.


Drayton Manor....By comparison, all the parks mentioned above are located in countryside locations, or small towns


Last time I looked Drayton Manor was right on the outskirts of the city I live in, in an area that has a massive population. Birmingham. Not exactly countryside or a small town. Southport as well is bearly out of Liverpool.

Wilko

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JawCoasters - Site for UK Coasters
www.jawcoasters.co.uk

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Saturday, November 2, 2002 10:58 AM

John Wilkes said:
"How is Thorpe second to Alton? Thorpe is a better run park by far."

Last time I checked they were both run by the same company, so how can they be run so different?
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TOGO!

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Saturday, November 2, 2002 11:03 AM

John Wilkes said:

In terms of a pure 'theme' park then Thorpe is the best in the UK because the management don't treat customers (sorry guests) as an inconvenience and walking wallets. I love what Alton Towers has done for the industry but this year it really has shown itself as a money-grabbing park,



*cough* parking chargers *cough* :D

but, living within 15 mins of thorpe park, i have to say that the introduction of 2 world class coasters in 2 years certainly makes it a force to be reckoned with.

just look at the amount of hype surround NI. hail by coaster enthusiasts the world over - BEFORE IT'S EVEN OPEN!!! i have found very, very few if any bad words spoken about this unopened coaster on the internet. now surely thats saying something!

*** This post was edited by shadowsniper on 11/2/2002. ***

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Saturday, November 2, 2002 11:43 AM

thats true actaully, i have heard so much more bad stuff about cedar points new coaster than inferno, thats saying something!

and although thorpe park and alton towers are both owned by tussauds, they arent run by the same management and so things can vary greatly between the two parks. for example, the parking charges as mentioned above, thorpe park has burger king whereas alton towers has mcdonalds, thorpe parks website is run by a different company and so on. there are many differences just as there would be with any park chain (six flags, universal, busch, paramount etc)

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Saturday, November 2, 2002 2:44 PM

Wilko, valid point! But I stand by my argument about the catchment area and potential visitors. Dont forget that most foreign visitors & tourists will more likely visit London than Birmingham and Liverpool...

( don't take notice of me, I just love to be contraversial really!)

*** This post was edited by colin mcwilliam on 11/2/2002. ***

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Saturday, November 2, 2002 3:35 PM

ok, alton is in the middle of the countryside, so according to your theory doesnt have a large catchment area and so wouldnt have a lot of visitors.

so explain why alton towers is the most popular tourist attraction in the uk?!

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Sunday, November 3, 2002 2:50 AM
In my opinion Alton Towers is the best park in the UK at the moment, and with Inferno being added to Thorpe Park, as well as a couple more flat rides in 2003, TP will become the 2nd best park in the UK.

I have been to Drayton, Thorpe, Oakwood and Blackpool and I would say all these parks are on a par because they ALL have a good variety of rides, with one unique ride to each park. However with Inferno, i think TP will become the 2nd best park in the UK.

And I would say TP has a fairly large catchment area- i mean its a fairly standard trip from the west of England, straight down the motorway, as from the south, and then you've got London right next to it.

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Sunday, November 3, 2002 9:17 AM
T300 said: "Last time I checked they were both run by the same company, so how can they be run so different?"


Although Tussaud's own both park there are two different management teams in the UK. One team manages Alton and the other run Thorpe and Chessington. In my opinion the southern parks are run far better than Alton. They seem to care about their guests far more.

As for foreign visitors they are more likely to visit London than Birmingham (despite in my opinion Birmingham being an infinatly better place :-D ). However if foreign visitors are to visit any park it would probably not be Thorpe but Alton since it is the more 'famous' park. In terms of domestic trade Alton does well although in the middle of nowhere because it is accessible from north and south by two major motorways (even with the huge country lane bit before reaching the park).

Alton gets visitors travelling distances to visit, not just enthusiasts but regular public. I have met people in queues at Alton who travelled from Scotland to get there despite passing about 4 parks on the way. The only other park that really achieves such long distance travel is Blackpool. As for places like Drayton, Thorpe, Chessington and Southport they rely on there local courbanisations to provide most of there visitors. This should change as Thorpe becomes more widely known. Other parks survive because they are at holiday destinations and act as days out while there, places like Oakwood, Blackpool, Fantasy Island, Great Yarmouth, Joyland, Rotunda and Southport.

"so explain why alton towers is the most popular tourist attraction in the uk?! "

It isn't Blackpool Pleasure Beach has more visitors. However Alton is a big draw due to cleaver installation of rides and the marketing that was accompaning. It also arrived on the scene at a time where there were no real major 'theme' parks. Chessington and Thorpe have grown up since and other places are following but since Alton has been there longest, it is on top. Look at it this way, it you buy a book online, 90% will use say Amazon or Bol. Not because they are the cheapest (they probably are not) but because they are well know. The reason for their success is that they got there first.

Hope I haven't wrote too much.

Wilko

EDIT: Quoting formatibg got messed up.

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JawCoasters - Site for UK Coasters
www.jawcoasters.co.uk

*** This post was edited by John Wilkes on 11/3/2002. ***

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Sunday, November 3, 2002 10:46 AM
alton towers is the most popular pay to enter tourist attraction in the UK just to clear that up
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Sunday, November 3, 2002 11:18 AM
Laurence, to clear things up, that title goes to Heathrow Airport , serving 58 million customers each year ;)

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Lake Compounce-So Fresh and So Clean Clean

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Monday, November 4, 2002 8:45 AM

*cough* parking chargers *cough* :D

YES I found it in very bad taste that Alton decided to charge for parking,and its set to get worse next year, unfortunutly its been confirmed that BOTH chessington and Thorpe Park will be charging for Parking next year, at the moment the full details are not clear, but I'm guessing it will be the same at Alton where you will be charged £2, and parking will be free for season Ticket Holders as usual. however I think it will be interesting to see how the parking charge will be introduced at Chessie and Thorpe, basiclly both of their main car parks are not that big(No way as big as Alton's) and I'm worried its just gonna be hell getting out of Thorpe and especially Chessington next year, Still lets wait and see.

Also, I think we have all got to admit that thorpe is a lot better to visit now than it was 5 years ago, way back then it could be said it was impossible to spend a full day at the park simply because of the lack of things to do, however I can very easily spend a full day at the park because of all the changes that have happened, and I am grateful of Tussards because they have done a fantastic job of transforming the park from what was always a family park to more of a Thrill Park.

Cant wait to visit the park next year though, I'm aiming for the first public ride on Nemesis Inferno if I can :)

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Monday, November 4, 2002 9:08 AM

2 pounds? Only 2 pounds? What is that 5 bucks?

Count your lucky stars, here in the states I think we are looking at Ten bucks just about everywhere for next year.

Talk about money grubbing.

-Brent (who could have avoided parking prices at PKI next year if only he wouldn't have gotten that ticket on the way there yesterday.)

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Coming in 2003
The Spawn Of Magnum!

I was the last non employee through Maggie's turnstile this year. Woo Hoo.

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Monday, November 4, 2002 9:22 AM

laurence said:

ok, alton is in the middle of the countryside, so according to your theory doesnt have a large catchment area and so wouldnt have a lot of visitors.

so explain why alton towers is the most popular tourist attraction in the uk?!



Its really been said already but you know I like to have my twopenneth!! Its not just good rides that gets Alton the #1 park. Its the fact that the park do heavy research and actively try to satisfy their customers (OK, at a cost!). They have been more active then even Disney introducing not only rides- (I'll come to that later), but vitual Q, texting Q times to your mobile, Q entertainment, food & beverage outlets etc...

Regular investment is by far the main reason Towers gets the visitors. The Corkscrew, (as tame as it is by todays standards) was the biggest, badest ride of its time back in 1980, when John Broome ran the park. The publicity was phenomenal-I remember seeing construction footage of it on the 6 o'clock BBC news!! Then the Log Flume, and even the Pirate ship had everyone talking! The rapids was big news to. The Runaway Mine Train and the Haunted House were opened the same period as EuroDisney opened, so their impact was minimal. 1994, Nemesis was hyped, but so was The Big One and (to a lesser extent) Shockwave at Drayton. I dont need to tell you about the Oblivion and Air hype, but there is a long history of constant investment in new rides which create a lot of publicity for themselves. Combine that with researched marketing, cool themeing that your customers have chosen through this research-(Air/ Oblivion) with must-have merchandise rather then car stickers and mugs, and you get everyone familiar with your product and more publicity through both media and word of mouth(hence more visitors).

Phew!

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www.ukrides.info

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Wednesday, November 6, 2002 3:17 AM

MagnumForce said:

2 pounds? Only 2 pounds? What is that 5 bucks?

Count your lucky stars, here in the states I think we are looking at Ten bucks just about everywhere for next year.

Talk about money grubbing.



I wouldn't particularly mind the parking charges if there:-

A: Something other than Alton Towers to visit. Otherwise surely parking should be included in the entrance cost as everyone who parks goes in the park.

B: If there was some other way of getting to the park than by car. There are occational coach tours or bus trips to the place but most involve arriving late and leaving early! There is no public transport link to get you there for opening.

C: They made some effort to say season ticket holders don't pay it. There is no sign on the token machines to say this. It is also not mentioned in the Annual Pass literature. There is also no sign pointing ticket holders to the barrier with the barcode scanner.

D: If the park wasn't such a money-grabbing place that despite opening an hour early to people already with tickets, they still force a queue for the monorail then a 20 minute walk back to almost where you park (because the only rides which are open are up there), just to send you past the gift shop.

E: There was some security in the car park other than two security cameras which are probably dummy anyway.

F: It didn't cause so many problems i getting out because people forget to by the tokens.

Wilko

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JawCoasters - Site for UK Coasters
www.jawcoasters.co.uk

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