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Ride / Thorpe Park

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An island like no other.

Thorpe Park is a theme park located in Surrey, UK. Like England's two other major theme parks, Alton Towers and Chessington World of Adventures, the park is owned by Merlin Entertainments Ltd, though it differs in that it mainly targets young adults and teenagers rather than families.

The park was built in 1979 on a partially flooded gravel pit, creating an artificial ‘island’ on which it was originally themed; hence the ‘island like no other’ slogan. Throughout the year the park hosts many shows and events, the largest of which being the Halloween ‘Fright Nights’ in October where many new live action mazes and attractions are created, all of which qualify for a fun bit of Nightmare Fuel. Currently there are seven major roller coasters, eight minor flat rides and five water rides, as well as a host of other games and attractions.

In July 2016, the park opened the doors to its most expensive ride yet: a new dark ride named "Derren Brown's Ghost Train", designed by the famous illusionist. Described by its creators as a ghost train "re-invented for the 21st century", it is a thirteen minute long ride that utilises physical sets, live actors, special effects and Virtual Reality, and has been called the first ever multi-sensory theme park experience.

The park was featured prominently in an episode of The Inbetweeners.

Official website.

Roller coasters:

  • Flying Fish (1990) - A smaller ride for children based on, funnily enough, a flying fish.

  • The Walking Dead: The Ride, formerly X and X://No Way Out (1996) - World's first backwards in the dark interior rollercoaster; however it now runs forward after being revamped for the 2013 season. It used to have a techno / rave theme, but was refurbished in early 2018 into a horror ride based on The Walking Dead.

  • Colossus (2002) - The park's first major outside coaster. It was the world's first ten looping rollercoaster, and until 2013 was its only. The ride is loosely based around the ruins of a recently unearthed Atlantean civilisation.

  • Nemesis Inferno (2003) - B&M inverted coaster themed around the eruption of a volcano. It is the sequel ride to Nemesis at sister park Alton Towers.

  • Stealth (2006) - A 205 ft Intamin launch coaster based around 1950s drag racing. It is the tallest launched coaster in the UK and goes from 0 to 80 mph in 1.8 seconds, meaning it has the fastest acceleration of any coaster in Europe.

  • SAW: The Ride (2009) - Notable for being the world's first roller coaster based on a horror movie franchise, namely the Saw films. The ride is very loyal to the movies, having gory, disturbing decor in the queue, and on the ride proper having giant (fake) spinning saws suspended over the tracks, crossbows that fire blasts of air and Jigsaw's Billy puppet threatening the riders. It also holds the record for the rollercoaster with the steepest free-fall drop (drop without a brake) in the world at 100 degrees, and has been dubbed the world's scariest ride.

  • The SWARM (2012) - The UK's first winged coaster and the world's first backwards winged coaster. Based around an Alien Invasion of the UK that originated - where else - in Thorpe Park. The section the ride is located in has an After the End theme with crashed police cars, a half submerged fire engine and a hollowed out, destroyed church that is used as the rider loading platform.

Other attractions include interactive 'live action mazes', one of which is also based on the Saw films, another on the Reality Show I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!, and a third based on Black Mirror. There's also a section of the park called Angry Birds Land and a 4D movie based on said games.

Tropes used by Thorpe Park include:

  • After the End: Implied to have happened to the SWARM section of the park, courtesy of the titular swarm.
    • Also shown through your VR headset in Derren Brown's Ghost Train, whose storyline ends with the world (or at least London) apparently being destroyed by demons that were unearthed during fracking.
  • Alien Invasion: SWARM.
  • Atlantis: The section of the park Colossus is found in is based around its ruins.
  • Cool Car: There are several scattered throughout the park, notably in the 50s themed drag racing Stealth area. There's also a nice Mini Cooper with a Union Jack on its roof being reclaimed by nature in the I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here! maze.
  • The End... Or Is It?: The exit to Saw: The Ride has "THE GAMES HAVE JUST BEGUN" scrawled on the wall.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: On the Saw ride. Giant buzzsaws, crossbows, loop-the-loops... Justified in that they're traps set by Jigsaw.
  • The '50s: The setting of the Stealth area.
  • Genre Shift: Whenever you go from one part of the park to the next. Especially noticeable when moving from, say, the horror themed Saw area to the lighthearted Stealth area or the Angry Birds section.
  • Inevitable Eruption: Seeing as Nemesis Inferno is based around a volcano, it's a given that it'll erupt.
  • Perverse Puppet: Billy, just like in the films. He's especially creepy at the beginning and middle of the Saw ride, first when he waits next to the track to warn you about the dangers up ahead and then, just before you go over the biggest drop, from a television screen.
    Billy: Game over.
  • Sinister Subway: Though from the outside the Ghost Train appears to be a suspended Victorian train, its inside is actually a modern London tube carriage, which is soon infested with demons.
  • Title: The Adaptation: SAW: The Ride and The Walking Dead: The Ride.
  • Victorian London: The setting of the original incarnation of Derren Brown's Ghost Train. It's now set in a modern London underground train, although it still incorporates elements of its original setting (such as the outward design of the train and building in which the ride is held).
  • The Virus: In Derren Brown's Ghost Train a mysterious gas has been leaking underground, infecting people and turning them into vicious, zombie-like creatures.