Thorpe Park Resort – 5 Killer Tips to Enjoy the Island Like No Other
So here I am nearly 30 years haggard and with some apprehension I wanted to relive my wasted youth with my sister.
The plan: getting thrown about by terrifying roller coasters (nb. for us fear definitely increases with age) & then crash at Thorpe Park’s Shark Hotel made from shipping containers. We had a ★★★★★ unforgettable time at Thorpe Park and will be back for more screams very soon.
Here’s 5 tips that give you the insider track on Thorpe Park Resort:
1. Staying at the Thorpe Shark Hotel is the ultimate park hack, it packs bite!
The hotel location is out of this world inside the gates of London’s surprisingly serene thrill capital
We’ve stayed in a shipping container hotel before and it was pretty tiny and soulless. However, at Thorpe Shark Hotel, we had a lakeside room, with a serene view of Fleet lake and the whole hotel is luxuriously landscaped with blooming flowers & fun sharky touches. The staff (especially Natalie on the reception desk, YOU’RE A ★!) made us feel so welcome. we got the feeling that people who work there genuinely enjoy helping people get the most about the park.
The room was compact but big enough for a couple of people comfortably with some really comfy beds thrown in as well as towels (you’ll need them after a certain splash ride!).
Plus: don’t forget to check out the smart TV options including a free shark themed movies (Jaws! when we visited but here’s hoping for Sharknado) & you can also play Angry Birds on the big screen.
2. Don’t Queue! Fast track or getting in early is the only way to ride this island.
+ you get 1 1/2 hours free when you stay at the Thorpe Shark Hotel
Queuing for over an hour for a 1 minute long ride on a hot or wet day can make for a pretty miserable day at Thorpe Park in our experience. To avoid queues we’d recommend taking a day or two off work and going off peak or simply using the hour & 1/2 fast track which will get you on the biggest busy rides. The thrill of running from the hotel straight onto Nemesis Inferno was our highlight.
3. The rides are out of this world, brace yourself!
You could hang on for Derren Brown’s Ghost Train but Thorpe Park still has some incredible rides including the horrifying experience of SAW the ride.
Sadly the highlight for 2016, Derren Brown’s Ghost Train wasn’t open (Update: It is now as of 21 July 2016) when we went but think it would be the perfect creepy crowdpleaser to add to the incredible thrill ride selection of:
- The Swarm: A tall twisty beast of a hanging roller coaster where you’re right on the edge.
- Nemesis Inferno: Our favourite ride, not too scary but a total adrenaline high as you go through a volcano and are sprayed with cool mist.
- SAW The Ride: This ride was our ultimate fear and we conquered it on day 2 of our trip using our hotel Fast Track to avoid the agonising 60 minute wait to go on this psychoaster.
- Stealth: Ok full disclosure we didn’t ride Stealth as we were terrified of the 0-80mph in 2 seconds going up a massive arch shape into the sky.
- Colossus: 10 loops makes for an awesome roller coaster full of unexpected twists and turns.
Thanks to Blubby McBlub for the ride fact check corrections they left as a comment.
4. There’s lots of stuff to do outside the park
Despite being the land of Ali G, Staines is gorgeous with lovely riverside pubs to help you unwind after the rides.
We found this idyllic river scene only 5 mins Uber away from the park. The Swan Hotel was a great place for a drink right on the river Thames.
5. It’s pretty easy to get there for non drivers
Despite there being replacement bus services on the weekend we went, the train from Waterloo to Staines and then Thorpe Park Express 950 bus is a pretty easy way to go. However, if you want to benefit from low queues it’s worth getting an Uber or other taxi from Staines or Chertsey to get in for the 0930 gate open time.
Got any other tips for getting the most out of Thorpe Park? Why not leave a comment below…
I am Joint Editor at To Do List. I like free, cheap & offbeat London, especially: cabaret, art, theatre, pop-ups, eating out, quirky films, museums, day trips, social enterprise & much more.