Miss Gallivant (aged 13 ¾) went with Mr Gallivant to Thorpe Park a few weeks ago to do some seriously scary rollercoaster research.
Go now, until 31st October, and you can experience a whole heap more scariness on the park’s Fright Nights (think horror mazes featuring live actors) . Miss Gallivant is angling for a return visit to see all that and because, of course, it would mean she could do all the rides in the dark.
In the meantime, here’s her write-up on the coasters…
So, where to start? Should we ease in on the family funfair rides and work our way up to the bigger stomach churners? Or just go straight for the real deal?
Easy answer. As soon as I spotted the one ride that stuck out like a sky-scraper above all the others, I aimed straight for it, dragging my unwilling dad along with me. I didn’t want to hear his argument that there was a Costa only a two minute walk away from the entrance. I just wanted the thrill of that adrenalin rush.
We were lucky as we were here on a school ‘inset’ day, so there was only a tiny queue for Stealth, a 205 foot tall giant, that accelerates from 0-80mph in 2.3 seconds, shooting vertically into the sky and then plummeting straight back down. I gripped the safety harness with clammy hands and glanced at my dad who looked even more nervous than me, if that was possible. If I could conquer Stealth, I could go on any ride in the whole theme park.
The countdown began. Three…two…one…GOOO! I could feel the G-force mould my face into a distorted grin, making my photo souvenir at the end of the ride rather embarrassing. My dad admitted shamefully that he closed his eyes for the whole thing, especially when we got to the climax, where we had split seconds to take in the amazing birds-eye view from the top, before facing the ground again and falling straight back down to earth. He probably realised the mistake he made in admitting his cowardice to me.
“Well, why not go on the ride again and keep your eyes open this time?” I said. We ended up going on it three times, each one as thrilling as the last.
There’s lots to do at Thorpe Park other than roller coasters but I have to admit that these thrill rides were all that mattered to me (apart from food of course!).
We had brought some sandwiches and fruit bars with us but we still made two refuelling stops – I had to have something unhealthy on my fun day out! The first treat was a donut, the second ‘Nitrogenie’ – the best ice cream I have ever tasted. Flavours include Vanilla Oreo (which I had), chocolate brownie, lemon meringue pie and Nutella. The ice cream stand is situated near the new Derren Brown’s Ghost Train.
Which brings me swiftly on to one of my other favourite rides. I won’t give away too much but I will tell you this: You are on an abandoned Victorian train, with a VR (Virtual Reality) head set on, and you experience a thrilling, disorientating ride through a gas infected tunnel, surrounded by demons. I wouldn’t recommend this ride to anyone under the age of ten, but don’t worry, it’s not too scary!
My final favourite ride is SAW (see main pic). This rollercoaster is based on the films of the same name, starring a terrorising figure called ‘Jigsaw’. After being strapped into your cart, and being told by Jigsaw himself that you are racing against time for your life, you are taken on turns, loops and drops in the dark. You then emerge into the light, only to find that the ride isn’t over yet and that you have to scale 100 feet into the air, and plunge down one of the steepest rollercoaster drops in the world, with a 100 degree vertical drop. I was truly shaken!
There were many other amazing rides such as; Samurai, Vortex, Colossus, Nemesis Inferno, Swarm (I really did love this one too) but I will let you experience those for yourself. Let me know which ones you liked the best!
Fright Nights at Thorpe Park are most suitable for teenagers and up, definitely not for younger children. The park is open from 10am until 10pm daily, until October 31st, when it closes for the season. Tickets cost from £32.99 (online price). The price includes all rides and rollercoasters as well as mazes (tickets from £41.99 also include the timed escape attraction CONTAINMENT). For details, visit www.thorpepark.com