I hadn’t been to Thorpe Park for about 10 years, but this year, I found myself going three times during the summer school holidays. With each visit, I got a little wiser on how to make the most of the experience. Below is my guide with tips on how to get the best out of visiting Thorpe Park.
Thorpe Park Tickets – Deals \ Vouchers
If you want to avoid paying full price for Thorpe Park tickets, do not buy tickets on the day you visit at the gate. Buying tickets via the Thorpe Park website a few days before you go will save money.
To save a decent amount of money on tickets, look online and in the press for offers. There is nearly always a 2-for-1 offer or discount of some sort on entry tickets.
I didn’t realise until I last went to Thorpe Park that you can use Tesco Club Card points to buy tickets. I had loads of Club Card points, so I got all the entry tickets for free.
If you plan on visiting Thorpe Park multiple times and \ or any other Merlin attractions, it might be worth looking at getting an annual pass.
It is probably worth mentioning that offers and discounts are only for park entry tickets. Things like parking and fast-track tickets don’t seem to be part of any offers or discounts.
Best Days To Go To Thorpe Park
When I say ‘best days’, I mean the quietest days.
Determining which days are the best to go to Thorpe Park is tough. Many factors (weather, school holidays, events, luck) can influence how busy the park will be on the day you go.
There are Thorpe Park crowd monitoring services online that can give you some idea of which days were the busiest in the past.
A tip a friend told me was to go when your kids are not in school due to a teacher training \ school inset day. In theory, Thorpe Park should be quieter as most other kids in the country will be in school. I’ve not personally tried this, but it sounds like it makes sense.
The best time of day to go on rides is just before the park closes.
Install The Thorpe Park App Before You Go
Get the Thorpe Park app installed on your smartphone (Android App and iPhone App) a few days before you plan on visiting. This allows you to check out the sort of times you can expect to queue for rides. Obviously, ride queues might differ from the day you visit, but it’s still useful.
Note: The app often shows rides as ‘closed’. This usually means they are only closed for a short time.
The day you visit the park, you will find yourself regularly using the app as it has all the information you need to plan your day and get around the park. The app is really good and easy to use.
The weather has a massive impact on how busy Thorpe Park will be. If it’s dry and sunny, you can pretty much guarantee the park will be either very busy or very busy.
I recommend going when the weather looks like it is going to be overcast \ light rain. I went with my kids in August when the weather forecast looked a bit grim. The park was so much quieter compared to our visit at the end of July a few weeks before, when the weather was dry and sunny.
The longest ride queues when we went and the weather wasn’t great, were about 10 minutes, but many of the rides had no queue at all. We did all the ‘big’ rides about 3 or 4 times each. In fact, we did them so much that it started to get a bit boring.
What To Take To Thorpe Park
I suggest you take as little as possible. Having to haul a bag around all day full of stuff you don’t need will be unnecessarily tiring.
For most people, all you need to take is:
- Food: If you don’t plan on eating junk food at the park
- Waterproof clothes: If it looks like it might rain
- Sun cream: If it’s going to be sunny
- Mobile phone: To make payments, use the app, entertainment in queue
- Hand Sanitiser: You’ll probably be eating food with your hands
A cheap backpack is the best type of bag to take, and if you can get away with it, only take one bag with everyone’s stuff in it. Also, get a brightly coloured backpack as it will make it easier to pick out when lots of bags are in a locker, and it will be less attractive to a thief.
Travelling To And From Thorpe Park By Car
The onsite parking at Thorpe Park is well organised and from my experience, there isn’t too much waiting around.
The biggest problems are the roads and traffic outside of the park. Because Thorpe Park is located near London and close to the M25 and M3, traffic can get really snarled up around the morning and evening rush hours. If you can avoid travelling during rush hour times, you will be doing yourself a big favour.
Fast Track Tickets For Rides At Thorpe Park
The Fast Track ticket lets you skip the main ride queues and use a shorter queue.
- If you go on a busy day, I would say the Fast Track tickets are worthwhile.
- Don’t make the same mistake I did when I bought the Fast Track tickets in advance only to find that when I got to Thorpe Park, the main queues took the same time as the Fast Track queues.
- You can buy Fast Track tickets on the app when you’re at the park.
- Fast Track tickets are expensive, especially when you consider that most rides only last a few minutes.
Food Is Very Expensive At Thorpe Park
As you might expect, all the food at Thorpe Park is junk food. They have some well-known fast food restaurants like Burger King and KFC, plus a bunch of fast food places linked to rides, e.g. Colossus hot dogs.
All the food places charge an absolute fortune, way above what you would typically expect to pay. The last two times I’ve been, I took my own food. Not only does it save money, but it also saves having to queue.
Lockers For Bags
All the rides have somewhere to dump your bag before you get on. For all rides (apart from Saw), the location for storing bags is not secure.
You’re meant to leave items like keys and phones in your bag while going on the rides. I don’t. The risk of my bag getting stolen with my car key, phone, etc, is too great.
The first time I visited Thorpe Park, a teenage girl was having a meltdown because her bag was stolen from the Stealth ride lockers. Bag theft does happen!
Note: Bags get searched before you enter the park
Good Things About Thorpe Park
- The park is relatively compact – Which makes it fairly quick and easy to get to the various rides.
- More rides than you think – The first time I went to Thorpe Park I was surprised at how many rides there were.
- The Thorpe Park App – The app is very useful and easy to use.
- Well Maintained – Each time I’ve been to Thorpe Park, I found the place was kept in good order. The toilets were clean, and there was not much litter, etc.
Bad Things About Thorpe Park
- Teenage kids – There are loads of teenage kids during the school holidays. So be prepared to hear a lot of swearing, queue barging etc
- Lack of eating areas – I think the park could do with many more areas where you can sit and eat, especially covered areas to shelter from the rain.
- It can get very busy – The first time I went to Thorpe Park, it was packed. I felt like I spent all day standing in queues. It was not much fun. I swore I was never going back again.
Conclusion: Guide To Visiting Thorpe Park
Thorpe Park, in my opinion, is probably the best theme park in the UK. It has loads of good rides for most ages (8 years and above). It is, for the most part, well-organised and laid out.
By far, the biggest problem with Thorpe Park is the hoards of people that visit. Loads of people equal loads of queuing, which is no fun and totally ruins the day.
The first time I went to Thorpe Park with the kids, it was packed, and the day was a complete disaster. Hopefully, the information above will help ensure your Thorpe Park visit isn’t a disaster.
FAQ: Thorpe Park
What are the best rides at Thorpe Park?
In my opinion and my teenage kids, the best rides at Thorpe Park are:
- The Swarm
- Nemesis Inferno
What are the worst rides at Thorpe Park?
- The walking dead
This is one crappy ride that is best avoided. It’s an indoor roller coaster with loud sound effects, and it isn’t good. Definitely the worst ride at Thorpe Park.
- Angry Birds 4D
I haven’t actually been on this ‘ride’ because everyone I know that has said it was a complete waste of time. Basically, you watch a short 3D film in a chair that shakes you about.
All the other rides that I’ve been on at Thorpe Park are pretty good
How much time do you need at Thorpe Park?
It depends a lot on how busy the park is. On a busy day, you will spend a lot of time in queues and moving around the park very slowly. You probably won’t be able to ride all the attractions you want.
On a quiet day, it’s possible to do all the big rides in a few hours.
Is Thorpe Park better than Alton Towers?
Depends on what you’re after. I’d say that Thorpe Park is all about the rides and Alton Towers is a day out with rides.
Thorpe Park Fright Night
Thorpe Park’s Fright Nights is an annual Halloween event, transforming the park into a horror-themed experience with scare mazes, live actors, and spooky atmospheres.
Fright Night happens most nights in October when the park stays open until 9:00 pm.
What Time Does Thorpe Park Open?
Thorpe Park opens its gates daily at 10:00 am during its open season. The Thorpe Park car park opens at 9:00 am.
The park is open from the end of March to early November.
For the latest information on opening house visit: Opening Times For Thrope Park