If you love roller-coasters you will love the big 5 at Thorpe Park. I know my limits when it comes to theme parks. I can barely push my 4 year old on a roundabout in the park without feeling sick, so any ride that goes in circles or swings is not my kind of fun. I do, however, love roller coasters. In my younger days, I rode the Black Hole, Nemesis and Oblivion. Then I spent my thirties having children. That kind of rules you out of massive thrill rides. So for a daytime date with my husband this May, I headed to Thorpe Park to prove that I was still young at heart if not in age.
I won’t lie. We drew up into the car park and I wondered what the hell I had been thinking. I had the fear. One of the security guards on the way in suggested I may be better off at Chessington! However, once I told him I had done Nemesis Inferno before he said I would be fine with all of them. He was right.
So if you are slightly apprehensive of the big 5 I thought I would share with you what they are like, so it may be less scary for you. It is worth noting that we went on a quiet Monday when queue times were 5-10 minutes. This meant you practically walked on the rides and some of the extra anticipation that is caused in the queue wasn’t there. Which to be honest for someone that is scared is probably a good thing!
Saw : This well themed ride was my least favourite of the 5. I would describe this horror film themed roller-coaster as an “old style roller coaster” with drops that make your stomach wrench. It starts off in the dark, which I hadn’t been expecting and the vertical chug up and fear of the impending drop really gets your adrenaline pumping.
Nemisis Inferno: I have ridden this a number of times and it actually felt the most tame. That may be because I knew what to expect. Don’t panic about going upside down, it isn’t bad. The ride is smooth, but I did come off feeling a little dizzy.
Stealth: I have looked at this as I have driven up the M3 and wondered what kind of lunatics go on this ride. The security guard on the way in assured me the worst thing about this ride is going from 0-80mph in less than 2 seconds. I spent a long time studying it. From a distance the drop looks horrendous. Up close you can see that the track is curved in a way that makes it a smoother ride. I was terrified about going on this ride. Thankfully some lovely people in the queue calmed me down. One man advised that he liked it as it didn’t make your stomach churn and that I would be fine. I strapped myself in and waited for the 4 red lights to appear. It was fantastic. I may have sworn as we sped away, but the sped means no one can hear!. It is the speed of this ride that is exhilarating. It is over in seconds. This is now my favourite roller coaster. This video shows it twice, just so you catch it.
Colossus: I have been wanting to go on this one of the big 5 for years. Colossus is a 10 inversion roller-coaster. It did not disappoint. It isn’t too dissimilar to Nemisis. Just longer, more turns, some tighter turns and you really need to brace yourself.
Swarm: Swarm is a wing coaster with 5 inversions. It is themes to look like a disaster area with upturned cars and crashed planes. We rode this forward. Apparently there is a row of seats at the back that go backwards. This winged coasted was well themed and a smooth ride. I particularly liked how close it felt you were getting to the set. I will have to go again and try it backwards.
So if you are apprehensive, which should you do? Well I can tell you that if you have done a big roller coaster before, then you can do all of them. It all depends on what scares you. Personally, I don’t like the stomach churning drops that much. That is why Saw was my least favourite of the 5. Nemesis Inferno is probably the tamest of the 5 in my opinion. The security guard was right, that if you can do that then, you can do all of them. So take a deep breath and enjoy. And make sure you try Stealth. It looks much worse than it is. But look how happy I was that I had done it!
Have you been to Thorpe Park? Which is your favourite of the big 5? What other coasters do you recommend?