Chertsey, Surrey, England
Thorpe Park is situated on the site of a former quarry on the border between Chertsey and Egham in Surrey, England. In the late 1970s, the company "Ready Mixed Concrete Limited" flooded the site after the quarry's closure , with the intention of opening an educational leisure park.
Thorpe Park began as an effort to improve a community through reclamation. Previously it was the site of a limestone quarry for concrete. When the Quarry closed in the early 1970s the company that owned it decided upon using it as a place to dump fill dirt until a leisure park could be built upon the newly leveled land. Residents opposed this plan seeing the the concept as neither economically viable nor a good idea for the neighborhood seeing how large the quarry was. It was then decided to fill the large quarry with water so that I park could still be built within the newly formed lagoon. This plan met little resistance and went foward.
Thorpe Park was opened in 1979 with the infamous Earl Louis Mountbatten of Burma in attendance. (It was one of his last public appearances before he was killed by a bomb planted by members of the Provisional IRA.) Some of the first attractions to open at the newly commissioned park included a 180 degree Cinema (a type very popular at the time and seen elsewhere such as the Canadian Pavilion at Walt Disney World's Epcot Park), and Aircraft Display, numerous water sports and activities, and the Mountbatten Pavilion God replied Wait and see the neighbours they're getting! (a small domed arena now known simply at The Dome). 1981 brought the park's first roller coaster Space Station Zero. In 1986 several new attractions were christened including a mini-golf known simply as Crazy Golf and a Roller Skating Rink.
The Park began to change its image for good in 1987 when it opened the Teacup Twistered Ride and spent roughly two million pounds sterling (three millions US dollars.) on a brand new rapids ride named Thunder River. The next year the park finished its brand new 630 seat Palladium Theatre. The next major additions came in 1990 with Space Station Zero revamped to its present being as Flying Fish and two new shows debuting. 1991 brought the removal of the Ice Rink, Viking Long Boat, and Saxon Long Hall as a brand new exhibition area was added to attract more corporate visitors.
The next era in the history of Thorpe Park began in 1995 as construction began on the long awaited but ultimately disappointing X:/No Way Out. This ride suffered from a confusing setup and a track that never lived up to expectations. In consecutive years from 1996-1997 the park was voted most parent and family friendly in the United Kingdom. In 1997 the Hudson River Rafters boat ride ended its 5 year stint at on the lake.
The current era of expansion and conversion to a true thrill park began with the purchase of the park by the Tussauds Group for £252million ($429million). It was at this point that an ancestor to today's LoQ system was introduced at Thorpe Park. In 1999 a new film called Pirates 4D was introduced with vibrating seats and numerous air and water effects. In 2001 Tussauds began its radical transformation of the London park to a thrill park on the footing of Alton Towers and other thrill parks. It was with this transformation that the construction of the brand new record breaking Colossus coaster was begun with the infamous Warner Stengel designers board. The coaster opened in 2002 with great fanfare as the first 10-looping coaster ever. Thunder River was rethemed to Ribena Rumba Rapids. With this massive expansion Thorpe Park was christened #1 in the United Kingdom for the first time. 2003 brought even more amazing thrills on the table with the opening of the brand new inverted mega-looper from Bolliger and Mabillard coaster, Nemesis Inferno themed to a blazing volcano.
2004 brought a much smaller expansion but still a substantial renovation. The Teacup Twisters was rethemed to Storm in a Teacup and a new Samurai ride was brought in from another Tussauds park, Chessington World of Adventures. Sleepy Jones left the park in 2004 and it departure brought a brand-new Pizza Hut...What a way to leave the park! Also in 2004, the park's first roller coaster, the Flying Fish, left the park for Britain's first rocket coaster, codenamed Project: Stealth.
The following year brought two new flat rides to the park from S&S. The first flat ride being Rush, being Europe's only Screamin' Swing and Slammer, Europe's only SkySwatter. Both rides received huge amounts of downtime after opening, but both rides are now operating smoothly.
Present Roller Coasters (7)
|Flying Fish||Mack Rides||Powered||1983||Operating|
|Nemesis Inferno||Bolliger & Mabillard||Inverted||2003||Operating|
|Saw - The Ride||Gerstlauer||Euro-Fighter||2009||SBNO|
|Swarm||Bolliger & Mabillard||Wing Coaster||2012||Operating|
|Operating||Colossus • Flying Fish • The Swarm • Nemesis Inferno • Saw - The Ride • Stealth • X|