June 29th, 2004

Thorpe Park

I went off to Thorpe Park earlier today with a group of friends, which was a lot of fun. It's been a while since I last went, so a few of the rides have changed.

One new ride they've got is the Tidal Wave. They say at the entrance (along with the usual warnings about not using it unless you've passed the Marines fitness test) that you should be prepared to get very wet. They aren't kidding! That is definitely the wettest ride I've ever been on. When the car hit the bottom of the slope, it looked like there was a wall of water ahead of us. When it then landed on us, it was basically the equivalent of having a bucket of water thrown over you.

After we'd got off the ride, and came through the souvenir ticket area, I was the first one to go through the turnstile. I then heard one of the others say "That's the splashback area - wait on this side of the barrier". I turned around to see what he was talking about, just in time to see a huge wave of water coming towards me. It turns out that when the car hits the lake, and loads of water goes over the car, there's also a large wave that goes over the walkway above it. I'm told that I had a rather shocked expression on my face in the half-second before the wave hit me!

Ah well, it was a warm day, so I dried out. Mind you, free advice to any girls who might plan on visiting the park - don't wear a white T-shirt on that ride!

One other new one is the Detonator. This was rather deceptive - the basic idea is that you have various seats around a central pole, which get lifted up into the air, then plunged back down to the ground. It's 100 feet, which doesn't look very far from the ground, but it feels a lot higher when you're dangling from the top! They also had an evil twist, where they wouldn't exactly stick to the countdown. The idea is to say "3, 2, 1 - detonation", then drop. Some people dropped when it was still on 3, and other people were left hanging around for a while after the countdown finished. So, hanging around at the top, thinking "it's going to drop sometime soon, but I don't know when" is quite nerve-wracking. Then when it did drop, the seat seemed to fall faster than I did (I followed it due to the harness). It slowed down gradually before the bottom, so it didn't hurt at all, but it added to the experience. I don't normally get scared on roller-coasters - I just find them exhilerating (if they're any good). But this is the first exception in many years... I'd do it again though.

There were plenty of other good rides too. I also went on Nemesis Inferno, Colossus (twice), Samurai, Quantum, Vortex, Logger's Leap, Pirates 4-D, and Storm in a Teacup. That's basically all of the big ones that were open today.

So, all in all a nice break from work, project, and flat stuff, and I feel a lot better for it.