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18th April - Thorpe v Chessie
Jayne
post Apr 19 2009, 10:04 PM
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G, CJ and myself decided to do Thorpe and Chessington on Saturday. G and I got to Thorpe super early so I could renew my annual pass, which went without a hitch. Queue for the annual pass entrance was small when we joined, but it soon grew huge. Staff were checking passes before the gates opened (9.30am) and stamped our hands. CJ arrived shortly after 9.30 and reported near like stampede conditions in the main queue, with the metal barriers (which look more like you're going to a McFly concert than a themepark) being pushed over in the rush to go through the turnstiles.

Over to Saw we headed as CJ and I didn't get on it first time round. The queue was backed up to the bridge but staff were informing people that Saw was still testing. After about 15 mins the queueline was opened and I was further ahead in the queue than I was on opening day. Lots of queuejumpers though, which annoyed many people in the queue. Half an hour in, and the ride breaks down again! I thought I was never going to get on it! Luckily the closure, for about 20 mins, made some of the impatient queuejumpers leave the queue! And also, the problem didn't seem to be with the middle section of breaks this time, as a car wasn't stuck there this time.

So the queue moved on and after about 1hr 45m (including the down time) we got into the building.
SPOILERS (highlight to reveal): The holding area does build atmosphere, with the gun shot a great touch, but the audio of Billy/Jigsaw is too loud and so you struggle to hear it clearly. Some nice hidden theming inside the building, especially the body in the wire.

In the batching area we politely asked if we could wait until the 2nd car, allowing other people to go ahead of us. We were bluntly told no by 2 members of staff, being told that "all theming is designed to be above you so you don't miss anything". Graeme even said that he'd already been on the ride and knew that one part was only viewed by the 2nd car. They still refused. I was right royally peeved, as I wasn't going to queue again just to even out the chance of seeing the extended indoor section to 50:50. Maybe it was just those staff on today, unless they've all had instruction to push people onto cars to allow speedier batching. Kind of understandable, but we weren't a huge group, and they could have easily accomodated our request!

Onto the ride. Love the first drop! It took me right by surprise, as did most of the indoor section. Top marks for this! The rest of the ride wasn't as thrilling but I still found it fun and punchy! The main drop does also surprise by how quick it occurs, and the reported *shudder* wasn't as violent as I expected. Nice smooth ride till the end. I think it would have been great to enclose the whole ride, with only the very top of the lift hill coming out of the building.

So, I'd say I was pleasantly surprised by the whole experience to be fair. Not a standout amazing coaster, but a nice little queue-soaking addition.

We picked up some exit passes Graeme had on the system from guest services and went for a quick front row ride on Stealth. Fun to go on it after so long, but still far too short to enjoy properly!

So just after midday, we called it quits at Thorpe as to not dampen our good moods, and head to Chessington. We headed straight to Market Square Pizza and Pasta, so we could compare it against the Alton one. First difference was the price, a good 1 more on the adult prices. For that, you seem to get cleaner cutlery, and an extra choice of pasta (a meat free tomato and mushroom dish) but a smaller serving area and not as frequent fresh pizza. It was still very tasty though, and full to the brim, we headed off to pack in the rides (as follows) before 6pm:

Dragons Fury x2: Best spinning came when I was facing the lift hill, with G and CJ on the other side. Staff were operating it well (kudos Mark9) and queues didn't get any bigger than 20mins (although the signs were saying 30).
Rattlesnake: Ow but fun!
Bubbleworks: Some very wet people thanks to one broken fountain arch in the first over-channel tunnel of water. Think we were lucky with a queue of 20 mins or so, it seemed to get larger throughout the day.
Tomb Blaster: Forgot how good this was! Really well themed and made me think of Europa. Had to laugh at the chavvy looking teenager in front of us jumping at any snake popping up during the ride!
Rameses Revenge: The queueline operator told us they're only allowed to run it on two settings - 1 with next to no spins in, the other with 5 spins. They were letting people to stay on so they could experience both settings, but I left after the 1st!
Billy's Whizzer: Great fun as always, but looks very shabby compared to Twirling Toadstools now.
Vampire: Most painful ride of the day, very jolty! They were running 3 trains though and the queue estimate of 25 minutes was accurate. Although we had queued earlier in the day and the ride broke down.
Hocus Pocus Hall: Still very strange! The operator/welcome host was trying her best not to laugh as she put on a funny voice introducing us to the hall, bless!

We left at 6, and the car parks were crammed with huge queues of cars waiting to get out. The rain from the previous day left some places very muddy, and one of the Engineers vans got very stuck!

Overall, a fab and fun afternoon in a well looked after Chessington World of Adventures, and a better than expected morning at Thorpe to be honest.
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AstroDan
post Apr 20 2009, 7:02 PM
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QUOTE (Jayne @ Apr 19 2009, 11:04 PM) *
So, I'd say I was pleasantly surprised by the whole experience to be fair. Not a standout amazing coaster, but a nice little queue-soaking addition.

Yeah. i'd say 13.5million should be a "nice little queue-soaking addition".

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mark9
post Apr 21 2009, 8:20 PM
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I'm glad you guys had a good time at both parks, I would have tried to say more to you guys at Fury but we were trying to beat a throughput record hence why the queue time board wasn't overly accurate.


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I find your lack of Christmas spirit disturbing.
In memory of Ross Power- March 29th 1990 - February 4th 2006
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AstroDan
post Apr 21 2009, 9:21 PM
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Did you succeed? And, out of interest rather like Nemesis vs Inferno - do you have Fury vs Spinball throughput challenges, and if so, who wins? I remember when I worked on Rita there was a bit of Rita vs Stealth banter.

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mark9
post Apr 22 2009, 5:23 PM
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We did have a throughput competition with Spinball a few years back (we won by the way wink.gif ) however we've got a maximum of three adults per car rule now so it kind of stops us achieving the really high throughputs.

We didn't reach our target either but it was close. Target was 630 and we only got 611 sad.gif


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I find your lack of Christmas spirit disturbing.
In memory of Ross Power- March 29th 1990 - February 4th 2006
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