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We went to Thorpe park a couple of weeks ago. We had originally booked the trip for June as Chloe’s 21st birthday present, but with COVID it was moved back to September. In this review, we look at the measures in place for COVID, the theme park, and the Thorpe park hotel cabins. The post ends with a ‘what you need to know’ list so you have all of the information needed, to make an informed decision about booking a trip yourself.
COVID measures in Thorpe park
So Thorpe park is asking people to not come to the park should they have COVID symptoms. They are happy for people to rebook if this is the case. On arrival at the park, you are temperature tested with contactless thermometers. It is made clear before you arrive that if your temperature is 37.8 or higher, you and all members of your party will be turned away.
You are required to wear a face-covering when on certain rides and indoor areas. When queuing for rides you are supposed to keep 2m apart and there are clear markings to show this. However, I was really annoyed as the majority of people were not taking any notice. People were so close to each other. I didn’t see any staff trying to reinforce the rules and ask people to leave space between them in the queues, which I felt they should have been.
There were lots of hand sanitisers dotted around the park which was good. They were also doing extra ride cleaning sessions to try and keep things as germ-free as possible.
The theme park
Thorpe Park has many big thrill rides which hang you upside down and whizz around! It is great for teenagers and younger adults who have no fear! Of course, I do not mean to generalise, but more often than not, the older you get the less you enjoy being chucked around for fun!
Not all of the rides are open due to COVID so if you are planning a visit, it is worth checking which ones are open. They have some children rides but from all of the theme parks we have visited, I feel that Thorpe park has the least rides for families with young children. We noticed a lot of parents sitting by themselves with their little ones while waiting for their partner or friends to come back from the big rides.
Thorpe Park has a no smoking or vaping policy around the park apart from in the designated smoking areas. This was another rule which was constantly broken while we were there. There is a great free app that you can download which can direct you to any ride or attraction in the park. It also directs you to amenities such as toilets, smoking areas, and drink stations.
Queueing times were quite good. It was much busier on Thursday than Friday. This surprised us as we expected it to be the other way around. On Thursday most of the big rides had queue times between 50 and 70 minutes. However, on the Friday rides were mostly 20 minutes or less.
The shark cabins
Thorpe Park has its own hotel which is called the shark cabins. They have converted containers and they do warn you on the website that these are small. I did not realise just how small they would actually be! I was not impressed with the accommodation and would not want to stay there again. The double bed was a small double and my feet touched the bottom and I am only 5ft3! There are bunk beds and a worktop with a kettle, tea, and coffee, and a mirror.
It is so hard to describe how small it is, but the toilet and shower are in one room. It is a wet room so no curtain. There is a TV but we were all too tired to watch anything! The rooms have air-con but it would not allow us to make the room colder than 18. I was not happy with that as I get very hot. We had to open the door up to let air into the room. Luckily no one was passing by or they would of seen me laying on my bed in my pajamas!
They were nicely decorated but not well maintained so you could see lots of chips and marks on the walls and furniture. Part of the deal we got included breakfast the next morning. Now, I know that COVID impacts how things are done but I was not impressed. We were told that we had to book our breakfast slot ahead of time so we booked in for 9:15 am. The breakfast stops at 10 am and it was clear in the booking process that you have to be finished and left your table at 10 am.
We got to breakfast and had to queue before going in. I did not understand this as I thought that the point of booking your slot would mean you could go straight in. We did not get given our table until 9:35 am. This meant that we were very rushed with breakfast and did not have time to get anything else after we finished our plate. The food was okay but nothing particularly special.
Things you need to know before booking your trip.
- People are not sticking to social distancing when in the park and we saw no evidence of staff reinforcing the rules.
- Not a great option for families with young children.
- Great for thrill-seekers
- The shark cabins are tiny and not very well maintained.
- The breakfast was not well managed and the food was not that great.
- Food and drink are available in the park but you can also bring your own.
- The free app is very useful and even shows queing times for the rides.
- Not all of the rides and attractions are open.
While we were there we made the best of it. I do not like to spoil family trips with too much moaning and I wanted Chloe to enjoy the trip. Both Faith and Chloe had a great time and loved all of the big rides. Therefore, I am not saying that people shouldn’t go. I am just providing information on our experience to help others judge if the park will be enjoyable for them.