A Thorpe Park VIP Experience

Thorpe Park

When planning for birthdays I much prefer to give the kids memorable experiences rather than something that they will ultimately forget about in a few months time.

Abbey turned 21 on Friday and Callan is due to turn 17 in a couple of weeks so I wanted something that would appeal to them both.

We are Merlin pass holders which means that we get free entry into all the Merlin owned theme parks such as Alton Towers, Legoland, Chessington and Thorpe Park and my teens adrenalin junkies.  We looked into Alton Towers first, however the distance and cost of staying overnight put me off.

We reviewed Thorpe Park in May last year and the kids adored it, but as I was heavily pregnant the only ride I could go on was the Carousel.  I emailed my contact to ask if there was anyway they could name a ride after Abbey or something similar in honour of her very special birthday and they suggested we look into their Thorpe Park VIP experience packages.

There are three VIP Packages to choose from; BronzeSilver and Gold or you can choose to book a backstage tour which takes an inside look at a world-class rollercoaster workshop and see what goes into opening a ride and see what happens as a rollercoaster is launched, or a ride hill lift walk where you can choose to walk up to the top of either Swarm, Nemesis inferno or Colossus and enjoy 360º panoramic views of the park and beyond.  Thorpe Park even do Angry Birds themed birthday parties for the kids from as little as £19 per head.

Thorpe Park also offer bespoke packages which are customised to your party, which is what we chose as we had both teens and small children with us.

Our itinerary for the day was a combination of the Bronze VIP package and a Ride Lift Hill Walk. We were to be met in the morning by your VIP Host and given a champagne reception in Bar 360. The VIP Host would then facilitate VIP ride access (meaning no queuing) until lunch, at which point we would be given Ultimate Fastrack Passes to access all rides through the Fastrack queues for the afternoon. At the end of the day, we would then meet your VIP Host at either of THE SWARM, Colossus or Nemesis Inferno for a Ride Lift Hill Walk and a chance to take photos from the top.

I printed out the itinerary and laminated it to present to Abbey on her birthday so she knew what we had planned.  I told the boys what we were up beforehand and they proceeded to wind her up about needing a head for heights etc……..she thought we were going to make her jump out of a plane!

Abbey's 21st

We arrived at Thorpe Park at 9.15am and were met by our host, Francine.  We got a brief overview of the day, alongside park maps, information and wristbands before heading inside to an almost deserted park.  We decided to have our Champagne reception in a secluded outdoor garden next to Stealth at 10am, so they teens could do a couple of rides first. Isaac and Eliza were measured and their heights recorded on another wristband so we knew which rides they were allowed on at a glance and then we headed to the first ride of the day – Swarm.

Thorpe Park

If you have been to a theme park before you will know the most frustrating bit about the day is queuing for the rides. This is where the VIP Package comes into its own……..we were literally walked onto the rides in the carriage position of our choice.  As we had Eliza and Isaac with us, the teens went on first and then hubby and I went on when they came off, although whoever wasn’t looking after the kids did go for a second ride.

The teens adored Swarm and made hubby and I ride it backwards.  Having not been on it before, it was a real baptism of fire as you have no idea what to expect………..it was an intense but amazing ride!  The staging around the ride is second to none with perfectly timed pyrotechnics, burned our fire engines, ambulances and even a broken up plane.

Swarm

We then headed off to our Champagne Reception.  The secret garden was stunning and we relaxed and quaffed champagne as the children played, stopping to take a few “Stealthy’s” as the rollercoaster carriage thundered past.

Thorpe Park

Then it was time for Stealth………..I have to admit I chickened out of this one despite wanting to ride it since it opened.  I LOVE rollercoasters but hate vertical drops – how hubby and Callan managed to keep their arms in the air the whole way around I will never know.

Stealth

We had our VIP host, Francine, with us until around midday so we decided to do all the big rides in this time which would give us the chance to explore the rest of the park in the afternoon.  We did do the Rapids and the Carousel with the littlies in this time too.

Nemesis and Colossus were as good as I remember but the vertical drop on Saw saw me hiding under the pretense that Sebastian needed some milk……….I would also like to point out that they’re all holding on for this one!

Thorpe Park

We said goodbye to Francine and headed off for some lunch before exploring the rest of the park.

Isaac and Eliza were desperate to explore Angry Bird Land and watch the new Angry Birds 4D film which saw the Angry Birds attempt to get their precious eggs back from the dastardly King Pig.  With timed air gusts, water jets, leg ticklers, flashing lights, bubbles and smoke blasts the film was great fun although too much for Eliza and Sebastian, so I would recommend for ages 5 and up.

Angry Bird Land

Angry Bird Land is fantastic, with characters painted on buildings and Angry Birds sat atop their blocks.  With the exception of the 4D cinema none of the rides have changed, but Detonator and the Dodgems now have an Angry Bird theme.

Angry Birds

Coming out of Angry Bird Land we spotted Tidal Wave.  Callan didn’t want to get wet so we left him in charge of the kids and headed inside.  I forgot how wet you get……….. it is not splashed wet, you are literally drenched in water!

Tidal Wave

As we were wet, it was decided we should do all the water rides in one go, so we headed to the Log Flume and then Depth Charge.  Although Isaac was tall enough to join us he wanted to fire the water guns at the end to get us more wet!

Thorpe Park

The teens and hubby then headed off to sample all other adrenalin rides whilst I headed to the beach to dry off with Isaac, Eliza and Sebastian.

Thorpe Park

I have to admit that living close to the sea has also stopped me visiting this section of Thorpe Park, however the kids were in their element and the safe paddling pool with slides and real sand to build castles really won me over.  We were there for a good hour and a half and Kian and Hubby eventually came in for a paddle too!

Thorpe Park

We finally managed to prise them out of the water with a promise of ice cream and donuts before heading off to do some of the big rides again.  The gold priority passes meant we didn’t queue for a ride for longer than 10 minutes and my only disappointment was that when I finally picked up the courage to ride Stealth was that it was temporarily closed.

Swarm was our first and last ride of the day and this time we rode it forwards, which was a completely different experience as you can see where you are going and the pyrotechnics.  I was convinced I was going to fly straight into a billboard!

We watched as the rides closed and the general public left the park………..it was time for the Ride Lift Hill Walk on Swarm as it is the highest of the three rides.

We went three at a time………Abbey, her boyfriend Paul and Callan on the first walk and then Kian, Hubby and I on the second shift.

We all had a safety briefing and were secured into a full-body harness, before heading up the steps to the top, accompanied by Francine and one of the park managers.

Ride Hill Walk

We were told to try not and look down, but it is hard when trying to guide your safety clip along the guide rope and grates for stairs.  Thankfully all of us are quite good with heights but my legs did wobble a bit.

185 stairs later and we were at the top and 170ft high!

WOW!

Ride Lift Hill Walk

The 360º panoramic views across the park and as far as London are spectacular.  It was a clear evening and we could see Wembley Stadium, The Shard and even the turrets of Windsor Castle clearly.  If you do any part of the VIP experience it has to be this.  Kian even found £1

Thorpe Park Ride Hill Walk

If you are looking to make that special occasion even more memorable, then I can highly recommend the VIP packages. The staff are so enthusiastic about where they work and are more than happy to explain how a ride works or give you some insider information.

I am not sure what my favourite part of the day was.  Being able to walk straight onto the rides and the fastrack passes mean’t that we got to do all of the rides at least once, with time to relax in between rides.  The champagne reception was amazing and I cannot believe such a peaceful and beautiful garden is slap bang in the middle of Thorpe Park and how may people can say they have climbed to the top of a rollercoaster?

Disclaimer: We used our Merlin passes to gain entry to the park, but the VIP sample experience was provided by Thorpe Park for the purpose of a review.  All views are my own.

25 thoughts on “A Thorpe Park VIP Experience

  1. Bex Smith says:

    I love Thorpe Park, must be a great experience for a 21st 🙂
    Bex Smith recently posted…FATHERS DAY GIFT GUIDE: TECHNOLOGY & DIYMy Profile

  2. Oh wow! I wouldn’t dare go on half of those rides. Glad you all had such a wonderful day out. And for such a milestone birthday too.
    VaiChin@ Rambling Through Parenthood recently posted…Up The Climbing FrameMy Profile

  3. Sarah Ebner says:

    This sounds absolutely amazing for a ride lover. My kids would love it! I would enjoy watching!! Great pics too. Sounds a really special experience.

  4. Shell Louise says:

    Wow that sounds like a fantastic day out. What a wonderful way to celebrate birthdays 🙂
    Shell Louise recently posted…How does your garden grow? June 12thMy Profile

  5. sounds like a fantastic day out and what a way to celebrate your 21st! x
    Fritha Strickland recently posted…An Amelie TourMy Profile

  6. Globalmouse says:

    WOW!! What an amazing day and what a fabulous birthday. I do not have a head for heights so the photo of you at the top made my tummy flip over a little but to have someone getting you to the front of the queues for the morning has to be priceless!! I hope your daughter had an amazing birthday – it looks like she did!
    Globalmouse recently posted…Marwell Hotel, Hampshire, England – Hotel ReviewMy Profile

  7. Michelle says:

    Nothing like a VIP experience at a theme park! And this one sounds AMAZING!! Not been to Thorpe Park for yeeeeeeeears – so much has changed! x
    Michelle recently posted…Host A FIFA World Cup Party with Coca-Cola! #BigMatchPlanner #ShopMy Profile

  8. What a truly amazing day and she must have been THRILLED with her 21st. I don’t want to know how many hours it took you to put all of these collages together. Okay so maybe I do? 😉
    I find the pics the most time consuming part of reviews. Yours is GREAT.
    Liska xx
    Liska @NewMumOnline recently posted…Bristol Zoo ReviewMy Profile

  9. wendy says:

    What a fantastic experience for a 21st birthday, a day that will be remembered. Fab photos x
    wendy recently posted…Day Out At Drusillas Park Hello Kitty Secret GardenMy Profile

  10. lisa prince says:

    it costs us a fortune to go to places like this , i think they put the proces up every year lol, looks fab though x

  11. Coombemill says:

    What an amazing day out, I was watching all the photos on instagram and looking forward to this post. It certainly doesn’t disappoint. I can see my kids would love this too, smiley faces all round and I’m not surprised. The VIP package looks awesome. A fantastic 21st birthday treat. Thank you for sharing with me on Country Kids.
    Coombemill recently posted…Losing a Best FriendMy Profile

  12. Charly Dove says:

    Oh my word Kara!!! What a day, sounds like it was just the best and even more so with those VIP passes. Love the photos, just sums up what a brilliant time you had. It’s not far from us, we must visit! Great post, thank you for sharing with #whatsthestory
    Charly Dove recently posted…Alphabet Project | E is for ebullientMy Profile

  13. Wow you packed a lot in! What a lovely day. That roller coaster looks terrifying…
    Kate Thompson recently posted…The Guinea Pig That Waited – A ReunionMy Profile

  14. Sounds like a super day out with lots of fun for the whole family.
    Nayna Kanabar (@citrusspiceuk) recently posted…East meets West -Ginger and Mango Jelly with Mango Shrikand (Indian yogurt dessert)My Profile

  15. natalie says:

    Oh wow that looks absolutely amazing. And sounds like you had loads of fun. and loads of pics, it must have taken you ages to do this post. But it was worth it, it looks fabulous.
    natalie recently posted…My holiday review – Four Seasons Sharm El SheikhMy Profile

  16. Wow, this sounds like an amazing birthday present and I can see you all had the best time. Great pics
    Zena’s Suitcase recently posted…The Breastfeeding Diaries: Dealing with VisitorsMy Profile

  17. What a great birthday treat. I have never been to Thorpe Park before but it looks brilliant from your pictures x
    You Baby Me Mummy recently posted…The Liebster AwardMy Profile

  18. Wow! I admire your bravado I really do. Looks like you had an amazing day though.
    Angela Spicer recently posted…How To Pixelate Images With PicmonkeyMy Profile

  19. wowswers! I could not do the walk! but love thorpe park x
    Jane @ northernmum recently posted…It is only a prick….My Profile

  20. Louisa says:

    Brilliant! The VIP package is a really worthwhile investment, queuing for rides can put a dampener on the day. I’m glad Abbey had such a memorable 21st x
    Louisa recently posted…Potty training a reluctant toddlerMy Profile

  21. WOw, wow and wow. What a fabulous experience for a 21st. I love that experiences bring more long term happiness than things and what memories Abby will have.
    Jen aka The Mad House recently posted…Dad Rocks PaperweightMy Profile

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