mba2012

Alton Towers or Thorpe Park?

11 posts in this topic

I'm going to be in England around June/July this year, and while I'm over there, I want to go to one of these parks. I'm probably not going to be able to go to both parks.

I'd like to know which park you guys would recommend? At the moment, I'd like to go to Alton towers to ride on Oblivion and Air, but the prices look cheaper at Thorpe Park and it'd be far easier to get to. So what are your experiences at the parks and which rides would be worth riding?

And has anyone seen that Thorpe Park is opening a new Angry Birds land in May?

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Definitely Alton. Should be a must do on any enthusiasts lists once. Worth it for Nemesis alone, so old and still one of my favourite coasters ever.

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I'm gonna go against what djrappa said and say that you should definitely choose Thorpe Park. I found it to be a much nicer park overall than Alton Towers; more nicely laid out and easier to navigate. It's also in a much more accessible region - just outside of London, as opposed to Alton Towers, which is in a small town in the midlands of England.

Alton Towers' only advantage over Thorpe Park is that it has Nemesis, which is definitely the best coaster in the UK. Meanwhile, Air is average and Oblivion is fun, but nothing particularly special. Rita and Thirteen are both mediocre rides. The Smiler looks good, but I haven't been on it since I visited the park in 2012.

Thorpe Park has a better ride selection overall, in my opinion. I found Saw to be a great ride, The Swarm is a very good wingrider, Nemesis Inferno packs a nice little punch and Stealth has the most intense launch I've ever experienced. Thorpe also has some fantastic flat rides, while Alton has only a couple.

The last factor I'll mention is to do with the aforementioned location of both parks. Thorpe Park is very close to London - one of my favourite cities in the world. I don't know what your itinerary is going to be like, but I imagine you'd want to spend as much time in London as possible. Going to Alton Towers could waste a lot of your time as it's a 5 or so hour drive either way.

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I'll say Alton, I found it a much nicer and better run park, and there was more to do. Nemesis is fantastic, Oblivion is really fun, and Air impressed me (Despite having been on Tatsu, i still found it really good!)

The Smiler looks pretty mental (Haven't ridden)

Alton doesn't have as many flats, but apart from slammer/rush you would have been on them all before here in Aus, so what's the point?

Alton has some other cool stuff, like Hex, which is a great experience. Duel was well done as well.

But hey, is it really that much of a stretch to visit both? I mean it's like one extra day on your itinerary, but if you've spent $1600 or whatever on flights you'll want to see as much as possible.

Edited by Gazza

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Thorpe Park is very close to London - one of my favourite cities in the world.

I have to agree that London is a great city, and we'll be spending a fair while there. But I really do want to ride Oblivion and Nemesis. We'll probably be doing a fair bit of travelling around the UK, so it may not be all that hard to get to Alton Towers, but it is in the middle of no where...

I noticed that both parks are owned by Merlin Entertainments, are there any special passes or something that you can buy to get into both parks?

Edited by mba2012

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They have the Merlin Annual pass. There aren't any Alton+Thorpe combo tickets.

You'll have to do the sums to see if it works out cheap for what you want to do, but if you want to see some stuff like the London Eye (Everyone does that right), London Dungeons (And even Madame Tussauds etc) then it can work out to be good value, which is what I found with my visit. It even includes Legoland and Chessington, and even though I had no plans for Legoland I did it anyway for the lulz.

It also came with 1 hour early entry at Alton, which was good for getting on stuff like Rita and Oblivion straight up without a queue (PS Rita is good, not as good as superman, but say roughly on par with Jet Rescue)

Some conditions have changed in recent years, but one thing I remember is that in the peak of peak there were blackout dates on the London Eye.

Edit: Stuff it, passes are on sale and heavily discounted at the moment according to the site. I actually took advantage of a similar offer and ordered early back when i did my trip in 2008, 100GBP for the basic annual pass, 125 GBP for Gold, and that includes a free fast track each visit, no blackout dates.

Online prices (individual attractions) London Eye 18 GBP, Thorpe 25 GBP, Alton 36 GBP, which brings the total to 79, so you'd want to do one or two other attractions to make it viable to get a pass.

Edited by Gazza

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My limited googling at work didn't immediately return a result - but how much is the fast track if not included for free with the pass? that would add to the value and potentially negate the need to 'do one or two other attractions' depending on the cost...

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THanks Rean.

So Alton don't do a 'full park' fastpass, but thorpe do. At 70 pounds, paying the additional 46 to get the pass makes the pass worth it all on it's own. Presumably it also includes some form of fastpass at Alton as well - which is all just gravy at that point anyway - the pass is certainly the better deal - even without visiting the 'other' attractions.

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Buying individual fastpasses throughout the day is the way to go, at least in my experience of both parks. Its hard to predict crowds, so buying a full flashpass may turn out to be a waste of money.

You pay around 3-4 pounds, if I remember correctly, for a fastpass for one ride. I found it worth it.

Edited by alex_1

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