Thorpe Park has always been my families preferred destination when it came to extravagant days out. Having attended Surrey’s most prestigious and only theme park since the age of about 4, I can now safely navigate its intricate and confusing arrangement of attractions with precision, despite the warren of concession stands, gift shops and new or refurbished rides. So when my girlfriend suggested that we should go there to celebrate her birthday I was thrilled. We are both theme park enthusiasts, having holidayed in Florida specifically to sample some of the world’s most elaborate roller coasters. Though Thorpe Park is comparatively more reserved than its trans Atlantic cousins its still one of my favourites. It had been too long since our last visit and a birthday appeared to be the most opportune time to remedy such a prolonged absence. I was wrong.
We had decided to leave after 9am to nullify the amount of congestion we would inevitably encounter along the motorway that reticulated around London and the adjacent areas. As luck would have it the only extended traffic we encountered was due to road works a few miles from the junction opposite Thorpe Park. It being a rather brisk Friday we had anticipated that the park would be suitablely quiet, with most potential customers confined to their respective schools or place of business. But it seemed as though half the country had conspired to truant, conveniently assembling here for the singular purpose of disrupting our intimate day! Never mind, theme parks are after all inherently labouring places to frequent, requiring compromise to utilise and delegate your time more efficiently anyway. Besides we were persevered by the elation of indulging in our nostalgic whims, which we took immediate advantage of by heading straight for the enduring anchor of my childhood, the log flume “Loggers Leap”. This was the one statutory attraction you had to ride, the very essence of what made Thorpe Park so eternally adored. And it was gone. Dismembered, vacant, crushed. And so was I.
Instead of being greeted by the sight of a cascade of water trickling down from the peak of the tubular track, the fabricated logs brushing gently against the sides of the rail, the smell of stagnant water abusing the nostrils or the shrill wail of children when they reached the top of the ascent and realise there were no harnesses to prevent them from falling out were gone, replaced by punctuated silence. A vacant space, bereft of amusement or purpose. And it’s sad. It was never the most thrilling of rides, but retained the traditional aesthetics of the parks formative years, like the mechanical stuttering noise it used to make. My girlfriend and I could only commiserate its demise by appealing for a swift refurbishment of this once great ride rather than shamefully gutting it’s exterior for the emergence of another gaudy attraction. But we weren’t about to allow frivolous nostalgia pervert our fun, even if one intolerable and uniquely hostile customer endeavoured to do so, asserting his abrasive behaviour while cueing to an uncomfortable audience of parents and children. A bloated scrotum of a man who expressed his chagrin to the obstruction of cues, with a vocabulary solely comprised of profanities and other luried solicitations. We remained steadfastly optimistic that things would get better, that the ever figuratively rotating worm was invariably about to turn like so many of these impressive rides. That is until we decided to actually board some of these rides.
Over the years Thorpe park has changed its policy on who the Park is specifically catered to. Adapting from it’s initially established family orientated experience, into something much more equipped towards the exuberance of teenagers and young adults who wish to sample ever increasing eleberations of speed and convolution. As such many of the more invigorating rollercoasters require over the shoulder restraints to secure passangers, as well as crush their genitals, who will be spun vertically with an exerting force, which as it turns out is a devastating impediment for anyone with ample chest, as my girlfriends robust cleavage prevented the harness from fastening over her shoulders and securing her safely. Of course we didn’t discover this hindrance until after we’d cued for close to an hour. The ride is now temporarily halted by breasts, as the female members of staff attempted to forcibly manoeuvre the restraints into the locking mechanism with little regard for my girlfriends comfort. But despite repeated attempts they simply would not secure, leaving my girlfriend to abandon two rides under similar circumstances: embarrassed, tearful and cursing her weight and figure. We soldiered on eventually discovering a sample seat to another sprawling roller-coaster, whereby individuals can test there eligibility. Of course the almost identically designed harness clarified that this was yet another attraction we couldn’t attempt. At least we discovered this before we cued I suppose.
By this time we’d both had enough. Having made the slow and despondent trek back to the car I endeavoured to reassure her that it wasn’t her fault. That though we were both understandably disappointed by the ensuing debacle, I assured her that her distorted perception of her size and image that she currently loathed was not an accurate reflection of her as the attractive, tender and beautiful women she truly is. Not to mention how lucky I am that she chooses to remain with a perpetual man child with a chronic dependancy on gaming and aggravatingly averse to social interactions. So I guess I should thank Thorpe Park for its sobering candor and reaffirming my girlfriend and mines enduring love for one another.
So if you’re intending to go to Thorpe Park I’d advise caution. It’s overpriced, seemingly misogynistic, at least when it comes to female breasts, sporadically functional amusement park that will crush both your dreams and genitals like an ill fitting harness. Happy Birthday everyone!