Theme Park Guide Live is back for 2017! With a new look and some tweaks behind the scenes we’ve taken on your feedback and made changes. Kicking off the live updates we will be starting at Chessington for annual pass day and finishing at Alton Towers for the reopening of Hex – the legend of the towers. On top of the opening days, we’re be reporting live from the opening day of the Gruffalo river boat ride adventure at Chessington and Derren Browns Ghost Train Rise of the demon.
Saturday 11th March 2017 – Chessington Annual Pass Preview Day
Sunday 19th March 2017 – Thorpe Park Annual Pass Preview Day
Saturday 25th March 2017 – Alton Towers Open Day
Gruffalo Riverboat Ride Adventure Opening Day
Derren Browns Ghost Train Rise of the Demon
The closed season is almost over and its almost time to return to the theme parks for anther year of thrill and spills. With the Merlin Annual Pass sale ending very soon Merlin have updated there website with news of pre opening days at both Thorpe Park and Chessington World Of Adventures.
Taken from the Merlin Annual Pass website:
Get ready to join us for our pre-opening days at THORPE PARK and Chessington World Of Adventures Resort! Join us on the 11th and 12th March at Chessington World of Adventures, and the 19th March at THORPE PARK Resort. More information on these events will follow soon. All events will be limited capacity and will be pre book only.
Please note – all dates are subject to change."
More news on this very soon...
With 55 days left until Thorpe Park opens its doors for the 2017 Theme Park season theres still much to do before the park reopens. Over the past few days the weather in Staines has been very cold causing the lake around the park to freeze over.
Even with the cold weather work has progressed around the park, Colossus’s Cobra roll is currently under scaffolding, Tidal Wave has had new sheet metal added to its lift hill and Vortex looks to be being put back together. And yes the queue time sign is currently on!
For those missing Loggers Leap… it looks like bad news! The ride is still sat there rotting away. However, spotted by one of the team. The year 2011 has been written on the supports. Also, for those Thorpe Park history fans. The old Thorpe Park Logo can be seen on the front of few of the boats still. We suspect these boats have been in storage for a while!
Back in December we broke the news about two new flat rides being spotted in Old Town. A rock tug boat and a small drop tower. And it would appear we where right about them being new rides! The old shooting gallery next to the old train station building has been removed and foundations have been poured for the rock tug ride. All of the safety shields can be seen next to the ride, we think its fair to say it Old Town will be getting two new rides this year!
The Frog Hopper ride is still in the same state in which we saw it the other month. However it would appear foundations are currently being made for the ride with a digger spotted next to the old Noodle Bar restaurant in the area. Also notable, Rocky Express is currently being put back together.
Slammer also appears to be undergoing maintenance still with a cherry picker next to the ride.
Down near Rumba Rapids, it would appear some major work is currently happening to the ride! The queue line in Rumba Rapids appears to have been painted and work is currently on going on the bridge and walkways. Currently the floors on the exit don't exist! Safety nets can be seen under the structure in case someone falls. Also, near the station of the ride a tree chipper can be seen. It would appear the park are taking advantage of the closed season to get rid of a few of the trees. Hopefully this means the park are going to give the ride some closed season work! Maybe even add some more theming to the ride and make it more wet?
Over at Chessington World of Adventures the park is currently in celebration of both Christmas and the birth of 3 new lion cubs. Yesterday we took a small drive up to the park to see them and you’re in for a treat! They're amazing, coming right up to the glass, play fighting and incredibly photogenic.
However, this update isn’t just going to be about new lion cubs. Next year the park will be getting 2 new attractions for the year. The Chessington Adventure Tree in Market Square will be the park's new centrepiece showcasing the wide array of animals in the park as the centrepiece and ride objects. The old Carousel next to Tiny Truckers has now been removed.
Market Square isn’t the only place currently being redeveloped! Transylvania is still mourning the loss of Bubbleworks. With the ride being re-themed, The Gruffalo boat ride is believed to be opening March 2017. However yesterday when we visited the park it looks like lots is left to do until the ride is in a state to reopen.
The facade of the old Bubbleworks building has been repainted with the old queue line, entrance and porch area all removed. Out with the old and in with the new we guess? The new colours look very bold with bright blue and green everywhere. Here’s hoping it is just an undercoat. Back when Bubbleworks was redone back in 2006, the facade to the Transylvania shop was repainted and once again when the Bubbleworks factory departed, the shop facade has been repainted. Yes it is sad to see it go but we're interested to see what they are doing to the shop! There’s some rumours going around that the shop will be split into two with one side for the Gruffalo and the other for the vampire. The future for the Vampire and Transylvania is looking very short!
For those nostalgic people, an old Bubbleworks express queue sign can be seen outside the fire exit / skip area.
Elsewhere around the park, Seastorm is undergoing its normal maintenance along with what appears to be a repaint on the console. The Black Buccaneer has been taken apart with the supports being kept near Dragon's Fury and the boat washed up on the path next to Seastorm. The rock work of Creepy Caves also appears to have had some work done to it with them looking nice and fresh again.
And the biggest news of all, Rameses Revenge appears to have been serviced for another year! The ride looks to be covered in scaffolding rather than being put in a car park and shipped off to another park.
With 105 days left until the first day of the theme park season, there appears to be work going on across the resort to get all the rides and attractions up to scratch and to fix any broken effects. From across the lake the park looks really peaceful compared to walking down monks walk where you can hear a lot of drilling, banging and vehicles reversing.
Canada Creek / Old Town has been labelled as “Under Development” for the past year. The only operational ride in the area is Rocky Express making the area very quiet now that Loggers Leap has been closed. However it looks like all that could change next year!
Two new rides have been spotted in the area, both from what we can tell are from Weymouth Sealife Centre: A small drop tower ride and a Zamperla Rockin’Tug ride. Could next year finally be the year that Old Town gets some new rides?
Tidal Wave is still undergoing maintenance on the lift hill. It would seem the park are replacing the metal work on the trough. Is there a chance the park will try get the fire effect working this year?
Moving away from Amity Cove, it would appear the entrance bridge is also currently getting some work! Some parts of the bridge have been painted bright blue with an old ferry barge underneath the bridge. Potentially this is so elements of it was to be tested.
Since our last update Vortex has started its closed season maintenance with all of the seats now removed from the ride. The queue time boards have been turned off so we suspect Thorpe Park might have read our last update blog?
Down near Stealth the teacups have all been taken off the main disk and put on their side so maintenance can be done to the ride system.
Last year we had the excitement of Derren Brown's Ghost Train being built and this year an extension is being added onto the building. It would appear the park have started on this extension and workers can be spotted on the roof throughout the afternoon.
And of course, no update would be complete without a look across the lake of the Thorpe Park horizon with the sun setting behind it.
Good Evening and welcome to the Theme Park Guide Rumour Mill a new series here on Theme Park Guide all about theme park related speculation and things we hear through the grapevine.
This week we are going to do some investigating into what could be coming to Cbeebies Land at Alton Towers for 2017.
We all knew a new family attraction was coming after plans were released early this year for a “New Round Ride”
There has been a fair bit of speculation about what this new attraction could be, some have considered an attraction coming from Chessington such as Flying Jumbos or the Black Buccaneer and being rethemed however I have a theory that this attraction could be brand new and from a relatively unknown manufacturer.
I present to you, Garmendale. Who are Garmendale you ask? Well they provide a lot of work for many UK and abroad parks, from maintaining rides such as Rush at Thorpe Park to providing Air Gates for Alton Towers and even providing their own dark rides no less!
So how did I come to this deduction that these would be manufacturing a flat ride? With this announcement I was intrigued…
Its cold and the nights are drawing in. It must be time for a closed season update! Thorpe Park has been closed for a few weeks now and i think its about time we headed down to Staines for a quick walk around. No, not to go Christmas shopping. But to walk down a overgrown footpath to stare in at Thorpe Park and see whats going on behind the closed gates.
From across the lake everything seems very piece full, its very strange looking at the park from this angle! Someone should make a film about an abandoned theme park, maybe add some zombies? We’re sure this hasn't been done before… Anyway from across the lake theres not much going on that you can see! Apart from a jet ski’er going past every few seconds trying to show off. But failing and failing in the cold lake.
Tidal Wave has scaffolding all the way up its lift hill. It looks like work is being done to the chain lift. With the cog at the top of the lift sat on the scaffolding.
Meanwhile over at Rush the ride looks like its missing its seats. On the zoomed in photo of it we can see the cables that secure the arms have been disconnected. No rides on rush today! Also note, the Big Top has now been deconstructed.
Unsurprisingly nothing has been done to Depth Charge by the looks of it. With the boats still on the converybelt on the way back up to the top. Also according to the queue time sign outside Vortex the ride has “N/A” queue time.
Continuing down Monks Walk, Samurai is still in the upright position. Platform 15 which is all still set up with the old Canada Creek train, still sat outside the old train maintenance shed. Complete with a few actors still sitting around on the train.
With Thorpe Park confirming what we already thought would be the case. That Loggers Leap wont be reopening next year! The ride continues to still sit there and rot. During Fright Nights we went on a behind the scenes of platform and took a few photos of the state of the ride. We can’t see the park reopening Loggers leap ever again. Lets hope they prove us wrong! (Photos from inside the park taken during behind the scenes)
Rocky Express is having its normal closed season work done to it but this year it would seem the whole ride is being taken apart. The tower that sits in the middle of the ride has been put to one side with the cars, arms and wheels scattered everywhere in Old Town Canada Creek.
Walking down a bit more, Slammer looks like its had some work done on the towers. Nemesis Inferno is all wrapped up with plastic sheets protecting the maintenance bay and station from the cold. Got to keep the engineers warm during the winter! Mr Monkeys Banana Boat ride is under scaffolding again.
This time last year Derren Browns Ghost Train was being built, this year an extension to the building is being built near the shop. However, we cant see anything from the footpath. Would be cool if Thorpe Park did one up on us and uploaded some photos of it on their snapchat some day soon….
Every year during the closed season theres always rumours of certain rides getting a retheme or extra work being done to the ride. Once again this year people are saying that Rumba Rapids is getting work done to it. However, that information appears to be wrong! Apart from the boats being put down monks walk again we don't think the ride has had any work done to it.
Meanwhile Stealth and The Swarm look very cool in the distance. Also whilst walking down monks walk towards the old farm we spotted something we would never see again! Theres a horse on some of the old Thorpe Park Farm Land. Let the rumours of the farm coming back begin!
And there we have it… you can now stop wondering whats going on at Thorpe Park. Maybe next time we see the park, Colossus will be repainted or something cool would have happened!
Discover the magic at Chessington World Of Adventures this Christmas as the zoo opens for their Christmas event Winters Tail. Returning for 2016 the event runs on selected dates from 26th November 2016 - 2nd January 2017. As the nights get colder, the elves at the Resort are busy preparing for the most magical Christmas yet.
With Father Christmas’ festive grotto, The Elves' Kitchen, Christmas Pandamonium Live Show, plus our amazing animals, have a wild Christmas at Chessington!
Everyone entering the event must have a pre booked ticket. As stated in the FAQ’s of the event…
Do Annual Pass holders (incl. Standard, Premium and V.I.P. Merlin Annual Pass and Chessington Annual Pass) get free entry to Winter’s Tail?
No, our Annual Passholders receive a 40% discount on the gate price of the Winter’s Tail ticket when pre-booked before 31st October 2016 and 20% discount thereafter, which includes entry to the Grotto.
Why has this changed for Passholders?
This year we have introduced a brand NEW Christmas Pandamonium show, cookie decorating in the Christmas Kitchen as well as increasing the capacity at Santa’s Grotto. Although a special event, we have ensured that Passholders still get a discount of 40% when booking before 31st October and 20% off thereafter, however a ticket must be purchased to access this event in 2016.
The closed season is finally here! Today Nemesis and The Smiler did its last laps of the year. With Thorpe Park, Chessington World Of Adventures and Legoland Windsor Resort also closing over the past few days Alton Towers was the last to close its doors at 9pm today.
2016 saw The Ghost Train open, Air get rethemed into Galactica, Chessington get a new Panda themed show and Legoland receive a new 4D show. This year saw the parks vigorously attacked by news papers over stupid events such as rides breaking down, as they should do under normal technical issues. We wont mention any names, The Sun, Daily Mail and many more! (Oh hang on we did! Oops?!) This year also brought the end of Bubbleworks a much loved dark ride at Chessington.
Over the next few quiet months we shall be working hard on updating the main TPG website and looking at the possibility of getting some more TPG Team members! You know what they say… the more members in a team the easier it is for everyone else. And of course, your be in with the chance of going to exclusive events with us.