We went to Thorpe Park this weekend and it was the first visit of the year for us. Our cunning plan was to take some of the teen’s friends with us and that way, they could go off on their own. This meant that my husband and I avoided some of those larger rides and focussed on the younger two for a change which was nice.
There is no doubt that Thorpe Park is aimed at older kids and young adults but is there enough to occupy younger children too? The answer is most definitely yes. So in this post, I am going to focus on the rides and activities that are perfect for younger children and why my daughter (who is seven) absolutely loves our visits to Thorpe Park as much as her brother does.
Cool Water Rides
Thorpe Park is an island, after all, so it is only right that there should be water rides and three of our favourite rides are all guaranteed to give you a refreshing splash. I have added the minimum height in brackets after each ride to give you an idea but most of them are suitable for younger children.
Depth Charge (0.9 m)
When you walk down the steps into the theme park, Depth Charge is probably the first ride you will see as it is just to the right of the main entrance. It looks very high but it is a boat ride down a huge wavy slide, the boats fit two people and there are four boats that go down at a time. It is amazing fun and even though it does feel like you might actually take off when you go over the bumps, you do get to the bottom and I can guarantee that you will want to go again.
Storm Surge (1.1m)
Another favourite of ours, you sit as a family in a large inflatable dinghy and go up and up and then you are sent whizzing down a circular slide. Amazing fun and you will get a little wet and the views from the top are fantastic.
Rumba Rapids (0.9 with an adult 1.1 unaccompanied)
Fairly gentle rapids ride with a few splashed along the way. Suitable for younger children.
Tidal Wave (1.2m)
This might not suit all little ones. My teenage son went on this when he was 8 but my daughter wasn’t quite ready. Like a log flume but with a very high drop, the splash at the bottom is huge and this one will soak you. Great fun though and there are drying chambers costing a couple of pounds if you want to dry off.
Relax and play on Amity Beach
Yes, Thorpe Park has its very own beach where you can relax, play or take a ride on the Wet Wet Wet water slides (children under 1 meter must be accompanied by an adult). You can paddle in the pool or lounge on the deck chairs and it even has its own beach huts. Obviously, this is dependent on the weather but even when it was raining, there were still families on the beach. Just remember to pack a towel and some trunks (or a swimming costume).
Angry Birds Land
As soon as we see the sign, my daughter starts squealing as she loves Angry Birds Land. We have recently watched the Angry Birds Movie too so this time it all made a lot more sense too. With bright colours and lots of models, this area is really appealing to younger kids
King Pig’s Wild Hog Dodgems (1.1m to ride with an adult 1.3m to ride alone)
This is always the first ride in Angry Birds Land and the second and usually the third. This ride is dodgems with an Angry Birds twist. Choose your side by hopping in a green Bad Piggie or a red Red car. My daughter loves it and this year, she had finally hit the heady heights of 1.3 metres so she could ride a car on her own. My slight concern was unwarranted as she drove around like a complete lunatic and loved every minute of it . Brilliant family fun.
Angry Birds 4D Experience (recommended age 4+)
Experience Angry Birds in a whole new way. This 4D movie takes you into the heart of the action as the Angry Birds attempt to get their eggs back from those rotten pigs. This may not appeal to very young children as the 4D effects include chair shaking, smoke effects and bangs. It is ideal for kids aged 4 and above and even some of the bigger kids will like it too.
Detonator: Bombs Away (1.3m)
Even though my daughter was tall enough for this ride, she wasn’t quite brave enough yet but her brothers loved it. Suitable for slightly older children, this ride takes you up 100 feet in the air and then drops you down. Not for the feint hearted (i.e. me).
If you have little thrill seekers there are also plenty of rides for them if they like racing, spinning and swinging.
This is a roller coaster aimed at younger ones but it is still pretty fast with lots of twists and turns. We love this ride and it is perfect for my daughter who squeals with laughter all the way round.
Storm in a Teacup
If you like spinning, this ride will be just your cup of tea. The ride spins you around but you can make it spin faster using the wheel in the middle of the cup. Sponsored by Tetley, my kids love the voiceover by the Tetley man and it makes them laugh every time.
Mr Monkey’s Banana Ride (0.9 must be accompanied by an adult, 1.2 can ride unaccompanied)
This is like a smaller version of the traditional swinging pirate ship ride. It still gives you that funny feeling in your stomach and there will be lots of shrieks and squeals as the boat starts to swing. This is another of my daughter’s favourites.
Rocky Express (0.9 must be accompanied by an adult, 1.2 can ride unaccompanied)
A train ride that is pretty speedy but everyone can jump on this ride and whizz around the track.
Timber Tug boat and Lumber Jump (between 0.9 and 1.1 must be accompanied by an adult)
We didn’t get to go on these two rides as they rotate the operation of these two with Rocky Express and my children were too impatient to wait. Both rides are new to the park since our last visit and again will appeal to younger visitors.
What are the other advantages of taking younger children to Thorpe Park?
Most of the people at Thorpe Park are there for the awesome selection of bigger rides. Those are where the bigger queues are. The advantage of that is that for many of the rides for younger children, there are much smaller queues. When we went a few weeks ago, it was pretty busy. Rides like Depth Charge and Storm Surge do usually have long queues but I can honestly say that we had to wait for no longer than 10 minutes to get on any of the smaller rides and even when we went in the summer holidays a few years ago, we the same thing.
The size of Thorpe Park is also an advantage to little legs. The whole theme park is not huge and even though it crams in a lot of amazing rides, there isn’t a huge amount of walking to go across the park. There are also lots of amazing snacks and drinks stands to keep everyone happy too. Our favourite is the Nitrogenie stand which makes the most amazing ice cream using liquid nitrogen and the flavour list will ensure that there is something for everyone’s taste.
So for me, there is more than enough to keep my daughter occupied when we go there for the day, she loves going and I’m happy taking the slow, smaller ride path with her whilst my older two tackle the heady heights of Stealth and Saw.
I am an ambassador for Thorpe Park this year, so entry into the park was free. All opinions are my own.