News 28/11/2021

Consultations to Occur for a New Roller Coaster!

Posted By Josh

Yesterday, we discovered a new website suggesting that consultations will soon be happening for a new roller coaster to be built at Thorpe Park! We have a look at all the known details and speculate what this could mean!




What do we know so far?

At the moment, we do not know a lot. The webpage is not technically live yet; it will be available on Friday 10th December. So we have no details from there. 

However, a member of our forums has posted a photo of a leaflet which has been sent out to residents in the neighbouring Thorpe village area. This also mentions a consultation process for a new roller coaster, but also extra information:

"The proposal will involve the removal of existing old rides and replacement with a new roller coaster in the Old Town area of the resort. The new ride will provide an exhilirating experience for visitors to add to existing attractions."

This matches up with recent rumours about the removal of the kids rides in Old Town, namely Rocky Express. We also know that Platform 15 has reached the end of the line and will not return the Fright Nights, suggesting that the whole area - including the site of Loggers Leap - will also be used. It is also possible that the roller coaster could even extend further and down to the Slammer site too.

We don't know a project name yet, but we wonder if this will be Project Exodus?


What don't we know?

We don't know what type of roller coaster this will be or any stats about the roller coaster. It is not clear when the roller coaster will open, but many rumours suggest a 2024 opening. Some even suggest a 2023 opening!


Are we getting full plans on 10th December?

In short, no. 

Over the last couple of decades, the park have usually submitted a Mid Term Development Plan (MTDP) to the council, which would outline roughly what the park hoped to install over a 5-6 year period. Once approved, this made submitting plans for roller coasters a simpler process. However, the park haven't had an MTDP that is valid beyond 2016. 

The consultation process is primarily for local residents, to let them know roughly what is planned and to get feedback. At this point, the park will have a good idea of what they want to build, when, etc. They'll have ideas of the impact it will have to local residents in terms of noise, sight, traffic impact, etc. The park will use this opportunity to hear what residents think, and answer any concerns they have. This will make the application process simpler.

In saying this, it is likely we will see some plans and details. We may see a vague layout and more concrete location. We may get details about a maximum height of the ride, or similar. We should hear details about opening year, a timescale for construction, etc. When Chessington World of Adventures held a consultation process earlier this year (for their new land and roller coaster set to open in 2023), they gave all these details and some concept art. You can see the consultation page here, for a potential look at what to expect.

Anything we see at the consultation is subject to change though, depending on feedback.


What could the ride be? Are their restrictions on height, length, etc?

At the moment, we don't know what the ride could be! And really, we don't know any restrictions the park could be under.

In the past, it has been said that the park's absolute maximum height limit is 500ft (due to Heathrow being nearby). This may have changed, and it's unlikely the park would ever go close to that. So it doesn't rule out a possibility of a tall roller coaster, such as a hyper (200ft+) or even a giga (300ft+) coaster in theory. The previous MTDP said the park did not plan to install a roller coaster longer than 850m, but as that only applied to rides built up to 2016, we expect it is possible for the park to build a longer ride.

As for what we would like to see? We think a tall, sit down roller coaster (bigger than 200ft) from someone like B&M or Mack, heavily focused on airtime would be amazing for the park. But we'd also be very happy to see a wooden roller coaster from GCI, or even a hybrid from RMC. Or, for something a bit different, we think a Mack Xtreme Spinning coaster would be amazing at the park too!


Is it possible this is a hoax?

We do not think this is a hoax. Leaflets have been sent to residents in the nearby area. The webpage is hosted similarly to the Chessington equivalent. This all adds up to something that looks very real!


Is there anything else we should know?

We think that pretty much covers everything! However, we should say: this is still very early days. This isn't directly linked to the park's marketing team or similar. The consultation is being run by an external company who deals with planning details (though in conjuction with the park and relevant figures). As such, it is probably best to not ask the park's social media and guest services team every 5 minutes for details about the ride, since they will not know much more (or can't say any more).

Also, whilst these consultations are open for everyone to see and give feedback to, please remember they are designed mainly for local residents to learn about how this new investment could affect the local area and their daily lives. It is their chance to ask questions, give concerns and let them know about any feedback they have. Whilst we're all excited to see what happens next, we think this is worth keeping in mind and that people should try to be respectful of this too!

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