Thorpe Park: The Crash Pad, banana theft, frozen pipes and ridin’ with Kat and Alfie

Exploring the empty park in the dark

Exploring the empty park in the dark

It’s my birthday shortly (not a hint, I promise) and although I can remember sunny days, cloudy days and rainy days, I’m pretty sure it’s never snowed before at this time of year.

Yesterday we drove down to Surrey to visit Thorpe Park for the opening party for their new hotel, The Crash Pad, and to experience the new backward twist to The Swarm, their amazing winged roller coaster.  The Death Wish Dude is a coaster nut, so we took him with us as our coaster-tester, along with his friend, James.  The snow was really coming down by 6pm and as we crawled along the M25 at about 20 mph I had visions of us being snowed in and spending the night in the car.

Anyhoo, we made it, and the incredibly friendly Thorpe Park staff made us very welcome. We checked in to our Crash Pad room  and were impressed with what we saw.  Don’t, under any circumstances, expect a hotel room.  The Crash Pad is more like the Yotel in that it really is just a place to lay your head: a double bed, two single bunks, and a small en-suite wet room. That’s it. No floor space, no wandering around room, just a place to crash and go.  Oh, and a word of warning?  The top bunk has no rail.  Do not allow a restless sleeper up there – the Dude came crashing down at around 3am – luckily unhurt!

We thought it would be fab if you have to travel a long way to spend time at Thorpe Park – you can book packages which include two days’ park tickets, one night in the Crash Pad and breakfast included.  There’s also evening entertainment provided and the bar area is lovely.  A fab idea and pretty good value too.  We also thought it would be ace to book an overnight stay during one of the Fright Nights!

In the bar we bumped into Shane Richie, who we’d met at Disneyland Paris when we went for my 40th birthday (you may remember the ‘photograph of the ear‘ debacle). He’s so lovely and we all wandered around the park in a big gang.  Kat (lovely Jessie Wallace) was there too I was a bit starstruck, to be honest, but they’re so down to earth and friendly.  At one stage Shane took over the announcing on one of the rides (then ran away before getting on).

With Shane Richie

Me with lovely Shane Richie, James and the Dude.

We were lucky enough to have access to the park after closing time, and the fellas went on everything, at least twice:

The boys riding Nemesis

Riding Nemesis

There was also the small matter of a stolen banana.  This was absolutely nothing to do with me, but these two shifty-looking characters were caught on CCTV:

Theft of giant banana

Theft of giant banana


SWARM is blimmin’ amazing. Hubby and I went on once but the boys rode about five times – both backwards and forwards!

After a fabulous party, with a DJ, entertainment, nibbles and a free mojito bar, we headed to the Crash Pad.  It was really lovely and comfy (bit awkward when one of the kids isn’t yours, but then that’s our fault).  The only problem was when we woke up – no hot water due to frozen pipes.  The staff were amazing again, rushing around and getting us bottles of water, but we decided to head home and save our park tickets for another day.

This really is the perfect place for teenagers.  To be honest, it’s such good value I think I’d probably book a separate room for the teens, then let them loose around the park while we chilled and pootled about a bit more.  The food options are good at Thorpe Park and there are plenty of non-adrenaline-rush things to do too!

And yes, the banana was returned to its rightful place, unharmed.  I promise.

About Crash Pad

Two day packages start from £64pp, including breakfast (based on 4 sharing).  Click here for more info.  The Crash Pad opens 28th March 2013.


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