Thorpe Park

Reviews (2)
Location:

Staines Rd, Chertsey KT16 8PN

Ratings:
  • Staff Helpfulness
  • Ease of Access

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Features:
  • Accessible parking spaces
  • Accessible toilets
  • Changing Places
  • Help points
  • Lifts
  • Personal assistance
  • Step-free access

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Reviews (2)

BenSmith2 BenSmith2

I visited with my family for a birthday treat (teenage daughter plus friend, son and wife) in the summer holidays. I used a small mobility scooter to get around.

Firstly it’s worth saying that Thorpe Park probably exists to entertain teenagers, not 40 somethings. So the primary purpose was to entertain my daughter. In some respect I cut some slack, because overall ‘we’ had an okay time, although there are many drawbacks for accessibility. I love theme parks, but this was pretty disappointing.

Entry and parking. Seemed fairly organised and signposted. On the whole the car park and entry area is pretty shabby with some uneven areas, but nothing that was a problem. However, there’s no signage on where to go for Ride Access Passes, PA tickets or the disabled entrance. Once staff located they were confused which was a shame as every other example of staff interaction during the day was excellent. For the record, you need to go to the middle entrance after going to get your PA tickets sorted at the office just to the right…strangely you have to then queue up again when inside to get a ride access pass. I couldn’t help thinking this would be better for everyone if done in one go.

Rides: Orlando this isn’t. It’s disappointing to find so many with poor access for the disabled. The lift was broken on ‘Saw’, but we were only told of this after going through the queue. ‘Stealth’, ‘The Living Dead’ and ‘Derren Brown’s Ghost Train’ were inaccessible unless I could get out of the scooter and walk unaided for a specific distance and/or go up stairs, which I couldn’t. I have been to numerous parks in the US and was really surprised at this but didn’t kick up a fuss as it was not really for my benefit. There are rides that are accessible – Colussus (an old but fun coaster) Swarm (newish, very smooth fast) and Depth Charge (very wet). There were possibly more, but I didn’t try all of them.

Staff: Everyone was excellent, happy and pretty helpful. It was a busy day and apart from a hiccup at the entrance staff seemed happy to be there.

General layout: The park is fairly compact, although it is fairly bumpy with quite a few ups and downs and some kerbs (looks like these are historic and rather than rebuilding the layout, they have just kept the old pathways in some areas). I was fine getting around on a scooter, but not sure it would be pleasant for anyone propelling or pushing a wheelchair the whole day.

Toilets: Radar operated but the one I used was actually open to anyone. No complaints and seemed pretty big.

Overall: Personally I found it a poor experience, even with a free PA. There’s just too much I couldn’t access, and therefore ‘we’ couldn’t access, and on the surface this just seemed like poor design. My daughter had a good time. My son gave it a thumbs down as there wasn’t a lot he liked. We all agreed it isn’t somewhere we will go back in a hurry. For the money it was an okay day out, just expect to split up and spend time holding jumpers rather than being fully involved. If you want to go on every ride, expect to be disappointed.

WheelieAutisticTubie WheelieAutisticTubie

It has its good and bad points in terms of accessibility

Car park: It used to be that you could get into the side entrance to the park, but since the UK had to increase security at events after Manchester, the disabled bays are actually quite a way in a manual chair, made harder by the stones from the main car park area which aren’t cleared often enough. There are 3 new bays, round the front, but people do tend to try parking right behind you so you cant get your chair in the car. It isnt like you can go nose in either as it goes onto the exit so would be dangerous to try and access the back of the car if it were parked nose in.

Getting into the park: Wheelchair users and people with other disabilities can go down the middle of security rather than have to queue and struggle with the narrow paths to the security buildings. The security guys and gals will check your bags before letting you through.
There is only one part where wheelchairs and buggies can go through and that is also where people go if they cant work out how to scan their tickets. It can be a bit frustrating trying to get though as you tend to get knocked into and pushed in front of.
The walkway to the Dome is ok, the only issue is that sometimes it can be a bit of a slalom with boards and drinks/photo stands.

Changing places toilet: There is a changing places toilet with a hoist, bed, shower, toilet, and privacy curtain. It is brand new and looks great. It is situated to the left hand side just by the entrance doors to the park.

Ride Access Pass: For details of the pass and the proof of disability requirements https://support.thorpepark.com/hc/en-us/articles/360001146951-What-is-the-Ride-Access-Pass-and-how-do-I-apply-
I recommend coming out of the dome and turning right. The slope is slightly longer but not as steep. Then turn left at the bottom and you will see a hut with wheelchair signs on. If you already have a Ride Access Pass number then you go there, if not, you need to go to the information and guest services which is under the dome next to first aid- with your paperwork.
It doesnt take long to get set up, and you can ask accessibility questions there. however, not all the staff know what they are talking about, which is frustrating.

Toilets- There are disabled toilets in all the ‘secotrs’ of the park, they are all radar key accessible. The actual equipment is clean, but if you are scared of spiders, probably not going to be a good experience!

Rides accessibility: Very frustratingly, a number of the rides do NOT have a working lift. SAW, Nemesis Inferno are the most notable as they are ones that you have to be able to walk up steps to go on, and it can be hard work for those whose legs are not very co-operative. Stealth is the only ride with a working lift. The lift is very small and would not fit anything other than a wheelchair- a scooter would be too long.

Staff: Staff are- 99% of the time- really helpful.

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