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To Loathe Theme Parks

(63 Posts)
devilinme Thu 13-Apr-17 13:24:29

All of them. Expensive, queues, incessant noise, terrible food

DS is desperate to go to Thorpe Park and I'd rather stick pins in my eyes. And, I've raged on how I hate the places so now have GUILT as he's said its ok, we won't go.

Tell me the great things about these places, not just that I will be with lovely DS for the day

SenoritaViva Thu 13-Apr-17 13:25:51

I can't! The queues are just awful.

SenoritaViva Thu 13-Apr-17 13:26:25

And the repetitive theme music turns my DH insane.

123rd Thu 13-Apr-17 13:28:48

How old is he? Can you not drive him and a friend then you sit in the car park with packed lunch, book etc or go somewhere in a nearby town ?
I hate theme parks. Could just about stomach Lego land as went in term times so not too busy. Now DC are older we tried chessington. OMG...just awful. Id rather stick pins in my eyes than go there again. Just queue after queue, lots of nasty people, staff who looked like they would rather be anywhere than there!! And so chuffing ££££

devilinme Thu 13-Apr-17 13:30:01

I did Legoland with a friend and both our DS a few years ago. At the end her DS has a complete meltdown with a screaming tantrum in the shop and then they wouldn't let me out of carpark until I paid £3.50

ArcheryAnnie Thu 13-Apr-17 13:30:22

I loathe them too, but think Thorpe Park is the worst.

If you must go, Chessington is better - because they have the animals there, they can't have the blaring teenage music, which is miles better. And you can alternate some motion-sickness ride with looking at otters, or whatever.

I didn't totally hate legoland, either, except the queues were horrendous. It's got some nice rides, especially the water ones, which didn't make me feel sick, plus also no really blaring music, either.

How old is your DS?

NearlyEaster Thu 13-Apr-17 13:30:38

Could you stretch to a VIP queue jump pass?

Evelight Thu 13-Apr-17 13:32:51

I agree Chessington better than Thorpe Park. We did both two weekends running on a crazy summer trip to the UK. Thorpe Park was just gross- dirty, unpleasant, yuck. Chessington was "naicer".

But the animals in Chessington seemed pretty sad.

devilinme Thu 13-Apr-17 13:33:14

DS is 11. I refuse to pay extra to jump queues, that's just wrong

devilinme Thu 13-Apr-17 13:34:51

I did suggest Chessington if we must as its closer. I think DS has been lured to Thorpe on the basis of their advertised rides

FlyingElbows Thu 13-Apr-17 13:34:58

Fastpass is your friend! There is nothing more fabulous than the "whoooooosh" noise The Smiler makes grin. Theme parks are stupid expensive but we've had some great family time at Alton Towers and my kids love it. It'll not kill you to go for one day or if your son is old enough let him go with friends while you do something else.

muminthecity Thu 13-Apr-17 13:36:44

I love Thorpe Park, we have annual passes and go fairly often, but then I am a bit of an adrenaline junkie and love big roller coasters. If you buy tickets in advance and arrive as soon as it opens you can usually get a couple of rides without queuing. They have the big electronic boards in the park which tell you the queue times, you can just avoid the rides with the big queues until the queue time goes down.

The food isn't mega expensive, they have Burger King and KFC, or you can just bring a picnic.

Thorpe park isn't huge either, so not as much walking involved as in some other theme parks like Alton towers, you can get around the whole park fairly quickly and easily.

We are going this weekend and have fast track passes for all rides, as the last time we went a couple of rides were closed so I complained and was offered the fast tracks. I can't wait!

ScrommidgeClaryAndSpunt Thu 13-Apr-17 13:36:51

I hear you, OP. I have a profound aversion to having money extracted from my nostrils, which seems to be pretty much the entire purpose of these places. Fortunately my DS has never been that fussed about going to them.

That1950sMum Thu 13-Apr-17 13:39:03

I thought I hated them too but went to Chessington for the first time last summer and loved it. It is lovely to see the children so excited and we actually quite enjoyed the queues. We just chatted and had a drink while waiting. The food was quite poor, but otherwise I was really impressed. We'll definitely go back.

CountryCaterpillar Thu 13-Apr-17 14:12:56

We went to disneyland Paris at the offest of off peak (end January) it was glorious. No queues at all!

Hillarious Thu 13-Apr-17 15:06:05

Alton Towers has lovely gardens. Walking between rides is quite pleasant. It's a shame you can't get an entry just to sit in the gardens whilst the DC go on the rides - much better than sitting in the car park!

cliffdiver Thu 13-Apr-17 15:09:07


I love them!

Could you take a friend for DS to go on rides with?

Gatehouse77 Thu 13-Apr-17 15:12:42

Nah, I love roller coasters and don't mind queuing for them unless they turn out to be disappointing! Such as Space Mountain in Orlando; really pants!
The food ain't great but it's one day so I can live with it.

Chessington is much tamer than Thorpe Park so I guess it depends on how scary/thrilling you want your rides to be.

Mumumara Thu 13-Apr-17 15:20:13

Get your DC to join the scouts... my DD has gone to Chessington with them annually for the last few years, and next year they are going to Disneyland Paris. I loved them when I was young but just realised I only ever went with school or guides, never mum & dad. Now I understand why!
(Have to say Scouts is very awesome for lots of other reasons too smile)

Katedotness1963 Thu 13-Apr-17 15:25:48

Not a big fan but it's fun for the kids. We've had a few trips to DLRP, Europa Park, Legoland and Trispdrill. Timing is everything, we're lucky that our kids have different holidays to the local kids so we go through the week when it's fairly quiet, we avoid July/August visits, get there as early as we can, eat before 12 or after 2, look out for coupons.

When the boys were younger we got Merlin cards as that covered the entire season plus free entrance to other attractions and free parking.

FreddieFlowerdew Thu 13-Apr-17 15:33:00

I love Thorpe park, wouldn't go to Chessington zoo for ethical reasons, the animals are sad as pp said and that would go against my conscience. But at Thorpe Park I love the doughnuts, the atmosphere and the adrenaline rush! I have such great memories of going on the rides with my Mum.

Joinourclub Thu 13-Apr-17 15:45:52

Id go to these places with the DC if it was possible to buy an entry only ticket. Then I could just find a quiet spot with a book whilst they wandered about. But it hurts to pay £££ for rides I won't go on.

nosyupnorth Thu 13-Apr-17 15:51:37

If you don't like them there's not much that will change your mind, but I agree with a few of the above posters, 11 is old enough to go around with a friend instead of an adult as long as your DS is sensible and picks a reasonable friend.

FlyingElbows Thu 13-Apr-17 16:00:59

The discount vouchers you get on cereal packets and things like that can save you a fortune and are a way round having to pay just to get in to Towers. We went with two "adults go free" tickets and a clubcard voucher ticket so we only paid for two of the kids which was great. What was even better is that we bought merlin passes when we were there and they gave us the full face ticket price off the cost. So that was full face value of three adult and two child tickets even though we'd only paid for the two kids! The saving was huge and the passes had paid for themselves on the second day of our trip.

Ohyesiam Thu 13-Apr-17 16:01:03

I think theme itself are vile. A friend happily told me she was of to Paris at Easter, I was all excited for her till I realised she meant Disney.
My kids know I won't take them, we don't have to provide everything they want. You are allowed to spend you money on things you don't hate that you will enjoy too. But of you could cope with chessington take a deep breath and do it.

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