30 May 2012 (Wednesday) - Thorpe Park
Having twice in the last week actually been woken by my alarm, insomnia struck again, and I once again lay awake fretting about things outside my control. The ageing hippy counsellor woman I went to see a few months ago advised me not to do that. I wish it were that simple.
But I needed to be up promptly today. "My Boy TM" had acquired a two-for-one ticket to Thorpe Park, and absolutely no one wanted to go with him. With nothing on the itinerary for today, and fed up with dull days, I was up for it. I didn't mind having Father's Day a little bit early.
We made good time to Thorpe Park, and only queued for twenty minutes to actually get into the place. We soon found "Colossus" - a roller coaster with ten loop-the-loops, and after thirty five minutes queueing we went on it. It was surprisingly good fun.
The "Saw" roller-coaster was a different kettle of fish. Three quarters of an hour queueing for one minute of sheer terror. I quite liked it, even if first fruit did squeal like a girl. As did most everyone else. Me - I was too terrified to make any noises whatsoever. As we got off a voice announced "Congratulations - you are still alive", which I felt was rather appropriate. The next ride, "the Slammer," was a new one, and had no queues. You sat in your seats, got lifted twenty yards into the air, and did three loop-the-loops forwards, and then three backwards. I quite liked that one.
"Detonator" was a ride that I did the last time I went to Thorpe Park. You sit in your seat, get taken about fifty metres straight up, and then get dropped straight down.
"Nemesis" was next - another roller-coaster, but rather than sitting in a train, you sat suspended from the track.
At this point we adjourned for an ice cream for lunch, and then went on a rather sedate boat ride to calm our nerves. And then after half an hour's queueing went on "the Swarm;" which was another suspended roller-coaster. I was then challenged the a helter-skelter boat race ride which I lost (shenanigans!), and seeing the queues had subsided we had a last go on "Nemesis" and "Colossus". I would like to have stayed longer, but the time was pushing on, and a combination of a hot day and being hurled about at serious G-force had made me feel a bit icky. Either that or my continually clouting my head on the "Colossus" ride. And having seen one pool of vom being cleaned up we didn't want to make more work for the staff, so we decided to call it a day.
I'd not been to Thorpe Park for ten years. It was a really good day out, and a wonderful Father's Day present. I'd thoroughly recommend it... but for the price. Even with the discount it was still over twenty quid per person just to get in. By the time you've added on the cost of getting there and back and bought an ice cream it's an expensive day. If only it were closer to home and a bit cheaper. Which got me thinking....
Take the "Colossus" ride. To load it with thirty people, run it and unload it takes (at most) three minutes. Each of those people has paid (at least) twenty quid each. The park is open for seven hours a day, and the roller-coaster is going pretty much non stop all that time. So in one day the park brings in eighty four thousand quid from that ride alone. Bearing in mind that as the season goes on the queues grow and you can't do all the rides in one day (there's quite a few), and that people pay good money for fast track tickets, and they want four quid just to use the car park (to say nothing of the prices they charge at the various stalls), is it unreasonable to think that they take over a hundred thousand pounds per day?
Perhaps I'm wrong?
Once home we scoffed a quick tea, and then went round to the arky-ologee club. I was frankly ashamed to be part of it tonight. The chair-lady gave her opening address; the speaker gave a surprisingly good talk on tithe maps and tracing ancestry, and over half the attendees just rudely talked through the lot. This seems to be standard practice at arky-ologee club these days; it's a shame; the club has potential; but won't realise it if it carries on like this....