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Should Thorpe's next investment be a dark ride?
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Current Results

Medium Term Development Plan

Thorpe Park continues to have a very promising future, judging by what's detailed on their Medium Term Development Plan. This plan has seen two submissions to Runnymede Borough Council; one at the end of 2009 and one in July 2010.

The plan was the first of its kind since the MTDPs submitted back in 2003, which detailed the building of Stealth and SAW: The Ride, alongside the relocation of Samurai and installation of Slammer and Rush. It also boasted a further round ride, the installation of a second Detonator tower and a Lake Show, all of which did not happen, proving that these guidelines are no guarantee of what might actually go ahead.

The current MDTP, which details plans for the Park from 2010 - 2016, is still subject to environmental screenings and council approval, but it does give us a valuable insight into what the future has in store...

New Rides

In line with Merlin Entertainments' investment strategy, Thorpe Park plan to build a new major attraction every three years, most probably with filler attractions in the years in between. Proposed rides include:

  • Roller Coaster in 2012 (now open as The Swarm), not exceeding 40 metres (131 feet) high, located either at points C or E on the below diagrams (later confirmed as point C).
  • Roller Coaster in 2015 (which has in later documents been suggested as having been pushed back to 2016 or later), not exceeding 50 metres (164 feet) high, located at point A on the below diagrams.
  • 4 - 5 flat rides. The diagrams below show 9 possible locations for these rides, but only 4 or 5 will be used for rides between 2010-2016. One of the locations has already been used (Octopus Gardens made way for Storm Surge in 2011) and another will be used (next to the Pirates 4D building) with the 2014 Angry Birds development.

And in addition to all this, the Plan suggests:

  • Open Air Stage next to Stealth in 2012 (which didn't happen in 2012, but not ruled out for later years).
  • Refurbished entrance to the Park (new signage erected over entrance in 2014).
  • Extensions to Pizza Hut, Burger King, Shops, Nemesis Workshop and a new Fastrack booth.

Thorpe Park Hotel

A permanent Thorpe Park Hotel has been an idea on the cards for many years. The latest MTDP noted that in April 2009 Runnymede Borough Council approved plans submitted back in 2006 for a resort hotel. Thorpe Park have been cautious about this investment however, partly due to the poor economic climate.

In 2013, Thorpe Park sought to test the water for the overnight stay market and opted to build a temporary hotel (The Crash Pad) as a trial for a permanent hotel in partnership with Snoozebox. Following the success of this trial, for 2014 the Park severed their ties with Snoozebox and built their own version of the temporary hotel, now open as the Thorpe Shark Hotel.

The plans for the permanent hotel have not been dropped, however. In May 2014, the Park entered the "detailed design" phase of planning for the permanent development, which is now tentatively slated to open in spring 2018. For our full feature on the proposed permanent hotel, click below:

Thorpe Park Hotel

Visitor Projections

The 2003 MDTP projected an increase in visitors from 1.4 million/year to approximately 2 million a year over the period 2004 - 2009 (the Park didn't quite make this, getting 1.87m visitors in 2009). The 2009 MTDP projects an increase of only 200,000 extra visitors/year by the end of the period 2010 - 2016, but this may be partly due to the fact that Thorpe Park just does not have the capacity to take many more, without reclaiming new land.

MTDP Application Images

2009 Submission

Close Up View of Proposed Rides
Overview of Proposals

2010 Submission

Detailed overview
Large sketch of proposals
Side View

To view all of the MTDP submissions, find them at Runnymede Borough Council here.

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