Tidal Wave is the most visually spectacular ride at Thorpe, and is guaranteed to leave
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Tidal Wave is a well themed and visually exciting attraction themed around Amity Cove, a 1950s New England fishing village, devastated due to the relentless waves. Very few other water rides in the world can match Tidal Wave for the splash created at the bottom of its drop; even if you're not going to want to ride it, you'll want to spend a few minutes watching the facial expressions of those who are!
Riders sit in a large boat with up to 19 other people (4 to a row), and are taken up 85ft by the noisy lift hill. The boat winds its way around at the top, and plunges at speed down into the blue below. The drop is quite breathtaking - Tidal Wave was the highest water ride in Europe when it was built (Oakwood's Hydro later claimed this title in 2002) - and the complete wall of water riders experience at the bottom is even more so. Needless to say, riders come off absolutely soaked. The boat circles back to the station, and there the rides ends - Tidal Wave is really all about the drop.
Tidal Wave's themeing is amongst some of the best in the Park; in the queueline you can see battered houses, old radios, kitchen utensils and even a dripping toilet. When it was built, you could even see fireballs explode out of the oil drum and floods of water gush out from the tower, although sadly both of these effects are no longer operational. The music loop played in the area also really adds to the atmosphere - Big Bob Jones on "WWTP Radio" keeps the hits coming (think The Beach Boys' I Get Around and Little Eva's The Locomotion), as well as throwing in a few bad jokes. It all adds up to a wholly immersive experience which is guaranteed to put a smile on guests' faces.
The only fault Tidal Wave has, apart from the fact that it's a bit of a one trick pony, is that it gets you gratuitously wet. We're not mincing our words here: Tidal Wave's splash is akin to having a large bucket of cold water thrown over you. Even with a waterproof coat on or a poncho, riders can still come off with very wet clothes. On a hot day, this might not be much of a problem. On a cold day... well, at least the queues are short!
Comprehensively themed and brilliant soundtrack.
The "Tidal Wave" the boats produce has to be seen to be believed.
Gratuitously wet. Seriously, seriously wet.
It's all over after that one drop.
Many of the original themeing elements now don't (and won't ever) work.
"I love this ride! Unless you are scared of water, I highly recommend that whenever you visit the park you go on this ride - the experience is not easy to forget. It's like being held under a cold power shower when all the water is around you! Definitely 10/10 from me. Don't forget your towel though!" Charliy, Sutton, UK.
"This is a really fun ride! It's great for a hot day to cool you off because the water is freezing. Not great on a cold day though, so definitely wear a coat!" Katie, Bookham, UK.
"What could have been nothing more than a single drop boat ride has been made into a fantastic ride due to the incredible effort gone into the theming, and the interaction between the ride and the pathways that surround. The sheer atmosphere this ride creates (as well as the more than impressive splash) easily makes this one of the most spectacular water rides in the country!" KS, Cambridge, UK.
"LOVE THIS RIDE! It's great fun! Seriously great but boy do you get soaked! I suggest you wear a rain jacket if you don't want to go home soaked. I went home wetter than wet, SERIOUSLY wet, so much water drops over you, however it's worth it as it's great fun. But it doesn't last very long and queues are sometimes ridiculously long." Louise, UK.
"You'd have to be crazy to go on this when it's cold (or be tricked onto it, like I was one cold March day a few years back) but when it's hot, it's easily the best water-based ride in the UK! Special mentions must go to the music, which really sets the scene, and the wonderful 'viewing platfom' where you can get just as wet as the riders!" John, Milton Keynes, UK.
"This was an absolutely fantastical ride! 10/10! The amazing thing is the splash at the end. It drenches you so badly! Thorpe Park is truly home to the most spectacular rides. This is not for people who are scared of water. Don't forget your towel!" Verdant, Slough, UK.