Over the last few weeks, many of our community members have spotted various signs of a new development, including large amounts of tree clearance work around the remains of the Miss Hippo’s Fungle Safari ride. This preparation work is now accelerating with the removal of the seating in The Arena.
Following lukewarm public reception to The Swarm, Thorpe Park Resort – along with its parent company, Merlin Entertainments – have started to shift the park’s target market away from purely thrill seekers and towards families with older children. With this in mind, the existing development plan, which called for a roller coaster similar in scale to The Swarm, has been revised. It is expected that this new ride will not feature such a heavy reliance on the ride hardware but instead focus on theming and storytelling for impact.
The size of this development is unprecedented and will result in the closure of The Arena, Chief Rangers Carousel, and the neighbouring games units. It is unknown at this point if the carousel will be relocated elsewhere in the park.
Following the success of SAW – The Ride in 2009, Merlin Entertainments have been working closely with a wide variety of Intellectual Property holders, including BBC Worldwide, 21st Century Fox, Dreamworks, Marvel, and Lionsgate, resulting in an impressive portfolio of attraction themes to chose from. It is likely we will learn of the theme chosen for this attraction sometime next year when the resort begins teaser advertising.
Thorpe Park Resort are currently in the final stages of preparing the planning application to be submitted to Runnymede Council which will reveal more about the ride system and exact dimensions of the attraction.
We will be closely following this development from start to finish, so be sure to check back for all the latest news and updates. In the meantime, why not discuss your thoughts on this latest project over on the Attraction Source Forum.