The Crash Pad was Thorpe Park's new investment for the 2013 Season: a temporary pop-up hotel for their target demographic of "16 to 34 year olds and up for it families", provided by Snoozebox. Snoozebox offer the world’s first fully-serviced luxury portable hotel, using modified shipping containers and cabins to create rooms.
Widely seen as a "testing of the water" for a more permanent hotel installation, rooms at The Crash Pad featured an en-suite shower wet room and toilet, flat screen TV, free Wi-Fi and a safe. The addition of The Crash Pad meant a stark increase in the number of evening events that the Park put on, such as Ministry of Sound club nights, roller discos, gigs and comedy nights.
The Crash Pad was ultimately successful, but didn't result in a new permanent hotel installation as many would have liked: instead, Thorpe Park severed their ties with Snoozebox at the end of 2013 and built their own shipping-container version instead. The Thorpe Shark hotel opened for the 2014 season, with an increase in the number of rooms and a renewed 10-year planning permission!
Detonator began life in 2001 as one of three new flat rides at Thorpe Park, along with Zodiac and Vortex. It received a re-theme and re-name ("Detonator: Bombs Away") in 2014 as part of Angry Birds Land, meaning that 2013 was the last season operating as simply "Detonator".
As photographed in 2014, with new video board above the gates.
Thorpe Park severed their ties with Snoozebox for the 2014 season and built their own version of the popular "pop up" Crash Pad hotel, rethemed as the Thorpe Shark Hotel. In addition to slightly re-styled rooms, the new hotel would have a giant themed shark sitting above the entrance walkway. Here you can see the artists' impression model of the structure, built by Scruffy Dog.
And here's the model brought to life, with the real structure being 15m in length! These photos were taken in May and June 2014 respectively.
The Park opened the hotel in stages, with the first set of rooms ready for the early 2014 season, and the second block built a couple of months later. Here you can see the early stages of construction for the second block, taken in May 2014.
On 8th January 2014, Thorpe Park surprised guests by announcing a whole new area for the 2014 season: Angry Birds Land. Having partnered with app developer Rovio, the Park broke with tradition by opening their new attraction in May of that year, rather than for Park opening in March as is usual.
New attractions as part of the development included the world-exclusive Angry Birds 4D Experience - a new movie located in the old Pirates 4D Theatre (Thorpe's 3rd 4D installation), King Pig's Wild Hog Dodgems - a brand new dodgems attraction built by Bertazzon and situated next to Tidal Wave, and Detonator: Bombs Away - a retheme of the existing popular Detonator tower.
The entire area reportedly cost Merlin less than £1m, which appears good value given the Park effectively got two brand new attractions, area themeing, and a rejuvenation of an old attraction for the price!
With only a couple of weeks to go, the area had some work left to go, with the Dodgems construction not having gone "vertical" yet, and no hint of the area entrance signs as seen in the planning application. There had clearly been work going on in the 4D Theatre however, and the area had been given a re-paint with Angry Birds 2D themeing featuring on the sides of the building walls.
One week before opening weekend for Angry Birds Land, and work picked up pace - the facades and themeing were being put in place and the dodgems structure was mostly complete. New queuelines had been added to both the dodgems and the 4D cinema, and Angry-Birds themed sideshow games were being installed. However, Detonator was still open at this stage, and had yet to be given any Angry Birds themeing!
Chief Rangers Carousel was one of the few remaining rides at Thorpe Park to feature the old Thorpe Park Rangers mascots. Guests could ride on an old Flying Fish train, one of the Wicked Witches Haunt vehicles, a Hudson River Rafters boat - or one of the standard carousel horses. A very traditional ride, it made way for the 2016 dark ride development, which also claimed the space of the Arena next to it. Farewell, Chief Ranger!
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2014 was the final season for a couple of Thorpe food outlets: Bar 360 (Dome), Pizza Hut (Ranger County), and Calypso BBQ & Bar (Ranger County). They were replaced by the improved Fin's Bar & Grill, Inferno's Pizza & Pasta Buffet and Bush BBQ & Bar, respectively!
Thorpe Farm - Thorpe's working farm open to Park guests - closed to the public at the end of the 2006 season, and with its closure all of the animals were rehomed. Today the the land is used by the Park's landscaping and maintenance team to store large equipment & machinery typically used to clean the Park up during the off season.
The Farm area is still visible from Monks Walk and Coldharbour Lane, and we took a look (from afar!) during the 2014 off season, 8 years on. As you can see, large parts of the old Farm has unfortunately fallen into disrepair, with much of the land now significantly flooded.