Saturday 23rd March saw Thorpe Park Resort open its gates for the first time in 2019 for the Pre-Season Preview day for Thorpe Park and Merlin Annual Passholders. SouthParks paid a visit to look at the changes and additions for 2019.

With tickets for the day running out quickly, we were concerned that the Resort would be very busy. Thankfully, crowds were moderate. Let’s take a walk around the park to see what’s new..

The bridge to the Dome has had its audio upgraded, and the rear of the building housing the turnstiles has been repainted.

One of the most substantial changes this year is the removal of the nautical theming which has decked the walls of the Dome for many years. The Resort has not confirmed if this is part of a phased plan of works, or if anything will replace it in the future. Although the previous theming did start to look dated, we feel it looked better than the current plain black walls.

A large projector screen has been installed above the doors leading out to the park, which was displaying a welcome message at the time of our visit.

One of the first things we noticed this season is how clean the park felt. All pathways / midways have received a power wash over the closed season, and it really makes a difference.

Tidal Wave is now sponsored by the drinks brand Oasis, with new murals in progress on the roof of the exit bridge and splash zone flooring.

The shortcut bridge across the splash pool has been removed, which is a shame as it offered some nice views of the attraction.

The water tower effect which has been dormant for quite a few years may be returning, as the mechanism was showing signs of life!

We initially thought that these drinking fountains were new, but were in fact installed last summer. The original owners of the park offered drinking fountains for guests, but eventually they were removed by the Tussauds Group in favour of guests purchasing water from shops.

Family favourite, Storm in a Teacup has received some exterior painting enhancements over the closed season. It’s nice to see one of the original Thorpe Park attractions still going strong.

Nearby, Stealth has had its airtime hill supports painted a solid navy blue. This is a departure from the vibrant red and chequered pattern seen in the before and after photos below.

Whilst looking at rides that need painting, the track on Nemesis Inferno has been deep cleaned in parts which is a great improvement. However, the once deep maroon colour is looking faded in areas, with patches of paint peeling away in some spots. The nearby queue time board is currently missing and will be replaced.

Rumba Rapids is now running modified boats with a higher backrest, central grab handle and locking entry and exit gates. This is following a trial last season where the boats were tested on both Rumba Rapids, and Congo River Rapids at Alton Towers Resort.