Derren Brown’s Ghost Train – Review

I’ve finally been able to go to Thorpe Park this year. I’ve been busy with getting into Uni and advancing in my job. Now because I’m settled, it’s time to get back into the Coaster vibes again.

I went to Thorpe Park on one of its Fright Nights, and my, it was so fun. Unfortunately, I couldn’t go into the mazes as my party did not have the guts to face the terrors within, but, I got a big slice of Derren Brown’s creation. I approached the derelict themed warehouse, taking note of the exterior, it had a rusty touch and a paranormal feeling about it. Everything was very detailed, from the fading “Thorpe Jct” to the ripped posters.

I don’t want to give away too much, but we go into a room with a Pepper’s ghost of Derren Brown. He tells us to be part of “the secret” which is exactly what I’m going to do. I was enticed by this preshow and was ready to face what was coming ahead. A grumpy train conductor led us to the suspended train. The room was dark and the conductor was impatient as ever. He shouted “Hurry up you lazy lot” and phrases like that which made me laugh. I went into the train. This is where I won’t give anymore in terms of how the ride goes.

However, I will talk more about the HTC Vive, as this deserves an opinion. When placing the headset on, the words were quite blurry until I had it lined up with my eyes. When adjusted to my preference, I looked around the area, I was blown away as this was my first time in VR. But as the story progressed, I was slightly let down by the graphics, a bit of blurriness, wasn’t picture perfect. I believe since HTC Vive is still quite new, there are a lot of improvements that could be made. Having said that, I still had an immersive experience.

After the ride was complete, We were all lead to the souvenir shop, where they had interesting items. I brought a T-shirt and Pin badge. Coming out of the shop, I was pleased with myself that I went on this marvel.

Now, the Score

Experience: 8/10

VR : 6/10

Scare factor : 4/10

Story: 6/10

I really enjoyed this attraction, I was blown away by the mechanisms and the story. The theming was exceptional, something Thorpe Park have done well. Saw:The Ride was probably the first Thrill ride to have quality theming, followed by The Swarm and the Ghost Train. The effects were exhilirating, and added a depth of paranormal reality into it.

The VR was a little bit of a let down, but was still able to immerse me into a different world. The graphics could have been improved, however the areas created were well thought out.

I really thought this was going to scare the hell out of me (I hate horror movies), but it really wasn’t that scary. I don’t know if that is a good thing or a bad thing, but it certainly enabled me to engage with the Attraction a bit more. There was no shock value or one off gimmicks, just a good experience.

The story was good, but just a little bit muddled up. That did not stop me from enjoying the experience.

Overall, The experience was amazing, the VR needs a bit of work and the attaction isn’t too scary (which is good for chickens  like me) and the story is almost excellent. I’d definately recommend it to someone and I would experience it again. Well done Thorpe Park!


Theme Park Overview: Thorpe Park

Thorpe Park has always been my childhood theme park. Because of its close distance, I go there at least a few times every year. The great thing is that it has a variety of thrills.

Go upside down 10 times, be riddled by Jigsaw’s games, whoosh through the calypsos, experience a world’s ending on the wings and to race in a flooded American town- it has it all.

Now, here is my list of Roller Coasters from the best to the least preferred.

  • Stealth
  • The Swarm
  • Nemesis Inferno
  • Flying Fish*
  • SAW: The Ride
  • X
  • Colossus

*I know it’s not a thrill ride, but it’s so, so fun!


Ok, let’s start with Stealth first. I find Stealth to be one of the most breath-taking rides at TP. Firstly, the atmosphere is great. The screa10464264_10203667603303441_4504422356543198482_nms roar as the coaster suddenly zooms with speed, the 60s music playing in the background and, the moment you sit on it you wonder nervously when the coaster is about to whizz through the tracks. Brace yourselves, you’ll be at the speed of 80 MPH which takes your breath away as you experience 4.7G from the hasty acceleration. The coaster goes up like a rocket to the skies of Surrey and as a reward, gives you a great view of the countryside. But after a millisecond of the view, you plummet down back to the earth. However, your body floats up in the air as you reach that braking hill. Then, it’s all over. Your legs turn to jelly, and then, you see your Einstein-like face at the Race Photography stall. Happy days. The whole experience is why I favour stealth to the other coasters.


The Swarm

Oh my, wh-wh-what is that? That doesn’t look good. The whisper of the wind, that nonchalant feel of the zone, this shattered wing. It looks like… the end of the world. In fact, it’s the apocalypse with a fiery service from the invaders. The Swarm. It’s here to get you. Period. Ok, besides the end of the world backstory, this ride is really good. The whole experience is amazing from the moment you enter the apocalypse zone. The theming is excellent as you see a disturbed area. there’s something about this place which makes your stomach tell you it’s a no-go zone. The First Aid shack is in some containers which looked like as if it’s been in an explosion. Also, the church that has been wrecked by the forces of The Swarm. However, the near-miss objects such as the plane wing and the billboard rea229652_10200747052051485_705834853_nlly make the difference. As you board the coaster, you discover that The Swarm are actually beasts from a different planet. Sit on their wings and let them take you on a dangerous journey through the wrecks. Climb up, dive down through the wing (could of banged my arms there!) and then roll through the billboard. The near misses are like crossing the road knowing all of a sudden a car’s about to come at you, whizz straight through as you try to save your life. You then circle around the helicopter, a twist on the top of the spires and back through to the church. The intention of the ride was to show you what The Swarm did to your planet. The beasts let you go and you are now back in the devastating zone with your fellow survivors. I placed this second because of the amazing experience you have, however the only thing is that the ride is too short for its type of coaster.

Nemesis Inferno

It might not be good as the original beast at Alton Towers, but this calypso themed thrill still manages to provide a punch. It has loops, corkscrews and zero-g rolls.

As well as that, it has loads of trees and rocks, giving it the escapism and ability for head choppers.

I wish Thorpe Park made their coasters to be in their own world, I applaud Inferno for being able to have that feature. To be fair though, The Swarm has achieved that as well. For example, the area and views on Stealth should only be of the Amity Cove Area. When I see Angry birds stuff around the corner, it kind of ruins the Escapism. What they should do is block it off from view with extra theming to really feel like you are in a ghost town in New England.

Back to the Coaster, the theming isn’t too strong. But this was Thorpe Park’s second coaster. There could of been a back story of how the nemesis became a volcano in a jungle or something. Just to enhance that Escapism. Otherwise, it is eye candy to look at, the effects and the ride layout itself is awesome. I love the fact that there’s a bit of a roar too.

Flying Fish

Ok, this is a junior roller coaster, but, this ride is actually quite fun. What Flying fish has done right is set itself into the themed area. Although, you can see this warehouse which kills the surfer dude vibes a bit. It doesn’t fit well into Flying Fish’s vista. As soon as you head into the queue, you feel very chilled out by its easy to the eye scenery and energetic atmosphere. You come onto the station and see an orange fish train. The colours on the train are uplifting and snazzy for its setting.

As soon as the Flying Fish sets off, it boosts onto the circuit (let’s think of it as a current) and the party starts. However, baring in mind that it is one of Thorpe Park’s oldest coasters, it can get rickety on there. This can kill the party mood a little bit, but it is still quite fun to ride. A good thing is, it doesn’t just complete one circuit, it completes 3 circuits which extends the duration time. This is good as it’s such a short circuit. Furthermore, this means it’s up there with the other coasters.

As soon as you come off, you leave the ride feeling happy. The only bad things about this ride is the warehouse, the rickets and the fact that it needs a bit of a facelift. Otherwise, it’s worth going on this ride.

Saw: The Ride

This coaster is very well themed and stays true to its origins. As soon as you approach the warehouse of hell, you can notice the detail, the rusted metallic mishmash and the Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor. This is something I really like.

I really like the shape of the Roller Coaster when you look at it. It looks like eye candy to the eyes. 

The Coaster elements and the Saw traps really compliment each other quite well, and you don’t need to ride it to say that. As you go into the queue, that’s where the experience starts. It’s just like navigating Jigsaw’s rooms. That’s how well it is done. You can see body parts and knives everywhere, now that is detailed.

As you board the ride, the train goes into a tunnel. Depending on what train you are, the train could stop and Jigsaw comes out tells you what happens ‘when you lose’. The train then steeply drops missing spikes. The ride then goes through swinging blades and has awesome lightning effects. The train emerges from the dark and stops just before the vertical lift hill. There are screens and count timers with Jigsaw exclaiming “GAME OVER”. You climb up the hill and then go down an 110 degree drop with some more spikes. Brilliant. But what happens after is a bit of a problem. Although the ride layout is fun with the twists, Immelmann loops and all, the experience is rickety during the main part of the ride. This can make the ride experience a bit painful meaning that more of the fun is taken away. This is probably something to do with the trains and the compact layout. Obviously, SAW’s area is quite small so a Eurofighter would be appropriate.However I think the train design could be improved to ensure a smoother experience. This is my main problem with SAW.

The ride would be awesome if it wasn’t for that rickety problem. Having said that, it is still a great filler for the day at Thorpe Park. It would be unfinished if you didn’t go on SAW.


X was formerly known as X: No Way Out. It was a backwards ride in the dark. Cool, but wasn’t very scary. The thing was, that there wasn’t anything interesting besides going backwards in the dark in a great massive pyramid. But then, Thorpe Park got a bit creative and turned it into a Nightclub. Well, who doesn’t like a rave? The thing is though, The coaster went forwards instead and disco lights were added to the experience. Don’t forget the rave-style music.

Now this was a pretty cool idea and was executed quite well, but it lost its very own unique feature – it didn’t go backwards. Let’s go through the ride experience, then you can understand my point of view.

As soon as you hit the queue, it resembles entering a nightclub, you could hear the bass of the music, the queue was colourful and dimmed and it was quite crowded. That’s a great way to build up the anticipation. when you make it to the station, the area resembles when you hand coats or bags to someone on a desk, which is there in my local nightclub. So, pretty accurate. As soon as you board the train, the music’s much louder and your BPM’s raising. The curtain unravels as you go into the heart of the pyramid – the dance floor. The music’s pumping, the lights are shining and the coaster’s dancing. Pretty good replica of a nightclub experience.

However, I was disappointed with a few things; One, the duration’s too short so you wouldn’t be able to get into the nightclub mood, and, you don’t go backwards which means that it loses some of it’s thrill factor. The music should change every 3-4 mins to give that authentic night club experience. Pretty awesome to have a nightclub roller coaster, but why take away the backwards feature? Don’t get me wrong, this is actually quite a good filler. It just needs a bit of oomph in it.