European Parks 2013 and 2014 Update

There are so many BIG park upgrades taking place around the world in 2013/14, none more so than the recently announced plans for changes to many of Six Flags parks in North America. Here is an update to take a look at the smaller yet significant ones you might not know about in Europe.

Thorpe Park (UK)

There has been a trial of a new type of ‘Fast Pass’ system within the park that will allow guests to book ride times on The Swarm from an app on their smartphones, with the help of The Cloud known as Thorpe Park Wi-Fi.
This virtual queue system has been tested in the park across August, and will hopefully be rolled out once research has been complete and the process considered a useful investment.

Reserve ‘n’ Ride will be a completely free service that will allow a group of up to 6 individuals to book a time slot on a ride. The trial only included The Swarm but a park-wide rollout may be used when the project goes live.
The park said in a statement that they want to, “become the first theme park in the world to offer a No Queue Guarantee in the future”. So just imagine a Theme Park with no queues!

This is all down to the research and feedback for now; let’s hope it is all positive and that the system gets put in place by the time the park’s season opens in 2014.

Chessington World of Adventures (UK)

The team down at Chessington has announced an upgrade plan for the park, a £5,000,000 project that will take place across both 2013 and 2014.

Many attractions will be subjected to upgrades and therefore delays at times as it cannot all be completed in off-season time. Chessington have apologised for the disruption and say that they appreciate the patience of visitors.

The parks first coaster, The Runaway Train, is receiving its upgrade as I speak. The staple ride which has been in place since 1987 definitely needed some TLC, and is currently listed as SBNO (Standing But Not Operating).

Port Aventura (Spain)

The economic downturn in Europe isn’t going to stop one of the top parks in Spain from updating it’s already amazing line-up.
PortAventura, which already boasts such rides as Shambhala (the tallest in Europe), has announced plans to invest 75 million euros in the next five years to expand their leisure theme park.

A report from a local Spanish news page described the updated as: “…park expansion will begin this year with the expansion of the Costa Caribe Aquatic Park, the resort’s water park, which will have 14,000 square meters of new facilities, among which includes the free fall slide highest in Europe, with a height of 31 meters.”

The resort is claimed to be in the process of trying to increase capacity of it’s hotels to allow more guests on-site options. It already boasts 4 hotels with 69-acres of land owned by the company that plans to utilise this.


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