Last Sunday, Miss A and I took a trip to Staines for our first visit of 2016 to Thorpe Park, unless you’ve not heard – my family are ambassadors for Thorpe Park this year. This means we get a heads up on the happenings and events on the ‘Island Like No Other’, which, for you means you get the inside scoop too! They’ve kindly given the four of us Thorpe Park Annual Passes so we’re allowed to visit whenever we fancy in the season (next week for my Birthday Bunk Off as an example!)

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As a Thorpe Park Annual Pass Holder (or a Merlin Annual Pass holder), as well as having largely unlimited access to the park for the entire season (special events might require a small extra charge), you also get the chance to attend events like we went to on Sunday – an Annual Pass Celebration / Preview Day. You get emailed about such events, and so long as you’re quick enough to grab a free ticket on ‘Eventbrite’ (you need a ticket so they can control numbers on park!), you get a day at Thorpe Park where it’s filled with just Annual Pass Holders – no one else. This makes for a usually quieter day, and more excitingly for a theme park geek such as me, a sneaky peek at what is coming up in the year ahead.




At the moment until 10th of April you can pick up a Thorpe Park Annual Pass for £49.99 per person in their SALE, which is LESS than the ‘on the day’ price of a standard ticket, so it’s a fantastic time to get one.

So, with your Annual Pass, there’s no need to book, or faff, you can rock up when the park is open and stroll through the ‘Passholder Entrance’ – when you’re on park, you get 20% off a variety of stuff, from Food and Drink (KFC and Burger King excluded) and in the retail stores. It’s a fantastic feeling handing over your pass and watching the cost of everything plummet.

BARGAIN LUNCH!
BARGAIN LUNCH!

Because the passes can generally be used when the park is open, it makes for an enjoyable day out for the whole family – when I was little and we went to a theme park, it was mostly an annual event – we had to tear around making sure we got on as many rides as possible in the day we had. If we didn’t get on something, or a ride was broken – it was tough, we’d have to try again next year. So although the outlay for a pass is higher, the enjoyment it provides is spread across the entire year.

As with most preview weekends, and indeed early in the season, some of the rides on Sunday were unavailable – which, yes is a shame, but we’ll be heading back sometime soon, and I’m sure we’ll get a ride next time. Having the pass as a family allows you to have a bit more of a chilled out time with them – you don’t NEED to race around until closing to get on every ride, you can take it easier – have a longer lunch (with 20% off!), and just stroll around enjoying the day, talking and sharing the fun, and not being wound up that there won’t be enough time to get on ALL the rides.  There is always the next visit, which, petrol costs and £6.00 parking fee excluded is pretty much ‘Free’.

Derren Brown's Ghost Train - Nearly ready to go...
Derren Brown’s Ghost Train – Nearly ready to go…

Obviously, you can extend your fun further by getting a Merlin Annual Pass, and experience all 31 of Merlin’s Attractions – which allows you to have similar benefits across all the resorts, we’ve got ours through a mixture of Tesco Clubcard points, the now dead ‘Merlin Membership‘ and the yearly Sale in January!

So this year will see another year of family fun at Thorpe Park Resort and the other Merlin Attractions – I’m REALLY looking forward to heading to Alton Towers for a sneaky ride on Galactica next week and can’t wait to test out Derren Brown’s Ghost Train before it opens on May 6th!

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