1930 – The land that makes up the park was bought from the Lord of the Manor.
1941 – The site is used by Ready Mix Concrete (RMC) to excavate gravel.
1970 – RMC start to plan what they will do with the site when the excavating work
finishes. They decide they will use the site as an example of how they
can re-claim the land by opening a leisure visitor attraction.
1971 – RMC form a subsidiary company called ‘Leisure Sport Limited’ to run their
attraction based on “The history of the British people as a maritime nation”.
1975 – The World Water Ski Championships are held at the site.
1979 – On 24th of May 1979 Thorpe Park was officially opened to the public by the
late Lord Louis Mountbatten. Attractions at the water based pack included:
The Mountbatten Pavilion (later Port Atlantis/ the Dome), Model World,
A WWI Aircraft Display and the Schneider Trophy Aircraft Exhibition.
1980 – Waterbus trips and Windsurfing begin at the park.
1981 – Cinema 180, a UK 1st opens.
1982 – Magic Mill and Thorpe Farm open this year.
1983 – Phantom Fantasia and Treasure Ireland Railway open.
1984 – Space Station Zero opens.
1985 – Cap’n Andy’s Revue opens.
1986 – Teacup Twisters opens.
1987 – Costing over £2 million Thunder River and the new park area ‘European Square’
1988 – Palladium Theatre, a 630 seat theatre opens.
1989 – Canada Creek, a new area of the park opens containing Loggers Leap (Britain’s
Highest Log Flume), Canada Creek Railway and the re-located Rocky Express.
1990 – Space Station Zero is re-located outside in Model World and re-themed as the
Flying Fish. This year also saw Carousel Kingdom, Trappers Trail and Drive
in the Country open. The Thorpe Park Rangers Show also began this year.
1991 – Fantasy Reef, a new park area opens with the new ride Depth Charge, the UK’s
1st four lane waterslide.
1992 – Hudson River Rafters and Viking Rowers open. The Children’s ride area is re-developed
as Octopus Garden.
1993 – Calgary Stampede and Virtual Reality Centre open. Treasure Island Railway
1994 – Rangers County, home of the Thorpe Park Rangers opens with two new rides:
Chief Ranger’s Carousel and Mr Monkey’s Banana Ride. Phantom Fantasia is
re-themed as Wicked Witches Haunt and Jungle Zone, Family Golf opens.
1995 – Drive in the Country is moved to Rangers County and re-themed as Miss Hippo’s
Fungle Safari. Also Magic Mill becomes Mr Rabbit’s Tropical Travels.
1996 – X:\ No Way Out, the Worlds 1st pitch black backwards rollercoaster opens and
is one of the largest investments RMC spend on the park.
1999 – Pirates 4D, the UK’s 1st 4D experience opens. Viking Rowers and Carousel Kingdom
2000 – Tidal Wave opens, at the time it was Europe’s tallest water ride. Fantasy
Reef becomes Neptune’s Kingdom.
Then on Friday 21st July 2000 disaster strikes at the park as the ride
building for both Mr Rabbit’s Tropical Travels and Wicked Witches Haunt
is destroyed in a fire at the park. Jungle Zone Family Golf, Dare Devil Drivers,
Cap’n Andy’s Revue, Dino Boats and Trappers Trail all leave the park.
2001 – Detonator, Vortex and Zodiac open.
2002 – Colossus, the Worlds 1st ten looping coaster opens. Thunder River becomes
Ribena Rumba Rapids. And Fright Nights begin at the park.