Project Exodus: Old tactics coming to the fore

Thorpe Park Project Exodus rollercoaster

At 236 feet, Thorpe Park’s new rollercoaster will next year become the UK’s tallest.

It will be the first time that record has been broken for 30 years, with Blackpool Pleasure Beach’s Big One falling to second place.

Of course in 1994, the then-Pepsi Max Big One was also the tallest rollercoaster in the world.

The UK at that time had multiple theme parks chasing world and European records.

But Alton Towers’ Smiler was the last conventional physical world record to be broken in 2013, its world-record number of inversions still holding today.

Now, in the age of rides reaching over 400 feet, 150 miles per hour and 1.5 miles in length, the UK’s days of chasing conventional world records seem over.

Instead, consolidation around UK records appears to be the tactic – for of Merlin Entertainments at least.

Short duration

The announcement of the UK’s tallest rollercoaster does seem like a reversion to the outright physicality and headline marketing not seen for a while.

But while The Smiler was heavily marketed as a world’s first, it was also notable for its length – both in track length and experience.

At the time, its length was openly stated as being a response to persistent guest feedback that rides are too short.

Project Exodus, Thorpe Park rollercoaster
Mack Rides have been confirmed as the 236-foot rollercoaster’s manufacturer

Project Exodus is a more blatantly about the height record and little else.

At first glance, it is little more than a one-trick pony, and yes, with a short duration.

With the launch of ‘Club 236’, Thorpe Park is certainly pushing the height aspect in marketing already.

It will be one of the shortest 200-foot-plus rollercoasters in the world, but that is hardly something to shout about.

There are some interesting overbanked turns, and the first drop certainly looks impressive – even if it does end up being a little Stealth-esque.

Exodus will also be quite a spectacle to the observer, and its over-water nature will also add another dimension.

While this rollercoaster appears to be a reversion to old tactics, it will likely have a few striking artistic touches to boot.