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Riding the Waves of Time: Celebrating 40 Years of Flying Fish

  • Friday March 8th 2024
  • Charlotte

Flying Fish Blog List Image Charlotte Welch

Since its launch in 1984, Thorpe Park has been a hub of exhilarating experiences, yet few rides have captured the hearts of visitors quite like our original and iconic rollercoaster, Flying Fish. As we celebrate its 40th birthday, join us on a nostalgic journey through time to explore the twists, turns and evolution of this beloved attraction. 

Space Station Zero (1984-1989) 
The legacy of Flying Fish begins with its debuted name, Space Station Zero. Launching in 1984, this space-themed indoor powered coaster marked Thorpe Park's first expedition into the realm of rollercoasters. Unlike the ride as we know and love today, did you know Space Station Zero featured over-the-shoulder restraints?   

Location details: The building Space Station Zero called home, evolved into Carousel Kingdom (1990-1999), our under-cover family entertainment area themed around a medieval town square and castle. Within the area you would have found the UK's first 'double-decker' carousel, carefully crafted to mirror the elegance of steam-powered carousels from the early 1890s. 

Space Station Zero In Blog Image Charlotte Welch

Flying Fish (1990-2004) 
In 1990, the ride underwent a transformation and evolved into our vibrant and colourful rollercoaster, Flying Fish. The location also changed with the ride moving from the indoor location to see daylight and be located within the heart of Model World. The relocation to an outdoor setting allowed for a reimagined experience, with a figure-of-eight track layout and a vibrant blue and green fish-themed design. Over the years, Flying Fish became synonymous with family fun and its scenic surroundings blended seamlessly with the landscaped gardens creating a magical atmosphere for riders. However, all good things must come to an end and in 2004 Flying Fish bid farewell along with Model World to make way for our record-breaking, ground-breaking hydraulic-launch coaster, Stealth! 

Location details: This version of Flying Fish was located within Model World. Model World was an original attraction at Thorpe Park since its opening in 1979 and showcased miniature 1/36th-scale models of global landmarks amidst tranquil gardens. In 1990, the area underwent a transformation with the relocation of 'Space Station Zero' to make way for 'Flying Fish'. Among the featured models were iconic structures such as the Eiffel Tower, Nelson's Column, the Sphinx of Egypt, the Statue of Liberty, the Sydney Opera House and Thorpe Park's own Mountbatten Pavilion (AKA The Dome), adding a touch of global charm to Thorpe Park’s scenery. 

Flying Fish ONE Charlotte Welch

Flying Fish (2007 - Present) 
Despite its short break, Flying Fish made a triumphant return to Thorpe Park in 2007, much to the delight of its fans. With a fresh surfer theme and a vibrant new location nestled between Depth Charge and Tidal Wave, the rollercoaster welcomed a new generation of Thrillseekers. Flying Fish returned with its redesigned train splashed with vibrant hues of red, yellow and orange. 2007 also saw the introduction to on-ride photos for Flying Fish meaning the laughs, screams and memories made mid-ride could be captured and shared. Its enduring popularity is a testament to its timeless appeal and status as a rite of passage for young visitors who climb aboard our fun and fast first-time rollercoaster. 

Location details: Flying Fish is located between Depth Charge and Tidal Wave. Introduced in 1991, Depth Charge is our thrilling four-lane water slide where you climb aboard your inflatable rafts and race to claim victory. Tidal Wave has been making waves (literally) since its debut in the year 2000. Opening as one of Europe's tallest water rides, riders ever since have been braving the 85-foot plunge into a staggering splash drenching each of them with the equivalent of 2.7 bathtubs of water! 

Flying Fish TWO Charlotte Welch

Looking to the Future: 
As we continue to innovate, evolve and introduce even more record-breaking rollercoasters (hello Hyperia!), our original coaster, Flying Fish, remains as a firm family-favourite within our huge rides, attractions and events offering, providing endless fun for families and Thrillseekers alike. Its legacy of excitement and adventure serves as a reminder of the joy Flying Fish creates and the nostalgia it holds continues to form a unified link between the most thrilling theme park in the UK and the millions of riders Flying Fish has taken on a journey. 


Join the Celebration 
As we celebrate 40 years of high-flying fun, we invite adventurers of all ages to experience the thrills of Flying Fish! Whether you're a seasoned rider or a first-time flyer, there's no better way to mark this milestone than by taking flight on this iconic attraction. 


So, grab your tickets, hold on tight and join us as we soar through the sky on the wings of Flying Fish! 


Until next time👋      



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