The Swarm - Thorpe Park
I have been patiently waiting for this ride to open for just over a year now, and after my first ride I could not be more impressed with a roller coaster! Thorpe Park and Merlin have really pulled out all the stops to make not only a good ride but give an amazing atmosphere and bring in some incredible themed elements too.
Let’s start with the atmosphere, we all know that THE SWARM has a destruction/state of emergency type feel to it and this was emphasised extremely well with actors placed all around the park (but mainly the new Swarm area). Not only were the actors roaming the area but also the queue screaming, shouting, and giving everyone a great laugh while they waited. We had nurses with cut faces, people with tin foil in their hair and boards around their neck, plus some sneaky arm men who always saluted when you walked past. They even had a fake news crew wondering the park getting the latest news from guests! A touch that I think was appreciated by everyone visiting the park today!
The entire Swarm area is very impressive, and does not disappoint. There are so many great viewing points for people who aren’t too sure about riding, and there are even some games stands and a little sandwich outlet stand. During my visit they had a selection of live bands playing on a stage just near the entrance of THE SWARM, but I am not sure whether this will continue into next week.
When you first approach the area you cannot miss the first drop, which plummets under a destroyed plane wing, which from first sight looks like the best head chopper going, but when riding you are too busy screaming your face off to really notice the height. Around the corner and there are a selection of destroyed/crashed vehicles including a fire engine which conveniently sprays water at riders of THE SWARM, a smoking helicopter and a crashed news 16 reporters van.
My first downside on THE SWARM has to be the queue, it is your standard back and fourth, cattle pen which is calling for queue jumpers to break the park rules! Even though the actors made the small wait enjoyable, I am not sure that this is something which will occur regularly. The station is probably THE best themed station at any UK theme park, even beating out Alton Tower’s Thirteen. The blown up church structure has heavy attention to detail and gives a great feel to the ride before setting off up the chain hill.
The two big things that guests will notice when walking into the station are the size of the track, it is stupidly huge, and secondly the upside down Police inspection unit which also functions as the control room for the ride! Thorpe Park have implemented a “card” front row rider scheme which if I am honest I am not sure will work with queue jumpers but for the number of guests today it didn’t really matter!
Now for the ride, right? What everyone has been waiting for! Well 9 out of 10 Thorpe Park, what an incredible roller coaster. I experienced all three positions, front, middle and back, but the back has to be the best by a long shot! The first drop is a spectacle, from the front you slowly turn down towards the large decent, and from the back you rapidly spin through the air! Either way, both are different experiences which all keep guests happy!
The first drop is by far the best, but don’t forget the small heart-line roll towards the end which spins riders through the roof of the church in a crazy whirlwind! There are also some water elements throughout the ride which, if your lucky, get some riders wet. I have to admit that I don’t really get scared or nervous about rides anymore but a good coaster for me is one that is enjoyable, this ride kept me laughing the entire way around! On a final note, the seats could not be more comfortable if they tried, with a similar layout to AIR at Alton Towers, it gives guests the ability to sit comfortably but still feel free when riding through the air.
I wanted to share with everyone how amazing this new roller coaster is, and I am positive it will attract a large influx of guests for the park!
THE SWARM, Thorpe Park 9/10