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It's by the helicopter on the low turn. The ride has now been handed back over Merlin Studios - there's various things which have not been installed / finished such as station queue TV's, fire ball from the fire engine and the splash. It's not working completely in sync yet and is due to be finished this coming week ready for opening day.

 

More photos from Saturday..

 

http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150320486888495.350458.213894828494&type=1

 

Amazing ride!

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Great photos! Both the ride and the theming on this look amazing to me. I have a strange feeling we will be seeing quite a few new Wing Riders in the coming years.

 

I thought the same thing about Flyers after Air and Georgia's Superman. Luckily, I was wrong!

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Okay so I went to Thorpe Park today for the park opening and got to ride the Swarm. Below is my review of the ride and some pictures.

 

To start with I want it to be well known this project never really interested me and the ride design never did anything for me. That being said I still went into it with as open a mind of possible. The ride I personally found to be very slow and had zero to no forces. The near misses were nearly un noticable so that to me sort of the defys the point of near misses. I wont deny the ride was one of, if not the smoothest coaster I have ever been on and its also one of the quietest B&Ms ive ever heard. The theming in the area is very very good by the sort of standards you would expect from Thorpe. To give a rough idea I would say its better than the work they did on Saw: The Ride.

 

Overall I don't like the ride and wont go out of my way to ride it. That being said though I do belive that the ride will be a HUGE and I mean HUGE hit for the park. The theme is perfect for their target audience and a lot of people seemed to be loving it. I really cant say anything other than well done to the park for what im sure will be a huge hit. (A good description for this ride I belive is its a Marmite ride. You will either love it or hate it.)

 

On a side note just before the bridge to enter "Swarm Island" there is a new food outlet called Roast and Relish that serves hand carved meat baguettes. The food there is amazing! Some of the best snack park food I have ever had. I will for sure be making sure I go there on every visit and do hope that the new "Original Sandwich Company" outlet at Chessington will be able to match the quality of food that comes out off that place.

 

Now im sure what you have all been waiting for. On to the photos & POV Video!

 

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"Welcome to Swarm Island!"

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When the Swarm attacks and you need ride merchandise this is a great place to go.

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I feel this is now a Merlin trademark that all shops are shipping containers.

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Nerds rejoice when they see things like this.

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New toilets! Sadly they were not open yet so I cant review them for you all. I know how much people were looking forward to a detailed toilet review.

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This stage was set up for bands to play through out the day.

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A bit of the very very long queue line and the station.

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Fireman Sam!

'Cos he's gonna save the day.

Fireman Sam!

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Oh dear seems the fire engine has a burnt backside.

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They called this a "soak zone" but it was very much like the Tidal Wave zone and more like a mist zone.

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What ride am I reviewing again?

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Hey Larry!

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"War is coming!" Sign up this way!!

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You use this seat to check if you are cleared to sign up for war!

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I AM! I look so cool here right.............

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Its a bit twisty here!

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Heading for the plane wing "near miss".

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The Swarm attacks as the sun starts to set.

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Swarm doing its thing.

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I was so surprised that there is no net below this inversion.

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See even a closer look shows no net!

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Im guessing this is called a station fly over.

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This is I personally think the most visually impressive thing to see when the ride is running.

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I spy a net above the queue line!

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This pic makes it seem that the Swarm is flying through the Fire Engine. in reality it flys behind it.

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Here is the first near miss on the ride. Why it has mist coming out off it I dont quite understand, but everyone love some mist so all is good.

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Some of the detail work on the wing.

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I did sort of wish there was one of the evacuation slides hanging out of the side of the plane. That would have been funny.

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The new games stand.

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This is where you come to get you on ride photos and on ride videos. (I belive the on ride video system is not working yet as all the cameras have yet to be installed on the trains.)

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And I leave you with my favourite picture from that day of the ride.

Edited by StealthFan
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Your review was exactly what I was expecting, a relatively tame ride experience with incredible themeing that the coaster community will think is just "good" but the GP will think is "great". Should be a huge hit for the park!

 

I still can't wait to ride Wild Eagle next week but honestly my expectations for a top 10 coaster aren't all that high. Nice report though.

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Hi Stealthfan.

 

Went on the ride 10 times today - I agree about the speed & the lack of forces generally, but did find that if you sat on the left hand side, outside edge on the back row the ride experience was entirely different.

 

Would be interesting to know if you tried different seating positions too?

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Hi Stealthfan.

 

Went on the ride 10 times today - I agree about the speed & the lack of forces generally, but did find that if you sat on the left hand side, outside edge on the back row the ride experience was entirely different.

 

Would be interesting to know if you tried different seating positions too?

 

I am going to be totally honest here. I rode it once. After I rode it I had no motivation to ride it again. I did funnily enough sit in left hand side, outside edge in the back row when I did it.

 

Im sure I will go on it here and there again through out the season and im sure there will be a difference, that difference however I right now cant belive will be a huge amount. Just maybe sitting on the right or the inside will act slightly differently on the body and there for giving a slightly different experience. That though im sure wont be the sort of difference you would get on something like Dragons Fury every time you ride, just due to the nature of the ride.

 

-Craig

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Shame to hear what we were all expecting. Does anyone think theres a chance of it getting faster with age? And is there anyone who's been on both Raptor and the Swarm that can compare the two?

Unfortunately I think Raptor does look better, I hear the near misses are quite extreme.

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^ I have ridden Raptor and will ride The Swarm in a few weeks. Raptor was an excellent coaster IMO and you did really notice the near misses because there were loads of them. Raptor (whilst being fairly forceless) also managed to keep up the pace, Swarm looks like it stalls in the zero g. From what I have heard about The Swarm, Raptor definitely takes the better coaster title.

 

It kind of upsets me that the biggest coaster in the UK for possibly a decade has ended up being forceless and dull and that Thorpe haven't managed to build a better coaster than Stealth or Nemesis Inferno. I say bring on Secret Weapon 7 & the 2015 coaster!!!

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I went today too, I agree the themeing and attention to detail is of high quality and it's the best themed ride at Thorpe.

 

The ride itself exceeded my expectations..... The pov I watched a few days ago looked really slow. Stood underneath the track in the queue, it glides over the track majestically but still looks slow....

 

.....however, it's faster when you're on board. To say its force less is a tad extreme, the bottom of the drop under the wing pulls a few G's an the inclined loop does too. The zero g and corcscrew are pretty force less though.

 

I sat on both front and back left and right and all four offer different rides! The front left was my least favourite where rear right was awesome getting flipped over the first inversion at the top of the lift hill.

 

I agree with the smoothness and quietness, easily the smoothest an most silent coaster I've ever ridden, Saw however actually raped me today! Damn that things got rough!

 

Being a total Intamin fanboy, swarm sits number 2 favourite coaster in TP under stealth but knocks colossus to 3 and saw to 4!

 

Went with low expectations and left very pleasantly surprised!

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Thanks for sharing your thoughts in Swarm, Craig. It looks like the theming is what makes this ride. I'm looking forward to checking out Wild Eagle at Dollywood, myself.

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So I also went today for opening day and here is my absolutle honest opinion.

 

Themeing is of quite a high standard,I still wouldnt say its absolutly amazing, but they have done a good job, If we still had Tussauds under control of the park, the ride would be plonked down on a concrete island, At least Merlin always put in a good budget for themeing.

 

The ride is very good, however its NOT amazing as in you wont come off saying WOW that was the best ride ever etc, but overall it is a very good ride and a very re-rideable experience in my opinion as well, I tryed both sides at the front(left and ride) and both positions at the back(Left and right), and a few in the middle(7 rides overall which isnt bad for opening day) Front Right Seat on the outside is pretty dam good, The drop is dead sexy and delivers a pretty good experience, the rest of the ride is(as others mentioned) a little forceless, but its still NOT poor by any standards, and still delivers a really nice ride, I did like the Church near miss over the station.

To say the ride is slow is'nt quite true, You could really feel the force of the ride later in the day when it had warmed up and operated for a good while, I always find B&M's like this anyway, they start off a bit sluggish, but really find their form after a while, I still find Nemesis really SLOW in the mornings even after nearly 20 years(wow has it been that long) but then its a whole different story when you ride it at the end of the day in the back seats I'm not saying Give The Swarm 20 years to find its form,lol but give it a good few months, and I think it will get better

I would like to say Congrats to Thorpe for a very successful first public day, the ride couldnt have operated any better, and Thorpe must have been chuffed to bits it operated so well(especially when you compare all other big ride openings where there has been problems) there was one small brakedown when the ride stopped on the lift for about 5 mins, but I think thats all, Staff were brilliant, and queues only reached a maximum of about 20 mins today(plus maybe an extra 15 mins if you wanted the front)

 

So overall, YES Its a good ride, YES it is very re-rideable,YES its very smooth(but then we always expect that from a B&M),YES I do think it will be a huge hit for the park,I could tell lots of people were loving it, and then going round for more rides, NO its NOT the absolutle best amazing ride out there, but its definatly a fun experience and one I can wait to go on again in 2 weeks time. For all those people soon to experience Wild Eagle, and the one at Six Flags America, I do think you will like it

 

One small complaint - Dont know if they will look into this in the future, but you've probably seen the ride is on a seperate island, so there is only ONE way into the Swarm and ONE way out, I'm just worried come Fright Nites, that whole area will get clogged with so many people ,it will get extremly busy,The area is quite wide open so "hopefully" it wont be a problem but prehaps in the future, a second path could be built around the back from Stealth into the area to ease congestion, but as said Guess they obviously wont know if it will be a potential problem until Fright Nites???

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To start with I want it to be well known this project never really interested me and the ride design never did anything for me. That being said I still went into it with as open a mind of possible. The ride I personally found to be very slow and had zero to no forces. The near misses were nearly un noticable so that to me sort of the defys the point of near misses. I wont deny the ride was one of, if not the smoothest coaster I have ever been on and its also one of the quietest B&Ms ive ever heard.

 

Sounds about right. Once the pre-opening hype for X-Raptor vanished after it gave it's first few rides, it was easy to see this concept was a gimmick and dud (looking at it from a quality ride point of view- I have no doubt crowds will eat this concept up). Looks like the solution for the comfort issues Arrow and Intamin ran into is to simply design any forces out of the layout. The potential for theming might make them attractive for Disney parks. Dumbo The Ride, perhaps.

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I also attended The Swarm opening day yesterday with Robin, I didn't know you were there Craig!

 

The Swarm area is themed much better then other areas in the park but its a shame they use that same block paving everywhere now lol! Anyway there is only one way to get to the Swarm Island which is behind Depth Charge so its well tucked away from the rest of the park. If you come out of the Dome and go right then thats the quickest way! The queue line is very compact and most of it is under the inline twist, it takes a good 5 minutes to walk through if its fully open like today!

 

My first ride was on the left hand side which I thought was very forceless. It really feels slow over the zero-g rolls. I went on again but on the right hand side and it felt like completely different ride, much more forcefull. It might of been that it was warming up as I got there just after opening. I rode it a good 10 times today in different seats, it seems to feel faster the further back you sit, the different seats make it very re-rideable. Out of left and right I prefer the right because you flip over at the top of the lift hill and you get really close to the near misses and the water around the helicopter helix!

 

The Swarm might not be the sort of coaster that makes you go "WOW" when coming off and its quite short but its a quality addition to the park and far better then some of the gimmicky rides Merlin have put in over the last few years. The Swarm is easily the most smooth and most quietest B&M I've been on, its night and day if you compare it to the Furius Baco trains

 

On walking around the park I noticed they have removed the Stealth single rider queue and turned it into a Disabled access instead

 

Few photos of the day below, enjoy!

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I'm here at Thorpe Park for The Swarm opening day!

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The Swarm is tucked away in its own island so you have to walk behind Depth Charge to get to it quickly!

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Live music was playing all day plus there was quite a few scarey actors walking about :)

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Ride entrance. Queues were walk on to 15 minutes for the whole day! The queue line is huge and it can take a whole 5 minutes to walk it all!

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This is where they tell you to go left or right. There is also a front row queue before this point.

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Station is like a bombed church!

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582 rollercoasters done :)

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There is a few near misses!

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The Swarm had a Manta type water effect but it didn't really work that well. No fire yet.

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The Swarm area.

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New skyline.

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View from Stealth.

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I would like to say Congrats to Thorpe for a very successful first public day, the ride couldnt have operated any better, and Thorpe must have been chuffed to bits it operated so well(especially when you compare all other big ride openings where there has been problems) there was one small brakedown when the ride stopped on the lift for about 5 mins, but I think thats all, Staff were brilliant, and queues only reached a maximum of about 20 mins today(plus maybe an extra 15 mins if you wanted the front)

 

That's not quiet true. The ride went through a bad patch around 2pm onwards, when it broke down numerous times. The staff told me that both cars were acting up differently. One car was breaking down on the lift hill with regularity (the lift hill would lose power) - and this "nearly" happened on one of our rides as the lift hill shuddered, slowed, but resumed again. And the other car was breaking down in the station, trapping the riders on it refusing to release the harnesses. We witnessed the lift hill breakdown 3 times and the station breakdown once, watching the ride attendants have to pair up to release each harness - one releasing the mechanism from behind, the other from underneath. The ride was closed / evacuated on this occasion.

 

This did NOT detract from the ride experience or the day at Thorpe - specifically because the staff were so good! Jenny & Hannah particularly so. In fact, I left feedback for them with customer services as I was so impressed with their friendliness and positive attitude.

 

Thorpe seem to have a very good bunch of workers this year. I am hopeful of a good season for them.

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In typical THORPE PARK style, THE SWARM broke down 3 times and I was on board this time!

 

"Yet another Thorpe Park cock up" - Really?! That's a bit harsh. Suggest how they could have done things any differently to avoid this "cock up"?

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http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-17389375

 

 

Thorpe Park rollercoaster Swarm stops, leaving people stuck

 

A new rollercoaster came to a halt at Thorpe Park theme park, leaving visitors stuck halfway up a steep ascent for several minutes.

 

The Swarm ride was in its first day of operation at the Surrey theme park.

 

An onlooker said people were left sitting and waiting while loudspeaker messages reassured them they were "perfectly safe".

 

Thorpe Park said a small problem led to the system shutting down but it was back up and running within minutes.

'Most extreme ride'

 

A spokesman for the attraction near Chertsey said: "The Swarm is a sensitive piece of equipment and a small problem resulted in the fail-safe system shutting it down. Health and safety is our main concern.

 

"Our engineers were on site to rectify any teething problems. It was back up and running within minutes.

 

"Ride staff let the guests know the ride was unavailable."

 

The spectator who spoke to BBC News, a 39-year-old from Crawley, West Sussex, said: "It came to a halt with all the people on it halfway up the climb. It got stuck with all the guys on it for about five minutes or so, possibly more.

 

"The people just stayed there waiting. There was someone on the Tannoy telling them they were perfectly safe."

 

Thorpe Park launched the Swarm, described as Europe's tallest winged roller coaster and the park's "most extreme ride to date", earlier on Thursday.

 

Winged rides have a seating arrangement in which people are positioned on either side of the track with nothing above or below them.

 

The Swarm is described as taking riders through five extreme inversions and "gut-wrenching near misses".

 

The "apocalyptic devastation" theme of the ride, which includes scenes of plane wreckage, was criticised last year by the British Airline and Pilot Association as "tasteless".

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In typical THORPE PARK style, THE SWARM broke down 3 times and I was on board this time!

 

Haha we were on the second train in your clip was almost temted to have a nap as it was so comfy and warm

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In typical THORPE PARK style, THE SWARM broke down 3 times and I was on board this time!

 

"Yet another Thorpe Park cock up" - Really?! That's a bit harsh. Suggest how they could have done things any differently to avoid this "cock up"?

 

Pretty sad really - wouldn't be surprised if that was you who contacted the BBC. Do you expect a ride on opening day to run absolutely smoothly from the word go? Errors would pop up on any ride when it first starts running with train loads of people. You shouldn't even have a camera on there anyway..

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