THORPE PARK are debuting a brand-new rollercoaster in spring 2012, the exact details of the ride are yet-to-be-revealed, but we do know a little bit about what to expect from the new attraction.
- The new ride is codenamed LC12, but we all know it as THE SWARM.
- THE SWARM will be the UK’s first winged rollercoaster.
- It will feature a “head first, inverted drop from 127ft”.
- The theme will be post-apocalyptic. Considering that there’s been an army tank outside of THORPE PARK with ‘WAR IS COMING’ written up the side for ages, it’s likely that the story will be humanity’s last stand against something unpleasant.
- It will be located next to Stealth.
- It will be accessible via a wooden bridge.
- The attraction’s highest point will be 36.8 metres about ground level.
- Theming will include a “rickety jetty”, a helicopter, a crashed articulated lorry and what seems to be the crashed remains of some sort of aeroplane or rocket.
- The coaster will be located on its own island
What’s a winged rollercoaster? Does it fly?
Typically, rollercoasters have carriages which keep riders positioned directly above or below the track. If you ignore all the fire and jet engines in the above image, you can clearly see that THE SWARM’s carriages are positioned to either side of the track, leaving nothing but empty air above and below you. In essence, you are sitting on/in the ‘wings’, which should make a nice change from the standard coaster layout. Disappointingly, winged coasters don’t fly.
What are other winged rollercoasters like?
Gardaland’s Raptor looks reasonably similar to plans for THE SWARM and it seems to impressing coaster fans. The main appeal of the winged design seems to be the opportunity for designers to include plenty of near-misses with the scenery. Think of the spinning blades at the bottom of the drop on SAW – The Ride, Raptor features loads of stuff like that, and you can bet that THE SWARM will, too. The interplay between the carriage, riders and scenery appears to be the key to a successful winged coaster.
Just who/what are THE SWARM’s swarm?
Not a clue. Aliens? Bugs? Alien bugs? The word swarm can be applied to pretty much any creature that gathers in large numbers, though the chances of the ride being themed around a destructive swarm of killer penguins is slim. If I had to guess, I’d assume that it’s aliens.
When does THE SWARM open?
Spring 2012. THORPE PARK ticket and hotel package are available from Play-and-Stay.co.uk, book now to be among the first to ride THE SWARM!