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Thorpe Park
The Depth Charge
Flying Fish
Logger's Leap
Mr Monkey's Banana Boat Ride
Nemesis Inferno
Rumba Rapids
Saw: The Ride
Storm Surge
The Swarm
Tidal Wave

One thing the opening of this ride brought home was how far the internet has come along in recent times. I remember back in 2003 when Nemesis Inferno opened how getting up within a fortnight meant I was the first site to get a review and photos up. Now with a similar schedule I feel badly behind, having already read at least 4 reviews before I ever rode The Swarm. On the plus side everyone who went on the opening weekend reported a long wait. By going on a school day shortly afterwards I only had to queue for 15 minutes each time, so I don't see myself changing tactics anytime soon.

One thing I read a lot of praise for was the theming. It's in a very good new area themed as a disaster zone, complete with crashed vehicles and a station themed as a ruined building. Thinking about it though I've not seen it made clear what was supposed to have caused the disaster. Obviously something known as the Swarm, but what's that. An extra terrestrial being that came out the ground, a secret government experiment gone wrong, a prehistoric monster that came through an anomaly in time, (well done if you know what I'm referencing there) or maybe a swarm of insects that are the result of nature rising up against mankind. Have I missed something or is it meant to be ambiguous.


Something many reviewers were disappointed with is the fact it doesn't fully deliver on thrills. I wasn't that disappointed, but that's got a lot to do with the fact I'd read the reviews and knew not to expect a thrillfest. In terms of thrills I would rank it at the tweener level with the likes of Dragon's Fury at Chessington or Adventure Island's Rage. Something for someone who wants something more thrilling than a standard family coaster, but finds the top end a bit to much.

Considering these parameters it doesn't favour too badly. It's not up there with the afore mentioned best examples, but it's still a good ride. The much talked about gimmick is the Wing Rider seats. These see you sitting on large wings on either side of the track, rather than directly over the track. This comes in to play as soon as your up the hill lift, as the train does a half twist, spinning you over in a large arc, before the first diving drop. The wings also allow for some good near misses, as you come close to both the ground and obstacles. One flaw I did find is you have to sit on the outside seats to get the best out of it, if you sit on the inside it's noticeably less exciting. I was almost tempted to give this ride two scores, because it's very borderline if the ride still gets an 8 if you sit on the inside seats.

Even with the gimmick put aside though it doesn't favour too badly. The pace doesn't reach a high octane thrill level, but it's still a respectable level. This combined with a fun and varied layout means it's good fun. The main criticism of the layout I saw repeated several times was it was too short. It did feel like it was over too soon, but just saying too short sounds a bit simplistic when you consider I've been on a lot of similar length rides and not had this problem. I think the problem is that with the tweener level of thrills the ride needs to offer more to feel like a fully satisfactory ride. It's a shame actually, as seeing the position of the first brakes they could have added a few extra helixes or twists and turns without affecting the rides capacity too much. This would have given a more satisfactory ride.

Overall one to recommend? Obviously if your after a high thrills ride the answer is no. If your happy to accept a tweener level of thrills it's a harder question. I would say it's good, but with so many other great rides of this level having opened in the UK and Europe in recent years I wouldn't say it offers enough to make it a must do worth visiting the park for. It does though offer more than enough to make it worth a go if your visiting the park, unless the queue gets horrendously long.