The Swarm is located at Thorpe Park in Surrey. The £20m Thrill Ride is the UK’s first and only Roller Coaster of this type, referred to as a Wing Coaster. The Swarm tells the story of an alien attack on London, featuring excellent ride theming and interaction with the ride elements.
The Swarm at Thorpe Park
The Swarm is a steel Wing Coaster at Thorpe Park. As with all Wing Coasters, the seats of the ride are located on either side of the track meaning that riders are completely suspended in mid-air with nothing above or below them.
Top Speed – 92km/h 57mph
Cost – £20m
Length – 2543ft 775m
Height – 127ft 38m
Type – Steel Wing Coaster
Inversions – 4
Theme Park – Thorpe Park
Year Opened – 2012
The Swarm Ride Theming
When the Swarm initially opened in 2012, Thorpe Park used the slogan “War is Here” to promote the ride. The roller coaster ride’s backstory is that a swarm of aliens have attacked London. In addition to destroying large swathes of the city, the aliens also have a nasty habit of plucking humans off the ground and carrying them into the skies. The coaster’s trains represent the aliens themselves and riders are set to be “abducted”.
The ride area resembles the site of the alien attack and is strewn with wreckage. The ride recreates the experience of being abducted by the aliens and carried into the sky, whilst swooping down to interact with the disaster scene on the ground. The ride’s station is very impressive, with the alien-themed trains gliding into the church in a suitably menacing fashion. The ride operators are housed in an overturned police vehicle.
The ride interacts with a number of themed elements, including a crashed aeroplane, half-submerged fire engine and a damaged helicopter. One of the main interactive elements is a billboard advertising Paradise Airlines and Headeze painkillers (“Don’t lose your head”), which the train passes through providing a keyhole effect.
The Swarm Roller Coaster Train
The Swarm features two 28-seat Bolliger & Mabillard (B&M) Wing Coaster trains. Each train is made up of seven rows with four seats per row, the seats are located on either side and slightly lower than the ride’s track, as with all Wing Coasters. The trains are themed to resemble alien-like drones (the ride’s eponymous “Swarm”), with a number of red LED lights placed across the train.
Top 10 Listings
The Swarm is featured in a number of our Top 10 listings.