Post-apocalyptic Swarm coaster to debut at U.K.’s Thorpe Park in 2012

Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

The Swarm winged coaster at the United Kingdom’s Thorpe Park will take riders through post-apocalyptic scenes of war and destruction when the $29.5 million ride opens in spring 2012.

> Photos: The Swarm coaster at Thorpe Park

The Bolliger & Mabillard Wing Rider would be the second coaster of its kind in the world following the 2011 debut of Raptor at Italy’s Gardaland.


Billed as the U.K.’s first winged coaster with riders sitting on either side of the track in a “winged” formation, Swarm has salivating fans eagerly waiting to see if the cutting edge ride is also the U.K.’s first fourth dimension coaster featuring rotating seats (like Six Flags Magic Mountain’s X2).

Built on an island in Thorpe Park’s man-made lake, Swarm will fly through a desolate scene of devastation including a crashed airplane, a burned-out fire engine and a smashed helicopter. A partially demolished chapel serves as the ride station.

The post-apocalyptic theme will overtake the entire island with an overturned big rig truck, a destroyed television satellite truck and toppled shipping containers doubling as retail shops, food stands and bathrooms.

After ascending a 127-foot lift hill, Swarm riders will twist through a distinct heartline roll before nose-diving head first in an upside-down position. Other elements include a 100-foot-tall zero-G roll, a 75-foot banked helix and a corkscrew roll.

Plans for the ride, code-named LC12, were revealed in a construction application submitted by Thorpe Park to local authorities. Long-term plans indicate Thorpe Park expects to open another coaster in 2015.