The Swarm - 2012 B&M Wing Coaster located at Thorpe Park Resort in Chertsey, Surrey, UK!
In 2012 the end finally came and Thorpe Park Resort underwent an irreversible transformation which would leave it’s mark for years to come beckoning those brave enough to take on a all new kind of battle! A battle with ‘The Swarm’ – an artificial almost alien like race of flying creatures who leave nothing but pure devastation in their wake as they take flight beckoning the end of civilisation as we know it!
Does this sound like something straight out of a Hollywood movie? You would be excused if you thought this was actually the synopsis for one of the movie industries latest creations, however in reality this alone stands testament to just how well thought out the theme of this fantastic coaster really is.
The Swarm was the resort’s last major coaster investment and opened at the resort on the 15th of March 2012 boasting one of the most immersive experiences to open at the resort yet.
The rides themeing coupled with the ride’s location really help to immerse you into a post apocalyptic world creating a real feeling of terror and dread right from the get go.
Surrounded by everything from the remains of a crashed plane (creating a fantastic near miss element after the first drop) to a mangled ambulance and an exploding fire engine (when the fire effect is turned on of course) this absolute beast of a ride really has the fear element down to a tee, however the ride experience once on in reality is actually starkly different and gives for one of the smoothest and most relaxing ride experiences on resort to date.
So with this in mind what can you expect from a ride on this absolute legend of a B&M coaster? Well, your ride will go as follows;
After departing the ride’s station and exiting under an upturned Police responder van (the ride’s op cabin) you will start your gradual and rather steep ascent to a total height of 127ft.
Once at the top this is when the fun really begins! You will roll off the lift hill and immediately begin to invert into the ride’s first (and by far it’s most impressive) element – the gigantic Dive Loop first drop.
Now the your experience of this will vary here depending on which side you are sat (we prefer to be sat on the right hand outer seat as this enables you to go over and will give for what is most definitely some of the best hangtime you will find on resort), however the end result will still be the same – you will be dragged down and straight into the first ‘close call’ of your ride experience! The dive under the wing of the crashed plane.
After missing the wing by meer feet you will ascend once more into the ride’s gigantic (and extremely floaty) Zero-G Roll.
It’s at this point that you start to realise just how well designed the seat restraints and overall ride really are as the weightlessness feeling you experience in our opinion is exquisite to say the least.
You will then dive down and through the ride’s second near miss element – the billboard which we have to say is one of our favourite pieces of ride themeing to be included throughout the experience.
This is due to the close call you experience not just once, but twice throughout the ride itself. The themeing element itself however was infact added post ride opening in the second year of operation and still stands as one of the most iconic themeing elements to date.
It’s fair to say that phrase “Don’t lose your head” definitely adds a note of humour to your overall experience as well.
You are then thrust forwards into the incline loop which towers above the plaza and provides some brilliant views of Stealth over yonder before you dive into a sweeping banked turn taking you ever so close to the water surrounding it as you power onwards towards the ride’s second to last inversion – a gigantic Corkscrew!
After gliding (yes gliding) through the corkscrew you make a final sweeping upward banked turn to the left before completing what has become one of the ride’s signature inversions – the incredibly long Inline Twist over the coaster’s station yet again providing some absolutely brilliant hangtime and some fantastic near misses to boot!
After completing this inversion you hit the ride’s mid course (not really mid course though as you only complete a downward banked turn into the final brake run after completing it) brake run.
It’s fair to say that The Swarm really is up there with some of the most world class coasters here in the UK!
The mixture of heavy detail, track profiling and ride design coupled with the sheer immersion the post apocalyptic theme delivers really does make it a worthy candidate for being one of the best coasters here in the British Isles.
It is for this reason therefore that after experiencing this fantastic addition for ourselves that our former number one UK coaster (Nemesis at Alton Towers) has been thoroughly knocked off the top spot and replaced by this sci-fi themed goliath without any amount of effort what so ever!
The smoothness coupled with the free-flying feel The Swarm creates makes it an exhilarating yet thrilling ride experience you’ll not soon want to miss when visiting the resort and we therefore feel that for this reason The Swarm really is an overall package ride experience (up there with the likes of Wicker Man at Alton Towers).
So, Since you have hung around this long lets take a brief look at some of the stats you can look forward to when experiencing this ride for yourself prior to call this a wrap!;
– The Swarm reaches total speeds of up to and including 59 mph.
– This beast of a coaster comes in at a total length of 2,543ft giving for a total ride time of 1 minute and 15 seconds from start to finish.
– The Swarm packs a punch with a staggering 4.5G’s which really is a mind blowing amount of G-Force for a coaster as smooth as this!
– As mentioned previously The Swarm comes in at a total height of 127ft giving for some absolutely incredible views at the very top prior to your plunge into almost certain doom! (just kidding! haha).
– The ride includes a drawn total of 5 inversions which for the small footprint the ride occupies is actually very impressive!
– Finally to this day The Swarm remains the only coaster of it’s kind here in the UK, however it’s also fair to say that this only adds to the appeal when making your visiting as for this reason alone The Swarm is a must get cred!
Overall The Swarm really is everything you could want when it comes to experiencing a post apocalyptic world nestled in the heart of a tropical paradise.
With everything from an explosive first impression to some of the most detailed and most immersive themeing elements here in the UK this ride will keep you coming back time and time again ever thirsty for your next fix of apocalypse fuelled adrenaline packed euphoria.
It’s therefore safe to say that going forward it will take a very strong contender indeed to knock The Swarm back off the top spot, however only time will tell if Thorpe add yet another addition in the not too distant future that will present a worthy contender in having the ability to do just that!
What are your thoughts on this 2012 masterpiece by B&M? Have you experienced the Swarm for yourself? If so let us know what your thoughts on this fantastic ride are in the comments below?!