Somehow everything went wrong that day, in the night there were two fire alarms, one at 2 am, the other at 5 am, the trip to London Victoria had a delay of 20 minutes due to the traffic situation and then I also bought the wrong ticket at the vending machine and in Thorpe Park there was nothing going as usual. In fact, this statement might sound negative, but in the case of Thorpe Park it is to be understood positively. Except for X, which is supposed to open sometime during spring, everything – even Slammer – was running, although thanks to the temperatures most of the rides didn’t start until noon. The rush that day, although the weather was better than it had been for weeks, was kept within limits.
The real reason to go in the park was not to ride The Swarm backwards, or to finally ride something after a long time, but of a different nature. It was rather a meeting with two people, who had their start for a small England tour in the park. While Jan knew the park from his previous stays in Great Britain, Patrick visited a new park and therefore it was refreshing to get his impressions of the park.
Because of the long coach ride, the following train ride and the short night, I had to take something to wake up, therefore the launch coaster Stealth, which was in test runs at the moment, was the perfect choice. Shortly after, people were already riding and the initially long queue became shorter and shorter, so that even the first row was taken along, despite the one train in service. It’s quite something. when you have a free view of the top hat, which is erected in front of you.
The launch dragged off quite neatly and the top of the main element of the layout let you glide out of your seat before heading for the bottom. The braking on the hill is a lot softer than in the back rows and even this element, which could have been a straight line, is not really disturbing anymore. If you sit in the back of the train, the airtime during the top hat is completely missing, but the drop from the quite airy height is a bit more intense.
While there is a chance of about 75% for Stealth, there is only a chance of 2:4 for Slammer. These numbers are not verifiable at all, but they are covered by our experience. Slammer, as we know, is not a ride that runs absolutely reliable when it is running and so it can happen that the whole soundtrack – which by the way is the same as the Colossus roller coaster – has been played once, so a time span of 10 minutes has been reached. Since Slammer has a huge capacity anyway, you will never have to wait too long on empty days. There is no question that one should wait for a ride on the meanwhile unique ride.
What S&S Power, now S&S Worldwide, had in mind for the Sky Swat Slammer can hardly be described because of the megalomania. But the fact that the Slammer was advertised as a family ride contradicts all logic – just like the classic funfair ride Devil Rock. The ride is insane, especially since you accelerate upside down to the high speed of the ride and also brake later on in the same manner. The ride over the top is much more fun than the ride down, which is also true for The Swarm.
The Bollinger and Mabillard Wing Coaster has received two significant changes this year, both of which have an impact on the ride. The first novelty you will encounter, should there be no train on the track, is the new billboard, which will benefit the weaker left side of the train. The second novelty you will encounter at the entrance, where the cue for the first row has now given way to the cue for the last two rows, which have been going backwards since the start of the season.
These changes have a reason, of course, because compared to individual opinions, The Swarm has not been the success Merlin had hoped for. Furthermore, without the changes to X:\ No Way Out, there would be no novelty to offer in a park which has been able to present a novelty every year.
Without the newly installed billboard, one notices very little or even nothing of the alleged close calls. The ride itself creeps partly through the elements, but towards the end of the ride it can still feel stronger centrifugal forces and thus be enjoyed. While the already solid ride on the right side is only caught once by the new design element, the left side is also positively affected by a broken corner of the right side before the last turn. In fact, the ride on both sides has become more even, whereas the ride over the top in the first inversion is still much stronger.
Experiencing this element backwards is one of the strangest experiences on a roller coaster and is also the prelude to a funny ride. In fact, it’s hard to classify the experience somehow, which is why the ride forward should be preferred, because you don’t really experience any of the theme and the supposedly existing close calls. When you get on the last row you can clearly see the track, but the second last row is also fine, as the view is not that important. The last two inversions surprise you in a positive way, the rest is just fun. It is therefore a significantly different riding experience and can hardly be compared to the original ride on The Swarm. Whether this change is needed is written in the stars, but it is something different and for me it is the highlight of Thorpe Park at the moment.
A ride on the probably most beautiful Shoot the Chutes of the company O.D.Hopkins, which meanwhile belongs to WhiteWaterWest, can be one of the probably most idiotic actions you can do during a park visit in the rather cold spring temperatures of this year. Of course, this train of thought only came to mind during the ascent of the lift to Tidal Wave. Unfortunately, the following visit to the Pizza Hut Buffet was not enough to dry us again.
After this break, Colossus was running with manned cars, which is why there was a longer queue at the ride and you had to walk through the extended queue area. The ride in the front row is still very much fun on Colossus and leaves you halfway untouched in the first three inversions. The four Heartlinerolls were run through at a remarkable speed and the last roll is still a lot of pleasure.
Interestingly enough, the station finally gave a live demonstration of how cue jumpers are handled. As known, the pushing forward in all explanations belongs to something that is only very unwillingly seen in the United Kingdom, that is why the penalties are quite high; thus, at Thorpe Park, one is thrown out of the park without any chance of a refund of the entrance fee. This was explained afterwards also again by the staff of the ride, whereupon this got applause.
Saw – the Ride
Where Saw – the Ride could show a long queue in the first hours, this was hardly present towards the end of the opening hours. The first part of the ride offers the well-known riding fun, but the second part of the ride turns out to be much more positive than in the last years. Luckily, we further race down the track and are torn out of our seats during the camelback, before we rush towards the Dive Loop after the block brake. The smoothness of the ride, which had been constantly smashing against the stirrups before, has been improved to such an extent that this no longer happens. There is a strange jerking in the vertical direction, but it’s not that bad.
With a few rides on Nemesis Inferno, which had transported the blood into our legs in a wonderful way, the visiting day came to an end. Traditionally, there was no crowd in the last hour before closing time. However, if you arrive by the Thorpe Park Express Bus from Staines, you should not leave the park before closing time. By the time the bus finally got going, half an hour had been passed so that some possible train connections and the coach back to Portsmouth were missed. Well, the rides on Slammer were worth it!
Pictures Thorpe Park
What is your opinion about Slammer at Thorpe Park? Just write it in the comment field below the report or visit our social media channels: