Roller coaster in the United Kingdom
Watch the on-ride POV
Thorpe Park
Location Chertsey, Surrey, England, UK
Coordinates 51°24′21″N 0°30′56″W / 51.405799°N 0.515509°W / 51.405799; -0.515509
Park section Swarm Island
Status Operating since 15 March 2012
Cost £20,000,000
Soundtrack Yes, by You Me At Six
Rider height 140 cm minimum
Manufacturer Bolliger & Mabillard
Product Custom Wing Coaster
Designer / calculations John Wardley
Type Steel - Winged
Riders per train 28
Hourly capacity 1,100
Propulsion Chain lift hill
Height 38.7 metres
Top speed 95 km/h
Length 775.1 metres
Inversions 5
Duration 1:25
G-Force 4.5

The Swarm is a steel winged roller coaster at Thorpe Park in Chertsey, Surrey, England, UK. Built by Bolliger & Mabillard, the ride is the second design of its kind by the Swiss roller coaster manufacturer, the first being Raptor at Gardaland in Italy, which opened in April 2011. It has a post-apocalyptic theme.


Plans submitted in 2010 to the local council partially revealed the layout of the new roller coaster, its maximum height, and its length.[1]

On 21 April 2011, Thorpe Park released an advertising campaign around the park. Hundreds of posters where "flyposted" around the park visible to all. These posters exclaimed that "The end is coming.. Uncover the truth" along with a website LC12.net. The website had a brief description of the possible theme of the ride and also had a countdown until 1 August 2011, when the ride's name was revealed to be The Swarm.[2]

Swarm opened on 15 March 2012.[3] An official single recorded by British band You Me At Six, also titled The Swarm, was released in the same month.[4]

Ride experience

The ride starts with a 38.7 metre lift hill before heading into a dive drop. At the bottom of the drop, riders are subjected to a maximum g-force of 4.5 and a top speed of 95 km/h. The ride then goes into a zero-G roll which is followed by a headchopper element. This the leads into an inclined loop with a banked turn into a corkscrew. The final inversion is an in-line twist over the station. The train then enters the brakes, which are followed by a slow banked turn into the station.



The ride has five inversions, including the first ever dive drop. It is the second Wing Coaster installation from Bolliger & Mabillard,[5] and has a custom layout.


7 cars per train. In each car, riders are arranged 4 across in a single row, for a total of 28 riders per train. For the 2013 season, the last two cars were turned to face backwards.[6] A separate queue line was created for accessing the eight backwards-facing seats. All the rows were turned forwards again for the 2016 season.[7]


The station

The Swarm is themed around a post-apocalyptic swarm of bio-mechanical aliens who have destroyed the world, with burnt-out vehicles and smoking objects that look like they have been blown up. The ride is said to give the experience of 'Flying through a crash scene'.

The station is themed to look like a burnt-out church, with the main control room for the roller coaster being situated within an overturned police trailer. It has an open roof.

Often, the train comes close to the theming. On the first drop, a crashed plane acts as a headchopper and the train also comes close to the roof of the station. A billboard was added for the 2013 season, creating a new "keyhole" effect as the train passes through its centre.[6]



  1. Sim, Nick (2010-11-06). "The Big Debate: What should Thorpe Park's next rollercoaster be?". Theme Park Tourist. Retrieved 2021-08-28.
  2. "Thorpe Park names 2012 rollercoaster as The Swarm". Ride Rater. 2011-08-01. Retrieved 2021-08-28.
  3. "Thorpe Park rollercoaster Swarm stops, leaving people stuck". BBC News. 2012-03-15. Retrieved 2021-08-28.
  4. Goodwyn, Tom (2012-03-05). "You Me At Six write new song for Thorpe Park rollercoaster 'The Swarm'". NME. Retrieved 2021-08-28.
  5. Macdonald, Brady (2011-08-08). "Post-apocalyptic Swarm coaster to debut at U.K.'s Thorpe Park in 2012". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2021-08-28.
  6. 6.0 6.1 "Review: The Swarm mutates at Thorpe Park with backwards seats for 2013 season". Theme Park Tourist. 2013-03-12. Retrieved 2021-08-28.
  7. "RideRater tweet". 2016-03-17. Retrieved 2021-08-28.

External links

  • Swarm on the Roller Coaster DataBase.

Articles on Thorpe Park