The Swarm was the Park's fifth major 'coaster installation and for it the Park went back to B&M, manufacturers of Nemesis Inferno (2003). The second "Wing Coaster" to be built in the world (after Gardaland's Raptor), it was the first ride to break the ~30m mark at Thorpe Park since Stealth in 2006, sitting at a max height of 38.6m. The plans confirm that the ride fits with Merlin's yearly investment strategy of major/medium/minor expenditure - 2012 was to be another "major" year, following 2009's SAW - The Ride.
The Park apparently discussed with the manufacturer whether a world's first B&M 4D 'coaster could be produced (with fully rotating seats), but prohibitively high costs prevented this from coming to pass. For more on The Swarm, check out our Behind the Scenes article on the ride.
The ride was designed to provide a fly-through experience through a crash scene, on the "wings" of "The Swarm". According to the plans, the "theming is vital to the success of the ride and to enhance the unique ride offer at the Park".
Location - Island C
In April 2011 Thorpe Park launched a teaser website (http://lc12.net/) as the start of an intriguing marketing campaign to promote the ride. Flyers and posters had appeared all over the Park (on ride supports, fences, themeing etc.) simply stating "The End is Coming / Uncover The Truth / LC12.net". An actor calling himself "Lez Cougan", wearing a sandwich board displaying a similar message, was walking about the Park warning guests of future dangers...
This was followed by the ride name announcement on 1st August 2011, which unveiled the name "The Swarm". "The Swarm" were an alien race, and landed at Thorpe Park with the intention of destroying everything. Guests were to ride on the wings of "The Swarm" as it swooped through the scene of destruction. "Lez Cougan" was still on Park following the name announcement, and warned guests of a government cover up of the impending doom. Police guards appeared with Lez in front of a scene designed to promote the new ride next to Stealth. See our video below for more.
August 2011 Name Launch
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X:\ No Way Out was opened in 1996 as the world's only backwards roller coaster in the dark, but by 2012 it looked inferior and tired compared to the Park's newer rides. The decision was taken to refurbish the ride in the 2012 - 2013 closed season to open in 2013 as simply "X", a more family friendly forwards-facing ride, with new disco lights and rave music playing inside the pyramid.
Below are some images of the old X:\ No Way Out ride, which gave its last ride in 2012:
Photos of the odd mannequins dotted around the ride track, the ride station, and the Thorpe Park Power Supply (a Phillips AA battery...!).
Photos taken on ride, and the on-ride photo screens that greeted riders upon exiting the ride.