Theme Park, Amusement Park and Attractions Industry News

We came, we SAW…

Thorpe Park’s eagerly awaited new rollercoaster has opened, bringing a slice horror movie action to this popular park on the outskirts of London. SAW – The Ride is based around the film franchise of the same name and features a 100ft-high, beyond vertical first drop into a unique “head chopper” section featuring serrated rotary blades. The ride is manufactured by Gerstlauer using its EuroFighter design.

Described as “Europe’s most extreme G-force experience,” the £13.5 million ($19.8m/€15m) attraction is the most expensive added at Thorpe Park to date and was launched on the most ominous calendar date in existence …Friday the 13th (of March).

The park’s second most expensive ride was Stealth (£12 million), added in 2006, followed by Colossus (£10 million) in 2002. As Thorpe Park generally adds a significant amount of theming to its attractions, only part of these quoted costs will be for the coaster itself.

Mike Vallis, divisional director at Thorpe Park, comments: “the significant financial investment in SAW – The Ride means we’ve been able to create an exceptional ride experience both in terms of track and top class theming.”

In addition to plummeting riders towards the head chopper, the coaster also delivers forces in excess of 4G six times throughout the 100 second ride time. “The blood is going to be pushed to the extremities of the body and at times the giddying G-force will be akin to that experienced by fighter jet pilots,” notes “thrillologist” Brendan Walker, who recently carried out a number of tests on the ride for the children’s television programme Blue Peter.

Hi-octane thrills were also high on the agenda over Easter when Thorpe Park hosted its second “Head Rush” extreme sports event.

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