SAW - THE RIDE: Celeb Preview Ends With An Unexpected Twist

Thorpe Park: The first new coaster of 2009 has a puzzling failure during a celebrity preview event.

From James Rao
Posted March 13, 2009 at 6:37 PM
Did you catch this news report: SAW - The Ride Breaks Down?

So, what do you think? Honest mistake or fabricated malfunction? Mechanical breakdown or publicity stunt?

Check the facts:

1) Late 2008, SAW 5 is dead on arrival at the box office, continuing the downward trend of the franchise as it grosses (no pun intended) the least amount of money since the first movie (dis)graced the big screen.

2) Adding insult to injury (again, no pun intended), the G-Rated High School Musical 3 releases simultaneously with SAW 5 and hammers the torture porn flick to claim the number one spot for the week by a substantial margin.

3) Economic turmoil domestic and abroad threatens to dismember attendance at all theme parks.


Thorpe Park officials concerned about waning interest in the source material for their $19 million dollar Mystery Mine rip off (darn puns), stage an accident to garner publicity.

Far fetched? I dunno....

1) Is the ride cursed?

2) Was this accident really just a huge programming choke, or was it a well-manufactured publicity stunt?

3) Most importantly, why the heck is a ride based on a supposed horror flick not indoors, in the dark where it belongs?

I say we put the pieces of this Jigsaw puzzle together and see what we find!

And before you decide to sabotage this thread debating whether or not a ride based on a series of torture porn flicks should have ever been made, just know that it has already been discussed ad nauseam, and does not need to be debated further.

I am looking forward to your tongue in cheek responses! Try and come up with something that is a cut above the ordinary!

From James Rao
Posted March 13, 2009 at 7:05 PM
Correction: SAW - The Ride is NOT the first new coaster to open in 2009 as apparently a new park, Happy Valley, opened in Chengdu, Sichuan China in January with three new coasters (according to the Roller Coaster Database). It is however, the first new coaster to open at an established theme park.

But, any way you slice it, I messed up.

From James Rao
Posted March 14, 2009 at 7:47 PM
For the general public, opening day was today.

Any feedback on the ride from TPI regulars?

How was the indoor (dark) part of the ride?

How were the crowds?

Any more break downs or issues?

Was the SAW theme essential to the narrative, or could the ride easily be adapted to any horror movie franchise?

Overall, how would you rate the entire ride experience?

From steve lee
Posted March 14, 2009 at 9:26 PM
They shouldn't make rides about torture porn movies.

Just thought I'd get that out of the way for you, James.

And I'd argue that it absolutely wasn't a staged thing. I don't care what you're trying to accomplish, you do NOT make a ride sound unreliable.

(sorry, not in the mood for puns)

From James Rao
Posted March 14, 2009 at 10:00 PM
I totally agree, Steve, about the ride and the puns.

Still wanna know if the darn thing is any good or not...because in five years when the SAW franchise has faded into oblivion where it belongs, it will be interesting to see if the ride is re-themed to something a little more a long-abandoned coal mine with an eerie past, perhaps?

From Steve Ward
Posted March 15, 2009 at 3:01 AM
I will hopefully be going to Thorpe Park in a next couple of weeks so i shall update then.
A friend of mine went yesterday and loved it. Said the drop was amazing.

But hes not really a coaster nut like me lol

will keep you in the know

From James Rao
Posted March 15, 2009 at 4:41 AM
Thanks, Steve W., I am looking forward to your trip report/review!

From Joshua Counsil
Posted March 15, 2009 at 11:38 AM
Staged? James, are you a theme park conspiracy theorist?

From James Rao
Posted March 15, 2009 at 4:54 PM
Nah....I was just trying to have fun at the expense of a movie franchise I think is laughably bad.

Although, it does seem odd that the incident in question happened at the very tail end of the night, just before the ride was going to close anyway...and that the malfunction occurred in a very safe part of the ride...and some lady, for no apparent reason, had a panic attack...voila, free publicity!

From Joshua Counsil
Posted March 16, 2009 at 12:55 AM
True enough, but I wouldn't call the movies "laughably bad" - there isn't anything drole about them. They suck and they're sickening.

From James Rao
Posted March 16, 2009 at 3:24 AM
Sometimes, all you can do is laugh. Otherwise, you will go insane.

Incidentally, I may be going with the idea that the ride is "cursed" instead. Apparently, there were more problems on the OFFICIAL opening day for SAW - The Ride because just a few hours after the park's opening on March 14th, the coaster was shut down due to technical difficulties, and did not re-open for the remainder of the day.

Engineers at Thorpe Park better revisit this ride's inner workings before someone really does get hurt.

From Raul Araoz
Posted March 17, 2009 at 10:20 AM
Screamscape has POV ride video and footage from the queue which utilizes live actors.

From James Rao
Posted March 17, 2009 at 10:57 AM
Thanks. "Saw" those this AM. Looks a lot like a less pleasant version of Mystery Mine to me....

From Corey Romberg
Posted March 17, 2009 at 2:36 PM
Yeah, just checked out the video, and Im surprisingly impressed....The queue is pretty well themed, and thats cool that it utilized live actors (altho that may have just been for the celeb preview, not always), but what surprised me most is that the coaster itself is actually themed! The beginning starts indoors and is a well done Saw enviornment, and the outdoor portion even has chains and saws...well done looks like a sick coaster as far as thrills go too...short, but sweet...that first drop is sooo steep....too bad I dont see myself getting to England anytime soon....bring on Manta and RRR!

From James Rao
Posted March 17, 2009 at 3:04 PM
Corey, check out Dollywood's Mystery is a similar coaster...even has the first part of the ride indoors with some pretty neat effects. The drop is not as steep or long, but you only have to go to Tennessee to ride it!

The Sponge Bob coaster at Mall of America is in the same mold, so you can check it out too.

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