Written by Ben Mills
Published: May 28, 2005 at 10:43 AM
For their latest addition, Thorpe Park has built just that, and gone back to the basics of the playground -- Rush, as they proudly tell us, is the largest swing in the world.
Constructed by S&S Power, Rush is a first-of-its-kind: a 32 passenger Screamin’ Swing. Unlike Slammer - Thorpe’s other new ride of the season, that opened in March – it’s incredibly easy to describe Rush. It really is just a very, very big swing.
There are two ‘swings’, both attached to the main frame. Each one of these seats sixteen people, with eight on either side. Restraints come in the form of a chunky, moulded lap bar, which is surprisingly loose. Don’t expect to see anyone falling out of these, but neither is it the best ride to try to get maximum airtime on, if you value your life.
Once you’ve dropped your bag off and strapped yourself in, it’s time to begin. The hydraulics system kicks in, and with a powerful ‘whoosh’, you’re launched forward or back, depending on which side you’re seated on. Gradually, you get higher and higher, until things start to seem a little upside-down…
So, you’re wondering, what does the ride feel like? Well, Thorpe’s comparisons are again accurate; it really does feel like a huge swing. I found that the airtime was lacking compared to other rides in the area – Vortex, ironically, provides a far greater ‘rush’ than this, while going through somewhat similar motions.
Rush only really satisfies its hype as a white-knuckle experience when it reaches the 120-degree point. Unfortunately, with the duration of the ride being an incredibly short time, you’ll only get there once or twice. This could be the case to keep guest throughput as high as possible, and cope with the inevitably long queues, but this remains to be seen.
More likely is the inclusion of Rush in Thorpe Park as a way to provide younger thrill seekers with something to get them used to the sort of thrills that await them on the bigger kids’ flat rides, such as Slammer and Vortex. From a business perspective, this is probably a good idea.
But from the point of view of someone used to the more extreme rides, Rush remains just that – a kid’s ride. That’s not to say you won’t enjoy it; it certainly has a kick to itself, and affords some incredible views over the park and Thorpe Lake, albeit at 40 mph. However, once the novelty has worn off, don’t expect the queue times to keep up to the current lengths.
Overall, I’m going to have to give Rush a 6-Fair. While it certainly looks impressive from the ground, and uses comfortable, loose seating, it really doesn’t bring anything new to the playground, and the current ride program is just way too short. However, it should be useful having another ‘support ride’ in the park, because when the park unleashes next year’s monster, the crowds are gonna be pretty insane.
Video: Rush at Thorpe Park