Theme Park Insider Reader Rating: 10 out of 10

Swing ride

Photo of Rush

See all photos | Submit Photo

For their latest addition, Thorpe Park has 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, 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. The airtime lacks 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. When the ride first opened, riders could only reach Rush's top height of about 70 feet once or twice. Since then, it usually swings a more respectable number of times, giving a decent ride.

Rush was included 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, "soaking up" the queues from the bigger rides. 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.

While Rush certainly looks impressive from the ground, and uses comfortable, loose seating, it really doesn’t bring anything new to the playground, and is essentially just a variant of the swinging pirate ship. Sometimes, it swings out of sync, but sometimes only one swing is working. When this happens, the downtime doubles, as half as many people can ride.

Video: Rush at Thorpe Park


Register and log in to leave a comment, too!

Buy Tickets

Plan a Trip

Weekly Newsletter