Saw – The Ride

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Saw The Ride
Thorpe Saw-1.jpg
Sawopen.jpg
The 100 degree drop and Immelmann Loop.
Thorpe Park
Coordinates 51°24′09″N 0°30′43″W / 51.402623°N 0.511905°W / 51.402623; -0.511905Coordinates: 51°24′09″N 0°30′43″W / 51.402623°N 0.511905°W / 51.402623; -0.511905
Status Operating
Opening date 14 March 2009 (2009-03-14)
Cost £13.5 million
General statistics
Type Steel – Euro-Fighter
Manufacturer Gerstlauer
Designer John Wardley (track layout)
Model Eurofighter
Track layout Custom
Lift/launch system Vertical chain lift hill
Height 100 ft (30 m)
Length 2,362 ft (720 m)
Speed 55 mph (89 km/h)
Inversions 3
Duration 1:40
Max vertical angle 100°
Height restriction 55 in (140 cm)
Trains 8 trains with a single car. Riders are arranged 4 across in 2 rows for a total of 8 riders per train.
Saw The Ride at RCDB
Pictures of Saw The Ride at RCDB

Saw – The Ride is a Gerstlauer Euro-Fighter roller coaster located at Thorpe Park in the United Kingdom. Designed by Gerstlauer and British designer John Wardley, the roller coaster opened to the public on 14 March 2009. It was billed as "the world’s first ever horror movie-themed rollercoaster" and was marketed with the slogan "Face your Fears" by Lionsgate and Twisted Pictures. The ride is themed to the Saw film franchise and features several scenes from the films with nearly a third of the ride enclosed. Its beyond-vertical drop of 100º made it the steepest roller coaster in the world at the time of its opening, and the cost for the ride was estimated at £13.5 million.

History[edit]

Thorpe Park announced plans for a new roller coaster on 14 October 2008.[1] Thorpe park created a dedicated website for the new ride releasing full details and claiming it would become "the scariest ride in the world".[2] The official press release detailing the park's fourth major roller coaster confirmed a development partnership with Lionsgate and Twisted Pictures, and it claimed Saw would feature "the steepest freefall drop in the world".[3] The press release also revealed that "the world’s first ever horror movie-themed rollercoaster" would be marketed under the slogan "Face your Fears".[3]

During construction, the codename "Project Dylan" was used to keep the movie tie-in secret. The name 'Dylan' in fact came from the project director's cat, with no actual relevance to the ride. A large section of the Canada Creek Railway had to be rebuilt, affecting a small section of the Samurai line queue. Competition winners and annual pass holders were allowed to attend a preview event, before it opened to the public on Saturday 14 March 2009 a year later. Saw – Alive, a live-action horror maze, was opened at the park in 2010 to complement the ride. It caught fire in April 2011, but was repaired over the course of a month.

A Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor is displayed next to the ride. It was removed at the beginning of the 2013 season due to vandalism, but returned at the end of the same season after repairs.

Ride experience[edit]

Track layout

The ride starts with an indoor section, where riders pass Jigsaw's equipment and Billy on his tricycle, who laughs as the train passes by. If you are on the second dispatched car (two cars are dispatched one after the other, seemingly plunging them directly into a pit of strobe-lit spikes which are narrowly avoided), the vehicle will stop while Billy gives a speech, informing you that there is no escape, and proclaiming, "Here's what happens when you lose", before allowing the train to pass – this regulates the distance between cars. Riders then approach two dimly-lit swinging blades which appear to get closer, before a hidden drop that is nearly vertical moves riders out of the way. Air blasts at riders imitating the firing of syringes from loaded crossbows, which appear to miss over riders' heads. The train then enters a heartline roll, as riders can see Jigsaw in a pool of blood. Water is sprayed at the train during the roll to imitate blood, and a loud scream can be heard at the same time. The train exits the warehouse and travels towards the 100-foot (30 m) vertical lift hill.

Prior to entering the lift hill, riders pass by two large video screens and a digital clock counting down to zero. When it reaches zero, Billy appears onscreen and Jigsaw says "Game over". Billy's evil laugh can be heard three times as the lift hill engages the trains, which gradually accelerate as they ascend. After reaching the top, the trains dive down the 100° drop and pass under large spinning blades, which also appear to be covered in blood. Riders enter a second inversion, an Immelmann loop, and into a tight, overbanked corner and air-time hill. The on-ride photos are taken as the cars rise to the left into a set of brakes. This is followed by a steep drop into a dive loop, and the ride ends with a banked turn into the final brake run. The train makes a turn to the right into the station to be unloaded. It was originally possible for riders to purchase a DVD of their ride experience, produced from cameras mounted on the front and back of each car, but the cameras were removed in 2012.

Queue[edit]

The entrance is situated at the back of the Saw Plaza. The exterior queue line consists of mock razor wire fences and various large torture implements rusting on the ground (most of which come from the films). Walkie talkie announcements are heard from policemen inside the building, often sounding as if they are panicking. Loud ambient music is played throughout the area. The queue travels around the back of the warehouse and then into the building itself. Inside, riders walk through a dimly lit corridor, with four shotguns hanging from the ceiling. The guns 'fire' every few minutes to give a jump effect. The corridor leads up some stairs past a cage with a trap (the Rack from Saw III) seen in it. On special occasions, live actors are placed in this cage and act as Jigsaw's victims. Travelling up the stairs, Billy the Puppet can be seen and heard on TV monitors up the stairs to the station. Above the queue, a body is seen tangled in barbed wire (referencing the first Saw), before the queue goes into the station. In here, mannequin parts are fixed in various small devices or hanging from the walls, and misted windows flash on the wall opposite the queue.

Once finished, riders exit the cars and walk back down another stairway. The two industrial fans on the exterior of the Saw warehouse are seen on the wall by the exit path. A short video of Billy plays at the end of the stairs. More mannequin parts hang from above, as well as a severed head on a weighing scales (as seen in a poster for Saw IV). Riders then exit the building and pass the Saw Store and Photo Booth.

Incidents[edit]

Saw – The Ride under construction on 28 October 2008

On 11 March 2009, the ride was scheduled to be launched by a group of invited celebrities, including the director of Saw II, Saw III and Saw IV Darren Lynn Bousman, who posted an account of his experience on his Facebook profile. The ride experienced a delay, a barrier shut-down and a subsequent stop, blamed by park officials on a computer programming error. An ambulance was called when one woman suffered a panic attack.[4]

On 14 March 2009, the ride was scheduled to officially open to the public. However, less than two hours after the park's opening, the ride was shut down due to technical difficulties (braking and sensor failures) and did not re-open for the remainder of the day, and was also closed for the following day. Thorpe Park offered complimentary tickets to all guests who had bought tickets at the gate, and free priority passes for the ride to all annual pass holders.[citation needed]

Following an incident on The Smiler at Alton Towers on 2 June 2015 that resulted in its closure, Merlin Entertainment announced on 5 June 2015 that they were closing Saw – The Ride and two other roller coasters at Chessington World of Adventures for the "foreseeable future" while safety protocols and procedures are being evaluated. The ride eventually reopened on 9 July 2015.[5][6]

Other Saw attractions[edit]

  • Saw – Alive is a live action horror maze located near Saw – The Ride. Guests walk through a scene from each Saw movie (except 3D): the Bathroom, the Electrified Corridor, the Freezer, the Mausoleum Trap, the Pendulum Trap and the Carousel Trap. The walk-through attraction is dark throughout and uses lighting, smells, mist and make-up to add effect. Parts of the maze were gutted by fire in early April 2011 and was shut for work. It was reopened to the public on Friday 27 May 2011. For 2012 the operational days were cut due to popularity decline, only open during 'Fright Nights'. Note: The attraction is not recommended for those under 12, as there are lots of live actors and parts that they may find scary.
  • Saw – Movie Bites was a temporary attraction as part of the park's 2009 Halloween 'Fright Nights' event. It consisted of a compilation of clips from the Saw films, played in the theatre usually used for Time Voyagers. The attraction did not return for the 2010 Fright Nights event.

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Mann, Parm (14 October 2008). "Thorpe Park announces SAW - The Ride". HEXUS.net. Retrieved 6 April 2016. 
  2. ^ "SAW - The Ride: Coming Spring 2009!". Thorpe Park. Archived from the original on 5 November 2008. Retrieved 6 April 2016. 
  3. ^ a b Teller, Brandon (16 October 2008). "Thorpe Park announces Saw: The Ride". COASTER-net.com. Retrieved 6 April 2016. 
  4. ^ Barr, Nikki (13 March 2009). "Panic on world's scariest ride". Daily Express online. Retrieved 18 December 2010. 
  5. ^ "Saw reopens after Smiler incident". 
  6. ^ "Alton Towers And Other Parks Close Major Rides". BBC News. 5 June 2015. Retrieved 26 June 2015. 

External links[edit]