Stealth, Thorpe Park, UK

Copyright Merlin Entertainments Group

Copyright Merlin Entertainments Group

RATINGS

Speed 5/5

Surprise factor 4/5

Fear factor 5/5

Vertigo factor 5/5

Overall 4/5

MY VERDICT

Stealth is a booster rollercoaster – which means it starts off really fast (0–80mph in 1.8 seconds!). It’s like Rita,Queen of Speed at Alton Towers (see below) but much much better, because it then shoots you up over a really steep ‘top hat’ (not literally though!). Signs warn you that sometimes it doesn’t make it to the top and rolls back down backwards – not for the squeamish but I think I might like that!

The only thing is that it’s so short – I think it should maybe have another top hat or something at the other end.

STATS

Launched 15 March 2006

Cost £12 million

Duration 19 seconds (29 seconds to station)

Maximum speed 80mph (129kph)

Maximum height 62 metres

Maximum drop 62 metres

G force 4.8

Inversions 0

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The Swarm and The Swarm Backwards, Thorpe Park, UK

Copyright: Merlin Entertainments Group

Copyright: Merlin Entertainments Group

RATINGS

Speed 3/5

Surprise factor 2/5 (4/5 Backwards)

Fear factor 4/5

Vertigo factor 4/5

Overall 5/5

MY VERDICT

The Swarm is really cool because the first drop is an inverted drop – that means it twists round at the top to go upside-down and plummet at the same time. It felt really strange. The ride is famous for its ‘near misses’ (sometimes it’s supposed to look as if you’re going to crash into a plane wing, a billboard saying ‘Don’t Lose Your Head’, etc) but I didn’t think they felt very close – but that might have been because I was riding it at night-time (and because it was hailing as well!).

Riding it backwards was very weird because you didn’t know when it was going to drop or even where you were at all. I think I liked it forwards the best because you could tell what the ride was really like, but you should absolutely try both for different kinds of thrills.

STATS

Launched 15 March 2012; Backwards 16 March 2013

Cost £20 million

Duration 1 min 25 secs

Maximum speed 59mph (95kph)

Maximum height 39 metres

Maximum drop 39 metres

G force 4.5

Inversions 5