Thorpe Park has confirmed that its "surprise plan" for the 2013 season involves reversing the seats on the back two rows of The Swarm roller coaster.
The park had teased the update by hinting that guests would "experience the evolution" and that "the string is in the tail". It has now confirmed that The Swarm's trains have been updated to enable guests to experience the ride facing backwards, posting an image of the the new configuration on its official website.
The park is also set to add some additional theming around The Swarm, which opened in 2012. This will include a damaged billboard, which is likely to be used to provide another "near-miss" sensation for riders on the Bolliger & Mabillard Wing Rider coaster.
Despite the confirmation of the updates to The Swarm, rumours continue to circulate that Thorpe Park will also announce another change for the new season. The most likely candidate is a refurbishment of the much-maligned X:\No Way Out roller coaster, billed as the "the world’s only backwards roller coaster in the dark". The ride was updated in 2006 with new video and sound effects. However, the video screens are now turned off, and the ride’s safety lights are often switched on, removing one of its claims to fame. Its theme, based around being "trapped in a computer virus", is also beginning to show its age.
Thorpe Park has generally opened a new attraction every year over the past decade, which has seen it expand rapidly. However, the focus for the 2013 season appears to be on The Crash Pad, temporary on-site accommodation that will be used to test demand for a planned permanent hotel.
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