could easily be called the year of the B+M wing rider (although it's
the Chinese it's the year of the Dragon) what with The Swarm at
Thorpe Park, and several others either opening or under construction
around the world. That would make Gardaland's world first in 2011 a
preview of forthcoming attractions.
Given the name of this site I've got to say how this compares to The
Swarm. Having ridden both only
few weeks apart I'm in a good position to do this. To put it simply
Raptor comes close to wiping the floor with The Swarm. It wasn't any
struggle to conclude this, as this is easily the better ride.
To start with it embraces the wing rider seats gimmick, where you
sit on wings sticking out the edge of the track instead of over it,
a lot more than The Swarm. After this I realized there are parts of
The Swarm where the gimmick is redundant,
it could be a normal coaster. Here though the whole ride consists of
near misses with the scenery, and even a few collisions with some of
the water features.
Even as just a strait up coaster comparison this one still wins out,
as it felt a lot faster and more thrilling, feeling a lot more out
of control as it tore around the track. Whether this is because it's
had more time to break in, or it's just designed to run faster I
can't say yet, but even if The Swarm picked up speed
the superior track design means Raptor will always be the better
While most of Gardaland's rides are good, but on a level I could
take or leave, this one shines out as a world class attraction.
Unless they get another major ride this will always be my main
reason to visit Gardaland.