Spin on the Samurai’s sword high above Mystic East
|Theme Park||Chessington World of Adventures|
|Park Area||Mystic East|
|Closed||2003 (replaced by Peeking Heights)|
Samurai arrived at Chessington in 1999, and was the first ride of its type to be installed at a UK theme park. It was a Top Scan from Mondial, and sat near Dragon Falls’ main drop in the Mystic East area of the park.
Riders sat in rows of five attached to one of six arms spanning out from a larger central arm which would rotate during the ride. Samurai was well named, as sitting on the arms you could well imagine yourself riding the end of a Samurai’s sword as they wielded it in the air.
Samurai will be remembered by those who rode it as being very intense, but immensely fun too. The ride cycle seemed to fit perfectly – just long enough before it all became too much, and varied enough to constantly surprise at the range of movements. If you got lucky, the ride op might decide to run Samurai on manual mode, which provided even more of a thrill!
With Chessington transforming from thrill park and refocussing on the family market in the mid-2000s, Samurai was closed at the end of the 2003 season and was swapped for Thorpe Park’s observation wheel which was erected as Peeking Heights on the former Samurai site. After being sent to Mondial for refurbishment, Samurai reopened at Thorpe Park in 2004. Unfortunately, it has never again been run on the intense programmes that riders experienced at Chessington.