Thorpe Park

Swing into the sky as you cut through the air on the mighty weapon that is Samurai

Theme ParkThorpe Park
Park AreaOld Town
TypeTop Scan
Opened2004 (replaced Calgary Stampede)


Samurai is one of Thorpe Park’s more intense flat rides, swinging riders through the sky as they sit on one of six rotating gondolas that extend from the end of the mighty warrior’s main arm.

The ride is a Mondial Top Scan, a model which is popular at large fairs although there are also a few park installations around. While Samurai can feel quite forceful, especially when swinging 60 feet into the air, in reality the ride is run far below its full potential at Thorpe Park. It is still fun through to be thrown around on board – the windmill manoeuvre is a particular highlight.

The intensity of the ride varies depending on where on the arm you sit – riders wanting a tamer experience should sit towards the middle, whereas those who are eager for more of a thrill should aim for the seat on the end of the arm.

Samurai officially sits in Old Town, although its pale turquoise colour scheme betrays its former status as one of the Lost City flat rides. It was moved to Thorpe Park in 2004, from its original home at sister park Chessington World of Adventures as part of a ride swap that saw Thorpe’s Eclipse observation wheel relocated to Chessington. Fans of the ride in its former location fondly remember the intensity of its ride cycles and sometimes manual operation, something that sadly Samurai has never quite lived up to in its new Thorpe Park home.

Despite having been sent to Mondial for refurbishment on its way to Thorpe, Samurai suffers seemingly regular bouts of extended downtime. It’s a pity, as even on its more muted ride programmes, it is still a great fun ride.

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