Officials at Thorpe Park in Surrey, UK, needed to take “drastic measures” after a number of dummies sent on $30 million ride The Swarm came back with limbs missing.
The affected dummies were left “visibly damaged” after being exposed to some of the “extreme <<near miss>> spots”.
The bosses at Thorpe Park said the dummies had experienced a “terrifyingly close call” on a test run on the ride, which opens in less than two months.
The missing limbs could, of course, be the latest sophisticated stunt by a PR team which has devised a string of headline-grabbing “events”.
These include a contest where the public was asked to donate urine to create a “signature stench” for its horror maze SAW Alive and a ban on rollercoaster riders putting their hands in the air due to body odour.
The park even sought the help of a paranormal expert after a late-night Ouija board séance at the park was blamed for a series of spooky incidents. Six members of staff were suspended over the incident.
Thorpe Park, however, claims the dummies lost their limbs in the pursuit of pushing The Swarm to the “absolute limit” because customers wanted the most extreme experience possible.
Mike Vallis, divisional director at the theme park said he was now 100% satisfied the ride met safety standards.
On the ride’s website it boasts: “The Swarm takes you on a death defying flight through apocalyptic devastation. Picking you up and ripping through the sky on a mission of total annihilation, you’ll feel totally vulnerable as you hurtle through near misses and twisted inversions.”
It adds: “Experience the unique head first, inverted drop from 127 ft as you are flung into this merciless flight for your life.”
The Swarm is on its own island and takes thrill-seekers past a life-size church, and wreckages of a plane and helicopter, at speeds of up to 100 kph.
But the dummies were apparently damaged when the ride took them too close to the church, which measures 23m x 17m x 9m.
An emergency response team was called in to work on the ride ahead of the opening in March.
Thorpe Park insisted despite the “costly operation”, which only took a week to carry out, officials are now satisfied that the ride fully complies with health and safety requirements.
Experts adapting the new ride have remodeled the church to avoid any nasty accidents when the ride officially opens on March 15.
Mike Vallis said: “We have been planning for The Swarm for almost two years now, and we’ve pushed the boundaries to the absolute limit because <<extreme>> is what our thrill-seeking customers demand.
“The ride-testing phase is absolutely crucial in ensuring extreme fun doesn’t compromise safety, and we work with the very best teams in the world to ensure we reach the gold standard in safety.
“So if that means re-modeling a church it’s taken us a year to build, then so be it.
“To lift the lid on what goes on behind-the-scenes of building a monster roller-coaster such as The Swarm is quite unprecedented.
“We want people to understand the level of planning, precision and care that goes into creating their ultimate thrill-seeking experience.”