Saw-the Ride

Posted by MichaelSimon on Monday, September 27th, 2010

Saw-the Ride

The Saw film franchise’s first six installments have taken more than $730 million at the worldwide box office, with a combined budget of only $47 million. While Saw might not seem like an obvious fit for a family attraction, those figures emphasized the impressive reach of the series – and the fact that the brand had a strong enough identity to be used as a theme.

Candy Holland, the creative executive for Merlin Entertainments Resort Theme Parks, took this inspiration and combined it with her extensive knowledge of theme park and theatrical set design. She set out to create the world’s scariest theme park ride.

A roller coaster was an obvious choice for a ride that would deliver on terror. Knowing that the coaster would have to be something special in order to deliver the fright that fans of the Saw films have come to expect, Holland designed the ride to test the nerves of the bravest roller coaster aficionados. This was accomplished with the ride’s main feature, a freefall of 100ft at an angle of 100 degrees. This “beyond vertical” drop is the steepest freefall of any roller coaster in the world.

The ride uses a number of elements from the Saw film franchise, including images of the main villain, Jigsaw. Other elements from the film include swinging blades, syringes in crossbows, and, of course, lots of blood. The marketing of the ride capitalized on these elements and catered both to fans of the films, and generally to fans of theme parks and roller coasters.

To keep the public from finding out about the Saw ride too early, Holland codenamed the project “Dylan,” the name of her pet cat. The project’s existence was released to the public on Friday 13, March, 2008, appropriately enough. On March 11, 2009 the ride was opened for a select group of guests and celebrities, including Darren Lynn Bousman, the director of the last three Saw films. The ride opened to the general public three days later on March 14, 2009.

Image used courtesy of Stefan Scheer

One response to “Saw-the Ride”

  1. joshua millband says:

    I am a Year 10 student in ICT at Queen Elizabeth’s School in the uk. I am setting up a theme park website for an assignment and would it be ok for me to use this image in my coursework please. The image link is http://entertainmentdesigner.com/article/how-saw-the-ride-was-created/

    Thanks

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