On 14 October, 2008, Thorpe Park announced the plans for a new roller coaster. Therefore, a website was created as part of the marketing for the ride. During an official press release on October 16, 2008, which further detailed the roller coaster, it was confirmed that Thorpe Park had a development partnership with Lions Gate Entertainment and Twisted Pictures. The press release also revealed that "the world’s first ever horror movie-themed rollercoaster" would be marketed under the slogan "Face your Fears."
During the construction, the codename "Project Dylan" was used to keep the movie tie-in secret until the revelation of further details about the ride. Merlin Studios were responsible for the design and employed John Wardley, a British developer for theme parks, as a technical design consultant. A large section of the Canada Creek Railway had to be rebuilt, affecting a small section of the Samurai line queue. Competition winners and annual pass holders were allowed to attend a preview event, before the roller coaster opened to the public on March 14, 2009 a year later.
At the beginning of the ride, the roller coaster passes an indoor section, which is decorated with several vicious tools used by the Jigsaw Killer. Thereby, it also passes Billy, the iconic ventriloquist puppet from the series, who sits on his tricycle and maniacally laughs at the riders. The cars of the roller coaster are dispatched one after the other, seemingly plunging them directly into a pit of strobe-lit spikes which are narrowly avoided. Thereby, the distance between the cars is automatically regulated.
As the ride goes on, the cars approach two dimly lit swinging blades, which appear to get closer and closer, before the riders are moved out of the way by a nearly vertical hidden drop. Air blasts at the riders, simulating the firing of syringes from loaded crossbows, which appear to fly over the riders' heads. The train then enters a heartline roll, while riders can see Jigsaw in a pool of blood. Water is sprayed at the train, imitating blood, and a loud scream can be heard. Afterwards, the train exits the building and travels towards a 100-foot vertical lift hill.
Before rising the hill, the riders pass by two large video screens and a digital timer counting down. When it expires, Billy appears on the screens, speaking the iconic "Game Over" line. As the hill engages the train, Billy's mechanical laugh can be heard. As the cars ascend, they gradually accelerate. After reaching the top, the train dives down the 100° drop and passes under larger spinning blades, which appear to be covered in blood.
The riders then pass an Immelmann loop, a tight overbanked corner and an air-time hill. Thereby, photos are taken as the cars rise to the left into a set of brakes. This is followed by a steep drop into a dive loop. The ride eventually ends with a banked turn into the final brake run. Afterwards, the train makes a turn to the right into the station.
The entrance to the attraction is situated at the back of the Saw Plaza. The exterior queue line consists of razor wire fences and various large torture implements rusting on the ground, which are mostly inspired by the films. Inside the building, radio messages from policemen can be heard. The queue travels around the back of the warehouse and then into the building itself.
Once inside, the riders walk through a dimly lit corridor, with four shotguns hanging from the ceiling, referencing the Quadruple Shotgun Hallway Trap from the first film. Every few minutes, the guns make the noise of a sudden shot to give a jump scare effect. As the corridor leads up some stairs, the raiders pass a cage, which contains an iconic trap, the Rack from Saw III. On special occasions, live actors are placed in this cage and act as Jigsaw's victims. Above the queue, a body is seen tangled in barbed wire, referencing the Razor Wire Maze from the first film. Afterwards, the queue goes into the station. In there, mannequin parts are fixed in various small devices or hang from the walls, while misted windows flash on the wall opposite the queue.
After the ride, the visitors exit the roller coaster and walk back down another stairway. At the end of the stairs, a short video of Billy plays on a screen. More mannequin parts hang from above, as well as a severed head on a weighing scale as seen on one of the promotional posters of Saw IV. The riders then exit the building and pass the Saw Store and a photo booth. Originally, the riders were able to purchase a DVD of their ride experience, filmed with cameras mounted on the front and back of each car. However, these cameras were removed in 2012.
On 11 March 2009, the ride was scheduled to be launched by a group of invited celebrities, including Darren Lynn Bousman, the director of Saw II, III and IV. The ride experienced a delay, a barrier shut-down and a subsequent stop, likely caused by a computer programming error. An ambulance was called when one woman suffered a panic attack.
On 14 March 2009, the ride was scheduled to officially open to the public. However, less than two hours after the park's opening, the ride was shut down due to braking and sensor failures and did not re-open for the remainder of the day and the following day as well. Thorpe Park offered complimentary tickets to all guests who had bought tickets at the gate and free priority passes for the ride to all annual pass holders.
- Saw – The Ride Official Page
- Saw – Alive Official Page
- Saw – The Ride at Total Thorpe Park
- SAW - The Ride at RCDB