1984 was a bumper year at Alton Towers. Not content with adding their latest coaster, the Black Hole, they also added four flat rides to soak up the crowds throughout the park. Whilst most of the those rides were aimed at thrill seekers, for the family market the Wave Swinger arrived in Festival Park. With nothing more than chains and lap bar to secure you, the Wave Swinger offered mild thrills that were perfect for all the family whilst offering spectacular views across the area.
Chairswings have graced fairgrounds across the world for over 100 years and the Wave Swinger's original style recalled the ride's heritage with its traditional paintings in ornate frames. Indeed the Wave Swinger was not the first ride of this type to operate at Alton Towers, as a smaller model had previously been part of the fairground that had operated behind the Towers during the 70s.
The ride was a portable model and as the line-up of Festival Park changed over the years the ride moved around, eventually finding a semi-permanent home towards the back of the area. At some point in the early 90s the attraction also received a new, more basic paint scheme, though this was nothing compared to the transformation the ride would receive when Festival Park closed at the end of 1998.
In 1999 Festival Park was transformed into Ug Land and to fit in with this new land the Wave Swinger received a prehistoric facelift, taking on a new colour scheme and was renamed Ug Swinger. The new look gave the old ride a new lease of life, including a re-imagined frieze which depicted a running T Rex when the ride was in motion.
Later, the Ug Swinger was one of the rides that survived the arrival of the Thunder Rock Rally in 2005. During the area's refresh the ride was slightly relocated to accommodate the first helix of Rita - Queen Of Speed and the direction of the ride was reversed. The supports of the new coaster also added new thrills to the Ug Swinger by adding a "near miss" element the ride had not previously had.
As Ug Land's time in the park came to an end, the Ug Swinger left the area to become part of Cloud Cuckoo Land in 2009.
In 2009 the ride was transformed into a giant mushroom to become part of the whimsical world of Cloud Cuckoo Land.
The ride replaced the Bouncing Bugs at at the top of the area and when entering Cloud Cuckoo Land it was impossible to miss the giant red and white canopy of the stylised toadstool offering guests views across the new area.
The ride operated for the final time during the park's 2016 Christmas event, closing for routine maintenance in the early days of 2017. It was later announced that the ride would be closed during the 2017 season, whilst it was 'sprinkled with some Towers Loving Care'.
For the next two seasons the ride was SBNO, or more accurately it sat dissembled behind a temporary fence at the end of Cloud Cuckoo Land awaiting refurbishment, which would never occur. In early 2019 the ride was eventually removed from the park's website, confirming that the ride was not scheduled to reopen.
But the story didn't end there... and whilst the Twirling Toadstool is expected to be removed from the park as part of the development of The Alton Towers Dungeon it is not yet clear as to whether there is a date with the scrap heap in the ride's future or if the park plan to try and sell it on for refurbishment or spare parts.