This ride was installed for the 1987 season. It was built in the lake that previous played host to the Splash Kats. These were relocated to the main lake, in a small sectioned off area. Below the lake, Intamin (creators of the Congo River Rapids) installed a series of thirteen pulleys. Each fibreglass swan was attached to a cable that ran around these pulleys, which made the swan change direction every 30 seconds or so.
This ride, although not as exciting as the other rides in Merrie England at the time, did fit very well. The giant swans "swimming" around their own small lake, which were actually being pulled from below on a circuit that has bends and crossovers at a steady few mph pace, was the perfect get a way from the hustle and bustle of the park. For many years the Swan Boat was quite an icon for Alton because it appeared in the general park adverts that are not shown any more. The ride was removed for the start of the 2004 season, due to unpopularity amongst visitors and to make way for the Splash Kart Challenge.