A Conversation for Great Fairs and Theme Parks of Europe
Tobias Vaughn Started conversation Jun 30, 2002
Do any UK-based researchers have any comments on Alton Towers? I seem to remember from my childhood that the place originally had a few small rides but nothing spectacular, until the late 1970s when the corkscrew roller-coaster was installed, then a number of other "white knuckle" rides were brought in.
Some of these include - Nemesis (installed 1994 - a ride where the passengers sit in a roller-coaster that is a little like a ski-lift, with their feet dangling down freely from the carriage before being sent hurtling along rails cut into the rock), the Black Hole (a descending, spiralling roller-coaster in almost total darkness), the apple-coaster (a small, slow coaster designed for children of about six years old or under), the priate ship (the familiar design of a large pirate ship which swings up into the air and then down - at which point the riders get a rush of butterflies in their stomach), Oblivion (installed 1998 - in which the coaster stops at the top of an immense drop and hovers to maximise terror, then plummets down into a tunnel cut into the ground. The anticipation is in fact worse than the ride itself) and many more. The new ride for 2002, called "air" describes itself as a "flying coaster".
For information on the history of the UK's "no. 1 theme park", go to: http://www.towersalmanac.com/history/history.html
coelacanth Posted Jun 30, 2002
Phil Posted Jul 1, 2002
I went to that meet last year.
Nemesis was great.
The models and what could be seen of the Air made it look fantastic.
The corkscrew was showing it's age and was nowhere near as smooth as it used to be.
I remember being taken there as a kid and being dragged round the gardens by my parents when I wanted to go on some of the rides. Still it did uesed to have a fantastic model railway somewhere in the house that has unfortunately been taken away
The most deceptive ride is the teacups though. You can take your small childern (if you have any) on it and have a good time or you can turn it into a white knuckle waltzer at the end of the day if you want to.
Orcus Posted Jul 1, 2002
Still the best theme park in the UK in my opinion. And it always has been
I was wheeled around it in my pram in the early 70s apparently (I was born in nearby Stoke-on-Trent).
Yes indeed. Early 80s Alton Towers had the COrkscrew, The Pirate Ship and a strange bob-sleigh type ride and that was about it.
ON to the nect Generation- we got the Black Hole - a roller coaster in the dark. It went outside and became The Beast when the Black Hole II came in (which is now again, just called The Black Hole).
Both the Black Hole and the Corkscrew were state of the art then - they seem a bit tame now but only because...
Nemesis and Oblivion are AWESOME. Nemesis still being the best and most intense roller coaster if you're into white knuckle stuff.
Air is fun and a good rollercoaster but it's not much of a thrill. Excellent fun though
The one thing that gets me with Alton Towers is that despite it's multi million pound rides, it is still horribly connected to the outside world.
It is in the MIDDLE OF NOWHERE - I have been stuck behind tractors getting to the place - seriously - and yet it still attracts the millions. Amazing that London has not manged its equal.
My vote for the most fun ride though goes to The Ripsaw.
It's a double row of seats that you are clamped into and the whole thing is swung around in a huge circle vertically with the carriage able to flip around also. Add to that the silliness of it gratuitously spraying water over everyone on the ride and it is just so amusing (and a little scary) for riders and viewers alike. It is so funny it gets an audience
Boo Boo for this year (2002) though is the new ride Submission. Sorry but it's boring and rubbish
Everything else more than makes up for it though.
There are also of course lots of great rides right through the spectrum. Water rides, rides for small children, fairground rides, cinemas, live shows and plenty of (admittedly rather overpriced) food.
A great day out and well worth the £20 quid or so (depends on the day you go) it costs.
Phil Posted Jul 1, 2002
That bobsled thing (just where Oblivion is now) was darn scary!
Air is this years big ride. Submission was last years wasn't it.
Orcus Posted Jul 1, 2002
Oh well, maybe but it's still crap.
Air was good, but Nemesis still knocks spots off it.
Handy though as it took all the queing away from everything else when I went last month.
Frankie Roberto Posted Jul 2, 2002
Hi Phil, nice to see you around again, you going again this year?
Alton Towers is a cool theme park. Nemesis was clearly the best ride when we went last year. You get flipped, twisted, turned and inverted all over the place, and come off feeling quite wobbly. One of the best features of the ride is its excellent theming, with a big purple river running underneath it (though usually a bit filled with junk).
Smij - Formerly Jimster Posted Jul 3, 2002
I went to Alton Towers last year for the first time in a good while. Our party queued for the Nemesis for about 20 minutes only for the ride to be closed down because of a fault. So instead we went on the Oblivion. I agree the ride's strength is the anticipation more than the actual ride itself. But the adrenalin rush we had after it was so high that all the other rides were quite tame by comparison. When we finally did get on the Nemesis, for example, it was merely 'pleasant' ...
The rapids are very good - best attempted early in the day so you have time to dry off. There was a new ride last year called Hex, a variation on the old 'haunted swing' trick, where the benches you sit on tilt over a little at the same time that the room itself moves round to give the optical illusion that your bench is upside-down. A real mind-wrecker. What makes this one so special is that it's very well themed so you get into the idea of this being a truly haunted swing - especially when it's revealled that there's a huge demonic face underneath where the swing had been. BWAH!!!
Oh, and don't forget the cable cars that run all over the park - easily forgotten, they're the quickest (and most dramatic) way to get from one end of the park to another.
Phil Posted Jul 3, 2002
Ooh yeah. I'd forgotten about Hex. Really does your 'ead in!
Orcus Posted Jul 3, 2002
Oh yeah, the scary bit of wood! Mua ha ha ha ha ha ha!
Actually I did quite enjoy it really, the wierdest bit about that was when they started the ride there was the impression of massive amounts of static electricity in the whole room or that we were moving very quickly somewhere - except we appeared quite still of course.
Cyzaki Posted May 21, 2003
We went to Alton Towers a couple of weekends ago and we got stuck on Air
Well, stuck before it started - they tipped us forward and then sat us back up again and we had to stay there for 15 mins while the ride operators walked around holding broken bits of plastic - great build-up for the ride though, and the ride was definitely worth the wait, especially if you join the special queue for the front seats!
Hex was a load of rubbish though, they build you up for something scary and then it's just sitting down while the walls move... we only went in there cos I was nearly hypothermic due to getting soaked on the Rapids and I wanted something indoors so I could warm up!
Key: Complain about this post