Oblivion: General Discussion

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Matt N, 30th Jun 2021.

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  1. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    Hi guys. I’ve noticed we don’t have a discussion thread for Alton Towers’ 1998 B&M Dive Coaster; Oblivion! So I’ll get the ball rolling by simply asking; what are everyone’s thoughts on Oblivion? Do you like the ride?

    Personally, I absolutely love Oblivion; it’s one of my top coasters on park (2nd behind only Wicker Man for me), my favourite B&M on park, and still sits in my UK top 5 and overall top 10! I absolutely love the huge sustained airtime you get over the drop, and the raw sense of speed you get flying through that tunnel is absolutely unrivalled! There’s even a little bonus pop of airtime going into the brakes!

    I’m also going to be controversial here, and say that I’m increasingly starting to think that Oblivion might be my favourite Dive Coaster ahead of SheiKra. Admittedly, it’s been nearly 5 years since my one and only ride on SheiKra, so this might change if I were ever to reride it, but despite me thinking I liked SheiKra way more than Oblivion at the time, I’m increasingly starting to come around to Oblivion’s way of doing things. As much as I did love SheiKra, I absolutely love Oblivion’s conciseness; it doesn’t mess around! That tunnel also provides a huge sense of speed!

    The other thing I was wondering is; am I the only one who still finds Oblivion extremely smooth, especially given the ride’s age? I still find it very smooth myself, but I was watching an Alton Towers vlog yesterday where the presenter said it was “as rough as a badger’s [bottom]” (paraphrased as we’re not in the Tavern) and that the ride was “like riding on sandpaper”; they even suggested that the ride needed retracking if the park wanted to keep it.

    I’ll admit that’s the first time I’ve ever really thought about retracking Oblivion. I’ve thought a lot about the possibility of retracking Nemesis, but never about retracking Oblivion. Surely retracking Oblivion would cost almost as much as the initial outlay cost of building the ride, as in spite of Oblivion having very little to retrack, wouldn’t they have to completely uproot and re-excavate the tunnel to remove the old track and install the new track?

    But what are your thoughts on Oblivion? What do you think the ride’s future holds?
     
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    Posted 30th Jun 2021
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  2. Danscott22

    Danscott22 TowersStreet Member

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    I love it - I've only been on two dive coasters, this and Sheikra and I much prefer this. Anyone who finds Oblivion rough even remotely has got to be kidding themselves, understandable debate with The Smiler but it definitely isn't with this :tearsofjoy: it definitely doesn't need retracking, they must've ridden the wrong ride :tearsofjoy:

    Always been in my Towers top 3, and probably always will be!
     
    Posted 30th Jun 2021
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  3. Loui Richards

    Loui Richards TowersStreet Member

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    There just isn't really much bad about the ride, I guess that's the beauty of a simple but thrilling ,short attraction! The drop is amazing especially when you are hit with the cloud of mist as you enter the tunnel.( AND THE NOISE AS IT HITS THE DROP). The brakes are also really fun!!!!!!!

    Positives:
    - amazing throughput when it wants/needs.
    - standing in the viewing area is unique and quite scary.
    - if you ever need to cool down and the mist is on, then that's good!
    - the slow lift and gradual movement towards the drop really anticipates the drop.
    - the maintenance area is publicly visible which isn't usual for Alton Towers, quite some cool views of a unused shuffle!

    Negatives:
    - the video of the belt becoming loose which makes people think the person nearly fell off haha
    - people seem to find the stacking quite an issue but personally i get an extra few minutes sat on a ride staring at the transfer track controls!
    - the reliability isn't the best in the hot weather but for an old rollercoaster i really don't think its a huge issue.

    Improvements needed/wanted:
    - general speaker improvements as the only places the music is loud in my opinion is that little room above the hydration station.
    - maybe an update on the screens in the queue lines, with new visuals available, they could be more creative with the in queue advertising!
    - big ask that won't happen but bring back the "DONT.LOOK.DOWN" audio, wont happen as the smilers first dive loop sound effect can be clearly heard from the towers ruins but they could bring it back at a lower level maybe!
    - nothing substantial is needed but the trains need a good deep clean as a few of them are in a state now (i'm aware that there is currently one that is being worked on)

    That's it really, a floorless train would be cool but I like the design on Oblivion's trains to be fair!
    Certainly is a good crowd pleaser!
     
    Last edited: 30th Jun 2021
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  4. Kraken27

    Kraken27 TowersStreet Member

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    I certainly don't find Oblivion rough - far from it. If you lean your shoulders forward slightly in the station you can often get a slightly looser harness. At the drop holding point move your weight forward onto the harness & you are then in complete freefall with the train when the drop releases. Just one warning though - the harness will almost certainly lock down an extra notch or two as you bottom out in the tunnel - so expect to be stapled to the seat by the time you hit the brakes.

    SheiKra does wee on Oblivion though. Sure I know that 'Blivvy was the original, but SheiKra with the floorless trains, inversion, extra drop & water splashdown shows how B&M have developed the concept over time. Particularly like the way you can feel the structure of SheiKra wobbling a little at the turnaround before the first drop on breezy days!

    If you want rough at Towers, look straight ahead from the top of the Oblivion drop hold-point!
     
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  5. Skyscraper

    Skyscraper TowersStreet Member

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    I love Blivvy, always makes me feel a little nervous every time! :)
     
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  6. Kraken27

    Kraken27 TowersStreet Member

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    No chance f getting the "Don't Look Down" back at the top of the drop. It was turned off the day after Towers lost the Noise Abatement Case (or "Roper Case") in court. It was deemed - probably rightly - by the court that these speakers encouraged riders to scream from the top of the drop.

    There is (or was) one shuttle that had a particularly noisy anti-rollback on it... this shuttle was conveniently garaged up for maintenance during the few days when Towers were expecting the court site visit to hear the noise for themselves.
     
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  7. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    Fair enough! At the time of riding SheiKra, I myself thought that I liked SheiKra considerably more, so my current higher ranking of Oblivion may be more down to recency bias more than anything else; I’ve ridden Oblivion loads, and fairly recently, whereas I only rode SheiKra once, and that once was 5 years ago.
     
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  8. RoyJess

    RoyJess TowersStreet Member

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    I love Oblivion, my favourite ride
     
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  9. Skyscraper

    Skyscraper TowersStreet Member

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    Does anyone remember this happening way back in 2012? :eek:

    [​IMG]
     
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  10. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    How on Earth did he even manage to get over? He must be very good at climbing!

    On an unrelated note, I was going to ask; why is that Oblivion has 4 sets of airgates for each train when there are only 2 rows? For instance, train A has A1, A2, A3 and A4, and only A2 and A4 ever seem to be in use.
     
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  11. rob666

    rob666 TowersStreet Member

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    To stack groups of eight neatly prior to dispatch when it is busy.
    A group can fill either gate, but the batcher sends different sized groups to fill each line to max.
    A bit like tetris, but with humans.
    And the idiot got in the hole from the exit pond area, and walked down the hole.
     
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  12. Kraken27

    Kraken27 TowersStreet Member

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    Yep! The idiot is lucky that he was spotted going into the tunnel & word got to the Oblivion Operator to stop all dispatches. Whilst there is a "safety envelope" on all rides so riders arms can't touch things - in this case the tunnel walls the air movement in the tunnel as a shuttle passes would probably be enough to make you fall over.
     
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  13. jon81uk

    jon81uk TowersStreet Member

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    So they can batch eight guests per row while the first eight are loading. When Oblivion is being run properly row A1 and A3 should be boarding while the host batches into A2 and A4. At the same time another host should be batching B2 and B4 for the second train which is filling from B1 and B3.
    Done well it should be a very efficient operation with almost no empty seats.

    I find Space Mountain at WDW another interesting one to watch batching on too, they can stack six trains worth of people I think, and load two trains at once.
     
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  14. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    If both sets of airgates were used, could the ride get closer to hitting its alleged theoretical throughput of 1,900pph?

    It’s always said that the ride has struggled to hit its theoretical throughput due to the way the dual load tends to be operated; would this be one of the things that would get the ride’s throughput closer to that theoretical value?

    That being said, though, I think Oblivion has a strong throughput regardless; it always seems to be an excellent queue-muncher, and I could have sworn I once timed it at something like 1,156pph, but based on a lot of recent reports, it seems like I may have gotten that wrong.
     
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  15. AT86

    AT86 TowersStreet Member

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    They still do fill all air gates don’t they? And load 2 at a time per train as described above?

    I think it was designed with two rows of air gates per one row of seats on the trains because it could technically dispatch so often and each row could seat 8. So in theory it could take longer for a batcher to direct enough people to fill the air gate than it would for another train to be ready to load. Therefore having two means there is always one row ready to load whilst the other is being prepared.
     
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  16. spinba11

    spinba11 TowersStreet Member

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    @Loui Richards not sure if you know but the unused shuttle does actually get used, each one is rotated out every x months. One thing I hate is at the current operation rate it only needs 4 shuttles on when double loading.
     
    Posted 3rd Jul 2021
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  17. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    Out of interest, would you guys say that 1,156pph or 891pph seems more in line with the sort of throughput Oblivion typically gets these days? Only asking because 891pph was a final number I had for Oblivion’s throughput over an average of 5 dispatches on my April 2021 visit, but I dismissed it as the 5th dispatch seemed to be considerably longer than the one that came before it, so I went with the average of 4 dispatches which was 1,156pph.

    Also, I’ve often heard it said that Oblivion isn’t operated to anywhere near its full potential these days. If the park wanted to get it back to the monstrous throughput it allegedly attained in its initial years, what sort of things could they do to increase the throughput?
     
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  18. jon81uk

    jon81uk TowersStreet Member

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    Remove fast track so they batch normally via both entrances would help a lot. Potentially removing exit entry would help too, or at least making most RAP who can enter via the air gates use the fasttrack lane.
    Being able to batch and fill every seat with no faff is the key. Guests entering via the exit adds a lot of faff.
     
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  19. Skyscraper

    Skyscraper TowersStreet Member

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    Doesn't Blivvy have another entrance that used be the single rider queue? They could re-use that as the ambulant RAP entrance, just like on Galactica.
     
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    Posted 3rd Jul 2021
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  20. spinba11

    spinba11 TowersStreet Member

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    it used to split near the station, left main, middle SRQ right FT.
     
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    Posted 3rd Jul 2021
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