Rank Alton's coasters in terms of ride experience

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Matt N, 14th Nov 2018.

  1. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    I find that headbanging mainly occurs only in 1 or 2 spots and it's very minor; the ride certainly doesn't rattle along the track like some coasters do (Rita and Smiler, to name just a few). The actual track itself is still very smooth, it's only a couple of transitions that cause headbanging due to the intensity. I certainly find The Smiler far worse for jolting and headbanging.

    Although to be fair, Nemesis certainly isn't the smoothest B&M I've done, although that's probably a testament to how good they are as a manufacturer!
     
    Last edited: 27th Jun 2019
  2. Ethan

    Ethan TowersStreet Member

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    I've been to Blackpool and I can agree there. Grand national and big dipper are dreadful, big one is rough and infusion, well I don't really need to talk about that ride. However, icon contrasts the other coasters at the park, it's one of the smoothest rides I've ridden. Icon is up there with swarm when it comes to smoothness
     
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  3. ScottishChris

    ScottishChris TowersStreet Member

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    Location:
    Lancashire
    Favourite Ride:
    Legend
    1. Nemisis - world class ride. Nothing like it out there.
    2. Smiler - World class. Unique
    3. Thirteen - it's fun. I think the theming is good, but if they made it a bit more family friendly it would be better
    4. Galactica - pretty unique in terms of a flying coaster. The inverted (lying on your back) section is phenomenal.
    5. Wickerman - excellent theming, average coaster. Fills a gap in towers lineup.
    6. Oblivion - one trick pony
    7. Rita - if they change the trains and go for lapbars, I'm sure it would improve.
    8. Spinball - nothing special
    9. RMT - it is what it is.
     
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  4. Ethan

    Ethan TowersStreet Member

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    Wicker man is better than th13teen and galactica imo
     
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  5. evilcod

    evilcod TowersStreet Member

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    Location:
    Midlands
    Favourite Ride:
    Pirates of the Caribbean - Paris
    1. Wickerman - Great theming and a lot of fun
    2. Nemesis - Great track and train, pit is a nice touch. Audio and style are a little too 90s
    3. Th13teen - Its a fun family ride, theme is abit of a strange choice and its way too short.
    4. Runaway Mine Train - Theming is good, ride is fun, I can ride it with my daughter (big plus point for me)
    5 The Smiler - Interesting track layout, difficult to predict but its rough and the theming is terrible
    6. Oblivion - Scary for new riders, for everyone else its just a drop.
    7. Spinball Whizzer - Fun family ride, shame it doesn't look great.
    8. Galactica - Dull, run down, restraints smell of BO and does it even really have a theme?
    9. Octonauts - Fun kids ride, would be great if the height restriction was lower but seems pointless when RMT is the same.
    10. Rita - What a big pile of ****, the ride is rough, boring and generally unpleasant and its installation ruined an area.
     
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    Posted 2nd Jul 2019
    #45
  6. OilyWater

    OilyWater TowersStreet Member

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    I really dont get this. It's just a theme on a coaster, a really excellent one. The music especially is awesome.

    On the flipside to this, I heard a fan saying they like Nemesis because "it's got a 90s feel" recently. I mean what does this mean? It's the same thing just spun the other way

    When you look back at photos of it brand new, it just looks like a good ride and feels timeless. Unlike Oblivion, which is pretty "90s" style, but even then had it been maintained and updated this wouldnt be a bad thing.

    Not aimed at you evilcod specifically but when it comes to older rides, lots of people seem to mistake crumby scenic maintenance for 'nostalgia'/'datedness'.

    Most the time when parks try to 'modernise' classic attractions that were fine to begin with, they end up dating them much quicker. For example an IMAscore trailer music revamp of the Nemesis music (since that's the go-to 'modernising' thing currently) would date it far far quicker in the long run.

    I like places like Europa-Park's approach of just keeping their classic areas on top form and only updating things in such a way it stays true to the original character. They reap the reward of it now with such a rich park.
     
    Posted 2nd Jul 2019
    #46
  7. evilcod

    evilcod TowersStreet Member

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    I don't agree that the theme is timeless as such to me it feels like a product of its time, if anything probably closer to 80s sci-fi, I mean it wouldn't look out of place in the "Stranger Things" timeline.

    This is not necessarily a bad thing its just at the moment it feels like a clash of retro and modern, infact I think it would be far better if they went the whole hog and made it part of the theme, bring back the old logo:
    [​IMG]
    and stick the staff in a time-period specific uniform:
    [​IMG]


    You have been to Europa right? Have you seen the mess that Geisterscholss is due to unnecessary modernisation?
     
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    Posted 2nd Jul 2019
    #47
  8. Ted

    Ted TowersStreet Member

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    It's not just for theme parks but I never really dislike things because they're "dated". I usually like that kind of stuff as it gives me a nice nostalgic vibe and shows different periods of things.
     
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    Posted 2nd Jul 2019
    #48
  9. evilcod

    evilcod TowersStreet Member

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    Agreed but as per my post above I feel if they want the "nostalgic vibe" then they need to embrace it properly.
     
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    Posted 2nd Jul 2019
    #49
  10. OilyWater

    OilyWater TowersStreet Member

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    I agree that a clash of retro and old just shows up joins rather than actually improves things, although I dont really get that about Nemesis personally. Perhaps the story might have been a product of a different time, I suppose it reminds me of 80s Doctor Who yeah! But the way it's done, I think it works

    Basically sounds like I agree with you, but I think changing bits ad hoc to modernise wouldnt do any favours, a bit like how the logo was updated to be '2000s' when the original was better. It's a fine line and UK parks dont usually do it that well.

    I love the style of those older rides but not because they feel old. In general, fans often speak about nostalgia — I suppose a sense of nostalgia is important for a family theme park atmosphere, but it shouldnt be an excuse for tiredness and bad maintenance showing up how old rides are. Likewise classic rides shouldnt be seen as a bad thing by park execs, things just need to be maintained to stay on top


    Yeah I totally agree there when it comes to Geisterschloss, the digital effects are cheap and all the additions are a mess now
     
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    Posted 2nd Jul 2019
    #50
  11. ATV

    ATV TowersStreet Member

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    I know it would hurt a lot of Nemmy fans, but a Stranger Things re-theme would be incredible! It would fit the hidden monster type concept to a t! The station is already perfect! Adding extra theming around the ride wouldn't be that much of a challenge. And to be honest the theme tune could stay relatively the same, just with a Stranger Things accent. Only problem is a) Rights and all that legal *!*! b) The possible buzz around the program dying down
     
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  12. AT86

    AT86 TowersStreet Member

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    [​IMG]
     
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  13. Godscrasher

    Godscrasher TowersStreet Member

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    Isn't that what Rita used to be like with the old radio linking it to the raceway. The whole idea was that it was supposed to feel like a nostalgic raceway in the 50's.
     
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  14. Jb85

    Jb85 TowersStreet Member

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    1. Nemesis - probably for nostalgia purposes more now than enjoyment as I’ve ridden it so many times I can ride it in my sleep. Amazing coaster though which if the theme had been maintained would still look great (same for all coaster really)
    2 wicker man - solid ride fills a gap
    3 smiler was world class now a wreck
    4 thirteen - does nothing wrong really just always felt it could have done more
    5 RMT classic fun
    6 oblivion - this has suffered big time in appearance due to **** poor maintenance and re ride ability. I think turning off the don’t look down hasn’t helped. Was an amazing ride and would be top three to any first time riders
    7 spinball - awful ride not thought out only 7 because
    8 Rita - ruined a great area had a good theme originally but now generally rough and an unenjoyable experience right from the queue entrance to leaving the ride. The sooner it’s removed the better. Would suit Chessington.
     
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  15. Ethan

    Ethan TowersStreet Member

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    Galactica?
     
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  16. Jb85

    Jb85 TowersStreet Member

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    Ah yes

    Ok no 5 it is - it’s unique but not great

    If it was wardleys original concept it would be amazing
     
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  17. Brad97

    Brad97 TowersStreet Member

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    1. Nemesis - World class. Forceful, smooth and just plain fun, still one of the best of its kind.

    2. Wicker Man - The theming and overall experience are brilliant, and the coaster itself isn't half bad. Really comes alive at night, especially in the back row.

    3. The Smiler - The layout is great, with the airtime hill in the second half being a particular highlight. I've never found it especially rough, but the two big jolts are annoying. The execution of the theme is poor and the ride area looks a mess.

    4. Oblivion - Great fun for what it is. I find the drop more forceful than SheiKra's, but it is the prototype dive machine, and it shows.

    5. Th13teen - Really solid family coaster. Feels like it could do more in the outdoor section though, and the trims are pretty excessive.

    6. Rita - I don't hate it. It has some of the best airtime on park and the launch is pretty good. It looks a mess though and is pretty rough. Wouldn't be too sad to see it replaced with something better.

    7. Galactica - Not one of my favourites, I find it a bit dull nowadays. It's still Air to me.

    8. Spinball - Fun coaster, bit uncomfortable if you're even slightly tall.

    9. RMT - It is what it is.

    I haven't ridden Octonauts and don't plan to.
     
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  18. OilyWater

    OilyWater TowersStreet Member

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    Nemesis
    Great intense thrill ride, amazing setting that makes for great atmosphere and a landscape that really makes the floorless feeling work so well, a unique 1 min adventure ride with lots of surprises.

    Wicker Man
    The closest Alton Towers gets to a really exciting out of control, twisty, airy coaster ride, despite being a pretty average wooden coaster in the bigger picture. Diving through the wicker man is very memorable and adds to the ride, loads of fun. The coaster is built up with a nice setting with great views of the ride and cool preshow.

    The Smiler
    The sheer madness of the layout really makes this, otherwise it would just be a dreary looping coaster. When the trains duel, it's incredible. Should have been hugely better with lap bars and not dumped in a concrete skatepark. The queue experience is so appalling in every way that it's not worth a long queue for me.

    Oblivion
    The more coasters I ride in other parks the more Oblivion doesn't feel like a coaster, more just a really amazing drop tower. Falling into the tunnel is such a good sensation! It's amazing at what it does, but Im so glad Alton moved away from gimmick coasters like this with Wicker Man, it was getting too many. The area and queue also feels very worn out these days.

    Air
    The sensation of flying isn't as good as it sounds, the layout isn't that great and feels short, there isn't much to Air after that. It should have made so much more of the flying aspect, interacting with the landscape and water features, a great build up in the tunnel.. Because it just isn't that good on its own.

    Rita
    A fun launched coaster but it's just a launch, a few fun turns and nothing else.

    Runaway Mine Train
    Ive always really liked Runaway Mine Train, great long layout around the area, surprisingly thrilling into the tunnel and great setting. It's a better coaster than Rita but it is a childrens coaster after all. One of the best childrens coasters in the country.

    Spinball
    Fun and zippy, I forget how fun it is for what it is. But it may as well be at any park anywhere.

    Thirteen
    A rubbish childrens coaster, with a trick drop that's fun but the novelty wears out the more you do it. Had it been the ending to a great kids coaster, it would have been great! And not just shoved you in a tin shed with such a cheaply made humourless, grey 'serious' theme. I feel like I've wasted hours of my life in this queue.
     
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  19. Ethan

    Ethan TowersStreet Member

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    So I visited last week and I've now got a better understanding of how I rank the big 7
    1. The smiler- not much to say about this one tbh it is the best ride at towers for sure imo
    2. Wicker man- love this ride. Everything the themeing, pre show, atmosphere and overall experience. It's a package and it's a solid coaster aswell
    3. Nemesis- intense, forceful, pure brilliance of a layout that packs a real punch
    4. Oblivion- may be a one trick pony but the drop is fantastic and still one of the best drops on a dive coaster
    5. Galactica- smooth and enjoyable relaxing experience. A bit uncomfortable restraints but it's a decent ride.
    6. Rita- A lot more intense than I remembered but a bit rough these days
    7. Th13teen- nicely themed and a cool surprise element but not the most interesting coaster
     
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  20. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    Mine has changed quite a bit since I last did it so may as well post my new ranking:
    1. Wicker Man - I loved Wicker Man in 2018, and it was one of my biggest positive surprises ever when I first got off it on its opening weekend. But little did I know that I was in for yet another big shock when I rerode in July 2020, because the whole ride felt like it had been turned up a notch since 2018! The pacing, while fantastic in 2018, was absolutely impeccable in 2020; the whole ride definitely felt fast throughout, and sections of it were absolutely frantic! A ride that didn’t have an awful lot of airtime in 2018 had quite a few nice pops in 2020, some of which were pretty strong! Remarkably, the ride also managed to do this while also staying relatively smooth (by wooden coaster standards) and comfortable, and a combination of its rerideability and its pacing and airtime meant that even though I only had 2 rides, I would quite happily have sat on it all day! On the whole, Wicker Man is just the coaster that keeps on giving for me; my favourite at Alton Towers by a considerable distance, and hot on Icon’s heels for the title of my favourite UK coaster! 10/10, #3 overall
    2. Galactica - Galactica may not be the most intense coaster in the world, but it wasn’t designed to be; I personally love the experience it offers! It’s such a fun, smooth ride, while also keeping pretty consistent pace through the layout, and the feeling of flying is quite unlike anything else! On the whole, while Galactica isn’t the most intense, crazy, fast-paced coaster in the world, it is smooth, fun, and genuinely just a really nice ride that seems to grow on me every time I ride it! 8/10, #14 overall
    3. Oblivion - I was not that fussed on Oblivion the first time I rode it back in 2013, but like Galactica above, it grows on me every time I ride it! Between it and SheiKra at Busch Gardens Tampa, which I absolutely adore, I’ve grown to really like B&M Dive Coasters as a model, and while Oblivion may not be a huge behemoth with a wide variety of elements like SheiKra is, it does what it says on the tin for me; the drop is fantastic, and gives you such a rush! Overall, while Oblivion may have a very short ride duration, it proves that it’s not length that really matters, but what you do with that length! 8/10, #16 overall
    4. Nemesis - I do enjoy Nemesis, but I don’t rate it anywhere near as highly as most do anymore. However, instead of dwelling on my main gripes with it, which I’ll come to later, I’ll start with the positives. It’s got a very unique layout, and it’s an absolute feat of engineering in terms of how Wardley & B&M crammed it into that pit; it almost feels like it shouldn’t exist! Bits of it also pack a real punch; the helix is very intense (almost toeing the line of enjoyable intensity for me), but one thing I do like is that the coaster doesn’t expose you to high positive g’s for too long at once, so while it has very intense sections, they’re short enough that they don’t blow your head off and make you feel really ill, which I like. However, I do definitely have gripes with Nemesis. My first one is that it isn’t the smoothest of coasters compared to some other B&Ms I’ve been on, even ones of a similar sort of age; while I wouldn’t go as far as to call Nemesis rough, it’s definitely not particularly smooth, as there are a few places in the layout that induce somewhat painful headbanging; the zero-g roll and the corkscrews are a little bit jolty, in my opinion, and it does detract from my enjoyment of the ride when I come off with sore ears. It’s definitely a fierce coaster, in my opinion, and one of the rougher B&Ms I’ve ridden. My other gripe with Nemesis is that I do not think it is the strongest paced of coasters; there are 1 or 2 notable dead spots in the layout, with the most notable being the turnaround after the vertical loop, which I’ve seen it nearly stall trying to go into on some of my rides. I personally prefer coasters that offer a nice level of g-force and speed consistently throughout, such as Inferno, for example, so while Nemesis’ helix is probably more intense than any individual section of Inferno, for example, I think Inferno maintains a comfortable level of speed and g-force throughout, so I do personally prefer it for that reason. Still, Nemesis is a definite Alton Towers icon, and one of the most unique and admirable coasters in the UK! 7/10, #21 overall
    5. Thirteen - Thirteen may not be “the ultimate rollercoaster” that it was marketed as back in 2010, but it is a fun family roller coaster, in my opinion! There are actually some nice pops of airtime, in my opinion, and it’s blissfully smooth; Intamin & Alton Towers have done a wonderful job on making sure that Thirteen aged well! The ride’s key trick is also very well executed, in my opinion, and the backwards section packs a surprising punch! Overall, if you go down to the woods today, you’ll be sure to get an enjoyable ride out of Thirteen! 6/10, #22 overall
    6. Runaway Mine Train - Runaway Mine Train will always be a special coaster to me, being one of my first ever roller coasters! But even excluding my attachment to it, it is still a pretty great family ride, in my opinion! It has a nice pace to it for a family ride, with sections of it being surprisingly intense; the second helix has no business being on a family coaster! Overall, Runaway Mine Train, while nothing earth-shattering to us enthusiasts, has a really wide appeal, with everyone who rides it seeming to come off with a smile on their face, and surely that’s the most important thing of all? Choo Choo! 6/10, #26 overall
    7. Spinball Whizzer - Spinball Whizzer is a solid family coaster, in my opinion, but I find it a bit too jerky to rank it really highly. The layout is very good, however, and intensity-wise, I think it’s a good stepping-stone coaster! 4/10, #43 overall
    8. Octonauts Rollercoaster Adventure - Octonauts is a good coaster for the younger kids, but I can’t really say an awful lot more than that. It’s quite smooth, and the theming is very nice, I suppose, with a good water effect! 4/10, #49 overall
    9. The Smiler - Smiler is a novel idea, and I think the layout is a brilliant one given the space on offer and the intention of the designers, but I personally find it too rough to really enjoy these days. Most of the elements nowadays have some sort of jolt in them that makes me bang my head against the back of the seat every time, and there’s a very noticeable and persistent vibration. It often makes my head hurt when I get off it, and in all honesty, I’m not really sure if it’s my kind of coaster these days. It’s a wonderful coaster to watch, however! 3/10, #56 overall
    10. Rita - Rita has a great launch, but I seem to remember the rest of the layout being very rough. I admittedly haven’t ridden since April 2016, however; I definitely need a new perspective on it. I think I might go back on it next time I visit Towers. 3/10, #58 overall
    I should probably point out that the score out of 10 is on my overall spectrum of enjoyment, and some of the rides would score far more highly on an individual basis (i.e. against similar rides). I should also point out that I have been on a total of 72 different roller coasters, so the overall ranking is out of 72.
     
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