Rank Alton's coasters in terms of ride experience

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

  1. Thameslink Rail

    Thameslink Rail TowersStreet Member

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    Favourite Ride:
    The Smiler
    1. The Smiler
    Longest ride and possibly the flagship ride. John Wardley's aim was to top Nemesis and I think he achieved that!
    2. Wicker Man
    Brilliant coaster with some of the best theming in the country and a well-done pre-show.
    3. Nemesis
    Brilliant but starting to show its age. I find the restraints uncomfortable because they are loose when I leave the station and tighten on the first drop. But despite this the ride is one of the most intense I have been on.
    4. Oblivion
    Also starting to show its age but the ride still intimidates despite newer and bigger models existing.
    5. Galactica
    Could have been done a lot better with theming in the tunnel and the theming John Wardley created that was cut. Galactica refresh seemed a bit half-done as it was clearly just an excuse to try VR.
    6. Rita
    Nice but they could have done more with it. E.g Theming and maybe an actual station.
    7. TH13TEEN
    Again could have been done a lot better. No trims, marketing not ridiculously over-hyped.
    8. Spinball Whizzer
    Area just seems a little unloved and doesn't quite fit with the rest of the park. Could do with a proper station and some TLC.
    9. Runaway Mine Train
    Not a bad coaster but showing its age. Towers too heavily reliant on this ride in its family line-up.
    10. Octonauts Rollercoaster Adventure
    Could have been done a lot better, they could have made a bigger coaster with a higher capacity by using the land behind the Spinball photo booth.
     
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  2. Mikw

    Mikw TowersStreet Member

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    Matt, ride the Smiler with your head forward as far as possible, it improves it no end. Since i've been doing that i haven't bashed my head once.

    Smiler, and nemesis, head forward

    Rita, Head back.
     
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  3. Danscott22

    Danscott22 TowersStreet Member

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    Favourite Ride:
    Falcon's Fury
    It pains me a little to see Octonauts above The Smiler :eek:
    Especially as The Smiler has re-taken my top spot at Towers for the first time since 2018. Usually I’m alright with my head back on it, apart from inversions 2, 12 and 13 I deliberately put my head forward to brace and it definitely helps, as there’s no head-banging that way.
     
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  4. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    Location:
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    Favourite Ride:
    Mako (SeaWorld Orlando)
    The only reason I put Octonauts above Smiler & Rita is because I’m really not a fan of rough coasters; I know it’s an unpopular opinion, but I would always take a gentle ride over a rough one, personally.

    My problem with Smiler is; regardless of where I put my head, it always seems to end up bashing it for me. As I said, I’m just not entirely sure if it’s my kind of coaster; I like very rerideable, fun coasters (hence why Wicker Man is so high), while Smiler is a very intense, rough coaster that isn’t particularly rerideable. I always end up coming off Smiler with my head hurting these days. It’s a shame, as I did really love it when it first opened, but I think my tastes have changed a lot since then, as well as the ride itself aging.
     
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  5. Ethan

    Ethan TowersStreet Member

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    I can see what you mean but I don't personally find the smiler rough. It's got a few jolts but tbh I've probs experienced more headbanging on nemesis and Rita. I actually think majority of the layout is fairly smooth for how compact and crazy the layout is
     
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  6. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    Mako (SeaWorld Orlando)
    After a visit in September and a general bit of thought, I have a few updates to make to my list, including one that may be particularly eyebrow-raising based on the general opinion of this ride, including my own past opinions...

    1. Wicker Man - no change. (10/10, #3 overall)
    2. Rita - I can hear the gasps from here, and honestly, given that I never used to be a fan of this ride, I was equally surprised when I got off after my most recent ride! I recently decided to re-ride Rita for the first time since April 2016, and before riding, I was not anticipating an enjoyable experience. However, it was very good fun, and I would definitely have gone round again had the queue been shorter! The ride is absolutely supercharged from start to finish, with a great launch to kick things off, and there’s some very good airtime in places! Best of all, the rough ride I remembered was gone; there was a very small rattle, but I didn’t mind as the ride was not painful in the slightest! I was bracing for rough transitions, but they never came, and I frankly couldn’t be more glad! I think the harnesses are still a minor niggle (without them, I think it could quite possibly hit my top 10), but they don’t bother me anywhere near as much as they used to. Overall, Rita massively went up in my estimations after my recent ride, and I certainly hope it’s less than 4.5 years before my next ride! (8/10, #15 overall)
    3. Oblivion - Oblivion was another one I hadn’t ridden in a while, and I don’t know why, as I really like it! My recent ride was no exception; it seems to be one of those coasters that grows on me with every ride, and I absolutely loved what the ride had to offer! The sheer sensation of speed in the tunnel was tremendous, and the drop had some excellent sustained airtime! Oblivion may only have one main trick, but I think it’s one that it executes very well, personally! (8/10, #16 overall)
    4. Galactica - no change. (7/10, #21 overall)
    5. Thirteen - I’ve always enjoyed Thirteen for what it is; even though I don’t find it to be the world’s most intense coaster, I think it’s a very good family coaster that’s very smooth and has some clever tricks up its sleeves! I must admit that it felt a little slower on my recent visit, but that didn’t really take away from it too much for me, and I decided to elevate it above Nemesis for the raw fun factor it consistently provides! (6/10, #24 overall)
    6. Nemesis - no change. (6/10, #25 overall)
    7. Runaway Mine Train - no change. (6/10, #27 overall)
    8. Spinball Whizzer - no change. (4/10, #44 overall)
    9. Octonauts Rollercoaster Adventure - no change. (4/10, #50 overall)
    10. The Smiler - no change. (3/10, #57 overall)
     
  7. Danny

    Danny Gugu Rides’ Number 1 Fan

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    Unknown - Parque dos Elefantes
    This made me chuckle. I'm glad someone is happy to admit it. :tearsofjoy:
     
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  8. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    I know it might seem harsh, but I just find The Smiler too rough to really enjoy these days, and I don’t think it’s really my kind of coaster.

    A smoother ride could change my opinion, however.
     
  9. Danny

    Danny Gugu Rides’ Number 1 Fan

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    It's not harsh at all; I'm in the same boat. Every time I ride it, I just find myself enjoying it less and less. It's certainly plummeted down my rankings over the years.
     
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  10. MattyH

    MattyH TowersStreet Member

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    Favourite Ride:
    It's a smal world
    1. Wicker Man - Even with the rough bit of retracking it's still number one for me, I'm hopeful it will bed down a bit too.
    2. Nemesis - Smooth as silk and running well, every ride is a pleasure.
    3. Galatica - Fantastic to fly through the trees, really enjoyable too
    4. Oblivion - Great drop and it still scares me slightly no matter how many times I ride it
    5. Th13teen - Fantastic ride in the dark, decent ride in the day.
    6. RMT - Can't beat a bit of Mine Train action #ChooChoo
    7. Rita - Launch is fun the rest is rough
    8. Smiler - It's getting rougher, Every single time I ride it I feel worse for riding it, Becoming close to unrideable.
    9. Spinball Whizer - Even when you throw a lot of weight on one side, you still can't get a good spin.

    Not ridden Octonaughts so that's unranked.
     
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  11. D4n

    D4n TowersStreet Member

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    Taron
    Geez I hope none of you softies ever have the misfortune of experiencing Saw.
     
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  12. RicketyCricket

    RicketyCricket TowersStreet Member

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    I'm no Smiler fan but if it's a walk on (lol), and so is Octonauts - you're gonna chose to ride Smiler surely?
     
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  13. Brad97

    Brad97 TowersStreet Member

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    I'm still not on board with The Smiler being unbearably rough. Maybe I'm just very lucky and always get a good train?
     
  14. MattyH

    MattyH TowersStreet Member

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    It's a smal world
    Last time I experienced Saw it wasn't as bad as I found smiler.
     
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  15. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    Yes (because I was very embarrassed on the only occasion I ever rode Octonauts), but I’ve always said I prefer gentle coasters over rough ones that hurt me a lot, which I admit is a somewhat controversial opinion.
    I have experienced it, and I like it even less than Smiler. I want to really like Saw, because I do think it has an excellent layout, but it never fails to leave me with a pounding headache after riding, sadly.

    The thing is, I just don’t think I’m a huge fan of Gerstlauer coasters based on the ones I’ve done.
     
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  16. Mikw

    Mikw TowersStreet Member

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    Same here, never had a really rough ride. Seems to vary on body shape and where your ears sit in relation to the restraints - and what train your on.

    I find Wickerman, and Rita rougher, but i still enjoy them both.
     
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  17. Sharko

    Sharko TowersStreet Member

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    1# Wickerman - If we are purely talking about experience then it has to be this for me. Eventhough i was sceptical when building commenced, it's turned out to be a brilliant coaster. Everything from the theming, pre-show, special effects. Times this by ten at night. I am a little concerned about the people saying that this is getting a little rough. I've always thought that this was smooth for a woody but i have not yet got to ride it this year. I don't mind a bit of roughness, but woodies do tend to get that spine rattling type of roughness, which i really can't tolerate very well. See how it pans out or if i can get to the towers in the next few weeks.

    2# Oblivion - Honestly, being a one trick pony, i think this is one of the best rides in the park. The build up, slow rise to the top, held before the drop, the hole in the ground...gets me everytime. It's the only coaster i genuinely get nervous about before i get on. It's probably the only coaster (in the uk), that i still get that butterflies feeling in my stomach on the drop. Also, i like a menacing looking coaster.

    3# The Smiler - If U2 did a tour of American prisons, this is probably what it would look like (minus the coaster). I genuinely thought we have moved away from building everything with concrete. Saying that, eventhough it does need a bloody good clean up, it still has a creepy, menacing atmosphere. The music, coupled with the screens and the sheer mass of track in a small space make this a very unique ride. I don't tend to find gerstlauers all that rough with the exception of Speed at Oakwood. Maybe i have learnt how to ride it. However, Towers really need to keep on top of the maintenance for this one or it will deteriorate very quickly and just look a mess.

    4# Nemesis - It's still a fantastic ride. Great near misses, very intense and unique in that it is built into the ground. The reason why this is slipping down the list is that i feel like it's becoming a bit dated, as is the area. I just feel like this whole area has lost it's spark a little bit and needs a bit of a freshen up. Not to mention that right next to it is Galactica, i feel there is a bit of a conflict of themes going on. Still a classic but something to inject a bit more excitement into the area.

    5# Thirteen - I've put this here for one reason really. During the day, it is extremely bland. The inside drop doesn't do much for me in terms of excitement. This ride is the definition of building something for the sake of having a worlds first. However, the reason i put this ahead of the rides below, is because the outside course improves at night with the addition of atmospheric light/smoke effects. It also generally just has a creepier atmosphere at night.

    6# Galatica - Great music, area has been nicely tarted up since the Galactica conversion and is a unique ride for this country. The issue i have is that i feel as though this ride should have had a bigger drop. Maybe it could have dropped slightly into the ground. The ride just feels too tame and the seating position can be a bit uncomfortable. There is no real theming around the ride, which is a shame. I very rarely go on this ride on my visits as the huge queues put me off a little bit. I come away feeling as though i've not really missed much. For me, this could be a contender to be removed for a new ride. I feel like adding VR to the ride, was an attempt to rescue it but has failed.

    7# Spinball Whizzer - I am actually a bit sad that i have had to put this at number 7 because we do genuinely have a good time on this ride. It is a sort of 'go to' ride of ours, when we first arrive or just after a break. However, the reason this is in 7th is because i am never fully confident that our time in the queue, will end up with us getting on the ride. It's got to be one of the most unreliable rides in the country. There is very minimal theming, the music isn't great and the whole area is looking tired and in need of work. Would be sad to see it leave but again, another contender to replace with a better ride.

    8# Rita - We very rarely go on this these days, launch can be fun but then there is nothing. Queues don't justify riding this. Minimal theming and really out of place in Dark Forest. For me, Intamin's latest blitz coasters are far superior to this and i could see this getting replaced with a Taron/Taiga style intamin. This could also be themed more around Dark Forest. This isn't even a candidate to be replaced, this needs to be replaced in my opinion.

    Special mention:

    Runaway Mine Train - Actually really enjoy this ride for what it is. A fun family ride and a good interaction with the rapids. I didn't rank this but if i had to it would be between Galactica and Spinball.
     
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  18. Ethan

    Ethan TowersStreet Member

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    After this season I'd say:
    1. Smiler
    2. Nemesis
    3. Wicker man
    4. Oblivion
    5. Galactica
    6. Rita
    7. Th13teen
     
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    Posted 6th Nov 2020
    #78
  19. Nerdsticks

    Nerdsticks TowersStreet Member

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    This year was the first time I was able to actually go to Alton Towers since 2013 so I will do a list on how I felt over the years compared to now after my return. This is based on overall experience and not just the physical enjoyment of the ride:

    2013:
    1. Smiler
    2. Nemesis
    3. Air
    4. Oblivion
    5. Th13teen
    6. Rita
    7. Spinball
    8. RMT

    2020:
    1. Nemesis
    2. Wicker Man
    3. Smiler
    4. Oblivion
    5. Th13teen
    6. Rita
    7. Galactica
    8. Spinball
    9. RMT
    Will make some comments on some interesting changes in the list:

    Smiler on opening year for me was incredible! Was the most enjoyable coaster on the park unquestionably, at the time the only issue I had was the terribly designed queue. Fast forward to today, ride experience was mostly excellent until the final 3 inversions, felt a little uncomfortable, and the place is in desperate need of a good clean.

    Wicker Man was a fun experience, queuing on a cold autumn morning was very atmospheric with the orange leaves falling from the trees, tied with the soundtrack and being able to see the ride at every angle you could hope for. The ride itself we managed to get a few rides on the back row, the speed was not as fast as I anticipated, but the airtime moments I had were great, the fact that it is a new ride at Alton (for me) also helps it's position on the list. I definitely didn't get the full experience without the preshow however. Roughness was also of no concern to me, simply did not feel it.

    Nemesis has never disappointed, the only thing I miss is the blood river, which will never come back. There's nothing much else to say other than its' consistency in experience is why it's at the top.

    Th13teen's throughput during corona severely impacted my enjoyment overall, the ride is still fun and remains the same, the station is neat too. But sheesh, that queueline is so poorly lit at night, the cattlepen is awful and claustrophobic even with social distancing, and there's nothing to look at except some generator-lit trees. If social distancing weren't a factor I would still feel roughly the same, the slow moving queue however made me think about it more. It doesn't budge on the list though cause the other rides below just aren't very impactful either.

    Rita would be higher if the theming wasn't so silly and poorly thought, and if it didn't give me painful shoulders.

    Poor Galactica.. I used to think the physical experience was so free and unique and relaxing.. Now? It's just kind of awkward and slow for me, and surprisingly rough! It still aesthetically looks nice and I like the portal, but that VR addition and removal has hurt the retheme, as now I have even less reason to buy into the space angle they went with and it clashes poorly with Nemesis. Soundtrack is great though.

    Spinball used to command outrageous queues for a meh ride. Now it has reasonable queues for what is now an extremely rough ride with a fun soundtrack.
     
    Matt N and jon81uk like this.
    Posted 6th Nov 2020
    #79

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