Rank Alton's coasters in terms of ride experience

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

  1. Ethan

    Ethan TowersStreet Member

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    Ooo we're back on this thread again i see. Well I'll keep it short and sweet for my up to date list on the towers coasters:
    1. The smiler
    2. Nemesis
    3. Wicker man
    4. Oblivion
    5. Galactica
    6. Rita
    7. Th13teen
    8. Spinball whizzer
    9. Runaway mine train
    Haven't ridden octonauts. So overall its not changed at all really from what I remember. Interested to see how the rides are running this year, can't wait to get back!
     
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  2. Poisson

    Poisson TowersStreet Member

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    Location:
    Behind You
    Favourite Ride:
    The Giant Squid
    Nemesis
    Wicker Man
    The Smiler
    Spinball
    Oblivion
    Rita
    RMT
    13
    Galactica
    Octonauts
     
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  3. Mikw

    Mikw TowersStreet Member

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    That's pretty much my exact top 9 (in the same order) as well!

    I've also never been on Octonauts either.
     
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  4. Ethan

    Ethan TowersStreet Member

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    Yes I've always thought the smiler is the best. Interesting to see other peoples opinion of the ride such as @Matt N. Everyone's different and has preferences. I do agree with him on Rita, despite me putting it fairly low i do think its an underrated ride and gets a lot of undeserved criticism
     
    Matt N likes this.
    Posted 1st Mar 2021
    #84
  5. Danscott22

    Danscott22 TowersStreet Member

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    Location:
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    Favourite Ride:
    Falcon's Fury
    Mine has ever so slightly changed as well:
    1. The Smiler
    2. Wicker Man
    3. Oblivion
    4. Thirteen
    5. Galactica
    6. Nemesis
    7. Rita
    8. Spinball Whizzer
    9. RMT
    10. Octonauts

    Wicker Man and Oblivion are very close to switching, and probably will at some point this year. Worth pointing out I had Wicker Man at 1 in 2018, before The Smiler overtook it again last year. Must have been the new ride hype for me - I don't think it will fall lower than my third spot with the current coasters though. I also had to move Nemesis from 8 to 6 based on one particular experience I had on it last year. Like i say, aside from a potential switch between 2 and 3, I think this will remain my order (unless Nemesis moves down again if I have a bad ride)
     
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    Posted 1st Mar 2021
    #85
  6. Ethan

    Ethan TowersStreet Member

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    Th13teen is ride im not bothered about really. I ride it once then probs leave it for the season. Unless its not got a queue off course but that's rare
     
    Posted 1st Mar 2021
    #86
  7. Ethan

    Ethan TowersStreet Member

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    This season after visiting a few times, things have shuffle around in my rankings a little.
    1. Smiler
    2. Nemesis
    3. Wicker man
    4. Th13teen
    5. Oblivion
    6. Rita
    7. Galactica
     
    Last edited: 6th May 2021
    Matt N likes this.
    Posted 2nd May 2021
    #87
  8. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    Location:
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    Favourite Ride:
    Mako (SeaWorld Orlando)
    Mine has changed a bit as well:
    1. Wicker Man
    2. Oblivion
    3. Nemesis
    4. Thirteen
    5. Rita
    6. Galactica
    7. Runaway Mine Train
    8. Spinball Whizzer
    9. The Smiler
    10. Octonauts
     
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    Posted 2nd May 2021
    #88
  9. Ethan

    Ethan TowersStreet Member

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    Well at least the smiler is above octonauts!
     
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    Posted 2nd May 2021
    #89
  10. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    In hindsight, I did feel that as much as I’m not personally a huge Smiler fan, I didn’t feel that placing it below Octonauts was really a fair representation of my personal preferences. There are some larger rides below it, I’ll admit, but very, very few; I think a ride would have to be quite unenjoyable to sit that low for me. The only large-scale ones below it that come to mind for me are Saw at Thorpe, Grand National at BPB and Infusion at BPB.

    Also, my last ride on Smiler actually wasn’t too bad compared to some others I’ve had in the past. I was on the front row, and while it certainly wasn’t as smooth as the ride’s earlier years, and I would have said it was a bit rough, it certainly wasn’t the roughest ride I’ve ever had on The Smiler, either.
     
    Posted 2nd May 2021
    #90
  11. mo237

    mo237 TowersStreet Member

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    Location:
    Altonville Mines
    Favourite Ride:
    Symbolica
    Personally, I'd say the stand outs are Nemesis and Wicker Man.

    Nemesis has a beautiful drama about the whole thing - the slow approach to the archway, just hearing rumbles echoing throughout the valley, before suddenly being exposed to the depth of the pit, track standing tall above you, encased in rockwork, is pure magic. Then you delve deeper, and as you turn the corner the loop is presented to you, and the radical height difference becomes really apparent. Plus the fact that nothing is really ever explained (unless you listen to the wonderfully cheesy tape if you have a copy), there's just this behemoth of an alien sitting in this perilous pit with a stupidly fast rollercoaster running around it - awesome. Graham Smart's haunting audio, both ambient and melodic, conveys a tremendous amounts of story as well. For those not riding, there's so many places to stand and watch, and at times, getting really close to the track - lots of fun can be had just from exploring the area (something which the newer coasters with their boxy layouts and forced perspectives miss). It's a really old school, theatrical experience that doesn't pander to the audience but delivers a really cool ride.

    Wicker Man is certainly a step in the right direction. The way the queue snakes through the ride, getting closer and closer, with the music slowly getting darker, builds a phenomenal amount of tension. The baggage drop is really nicely done, and the preshow is pretty scary as well, and always hypes you up. It's a really simple idea, but executed deliciously - so much so that I'd say it's what makes the ride as a whole. Then you advance into the station, which continues the theatricality with the fog and wicker weaving around the walls, and the score creates a lot of tension without being in your face. Like the preshow, it's played at such a volume that I always find myself getting really nervous! The shop too, almost feels like a mini walkthrough to end the ride. But I think what lets it down are just the little things, such as plenty of exposed concrete, un-inspired wooden beams keeping you from running away (something like Taron's fences would work really well narratively), but most importantly, the way there's only one real sightline as such into the area. If you aren't riding, you can only view it along one side of the box the ride is plonked in, and upon approaching it, there's no dramatic reveal - the experience doesn't play out like Nemesis, where more is revealed to you as you descend. I also think there's a lack of theming - there's the odd bit of bunting and that's kinda it. There's so much potential with the theme that I think was sadly missed - but with that said, it's leagues better than some of Merlin's previous efforts, so hopefully they'll be able to improve on this with future rides.

    I love the concept of Oblivion - circling yourself with these super cheesy, dated videos trying to exploit your fears as much as possible - but sadly it hasn't exactly aged well. The speakers used are really naff, and because the ride is a people eater, having to walk all the way up that hill just to find no-one waiting is pretty tiring. Plus, with the stacking, there's often too much faff to justify it. But the drama of the area - seeing it lurking in the distance when you enter X-Sector, and walking down towards the drop zone - certainly made a very big impression on me when I was much younger. It's a lot of fun to watch, especially if you can tease nervous friends!

    Rita and Thirteen are about on par with each other - nothing really exciting here. The woods are actually pretty peaceful, so there's no tension built with over dramatic music and endless cattlepens.

    Smiler is easily the worst offender. With it's super obnoxious music, poor sightlining, super claustrophobic queue - I rarely have any desire to ride it because of these. It's super dirty too, and it feels really uninspired. I don't find any fun in it, and even when it's walk on, it's just depressing to ride.

    But the clear winner was Air. CRT wall in the shop? Automatic winner.
     
    Matt N likes this.
    Posted 4th May 2021
    #91
  12. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    Out of interest @mo237, was this ranking the coasters in theming/immersion terms as opposed to the ride experience? This thread is about the ride experiences excluding theming, but I did make a thread ranking the coasters’ theming a little while back: https://towersstreet.com/talk/threa...rs-in-terms-of-theming-experience.4593/page-2 (turns out I made this thread quite a while back, and it hasn’t been posted in since 2018, so I apologise; it’s not the most obvious thread, I’ll admit!)

    Apologies if I come across pedantic, as I don’t mean to. I just wanted to highlight a thread discussing the rides theming-wise in case you didn’t know it was there. Come to think of it, my own opinions have changed quite a bit since I last posted in that thread; might be worth me resurrecting it...

    Great post, though, with some interesting opinions; certainly some points I agree with in there!
     
    mo237 likes this.
    Posted 4th May 2021
    #92
  13. mo237

    mo237 TowersStreet Member

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    Symbolica
    Ah balls, knew something was fishy :p Yeah, it's about theming and theatricality instead!
     
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    Posted 4th May 2021
    #93
  14. Mikw

    Mikw TowersStreet Member

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    1. The Smiler (i don't mind the queueline, i enjoy the air rush from the trans flying be just above my head. Alwaya enjoy the ride as well, grin like a loon whenever i'm on it, which i guess is the idea,

    2. WickerMan - It just works, the whole thing, music, queue, looks great, rides well (better this year), and i don't even mind the pre show being non operational.

    3. Nemesis - Apart from ear bashing it's a real rush.

    The rest of them are all decent, not onw i hate, but the three listed are the standouts for me.
     
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    Posted 4th May 2021
    #94
  15. Ethan

    Ethan TowersStreet Member

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    Interesting hahahahaha
     
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    Posted 5th May 2021
    #95
  16. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    What do you mean, out of interest? In fairness, I enjoy the ride views as well, as much as I’m not a huge lover of Smiler’s outdoor queue on the whole.
     
    Posted 5th May 2021
    #96
  17. Ethan

    Ethan TowersStreet Member

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    I just found it funny as I really like the way it flies past you above your head. I thought it was just a strange fetish of mine
     
    Matt N likes this.
    Posted 5th May 2021
    #97
  18. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    I know I only updated this a couple of posts ago, but I’ve given it a little more thought since then, so some things have switched around a bit. I’ve also gone into a bit more detail about my opinion of each individual ride.
    1. Wicker Man - WM is still a phenomenal wooden coaster, in my view! Even though it’s not a huge g-machine, it delivers pure fun every time for me, and seems to get a little better with each ride I have on it; even my most recent ride in the front row, while not quite as strong as the changing rides I had on it in summer 2020, was still absolutely phenomenal, and definitely still an absolutely superb experience! Blisteringly fast pace throughout, surprisingly strong pops of airtime scattered in the most unexpected of places, really comfortable and rerideable (as far as woodies go); what’s not to like? The only slight problem I could find last time that did knock it down ever so slightly was a slight rough patch toward the end (during the final wicker man pass through) that left me feeling a little bashed up compared to usual, but this was a tiny, tiny spot that is by no means a deal breaker; the rest of it is still very comfortable, and I still absolutely adore Wicker Man! Definitely still my favourite coaster at Alton Towers! (9/10, #4 overall)
    2. Oblivion - Given that Oblivion is very much the sort of coaster that hones in on one gimmick and the element of fear surrounding it, you’d think that it would lose its touch once you’ve ridden it lots of times. Well if anything, I’m happy to say that Oblivion has hugely grown on me over time, and I don’t know what it was on last time I rode, because my last ride was genuinely quite breathtaking! The airtime on the drop was strong, sustained and just generally absolutely sublime, and then the sense of speed through the tunnel was like nothing else, with a nice bonus pop of airtime into the brake run to top it all off! Ultimately, I think Oblivion is still a little too short to be right up there, and I think SheiKra does still usurp it ever so slightly due to the bonus elements that it has (although it’s years since I’ve done SheiKra, so I’d have to reride to be completely sure), but Oblivion definitely shot into the top 10 after that amazing ride! On a pound-for-pound basis, Oblivion delivers everything I could possibly want from it! (9/10, #9 overall)
    3. Nemesis - As much as I don’t think Nemesis does as much for me now as it once did, I still absolutely love it, and I’ll admit that it’s a hard coaster for me not to appreciate! There’s just so much to like about it, in my opinion; the layout is so unique, with some great moments, the pit and the rockwork really do add quite a bit to it, and it’s also aged pretty well too! My last ride on it was really quite good; just the right level of force, and no headbanging! Ultimately, though, something I’ve begun to find with inverted coasters is that I’m not sure they really do as much for me as they used to unless you’re sat up front, as in all the other rows, you can only really see the seats in front of you, and can’t really get a feel for the surroundings, if you get what I mean; I do think that the front row is definitely my favourite seat on Nemesis, simply because you really feel very exposed to the surroundings up front! On the whole, though, Nemesis is a ride that I definitely really enjoy, and even if I don’t rank it as highly as most, I definitely see why it’s so loved! (9/10, #11 overall)
    4. Rita - I used to not like Rita very much at all, but I’ll admit it’s really grown on me again on recent rides! It’s seemed nowhere near as rough as it used to be; it hasn’t hurt at all on any of my recent rides! That layout is also just absolutely supercharged, with a great launch, some excellent ejector airtime pops, and some nice high-speed corners! Granted, it’s still a tiny bit rattly, and I think it would improve if it had lap bars, but it’s a far cry from the brutal coaster I remember from a few years ago! (7/10, #20 overall)
    5. Galactica - Galactica, although not the most intense by any means, is still a really nice ride that I personally enjoy; it’s very smooth, very rerideable, and has some nice swoopy twists and turns! However, it has dropped a fair bit for me in recent times; I used to love it more. I’ll admit I’m not a huge lover of the fly-to-lie element; while it’s much more palatable for me than the excessive positive-g fest of Manta’s pretzel loop, I still personally find the sensation of blood rushing to your head for a sustained period of time somewhat uncomfortable. Also, I’m ultimately growing less sure about how much I actually rate flying coasters as a general ride type; while it’s a cool novelty, I do personally find the riding position quite constraining by nature with all the leg restraints and big vests, and they can’t really provide the type of more varied ride experience with some negative g-forces on offer that I’m growing more into. Still, Galactica is a perfectly pleasant coaster that I always enjoy riding! (7/10, #23 overall)
    6. Thirteen - Thirteen is a really fun family coaster, in my opinion! It’s very smooth, has some nice pops of floater airtime and twists in the outdoor section, and the drop track and backwards section are always good for a laugh! However, while I’m not sure if this is caused by social distancing and the reduced weight on the trains, the ride seems to have felt a bit slower on recent rides. Still, Thirteen is a fun little ride that’s always a fun little jaunt, in my opinion! (7/10, #25 overall)
    7. Runaway Mine Train - I feel as though I should like this far less than I do, but I just find it a phenomenal amount of fun for what it is! It just has such a wide appeal; whether you’re a small child riding your first coaster, a thrill-seeking teen/young adult or a grandparent who perhaps doesn’t like the big thrills as much anymore, you’re bound to come off Runaway Mine Train with a smile on your face; I know I certainly do! The ride packs a surprising punch in places; it feels way faster than the billed 22mph in parts of the layout, and the two helixes, especially the one into the tunnel, are certainly very fun and punchy! Overall, RMT, while it isn’t the most groundbreaking or thrilling coaster, provides something for everybody, and it’s a hugely special ride to me from a sentimental standpoint, what with it being one of my first ever coasters! Choo Choo! (6/10, #30 overall)
    8. Spinball Whizzer - I recently got back on Spinball for the first time since 2017, and I have to admit that it was more fun than I’d remembered! While I’d previously remembered quite a jerky, rough ride, it didn’t seem anywhere near as bad, and it has some fun helixes and turns! On the whole, it’s not my favourite coaster, as it does make me feel a little bit dizzy coming off, but it’s certainly a fun family coaster that’s worth your while, in my opinion! (6/10, #36 overall)
    9. The Smiler - Oh, I really want to like Smiler more than I do. I actually have a lot to owe to it, as following its construction was the very thing that got me into this hobby, and I find it utterly fascinating, in many ways! It’s an absolute engineering marvel; how Gerstlauer and Alton Towers fit so much into so little space is beyond me, and considering the ride has 14 inversions, the layout is absolutely relentless, very creative and never feels too repetitive, with each inversion providing a different sensation from the one that preceded it! In layout terms, I actually really admire it. However, it’s ultimately a bit too uncomfortable for me to rank highly; while it’s not nearly as rough as the likes of Saw at Thorpe Park, it’s still got quite a pronounced rattle and a couple of notable bumpy bits. The ending in particular is pretty rough and leaves a bit of a sour taste in my mouth when getting off. I’m also not a huge lover of the restraints; I can’t quite put my finger on why, but something just feels a bit odd and uncomfortable about them compared with the OTSRs from the likes of B&M. Overall, Smiler is definitely an admirable ride, and I’ll admit that my last ride I had on it in the front row wasn’t too rough compared to some I’ve had on it, but ultimately, I still find it a bit too rough for my personal liking, and because of this, I’m afraid it’s not one of my favourite coasters. It’s a shame, as if it were smoother and had more comfortable restraints, I actually think I’d rank it quite highly in this list! (5/10, #42 overall)
    10. Octonauts Rollercoaster Adventure - I actually think this is a really nicely done coaster for what it is, with some great theming and a well-designed experience, but it is ultimately a roller coaster designed for small children, which unfortunately inhibits how highly I can really rank it. (3/10, #59 overall)
     
  19. NuttySquirrel

    NuttySquirrel TowersStreet Member

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    1. The Smiler
    2. Nemesis
    3. Wicker Man
    4. Oblivion (good but far too short)
    5. Galactica (obvs. without VR)
    6. RMT (if it counts - not technically a coaster?)
    7. Thirteen
    8. Spinball
    9. Rita (hate! hate! hate!)
    10. What the hell is Octonauts?
     
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  20. Ethan

    Ethan TowersStreet Member

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    I can never choose between nemesis and wicker man. They always swap around
     
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