Rank Alton's coasters in terms of theming/experience

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Matt N, 23rd Nov 2017.

  1. Robert.W

    Robert.W TowersStreet Member

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    Bump!

    So, after a few more rides – many during the dark – at this years Scarefest, I’ve had a little reshuffle of my top ten...

    1. Nemesis
    2. Wicker Man
    3. TH13TEEN
    4. Oblivion
    5. Galactica
    6. The Smiler
    7. Runaway Mine Train
    8. Rita
    9. Spinball Whizzer
    10. Ocatnauts Rollercoaster Adventure
     
    DW_0505 and Matt N like this.
    Posted 5th Nov 2018
    #21
  2. TPC

    TPC TowersStreet Member

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    Unfortunately I was unable to ride smiler due to the queue time.

    1. Wicker Man
    2. Th13teen
    3. Oblivion
    4. Nemesis
    5. Galatica
    6. Spinball Whizzer
    7. Rita
    8. Runaway Mine Train
    9. Octonauts Rollercoaster Adventure
     
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    Posted 5th Nov 2018
    #22
  3. Themeparksandy1981

    Themeparksandy1981 TowersStreet Member

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    Right after been on all the coasters all the summer here is my list

    Theming
    1) Nemesis no coaster in the uk matches this on theming
    2) Oblivion everything about this coaster really makes you feel you are test subjects from the moment you enter the queue line.
    3) Wickerman now this would have been my no1 but there’s many areas around the queue line you can see it unthemed and seeing all the concrete supports really let’s the area down.
    4) Thirteen I love the idea that the queueline was build in between the trees and the indoor queue really is well themed the only thing poor about this ride is the unthemed outdoor section and the backwards section.
    5) Runaway mine train now the 1st section of the ride is well themed but they should have continued with the wood theme with the rest of the ride. Love the tunnel section.
    6) The Smiler for me looks rushed with the boring concrete station building with cheap pipes stuck on the sides. The worst queueline for any coaster but what keeps it off the bottom is the other good theming around the ride.
    7) Galactica now I do feel the building and theme was only changed to fit in the restaurant. Just enclosing the station area and adding tv’s hadn’t changed the ride much from Air
    8) Rita now this would have been bottom but I do like the theming there added under the launch station.
    9) Spinball what can I say the least themed coaster of them all with hardly anything really to suit its theme.

    Experience
    1) Nemesis is still king best coaster I ever been on
    2) Wickerman was well worth the queue and loved the pre show area and the coaster itself was quite fast and smooth.
    3) The Smiler what it lacks as a theme makes up for as a coaster from the moment you leave the station to you arrive back is non stop madness.
    4) Thirteen now for a family coaster it goes quite fast and love the drop section.
    5) Oblivion even after 20 years that drop still gives a good feeling Shame you can see the bottom of the hole
    6) Rita The launch really gets you and After not riding it for years it feels it launches quicker now
    7) Spinball this use to be higher up the list but I feel it’s on its last legs now with it not hardly spinning at all now
    8) Galactica I have to base this as a coaster and I wasn’t a big fan of Air in the 1st place. It’s boring and if the VR was removed off it I wouldn’t go on it again
    9) Runaway mine train I feel since the accident 9/10 years ago the ride itself has really been slowed down with the only quick bit now in the tunnel.
     
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    Posted 5th Nov 2018
    #23
  4. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    Right; sorry for bumping the thread, but my own opinions have changed quite a bit since I last posted in this thread, so I thought it might be worth resurrecting!

    As things stand, if we’re ranking the coasters in terms of theming and immersive experience alone, excluding track and train, I’d probably go with:
    1. Wicker Man - As it would seem, it works out really nicely that my number 1 coaster ride experience-wise at Alton is also my number 1 coaster themed experience-wise at Alton too; how nice and coincidental! In terms of Wicker Man theming-wise; where to begin? The actual structure itself is absolutely stunning, and I can only guess that if we’re talking about individual pieces of theming, the wicker man structure must surely be one of the most audacious ever devised for a coaster outside of Disney and Universal! But the experience does not begin and end with the structure by any means; far from it, in fact! As soon as you enter the queue, there’s quite a few smaller details to look at; there’s bunting everywhere, there’s quite a few nice little signs and flags scattered throughout, there’s some really nice wicker sculptures, and on the whole, I’m a big fan of Wicker Man’s queue; I’d probably say it’s my favourite queue at Alton! I’ve got to admit that I’m also a huge fan of Wicker Man’s soundtrack; it’s very grand and dramatic in places, yet wonderfully ambient at the same time, and I think the way that the audio is set up within the queue is just sublime! Then, you have the amazing indoor stuff (the baggage hold area and station etc.), with all the smells, wicker, rocks, mist, ambient lighting, not to mention the amazing pre-show itself! Admittedly, I think the ending shed could possibly do with something more; as much as Mystic Timbers’ shed at Kings Island often gets maligned, I think something along those lines may have worked well here. That is just me being very unfair and needlessly picky, however; Wicker Man is an absolutely sublime experience, overall, and I’m very happy allocating it my personal #1 spot out of Alton Towers’ coasters for themed experience!
    2. Thirteen - This might seem like a bit of a left-field choice, but I’ll admit that I’m a fan of the way they pulled off the theming on Thirteen, overall! I love the crypt and ensuing effects, and I also think the station and indoor queue are really, really nice too! While the outdoor queue isn’t absolutely jam packed with theming, there are still some really nice details there, such as an abandoned van, some wraiths and some “cursed people” (I can only assume?) tied to trees and so forth, and I also feel that the forest setting itself combined with the very creepy soundtrack offers a wonderfully eerie ambience! Admittedly, the outdoor section nor the backwards section have much in the way of theming, but on the whole, I think Thirteen works really well as a themed experience, personally!
    3. Nemesis - Even though Nemesis doesn’t have stacks of theming, I think what it does have works incredibly well! I think the queue is great; I love how it winds through the ride area, and undulates up and down the sides of the pit! In the later stages especially, it really does make you feel tiny, what with the ride roaring over your head, and the huge expanse of tentacles and organs that makes up the station! The soundtrack is also great, and the location with the rocks is absolutely unrivalled, in my opinion; so unique, and so effective! If I was to nitpick, I do think that Nemesis could possibly do with a bit more physical theming, and possibly more of an attempt to explain the story to the rider, but on the whole, I think it’s brilliant from an immersion standpoint!
    4. Galactica - As with Thirteen, I think this might come as a surprise to some, and I’ll admit that I wouldn’t have put this quite so high pre-2016, but I do absolutely love how Galactica came together as an overall experience! Even though there’s not stacks and stacks of theming, I do really like what’s there; the portal is an excellent feature, in my opinion, and I also really like little things like the bridge and the station, with the ambient lighting! One of the main things I love about Galactica is the soundtrack; it’s quite a dramatic track in places, but it’s got such a euphoric feel to it, and it’s just generally an amazing track, in my opinion! One of my personal favourites on park, I’ll admit! I also like how Galactica tries to convey a story to the rider, with the EVE videos in the station as well as the bridge explaining to the rider about what planets they will be visiting and so forth; it added a sense of story and theme that I feel like Air previously lacked. While I’ll admit that Galactica doesn’t have absolutely stacks of theming, and would possibly be enhanced by some more scenery pieces around the ride now that the VR has gone, I think what it has works really well; I personally think they did an excellent job with the retheme!
    5. The Smiler - I’ll admit I do have a sense of appreciation for The Smiler in thematic terms, in many ways. Even though the theme is somewhat creepy if you delve a bit further into it, I like how it’s quite a fun, cheery theme on the surface, and I think the contrast between cheery and sinister really makes for a very unique vibe in and around the ride area, which I personally think works quite well! Admittedly, I wouldn’t call the ride perfect from a thematic standpoint. For starters, I’m not really a huge fan of the outdoor queue, with the cramped metal cages and confusing-to-navigate cattlepen, although in fairness, I think the outdoor queue was done like it is for creative reasons, as the park wanted to add to the disorientation and highlight the difference between the sadness of the queue and the happiness of the ride, so I’m probably not being fair there. I’m also not a huge fan of that strobe that they have periodically going off in the indoor queue, but I really like the station, exit corridor and the cool indoor inversion with the strobe! Not to mention The Marmaliser itself; while I wouldn’t say it’s quite up there with the wicker man structure, it’s still a really amazing, dominant feature with some pretty cool effects on there, in my opinion! Controversially, I also quite like The Smiler’s soundtrack; while it is somewhat of an ear worm, and can get a little grating once you’ve been queueing for a while, I think it fits the ride really, really well, and adds to that absolutely electric presence that it has within X-Sector, and I also like the audio setup on Smiler. If you listen closely, you’ll notice that the soundtrack actually changes slightly between the outdoor queue and indoor queue, and then the exit corridor and station are different again! Overall, I’ll admit that there are certainly things I’d change about Smiler (thematically speaking) if I were in charge; I’d modify the outdoor queue, for a start. However, I don’t think the park was going for a Wicker Man-style theming extravaganza in this case, so in that regard, I think it comes together reasonably well as a more mild themed experience on the whole!
    6. Oblivion - I think Oblivion has a wonderfully ominous vibe to it; I love the way that the sight lines in that southern part of X-Sector are entirely aimed at the drop, and I also like the Lord of Darkness videos that really help build the suspense! However, while I’m sure the ride’s theming was very modern and cutting-edge in 1998, I think it looks a tad dated in 2021; this isn’t the park’s fault, however, as I think it’s more a biproduct of going with the whole “futuristic” vibe for a ride. There’s also not an awful lot of theming on Oblivion, even though it’s very suspenseful; I’d say that Oblivion isn’t really themed per se, more styled. I can’t really think of any notable theming on or around Oblivion, to be honest. I also think the ride could perhaps do with a more dramatic, suspenseful soundtrack as opposed to the dance track it currently has. If I’m being very picky, I’m also not a huge fan of Oblivion’s queue; with all those different lines and all the zig-zagging, I’ll admit I find it a tad confusing to navigate. This is all just me being very picky, however, and I’m probably being too harsh; I really like the whole suspenseful vibe Oblivion gives off, on the whole!
    7. Octonauts Rollercoaster Adventure - I know this probably seems like a very odd choice to put above 3 other roller coasters at Alton Towers, but speaking exclusively in thematic terms, I actually think Octonauts was really, really well done for what it is! The whale feature that squirts mist is really quite cute, the other bits of seaweed strewn around are nice, I like the rocks underneath the ride, and I also like the way that audio is used; the audio on Octonauts really psyches up the younger guests and helps tell an effective story! However, I think the station could possibly do with a roof, and in general, I think the scale of the ride does prevent me from placing it much higher, even if I think it was executed very well on a pound-for-pound basis.
    8. Runaway Mine Train - Runaway Mine Train is really quite a nicely done experience for what it is, in my opinion; the station area, tunnel and wooden structure that it travels through are really quite nice! However, it doesn’t really convey much of a story, and there’s not a huge amount of theming in the queue. For what it is, though, I wouldn’t say there’s anything really wrong with RMT thematically, though!
    9. Spinball Whizzer - Spinball isn’t hugely themed by any means, but there’s a few bits strewn around; the pinball stickers in the station and around the area are quite nice and add to the theme, and I guess the pinball games in the queue add to the theme too, as well as the pinballs around the ride! I really like Spinball’s new IMAScore soundtrack too, I’ll admit, and I like how the queue offers some great perspectives of the ride! However, it’s definitely not a themed experience in the way that some of the rides above are, and as such, I’m afraid it can’t really go any higher for that reason, even if it does have some really nice elements of styling in places!
    10. Rita - Something had to be last, and I’m afraid it had to be Rita for me. Even though the vines and wood are quite nice, and I like the whole “forest is taking over” vibe they were going for, as well as the announcements, there’s not really a lot to Rita thematically, unfortunately. I’m not a huge lover of the queue; it’s a bit confusing to navigate, it’s kind of set off from the ride, and it doesn’t really have any theming, although I guess with Thirteen and the forest just next door, as well as the soundtrack that kind of provides enough of a theme to immerse riders into the Dark Forest. I’m probably being very picky here, but I also placed Rita last because I feel like it’s the only coaster at the park that doesn’t seem to have its own “identity” in theming terms. All of the park’s other roller coasters have their own soundtrack, their own vibe, and have their own strong presence in theming terms, whereas I feel like Rita feels like a very loose extension of the Thirteen vibe; it has the same soundtrack, and kind of weens off of the same basic theme as Thirteen without really conveying its own story, so it doesn’t really stand out against the park’s other coasters, in that regard. I feel sorry for Rita being last, as I do think it has some nice elements, but I’m afraid something had to be, and I don’t really think Rita stacks up thematically when compared to the park’s other coasters, unfortunately.
    So, that’s my personal ranking! I hope it’s not too controversial, and I apologise if you think I’m being too picky...
     
    Last edited: 4th May 2021
    AstroDan likes this.
    Posted 4th May 2021
    #24
  5. Ethan

    Ethan TowersStreet Member

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    1. Wicker man
    2. Smiler
    3. Th13teen
    4. Nemesis
    5. Galactica
    6. Oblivion
    7. Rita
     
    Matt N likes this.
    Posted 6th May 2021
    #25
  6. Danscott22

    Danscott22 TowersStreet Member

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    If this is just based on theme only then I'd say:
    1. Wicker Man
    2. Oblivion
    3. Nemesis
    4. TH13TEEN
    5. The Smiler
    6. Galactica
    7. RMT
    8. Octonauts
    9. Rita
    10. Spinball Whizzer
     
    Matt N likes this.
    Posted 6th May 2021
    #26
  7. Ethan

    Ethan TowersStreet Member

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    I personally think oblivions theme is really bland and plain
     
    Matt N likes this.
    Posted 6th May 2021
    #27

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