Rita: General Discussion

Austin Towers

TS Member
They're sold out too. Often wondered why they don't sell the used coaster wheels off all the rides. I'd have thought there would be a bit of interest in those.
 

Matt N

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Mako (SeaWorld Orlando)
Sorry to bump the thread, but out of interest, is it known how Alton Towers was able to keep Rita secret for so long prior to its opening? I only ask because these days, coasters seemingly require planning permission almost 2 years before opening, whereas Rita seemingly wasn’t really known about until 6 months before its opening, which I’ll admit is a concept I personally find rather baffling today… for a modern day equivalent, imagine if a 2022 Intamin Blitz had only been announced for Forbidden Valley in September?
 

AT86

TS Member
Rita didn’t require planning permission because of the permitted development rules in that area of the park. So in a pre social media world it was pretty easy for them to keep things quiet.

Add to that it was a pretty rushed project there wasn’t that much time for anything to really leak out.
 

Matt N

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Mako (SeaWorld Orlando)
Rita didn’t require planning permission because of the permitted development rules in that area of the park. So in a pre social media world it was pretty easy for them to keep things quiet.

Add to that it was a pretty rushed project there wasn’t that much time for anything really leak out.
So if Rita were ever to be replaced, would a replacement not need planning permission either, so long as it didn’t encroach upon the forest or anything?
 

Jb85

TS Member
Coasters don't require planning permission 2 years prior

nope - but the timeline from application to opening is normally around 2 years

wasn’t Rita a cast off from somewhere?
And am I right in saying Thirteen didn’t need permission but the building did? Or is that the Smiler?
 

Skyscraper

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Nemesis
nope - but the timeline from application to opening is normally around 2 years

wasn’t Rita a cast off from somewhere?
And am I right in saying Thirteen didn’t need permission but the building did? Or is that the Smiler?
Thirteen definitely needed planning permission as they were only allowed to build minimal track in the woods.
 

Rob

TS Team
Favourite Ride
Steel Vengeance
nope - but the timeline from application to opening is normally around 2 years

wasn’t Rita a cast off from somewhere?
And am I right in saying Thirteen didn’t need permission but the building did? Or is that the Smiler?

That was The Smilier. The track all met the requirements of permitted development in that area of the park, but the station building did not.
 

Matt N

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Mako (SeaWorld Orlando)
Sorry to bump this thread, but I was just wondering; have Towers done something to Rita in recent years? I only ask because I had a period of 4.5 years without riding Rita (between 2016 and 2020) because of how rough it was and how little I liked it, but when I rerode it in 2020, I thought it was brilliant, and way, way smoother than I'd ever remembered.

I've had 4 rides post-2020, in both the purple and blue trains, and none of them have been overly rough at all, which I find really interesting. I would even dare to say that my most recent rides, in September 2021, were really quite smooth; my front row ride was honestly hardly any rougher than Icon at BPB, with only a very slight rattle, and even the ride I had in row 8 straight after only had a touch more of a rattle to it; nothing that majorly detracted from the ride at all. The ride literally didn't hurt in the slightest, and I'd have happily gone round a few times! And while I still wouldn't say they were a favourite of mine, I also didn't mind the restraints too much, in spite of remembering hating them years prior.

Most interestingly of all, I rode Rita and Stealth within a week of each other in September 2021, and I would have said that my 2 rides on Rita were considerably smoother and more enjoyable than any of my 3 rides on Stealth; whereas Rita only had a slight rattle at worst, Stealth was really bouncing about quite horribly going up and down the top hat on all 3 rides, and I came off it with somewhat of a headache all 3 times I rode. Given that Rita is far more notorious for roughness than Stealth, I find that really interesting...

Not to mention that while Stealth's launch is more forceful and the airtime on the top hat is fantastic, Rita has a more extensive layout which is surprisingly exciting in places; I'd never noticed before, but there are a couple of surprisingly strong ejector moments on Rita that really throw you out of your seat! Even though it's so hated, and even I once hated it, I've really been enjoying Rita lately, and I'd also say that while I prefer Rita of the two, both of the Dark Forest Intamins are rides that I enjoy more than most.

Does anyone know if Rita's had anything done? And do you agree with me about it?
 

Danscott22

TS Member
Favourite Ride
The Smiler
I don't think they've done anything - you can still get an uncomfortable ride on Rita but you can also get a really great one. I think it just depends on the train (one is definitely rougher than the other) and the row you're sat in.
 

djtruefitt

TS Team
I guess it’s the wheels, I’ve had rides which have felt very rough, and you can tell the wheels are past their best, maybe in recent years they have just been better at changing wheels compared to previously?
 

Matt N

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Mako (SeaWorld Orlando)
I guess it’s the wheels, I’ve had rides which have felt very rough, and you can tell the wheels are past their best, maybe in recent years they have just been better at changing wheels compared to previously?
This could well be it, actually. I’ve noticed Smiler has also been feeling a bit smoother on recent rides, and I know the roughness of that one is very wheel-dependant.
I don't think they've done anything - you can still get an uncomfortable ride on Rita but you can also get a really great one. I think it just depends on the train (one is definitely rougher than the other) and the row you're sat in.
It could well be the trains; I did notice that my smoothest post-2020 rides (September 2020 and September 2021 row 1) have been on the purple train and my rattliest one in April 2021 was on the blue.

But interestingly, in September, I rode both the purple train (row 1) and the blue train (row 8), and I wouldn’t have said there was a huge difference in ride quality. The row 8 ride was slightly more rattly, but I suspect that that might be due to being further back on the train as opposed to being in a different train. And besides, it was still not overly rough for the most part; I’ve had far rougher rides on Smiler, and I dare say I’ve also had rougher rides on Nemesis!

The main thing I’ve noticed is that Rita has lately not seemed absolutely brutal like I remember it being in 2016 and earlier. That could be at least partially down to the fact that I’ve changed as well (I’ve ridden many more coasters, some of which are far rougher than what I’d ridden in 2016, and seeing as I’m 18 turning 19 in July and was 12 turning 13 in April 2016, it could well be that I’m taller, now being 5’9.5” instead of the 5’0”/5’1” I was at that age), but interestingly, my mum also says that she enjoys Rita considerably more now, and finds it considerably smoother, than she did all those years back… so I don’t think my increased coaster count and height since 2016 are the sole cause here.
 

Rob F

TS Member
The wheel assembly on each bogey is checked each night and I believe there are a adjustments that can be made to how they align the wheels with the track, so depending on how caring the engineer is can determine/influence how the train behaves on the track. Obviously the saftey part is crucial but the little details affect the smoothness of the ride.
 

Tommy85

TS Member
Just wanted to say something about Rita. Obviously we all know the despatch times on this coaster are horrible but noticed something yesterday. It’s not the staff’s fault at all. There were many times whilst I was in the queue where the ride staff did their checks quickly and pressed their buttons. And then u have this ridiculously long time where the ride op is just shaking their head/looking puzzled as to why they aren’t getting the green light. Then all of a sudden, after about a minute, they give a thumbs up and u hear the train attach to the catch car and it gets sent. Does anyone know why it takes so long after the checks? Does the engine in the building at the end need time to re-set/gain enough power or something? Any previous Rita ride ops on here? Haha
Thanks
 
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