Spinball Whizzer: General Discussion

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Matt N, 10th Jul 2021.

  1. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    Hi guys. I noticed this post on Theme Park Time Machine (the Facebook page that @Rick runs, which is a great one to follow, by the way!) saying that Spinball Whizzer was announced 18 years ago today:

    It made me realise that Alton’s 2004 Maurer spinning coaster doesn’t have a thread! So, what are your thoughts on Spinball now that it’s 17 years old and had plenty of time to bed into the park’s lineup?

    Personally, I’ll admit that Spinball isn’t my favourite coaster. The layout is quite good, and it’s a well-paced ride, but I found the spinning a bit nauseating on my last ride (I don’t have the strongest of stomachs when it comes to spinny things), and it also lurches quite violently at certain points, which isn’t the most comfortable.

    Spinball is actually only my 9th favourite of Alton Towers’ 10 roller coasters (the ride lower than it is Octonauts), and ranks at #39 in my overall list of 74 coasters. I don’t strongly dislike Spinball, but it isn’t a ride I’m a huge fan of; I simply find it a bit dizzying.

    But what are your thoughts on Spinball?
     
    Last edited: 10th Jul 2021
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    Posted 10th Jul 2021
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  2. Danscott22

    Danscott22 TowersStreet Member

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    It really depends on the ride. Sometimes it spins well and is relatively smooth and it ends up being pretty good, sometimes it's rough as old nails and not enjoyable. This is probably the coaster at AT which varies the most for me, but when it's the former I do quite like it.
     
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  3. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    It was actually relatively smooth last time I did it, but I found that spinning a tad too dizzying for me!

    I do remember having some pretty rough rides on it in the past, though; I wonder why it varies so much?
     
    Posted 10th Jul 2021
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  4. D4n

    D4n TowersStreet Member

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    2 to a car the last couple of seasons has meant a really good spin. That combined with the shortened length of the queue line has meant it is one of my favourite rides at the park at the moment. A must do.
     
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  5. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    Why is the queue shorter at the moment? I’ve noticed it’s been shorter than usual lately, but I’m never too sure why; is it something to do with them not allowing single riders?
     
    Posted 10th Jul 2021
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  6. WillPS

    WillPS TowersStreet Member

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    The location is shocking, the thing makes a bloody racket, the throughput is shocking, the build quality is clearly poor and it is possibly the worst themed/integrated coaster they've installed in the post-Broome era.

    In fact I dislike everything about Spinball except the ride itself, which is absolutely wicked fun.
     
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  7. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    On a random tangent; I must say, I do really like Spinball’s new IMAScore soundtrack:

    Very catchy and fitting to the ride, in my opinion, and controversially, I’d perhaps say it’s among my favourite Alton soundtracks!
     
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  8. Skyscraper

    Skyscraper TowersStreet Member

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    I still haven't got around to giving it a go yet. It always just slips my mind. When I next visit I'm going to do it first thing so I don't forget. :p
     
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  9. Nerdsticks

    Nerdsticks TowersStreet Member

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    I like it too. I do think it's rather generic but the Chiptune style mountain king is extremely ear wormy to me.
     
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  10. D4n

    D4n TowersStreet Member

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    The queue line is literally shorter. Half of it is not in use due to the switchback nature of it.

    When a queue line is full and spilling out of the entrance, people tend to naturally avoid joining it as it looks massive. This has been the case throughout Covid.
     
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  11. DistortAMG

    DistortAMG TowersStreet Member

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    Back in 2004 we were on the first or second public car on opening day of the ride and the first day of season.

    It is not in a great position but it is not terrible either. Oblivion and The Smiler are both also visible from the same sight lines of the towers that this ride supposedly ruins. I may be missing something, but I have never quite understood that argument.

    Certainly had the best rides on this last season, with the 2 people per car rule. Never had that thing spin so much in my life.

    But I do agree with other sentiments that the ride was poorly placed and poorly chosen for it's time. But on the flip side, it is not bad subjectively. A decent addition to the line up. But I do not think it would be missed if and when it goes.

    Great website by the way @Rick. Never knew that was yours. I spent a good while enjoying the content on it the the day. I will have to check out the FB page.
     
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  12. BigT

    BigT TowersStreet Member

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    The theme doesn’t or didn’t really fit in, maybe it does a little bit more now as a sort of bridge between CBeebies and the more adult themed rides.
    It’s a noisy thing as well with the air brakes going off on the final straight before the station right next to the queue but I actually quite like the ride when your on it.
    I’ve had really fast spinning rides and ones that hardly spin and have to say my favourite is ones that don’t spin much and you go backwards down the drops.
     
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  13. Skyscraper

    Skyscraper TowersStreet Member

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    The ram that straightens the cars just before the station is noisy as well.
     
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  14. Brad97

    Brad97 TowersStreet Member

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    I really want to dislike Spinball, but it's just too fun.
     
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  15. WillPS

    WillPS TowersStreet Member

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    The Towers have a front face, and stepping backwards from that front face Spinball Whizzer is the only rollercoaster which gets in the frame.
     
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  16. DistortAMG

    DistortAMG TowersStreet Member

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    Indeed it does have a front face. But Towers Street is angled against the front of the Towers. When you actually get to a point where the towers are aligned with path you are on (thus giving the best non skued picture of the towers) you will be stood infront of Splash Gallions next to the court yard. Where Oblivion and The Smiler are clearly visible.

    I accept you cannot see X-Sector from the bottom of Towers street, but you can from by Battle Gallions, which not only gives the same perspective of the Towers relative to the distance. But is also arguably the better place to see the towers from, due to its much more parallel alignment with the paths there.

    The argument is baseless. I can see modern rides from the courtyard, another historic building. I can view the Chinese fountain and will always have the Skyride in view above.

    Yes I understand that the towers view is the most spectacular, but, when you can see other large rides from the park within the same general area, but are never mentioned. The argument falls somewhat flat on it's face.

    If the argument being put forward is that the towers are front facing. Then the only place in that area where the towers are the most front facing relative to where you are, is a point where you can see 2 other large rides at the park.

    This is why Spinball will also never be used as bargaining chip. Local authorities and the historic bodies in England would much rather swap a deal with the park where stuff is restored / rebuilt, in return for a planning deal for future development.

    Trying to trade the removal of a ride in return for planning permission is kind of backwards. As a deal like that does nothing to preserve the historic importance of the place. The buildings need alot of work and deals that actually restore parts of them will always favour a deal to restore a Vista which can be done anytime. Once the towers collapse through lack of preservation, that is is. They are gone, for good. Luckily the planners see this now. The vista means nothing, if there is nothing to see because it's collapsed due to age.
     
    Last edited: 11th Jul 2021
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  17. WillPS

    WillPS TowersStreet Member

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    Which sight lines of the Towers do Oblivion and The Smiler *block* (partially) though? That's the diff.
     
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  18. Rick

    Rick TowersStreet Member

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    I haven't ridden it for a long old time but it's a fun ride for sure. Seventeen years certainly has flown by, if you listened to the rumours, it wasn't going to last a decade.

    In terms of the hardware choice, I do prefer the Gerstlauer spinners but they were an unknown quantity back then, with the first opening a couple of weeks before Spinball.
     
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  19. DistortAMG

    DistortAMG TowersStreet Member

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    I'm struggling to understand.
    [​IMG]

    From here. Which happens to be the general location where you can get one if the best non skued image of the towers due to you being properly front on with them. Something which you are not, when further towards Towers Street. Any wide angle shot from this area, will get X-sector rides in. But will not get Spinball Whizzer in.

    So if the argument had any base, it would account for this. But it never does. Just seems to single out Spinball, because it seems to be a disliked ride. I agree the position is crap, but if the point is going to he argued, it should be looked at subjectively.

    This is why the argument has no base, because if it did, this point would be put across seeing as you get a better sight line here. But it never is. Not sure I understand why.
     
    Last edited: 11th Jul 2021
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  20. WillPS

    WillPS TowersStreet Member

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    Oblivion isn't blocking the Towers from view though, is it? You could pan left a little and have the right-most tower in view with no roller coasters visible.

    The only view of the Towers which Oblivion possibly blocks is that from the road, although I'm not sure if the geography would ever have allowed for such a view.
     
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