Spinball Whizzer: General Discussion

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

  1. Dave

    Dave TS Founding Member

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    It wasn’t John Wardley, back when we were still running TT we had a visit to the Towers archives (arranged with Towers, we didn’t break in) and they had all the concept documents and design options for spinball in there. An early design had a trick track pre the lift hill priced in.

    It was a good day. Also found the plans for SW1 and SW2 which had never been online before.
     
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  2. JAperson

    JAperson TowersStreet Member

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    Wow I new I had heard it somewhere. It would be great to see what is in there these days. Earlier plans for SW8 maybe?
     
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  3. Kraken27

    Kraken27 TowersStreet Member

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    Am sure one (or another of) the early Spinball plans was to have two spinning coasters next to each other "mirror imaged" (a bit like Primevil Whirl at Animal Kingdom) as Tussauds had two build slots from Maurer. This would have solved the throughput issue on Spinball hands-down.

    But Chessington needed a new ride, so Tussauds used the build slot for Dragons Fury. When Fury is spinning well it's a great ride - much better than Spinball IMO.
     
  4. Plastic Person

    Plastic Person TowersStreet Member

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    I always used to prefer Fury by virtue of it's course going on more of a 'journey' with generally more variety on offer, but I can't say I feel particularly strongly about one or the other these days. They're both perfectly enjoyable family coasters.
     
  5. Dave

    Dave TS Founding Member

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    Don’t recall that and I’m pretty sure Fury was planned prior to Spinball.
     
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  6. zoonyx

    zoonyx TowersStreet Member

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    I’m surprised at the comments here - I absolutely love this thing. Hope it sticks around in some form.
     
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  7. Connor98

    Connor98 TowersStreet Member

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    As much as I agree it’s a great family attraction and I do enjoy it, if it could be used as a sacrificial lamb for a new more impressive addition as previous posters have hinted… then I’d be one of the first to want to sharpen the blade.
     
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  8. Jb85

    Jb85 TowersStreet Member

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    I don’t dislike the ride - towers lineup would be worse off without it

    My issue with it is walking down towers street you see it, when actually you want to take in the breathe taking surroundings
     
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  9. Benjsh

    Benjsh TowersStreet Member

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    They will keep it until it becomes too much of a burden on the maintenance team which costs the park too much money to repair.
    Guests still enjoy it so I can't see it going just yet. Probably got another few seasons in it yet I reckon.

    Parks don't just take down multi million pound coasters without good cause and I highly doubt another coaster will take its place should they decide it has to go anyway.
     
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  10. Jb85

    Jb85 TowersStreet Member

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    When it goes CBeebies land will expand
     
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  11. WillPS

    WillPS TowersStreet Member

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    They were purchased in the same transaction and announced at almost if not exactly the same time. Whether or not one park opened the conversation I'm not sure.

    You might be thinking of Stealth, which was being planned for a fair while before Rita was suddenly installed with a load of theming concepts ripped off from the as-yet-unbuilt Stealth.
     
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  12. Jb85

    Jb85 TowersStreet Member

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    Wasn’t that because the design for Stealth changed somewhat ? And Heide also got a Rita?
     
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  13. Plastic Person

    Plastic Person TowersStreet Member

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    Yes, Stealth was originally intended to be an Xcellerator clone, with two sweeping overbanks following the top hat that we have today.
     
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  14. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    I thought Xcelerator was just on the plans as a placeholder?

    Wardley did say that he designed a longer Accelerator Coaster for Thorpe, though, that he described as “unquestionably the best of its type”, but it got rejected due to Charterhouse/DIC not wanting to spend that much money; due to these money issues, a simpler layout was ultimately chosen.

    Interestingly, there was once a theory that Stealth & Rita were due to be one ride, with the twisty section of Rita following Stealth’s launch & top hat.
     
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  15. WillPS

    WillPS TowersStreet Member

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    I'm not aware of that one but it sounds like the theory that Air was designed so that in the future it could merge with Nemesis to form one large rollercoaster. In other words, utter rubbish.

    The figure of 8 layout of Rita is clearly just what could be done with that Intamin model working backwards from the land available in Ug Land minus Corkscrew. You wouldn't design an accelerator that way anywhere else because... errr... it's a bit dull.

    I'm sure the original Project Stealth had the same 50s drag strip style theming attached to it didn't it?
     
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  16. Plastic Person

    Plastic Person TowersStreet Member

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    Rita was an odd addition, even at the time. There was zero rumour or talk of a new development, never mind an Intamin, at the beginning of or even will into the (terrible) 2004 season. Suddenly, they completely shut off UG Land including Corkscrew and began digging it up entirely. The way it's shoehorned in is still absolutely illogical to my brain. Stealth was already in planning prior to Rita. I am confident to the day that some imaginative financial politics must have been involved.
     
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  17. jon81uk

    jon81uk TowersStreet Member

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    (we're getting off-topic).

    Wasn't Rita a cancelled order from elsewhere or similar?

    Although the placement isn't right, I like the layout really, its more interesting that Stealth. Also having the launch quite central to the area adds a lot of energy and life. Its just the fact it cut the path to the rides at the back of the area off too much.
     
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  18. WillPS

    WillPS TowersStreet Member

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    Possible because of a cancelled order was my understanding.
     
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  19. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    Yes, I’ve heard rumblings that Rita was meant for another park that cancelled the project, which is why Towers were able to pick it up so quickly.

    I also heard that the reason they went for it was because the infamously cancelled cross-valley wooden coaster was due to be an Intamin pre-fab, so when that project was scrapped, Intamin presented Rita to Tussauds/Towers as an alternative coaster project to pursue.
    Wait, so there was literally no advance warning, or even inside rumblings of a coaster project coming, before Ug Land shut in September 2004? I’m surprised that Rita would have been that much of a short-term project; I thought new coasters took 4-5 years to plan, so surely Rita would have been at least thought about in 2000-2001?

    That’s quite something, thinking about it; that would literally be akin to Merlin shutting Forbidden Valley (as an example) tomorrow and saying “right, we’re building an Intamin Blitz here for 2022!”, which I literally can’t imagine happening. I mean, I’d probably die of excitement if that happened, but I certainly can’t imagine something that sudden happening under Merlin!

    Leading it back to Spinball; I have to say, I think the early to mid 2000s would have been a fascinating era in Towers’ history to live through! As much as the likes of Spinball and Rita aren’t particularly well liked today, there was a huge amount of successive, back-to-back investment during the 2000s, if you think about it; between 2002 and 2007, there was Air in 2002 (£12m), swiftly followed by Splash Landings/Duel/Berry Bish Bash in 2003 (£50m combined, surely? SLH allegedly cost £40m, and I can’t imagine Duel & Bish Bash were cheap; Duel especially must have cost at least £5m if it was a similar Sally/Triotech refurb to many modern-day interactive dark ride refurbs), Spinball in 2004 (£4m), Rita in 2005 (£8m), CATCF & Driving School in 2006 (getting on for £10m, surely; CATCF cost £8m, and I’d imagine Driving School was at least £1m, if not closer to £2m) and finally Haunted Hollow, Extraordinary Golf & Dung-Heap in 2007 (a bit of a cheaper year compared with 2005 & 2006, but probably still a good £4-5m or so).

    So as much as Charterhouse/DIC’s tenure is much maligned, there was actually a heck of a lot of investment during that period; by my estimates, the total invested between 2002 & 2007 would have been about £88million, which is a lot of money! And given that was followed by the huge investment under early Merlin, the 2000s must have been an exciting decade to be a Towers fan!

    If you think about it, I guess the park was still kind of in its growth phase in the 2000s, with all this investment, and didn’t really mature until the 2010s.
     
  20. jon81uk

    jon81uk TowersStreet Member

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    Pretty sure its in an area that is covered by a general permitted development thing so they didn't need planning permission, so there was no public information really until construction started.

    Also it is beleived that as it was a cancellation from another park or similar more of the planning was on making it fit than developing the right ride for the area, it was more we have a coaster type, now make it work in Ug Land.
     
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