Forbidden Valley

A tormented alien monster, secret military research facilities, twisted metal tools of war, and some of the biggest and most thrilling ride at Alton Towers sit amongst the destruction this of apocalyptic area...

Forbidden Valley

Nemesis from Air's Lift Hill

There is a post apocalyptic wasteland in the heart of the Staffordshire countryside, covered with twisted rusty metal, harsh rock faces, and scenes of devastation. Here the Phalanx once faced off against Nemesis and various war machines litter the area, surrounded Nemesis 'blood' rivers, cascading into the vast lakes beneath the ride. Nemesis may be subdued for now and its pit lies dormant, but the beast will soon return for its 30th anniversary in 2024.

At the entrance to Forbidden Valley, the Phalanx has set up a compound to show off their latest finding in Nemesis Sub-Terra, which some say may hold your worst nightmare: underground. And opposite are the area's food and drinking offerings, all surrounding a pit that houses The Blade, a giant rusty pendulum once used in the war against Nemesis.

At the other end of the valley, the harsh battle theme begins to seep away. Sleek, futuristic buildings rise up amidst the jagged rusted landscape, and the harsh rock becomes soft, lighter sandstone as you approach Galactica. Plant life also begins to appear, with airy trees and large exotic bushes taking back some of the distressed land of the upper area. This contrast sets the spaceport of Galactica apart from the rest of the Valley, acting as a tranquil oasis, away from the battleground surrounding Nemesis.

Area History

Forbidden Valley started life back in 1990 when it was home to the Thunder Looper roller coaster, taking its name from the area title, Thunder Valley. For the first few years of its existence, Thunder Looper remained the only attraction in the area.

In 1992 the New Beast coaster was moved across the park from the Talbot Street area to the bottom of Thunder Valley, accompanied by The Beastie which took up residence by the area entrance.

But in 1994 something major was coming to Thunder Valley. A once peaceful hillside was transformed into deep ravines and gorges, with several tonnes of twisted steel being added to form Nemesis, Europe's first inverted roller coaster. With this new addition came a dramatic new themed area. Thunder Valley was transformed into Forbidden Valley, an apocalyptic wasteland, themed around an alien monster and the battle to keep it under control.

The Thunder Looper left the park for the 1997 season and The Beastie made its way across the park to Adventure Land. These were replaced by two other attractions. The first being Ripsaw, a brand new Huss Topspin attraction, and the second being the re-themed Pirate Ship from Fantasy World (now X-Sector) over the other side of the park which become known as The Blade.

At the end of the 1997 season, the park said farewell to the New Beast. This change left the bottom area of Forbidden Valley free for new development.

Sure enough, in 2002 the empty space had been transformed into a peaceful oasis, rife with greenery and smooth rolling terrain (quite the contrast to the rest of the area). Amongst this landscaping sat Air, the new multi-million pound flying coaster, which takes guests soaring over the area while lying in a flying position.

2002 also saw Dynamo make the area entrance its home. This was an old ride which had moved and been re-themed several times in its life at Alton Towers. Sadly, this was to be its last home before it was disassembled and moved to the storage yard behind Duel in 2004.

The area once home to Dynamo was once again utilised in 2006 when the Lava Lump climbing wall moved from Ug Land to make room for Rita - Queen of Speed. It remained here until the area was cleared ready for the 2012 attraction, Nemesis: Sub-Terra. Sub-Terra would only operate for three seasons before it was shuttered in 2015.

2016 saw major changes occur in Forbidden Valley as Air was transformed into Galactica, the park's new VR Experience. The development saw the old Air shop transformed in a Rollercoaster Restaurant with a new Galactica Store built alongside. The season also saw the removal of Ripsaw and the closure of neighbouring Refresh@Ripsaw as well as Fresh Fish and Chips, which had been shuttered since a fire early in the 2015 season. 

Ripsaw was temporarily replaced by the already legendary Forbidden Sweep, whilst Fresh Fish and Chips was converted in the Coffee Lounge. Between 2021 and 2023, the old Ripsaw site was home to Funk'n'Fly, one of the temporary Retro Squad rides.

Other Attractions

Area Facilities

Nearest toilets Under Skyride Station
Nearest cashpoint Edge Games
Nearest smoking area Outside Galactica
Nearest info point Board at entrance from Gloomy Wood

Area History

19th March 1994
Area History
Aqualand (1990-1991)
Thunder Valley (1992-1993)

Past Rides and Attractions

Food & Drinks


Fun and Games