The ride was essentially a very tall version of the popular Magic Carpet ride, where a gondola on a large rotating arm sent guests soaring 26 metres into the air, through the tree-tops. The ride was particularly thrilling as it allowed you to see unparalleled views across the whole theme park.
The Life & Times
1001 Nights (or 1001 Nacht, as the theming on the German-made ride referred to it) was located in Festival Park, in the area of Dark Forest, where Th13teen's queue-line winds behind its photobooth today. The ride arrived at the park midway through the 1984 season, no doubt inspired by the popularity of the ride's little brother, the Magic Carpet, which had been installed earlier in the same season.
Combining heady thrills with breath taking views, the ride was a perennial favourite with the public throughout its time at the park, and often featured in the park's marketing campaigns, right through to its final season, due to the dramatic images of the ride swooping out over the treeline of Festival Park.
What happened next...
Unfortunately for 1001 Nights and guests alike, the very feature that made the ride popular was to prove also to be its downfall, as the ride eventually became a victim of the ever-increasing height restrictions placed on the park. This combined with the difficulties posed by the ride's theming when it came to safety and structural inspections made the attraction an obvious sacrifice for the park to make in order to pave the way for future height-sensitive projects such as Oblivion.
1001 Nights closed at the end of the 1994 season, to be replaced by the Energizer the following year.
But the story didn't end there... 1001 Nights was one of several rides to depart from Alton Towers during the early 90s to find its way to Pleasure Island in Cleethorpes. The ride continued to thrill guests the until early in the new millennium, when it was replaced by a smaller Pirate Ship. However this popular type of attraction can still be found in many parks and fairs throughout the world.