Octopus - the Life and Times
Replacing the Spaceboat, the Octopus arrived at Alton Towers as part of the flood of thrill rides to appear at the park for the 1984 season. The ride was a timely addition to the park in the season that saw the Ingestre Centre transformed into the water-based Aqualand, and the ride proved to be so popular that the following season The Spider also arrived at the park, which was essentially the same ride with a different theme.
What Happened Next...
The Octopus was a popular ride during its time at the park, but when Tussauds took over the lightly themed ride was quickly identified as one of the attractions that didn't fit in with the park's new direction, and so as work began on Katanga Canyon the ride departed from its Aqualand home at the end of 1991 to make way for the Katanga Falls at the entrance to the new area.
The Octopus' exit from the park was not to be quite so swift however, and the ride was given a brief reprieve of one more season in the park when it was moved to Talbot Street before leaving the park at the end of the 1992 season.
But the story didn't end there... as fate would have it, 1991 would not be the final time that an octopus would grace the corner of the park once known as Aqualand. In an interesting twist, in 2009 the park's Sealife Centre was built not a stone's throw away from where The Octopus had operated in earlier years. Almost 20 years after the Octopus ride departed from these shores, once again this popular invertebrate would draw crowds to the area, though this time it was the real thing as one of the headline attractions of Sharkbait Reef.