Coaster Review: Air

Another Alton Towers coaster; this time Air.

Air is a ‘flying’ coaster, which is the term for a coaster where the rider has a near horizontal seating position whilst riding, giving the impression of flying, like Superman.

I’ve only ridden this a couple of times before this visit, because for some strange coincidence it always seemed to be ‘off’ on my last couple of visits.

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Coaster Review: Rita

Another trip to Alton Towers recently prompted me to catch up on a backlog of coaster reviews I’d been meaning to do.

First up – Rita, formerly “Rita: Queen of Speed” (see below*), is a LSM launched coaster, much like the Aerosmith Rock n Roller Coaster in Hollywood Studios Florida, technology-wise. It uses a Linear Synchronous Motor to accelerate the cars from 0-62mph in 2.2 seconds. It does take your breath away a bit.

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Coaster Review: TH13TEEN

‘TH13TEEN’ is, at time of writing, the newest coaster at Alton Towers theme park in Staffordshire, England (UK).

Like a number of rides at Alton Towers, it’s a ‘first’ in a genre; in this case a ‘free-fall’ track coaster.

The coaster was built on the site of the original “Corkscrew” coaster, the initial main attraction when the park opened, which was in itself a world’s first; a  double helix coaster. A piece of Corkscrew’s track is now displayed in the entrance area to the theme park.

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Coaster Review: The Pepsi Max ‘Big One’

‘The Big One’ is a Pepsi Max sponsored roller coaster at the Blackpool Pleasure Beach resort in North-West England (UK).

I think The Big One is probably the highest coaster I’ve ever been on. Although other coasters may come close, because it’s located on the Blackpool coast, the wind coming in off the sea makes you feel as though you’re at the top of an Himalayan abyss.

This coaster is prone to being closed due to high winds in the vicinity. The first couple of times I was in the area since it was opened, I didn’t get on, but it was worth the wait…

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Coaster Review: Nemesis

Until Montu at Busch Gardens in Florida, Nemesis at Alton Towers was probably my favourite coaster.

Over the years, I’ve been To Alton Towers many, many times and when I’m there, I always make a point of having at least a couple of goes on this fabulous coaster.

Alton Towers is in the heart of the Staffordshire countryside in England, equidistant between Derby and Stoke-On-Trent, if you know that area.

You drive on some winding roads through some really beautiful countryside to get from the motorway to the park.

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Coaster Review: Montu

montuOne of my favourite coasters to date is Montu at Busch Gardens in Tampa, Florida.

Busch Gardens is about 90 minutes drive from Disneyworld in Florida and for the coaster fans amongst you, well worth the visit. It’s a dual-type park with one half being a nature reserve/animal park and the other half dedicated to your more typical entertainment-type theme park, with coasters!

It’s quite a few years since I was there, but I can still remember the coasters like it was last year. I went on them with my fellow coaster-obsessive daughter and for Montu, we were very fortunate to hit it at a time when the ride was uncharacteristically quiet, so we went on this at least five times consecutively.

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Coaster review: Wild Mouse

Wild MouseThe Wild Mouse is a bit of an unusual roller coaster.

More of a genre than a specific coaster, the Wild Mouse (or Crazy Mouse, depending on the translation – there are many of them all over the world) is a tightly confined coaster, occupying a small physical space, and typically taking the form of a cuboid.

This review is specifically about the Wild Mouse at Blackpool Pleasure Beach. It’s the kind of thing legend, or at least folklore is made of. It’s been there since 1958, albeit with some modifications sincem but that makes it over 50 years old! And still running.

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Coaster review: Tower of Terror

Tower of TerrorThe Tower of Terror ‘coaster’ is in Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park, Orlando Florida. To give it its full title, it’s called “The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror“.

If you’re old enough, you may have seen The Twilight Zone, an American TV show hosted by Rod Serling which originally aired between 1959-64. I’m not old enough to have seen the original, but I remember enjoying the re-runs of this ‘horror’ show in the UK while I was young.

This ride centers round the Hollywood Tower Hotel, a fictional hotel featured in a specially commissioned mini-episode of the Twilight Zone show.

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Coaster review: Expedition Everest

Expedition_EverestThe Expedition Everest coaster is in Disney’s Animal Kingdom (in the Asia section), Orlando Florida. To give it its full title, it’s called “Expedition Everest – Legend of the Forbidden Mountain”.

Another heavily themed ride, as you’d expect in Disney, with the queue management area kitted out like a base-camp in the Himalayas with plenty of lore about the Yeti on the walls.

When you get to the front of the queue, you can catch a glimpse of the trains and can see that it’s only a lap-bar holding you in. It makes you wonder if this is all going to be a bit tame, but not to worry…

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Coaster review: Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster

AerosmithA coaster this time from Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Orlando Florida. Also known as the Rock ‘n’ Roller Roller Coaster featuring Aerosmith.

I first went on this coaster back in 2003, with my eldest last time we were in Florida, and a couple of times again this time in 2009 with my new first-time 8-year-old coaster buddy.

This is a heavily themed ride, featuring a lot of music-related imagery, loud music; Aerosmith of course, and Rock ‘n’ Roll memorabilia all around the ride. Apparently in this attraction, the coaster was built first and then the building was constructed around it.

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