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#268465 - 9th Nov 2008 7:53pm The Last Ride
MattLFC Offline
Wiki Master

Registered: 14th Aug 2004
Posts: 22315
Loc: Moreton/Beirut/Mobile
Originally Posted By: BBC News
Hundreds of people have taken their final rides on an iconic rollercoaster in Staffordshire. The Corkscrew at Alton Towers, which was Europe's first double-looped rollercoaster, is to be dismantled after 28 years in service.

The theme park closed for the season last weekend, but reopened for the special celebration of the attraction. The rollercoaster, which has carried an estimated 43 million people, will be replaced by a larger ride.

The Corkscrew opened on 4 April 1980, cost 1.25m to build, and reached speeds of 44mph (70km/h). However, after nearly three decades of service, technology has moved on and park managers said the Corkscrew was being retired.

Russell Barnes, divisional director at the park, said: "We are extremely proud to have hosted Europe's first double-helix rollercoaster, but it is now the right time to say goodbye to the attraction as we look forward to continuing to pioneer fantastic family entertainment of the future."

Woooohooo another "world first" coming to Alton, I saw the concept art of future rides on a fansite, before Alton forced them to remove the images, and some of the stuff was awsome.

Sorry to see the Corky go, me and Rhea went and rode it 6 times on the 21st at Scarefest, including twice at night, and although its not exactly up there with Nemesis etc, its still a decent ride (although one can't help but think the shim breaks are on too much during the ride as a result of riders complaining about how rough it is, once you have passed the Bayern Curve and the double Corkscrews, the ride is so dull nowadays).

Can't wait to see what they have in store for the future! Ill miss the iconic "whine" of the lifthill more than anything I guess! Ugland must be on its way too, as the Ug Swinger is being removed, and Rita isnt very Ug lol. I wonder if Rita will be open much next year, due to the developments/construction...

BBC News Report & Video

Interestingly, maybe bizarrely, I found this report:

Originally Posted By: BBC News
The owner of a prosthetic leg found beneath an Alton Towers rollercoaster is being sought by the amusement park.

The leg was just one of many bizarre items found near The Corkscrew, which is to be dismantled after carrying 43.5 million people since it opened in 1980.

Staff clearing the site also found underwear, a diamond wedding ring, 53 non-matching shoes and 604 watches.

Other lost property items included 800 pieces of jewellery, 237 mobile phones, thousands of caps and a prosthetic ear.

The ride, which reaches speeds of up to 44mph (70km/h), opened on 4 April 1980.

BBC News Report

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#268499 - 9th Nov 2008 9:37pm Re: The Last Ride [Re: MattLFC]
AX_125 Offline

Forum Guardian

Registered: 10th Nov 2003
Posts: 3793
Loc: Home
Can't say i am a fan of the corkscrew, or any rollercoaster at alton towers, they are over far to quickly.

Give me an old wooden rollercoaster or a long metal one (~such as the pepsi max at blackpool)anyday
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#268501 - 9th Nov 2008 10:00pm Re: The Last Ride [Re: AX_125]
MGCraig Offline
AlfaHolic
Forum Veteran

Registered: 16th Apr 2006
Posts: 5488
Loc: Spital
I love Rollercoasters, and its definately a shame that corkscrew is going...

But Rollercoasters have been ruined for me doing rallying, I can sit through anything without a smile on my face frown
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#268504 - 9th Nov 2008 10:42pm Re: The Last Ride [Re: AX_125]
MattLFC Offline
Wiki Master

Registered: 14th Aug 2004
Posts: 22315
Loc: Moreton/Beirut/Mobile
Originally Posted By: AX_125
Can't say i am a fan of the corkscrew, or any rollercoaster at alton towers, they are over far to quickly.

Give me an old wooden rollercoaster or a long metal one (~such as the pepsi max at blackpool)anyday

Ah come on man as good as the Pepsi Max is (it would deffo be in my top 3 UK coasters), you can't seriously suggest it is as good as Nemesis??? It has nothing but one good drop, followed by a few good dips, and then it is just a nice choo choo train for the last 50 seconds or so. The way Nemesis was built into the lanscape as opposed to just a big piece of metal plonked on some concrete makes it unique. It incorporates everything, has a wicked zero-g roll, decent drops, a great loop, is extremely fast, is flawless, is so close to the floors and sides, has tunnels etc and is themed perfectly. It is highly respected by coaster fanatics across the globe, and pretty much everyone agree's that it is much better and more intense than its sister, Batman The Ride, over in the US.

After a few years of not thinking much of Oblivion, after riding it at night at Scarefest, my opinion has changed of it somewhat.

Rita is a bit poo, the launch is good, but the ride is over too quick, as is Air (although lets be honest, Air was never built to be a thrill coaster, it is a prototype coaster, just like Oblivion was - take a look at how the dive machine was expanded to become SheiKra and Griffon, two of the best rides in the US). The loss of the Black Hole was a massive blow imho, but hopefully within the next 2 years, the planned Eurofighter coaster (originally due to launch in 2006) will make up for that, and its a shame Thunder Looper had to go (again, due to planning restrictions) and be replaced by a crappy Topspin aka Ripsaw.

Alton Towers wanted to build a woody in 2003, and planning permission was rejected. Thats the sole reason Rita was built, because they needed something new, and had put all their effort into the woody concept. There are rumors (and indeed concept drawings) of a future woody, and all in all I can see Alton trying very hard to get a woody. Indeed, a woody would perfectly compliment their idea of turning Alton into more of a family attraction. The big problem they have at Alton though is tight planning restrictions. Coasters are not allowed over tree height, but more importantly, they must not be noisy. Oblivion could be removed within the next few years, thanks to the "boom" that is created when it enters the hole at near 70mph. They already had to remove the "don't look down" phrase when you are hald above the vertical drop, to prevent people screaming so much. The problem with woodys is that you can dampen the sound levels on a steel coaster quite easily, but a woody is a LOT harder in fact near impossible to do so.

Blackpool is a shadow of its former self, they have not invested a penny for 14 years, do we really want to see all parks ending up in the mess blackpool is in? Infusion isnt new, it is the TraumaTIZER from Southport, a bog standard Vekoma SLC and they are so slow and thrilless, they are known as the poor mans B&M for a reason.

I would love Alton to get something along the lines of Roller Coaster or the Grand National (please please please don't say the Big Dipper is good lol), but the fact is they are going to have a hard time in doing so, and I can go ride them anytime I want in Blackpool, which seems to take the same time to get to as Alton. I would prefer Alton to do something that is revolutionary, make SW6 another world first in the same vein as Nemesis, Oblivion and Air, rather than try to squeeze in a half hearted woody because planning restrictions are too tight.

The fact that Merlin are even prepared to spend money on Thorpe Park and Alton Towers should be appreciated, given the tough financial climate and harsh years that lie ahead for the entertainment industry.

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#268505 - 9th Nov 2008 10:49pm Re: The Last Ride [Re: MattLFC]
MGCraig Offline
AlfaHolic
Forum Veteran

Registered: 16th Apr 2006
Posts: 5488
Loc: Spital
MattLFC..... The Resident WikiRollerCoaster Enthusiast everyone...

I can honestly say, I think the best Roller Coaster Ive ever been on in the world was in Garda Land, Lake Garda in Italy.

Its similar to Nemesis, but more open and taller (It seems) which actually adds to the experience, makes the ride longer, faster, and overall more Enjoyable.

Check it out, Blue Tornado. The launch station has a Tornado Fighter Jet on top of it, and your mention of a "Eurofighter" ride reminded me of that laugh





Just looking at some facts and figures, the coaster has caused 2 people to die from Heart Attacks in the time its been operational omg
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#268506 - 9th Nov 2008 10:54pm Re: The Last Ride [Re: MGCraig]
MattLFC Offline
Wiki Master

Registered: 14th Aug 2004
Posts: 22315
Loc: Moreton/Beirut/Mobile
Personally, the only ride im really wanting to ride atm, is Knightmare, in Camelot - shame on me, its been there two seasons and I havent been on it yet.

The Mumbo Jumbo, which will launch next season at Flamingo Land, looks pretty good too, but I will wait to see what the Roller Coaster enthusiasts say about its ride before I make any commitments to going there lol.

There is a Eurofighter launching at Thorpe Park next season for anyone interested, it will be called/themed Saw The Ride (after the film) and some people say it is being put there because they had one on order for the blackhole tent and could not cancel the order as it was already part built lol. I don't read much into that, but most of Thorpes rides are pretty lame when it comes to overall planning. An interesting fact is that Thorpe are promoting Saw as the worlds steepest vertical drop whereas it wont be by the time the park opens next season lmao!

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#268508 - 9th Nov 2008 10:59pm Re: The Last Ride [Re: MattLFC]
MGCraig Offline
AlfaHolic
Forum Veteran

Registered: 16th Apr 2006
Posts: 5488
Loc: Spital
Is that Knightmare the one brought over from Japan?

If so, I think you can see it as you drive past Camelot on the M6..see it all the time. Im hoping its just paint, as it looks rusty
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#268509 - 9th Nov 2008 11:04pm Re: The Last Ride [Re: MGCraig]
MattLFC Offline
Wiki Master

Registered: 14th Aug 2004
Posts: 22315
Loc: Moreton/Beirut/Mobile
Yeah its supposed to look like that lol; the same paint scheme as when it was the BRMX in Japan. Its a custom built coaster, and is therefore unique. It was rated amongst the best steel roller coasters in the world when it was in Japan, but lost a lot of exposure when it moved to a theme park as small as Camelot.

The roller coaster club of GB however have nothing but praise for it, it pulls over 5g's and they say it has some extremely good and insane drops. The shim braks on it are supposed to be shite as well, leading to a more intense ride than you are supposed to have. Well to be honest, that is down to a lack of money on Camelots part, unfortunatly, it causes the ride to experience a lot of downtime sometimes.

The day it launched apparently they forgot to warm the wheels up, and it got stuck coming out of the first dip after the lifthill, and it was to windy to crane it, so it was off all day haha!

Its just a shame they lost planning permission for their Vekoma Invertigo in 2001, otherwise the park might not have delcined so much, and that alongside Knightmare would have been ace. The Gauntlet was the biggest load of crap ever, and a shameful replacement for the Tower Of Terror, but they didnt really have much choice to be fair. It has left the writing on the wall for Camelot now though. I give it 3 more seasons tops.

Enthusiasts are already speculating as to which UK park will buy Knightmare when the time comes, because they believe ride is good enough to be in any top theme park. I personally think it would go to Blackpool, dependent on price lol.

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#268511 - 9th Nov 2008 11:11pm Re: The Last Ride [Re: MattLFC]
MGCraig Offline
AlfaHolic
Forum Veteran

Registered: 16th Apr 2006
Posts: 5488
Loc: Spital
Havent been to camelot in Donkeys Years. May pop on down some point soon.

Last time I was there, Excalibur had just been launched, and I went on it 4 times.
Thats not there anymore though, so Im not sure. Plus with Camelot appealing more to the younger generation. Might play it safe and go back to pleasure beach, or Alton laugh
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#268512 - 9th Nov 2008 11:20pm Re: The Last Ride [Re: MGCraig]
MattLFC Offline
Wiki Master

Registered: 14th Aug 2004
Posts: 22315
Loc: Moreton/Beirut/Mobile
I think they replaced Excalibur with.... Excalibur II lol.

I have not been there since the Bembom Brothers refused to let them keep the Tower Of Terror; which is a shame as I never got to ride on the Quintain, and everyone says that it was pretty intense. I refused to pay good money to ride the Gauntlet though. Now had they got the Vekoma Invertigo, maybe I would have gone, and getting rid of the Venom was a bad move imho too.

Im going to go next season, not going to pay full price though. Whirlwind is sposed to be everybit as good as Spinball Whizzer at Alton, only a bit more intense due to the smaller footprint of the ride, and I dont remember going on Excalibur II. Nice to see they still the Cack sorry The Rack in operation, apparently it has had a paint job recently too haha!

Me and Rhea were going to get a season pass next year for Alton, but now we are not so sure, because they have removed Corky, Submission and Enterprise are sposed to be going, and Rita might suffer a LOT of downtime due to construction of SW6. So that will essentially be 4 rides down, and when you consider the Black Hole has gone, and nothing has replaced it, its 5 major rides, which means bigger queues for everything, and less to ride. Although I can see them leaving the X-Sector with only Oblivion.

So no we are looking at getting a Merlin Pass, to go to all the Merlin theme parks and attractions instead. Deffo going to Blackpool a few times as always, but Camelot will be the most important visit for me personally. Other than that, maybe Drayton Manor and Flamingo Lang. Oaklands looks good, but is in the middle of nowhere so I don't know yet...

Btw, best time of the year to visit Alton imho, is the first week of Scarefest; dead as a dodo and night time riding until 9pm is amazing, Oblivion is like a different ride at night! Although you do need good stamina to ride from 10am till 9pm haha!

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#268516 - 9th Nov 2008 11:35pm Re: The Last Ride [Re: MattLFC]
MGCraig Offline
AlfaHolic
Forum Veteran

Registered: 16th Apr 2006
Posts: 5488
Loc: Spital
Ive always enjoyed Thorpe Park and Chessington World of Adventures. Always been there with family, so if Ive got my young cousins with me, I get to go on kiddy rides with them, and its awesome hahahaha.

Definately looking forward to going back to Pleasurebeach though... Grand National, greatest ride in the world raftl
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#268517 - 9th Nov 2008 11:44pm Re: The Last Ride [Re: MGCraig]
MattLFC Offline
Wiki Master

Registered: 14th Aug 2004
Posts: 22315
Loc: Moreton/Beirut/Mobile
Heh best time to go is when the weather is miserasble on a weekday and the kids are in school, NOBODY seems to go then and it means 5 min queues for the PMBO haha!

Just don't choose to go when it is hailstoning... not much fun when you are doing 75mph on the Big One in hail stone haha!

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#268760 - 11th Nov 2008 6:06pm Re: The Last Ride [Re: MattLFC]
little_pob Offline
Smartchild

Registered: 30th May 2008
Posts: 442
Loc: Upton
I went the other year during the World Cup semi-finals wink

A sunny June day and virtually dead despite England going out in the quarters.

Longest queue was Rita but as the ride had been broken down one and off most of the day, the 50min wait was artificial.

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#268788 - 11th Nov 2008 8:41pm Re: The Last Ride [Re: little_pob]
MissGuided Offline

Awesome
Wiki Guardian

Registered: 18th Jul 2008
Posts: 9995
Loc: Back of the wardrobe
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/staffordshire/7697240.stm

All the things they have found underneath the ride throughout the years...including a false leg.
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#272810 - 2nd Dec 2008 6:00am Re: The Last Ride [Re: MissGuided]
MattLFC Offline
Wiki Master

Registered: 14th Aug 2004
Posts: 22315
Loc: Moreton/Beirut/Mobile
Originally Posted By: BBC News
The front carriage of an iconic rollercoaster is being sold in an online auction for charity.

Alton Towers said it was selling part of the Corkscrew ride on eBay as memorabilia for fans.

Europe's first double-looped rollercoaster was decommissioned by the Staffordshire theme park in November as it said technology had moved on.

The carriage comes with four authentic seats and harnesses and is due to be auctioned from 1000 GMT on Tuesday.

I aint bidding, people are suggesting it will reach the thousands, maybe even tens of thousands. I guess there are coaster fanatics out there who will pay that much though, for something regarded as the most iconic roller coaster in the UK (athough personally I believe PBB's Big Dipper is more iconic in some ways).

BBC News Report


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