had to look up the official name of this ride because I kept referring
to it as The Viper. For those who didn't grow up riding roller coasters in
the 90's that was the name of this ride when it was at Lightwater Valley
where the Eagle's Claw now resides. After a brief stay at Loudoun Castle as
Slitherin' in settled down here in Movieland, Italy. This coaster design
known as the Schwarzkopf city jet was a prominent ride when I was growing
up, not just because of the Viper, but also because of other ones like the
Beast and Black Hole at Alton Towers.
So how does it hold up today? First impressions aren't great. The whole
Dinoland area of the park is on the tacky side, and the choice of colour for
this ride doesn't save it from this problem. On closer inspection though it
shows more promise, with a compact layout comprising of a spiral hill lift
and a number of sweeping drops. I do wonder why no-one
has thought to keep making rides like this, as judging on the continued
popularity of the mouse coaster, surely there must still be the market for
another good compact family coaster.
To ride it lives up to some of the promise, but not quite to all of it. The
drops themselves are fast and thrilling. The trouble is
the drops at the high points the ride slows to an unthrilling trundle. This
breaks up the pacing of the ride, meaning it doesn't achieve more than being
an average family coaster.
The history of the ride means it's always going to be one I'll want to do,
even if just for old times sake. If you put this aside what you have is a
decent family coaster, but one that's ultimately forgettable. It's worth a
few goes if the queues aren't to bad, but you might want skip on a busy day.