The Black Hole



This is a ride I go back a long way with, it was built in 1983, although I didn't ride it until 1990. Thinking about it, I never did the Thunder Looper or Blackpool until 1994, and Disney's Big Thunder Mountain was 1992, so for 2 years it was the best coaster I'd ever done. My memories from that first ride were a bit of a rush.

This was the days before the internet, so we had little idea what to expect. We just queued for a ride in a green and yellow building. This led to a cruel joke 4 years where we told people it was just a gentle scenic ride. It started out that way with a trundle up a spiral hill lift, with a model of an astronaut in a space setting hanging from the ceiling. When you reached the top though the coaster section started with avengance.

All I remembered from my first ride was a burst of speed and a load of flashing lights in my face. As I rode it more times over the next 10 years I became more accustomed to things and was able to take in more. Things became less scary, but it never failed to thrill me.

After 25 years of service to the park age started to catch up with it. That and the need for space for new rides meant it was only a matter of time. Sadly the rides end was a little premature due to some changes in safety laws, requiring better access for indoor rides, meaning a lot of expensive modifications would have been required to keep the ride open. So a ride that had safely operated for 25 years was closed. The ride was taken away, and given a full refurbish, and sold on to Furuvik in Sweeden where it can still be ridden as an outdoor coaster. The former site of the ride was vacant for 8 years until it became the home of the Smiler.

Old Review: 8

A ride that's very similar to The Viper at Lightwater Valley or the Beast at Alton Towers. It has a long climb at the start that builds up the tension. When you get to the top you go up and down the track at a continuous rate of high speed. This ride has really improved this season with new lighting effects and models that really add to the excitement. It's a great thrilling ride.

Old Review: 8

This ride goes for a space theme, which is far from an original concept. To be fare they vary things a bit with the station with a Jules Verne feel, rather than a typical sci fi feel. It's something that's a little different, and works well.
The ride itself is great, providing a good combination of thrilling drops and great scenery. I feel more can be done with the initial hill lift, as at the moment it's just a set of disco style lights. Even this aside though it's the best dark coaster in the country.