Corkscrew

 

 

2008 saw the removal of the Corkscrew to make room for the new Th13teen coaster, bringing an end to the days of one of the most historically notable steel coasters in the UK. It opened in 1980 (the same year I was born) and for the time it was a major opening. It was the first UK coaster to have more than one inversion, and represented a major step for Alton Towers in graduating from a country park with a fairground to a major amusement park. It remained Alton Towers signature coaster for the next 14 years, appearing prominently in the parks logo and marketing. It's popularity started to decline when Nemesis and other attractions opened from 1994 onwards, as Alton Towers evolved into a major theme park, but it still had it's fair share of fans and riders.

I personally have plenty of fond memories. I remember riding for the first time in 1990, when it was either the first or second looping coaster I did, it was either this or Brighton Pier's Turbo Coaster which came first. I continued to ride it over the years, starting when visiting with my parents, and then as a coaster both me and my less daring girlfriend (who wouldn't do Nemesis or Oblivion) could do.

Sadly the costs of maintenance, declined popularity and the need for space meant it had to go eventually, although it's not left the park completely. The famous corkscrew inversions was turned in to an architectural feature which you can walk under as you approach the park gates. A very nice tribute to a ride that served the park so well.

 
Old Review: 7

A classic ride that's been around for Donkey's years, it's still a good ride however. It's a lot of fun with the most thrilling part being the central corkscrew itself. It's a great classic roller coaster, which may seem a little tame against more modern competition, but still provides a decent level of thrills.

 
Old Review: 7

This ride has recently been rethemed to fit in with the new Ug-Land, which goes for prehistoric theming. It seems a somewhat fitting choice for one of the parks older roller coasters. Just because it's old though doesn't mean it's bad, however this one has lost some of it's appeal as more modern and appealing rides have been sprung up around the place.
It still holds up well though, the central corkscrews still provide some good thrills, and the rest of the ride isn't too bad. It's not the must do it once was, but it's still a nice part of the park's line up.

  
Old Review: 7

With the departure of the Black Hole this is now the oldest Roller Coaster at Alton Towers. It's ironic that it's right next to Rita, one of the parks most modern coasters. It shows it's age a little, feeling a little rough and shaky. Personally I don't think it's too bad, unless for some reason you wanted to do a large number of repeat rides it's not to unpleasant. I also think it helps gives the ride a bit of character, without spoiling the ride experience too much.
It's a big indication of how rides have moved on, comparing today's standards to the days when the top coasters were things like this or boomerang coasters. Despite the advances this still provides a good thrilling ride as it maintains a good pace around the track. It's still one I'm always going to give a go when passing, unless the queue gets unbearably long.