Once upon a time, Alton Towers had a glory day of flat rides. From the entry of Enterprise and 1001Nights to the likes of the 90s with the highly missed Ripsaw and Energizer and even a little later with Submission but let's not dwell on painful memories. Alton Towers flat rides of the past provided a welcome breakup in the ride selection away from the amazing coasters that were putting the park on the map. Over time sadly we would see all of these rides dwindle away either to other parks, used as replacement parts or even hitting the scrap heap with nothing of a replacement in sight. This was until The Retrosquad appeared on the scene bringing classics like The Waltzer (Roller Disco) or something a bit newer with the Super Trooper (Funk n Fly) and Smashing Jump (Mixtape) and the more recent addition Extreme (Spinjam). The Retrosquad was hit with mixed reviews, whilst new flats were welcomed to the park, the theming of the project would divide opinions with some believing the strong 80s brand, as well as pumping soundtrack playlist, detracted from the area aesthetics and left X-Sector, Forbidden Valley and Dark Forest in somewhat of a clash of interests. What was clear however from the queue lines and queue times was that flat rides were heavily welcomed back at the park. In this blog, we will look at a future where the Retrosquad's mission is complete and hypothetically Alton Towers decided to invest in permanent flat ride additions and here is a list of what we think could work for the park. Now you might be surprised to see no swing rides but with UK Parks being no stranger to them we thought adding one to the list wouldn't add much in uniqueness.
The Diablo takes the popular and powerful Inferno model and puts it on a smaller footprint and a lower height. Although the throughput might be a little low, this "inverted" flat ride could make a great addition to the park. Following the success of the Mondial TopScan (Samurai) at Thorpe Park, The Diablo would seem like a fitting successor with its twisting and side flipping motions that can quickly create a visual aerial ballet of sorts which would be a sight for spectators and one hell of an experience for guests onboard, and like many on the list would be a UK First of its kind.
What the Energy Storm lacks in height it makes up for in power. Multiple gondolas sit in a locked position which at first resembles a slightly more squat Spinjam but unlike Spinjam this little beast can almost fully invert holding its riders upside down while spinning for an extended amount of time. The ride does again sit on the smaller level of the throughput but due to its intensity, the ride sequence wouldn't even have to be that long for riders to feel like they had got their experience. It is also worth noting that Moser/Soriani also create an Energy Storm too.
The Speed Flip takes the concept of the Energy Storm and pushes it that one bar further with flipping seats. Holding up to 32 riders at a time it has potential for some good throughput but the beauty of the Speed Flip is that even if run on a slower setting the rider still can obtain some good flips throughout the cycle. Maybe one of the most dizzying on this list, A Moser Speed Flip would be a great addition to the thrill lineup whilst not compromising on Alton's strict height restrictions. Tell me now this doesn't look like something the Ministry of Joy would come up with.
Now onto one of the newer releases into the flat ride world, The Fabbri In Control. This ride combines the movements of a classic Ramba Zamba and then adds the addition of free-swinging seats. With the past popularity of Mixtape, this attraction could really be a hit in the park. It provides three thrilling elements, height, speed and the potential for inversions, although I believe this is all down to the actual speed of the movements of the arms. InControl could be operated as a family attraction or thrill with the programme negating the intensity of the swing of the gondolas.
KMG-MOVE IT 32
KMG'S Move It range has in the past been no stranger to the UK, especially on the UK Fair Circuit. The Move It 32 used to travel in the UK before going overseas. Holding 32 Riders this visually impactful attraction combines speed and thrill in equal measure and doesn't take long to start pulling some impressive forces. Although this is something the UK has seen before sometimes you can't beat a classic. Obviously without the black flash/back panel and themed maybe more mechanically?
TECHNICAL PARK-PEGASUS 30
The Pegasus 30 from Technical Park looks like a cross between an Evolution and a TopScan except with free flipping seats. This ride, although it might look tame, can soon bridge that gap between family and thrill. As the name suggests the ride holds 30 guests at a time and although one of the larger rides on this list, hosts a modest height of just 17m or 55ft. This is one of those rides which dependent on the programme could really be that step for riders to go from Th13teen to The Smiler.
The Endeavour from Zamperla could likely be the successor to Enterprise with the ride experience being almost identical with one difference, Suspended seats with OTSR's. Enterprise has shown success over the many years at Alton Towers so naturally, the Endeavour had to make this list. The Endeavour also has one of the highest capacities on this list boasting 48 riders on the double seat model.
Surely everyone saw this one coming. Ripsaw, from its opening in 1997, was a huge success and when they laid the old one to rest it was and is sorely missed so it only seemed natural that the successor to HUSS Rides acclaimed TopSpin was added to the list. With the option for fire and water effects, this ride could literally fit in most areas of the park and would be a welcome reminder to Ripsaw whilst keeping with the times, even if the Suspended TopSpin is not really new anymore just imagine what themes could fit this spectacular ride.
So there we go, a little look into just a few options of what we would like to see if Towers added permanent flat rides. This is not a speculation piece, we're not saying Towers will get any of these, this is just a gentle look to the future of what could be. This is but just 8 and the list could honestly be endless but we hope you have enjoyed a look at these fabulous flats, what flat rides would you like to see in the park and where would you place them.
Until next time PSG Signing out.