Specific Type: Inverted Coaster
Alton Towers is a small theme park full of beautiful gardens, a gothic mansion, and carny-ish rides that would not fit in to the modern theme park it is today, and one ride is responsible for bringing the park to its current state and skyrocketing its popularity. And then there is one man who was responsible for the park's uprising, a man well-known for designing stunt scenes on James Bond films, by the name of John Wardley. In 1991, Wardley and the Tussaud's Group bought out the small park with the intention of skyrocketing the park's success with innovative rides labeled (or codenamed) under "Secret Weapon." Wardley went hard to work in 1991 and contacted Arrow Development to build their first Pipeline Coaster, labeled as SW1. The plans failed for SW1 over the concern of roughness, train weight, and loading procedures. SW1 was originally going to be themed as an underground nuclear missile base.
Soon enough, Arrow went back to the drawing board and modified their original pipeline design and became SW2. Just when things were finally getting done, Wardley got sidetracked in 1992 when he went on a trip to Six Flags Great America to ride the very first inverted coaster, Batman: the Ride. Wardley fell in love with the concept and began drawing up plans for a well-themed, world-class inverted coaster. But one thing seemed to be in his way and would certainly tick off any enthusiast: Alton's infamous locals, known for blocking many projects and passing many limiting ordinances on the park. Wardley wanted to build a giant inverted coaster, but due to the locals, he had to blow up tons of rocks to build what would be Alton Towers' first claim of fame. Soon enough, SW3 became Nemesis. Nemesis' story is about an alien, the track representing the creature's tentacles and the supports being girders pinning the alien down.
This ride taught us that size didn't matter as 1994 arrived and enthusiasts got the chance to ride Europe's first inverted coaster, Nemesis. The ride introduced its own themed area known as the Forbidden Valley and with its many trenches, foot-choppers, and world-class theming, Nemesis soon became what many would consider one of the greatest coasters ever created. After Nemesis, John Wardley and the Tussaud's Group developed good relations with B&M and brought the park two more firsts after Nemesis. 1998 Brought SW4, which was later revealed as the world's first Dive Machine known as Oblivion, to become the star attraction for the park's X-Sector section. In 2002, the designers returned to the park's Forbidden Valley section and built another terrain coaster known as SW5, which turned out to be B&M's first flying coaster known as AIR (short for Aerial Inversion Ride).
Soon-to-be-riders venture through the park's Forbidden Valley section to enter through one of the greatest-themed waiting areas around. Fake B&M track, blood, and rock make up some of the excellent theming as riders near the creature to board the trains. Now riders are inside the station, boarding the eight-rowed, four-across trains dangling their feet below the track about to face off with... their Nemesis! Soon enough, the train departs, and from riders' point of view, the lift looks like nothing more than something one would expect on a family coaster. As an old saying goes,"Looks can be deceiving." In this case, that saying applies, as riders drop down a twisting drop suddenly into a flat spin as their feet dangle over the blood rivers streaming beneath and the ride takes them into Nemesis' lair. Still gaining speed after the first inversion, the track then goes down deeper into a sudden right turn through a zero-G roll above the first drop. Going even faster, suddenly passengers come across the vertical loop, half above, half below ground. Going even faster now, riders turn again into a tunnel leading into the last inversion, another flat spin, before curving up and finally slowing down after one of the biggest thrills around.
Size doesn't matter, and looks can be deceiving. Head to Alton Towers and face off with your Nemesis; it might take you on one heck of a wild ride!
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