Specific Type: Steel, Hydraulically-Launched, Terrain, Twister
Alton Towers is one of the world’s greatest theme parks, known for its intense and uniquely designed rides despite its burden of many local ordinances. The story of this coaster goes back to 2003, when Tussaud’s designer John Wardley announced to build Britain’s biggest wooden coaster for 2005 known as SW6 (or Secret Weapon 6). The wooden coaster, which would have been made by Switzerland’s Intamin AG and placed in the park‘s Ug Land section, was scrapped by none other than Alton Towers’ infamous locals.
In early 2004, enthusiasts at Alton Towers spotted men in suits from Intamin, rumors started amongst enthusiasts about another Intamin ride to make up for the cancellation of SW6 (also known as Wardley’s Woodie). Later on that year, crates near Ug Land from Intamin popped up and soon enough, Alton’s next coaster would come silently under on hot babe with a passion for racing. Her hot twists, turns, and curves would soon come up on Alton Towers’ website, called Rita: Queen of Speed. The queen of speed takes her title seriously, as riders would go at speeds over 100 kilometers per hour, or roughly 62 miles per hour. This ride is being billed as Britain’s fastest launched coaster and is Intamin’s popular Rocket coaster, or Accelerator coaster. The ride is launched using a hydraulic launch system to rocket riders through the circuit as they take on Rita’s smooth curves and get in the winner’s circle.
Going through the park into the Ug Land section, an unusual location for this racing babe since Ug Land is themed after the prehistoric era, comes Rita. Behind the park’s first big thrill, Corkscrew, comes the red and black Rita and the slice of racing theme inside the Ug Land section. Entering under a flaming tire saying Queen of Speed, twisting through the queue before boarding this unique Intamin creation with bits of racing theming.
At the station now, riders board trains that look similar to Knott’s Berry Farm’s Xcelerator trains. The only difference is that the side panel paint job having a figure of a woman with a streak of flames behind her, the front (or dashboard in this case) having Rita’slogo on the front with old fifties style headlights, and restraints similar to the over-the-shoulder restraints found on Storm Runner. Boarding the detailed two across, five rowed trains, get prepared to go fast as Rita takes her ego seriously.
Riders are off! Going speeds over 62 miles per hour in eight seconds, the train blazes through a right and steeply banked turnaround. Of course, the ride is full of head choppers with the numerous trees in the area. After the first turn, you go up the highest point on the ride, a twisted airtime hill at sixty-eight feet tall. Then you twist down another turnaround, this time to the left. Up another airtime hill, riders twist again to the right and turn around up another small airtime hill before turning left near the station, then dropping down through a small right U-turn into the brake run.
Once again, Alton Towers proves size doesn’t matter. Short, yet sweet, Rita turns out to be one queen that won’t be dethroned anytime soon for her sleek curves and speed. If you have the need for speed and want it fulfilled, ride one of the most unique designs, and prove you’re a good racer, head over to Alton Towers and ride Rita: Queen of Speed. She is one woman you should never underestimate.
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