Specific Type: Family Drop Coaster/ Dark Ride
Alton Towers is not another average park nestled in the British Isles, and it isn’t just because of its eight coaster arsenal or its one-two-three B&M punch. It’s because of the restrictions the park has. With the village of Alton posing some extreme visibility and noise restrictions, the park has had to be on the cutting edge of innovation to keep the guests coming to the park. This park brought the inversion to Britain, the first Dive Machine, and the first B&M flying coaster. However, with the park purchasing the Intamin launch coaster Rita, it seemed to be heading into a partnership with the Swiss company. Yet, in 2009, rumors of Secret Weapon 6 started emerging. This was interesting news because the previous Secret Weapons, at least the successful ones, were all made by Bolliger and Mabillard.
However, this new ride that the park dubbed a Psycoaster, was not indeed a B&M. Rather, when the track arrived, the boxes were labeled for an Intamin family coaster. Soon track was assembled, and a new lift hill using tires rather than chain (similar to the lift hill on Mindbender at Edmonton, except not curved) that was unique for an Intamin ride. The park said it would have other innovations in theming as well, and it must have as the price tag was 15 million pounds, or 23 million US dollars.
Finally, on March 3rd, 2010, the ride opened to the world. The new riders left the station, took a right hand turn, and then the train takes the slow climb to the top of the lift hill. Soon you are sent plummeting down into a highly banked right hand turn, leading into a small airtime hill. You navigate some left hand turns, through the ever present trees, and end this part with another airtime hill before entering the next section of the ride.
The train pulls into an ominous looking dark room. It stops. A sudden start freaks everybody out. However, the train is not moving forward, rather downward. The track was physically lowered downward. However, this is only a sign of things to come, as soon the train plummet down. And soon, your moving again, except this time, backward. The track that follows involves the extreme theming that made this ride a “psycoaster”. All good-or bad for the easily scared-thins have to end, however, and the ride soon pulls into the brakes, which include a unique track switching mechanism to send the train into the station moving forward.
So if you’re looking for a scare, look no farther than Alton Towers, where you can stop by this unlucky artifact, ready to ride.
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