Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Ride

8

 
Alton Towers
Air
Chocolate Factory
Congo River Rapids
Duel
The Flume
Hex
Rita
Runaway Mine Train
Nemesis
Oblivion
Ripsaw
Sonic Spinball
Sharkbait Reef
Th13teen
Twirling Toadstool


This is the third incarnation of this ride I've done. I just about remember doing it when it was Around the World in 80 Days. It then became Toyland Tours, which I rode once to see what it was like, and didn't ride again due to me being over the age of 5. Well the latest incarnation has a broader family appeal. In one visit to the park I've already ridden this twice as many times as I ever rode Toyland Tours.

 

As you might have gathered from the rides name this ride is based around the classic Roald Dahl children's book and the Quentin Blake illustrations that accompanied them. Thankfully it has nothing to do with the Tim Burton film that came out the same year as this ride. For me this is a particularly big name to make a ride on as it was one of my favourite books when I was young. Most of the first part of the book is ignored, which now I'm an adult I realize reflects a major failing by social services, and starts with the tour of Willy Wonkas chocolate factory. The first part of the ride sees you getting on the boats for a ride down the chocolate river. This sees you viewing various scenes from the book. Despite the small scale it's still a fun and immersive ride. The quality and detail make it feel like a fun ride, and the site gags are enough to keep it interesting. The only slightly weak area is the Nut Room, which feels a little sparse, and would benefit from a few more models, but it isn't that big an issue that has a negative effect on the ride.

Unlike Toyland Tours this ride doesn't end with you returning to the station. You get off before that to a new section of the ride that provides a spectacular finale. Before that though you have to walk from the boat to the waiting area. This is part of the ride which could have easily have broken the sense of immersion, but thanks to some nice theming and a good film that fits in with the plot this section is handled without missing a beat.

The rides finale is a tour around some more of the factory in the great glass elevator. The elevator is a giant platform that you stand on, that tilts and rocks slightly as you watch a film of the tour. What's clever here is that your surrounded almost 360 degrees by the screen, and it continues above you as well. The only thing you can see that isn't the film is the floor and doors. This creates a great sense of occasion to this part of the ride, providing a spectacular ending what is already a great ride.

Overall a great job has been done of creating a great family dark ride.