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


The Corkscrew had become a bit of a guilty pleasure of mine. It wasn't one of the parks top attractions any more, like it was back in the 80's, but it was still a ride I enjoyed, and it brought back memories from some of my first visits to Alton Towers. I was therefore saddened by it's inevitable demise. At least this was to make way for an innovative new ride, unlike when the Black Hole was taken away.

The first thing that struck me about this ride was how little of it you can see from the paths around it. You can see the rides main building, and the hill lift, but to see anything else you have to keep an eye out. This does work out in the rides favour, as it creates a sense of mystery about it. One thing I noticed about the ride building, which might be because I visited only a few months after it opened, was a huge white sheet and some scaffolding on the main building. This is either an attempt to do a Hex style, area discovered while building theme, or because they hadn't quite finished when I visited. I hope it's the second as I think as it is, it looks unsightly, rather than a clever bit of theming.

 

The subject of feeling unfinished does bring me on to the first part of the ride after the hill lift. This is the part that goes in to the woods. From the various advertising I'd seen I was expecting a heavily themed area, with statues and maybe a few animatronics and special effects. Instead it just went through the woods. I see this as a problem because this area really could do with a little  spicing up. The combination of a lack theming and a simplistic layout make this feel like an average family coaster, not a major attraction at a World class park.

Luckily things pick up in the next part of the ride. This does make me think of Oblivion, as this is another example were a rides main purpose is to accommodate a gimmick. WARNING: IF YOU DON'T WANT TO KNOW SOME OF THE RIDES BIG SUPRISES SKIP THIS AND THE NEXT PARAGRAPH. In this case the gimmick is a section of ride track rigged to freefall strait down. When I first heard about this I did question it. Why build a coaster with something a load of thrill rides already do? Having ridden it though it's a much better gimmick than I thought it would be. It provides a thilling burst of intensity as the track drops, but the inside location and the short height mean it's not to scary or intense to stop the ride having an appeal to the family thrillseeker.

The drop is followed by a burst of acceleration that sees the train going backwards. Despite only being a short piece of track, with not much height it still provides a surprising amount of thrills as you accelerate backwards out of it. This is a very nice way to finish off the ride, before you hit the transfer track that sees you going forward, back to the station.

So, a ride I'd recommend? The rides gimmick is enough to make it one I'd recommend. As part of Alton Tower's line up I'd say it feels like a good secondary coaster to Rita, the same way in which Air is a secondary coaster to Nemesis. It's a shame more couldn't have been done with the first part of the ride, I reckon a great first part accompanied with the gimmicked finale would create a top level family coaster, Th13teen is by contrast just very good. It's one I would recommend, but not one I say was worth too much hassle. Having now ridden it, it's one I wouldn't be willing to endure a queue of more than 40 minutes at the most, but it that wasn't a problem it a ride I'd definitely want to do when visiting the park.