Category Archives: Rides



If you have experienced Saw the Ride at Thorpe Park then you will know pretty much what to expect with this one. Speed is another Gerstlauer Euro-fighter but without the elaborate theming and special effects that you get with Saw. Despite the lack of embellishment I actually prefer this one as the layout is better and the ride somehow seems more fun. Continue reading

The Big One


It took me a surprisingly long time to test out this ride. Much as I was keen to experience what was the world’s tallest coaster when it was built, it was its location that delayed my plans. I had never been particularly attracted to Blackpool as a place to visit and it seemed an awfully long way to go for one ride. My attitude, however, proved to be a foolish error as when I finally made the trip I had a great time and have returned several times since. Continue reading

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad – Paris


The runaway mine train is a theme park staple that you find in many parks but nobody does it like Disney and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad is no exception. Having taken many rides on the Floridian incarnation of this attraction I was pleasantly surprised when I first visited Disneyland Paris as this version of the Disney favourite was even better. Continue reading


I have very clear memories of my first encounter with Air at Alton Towers. The prospect of a flying coaster was a thrilling one and I rushed off to the park to give the new ride a test run but my heart was already sinking before I had left the car park from where large portions of the ride are visible. It looked very small and unexciting and much of my enthusiasm has disappeared in advance of entering the park. Continue reading

The Swarm


I can still remember all of the excitement surrounding the arrival of the Swarm. I was working at Thorpe Park at the time and watched with eager anticipation as the land for the new ride was being excavated and the Swarm Island rose up gradually out of the lake surrounding the park. We understood that the ride was going to be a B&M Wingrider but as none of these had yet been opened nobody really knew what this attraction would deliver. Continue reading

The Rock ‘N’ Roller Coaster – Paris

It seems like yesterday when my cousin returned from one of many trips to Florida to inform me that the Rock ‘N’ Roller Coaster was a great ride. As a confirmed fan of coasters in the dark I was very jealous as this ride appeared to be right up my street. Happily it wasn’t long before I found myself at Disneyland Paris after the same ride was opened there. Continue reading



Valhalla represented a huge investment for Blackpool Pleasure Beach and was a commendably ambitious foray into new territory. The ride is a combination of water ride and dark ride which mixes drops, water effects and lighting and temperature changes to provide an intense all round sensory experience which has made the ride an absolute triumph. The Viking theming is the perfect complement to a dramatic water ride. Valhalla look enticing before you even enter the station. Continue reading

Project Helix

I have always been an enormous fan of Europa Park which possesses a winning combination of great rides, extreme efficiency and brilliant food. My trips to Europa Park have been so enjoyable that I have always been left wondering why I can’t find the features I so admire elsewhere. Most parks have dreadful food, British parks seem incapable of keeping their rides running and most curiously nobody seemed to have picked up on Blue Fire as act of brilliance. Nobody until now that is because Blue Fire technology is coming to Sweden!

blue fire (650x488)

Blue Fire

Blue Fire is an exceptional roller coaster and quite different from any other ride. A decent launch is followed by a fun and thrilling circuit packed with twists, turns and inversions which makes you grin with pleasure until you are back in the station. There are no shoulder restraints and so guests have a great feeling of freedom and are not assaulted in the head.  The ride has a fabulous throughput which keeps the queue moving along nicely, a great boon in a busy park and Blue Fire’s greatest asset is the smoothness of the ride experience which is second to none. Blue Fire is so smooth and therefore so quiet that it is surely a ride system which is ideal for parks with concerns about disturbing the neighbours and yet unlike so many other coaster models this one has not been taken up with enthusiasm.

New Coaster

Whilst B & M’s wingriders are all the rage without any real justification in my personal experience, the potential of Blue Fire has been overlooked until now.  A longer and more dramatic coaster with Blue Fire technology is being built at Liseberg in Sweden and this is enough to get me planning trip! I had not considered an expedition to Sweden before, at least not to visit a theme park, but the new coaster, currently dubbed Project Helix, looks fabulous. Project Helix will offer 2 minutes of ride time on a 4500 ft track and there will be two launches on the circuit. With the smoothness of Blue Fire thrown in this one is sure to be winner and I want to give it a go.


Liseberg were concerned about noise pollution from a new ride and this fact heavily influenced their decision to go with Mack for their latest attraction. This is a ride that is sure to run smoothly with Mack technology and Scandinavian efficiency. The Scandinavians don’t appear to be able to do anything wrong these days. The clean lines and functionality of their furniture and homewares has taken the world by storm and I now suspect that I may have missed a trick in not sampling the theme park offering.

Sweden will almost certainly be a place where I can visit a park which will be clean, attractive and which runs its rides efficiently. There is a fair chance that I will like the food too and so it is time to plan a trip. The new ride opens Spring 2014 which sounds as good a time as any for a Scandinavian adventure.


Article by Sally Stacey


wodan with train

OK I admit it! I was always going to smile favourably on Wodan because I love Europa Park and I adore the wooden coasters off Great Coasters International. Having said that, even I was surprised by how good this attraction is. This is a ride that impresses as soon as you clap eyes on it and is a great adventure from the moment you enter the Plaza. Continue reading