Muntanya Russa, Tibidabo, Barcelona, Spain

RATINGS

Speed 3/5

Surprise factor 2/5

Fear factor 3/5

Vertigo factor 4/5

Overall 2/5

MY VERDICT

Tibidabo isn’t a themepark, it’s an amusement park overlooking Barcelona. The Muntanya Russa (which means ‘rollercoaster’ in Catalan) is on top of a big hill (so is the amusement park), so when you go down the drop, it looks like you’re gonna go WAAAGH down to crash into the city. Then it does a sharp turn and snakes though the woods very fast.

See more on Tibidabo and our family break in Barcelona.

STATS

Launched 23 December 2008

Cost €3 million

Duration 1 min 13 secs

Maximum speed 49.7mph (80kph)

Maximum height 25 metres (522 metres above sea level)

Maximum drop 31 metres

G force 3.5

Inversions 0

Sonic Spinball, Alton Towers, UK

RATINGS

Speed 2/5

Surprise factor 2/5

Fear factor 3/5

Vertigo factor 4/5

Overall 3/5

MY VERDICT

Three adults I know thought this was the worst ride in the whole park just because it spins. Lots of people think it looks like a kids’ ride just because it’s next to Squirrel Nutty, so warn your parents (if you’re a kid). By the way, when it has a really sharp turn, brace yourself.

Read more on our family break at Alton Towers.

STATS

Launched 27 March 2004 (as Spinball Wizzer)

Cost £3.5 million

Duration 1 min 15 secs

Maximum speed 38mph (61kph)

Maximum height 17 metres

Maximum drop n/a

G force 3

Inversions 0

Nemesis, Alton Towers, UK

RATINGS

Speed 4/5

Surprise factor 3/5

Fear factor 3/5

Vertigo factor 3/5

Overall 3/5

MY VERDICT

This is supposed to be one of the most exciting rollercoasters in the world. I can see why people say that, but I think lots of things are more exciting – like Oblivion (see below). They could have made it slower so you could realise what is happening – it is exciting to go so fast, but the problem is you hardly have time to know what the heck is happening.

It also has a sister ride that was launched on 24 March 2012, Nemesis Sub-Terra. It’s about these aliens called Nemesis. The main part of the ride is a drop-tower dark ride that takes you down to see an alien egg explode (and get splattered by it). I like it a bit but I think they should make it more of a ride – at the moment there’s too much walking around.

STATS

Launched 16 March 1996

Cost £10 million

Duration 1 min 20 secs

Maximum speed 50mph (80kph)

Maximum height 13 metres

Maximum drop 32 metres

G force 4

Inversions 4

Th13teen, Alton Towers, UK

 

RATINGS

Speed 3/5

Surprise factor 5/5

Fear factor 3/5

Vertigo factor 4/5

Overall 4/5

MY VERDICT

At the start a freaky voice says: “If you go down to the woods today you’d better not go alone’. It starts out like a regular rollercoaster but then it goes into a spooky cave. (I can’t tell you any more because it will ruin the surprises.)

STATS

Launched 20 March 2010

Cost £15 million

Duration 1 min 20 secs

Maximum speed 41mph (66kph)

Maximum height 18 metres

Maximum drop 17 metres

G force 3

Inversions 0

Rita, Queen of Speed, Alton Towers, UK

RATINGS

Speed 5/5

Surprise factor 2/5

Fear factor 3/5

Vertigo factor 1/5

Overall 2/5

MY VERDICT

This rollercoaster isn’t very good because all it does is go fast. I think they should make it go upside-down or have a vertical drop to make it more exciting. But it is worth going on. The best part is at the start when it boosts out of the station.

STATS

Launched 1 April 2005

Cost £8 million

Duration 49 secs

Maximum speed 62mph (100kph)

Maximum height 21 metres

Maximum drop 16 metres

G force 4.7

Inversions 0

Oblivion, Alton Towers, UK

Oblivion, Alton Towers; image copyright Alton Towers

RATINGS

Speed 5/5

Surprise factor 3/5

Fear factor 5/5

Vertigo factor 5/5

Overall 4/5

MY VERDICT

This rollercoaster is good because it’s short (if you’re scared or you don’t like it!). This was the world’s first vertical-drop rollercoaster and is the third fastest rollercoaster in the UK and the tallest rollercoaster in Alton Towers (although much of the drop is underground).

When you hang over the edge for a few seconds, there is a sign saying ‘Don’t look down’. Take the advice or you might end up screaming (I didn’t). My mum didn’t even dare look – she had her eyes closed all the way down. The best part was plunging down and going into the dark tunnel.

STATS

Launched 14 March 1998

Cost £12 million

Duration 1 min 15 secs

Maximum speed 68mph (109kph)

Maximum height 18 metres

Maximum drop 50 metres

G force 4.5

Inversions 0

Air, Alton Towers, UK

Air, Alton Towers, UK (image copyright Alton Towers)

RATINGS

Speed 3/5

Surprise factor 2/5

Fear factor 2/5

Vertigo factor 3/5

Overall 4/5

MY VERDICT

This is my favourite rollercoaster because it was my first upside-down one, and also because it feels as if you really are flying. It makes you feel weightless and a bit like a bird because it hangs you down from your seat.

I felt really excited when it went upside-down because of the blue sky. You might be lucky and it might be a lovely day.

The weird thing is that despite being not so high and not so fast, I give it 4/5 overall. As is noted in Wikipedia: “When it was launched, ride designers said that the way forward for roller coasters was to go higher and faster. Air’s popularity suggested that this was not the case, and that roller coaster enthusiasts seek unique, different ride experiences, not just bigger and taller thrill rides.”

STATS

Launched 16 March 2002

Cost £12 million

Duration 1 min 30 secs

Maximum speed 46mph (74kph)

Maximum height 25 metres

Maximum drop 20 metres

G force 3.2

Number of inversions 2