Big One, Blackpool Pleasure Beach

Big One, Blackpool Pleasure Beach. Copyright: tourist board

Big One, Blackpool Pleasure Beach. Copyright: tourist board

Speed 4/5

Surprise factor 4/5

Fear factor 3/5

Vertigo factor 4/5

Overall 4/5

MY VERDICT

Don’t you think the Big One looks a bit lame after you look at The Smiler or Hurakan Condor? Well, dat ain’t da case. It’s actually really good and definitely worth going on. It’s like a mini-version of Shambhala.

I think it’s good in different ways, like how it twists round on the first drop, and how long it lasts. My mum also liked the views along the coast.

The only reason I don’t give it 5/5 is that it rattles a lot and it gave me a bit of a headache.

STATS

Launched 28 May 1994

Cost £12 million

Duration 3 mins

Maximum speed 74mph (119kph)

Maximum height 65 metres

Maximum drop 62 metres

G force 3.5

Inversions 0

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The Smiler, Alton Towers, UK

The vertical life on The Smiler

The vertical lift on The Smiler

Speed 2/5

Surprise factor 5/5

Fear factor 3/5

Vertigo factor 2/5

Overall 5/5

MY VERDICT

The Smiler… OMG, EPIC! Upside-down 14 times – wheee, fun! The great thing about The Smiler is that it’s not too fast, so you can see what’s coming – all the more frightening, mwa ha ha. That’s better than getting messed up like you do with Nemesis where it all goes too fast for you to take it in. The Smiler is quite long and that’s good – and quite unusual.

There are rumours about The Smiler having laughing gas on it, but that’s not true – trust me because I’ve been on it. The ‘mind manipulations’ are really just thematic extras and not so much part of the ride. The vertical lift (my first one) was amazing and weird.

Seeing the ride as you walk towards it, it’s easy to see why it’s the most expensive ever built in the UK.

STATS

Launched 31 May 2013

Cost £18 million

Duration 2 mins 45 secs

Maximum speed 53mph (85kph)

Maximum height 22 metres

Maximum drop 30 metres

G force 4.5

Inversions 14

Furious Baco, PortAventura, Spain

Copyright: Rhonda Carrier

Copyright: Rhonda Carrier

Speed 5/5

Surprise factor 4/5

Fear factor 3/5

Vertigo factor 2/5

Overall 2/5

MY VERDICT

I don’t rate this ride very highly because it is like Rita at Alton Towers – it goes too fast and is over too quickly (about 30 seconds once the pre-show is over). It is a bit better than Rita, though, because it goes upside-down. Furious Baco goes very fast – from 0–84mph in 3.5 seconds! – so it’s definitely an eat-my-dust kind of rollercoaster.

WARNING: If you are just over 1.4 metres tall, like me, you will probably get a headache from being bashed around!

STATS

Launched 5 June 2007

Cost €15 million

Duration 55 secs

Maximum speed 84mph (135kph)

Maximum height 14 metres

Maximum drop n/a

G force 4.7

Inversions 1

Nemesis Inferno, Thorpe Park, UK

copyright: Thorpe Park

copyright: Thorpe Park

Speed 3/5

Surprise factor 3/5

Fear factor 4/5

Vertigo factor 2/5

Overall 4/5

MY VERDICT

I think this ride was actually a bit better than the original Nemesis at Alton Towers because you know what’s coming – that makes you feel more excited. If you can’t see what’s coming, what’s the point? I also like this ride because they make it seem like you’re in a rainforest by growing tropical-looking plants. The fake fire is quite good too.

STATS

Launched 5 April 2003

Cost £6–10 million

Duration 1 min 43 secs

Maximum speed 50mph (80kph)

Maximum height 29 metres

Maximum drop 35 metres

G force 4.5

Inversions 4

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