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

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Stealth, Thorpe Park, UK

Copyright Merlin Entertainments Group

Copyright Merlin Entertainments Group

RATINGS

Speed 5/5

Surprise factor 4/5

Fear factor 5/5

Vertigo factor 5/5

Overall 4/5

MY VERDICT

Stealth is a booster rollercoaster – which means it starts off really fast (0–80mph in 1.8 seconds!). It’s like Rita,Queen of Speed at Alton Towers (see below) but much much better, because it then shoots you up over a really steep ‘top hat’ (not literally though!). Signs warn you that sometimes it doesn’t make it to the top and rolls back down backwards – not for the squeamish but I think I might like that!

The only thing is that it’s so short – I think it should maybe have another top hat or something at the other end.

STATS

Launched 15 March 2006

Cost £12 million

Duration 19 seconds (29 seconds to station)

Maximum speed 80mph (129kph)

Maximum height 62 metres

Maximum drop 62 metres

G force 4.8

Inversions 0

The Swarm and The Swarm Backwards, Thorpe Park, UK

Copyright: Merlin Entertainments Group

Copyright: Merlin Entertainments Group

RATINGS

Speed 3/5

Surprise factor 2/5 (4/5 Backwards)

Fear factor 4/5

Vertigo factor 4/5

Overall 5/5

MY VERDICT

The Swarm is really cool because the first drop is an inverted drop – that means it twists round at the top to go upside-down and plummet at the same time. It felt really strange. The ride is famous for its ‘near misses’ (sometimes it’s supposed to look as if you’re going to crash into a plane wing, a billboard saying ‘Don’t Lose Your Head’, etc) but I didn’t think they felt very close – but that might have been because I was riding it at night-time (and because it was hailing as well!).

Riding it backwards was very weird because you didn’t know when it was going to drop or even where you were at all. I think I liked it forwards the best because you could tell what the ride was really like, but you should absolutely try both for different kinds of thrills.

STATS

Launched 15 March 2012; Backwards 16 March 2013

Cost £20 million

Duration 1 min 25 secs

Maximum speed 59mph (95kph)

Maximum height 39 metres

Maximum drop 39 metres

G force 4.5

Inversions 5

Dæmonen, Tivoli Gardens, Copenhagen

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RATINGS

Speed 2/5

Surprise factor 2/5

Fear factor 3/5

Vertigo factor 3/5

Overall 3/5

MY VERDICT

Dæmonen was good because it felt a little bit like Air (see below), which is one of my favourite rollercoasters. I didn’t like the duration – it wasn’t long enough and it was over too quickly. I did like the inversions – an Immelman loop, a vertical loop and a zero-G roll.

For more on the Tivoli Gardens and Copenhagen, click here.

STATS

Launched 16 April 2004

Cost $12 million

Duration 1 min 46 secs

Maximum speed 48mph (77kph)

Maximum height 28 metres

Maximum drop 20 metres

G force 4

Inversions 3

Hurakan Condor, PortAventura, Spain

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RATINGS

Speed 5/5

Surprise factor 2/5

Fear factor 4/5

Vertigo factor 5/5

Overall 4/5

MY VERDICT

This is NOT a rollercoaster, it’s a freefall tower or ‘giant drop’ ride. You can see the top from miles away and when you drop, it makes your dangly bits feel funny!!!!!! My mum thought it was the most terrifying ride in the themepark but I really liked it!

See more on our stay at PortAventura and family holiday in Catalonia.

STATS

Launched 22 May 2005

Cost €6 million

Duration 4 seconds (drop)

Maximum speed 71mph (115kph)

Maximum height 100 metres

Maximum drop 86 metres

G force 3

Inversions 0

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