I will totally disagree with you here. I've ridden Big Ben about 5 times now and have had a airtime filled ride.
In fact only Cliffhanger at Flamingoland can beat it for airtime. Brilliant ride.
time I went on this ride was at Kirkcaldy this year and on the Saturday
you got launched twice which was OK for £2.50. When I got on I was
facing the back/side of Move It. The countdown jingle was wrong first
time I went on we went up 5 seconds after the countdown and then the
next time on 4? The launch is rubbish - as soon as you start you slow
down and the wait at the top made me a bit nervous for my first ride but
when we went down it was boring the bounces are more fun... just slow...
although its a ride I like but it could do with a lot of improvement
I rode it (for free!) at Kirkcaldy Links Market in April this
year, and came to the same opinion. I remember the restraints looking
very thin with little padding. Very sore. Big Ben was built on the shore
front in Kirkcaldy, so the North Sea wind really blew the tower.
James Mellors has been one of the
UKs top fair operators for some years now, mainly because he has been
one of the few showmen willing to go beyond the usual array of dreary
Waltzers and Miamis and present a range of rides unique in the UK. His
Frisbee and Crazy Shake are both great rides, but Big Ben is simply
awful. No Gs, no airtime, no anything. It obviously tries to beat the
Huss tower at its own game but doesn't deliver a tenth of the impact of
its Bremen-based brother
I recently rode the Big Ben at
IAAPA and felt it was fun, but have heard both the Moser & Fabbri
rides are better (I will try the Fabbri ride at Gibtown this February).
As for the restraints, all of the Soriani-designed rides like Z-Force (aka
Big Ben), Turbo Force and Energy Storm use them. The overall design did
not bother me too much, but I would like some more padding before being
thrown into them as on Turbo Force. As for the wait at the top, if you
listen you will hear that the air tank does not start filling until the
magnetic spike above the rig is locked into its slot. That is the reason
for the delay in the drop.
I agree entirely - I rode Big Ben on it's first appearance in the
UK - and was disappointed with it then - I then had the opportunity to
ride the same one again a year later - It had improved slightly, and
there was a moment of airtime after the eternity spent at the top - but
it was hardly the climax to the ride that others (Fabbri, S&S, Huss,
Intamin) have achieved with their drops
I don't think I have ever been so
under-whelmed. The only moment of interest
was the alarming bang mid way up the tower. If the ride had broken in
half, at least we would have been properly excited.
I have to disagree with
your comments. I rode the Big Ben ride at the Cardiff Festival on the
3rd of August and I thought it was quite good. It wasn't the best
freefall tower I've ever been on but I thought it was OK.
From a distance this ride
looks great - it makes a change (at least for me) to see a free-fall
tower at a fair and seeing it in action with empty seats looks
intimidating. However the experience itself pales in comparison to rides
like Detonator, and even the Ice Blast at Blackpool Pleasure Beach. In
short, the catapult up the tower is exhilarating but not fantastic, the
wait at the top is too long and makes you overly anxious in anticipation
of one of the worst drop experiences on any ride of this type... the
initial drop is sudden and fast... but smoothly starts braking almost
straight away bringing you to a much-too-graceful halt. I left the ride
feeling disappointed and unimpressed.
Not having heard anything about this
wretched little ride, I was pretty excited when it appeared in a local
car park fun fair. I got me token, and queued up, just in time to see
the little car amble up the tower. I thought, "Oh, hey, it's a drop
ride." The little car bounced pitifully at the top.
Tick tick tick. Nothing happened for
excess of a minute. Then, without warning, the car ambled back down the
tower. No-one yelled. The car bounced slowly, and stopped. Everyone
ambled off, expressionless.
I hopped in, unphased and still
relentlessly excited. I pulled down the tiny restraint, which looks like
a mix of motor-car seat belt and a rubber band. The restraints locked,
and we went up the tower, and bounced to a stop. About halfway up the
tower I experienced the first excitement on the ride; a large jolt as we
passed over the connector. We bounced to a stop. I almost expected a
tumbleweed to whistle past as we waited...and waited... and waited.
Finally, we came back down, again feeling that horrible jolt, and
bounced to a stop. The restraints came up, and I got off, feeling
utterly, well, bored. The one thought that ran through me mind was,
Zamperla has failed at their attempt to
beat out the popular Huss version of this ride. The "Big Ben"
part of the ride is pointless. Couldn't it at least have little arms
that spin round, or make noises? No. Silence is a major factor on this
daft waste of steel.
It stinks. Why isn't there a