Coaster Kingdom

Anniversary Features

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2004 is a quite extraordinary year.

Already, it has been ten years since the 'Year of the Roller Coaster', the momentous year so dubbed by the British Tourist Board owing to the opening of three major roller coasters; Blackpool Pleasure Beach's Pepsi Max Big One, Drayton Manor's Shockwave and Alton Towers' Nemesis.

More amazingly still, it has been an incredible one hundred years since Blackpool Pleasure Beach's Captive Flying Machines were opened. At a century old, this is one of the most important rides in the world.

Join us as we celebrate these momentous anniversaries by presenting you with comprehensive and far-reaching features on these important and celebrated rides and coasters.

Shockwave | Flying Machine | Big One | Nemesis | General Features

We'd love to hear your feedback on this series of articles. Click here to get in touch. We will make every effort to get back in touch.

Drayton Manor's Shockwave (1994)

Opened as the 7-Up Shockwave, this roller coaster was the second of three roller coasters to open in 1994, the year of the roller coaster. 

Colin Bryan Interview

Coaster Kingdom looks at the conception, birth and last ten years of the Shockwave.  

Shockwave's Shockwaves

We look at Drayton Manor before the Shockwave, and how the park has changed post-Shockwave.

Review: Shockwave

John Phillips reviews the Shockwave.

Blackpool's Captive Flying Machines (1904)

The Captive Flying Machines celebrate their centenary this year and were the brainchild of Sir Hiram Maxim. We celebrate their centenary.

Time Flies

We look at how the landscape and rides around Maxim's Captive Flying Machines has changed in the last 100 years. 

Maxim Biography

Accredited with the machine gun, the electrical light and attempting to be the first person to fly a measured mile, we look back at the life of Maxim.

Review: Maxim's Captive Flying Machines

John Phillips reviews the Captive Flying Machines.

Blackpool's Pepsi Max Big One (1994)

In its day a record breaker, even today the Big One remains one of the most well-known roller coasters in the country. We look back at the last ten years of the Pepsi Max Big One.

The Big Ten

Coaster Kingdom looks at the challenges Blackpool Pleasure Beach faced when building the Big One, and how the ride has been accepted by Blackpool residents. 

Making a Molehill out of a Mountain

A look at how Blackpool Pleasure Beach accomplished what many would have considered impossible and built the tallest roller coaster in a park that could be no less accommodating to such a ride. Includes a photo essay of construction.

Review: The Pepsi Max Big One

Marcus Sheen reviews the Pepsi Max Big One.

Alton Towers' Nemesis (1994)

Born from a legend that an alien monster was disturbed in the Staffordshire countryside, Nemesis itself has since become legend.

For whatever reason, Alton Towers chose to co-ordinate their own celebrations exclusively. Owing to this, Coaster Kingdom is unable to celebrate Nemesis' tenth anniversary with extended coverage.

Review: Nemesis

Marcus Sheen reviews Nemesis.

Other Features


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Comment on the Rides

Add your comments and remarks about any of the rides featured here. 


Anniversary Features

Birthday Greetings

With thanks to everyone who contributed their thoughts. We received hundreds, but here is a snapshot of opinions submitted. If you wish to add your thoughts, please add them using the form to the right.

Jon Happy birthday Shockwave. Still one of the most unique major coasters in the country
Mark Maxim A special happy birthday top Hiram's Flying machines. He is an ancestor of mine. I live Wareham, Mass., USA home of the Pilgrim Maxims
matt happy birthday flying machines
Simon Montague Great work on another excellent feature. I agree with the comment below that Shockwave's heartline is simply incredible.
mick happy birthday big one. such is my love of this ride i asked my fiance to marry me on the climb up to the top.
kevin p first ride on Shockwave was only last year. the heartline spin is still one of the most amazing loops I've ever done!!
chris williams happy birthday shockwave. excellent site btw
ChristopherPearson love the colin bryan interview. what a top chap!
robert happy birthday flying machines. 100 years old and still going strong :D
Devinia Happy birthday Shockwave, one of the most original rides in the UK
Del Happy birthday 1994 rides and the flying machines!
FAB Happy birthday rides. First rode the Big One, and while not perfect is amazing at night
John L Great feature (again!). Happy birthday rides :)
Kel Great work CK. Excellent features. Happy birthday rides
Dom Said it before and I'll say it again, shockwave rules. Happy birthday shockwave
Marcus Messages lost due to technical probs. Please feel free to add your comments again. Ta.