Coaster Kingdom > Anniversaries

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Anniversary Features

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.

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.

So Many Candles, Not Enough Cake 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