year ago I remember staring at a blank screen wondering how I could ever
embark on the colossal challenge of writing an entertaining piece that
reviewed 2004, a monumentally miserable season if ever there was one.
year I am staring at a blank screen trying to remember what actually
happened this season.
was the year even a politician would have struggled putting positive
spin on. 2005 was the year that rewrote the laws of averages. It was as
forgettable as they come.
of many reasons why 2004 was a terrible year
far as I’m concerned, though, average is the new black. After the
trauma of last year, average is a compromise I am happy to settle for.
let me refresh your memories as to what happened this season. Like every
other year, 2005 started with unrealistically high expectations as parks
embarked on their grand offensive of marketing their newest rides.
year would be the year for firsts; three S&S rides (two world
firsts, one first outside America), two Maurer Söhne rides (one,
apparently, a world first), two world-first spin rides (Huss Topple
Towers) and the first Intamin ‘rocket coasters’ in Europe.
year would also be the year for last rides, too, with the closure of
Alton Towers’ Black Hole, the loss of one – maybe two Schwarzkopfs
and Blackpool’s collection of historical flat rides becoming yet
course, none of these rides were in Margate, so we just sat back and let
Towers started the demolition ball swinging by announcing the closure of
the Black Hole. To their credit, they gave enthusiasts a last chance to
ride the aging Schwarzkopf coaster before it would close and... well...
Black Hole was one of two Schwarzkopfs to close in 2005
still nothing is planned for Black Hole’s site. Still, the ride
remains, with a display of old photos and accounts from the ride, almost
mocking those who want to ride by relishing in those happy days.
Alton didn’t take the precaution of having a ride to replace the aging
Black Hole, they did open Rita – Queen of Speed, the first of the
Intamin Accelerator coasters to open in Europe.
a park that often plays on the fact it takes the best part of a decade
to design their coasters, Rita – Queen of Speed was spectacularly
rushed. It shows, too. Capitalising only on the novelty value of
launching riders from 0-100 (kilometres per hour, that is), the
ride was unceremoniously shoehorned into Ug Land with ‘Thunder Rock
Rally’ offering a tenuous link at best.
a sprawling figure-eight layout, Rita is definitely a decent enough
coaster, but the fact the theme, layout and in fact whole ride itself
were chronically rushed will no doubt be remembered for more than the
ride itself. Continues...