here for page 2 of your Oblivion reviews...
This ride is brilliant. However, be prepared against the extreme forces!
Oblivion is a breathtaking experience. You hedge into your seat uneasily, not sure whether to pull the bar down. When you finally decide there is no going back, the overhead restraint is pulled over your head and the car slowly and painfully proceeds up the lift hill.
You hold onto your handles as tight as you can and before you know it you are hanging over the edge of a gigantic terror. Don't--Look--Down!! You drop at full speed into a steaming pit of nothingness, and before I knew it my hands were in the air and I was screaming for joy! Finally we sped along the track, into the brake run and into the station.
Oblivion is brilliant and I recommend it to all! If you have ridden Detonator in Thorpe Park (which is also an excellent ride which churns your stomach) then this is the next step up! Well done Alton Towers! A huge success!
Oblivion was a ride never to forget!
When I went to Alton Towers in August 2005 I couldn’t believe that I
was about to go on it as I was only 11yrs old! When I did queue all I
was going to do was walk straight through the exit and out of the ride
but I decided not to and to go on the ride instead.
It is much higher then you think it is
and when you hang at the very top of the freefall all you see is tiny
little people staring up at you. You get the most intense and amazing
feeling as you plummet down and your stomach shoots into your head! You
think it’s all over as you enter the tunnel but then you realize that
your only half way through the drop! Oblivion was fantastic and I was
terrified every second of it!
Oblivion is like marmite. Some will
love it and count down the days until they can ride this monster again,
some hate it, and would prefer a frightening trip of Squirrel Nutty.
That said, Oblivion is one of those
rides which you can love AND hate at the same time.
The world's first *cough* vertical
*cough* drop coaster. OK, 87 degrees, but let's not be pedantic here,
because being dropped, nearly vertically into an underground pit of
oblivion isn't exactly ones idea of tame.
Let's cut to the chase.
Upon entering X Sector, one of the
first things that your eyes are drawn to is Oblivion. It's very
impressive to watch, and spectators can actually get pretty close to the
The queue line isn't as disastrous as
Rita's pitiful cattle pen one, but it isn't amazing, either. Some nice
views of X Sector can be seen on the fairy exposed queue line, and of
the ride itself.
X Sector is quite an open area of the
park, not feeling too crowded, but you do begin to notice the lack of
decent theming. Although the area looks quite good and effective, some
may argue there isn’t really a proper theme. Very true, but to me, the
area works quite well, and helps enhance the atmosphere that Oblivion
After a while, you enter a tunnel with
a video being played. One man – panicky and insane – screams about
the ride which we are about to face; “Nothing to fear, then why is it
called Oblivion?!?!” and such comments are made, with a calmer,
relaxed person reassuring us that everything will be fine. The message
of doom from the first guy is almost as strange as Rita’s first T.V.
advert (“Make some great memories, you might need them someday”).
The station can seem quite complicated,
especially for first timers but also for those who have been on many
times before. You aboard your rather comfy seat and up the steep lift
hill you climb. The lift hill is very slow, and really builds up the
tension in the already terrified riders. Slowly, it turns the corner.
Some will grab this as a chance to admire the spectacular views you get
of the towers, where as some will be too busy shaking like a leaf to
even notice. Held at the edge of the drop, you stare down at the misty
hole below you, which doesn’t really look big enough for you to go
through yourself, let alone the whole train.
Don’t… Look…. Down.
And then you drop.
The wind rushes through your hair, and
the screams of those who have also dared to ride Oblivion echo around
you. You enter the tunnel, suddenly bursting back out into the blinding
light of day, around a bank turn, and into the brakes. Now time to
reflect on what you’ve just done.
At the beginning I mentioned how this
is a ride you can both love and hate at the same time, now time to
elaborate on that.
The love for the thrill, the tension,
the excitement the ride offers and the experience are what makes it
Then there’s the disappointment. The
ride is very, very short. A blink and you miss it type affair. When you
queue for ages for the ride, it feels like a bit of a let down.
After being on a few times, the novelty
begins to wear off. The only thing to Oblivion is the drop. But that
drop is one hell of a drop.
Ride Oblivion by all means, however don’t
queue for hours for it, when you could be experiencing some of the other
thrills Alton Towers has to offer.
What can you say about this ride?
It is a ride that makes you feel fear and excitement
at the same time creating the perfect feeling.
Oblivion does this by building the queuing area
near to where the ride drops getting you excited. The queue wasn't long
by the way. It was only 20 mins which is good for Alton Towers. When you
are at the top of the drop you just can't help but look down at the hole
of darkness you are about to drop into. Sit on the front row if you can,
you get a better view and a better experience. You aren't in the hole
long about 30 seconds and then you are brought back up into daylight
The only bad point about this ride is it too
short. You queue up and get on the ride, you drop into the hole, you
come back up and it's done. It's over in 1 minute.
Other than that it's good. So give it a try.
There are up and downs
to Oblivion, which is something of a suitable cliché. Revolutionary,
pioneering, original, brave, all these words described Oblivion in 1998.
The entire focus of Oblivion is, unsurprisingly, its drop. It is also
At the time Alton
Towers had a completely new, attention-grabbing ride on their hands. It
was promoted as such and the people flocked to it as intended. The
problem from the start was that the gimmick wasn't going to last for too
long, this was shown by the secrecy during construction. Despite all
this, I think Alton may have been pleasantly surprised by Oblivion's
staying power. Although as enthusiasts we now are wise to rides all over
that have drops that are beyond vertical, there have been no major
installations in the UK that are yet to challenge what is perceived as
Oblivion's unique selling point. I'm sure the majority of the general
public still assume that this is a unique ride, despite replicas and
improvements on the original.
When people queue for
Oblivion, they queue for the drop, that's pretty much all it boils down
to. Augmenting the experience is the ambience of the ride. The bassy
music, the black painted track, the futuristic/military style buildings
all contribute to the ride experience. These all draw attention away
from the fact that this is a glorified drop ride. So it is surprising to
see that the buildings, until recently were falling apart, the track is
now a pale grey, the pit of Oblivion is now a mildew-infested rubbish
chute and the dramatic introduction and music in the station has all
So we are left with a
drop, since Alton don't seem to be worried about the experience which is
integral to your ride on Oblivion. Hence, that is what there is to
review - the drop.
Well, it's a decent
drop that builds anticipation in a different way to a drop tower. That's
about it, £12m spent on a drop tower with wheels. Gone are the days of
grandeur when Oblivion was an experience, not just a ride. Whilst these
elements can be easily remedied I'd assume, the only thing I can think
of to stop Alton is money or that they know soon there will be some new
pretenders on the block. Even more conveniently, there is one being
built just down the road which may well take the sting out of Obliv's
tail and the public's imagination (and possibly money) elsewhere.
What was once at the
forefront of ride development has been left in the wake of a lack of
maintenance and more advanced rides. Whilst other rides that are more
than just one gimmick continue to entertain and be enjoyed, Oblivion has
been swept aside somewhat. Alton always knew that this was going to be a
short lived gimmick, they're lucky it has lasted this long.
As you step into X-Sector, you see a
dark bit of track, curving along, barely at tree height.
"Piffle!" You say, "That
But, as you round the bend, more comes
into view. You gasp. The track bends... to 87 degrees.... and drops...
straight ....into.... the.... ground.
A pair of 5-tonne cars climb the lift.
They slowly crawl around, and come to a stop, poised at the edge of the
drop. For four seconds, they hang there. Then, they plunge! Under the
ground, and up out the other side, from beneath a murky pond. They turn
almost 100 degrees upon their side, and zip towards the ground, heading
around Enterprise. Up, and their ride is over.
You climb the queue, which is set into
the hill, up and around, winding your way to the top. At one point, you
go under the hill, and a comical conversation between a big-brotherly
voice and a frightened-person-squeaky voice is heard. A bit goes like
Big Brother: "Remain calm. There
is nothing to fear..."
Frantic Individual: " 'Nothing to
fear?!' Then why is it called 'Oblivion?!' "
The conversation goes on in this
effect, and makes many people in the queue look like they're taking the
mick for a bad drinking party the night before.
Finally, you're in the station. A tv
above you has a mad-man explaining to you his wonderful machine.
"Everything has been designed for
your comfort and enjoyment..."
"It'll all be over quicker than
"Welcome.... to Oblivion
The music doesn't help. It sounds like
new-age techno music, with bits that sound like enormous bumble-bees
zooming by (BZZZ! BZZ BZZZ! BZZZ!)
You get into the front car, on the seat
that's all the way to the left.... it hangs off the side of the track.
The train inches up the hill, excriciatingly slowly. Around the bend...
slowly. Finally, the track dips out of site. You crawl to the edge, and
hang there, staring into a pit that looks the size of a small coin.
Three words emanate from hidden speakers: "Don't..... look.......
One word enters your brain: "Mummie!"
You drop. The moment this happens, five
tonnes of car slam into your back. Everything speeds up, and the hole
opens wide, and seems to swallow you up in a cloud of fog. 4.5 g forces
pull your face to the floor of the car. You're now almost 25 metres
under the ground.
FOOM! Out of the pit, and around the
corner. If you're lucky, you get to see Enterprise cars whirring past.
The cars right themselves and hop up to the brakes. Back to the station.
Short? Yeah. At twelve seconds, it's
almost not worth it. But there's a big gap between something being
"almost" and something being "is".
Exhilerating? You bet your arse, it is.
As you wobble back to civilization, you
think one word: "Wow."
-Fits well in X-Sector
-Scares the white blood cells out of you
-A bit short