Revenge, Movie World Madrid
Checketts has come a long way since the rickshaw thrill rides he built
as a child. Where-as most peoples’ childhood passions have been
banished to a photo album caked in dust in some forgotten corner,
Checketts’ passion has grown into a lucrative business, and can now
answer the beck and call of most parks’ thrill ride requirements.
it has traded under several names, S&S Power has been at the
forefront of amusement trade for years in one shape or another. From the
rickety rope swings of his childhood, S&S have since been
responsible in part for the Bungee Jumping craze as well as their
popular Trampoline Thing units, a neat fusion of trampoline and bungee
was in 1994 that S&S struck gold with the Space Shot. Its first
high-profile installation - in the literal sense - was 900ft up on top
of Las Vegas’ Stratosphere tower. Nearly a decade later, this Space
Shot is still arguably the best and understandably the most famed.
is inevitable, the humble Space Shot spawned many children, most
noticeably the Turbo Shot which blasts hapless riders from a lofty
height of 180ft (minimum) towards terra firma in seconds.
beauty of these towers is their versatility. For increased capacity, two
or three towers can be installed as a cluster with a variety of tower
types so that you have two rides for the price of one. The most
memorable examples of this are Cedar Point’s Power Tower and Knott’s
Berry Farm’s Supreme Scream, all of which have three towers in a
combination of types.
hundred towers later, S&S now have a new member in their family –
christened Combo Tower. The Combo Tower combines the launch of the Space
Shot with the freefall sensation of the Turbo Drop, all in one tower.
This is available as a new installation or as a conversion to your
existing towers, meaning that although the tower phase is nearing
saturation point, parks can re-launch tower rides in cases where the
public’s imagination may be dwindling.
parks use a centrepiece as an anchor point, something pivotal that the
park is built around. It’s fair to say Disney have made this
fashionable, and other parks have made every attempt to compete whether
through an iconic ride like an Observation Wheel (in the case of Six
Flags Holland), a multi-function pavilion (Thorpe Park and Fantasy
Island), or something more subtle like a lake (Islands of Adventure and
fair to say the whole of Movie World Madrid orbits around the slender
white latticework towers of Riddler’s Revenge. Atop the three towers,
a beautiful white pyramid trimmed with gold accents and the eye-catching
blue and amber filmstrip WB Movie World logo on all three sides.
Riddler’s Revenge forms a beautiful centrepiece, but importantly still
embraces the ever-present sense of intimidation.
as white columns of Riddler’s Revenge intrude so much on surrounding
areas, a simple style has been adopted as opposed to the rich theming
found everywhere else in DC Superheros World. As such, there is no good
theming to impress, but on the plus side, no bad theming that ruins the
are arranged like Blackpool’s Ice Blast in a 2-4-2-4 formation around
the tower. Riddler-style question marks decorate the white, violet and
lime-green gondola surrounding the entirely white tower.
seats are fairly no-frills with an overhead restraint and seatbelt. Just
as people become used to seatbelts on overhead restraints, the mere fact
that the buckle is on the seatbelt as opposed to the restraint slows
down both loading and unloading where people clasp the buckle and try
pulling the seatbelt from it when they’re joined together. The Riddler
would have been proud to see that ride designers like to confuse riders
with more than mind-games and conundrums.
seated, head against the headrest, the gondola creeps slowly away from
the ground pauses... this wait offers as much tension as the slow climb
on drop towers, maybe more as your every expression is being scrutinised
by the people in fron... WHOOSH – you’re launched smoothly up the
tower and those analysing souls are now 280ft below.
thrill of the launch is now watered down by some non-descript and
low-speed bounces up and down the tower where you have ample opportunity
to absorb the surrounding view, which is a surreal combination of the
hustle and bustle of the park fading into the desolate scrubland
halfway up the tower, you are grabbed and slowly taken to the very top.
Your fragile body is now suspended nearly 300ft above the concrete
concourse below. Breathing suddenly becomes harder, time suddenly slows.
It is like high noon in the Wild West with a strong breeze rolling
through the air, a bated silence interrupted only by the frantic beating
of your heart.
then without warning you fall from the blue, the ground heading towards
you before once again you recoiling once again skywards before slowing
to a stop so that you can be lowered in a more cordial fashion towards
being the largest fan of S&S Power rides, I found Riddler’s
Revenge to be a pleasant surprise. Neither the shot or drop segments are
powerful enough to have you burning up on re-entry, but both offer nice
sensations, and both are enveloped with great moments of suspense.
of you who have ridden Ice Blast will probably agree with me that you
find getting out of bed in the morning more intimidating (and indeed
forceful) than the ride itself. Well, at nearly 300ft, you can’t help
but think that the shot on Riddler’s must be at least swift and
forceful. It delivers more than adequately. Meanwhile the wait at the
top of the tower is more dramatised than even the Intamin drop rides.
The wait is so drawn out without ever becoming tiresome.
drop is excellent, but never seems anywhere near as out of control as
either the Intamin Giant Drop rides or the excellent Fabbri Megadrop. A
problem is created by the fact you’re slowing right down midway down
the tower with the sharp change in direction occurring about a third up
the tower. Without the magnetic braking, there is not the sense of panic
that you find on traditional drop rides where your feet are almost on
the floor before you stop.
these points, Riddler’s Revenge triumphs. The location simply could
not be better with a view of at least one of the parks’ areas
guaranteed wherever you sit, as well as great views from the ground
either from the lakeside in Hollywood or right at the base of the tower
itself in DC Superheros World.
the towers each being a triplet, many seats have a view of one of the
other towers. Whilst this can detract from the sensation of isolation
you can get on the ride, it is a beautiful touch when two (or even
three) towers are run together and you follow a respective car up and
down the tower. Staring at other woe-bedraggled riders opposite will
either bring the ever-evident panic into perspective, or re-assure you
that you’re not in anguish alone.
the best tower rides can be accused of being to short time-wise, but
Riddler’s Revenge is one of a few that actually offers a fairly decent
ride time, especially with the drop sequence halfway through the ride.
any comic book villain, Riddler’s Revenge is a flamboyant and
intimidating figure. He is easily subdued, though, which makes a far
more palatable experience focusing on thrills rather than hardcore
terror and offering pockets of intimidation wherever possible.
MS 10 June 2003
▪ A Good height
▪ Looks fantastic
▪ Not too terrifying
▪ Drop isn't very
▪ Too much bouncing