Coaster Kingdom


Stunt Fall, Movie World Madrid

In simple terms, Movie World elaborately captures the glitz and glamour of Hollywood Ė Stunt Fall does not.

You would never give a staring role in a West End musical to a pantomime horse. Our costumed stallion offers his own brand of entertainment, but should be the star of a pantomime, not of a West End Musical.

Movie World is the West End musical. Stunt Fall is the pantomime horse.

The entrance to Stunt Fall can be found down a dead-end side street of the Hollywood Boulevard and through a small door in the wall. Standing upon a sea of gravel, Stunt Fall is a 195ft clash of colours. The queue is to the left of the ride and zig-zags mindlessly up to the covered station.

The trains look like theyíve been designed by a work experience student, and show no regard what-so-ever for common sense. As soon as the gates open (two per car), people generally sit in the centre seats which are forward from the side seats. This basically shuts off the far side of the train leaving nearly a quarter of riders unable to get to their seats. People in the middle of the train unbuckle their seatbelts, move to the side, let these people take their seat before repeating the rigmarole of sitting down again.

The restraints are a palaver. There is a lap belt to put on first, then the main over-head restraint before securing the usual safety belt between the legs. Most people seem to pull down the over-head restraint first, meaning they have to struggle putting on the lap belt underneath.

Admittedly, staff try and make the best of a bad situation and explain the seating and seat-belts to waiting riders, but loading is still a mess.

Once seated youíll note Vekoma has made at least some headway in restraint design. Whilst they lack the vice-like mannerisms of the SLC over-heads, an annoying bar beneath your chin seems to offer little purpose other than being an obstacle for shorter riders.

Iím surprised with the limited legroom available, riders donít develop deep-vein thrombosis during the short time theyíre on the train. Also, due entirely to the poor design of the trains, a metal sheet has been put on the back of cars to stop riders getting legs caught when the train twists around the boomerang.

As a shrill airhorn sounds, a frantic announcement in Spanish warns you to keep your legs off the metal sheet on the car in front, something thatís inherently difficult to do as youíre holding your legs up and not letting them fall where gravity intends.

The sensation of the train curling up into a vertical climb is quite remarkable as the ground gets smaller and smaller. With every foot you climb, your heart beats faster and faster. It is way beyond the point you think you should stop when on a sharp clunk, the train drops, accelerating quickly and dropping vertically into the station.

Passing through the station is like plunging through a tunnel, before you climb into the boomerang, starting off like a vertical loop. As the train goes upside-down it feels as if you are almost... going... to... stop... before you are pushed upside-down again and drop out regaining most of the lost speed.

A medium-sized vertical loop takes you over the station before you curve up into a vertical climb, the train scooping you up into a skyward climb. A small jolt is felt as the train engages on the cable lift and another as you drop down backwards.

The backwards drop offers a refreshingly different sensation, before the vertical loop which passes by without any sensation what-so-ever and then the boomerang which has a similar effect to a mid-course brake-run before dropping through the station and into the first climb again.

Once the train runs out of speed, you are lowered back into the station where you exit on the opposite side to which you boarded.

Stunt Fall almost exhibits symptoms of teenage angst, simply going through the motions, just without any form of enthusiasm. To its credit, all the elements are really well placed and the ride has a good unrelenting rhythm to it, but none of the elements really stand out and feel rather carefree.

It never seems to use any of the speed garnered from the vertical drop and upon entering the boomerang seems to be like bungee jumping with a parachute. The boomerang just feels like a slightly-too-large vertical loop with a little bit of track in between. Where the swoop in and out of the two halves on most cobra rolls/boomerangs makes up a third of the inversion, on Stunt Fall it just seems to be means of getting you from one half of the inversion to the other.

The vertical loop is good, but somewhere in between the high-G loops of Schwarzkopf and the sweeping 150ft (and beyond) loops of B&M. Itís a nice peppy moment in the ride though, and leads well into the second climb.

Whilst the majority of the ride is intensely non-descript, the only part that isnít (the first vertical climb) makes up for it by being utterly incredible.

When the klaxon sounds, from the moment the train smoothly accelerates backwards and tips you onto your front, you realise the first 30-seconds are going to be completely unlike anything else youíve ever experienced.

This sensation is genuinely scary, and offers a level of intimidation that effortlessly makes a mockery of Oblivion at the very least.

Climbing as you do on Stunt Fall is clearly sadistic in the same way that Alex De Large was forced to watch scenes of torture in A Clockwork Orange. You simply cannot look anywhere but down. Curiosity is never satisfied by having no opportunity to look up, and with no pause before you drop, the moment you drop is not only breathtaking, but surprising too.

Climbing backwards is hardly tiresome, but doesnít come close to offering the thrill of the first lift. It is a novel concept heading skywards on your back so it captures your attention and once again the drop with no warning is like falling backwards off a skyscraper.

Like all shuttle loop coasters, the backwards stretch is more intense than forwards but only marginally. Blackpoolís Revolution offers a far better mixture of high and negative G-forces, pushing both ends of the scale. Stunt Fall never feels like it is taking you for a ride, it never feels unexpected. It is all too monotonous.

Iím going to complain a bit more about the trains. The actual ride experience is completely destroyed by the poor design of the trains. Outside riders are orphaned and completely alone which I think is one of the worst feelings to have on a coaster.

Meanwhile, in the middle of the train you can see nothing. There is the crescent of seats bending back towards you meaning not only is it difficult to see forwards through the forest of seatbacks, but also to the sides where the seats are cantilevered back towards you.

Stunt Fall is like riding a bike around Silverstone. The first few seconds are genuinely hair-raising, but although the chicanes and hairpin bends look menacing, by peddle-power they are limp and forceless. Riding around Silverstone is certainly a nice experience from the saddle of a Raleigh racing bike, but you couldnít help but think the sweeping S-turns and sharp corners would be far more effective from the seat of a 140mph F1 car.

Stunt Fall is a distinctly average treat iced thinly with fleeting moments of daunting intimidation. Frankly, the vertical climbs are superb but only envelope what is only a mediocre inverter at best.

Parks like Alton Towers can get away with cheap filler rides, but like a stunt man performing in an animated film, Stunt Fall is completely out of place.

MS Undated

Good points:

The vertical climbs and drops are phenomenal
Very tall ride
Very smooth

Bad points:

An operational nightmare with slow loading and slow queue
The trains are terrible for visuals and legroom
The ride is far... too... slow...
Unacceptable amounts of downtime
No theming in an otherwise well-themed park 



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