Thirteen roller coaster debuts at Alton Towers with vertically dropping track

Posted Wednesday, March 24, 2010 6:02 PM | Contributed by Jeff

Thirteen, despite having an almighty mountain of expectation to climb, does not disappoint. It's fast, it's frightening and it makes you scream. It is also accompanied by clever viral marketing, with builders and organisers telling us that not only is the terrifying Thirteen built on an unearthed ancient burial site - why weren't we told about this when the late Corkscrew ride was in its place? - but that the very name of the ride itself is intended to cast an irreversible spell on all Alton Towers' aficionados, making certain they will visit again.

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Wednesday, March 24, 2010 10:49 PM

I already watched a POV, and I am not impressed at all. It's an oversized roller skater with a unique drop-ride style drop of what seems to be about 15 feet near the end of the ride.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010 10:57 PM

I watched a POV as well the freefall looks cool but the rest is way too short and the first drop is only like 60 ft tall. The trains are also ugly in my opinion they look like kiddie coaster trains

Wednesday, March 24, 2010 11:02 PM

LostKause said:
I already watched a POV, and I am not impressed at all. It's an oversized roller skater with a unique drop-ride style drop of what seems to be about 15 feet near the end of the ride.

Would you be happy with a multi-million B&M!? Which is basically an oversized roller skater... blah blah blah...they're all the same.

I bet you would like it if you rode it :)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010 11:06 PM

I probably would. I love Woodstock Express. BUT, for all the hype and marketing that the park gave this ride, it's just not enough. Come on...Does this coaster look like it needs a nurse in the station? Do I REALLY have to sign a waiver? May I please ride it twice in the same day?

I expected it to be a lot more than it turned out to be. It's goofy.

EDIT - I found a news story about the ride. Really, really goofy, if you ask me.

Last edited by LostKause, Wednesday, March 24, 2010 11:12 PM
Thursday, March 25, 2010 1:15 AM

What does hype and marketing have to do with whether or not you would like a ride? I won't see Avatar because I think it will suck compared to its praise. Makes just as much sense, right?

Thursday, March 25, 2010 1:15 AM

Personally I'm just glad to see AT get another coaster, regardless of size or stats. They've had one battle after another in getting new rides in, if I remember correctly. I'm sure if I lived locally I'd be geeked about this. I remember when Deja-Vu opened at SFGaM and all I did was roll my eyes at how freakin lame the thing was, but that didn't stop a lot of people from enjoying the ride.

I dig the logo for it it lame that that was my first thought??

Thursday, March 25, 2010 11:38 AM

At least it's this day and age that's a hard thing to do in the coaster business. I think the hype and marketing is all part of the looks the park management and employees simply had a damn good time advertising their new attraction...good for them! God forbid the industry actually spends dollars on having a blast getting their name out there. Before 13, I was only remotely familiar with AT, but because of the marketing, I actually took a longer look (from a distance) at what the park has to offer.

Thursday, March 25, 2010 11:40 AM

For the limitations that AT has(noise, height) I think they have brought something new to the table. I like the idea of the reverse transfer back to the station. It should be an in-closed cavern also.
I'd ride it if I had a chance, but only at night!

Last edited by JoshuaTBell, Thursday, March 25, 2010 12:15 PM
Thursday, March 25, 2010 12:27 PM

^^^^^I think the whole 'nurse at the station' and don't ride alone stuff was just a kinda cutesy marketing thing. Not sure it was supposed to be taken very seriously :)

Thursday, March 25, 2010 1:49 PM

Of course it was marketing.

But I think it's Paula and HW that always say, "Under-promise and Over-deliver"

This was the exact opposite of that.

I'm with LK on this one. This ride looks entirely "meh" - even more so if you paid any attention to the way they were hyping it.

Hopefully someone takes this full scale because Thirteen looks like a kid-sized version of the potential that seemingly exists with this gimmick. I can't see this being interesting beyond the first time. It's a one-trick-pony family ride...kind of the worst of both worlds.

Thursday, March 25, 2010 2:23 PM

This is like if they marketed the next Pixar movie as the most brutal film since Saw and it ended up being Toy Story 3. It's ridiculous.

Thursday, March 25, 2010 6:53 PM

Wow. Gonch and I agreeing on something? Cool!

Jeff, Avatar is not a fair analogy at all, because even though the story lacked something, it was breathtaking, and worth seeing. If you would have said Spiderman 3, and I was able to read the terrible script first, I would probably not have gone to see it in theaters at the midnight opening.

Th13teen is like Spiderman 3, not Avatar.

Friday, March 26, 2010 2:15 AM

Whatever dude. The analogy made sense to me and I wasn't seeking your approval. My point stands that an over-marketed ride doesn't make it a sucky ride.

Friday, March 26, 2010 10:05 AM

I'm not ready to write Thirteen off as disappointing. I think the design makes sense. I like that it seems like a mild, fun little coaster leading into the tunnel (or whatever you might call it.) That's what makes the drop and launch that much more thrilling to the unsuspecting rider. And the drop may not look like much in the video, but who's to say how that would feel while you're sitting in the dark?

Then again, I love a good gimmick coaster, so who am I to say? :)

Friday, March 26, 2010 10:20 AM

Not everyone is going to be *that* impressed - but nothing at Alton disappointed me in terms of theming, landscaping, storyline, etc....

Name another park with a "can't build above the treeline" restriction that manages to do SO much with their rides...honestly, the ONE comparison that seems to really work for me is the rule that B&M's best rides seem to be the ones where they face the most challenges in terms of space, terrain, and the like. When you're able to take a "challenge" and turn it into an asset/opportunity, then you're clearly doing something right. Despite what we were able to see in the video(s), I fully expect Th13teen to have the utmost in theming when it opens to guests...

Friday, March 26, 2010 11:02 AM

I'm paraphrasing an ACE member, can't remember her name right now, and she answered the question:

What is your favorite roller coaster?

Answer: "The one I'm riding at this moment."

Friday, March 26, 2010 12:00 PM

Carrie M. said: Then again, I love a good gimmick...

Now I know why you love me! :)

Friday, March 26, 2010 12:19 PM

My name's not Betty! :)

Friday, March 26, 2010 1:42 PM

Sorry, Susan :)


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