TowersTimes can confirm that Alton Towers’ oldest rollercoaster resident is set to thrill its final guests at the end of the 2008 season. Built during the winter of 1979-80, the Corkscrew has been thrilling tens of millions of guests ever since. But now, amid modern rollercoaster technology, Corkscrew is soon to be relegated to the Alton Towers archive.
As the ride has aged, Corkscrew has been criticized heavily for offering a rough ride with relatively few thrills. Yet, in spite of this, the attraction still holds an affectionate place in the hearts of guests. The sound of the lift hill whining as the train makes its ascent, the clatter of the trains, the stunning views from the peak of the lift, the double corkscrew logo (which has also been used on countless logos across Staffordshire for the best part of three decades) – Corkscrew’s removal will be a firm step in Alton Towers’ quest to fully re-vamp the park.
The ride’s removal comes as rumours intensify over a major development at Alton Towers for the 2010 season – when the resort will be celebrating 30 years as an amusement/theme park. The footprint that Corkscrew will leave will be substantial, and, coupled with potential changes afoot for the Ug Swinger and the area infrastructure; Ug Land could well be no more. What will happen to Rita – Queen of Speed for the 2009 season is currently unknown (although one would presume it will continue to operate).
Whether Corkscrew will be sold off or destroyed is unknown – but if it is the latter, one would hope the park will consider keeping one or both of the classic inversions as a lasting tribute to this very famous rollercoaster. Whilst the ride it gives today may not be missed as much as it would have been 20 years ago, that little pocket of a small piece of countryside in Staffordshire will, quite frankly, never be the same again.
The park will be reopening on Sunday 9th November, following its official end of season closure on 2nd November for a special event to allow guests to say their final goodbyes to the iconic attraction. In addition to Corkscrew, the ride line-up will consist of Spinball Whizzer, Squirrel Nutty, Oblivion, Submission, Enterprise, Rita – Queen of Speed, Marauder’s Mayhem, Heave Ho, Runaway Mine Train, Duel, Nemesis, Air, Blade and the Monorail will be available to take guests from the car parks. Alton Towers have created a dedicated page regarding Corkscrew and the forthcoming event, and more information can be found HERE
Make sure you get your last ride while you still can, and join in on further discussion on TowersTimes Forum by clicking HERE .
RIP Corkscrew 1980-2008.