Several rumours have been circulating in recent weeks that Alton Towers have taken the decision to close the Enterprise and Submission rides located in the ‘X Sector’ area of the park for the duration of the 2012 season. These rumours, in addition to the absence of both rides on the park’s main ‘Fastrack’ page, have led TowersTimes to believe they will be ‘standing but not operating’ (SBNO).
The rides, which provide support for headline attraction Oblivion, boost the thrill ride line up at the theme park and are two of only four rides in the park which truly go ‘upside down’. Although Enterprise is one of the park’s oldest residents, the ride is actually found at many theme parks, including Alton’s sister park Thorpe Park in Surrey. Submission was new for the 2001 season, but in recent years has only ever operated one arm of the available two.
Both rides offer height restrictions below all other thrill rides in the park, with Submission suitable for those over 1.2 metres tall and Enterprise just 0.9 metres. Ripsaw and Nemesis, the parks other true ‘looping’ attractions, are both for those 1.4metres and over only.
Taking into account the current closure of the Beastie rollercoaster, this could possibly mean that there will be three attractions at the theme park out of service for the 2012 season.
TowersTimes is currently unaware of the potential reasons why the rides may be closed, although it is not believed to be due to the development of the SW7 rollercoaster for 2013, which is in a different part of X Sector.
With rising gate prices and the hope for rising attendance at the theme park, it remains to be seen whether closed thrill rides will have an impact on guest satisfation during 2012.