Black Hole was a mysterious ride that was hidden away from the prying eyes of riders and spectators alike as the almost 600 metres long ride took place in almost total darkness, with the only illumination coming from stars and asteroids.
- Location: Fantasy World / X Sector
- Manufacturer: Schwarzkopf
- Model: Jet Star II
- Length: 560m
- Speed: 45mph
- Drop Height: 13.4m
- Weight: 175 tonnes
- G-forces: 2.5G
- Duration: 3 mins 42 secs
- Capacity per train: 12
- Capacity per hour: 1022
- Opening Year: 1984
- Closing Year: 2005
The ride was a vast undercover roller coaster which first opened in 1984 on the site of the former Dinosaur Land. Guests travelled through helixes upwards until completely disorientated and then suddenly dropping straight down a 44ft drop into the Black Hole itself.
To build this ride, the rail framework had to be covered completely with a canopy, but not before a quarter of a million tonnes of soil had been dug away from the hillside. The tent the ride was housed in was originally green and yellow, but in 1998 when Oblivion was installed it was rethemed and painted blue.
Because the ride was totally hidden from view, guests didn’t know what to expect until they had ridden it, so for first time riders the queue was quite intimidating not knowing what they were queuing for. In the station was the first time guests could see the trains with passengers sitting in twos, one behind the other rather like sitting on a sledge. Spiralling upwards the train climbed fairly high, before a voice said ‘sit back – hold tight’ and then guests were plunged down large drops and around tight corners
before a quick return into the brakes. The ride had a very poor through-put, because of this queues often built up.
Black Hole took its last riders in early 2005 before remaining SBNO the following season with the coaster itself then being removed in February 2007. The tent remained standing for a number of years afterwards, being used as a venue for Carnival of Screams and The Boiler House during Scarefest 2011. However, in 2012 the tent was finally demolished in order to make way for a new rollercoaster, The Smiler.
Although the location of the ride was unknown for several years, from 2011 to 2021 it operated as Rocket at Furuvik, a Swedish theme park. The ride was refurbished by Gerstlauer prior to its arrival at the park.
Were the Beast and the Black Hole the same ride?
The simple answer is no.
This common misunderstanding occurred because the two rides were similar in design. At a casual glance it would be fair to assume they were identical, however the similarities came about as both rides are from the Jetstar series by Schwarzkopf, the manufacturer.
Black Hole was the smaller of the two models, being a Jetstar II. The Beast was a Jetstar III, with the main difference being an extra tier on the spiral lift hill which made the ride taller and included an extra drop in the layout.
As the rides were similar models, they shared common parts such as the coaster trains. The Beast was purchased second hand and did not come with any trains. Its arrival also coincided with the upgrade of the Black Hole for 1988, and because of this the park decided to run the old Black Hole cars on the Beast and purchase brand new trains for the higher profile ride, Black Hole.