Never has the age old saying of don’t judge a book by its cover been so true. Rita may look like she has been over powered by the forces of the Dark Forest, but that won’t stop her from catapulting you from 0-100km/h in 2.5 seconds! Take a seat, it’s time to escape.
After climbing aboard the train, riders are instructed to pull down on the huge restraints above them. Once you’re locked in place and had your restraint checked, it’s launch time.
The race lights above you begin to illuminate to red, signalling the countdown until the inevitable thrills ahead. A voice can be heard over a loudspeaker, beckoning riders to “keep your heads back. Hold on tight!” You’re then informed that “you must escape!” before the full set of lights above you turn to green. A screeching of rubber is accompanied by “Go! Go! Go!”.
4.7g pins you to the back of your seat as you are launched down towards the end of the Dark Forest almost as quickly as you can blink. As you rocket past the on ride photo camera, the track quickly runs out of room to carry on, and banks heavily right into a 180 degree turn whilst passing over the TH13TEEN entrance arch. Next you’re taken up to the tree tops, allowing riders to experience a brief moment of air time before pulling you straight back down over the queue line of TH13TEEN to the left. As you hurtle around a left hand corner over the queue lines below, the ride then throws you back up into another, bringing you back down again and into another right handed turn. The ride performs another sweeping right handed turn over the TH13TEEN entrance arch, mimicking the opening corner of the ride that you experienced just seconds ago. After rising up one final hill, you’re taken back down over the queue line of Rita before a bunny hop onto the brake run. Phew!
You’re given a moment to breathe as the ride descends a gentle right-hand turn towards the exit platform, located nearly opposite the entrance to Dark Forest.
It is noticeable when looking down on Rita from the sky that the track layout bears a resemblance to the number eight.
Something strange was beginning to occur in September of 2004. Fences were going up all around UG Land whilst rides and theming were taken apart. Over the coming months and after much speculation it became clear Ug Land would become home to a brand new Intamin rocket coaster to be called Rita – Queen Of Speed! This was Alton Towers’ first Launched coaster since the Thunder Looper was removed back in 1997.
As the competitors lined up for the Thunder Rock Rally for the first time in 2005, this feisty female stood out from the crowd. For the first five years of her life Rita, the wild, fast, sexy lady took part in the Thunder Rock Rally which wove its way around Ug land and the area’s prehistoric theming added an interesting twist to the coaster’s racing theme.
By the end of 2009 Ug Land’s time at the park had come to the end. For 2010 the area was transformed into the Dark Forest, and Rita would have to fight her way back, losing the “Queen of Speed” tagline and receiving a brand new look and a feisty new attitude.
Behind the Scenes
When TowersTimes had the chance to look at the inner workings of the ride we discovered its unique (to the Resort) hydraulic system that enables the trains to reach their high speeds.
In 2004 preparation began for an exciting new project, with rumours from a booster bike to a wooden coaster, but in April 2005 Rita opened as Europe’s first Intamin accelerator coaster.