At the heart of Forbidden Valley, amidst the devastation, is a rusted swinging blade – another piece of shrapnel extracted from the pit during the Nemesis excavation. Take your seat on board and be tossed forwards and backwards as you cut your way through the Valley.


  • Min. Rider Height: 1.0m
  • Unaccompanied Height: 1.3m
  • Max. Rider Height: None
  • Ride Photography: No
  • Fastrack: Yes

Tech Specs

  • Manufacturer: HUSS Rides
  • Ride Type: Swinging Boat
  • Opened: 1980
  • Rethemed: 15th March 1997
  • Length of Boat: 13m
  • Length of Arms: 10m
  • Ride Height: 20m
  • Max. Speed: Approx 18.7km/h
  • Restraint: Hydraulic Lap Bars
  • Weight: 28 tonnes
  • Passengers per Boat: 45
  • Capacity: 1800 riders per hour
  • Duration: 1 min 30 secs

Riders queue around the imposing four-legged tubular steel rig, before taking their seats on The Blade. Once aboard, and the lap bar restraints have come down, The Blade will begin to swing. With each swing riders will be taken higher and higher into the air, until reaching a near-vertical position. The ride actually offers a surprising amount of ‘airtime’ (the feeling of weightlessness) at the top of its swings, with those who sit on the back rows experiencing a more thrilling ride in this respect.

Eventually the swings will decrease in height, before The Blade settles back to its starting position, allowing riders to disembark.

The Blade is the oldest attraction at Alton Towers, after initially opening as Pirate Ship in Fantasy World (now X-Sector) in 1980, the ride stood on the former site of Submission.

The arrival of Oblivion led to it being reborn as The Blade in 1997 as it was moved to Forbidden Valley as a replacement for Thunder Looper.

During the 2018/19 closed season, The Blade was subject to a relatively extensive overhaul, with local company Dusslast BOT stripping the boat itself back to its metal components, which were subsequently shot-blasted, treated and painted. This gave the attraction a very fresh look come the start of the 2019 season!

As part of Forbidden Valley’s overhaul for the 2024 season to complement the opening of Nemesis Reborn, the boat was repainted grey and the classic yellow design on the tops of its supports was reinstated.



The park’s designers provided a preview of The Pirate Ship’s re-theme into The Blade, using a publicity shot of the Pirate Ship then in Fantasy World.