The thrill of being spun head over heels upside down is enough to whet the appetite of any thrill seeker. But what if the restraints were taken away and your body is left to defy the laws of gravity through physics? This white knuckle thrill ride has the answer…
Min. Rider Height: 0.9m
Unaccompanied Height: 1.4m
Max. Rider Height: None
Ride Photography: No
Manufacturer: HUSS Rides
Ride Type: Enterprise
Opened: 31st March 1984
Rethemed: 14th March 1998
Diameter of Wheel: 18m
Time per Revolution: 4.5 secs
Mass per Car: 200kg
Passengers per Car: 2
Number of Cars: 20
Passengers per Wheel: 40
Capacity: 1400 riders per hour
Duration: 1 min 45 secs
Riders are presented with 20 gondolas, each circling around the centre of a giant arm. A maximum of two guests can occupy a gondola and after seating yourself, you may notice something strange. There’s no restraint! No lap bar, over the shoulder harness or even a simple seat belt! Your forthcoming battle against gravity will be a real test of physics, and once the sliding cage door is closed and locked, it’s time to be taken on the spin of your life.
Enterprise begins by rotating riders and gathering speed, slowly tilting the gondolas outwards away from the centre of the wheel. After gradually reaching a rather fast pace, the arm in the centre begins to elevate the 20 gondolas and guests inside skywards, hurtling riders upside down at dizzying speeds whilst pinning you into your seat. You’re truly inverting with nothing holding you in place!
After several moments of being hurtled skywards and plunging back down to the earth in a repeated momentum, the wheel will slowly begin to descend and lose speed, bringing riders back to a standstill on the ground.
Before the Ministry of Joy and X Sector were even a concept for Alton Towers, Enterprise began operating at the park in 1984. The original location it stood in was alongside the Corkscrew in Festival Park (now known as Dark Forest).
With the introduction of Oblivion and X Sector in 1998, Enterprise proved to be an ideal candidate to be a support ride in the brand new area, and sat perfectly inside the vertical drop rollercoaster’s banked turn.
Enterprise has always been subjected to noticeable maintenance work over the closed seasons gone by, with the entire ride system being removed from its space, leaving an empty pit. Alongside the introduction of The Smiler in 2013, the majority of X Sector was given a fresh breath of life. Enterprise was extensively worked on, with many brand new components being installed to keep the ride operating for the foreseeable future.
Enterprise has been thrilling guests for over three decades and was used in a video starring John Wardley explaining the experience of several rides at the resort, including Air and Oblivion. John explains in depth how Enterprise works and keeps riders in their seats when upside down, despite the lack of restraints.