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Sonic Spinball at Alton TowersSubmitted by Nick on Monday, May 28, 2012 18:45
Key informationOur rating:
Mar 27, 2004
Sonic Spinball is a Maurer Söhne Spinning Coaster that is located in the Adventure Land area of Alton Towers. Known as Spinball Whizzer when it opened in 2004, the ride sees guests seated in groups of two back-to-back with another two riders. After climbing up a lift hill, their cars then traverse a 1,541 feet circuit that is packed with twists and turns. The cars themselves spin on the way round, with the amount of spinning varying depending on the weight distribution of the riders.
In 2010, the coaster was rethemed as Sonic Spinball following a deal with video games giant Sega. The Sonic theme was a natural fit for the ride, which was previously themed around pinball. Numerous titles featuring the iconic hedgehog have included "bonus games" based on pinball, and an entire pinball game (also named Sonic Spinball) was released for the Sega Genesis (also known as the Mega Drive) in 1993. Subsequent releases followed on the Game Gear and Master System, and the game was re-issued in 2007 on the Nintendo Wii's Virtual Console.
Alton Towers revealed in its 2009 Long Term Development Plan that it plans to relocate Sonic Spinball within ten years. However, it seems likely to remain in Adventure Land until the deal with Sega expires in 2013.Review:
While it’s not quite as impressive as the similar Dragon’s Fury coaster at sister park Chessington World of Adventures, Sonic Spinball is still a solidly entertaining ride for older children, teenagers and adults. In places, the ride’s circuit seems to defy the laws of physics, and it’s a real thrill to navigate some of its more bizarre-looking elements. The Sonic theming is somewhat lightweight, but given that you’re spinning out of control anyway, there’s little time to notice.
Sonic Spinball’s limited capacity and close proximity to Alton Towers’ entrance mean that lengthy lines can form relatively early in the day. While there are a number of interactive games located close in the queue to keep guests entertained, we advise returning to the ride just before the park closes to avoid wasting precious time.Top Tip:
Want the cars to spin faster? Try and load your party unevenly in the cars, leaving one or two heavier riders on one side.
More information about Sonic Spinball:
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The Future of Alton Towers: How Britain's Most Popular Theme Park Plans to Evolve
Tuesday, November 13, 2012 12:15
An in-depth look at Alton Towers' long-term development plan, which lays out how the park plans to invest in new rides, attractions and hotels from 2012-2019.
Latest news on Sonic Spinball:
Sonic Spinball to open at Alton Towers this weekend
Friday, February 12, 2010 18:14
The first riders will experience the newly-rethemed Sonic Spinball rollercoaster at Alton Towers this weekend, as the park begins its half-term opening period.
Sonic Spinball name confirmed as Sega signs deal with Alton Towers
Monday, January 25, 2010 21:59
Sega has signed a three-year deal with Alton Towers that will see the Spinball Whizzer rollercoaster renamed as Sonic Spinball.
Sonic the Hedgehog coming to Alton Towers in 2010
Monday, January 4, 2010 18:48
The Spinball Whizzer rollercoaster at Alton Towers is to be re-themed around Sega's famous Sonic the Hedgehog character for the 2010 season.
Upcoming refurbishments, rehabs and closures
We are not aware of any scheduled refurbishment periods for Sonic Spinball. Do you know of any upcoming "rehabs" that we're missing? If so - please contact us so that we can keep the list up-to-date.
Photos of Sonic Spinball
Reader reviews of Sonic Spinball
This ride is suitable for all ages, although it does look frightning, once on it is a fun experience, the only problem is that the queues for this ride are awful, we got their first thing and still had to wait an hour! I reccomend starting at the back of the park and making your way forwards to keep good timing, sonic spinball is at the very front so it is busier earlier on, but loved this ride!