A guide to the rides and attractions you cannot afford to miss during a visit to Alton Towers.
Thirteen at Alton TowersSubmitted by Nick Sim on Monday, May 28, 2012 19:45
Key informationOur rating:
The long-awaited Thirteen rollercoaster (also known as "Th13teen") opened at Alton Towers on March 20, 2010. Billed as "the scariest rollercoaster in the world", the ride is actually aimed at families and is relatively tame compared the park's other thrill rides.
To accommodate Thirteen, Alton Towers updated the Ug Land section of the park with a new "Dark Forest" theme. The theme makes perfect sense, given the proximity of the area to woodland (Thirteen itself passes through a wooded area) and the abundance of greenery throughout the park. However, the overall design of Ug Land changed little, with the major change being the use of darker colours and the addition of "creeping" branches designed to give the effect of the forest "taking over".
The queue line winds around the back of the Rita rollercoaster, adjacent to the woods. Several theming elements are featured in the waiting area, including tombstones and a mysterious abandoned van. On peak days and during the Scarefest Halloween events, "wraith" characters sometimes lurk alongside waiting guests to add to the atmosphere.
The station itself is themed around a spooky crypt, with darkened lighting and foreboding music creating an intense atmosphere. Boarding the ride is fast, with a simple lap restraint being used to hold guests in place.
On leaving the station, Thirteen banks to the left and enters the main lift hill. After the first drop, the train enters a series of "bunny hops" which provide riders with a bit of "airtime", before twisting and turning through a wooded area. It then enters the crypt itself, where a secretive "world's first" element is hosted. After exiting this section, the ride briefly travels backwards before the train is launched back into the station.
More information about Thirteen:
A retrospective look at whether 2010's biggest new theme park attractions hit the mark with guests - or whether they proved to be expensive flops.
Theme Park Tourist’s review of Thirteen, the highly anticipated new rollercoaster at Alton Towers for 2010.
Upcoming refurbishments, rehabs and closures
We are not aware of any scheduled refurbishment periods for Thirteen. 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 Thirteen
Reviews of Thirteen:
I love the click track drop on this ride. Makes is unique. This is always the first Roller coaster I go to when the park opens.
This ride is good, but ALton Towers have marketed it completely wrong. It is not as scary as they make it out to be. Yes, the "World First" element can be a shock if you are not expecting it, and there is some great theming in the station but it is definitely not a thrill ride. However, it is great fun for all the family and is a great laugh with mates who don't know about the surprise element...
Until a few days ago, I hadn't had a chance to see this ride in real life. I was pleasantly suprised.
Thirteen. This is possibly the creepiest ride I think I have ever been on. The queue line could be improved massively if they removed the wooden picket fencing that has adorned the area since Corkscrew was still causing headaches and installed some rusty iron barriers or something that doesn't look quite as friendly.
Be prepared for a long walk to the station, however, when you do eventually get there, it's well worth the wait.
I would liken the station to what Thorpe Park have attempted to do with the 'Saw' station, only, Alton Towers have done it much much better. You get a sense of danger and eerieness just walking into the station. I love the great chalk scribings on the wall that just add something sinister to the area. There is something insanely creepy about the young girls voice (at no point do you find out who she is) that is hauntingly singing and counting to thirteen. The hooded figures around the area give it a real sense of unease and to be honest, I was creeped out before I even jumped into the train. There is a part of the station that made me and the wife jump but I don't want to give it away to people that haven't seen it. The second time I rode, I didn't see it, just heard it, so even if you have ridden, you may not have seen it.
The ride itself is good. It is certainly no more than a family thrill ride and my 9 year old son loved it. I wasn't expecting the first drop to be so steep and the corners to bank so steeply and it added quite a good fun element to the ride.
The ride is very short and before you know it, you're in the crypt where the 'World's first' element comes into play.
A freefall drop followed by a reverse train ride out of the crypt is enough to freak anyone out that wasn't expecting it and thats exactly what happened to yours truly.
In summary, this is a good family ride that will appeal to a lot of people. I loved the ride because of the theming around it, but the area will be much better once the young trees have had time to grow around the area. The queue line fence needs to be re-done, but overall, this is a good stop gap before SW7 is released in 2012.