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The Top 5 Drop Rides at UK Theme Parks

Detonator at Thorpe Park

A theme park is not complete without the dizzying, stomach-churning heights of a drop tower. These tall structures are designed to give riders a breathtaking zero gravity rush. Contrary to popular belief, all drop towers offer a different ride experience: but which one offers the best?

Using the TPT100, your ratings and reviews on Theme Park Tourist and beyond, we’ve compiled this top 5 list of the ultimate, unmissable drop rides across the UK.

5. Sky Drop (Adventure Island)

Sky Drop

Image: Adventure Island Guide

This Zamperla drop ride opened in Adventure Island in 2004. It lifts riders up to the top of a 70 feet high tower, before releasing them. The 16-seat gondola then bounces up and down a number of times before coming to rest. The ride offers great views of the park, particularly Rage.

An advantage of the Sky Drop is the ability to vary the ride time depending on how busy the park is.

Full details: Sky Drop Guide

4. Ice Blast (Blackpool Pleasure Beach)

Tango Ice Blast (sponsored by the drink of the same name) stands at 180 feet tall and is an S&S Space Shot ride. Riders are catapulted up the steel tower with a blast of air, before plummeting down at speeds of up to 80mph. The tower is catapulted up once again to midway up the tower, then again to a lower height, making for a long and exciting ride, with an impressive 3.9 out of 5 TPT user rating.

Full details: Ice Blast Guide

3. Cliff Hanger (Flamingo Land)

Flamingo Land takes the prize for highest UK drop ride: towering over the rest of the list at 180 feet, this is the only S&S Combo drop tower ride in the UK. It opened in 2002, making it one of the park's earliest rides.

Impressively, the Cliff Hanger can act as a drop tower (lifting riders to the top, and dropping them down), a launch tower (launching riders up to the top) or both.

Full details: Cliff Hanger Guide 

2. Detonator (Thorpe Park)

Image © Thorpe Park

One of three flat rides to open in Thorpe Park in 2001, this Fabbri Mega Drop Tower boasts a dizzying 115 feet. Rather uniquely, this drop tower is not released by a computer: but instead by a button pressed by the ride operator.

It reaches top speed of 46mph, with the help of pneumatics pushing the gondola down faster than gravity itself.

Full details: Detonator Guide

1. Apocalypse (Drayton Manor)

Representing the genre on the TPT100 at the 95th spot, this drop ride gives the traditional form a few innovations. Standing at an impressive 177 feet, this Intamin-designed monster offers different kinds of seating: sitting, standing on a floor or standing on no floor. The real twist occurs as the cars drive up the tower: they each rotate 15°.

Riders fall 54 metres at 50 miles an hour, taking 4 seconds to reach the ground. When first opened, this ride held the title for ‘only stand up drop tower in the world’. It lost the title in 2005, when Hurakan Condor opened at PortAventura.

Full details: Apocalypse Guide

What are your favourites?

Disagree with the rankings above? Let us know what your favourite UK drop rides are by adding your own ratings and reviews.

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