Alton Towers is reportedly set to replace the ageing Enterprise ride with an updated model, as it prepares to revamp the X-Sector area for the 2013 season.
Fan site Towers Times claims that the ride will be replaced with a similar, but newer model next year. However, reports on other sites such as Towers Street suggest that a more modest refurbishment, involving the replacement of several parts, will be undertaken. Enterprise will also receive an updated colour scheme in order to tie in with the new SW7 roller coaster, which will open in time for the new season.
Enterprise is one of Alton Towers' oldest attractions, having made its debut in the Festival Park area in 1984. The ride is a classic Huss Enterprise attraction, identical to those seen in other theme parks and travelling funfairs all over the world. It was relocated in 1998 to become part of the new X-Sector area alongside the Oblivion rollercoaster.
Riders are seated in pods hanging from a wheel, which starts in a horizontal position. Initially, it spins close to the ground, causing riders' pods to swing outwards. It is then raised to a vertical position, with the forces generated pinning riders into their seats as they travel upside down before the wheel is gradually lowered back to a horizontal position.
In 2013, Alton Towers will debut a new, multi-inversion roller coaster in X Sector. The park has repeatedly stated the the ride will feature a "world-first" element, although it has not yet confirmed what this will be.
You can find out more about Alton Towers' new roller coaster for 2013 by reading Theme Park Tourist's detailed breakdown of the SW7 plans.