Sonic Spinball (roller coaster)

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Sonic Spinball
Alton Towers
Park section Adventure Land
Coordinates 52°59′20″N 1°53′40″W / 52.988915°N 1.89457°W / 52.988915; -1.89457Coordinates: 52°59′20″N 1°53′40″W / 52.988915°N 1.89457°W / 52.988915; -1.89457
Status Operating
Opening date 27 March 2004
Cost £3,500,000
General statistics
Type Steel – Spinning
Manufacturer Maurer Söhne
Designer Layout by John Wardley and Werner Stengel
Model SC 2200[1]
Lift/launch system Chain lift hill
Height 56 ft (17 m)
Length 1,476 ft (450 m)
Speed 38 mph (61 km/h)
Inversions 0
Duration 1:15
Max vertical angle 54°
Capacity 700 riders per hour
Height restriction 47.3 in (120 cm)
Single rider line available
Sonic Spinball at RCDB
Pictures of Sonic Spinball at RCDB

Sonic Spinball (previously known as Spinball Whizzer), is a steel spinning roller coaster made by Maurer Söhne of Germany and sponsored by SEGA. The ride is located in the Adventure Land area of Alton Towers in Staffordshire, England. It is based on SEGA's number one franchise Sonic the Hedgehog. "Sonic Spinball" itself was an early pinball game released for Sega's Mega Drive, Game Gear and Master System systems, which is referenced in the ride's theming.


Originally opened in 2004, the ride was known as Spinball Whizzer and featured a loose pinball machine theme. The name was a pun on the song Pinball Wizard by The Who. It was decided in late 2009 that the ride would receive sponsorship. The roller coaster was therefore given a red and blue track repaint; new decoys, signage and audio, including songs from the games (with the station announcements done by Sonic's current voice actor Roger Craig Smith). The ride re-opened to the public on 13 February 2010 during the park's February half term event. A Sonic-themed room was also made available at the Alton Towers Hotel, which features various playable Sonic games and wallpaper based on Sonic the Hedgehog 4 game.[2]

The Sonic Spinball ride after re-branding.

SEGA previously had a deal with Alton Towers for use of Sonic the Hedgehog in the Toyland Tours dark ride. A Sonic the Hedghog animatronic featured in one of the ride's scenes along with associated sound effects and music. However, the ride was closed for refurbishment in June 2005 to make way for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: The Ride.

SEGA's sponsorship was set to end in 2013 as part of the three-year deal. At the end of 2013 the sponsorship was renewed, and will continue until 2016.[citation needed]


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