Black Hole (roller coaster)
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|Replaced by||The Smiler|
|Type||Steel – Enclosed|
|Designer||Anton Schwarzkopf / Ingenieur Büro Stengel GmbH|
|Model||Jet Star 2|
|Track layout||Custom Twister|
|Lift/launch system||Electric spiral lift|
|Height||44.25 ft (13.49 m)|
|Drop||27 ft (8.2 m)|
|Length||1,919.25 ft (584.99 m)|
|Speed||32 mph (51 km/h)|
|Max vertical angle||33°|
|Capacity||900 riders per hour|
|Height restriction||42 in (107 cm)|
|Black Hole at RCDB|
Pictures of Black Hole at RCDB
Black Hole, briefly known as Black Hole II and New Black Hole, was an enclosed steel roller coaster at Alton Towers in Staffordshire, England. It operated from 1984 until 2005. The coaster was located within a huge black tent (formerly green and yellow) that ensured the ride took place in total darkness. The coaster itself was a Jet Star II, designed by Anton Schwarzkopf. During the time that the ride operated, the park also operated a similar outdoor Jet Star III coaster, the Beast.
The Black Hole was constructed in Fantasy Land for the 1984 season taking the place of the "Dinosaur Land" attraction which was then moved into storage. It was themed around space.
In 1985, the bottom of the first drop was modified slightly to make the ride run more smoothly. Lights were also added to the lift so that riders were able to brace themselves for the first drop. For the 1988 season, the coaster was dismantled and transported to Europe, where it had an overhaul to accommodate dual-car trains. The reconstructed coaster reopened and was briefly named "Black Hole II", then "New Black Hole" in 1989, before reverting to the original name.
The opening of Oblivion brought the redevelopment of Fantasy Land as X-Sector. The Black Hole was integrated into the new themed area with another refurbishment. The colour scheme of the original tent was changed from yellow and green to deep blue, with a new entrance in the style of X-Sector. Inside, the ride received a redesigned queueline and station with Jules Verne-style architecture.
In later years, the Black Hole became costly to maintain and the park decided to close the attraction in 2005. The coaster track was dismantled and sold in 2007. At the time, there were no confirmed plans to redevelop the empty building so it remained defunct for several years.
During a one-off Q&A session held to celebrate the opening of Thirteen in 2010, it was confirmed by John Wardley and then-marketing director Morwenna Angove that preparation for a new rollercoaster in 2013 had started and that the former Black Hole area was a potential site. A planning application proposing a new rollercoaster on the Black Hole site was submitted in early 2012 and approved by Staffordshire Moorlands council. The large tent was finally dismantled in April 2012 to make way for The Smiler, marking the end of its stay at the park after almost 28 years.
During the park's annual Halloween Scarefest event in October 2011, the Black Hole building was used to house two temporary scare maze attractions. This was the first time the structure had been put to public use since the attraction's closure in March 2005.