Rita (roller coaster)

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Rita
Rita (Alton Towers).JPG
As Rita: (2010-present)
Previously known as Rita: Queen of Speed
Alton Towers
Park sectionDark Forest
Coordinates52°59′06″N 1°53′26″W / 52.9850°N 1.8905°W / 52.9850; -1.8905Coordinates: 52°59′06″N 1°53′26″W / 52.9850°N 1.8905°W / 52.9850; -1.8905
StatusOperating
Opening date1 April 2005 (2005-04-01)
Cost£8,000,000
General statistics
TypeSteel – Launched
ManufacturerIntamin
DesignerWerner Stengel
ModelAccelerator Coaster
Track layoutTwister
Lift/launch systemHydraulic Launch
Height21 m (69 ft)
Length640 m (2,100 ft)
Speed98.3 km/h (61.1 mph)
Inversions0
Duration0:25
Acceleration0 to 98.3 km/h (0 to 61 mph) in 2.5 seconds
G-force4.7
Height restriction140 cm (4 ft 7 in)
Trains5 cars. Riders are arranged 2 across in 2 rows for a total of 20 riders per train.
WebsiteOfficial website
Fastrack available
Rita at RCDB
Pictures of Rita at RCDB

Rita, formerly known as Rita: Queen of Speed, is a launched roller coaster located in the Dark Forest section of Alton Towers amusement park in Staffordshire Moorlands, England. Designed by Intamin, the Accelerator Coaster model opened to the public on 1 April 2005. It features an acceleration from 0 to 98.3 km/h (61.1 mph) in 2.5 seconds.[1] The ride is loosely-themed to a drag racing concept, which partly changed when the section of the park transformed from "Ug Land" into the "Dark Forest" in 2010. It is now themed as an abandoned drag racer that is used as the escape cart to escape the Dark Forest.

In 2006, a similar launched roller coaster opened at Thorpe Park, called Stealth. It is also designed by Intamin and is faster than Rita, reaching speeds at 80 mph.

The ride was temporarily renamed "Camilla - Queen of Speed" on 9 April 2005 to celebrate the marriage of Prince Charles to Camilla Parker Bowles. This simply involved banner signage to notify guests of the name change.[2]

Ride experience[edit]

Rita was Alton Towers' new attraction for the 2005 season. The ride starts with the train racing forward from the station area, accelerating from 0 to 98.3 km/h (61.1 mph) in 2.5 seconds,[1] and negotiates high speed corners and air-time hills (the layout is a figure-of-8) before then reaching the brake run parallel with the station. The track is painted red but the higher parts of the track are painted green due to a rule which states that no roller coaster should be visible above the tree line. The ride has since been partly re-themed to support the theme of nearby Thirteen which opened in March 2010. The ride control cabin and entrance have been refurbished to look 'engulfed' by the branches of the Dark Forest area. As well as the control cabin and Rita tyres being rethemed to suit the Dark Forest, the cars have been rethemed with a darker grey tint to the bottom of the cars with forest stains over the flames to make it fit. It still has the blue and purple cars with flames but with a tint of grey to make Rita look damaged by the supernatural forest.

The voiceover heard before the ride launches is also changed to incorporate a more spooky theme. As opposed to an American-accented motor racing commentary-style voice counting down to the start of a drag race, it is now a sinister, foreboding voice ordering passengers to "Keep your head back! Hold on tight! You MUST escape! Go! Go! Go!".

History[edit]

In September 2004 UG Land was stripped of almost all of its attractions including The UG Bugs, The Bone Shaker and Lava Lump preparing for a major new ride. The only rides that remained were the Corkscrew and the UG Swinger.

On 1 April 2005 Rita Queen of Speed opened to the public and 'UG Land and the Thunder Rock Rally' was formed, incorporating the new ride, Corkscrew, and a number of other rides which would be removed in the following years.

In September 2009, following a change of the area to the Dark Forest, the "Queen of Speed" suffix was dropped from the ride's name, and Rita (as it is now known) received a retheme, with a redecorated entrance, queue line, station, control room and cars.

Incidents[edit]

On the morning of 24 July 2012, the ride's launch cable snapped during testing while attached to an empty train.[citation needed] This also happened in 2005. No injuries were reported, but the incident was similar to the 2009 failure of the Xcelerator rollercoaster's launch cable in the United States.[citation needed] The ride re-opened on 26 July 2012.[citation needed]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Marden, Duane. "Rita  (Alton Towers)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved April 4, 2018.
  2. ^ Rita renamed http://www.prnewswire.co.uk/cgi/news/release?id=143421

External links[edit]