Astro Storm

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Astro Storm
Space Invader BPB.jpg
Brean Leisure Park
Coordinates 51°17′10″N 3°00′29″W / 51.286078°N 3.008076°W / 51.286078; -3.008076Coordinates: 51°17′10″N 3°00′29″W / 51.286078°N 3.008076°W / 51.286078; -3.008076
Status Operating
Opening date July 23, 2011 (2011-07-23)
Pleasure Beach Blackpool
Coordinates 53°47′23″N 3°03′15″W / 53.789738°N 3.054250°W / 53.789738; -3.054250
Status Relocated to Brean Leisure Park
Opening date August 21, 1984 (1984-08-21)
Closing date September 2008
General statistics
Type Steel – Enclosed
Manufacturer Zierer
Designer Werner Stengel
Model Four Man Bob
Lift/launch system Chain Lift Hill
Drop 59 ft (18 m)
Length 1,490 ft (450 m)
Speed 37 mph (60 km/h)
Inversions 0
Duration 1:30
Max vertical angle 36°
G-force 2.6
Height restriction 48 in (122 cm)
Astro Storm at RCDB
Pictures of Astro Storm at RCDB

Astro Storm is an enclosed, sit down roller coaster at Brean Leisure Park in Brean, England, created by German amusement ride manufacturer Zierer. It was formerly located at Pleasure Beach Blackpool in Blackpool, England where it was known as Space Invader 2.

History[edit]

Space Invader opened on August 21, 1984, and was Blackpool Pleasure Beach's fourth steel roller coaster. The ride itself was constructed by Zierer, a German ride manufacturer. The original ride was similar to the ride as it is today, although it was known to be a much rougher ride. In 2000, a young boy died after reportedly unbuckling his safety belt after panicking. It was refurbished in 2003 by KumbaK Coasters and reopened in 2004 as "Space Invader 2". In September 2008, the ride closed following a failed evacuation during operating hours. They closed the ride due to the cost it needed to reopen. The ride was removed in June 2010 and sold to Brean Leisure Park.

Sale to Brean Leisure Park[edit]

It was announced in July 2010 that Blackpool Pleasure Beach had sold Space Invader to Brean Leisure Park. The ride had been standing but not operating (SBNO) for over 18 months, but now the ride’s life has been restored and it was renamed Astro Storm and opened 2011.

The ride[edit]

After leaving the station, cars make a 90° turn to the right and are carried to the top of a chain-lift hill; the cars then descend a 59 ft drop in the dark, at an incline angle of 36°. The ride then has several drops, banked turns and helixes, before cars reach the brake run and return to the station to be unloaded.

Astro Storm operates single car trains. Riders are arranged inline in three rows for a total of three riders per car with a T-bar restraint. Before 2003 (When it was the original Space invader at Blackpool), the ride used cars which were able to carry 4 people and riders were restrained by a seatbelt.

Theming[edit]

When it was Space Invader (2), the ride was themed around a journey through space, and was decorated with glow-in-the-dark pictures of stars, planets and aliens. The Queue and loading area were themed around a space station, with various signs telling riders how long it would be until boarding their ride vehicles. Some parts of the queue were themed around the Star Wars films, such as a statue of Han Solo stuck in carbonite.

Astro Storm however has a different approach with regard to theming. The queueline/boarding area (which is now outside) is themed and has a queueline video. This video tells you that "Astro Tours" are going to take you on a journey round space etc... Once the train starts you go through a set of doors to be confronted with a screen with a man on it telling you to "Abort!" because it has gone wrong. The shouting continues as you go up the chainlift, with it becoming more chaotic as you reach the top with strobe lights and sirens. The rest of the ride is taken in pitch black now, although there are lighting effects on the trim brakes and the odd piece of theming dotted around the ride. There are also audio effects.

Incidents[edit]

On July 21, 2000, 11-year-old Christopher Sheratt died after he fell out of the ride vehicle.[1] Reports say that Sheratt panicked on the dark ride and unfastened his seatbelt.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Boy's rollercoaster death 'accidental'". BBC News. 2001-10-30. Retrieved 2008-04-10.