X (roller coaster)

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See X2 (roller coaster) for the steel roller coaster formerly known as X operating at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia, California, USA.
X is enclosed in a large pyramid shaped building
Thorpe Park
Park section Lost City
Coordinates 51°24′13″N 0°30′48″W / 51.4036°N 0.5132°W / 51.4036; -0.5132Coordinates: 51°24′13″N 0°30′48″W / 51.4036°N 0.5132°W / 51.4036; -0.5132
Status Operating
Opening date March 23, 1996 (March 29, 2013 as X)
General statistics
Type Steel
Manufacturer Vekoma
Designer Vekoma
Model Enigma
Track layout Modified Enigma
Lift/launch system Drive tire lift hill
Height 42 ft (13 m)
Drop 32 ft (9.8 m)
Length 1,312 ft (400 m)
Speed 28 mph (45 km/h)
Inversions 0
Duration 2:00
Capacity 700 riders per hour
G-force 2.4
Pictures of X at RCDB

X (formerly known as X:\ No Way Out) is an indoor roller coaster located at Thorpe Park, England. It was the park's first non-powered roller-coaster. It is themed around a rave and has the strapline "Ride on a wave of light and sound".[1]

The roller coaster combines a variety of lights, lasers and music with a completely indoor ride circuit, featured inside a large blue and terracotta pyramid structure.


The ride opened as X:\ No Way Out on March 23, 1996 as Thorpe Park's first non-powered roller coaster. It was marketed as the "world's first backwards roller coaster in the dark", as well as being originally themed to the concept of being trapped inside a computer virus. This theme lasted up until March 2013 when the ride underwent various changes. The roller coaster originally travelled the length of its ride circuit backwards, but this was altered in March 2013 along with the shortening of its name, simply to 'X'. New trains were also purchased from Vekoma, which run forwards instead of backwards. The addition of lighting and lasers from 2013 onwards removes the pitch black darkness that riders originally rode in.

X originally had a much lengthier queue line, but this was modified and shortened to accommodate for the "Hellgate" Fright Night maze, then "The Passing" maze, and most recently "The Cabin in the Woods" maze. This original queue line featured a room full of life-sized robot mannequins lit in UV light, and a spinning tunnel. This queue line also featured TVs showing videos about the ride, although these have all now been removed.[2] In the exit queue line, there was a 5 ft-long model of an Eveready AA battery labelled 'Thorpe Park Power Supply';[3] this was removed in 2013.

The ride layout has also had many features removed since its opening. There was an on-ride photo camera which allowed riders to purchase their on-ride photo; this was removed in 2005. The lift hill of the ride had multi-coloured flashing LED light strips added in 2000; these were removed in 2013.[4]

In 2010, Thorpe Park did trial runs of X with the safety lights turned on, to test if there would be reduced levels of motion sickness with guests.

Ride experience[edit]

Riders enter the queue line inside the pyramid and proceed down a long and narrow corridor with neon lights and lasers in the ceiling. Loud dance music plays throughout the corridor. After turning a few corners, riders are asked to secure any loose belongings in a baggage area before proceeding into a large room with a segment of switchback queue line, which is put into operation on busier days. After queuing in this room, riders enter the station. After riders are seated and secured, the train exits the station into a tight right hand turn that leads up onto the lift hill.

After reaching the top of the hill, the train plummets down at speeds of up to 28 mph into various helixes and tight turns. While the ride negotiates its circuit, there are bright multi-coloured disco lights and laser effects that accompany the dance music heard in the queue-line, which is amplified inside the main ride area. The train arrives at an exit platform where riders disembark, before collecting their belongings and remembering outside.

Brake Runs[edit]

Throughout the ride, there are three mid-course brake runs. Originally, while the ride was X:\ No Way Out, these would stop the train for a few seconds while misters sprayed above the riders' heads (these were removed by 2013) and sound effects were played through speakers, to disorientate the riders. On the third brake run, the train moved backwards (although from a rider's point of view, it moved forwards, since the trains were reversed) by a few metres before being propelled forwards. Also on this third brake run, since the ride was refurbished in 2007, two of the robot mannequins from the old queue line were positioned on the brake run and lit up to give the riders a surprise. These were removed a few weeks into the 2013 season.[5][6]

Nowadays, the brake runs simply allow the trains to run through the circuit without stopping.


External links[edit]