Created on Friday, 06 March 2015 23:22
Last Updated on Friday, 06 March 2015 23:31

Oblivion is a steel roller coaster located at Alton Towers in England. The ride opened as the world's first vertical drop roller coaster on 14 March 1998, amidst a large publicity campaign. It was the second in a long line of 'Secret Weapon' rollercoasters to have opened at Alton Towers. The ride has a height restriction of 1.4 metres. With a maximum speed of 68 mph, it is the third fastest roller coaster in the UK, behind Stealth at Thorpe Park and the Pepsi Max Big One at Blackpool Pleasure Beach.


During 1997, Fantasy World (the area of Alton Towers in which Oblivion was eventually situated) was closed off and all the old fantasy-themed rides were removed except the Black Hole. Details about Oblivion were not revealed until March 1998.

The "SW4" codename stood for "Secret Weapon 4". SW3 was Nemesis, and SW 1 and 2 were unbuilt roller coasters originally intended for the Nemesis site.

Oblivion's opening was accompanied by a massive publicity drive, including appearances on Blue Peter, The Gadget Show, news channels and cereal boxes. In 1997, before Oblivion opened, some marketing memorabilia was released, including its own brand of deodorant.


When Oblivion did open, the area was re-themed to look like a sinister government facility, unlike Fantasy World's fairground theme, and renamed X-Sector. The only surviving ride from Fantasy World, the Black Hole roller coaster, was also changed; the large tent that it was situated in was repainted to blue and silver instead of green and yellow stripes. To make the new X-Sector a major ride area, Alton Towers added two old rides from other parts of the park: Energizer and Enterprise (both from Festival Park, now Dark Forest).[8] Both rides were repainted to fit to the new theme.

Ride Information

  • Location: Alton Towers
  • Opened: 14 March 1998
  • Cost:  £12 Million


General Statistics

  • Type: Steel - Dive Coaster
  • Manufacturer: Bolliger & Mabillard
  • Designer: John Wardley 
  • Lift/launch system: Chain lift hill
  • Height: 65ft (20m)
  • Drop: 180ft (55m)
  • Length: 1,223ft (373m)
  • Speed: 68.4mph (110.1km/h)
  • Inversions: 0
  • Duration: 1:15
  • Capacity: 1,920 riders per hour
  • G-force: 4.5
  • Height restriction: 140cm (4ft 7in)


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