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Thirteen (officially stylised as TH13TEEN) is a steel roller coaster at Alton Towers in England. The ride was constructed by Intamin and opened on 20 March 2010. It is the world's first vertical freefall drop roller coaster - on which the track and train freefall approximately five metres in darkness.[3] The ride replaced and is built on the former site of the Corkscrew, which resided at Alton Towers for 28 years between 1980 and 2008.

After taking an eight year break from major attractions, Thirteen was the fourth 'Secret Weapon' coaster to have launched at the park. Each secret weapon has made a mark on the rollercoaster industry, with all being either world's firsts or exceedingly well designed. Every secret weapon has an emphasis on theming, landscaping and quality ride hardware. Thirteen was the first secret weapon not to be built by Bolliger & Mabillard.

Early development

Alton Towers first revealed their plans for the ride in October 2008 when it was announced that Corkscrew would be removed. Planning permission was initially delayed due to concerns about an Iron Age hill fort in its vicinity.[5] However, in March 2009, Staffordshire Moorlands District Council accepted planning permission for the ride (with conditions) and groundwork construction commenced about three months later. During the planning stages and construction, the ride was codenamed as Secret Weapon 6.

In an interview shortly after the ride's opening, John Wardley, Ride Consultant for Merlin Entertainments, spoke about the development of Thirteen. The initial idea for the secret element originated from a previous rollercoaster plan that he designed for Alton Towers, in which a piece of track tilted back and forth during the ride. The ride, if it had been built, would have been similar to Winjas Fear and Force at Phantasialand, Germany, and therefore not a world's first ride. The plan never came to fruition, but the idea of moving track was kept and later developed into the world's first freefall dropping track element for Thirteen.

Ride Information

  • Location: Alton Towers
  • Opened: 20 March 2010
  • Cost:  £15 Million


General Statistics

  • Type: Steel
  • Manufacturer: Intamin
  • Designer: John Wardley (layout), Candy Holland (artistic direction)
  • Lift/launch system: Drive tire lift hill
  • Height: 60ft (18m)
  • Drop: 56ft (17m)
  • Length:
  • Speed: 41mph (66km/h)
  • Inversions: 0
  • Duration:
  • Capacity: 1,400 riders per hour
  • G-force: 3
  • Height restriction: 47.3in (120cm)





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