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10 hours ago, planenut said:

Finally braved TP for the first time this year, and very wary of the virus and the almost impossible "Social distancing". Took a couple of different style face masks and found the one I use when riding my bike the most secure.


Difficult for the staff as they cannot be any closer to the riders than they are.


Originally doubted I would get many rides in but there was hardly a queue all afternoon so I managed a decent number. Several times after the braking hill we raced round the lower bend and engineering had to change a couple of drive wheels.

This happened a couple of times yesterday - the train was getting round that final bend in record time which I didn’t notice at first - do you like the German audio on Stealth?  I love it 🤣.  We got on Stealth 4 times yesterday which was fab!

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Sir, this is not the ride for you.

As Stealths wheels heat up, the train moves faster around the circuit. By "opening later" they are essentially delaying the amount of time it takes for the wheels to over heat.  Stealth in hot we

From TPM's Facebook page: You sure it's not just a couple of enthusiastic vapers in the back row?

Posted Images

Ahhh, this old chestnut. The story is quite simple, but a sort of Chinese-whispers effect has led to some confusion over the years.


That image is from the MTDP from around 2003. The MTDPs only show loose ideas that the park have at the time. That drawing, for example, shows the top hat being the other side of the Stealth area. The layouts mean nothing; they're just there as a rough indication of size. 


When Thorpe were drawing up ideas for Stealth, they wanted a longer ride, more akin to Xcelerator (hence why the MTDP shows that). Ultimately, it never happened, for a variety of reasons: space, money, visual impact of the ride, etc. There is no online copy of any longer layout they may have considered. 


The "Stealth and Rita were meant to be one ride" thing is one of these 'fun facts' that the parks liked to say during behind the scene tours. However, that's very much an embellishment of the truth. Thorpe had long planned for a tall and fast icon ride and, as stated, did look at a longer ride too. Eventually they settled for the standard Intamin accelerator top hat-airtime hill combo we have.

Alton Towers were in need of a new thrill ride to stay fresh and competitive, especially after encountering issues with planning for their wooden coaster. With the company in advanced discussions with Intamin over Stealth, they were able to work with them further to get another coaster, Rita. There was likely some sort of deal that they were able to haggle as well. The layout of Rita is kind of just plonked how it could fit really.


It's certainly possible that Rita's layout featured inspiration from Stealth's extended layout, if the design process ever got that far. But it's more likely, in my opinion, just its own separate thing. So history would tell you "Thorpe wanted an Intamin accelerator, which eventually ended up being Stealth. They considered getting a longer one but didn't. Alton Towers also got an Intamin accelerator due to their other plans falling through, and it just so happens that the layout, with some tweaks, would have worked well after Stealth". But to say "Stealth and Rita were planned to be one ride" is a more fun story.


We'll probably never know exactly how things went down (in part because we're never told these things, in part because most who were involved with it have probably moved on), and we'll never see exactly what Stealth's extended layout could have been. 


35 minutes ago, Ivsetti said:

(as it's an MTDP made by Thorpe certain parts of potential rides tend to be modified to hide the layout they actually build as was obviously the case in this example).


As touched on earlier, Thorpe's MTDP is a very loose thing. It just shows locations and vague scales of what they're considering at the time. But these ideas can and do change (Ghost Train was never mentioned in the 2010 MTDP, for example). The reason Thorpe submitted them is because it made the planning process for the rides easier, and kept up good relations with the council.


When Thorpe do submit plans though, they have to stick to them very precisely. They have little room to change anything, everything must be done pretty much exactly as agreed. So they'd never be able to hide anything. Towers is slightly different, in that a large part of the park is covered by a General Development Order (GDO), which means that, within that area, they can do lots of things without submitting planning applications. This is how they were able to build Octonauts without a planning application, 'hide' some inversions in Smiler's application, and change the profiling on Wickerman's drop.

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As far as I know Rita was a pre-existing Intamin design that Alton Towers just bought, that had been planned for another park and was pretty much able to go anywhere flat.

No application went through for the Alton wooden coaster (or was it withdrawn by the park?) after an initial survey found it wasn't possible. Rita wasn't so much a replacement for that coaster but a badly rushed addition to boost numbers directed by Tussauds new owners DIC


Presumably they then wanted the same for Thorpe Park. So I wouldnt be surprised if there just wasn't the time and money for anything other than the top hat and launch. Which is a shame really, even just that indicative plan suggests a much nicer area and ride

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The valley wooden coaster did have plans submitted in early 2003, but were withdrawn. I think there were loads of potential problems which meant the plans probably would have been rejected. Presumably they would have at one point intended to to tweak and resubmit the plans, but that never happened.


I'd say Rita was a replacement for that coaster in the sense of they wanted a new thrill ride for 2005, and it opened in lieu of the wooden roller coaster, which was the first plan.


A launch 'icon' coaster had long been the plan for Thorpe. Presumably that simply fit in with the direction DIC wanted to take the park in too, but likely saw changes to keep it cost effective.

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17 minutes ago, JoshC. said:

A launch 'icon' coaster had long been the plan for Thorpe. Presumably that simply fit in with the direction DIC wanted to take the park in too, but likely saw changes to keep it cost effective.

Was that the Hulk style steel coaster originally planned for Colossus that you mean?

I think Rita was literally such a last minute project, I remember watching a Q&A with one of the project people saying it was unusually fast to go from being told to open a new ride to building it.

I think gives an idea of the different expectations DIC had on Tussauds at that time which probably played a big part in Stealth too. Then again it's on the 2003 development plan so not the same rush, and Stealth suited Thorpe so much better than Rita suited Ug land/ Alton Towers.

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42 minutes ago, SteveJ said:

Was that the Hulk style steel coaster originally planned for Colossus that you mean?


Yes and no I guess.


The Stealth incarnation of 'a launch coaster at Thorpe' had been in the works since around late 2002, to my knowledge. Maybe earlier even, depending on the sort of relationship that was had with Intamin at the time and the confidence that was had in Xcelerator (which opened in summer 2002).


The Hulk style coaster from Premier was the first time Thorpe had plans for a launch coaster. And that idea probably stretches all the way back to the late 90s shortly after Tussauds took over and planned to turn it into a thrill park. Plans were submitted and I think might even have been approved for that as well, but the park obviously changed their minds. No idea why. They also considered a Rock n Rollercoaster clone for the Inferno site at one point too. 


So a launch coaster had long been in the plans for Thorpe. A coaster matching Stealth's vague description had been toyed with for a good 3-4 years before it opened though.

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I can't remember if it's included in the CD or not, but the simulation includes the Amity-style 'Thorpe beat' that IMAscore have done. Don't think it ever really places at Stealth (I believe it's part of the bridge / entrance loop?), but still nice to hear!

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  • 1 month later...

I vaguely remember seeing it run from top of Loggers Leap (because it'd been broke all morning) and running over.


I miss having an exciting new ride to look forward to.

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On 3/15/2021 at 3:14 PM, JoshC. said:

Stealth turns 15 years old today! Almost hard to believe it is actually that old..!


If you feel like reminiscing a bit, or simply haven't seen construction photos of Stealth, we have a nice selection of photos on the TPM Stealth page for your viewing pleasure...


I was there that opening day, IIRC it was hit heavily by powercuts and something of a nightmare.

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  • 4 weeks later...
12 hours ago, JoshC. said:

Plot twist: After taking a short trip to the park today, I can confirm that the 5th green light on the station-side IS WORKING!





Buuuuuutttttttttt, the corresponding light on the launch track is not lighting up.





They surely haven't just moved the broken lights around, have they?


😱😱😱 The plot thickens, just like an unbranded nitrogen ice cream cookie sandwich.

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