|Opening date||March 14, 1998|
Ride history Edit
Fantasy World conversion and construction Edit
In the 1997 season, Alton Towers closed the Fantasy World area of the park, and stripped it of all its fantasy-themed attractions, excluding the Black Hole roller coaster (The Smiler replaced the attraction in 2013). To accompany Oblivion, which wasn't announced until 1998, Fantasy World was reconverted from a fairground-themed area to mock a sinister government facility, and renamed to X-Sector. The Black Hole's outer tent was repainted from green and yellow to blue and silver, and the Energizer and Enterprise attractions from the park's Festival Park area (now the Dark Forest area) were moved to make X-Sector a major ride area.
Much like other big attractions such as Nemesis, Oblivion was given a codename using the park's famous "Secret Weapon" tagline. Oblivion was tagged at "Secret Weapon 4", or SW4.
Television publicity and opening Edit
In 1997, shortly before Oblivion opened, marketing memorabilia was released to the public, including the ride's own brand of deodorant. Closer to the time of Oblivion's opening, the coaster made several televised appearances on shows like Blue Peter and The Gadget Show. Oblivion also appeared on many news channels and cereal boxes. Oblivion officially opened to the public on March 14, 1998.
Fanta sponsorship Edit
Oblivion was given a brief refurbishment in April 2011 to promote the attraction's new sponsor, Fanta. Fanta hung up posters in the ride area reading, "15,000ft drop, bring it on," but they were removed after complaints from riders.
2013 refurbishment Edit
Since the closure of the Black Hole in 2005, Oblivion was the only roller coaster housed in the X-Sector area. However, this was going to change with The Smiler opening in 2013. In late January and early February 2013, Alton Towers began to repaint the attraction's fading and worn-out grey track. Oblivion's refurbishment took roughly 6 weeks, and included some upgrades to the ride's station and queue area.
2015 Smiler incident Edit
On June 2, 2015, a collision occurred on Oblivion's neighboring coaster, The Smiler, injuring four, and resulting in the closure of the entire Alton Towers property. Several days later, Alton Towers later, but X-Sector, the area of the park which houses Oblivion and The Smiler, remained closed for safety inspections. Eventually, the X-Sector area of the park reopened, excluding The Smiler.
Ride synopsis Edit
In the queue area, riders are shown three briefing videos featuring Renny Krupinski, who explains to them the physical and psychological effects of riding Oblivion.
The ride begins with the steep descent up the 65-foot lift hill. The train then makes a 180-degree left turn, and before descending, the train stalls for a brief five seconds. After the five seconds, the train descends 180 feet into a tunnel, and the train then climbs out by entering a high-banked turn. After exiting the turn, the train enters the final brake system.
- Oblivion is credited as the first vertical drop roller coaster in the world.
- At the time of its opening, Oblivion was Alton Towers' most expensive project, at 12 million pounds. In 2002, Air tied with Oblivion's record.
- Oblivion was manufactured by Bolliger & Mabillard (B&M), and was designed by John Wardley, famous for designing roller coasters such as Oblivion's neighbor, The Smiler.
- The ride can accompany up to 1,920 riders per hour, and one cycle lasts about 1 minute, 15 seconds.
- Oblivion is the third fastest roller coaster in the United Kingdom.
Mitch Hawker's Best Roller Coaster Poll Edit