Oblivion is a steel roller coaster located at Alton Towers in England. The ride opened as the world’s first dive 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 55 inches (140 cm).
Length: 1,222 ft
Height: 65 ft
Drop: 180 ft
Speed: 68 mph
Max Vertical Angle: 87°
Elements: 65 ft tall Chain Lift Hill with a 180 ft drop at 87°, Tunnel
Capacity: 1,900 riders per hour
The roller coaster has a simple layout with a 60 ft drop at 90 degrees, making it the world’s first vertical drop rollercoaster. The car slowly ascends 60 feet at a 45 degree angle to build tension, then levels out, slowly travelling around a curve as the cars approach the drop. As each car reaches the drop it is held by a holding brake for a maximum of five seconds, giving the rider a clear view of the long drop, before a brake is released allowing the car to drop into the tunnel. This is followed by a highly banked turn that climbs up and makes the train lie on its side as it goes through. Then after dropping out of the turn the train climbs over a small rise in the track to the brakes, slowing down, and then pulls around back to the station. The open design cars accommodate sixteen passengers in two rows of eight. The back row is slightly raised to give passengers a clear view of the drop. A pre-recorded and disembodied voice saying ‘don’t look down’ was played just before release. In 2004, this sound effect was removed due to sound restrictions on the park and the words “Don’t look down” have instead been painted on the floor of the guest observation area which is visible to riders when the train is hanging over the edge.