Theme Park Insanity

We share the Top 5 UK coasters we feel will be a perfect fit for those brand new to riding bigger coasters!

OK, so you’ve braved the likes of the Runaway Mine Train at Alton Towers Resort and the absolute legend that is the Flying Fish at Thorpe Park, however they just haven’t quite given you the rush you expected them to give you?

That can mean only one thing, you need something with a bit more power, a little more speed and a much bigger kick than those two previous could offer!

Well, it’s safe to say you’re ready to step up your game and hop on the bigger boys here in the UK!

In all honesty however, you may also be of the mind set that you want to skip the more family friendly rides and head straight for the more thrilling ones instead?

Whatever your reason for seeking the more intense thrills may be, we have you covered!

In no particular order we’re sharing the top five UK based roller coasters we feel will be perfect for those of you new to the thrill market.

The following five rides will not only give you a much bigger adrenaline rush, however they will also prove far tamer than the likes of Nemesis at Alton Towers or Stealth at Thorpe Park meaning they’re perfect for those new to the game.

Big Dipper at Blackpool Pleasure Beach.

Let’s begin this list with what is likely one of the UK’s most significant wooden roller coasters to have ever opened on these shores – The Big Dipper located at Blackpool Pleasure Beach in (you guessed it!) Blackpool, Lancashire.

The Big Dipper first opened at the park back in 1923 and was also the first ever roller coaster to utilise the revolutionary uplift wheel as invented by the ride’s designer at the time.

the Big Dipper features a first drop of 60 ft before traversing a series of airtime hills at a steady pace (which the ride maintains throughout).

the Big Dipper isn’t what most would now consider to be a traditional ‘thrill ride’, however this was the case back in it’s earlier days.

In comparison we would now definitely consider the ride to be one of the park’s most relaxing roller coasters and with everything from comfortable cushioned seats to some fantastic views across the park the Big Dipper is an absolute must if you’re new to the scene.

The Icon Big Dipper first lift hill - image credit Blackpool Pleasure Beach.
Icon located at Blackpool Pleasure Beach.

Sticking with Blackpool Pleasure Beach next up is ICON – the park’s 2018 Mack Rides double launched mega coaster (the UK’s first double launched roller coaster in fact).

Now, we know what you’re thinking, “a launched roller coaster for a first time rider? Really?”, well to answer that question, yes!

Although ICON may be a launched roller coaster, it is by far the least thrilling launched roller coaster the UK has to offer when it comes to the element of acceleration and overall speed.

Reaching a top speed of 52.8 mph overall as well as reaching heights of just 88 ft ICON is a silky smooth roller coaster experience that prove both thrilling and relaxing at the same time.

The ride also features one inversion (no, a Junior Immelmann is not considered an inversion haha) and that comes in the form of a wonderfully floaty Zero-G Roll just prior to a moment of airtime leading into ICON’s second launch.

For this reason alone we feel this ride is a great introductory roller coaster to really show why the love of the mechanical feats of engineering are a must.

Overall, ICON is perfect for those looking for more of a thrill whilst not blasting their faces off with intensity at the same time.

ICON traversing it's only inversion - a Zero-G Roll! Image credit Blackpool Pleasure Beach.
Velocity located at Flamingo Land Resort.

Speaking of launched coasters we just had to throw this one into the mix!

Velocity is a hydraulically launched Vekoma Booster Bike roller coaster which opened at Flamingo Land Resort located just outside Malton in North Yorkshire back in 2005.

The ride launches riders from 0 – 54 mph in a matter of seconds before traversing a series swooping banked turns and a few good moments of airtime to boot.

Velocity also features 0 inversions and only reaches heights of up to 57 ft (not very high at all) which in our opinion proves the perfect candidate for first time thrill seekers!

Velocity is also still the UK’s only ride of it’s kind and for that reason it fits in with the more unique selection of roller coasters on offer at the park.

Overall, if we were to recommend any of the rides on this list as the perfect fit for first time riders, then Velocity would definitely be the one to go with.

A final moment of airtime before hitting the brake run - Image Credit Flamingo Land Resort.
Wicker Man located at Alton Towers Resort.

Next up is yet another wooden coaster, however this one (in our opinion) is far more sinister in both it’s theme and experience overall making it a real step up from the (let’s face it) kiddy coasters.

Wicker Man is a heavily immersive wooden roller coaster experience brought to you by the fantastic wooden coaster manufacturer Great Coasters International (GCI for short).

The ride opened at Alton Towers Resort back in 2018 as the resort’s latest addition in their legendary ‘Secret Weapon’ franchise and has proved an instant success with both roller coaster enthusiasts and the general public alike.

Wicker man takes riders up to a height of 72.2 ft before plunging them into an onslaught of airtime moments, banked turns and speed as they hurtle down the wooden track of the Beornen’s works train passing through the cult’s flaming 60 ft Wicker Man effigy as they do so. 

Although this ride reaches top speeds of 43.6 mph overall, the ride is infact a rather tame experience overall not quite reaching the same level of intensity as some of the resort’s other attractions such as The Smiler and Nemesis to name but a few.

Wicker Man is also considered a family thrill coaster and for this reason it’s by far the perfect first ‘big’ roller coaster to dip your foot into the water on so to speak.

If you haven’t already sacrificed yourself to ‘Big Bob’ (the name used by the rides design team for the rides then secret themeing structure) and fed the flames then we can’t recommend doing so enough.

Big Bob burning away at dusk as he stands magnificently at the heart of this great wooden roller coaster - image credit Alton Towers Resort.
Th13teen located at Alton Towers Resort.

Finally, we stick with Alton Towers for our last in the list and most likely one of the more intense ride experiences overall (yeah, intense).

Th13teen has to be one of the resort’s most infamous secret weapons, however it is in our opinion by far one of the most unique.

Originally marketed at the time as the world’s first ‘psycoaster’ (a insanely intense psychological roller coaster experience that would require riders to sign a waver even just to ride it) Th13teen never really lived up to all the hype.

In reality what riders actually got when the ride finally opened back in 2010 was a fairly well themed Intamin family drop coaster with a secret (well, not so secret anymore now is it?) indoor drop section and a great pitch black backwards section towards the end.

Th13teen also features no inversions and reaches a top speed of just 41.6 mph as well as a height of 65.6 ft meaning its not overly fast or tall.

For this reason alone it’s a great introductory experience if you want to add a little intensity to the mix and scare yourself silly haha!

We definitely recommend checking this ride out if you haven’t already.

darting through the twisted turns of the Dark Forest as you steadily make your way towards the crypt! - Image credit Alton Towers Resort.

So there you have it, those are what we consider to be the UK’s top five roller coasters perfect for first time riders!

If you haven’t experienced any of these absolute gems yet, then we can’t recommend plucking up the courage to do so enough as they really are tremendous fun and will leave you with a lasting smile as you hunger for more.

If you have experienced these awesome rides for yourself however then we would definitely love to know what you thought of them in the comments below!

Thank you very much for reading.

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