FIVE Defunct Rides We’re GUTTED We Missed!

FIVE Defunct Rides We're Absolutely GUTTED We Missed!

Looking back I’ll bet there’s at least FIVE defunct rides or attractions you’re gutted you missed out on experiencing back in the day!

I know that’s definitely the case for me (Joe), therefore I thought it would be fun to name my top 5 in today’s blog post and share a little about WHY.

In truth, there are a lot of different rides and attractions I wish I’d had the chance to experience when I was younger, but these FIVE certainly stand out as the ones I’m gutted about most.

Now, it’s no secret that I absolutely LOVE a good dark ride and in reality, a good dark ride takes you away from the dank dreary world outside and plunges you head first into a world of pure imagination and immersion.

As such, you’ll see a good 3 of them are in fact dark rides (or walk throughs lol), but of course I’ll still share two roller coasters too – who doesn’t have at least one or two they wish they’d ridden right?

Therefore with our further a do (and in no particular order), let’s dive in!

The Haunted House - Alton Towers.

We all have at least one or two different TV adverts that stand out the most in our heads from growing up, and Alton Towers‘ TV ad for The Haunted House was definitely one of them.

The fun, eerie and almost slightly Ghostbusters(ish) style advert regularly popped up on TV whilst growing up and always prompted the same question – “Mum, please can we go to Alton Towers?”

Sadly, the answer was always a straight NO, but having said that it didn’t take away the desire to want to brave this iconic ride.

Well, sadly that never happened and to this day I’m still gutted I missed it, but John Wardley’s 1992 classic still sticks out as one of the resort’s most iconic additions to date alongside Nemesis.

Although now considered cheesy The Haunted House was Europe’s largest indoor attraction of it’s kind back in the day and brought guests from all around to experience it for themselves.

As such, we’re thrilled to see John Burton and John Wardley managed to keep the spirit of the original attraction very much alive and kicking with The Curse at Alton Manor (we won’t talk about DUEL – that was just, rubbish)!

The Haunted House first opened at Alton Towers back in 1992 and was Europe's largest haunted dark ride attraction at the time of opening!

Doom & Sons - Alton Towers.

Speaking of The Haunted House, the ride would definitely not have existed if it wasn’t for this iconic walk through horror attraction!

Doom & Sons was Alton Towers’ walk through haunted house and sat towards the rear of the park when Burger Kitchen now stands.

The attraction featured cheesy haunted house gimmicks, enclosed spaces and an array of physical animatronics throughout.

In truth, Doom & Sons was much more akin to a spooky fun house than an actual ride, but that doesn’t change the fact I wish I’d got to have a go for myself!

Doom & Sons first opened at the park back in 1981 (I wouldn’t have even been born at that point haha) and closed for the last time in 1991 making way for The Haunted House the following year on the opposite side of the park.

The Haunted House even featured some of the attraction’s original features and to date you can still reportedly see signs of this now defunct attraction whilst walking through The Alton Towers Dungeon (if you know where to look).

Doom & Sons first opened at Alton Towers Resort back in 1981 and is said to have inspired the creation of The Haunted House.

G-Force - Drayton Manor.

This next one is slightly more controversial as there are many who loved it and also many who hated it too.

In reality, I’ve been told that if I think Hero at Flamingo Land is uncomfortable then I should think myself lucky I never got to experience G-Force at Drayton Manor.

In truth though G-Force was always main reason for wanting to visit alongside Shockwave and to date, I’m still gutted I missed out.

Drayton Manor’s Maurer Rides X Car roller coaster first opened at the park in 2005 and upon visiting the park for the first time it was revealed I had missed out on riding G-Force by ONE YEAR (talk about cutting it fine)!

Still, the ride itself (although reportedly very uncomfortable around the stomach area) still looked incredibly thrilling and appeared to feature some great airtime moments.

The ride sadly closed to the public for the last time in 2018 and in 2019 I finally plucked up the courage to make the trip and break out of my comfort zone – but alas 12 months too late.

It’s believed that this iconic ride is still sat in storage awaiting sale as of October last year, but who would buy it? Lightwater Valley perhaps? Likely story haha!

G-Force closed at Drayton Manor for the last time in 2018 and to date is still said to be sat in storage awaiting it's sale - *Image Credit;

Thunder Looper - Alton Towers.

Sticking with roller coasters let’s head back over to Alton Towers for another classic ride I sadly missed out on – Thunder Looper!

This classic Schwarzkopf Shuttle Loop roller coaster first opened at the park back in 1990 and sat in Forbidden Valley (formerly Thunder Valley) next to where Nemesis now sits.

The ride’s station even sat in the exact same spot as where The Blade sits now and dominated the park’s skyline enticing many to visit the park.

The ride was even said to be so loud that it induced premature mating among the area’s bovine population and to date the park are now no longer able to build above the treeline to minimise noise (among other reasons).

Regardless, I would’ve loved to have experienced Thunder Looper and even managed to develop a bit of a fascination with it as a child after watching a roller coaster POV compilation VHS (yes, I really am that old haha) named White Knuckle Rides.

To date, Thunder Looper still sits high a top my list of rides I wish I’d experienced most back in the day alongside Corkscrew (Alton Towers) and The Bullet at Flamingo Land!

Thunder Looper first opened at Alton Towers back in 1990 and still holds a top spot as one of the coasters I wish I'd experienced most! - *Image Credit;

Phantom Fantasia - Thorpe Park.

For this last one we’re heading south to the Island like No Other for what is arguably one of the rides I wish I’d definitely experienced the most, and that’s Phantom Fantasia at Thorpe Park!

This classic spooky dark ride once stood where Detonator now stands and first opened at the park back in 1983.

The ride featured similar vibes to that of The Haunted House at Alton Towers but featured a very different set of scenes mostly featured around historical figures and legends.

The ride itself also featured ride vehicles almost identical to the Doom Buggies featured in The Haunted Mansion at Disneyworld sporting a clam shell design and boarded by a revolving circular station (similar to the one featured on Rumba Rapids).

In 1993 Phantom Fantasia closed for the last time in it’s present form to be re-themed and opened as Wicked Witches Haunt in 1994, but in the year 2000 this classic ride sadly met it’s untimely demise at the hands of a HUGE blaze which engulfed the entire building.

To date Phantom Fantasia was certainly one of the most missed out on haunted dark rides for me (you can probably see a theme emerging by this point haha).

Phantom Fantasia first opened at Thorpe Park back in 1983 (2 years after Doom & Sons at Alton Towers) and also featured as Wicked Witches Haunt before it's untimely demise! - *Image credit; Memories of Thorpe Park.

So, In Conclusion.....

So there you have it, those are my top five most missed attractions I really wish I’d experienced back in my childhood!

Like I said before, there are still loads more I could name, but these are definitely the five I wish I’d experienced most.

There’s also something about classic, spooky dark rides that fascinates me too and this is a fascination I still maintain to this day.

There’s nothing better than hopping aboard a ride vehicle and immersing yourself into an eerie world filled with horror – must be the horror buff in me lol.

Regardless, I’d have loved to ride them all but sadly it just wasn’t mean’t to be. My parents weren’t really the most adventurous of sorts and as a result our annual family theme park trip was always Lightwater Valley.

Thankfully I still managed to make it up to Flamingo Land a good few times too and as a result this wonderful North Yorkshire attraction is now my home park (I’m also buying a season pass for there later this month too so loads of Lost River updates to follow).

I would however love to know all about the rides and attractions you wish you’d managed to experience below. Is there one that stands out above all others?

Let us know all about them in the comments below! Thanks for reading.

 – Joe.