Raptor Attack at Lightwater Valley - A Full Review
Located at a North Yorkshire based family theme park named Lightwater Valley, Raptor Attack was truly a one of a kind experience not soon to be forgot!
Housed in a giant, dug down warehouse next to Lightwater Valley’s most iconic ride The Ultimate, Raptor Attack provided thrill seekers with a truly unique experience from start to finish.
The entirety of the ride experience was located indoors, from the queue line to the ride itself and featured a chilling atmosphere, prehistoric animatronics and low lighting to help create the illusion of stepping deep into the perilous Lightwater Mine.
The ride was however previously known as The Rat Ride and opened for the first time at the park back in 1987, however the park later took the decision to re-theme the ride for the 2010 season and as such Raptor Attack was born.
After new owners took ownership of the park in 2019 however, the decision was finally taken to close the attraction and remove it (along with many other major thrill based attractions) as part of a refocus of their target audience to ages 10 and under from 2021 onwards.
What was Raptor Attack?
Raptor Attack was an entirely indoor Schwarzkopf Wild Cat roller coaster – a compact ride featuring speed, intensity and cars seating 4 riders per vehicle.
The premise of the ride however was simple, escape the mine and avoid being eaten alive by raptors!
The attraction’s story line focused on miners working within the Lightwater Mine uncovering a long lost pack of blood thirsty raptors hell bent on devouring anyone who stood between them and freedom.
Riders were then invited to step inside the mind and hop aboard one of the mine carts as they explored the blood soaked horrors which lay within as they attempted to reach the surface alive.
The ride featured 2 substantial drops, a range of banked turns and helix’s and a chain lift all shrouded in darkness and heavy atmosphere.
To enter the attraction however riders would have to duck down into the mine and traverse their way through a series of tunnels and metal steps which would lead them down the ride’s station area.
After riding riders would also have to do the same again, however this time there were a few choice surprises hidden along the way.
(Check out the below full ride experience captured by our amazing friends over at Theme Park Nomads which includes full queue line walk throughs and a ride pov).
So, what did we think?
Out of all the compact roller coasters we have ridden over the years, Raptor Attack was always by far the best!
The ride provided everything – speed, intensity and airtime, however it was the fact the ride was based in complete darkness that made it for us.
As a result you could ride Raptor Attack numerous times, however you could never quite pin point the exact moment you were about to drop into the darkness below and come face to face with one of the mine’s many prehistoric inhabitants.
The addition of the various temporarily illuminated animatronics always made for a fun jump scare too, and further added to the suspense of the ride overall.
Our favourite part however had to the helix towards the end of the ride. It really pinned you in your seat and provided some fantastic near miss opportunities utilising the rides steel supports.
The one thing that always made us laugh however was the way you slammed into the brake run at the end of the ride each and every time without fail.
For us Lightwater Valley has held many a happy memory for us growing up, and in recent years there were always three main reasons for visiting – The Ultimate, Raptor Attack and Eagles Claw.
Now that the park has shifted it’s target audience these rides are sadly no longer on the roster which means that in reality, there really isn’t much reason left for us to visit.
This really is a shame, and as much as some rides at the park will still cater to our needs, in reality there are far better parks to visit here in the UK in our opinion.
Raptor Attack really was something special and gave thrill seekers an experience you literally won’t find anywhere else here in the UK.
For that reason we are deeply saddened to see it leave and we truly hope that this new direction works for Lightwater Valley in the long run.
Although the ride may have left the park it’s legacy won’t soon be forgotten and for that reason we cherish each and every happy memory we have from the many rides we had on it over the years.
What did you think of Raptor Attack? Did you enjoy it? Or are you happy to see it leave?
Let us know your thoughts and experiences of this calssic roller coaster in the comments below!