Rita - 2005 Intamin Accelerator Coaster - Alton Towers Resort, Staffordshire, UK!
If you dare to venture down to the Dark Forest and tread deep amongst the overgrown foliage deep within then you may find something rather strange and untoward nestled amongst the undergrowth! Be very careful however, for once you awaken her, there’s no turning BACK!!
Rita (formerly Rita Queen of Speed) hails from the days of Thunder Rock Rally and although the forest may have reclaimed the race track, RITA is definitely not one to go down without a fight.
It’s very fair to say that this coaster is another prime candidate when it comes to a widely divided opinion amongst the enthusiast community as some absolutely love it and can’t get enough, whilst others feel that this GP (general public) pleaser wouldn’t look out of place amongst the scrap pile of the resort’s former rides.
Here at TPI we are fairly conflicted as we feel that yes whilst the ride doesn’t quite fit in with it’s current surroundings (this is an understatement) it’s still a very fun and extremely thrilling ride.
The sheer force you experience during the ride’s launch (0 – 61 mph in 2.5 seconds) still continues to prove a face melter to this day, however that being said we have still yet to experience Stealth at Thorpe Park (review to follow late August!) and therefore our thoughts on this will very likely change once we have done.
Rita also offers quite possibly some of the best airtime on park (yeah, that’s right you heard us!), however when it comes to taking the title of best airtime at Alton Towers Smiler will always win this title without much of a fight.
It’s also very fair to say that whilst not the best coaster on park at Alton Towers, RITA is by far definitely not the worst.
As much as we love all of the Bolliger and Mabillard coasters the most, we would still much rather take a ride on RITA over a ride on the likes of Galactica any day of the week as when it comes to our coaster experience preference, we are all about intensity rather than diversity.
For us there is nothing better than a ‘WOAH’ moment when riding a coaster and for us RITA still offers this to us to this day.
It’s fair to say though in reality we definitely feel that this ride’s days are numbered, and with everyone constantly speculating over SW9 (the resort’s code for the early developmental stages of their major new coasters) it’s no secret that the removal of this Intamin coaster in favour of the next major ride comes up time and time again.
So, the question is if you haven’t ridden RITA for yourself yet, what can you expect from a ride on the Dark Forest’s former ‘Queen of Speed’?
You will start in the station where as you prepare to launch you will hear these iconic words – “Keep your head back, hold on tight, YOU MUST ESCAPE!!”
As these words sound the lights above will turn green and before you know it every breath is beaten out of you as you are propelled down the ‘race track’ at an insane rate reaching as previously mentioned 61.1 mph in a matter of 2.5 seconds.
You will then immediately and very sharply bank to the right before climbing up to one of the ride’s airtime moments in a matter of seconds.
As you float over the top you are then propelled down once again into a sweeping bank to the left before once again floating through a minor airtime moment and banking once again to the right.
You will then start your approach back towards the station and as you do so you will dip sharply before climbing back up and into the brake run hitting another airtime moment as you do so!
You will also hit forces of 4.7 G’s, travel through 2,099 ft of track and hit heights of up to and including 68 ft at the highest point.
A bit of history!
Overall the whole experience lasts a drawn total of 25 seconds, and although this may not seem very long it’s definitely a long enough ride to leave you feeling thrilled, excited and quivering from the sheer velocity your body has just travelled at.
Now, although RITA isn’t actually a ‘Secret Weapon’ we still feel that it was the correct type of investment for the particular period of time it was added as the area the ride was formerly themed to was far more suitable than it’s current iteration.
This was due to the original catchy soundtrack the ride had and also the overall light hearted feel it also possessed.
RITA was also another investment at the resort that was known for it’s ‘questionable’ marketing ploy.
At the time of marketing the ride the resort employed a more ‘R-rated’ feel and played heavily on the name RITA as being a ‘hot chick’ rather than the roller coaster it actually came to be teasing a rather different style of website in the early stages of development to draw in the interest.
They then however revealed the ride and a completely different feel more suited to the theme of the ride was employed giving for a much better suited marketing campaign overall.
The resort then launched the ride (like what we did there?) and the following TV advert was broadcast in the hopes of bringing in the crowds!
in conclusion, although RITA may not be the our favourite major coaster on resort we definitely don’t hate it either.
This is due to the fact that whilst short RITA succeeds everytime in delivering what we like to call a sucker punch as you are blasted at speed into a quick succession of airtime moments and banked turns that will be sure to leave you with a smile on your face and the wind through your hair.
Also as previously mentioned this ride remains a firm GP pleaser and also presents some of the best turn around times on resort eating through the crowds at the same pace she would likely devour fuel were she a car as the theme makes her out to be!
Also the theme of drag racer definitely suits the ride and even though it may not be the darkest theme (although with the rebrand to Dark Forest we definitely feel the darkness was added fairly well) it definitely suits the idea of using a living car like entity to ‘escape’ the Dark Forest!
We would therefore definitely recommend a ride at least once on this great addition whilst visiting the resort, however in terms of rerides it’s fair to say that we are still very much happy with just the one ride on this during our visits.
Nemesis however is a completely different beast (eh? haha!) as we could ride that sheer beauty all day long!
RITA is also not for the faint of heart and we would therefore recommend on riding the likes of Galactica and Nemesis at the very least before braving this ride for yourself if you are unfamiliar with intensity (yes we know Galactica isn’t intense, however that upside down banked turn? hmmm…).
RITA therefore gets a good solid 6/10 from us here at TPI!
What are your thoughts on this 2005 classic? Let us know in the comments below?
*Photos included in this review were graciously supplied to us by our great friends over at Coaster Gen!
Be sure to head on over and check out their YouTube channel now for some absolutely fantastic content on the following link!;