Nemesis is located at Alton Towers Resort in the beautiful Staffordshire countryside. The £10m ride has been very well received, consistently ranking highly in industry polls. Nemesis is an angry alien creature trying to rip its way out of the ground. Sadly this amazing ride is currently SBNO (See below for more details) whilst it undergoes refurbishment.
Nemesis at Alton Towers
Back in the 1990s, most designers were building big, plain roller coasters. John Wardley wanted to create something cleverer, better, and more dramatic. He decided to make Nemesis, at Alton Towers, Europe’s first inverted roller coaster, with a truly thrilling storyline to go with it. For most people, the scariest bit of Nemesis is when you do the first drop and see the jagged rocks right under your feet. Then, immediately after, you’re spun upside-down with the soles of your feet facing the sky.
Top Speed – 80km/h 50mph
Original Cost – £10m
Est Cost Today – £21m
Length – 2349ft 716m
Height – 42ft 13m
Manufacturer – Bolliger & Mabillard (B&M)
Type – Steel Inverted
Lift/Launch – Chain Lift
Inversions – 4
G-Force – 4.0
Trains – 3
Passengers per Train – 28
Ride Duration – 1m 20s
Theme Park – Alton Towers Resort
Year Opened – 1994
Ride Elements: 2 Corkscrews, Heartline Roll, Vertical Loop
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Nemesis Jigsaw Puzzle
Try our fun Nemesis Jigsaw challenge. Visit the Attractions Near Me Puzzle Page for more fun activities and jigsaws.
If you enjoyed this jigsaw puzzle then either visit the Attractions Near Me Puzzle Page for more fun activities and jigsaws or select another Alton Towers Resort jigsaw from the list below.
What Does SBNO Mean?
You may be wondering what SBNO means. At the end of the 2022 season Nemesis closed for a full refurbishment and all being well will reopen in 2024. To reflect this status members of the roller coaster community use the acronym SBNO which means ‘Standing But Not Operating’.
Creating my own Nemesis – John Wardley
The local authorities do not allow the rides at Alton Towers to go above treetop height, so if they couldn’t go high, they had to go low and dig a huge hole. When designing the ride, John Wardley realised that it would be fun to conceive the site as an excavated area where this hideous monster had been lurking for millennia with the twisting serpentine track representing its tentacles. Not only was it Europe’s first inverted roller coaster, but it was also the first time anyone had designed a roller coaster as a creature. The creative team developed how the creature should look, what colour to paint the track, what signage and music to have, and the entire experience.
A Big Finale
What Alton Towers did with this twisted steel is what a scriptwriter does with words. It’s pure entertainment, creating mystery and thrills. Like a good writer, a good designer doesn’t let people know what’s coming, it is a succession of steadily building surprises. The layout of Nemesis broke the rules, with a conventional roller coaster, you are winched up high and dropped, with the ride getting tamer as it reaches the end. Showbiz is all about a big finale and John Wardley wanted Nemesis to get better as it went on, even if it meant defying the laws of gravity. In order to achieve this, John Wardley put the ride station above ground level, not at the lowest point as is the case with the large majority of roller coasters. By building the ride station above ground level, he allowed the roller coaster ride to swing way below the station in a big finishing dip, before coming back up to the end.
Who are The Phalanx?
Nemesis portrays the story of an alien creature being disturbed, getting angry and trying to rip its way out of the ground. The ride is themed around the concept of keeping the creature under control. The ride’s storyline states that, after being disturbed during maintenance, the monster that lay dormant was unleashed, wreaking havoc on the surrounding area. The Phalanx immediately launched their extreme security division to pin down and disable it. It took 250 tonnes of steel to be bent and twisted around the creature to hold it down.
The near-misses riders experience skimming past rocks on the ride represents thrashing, and the red dye that used to be seen in the waterfalls simulated the monster’s blood. The central loading and unloading station represents the creature’s body, with structures coming out of it like legs that disappear into the rock. This gives the sense that there are more creatures down there somewhere, hidden away.
John Wardley’s Autobiography
We recommend this book to anyone who would like to learn more about John Wardley, the man who designed Nemesis. The autobiography of the man who brought the theme park concept to Britain, and created some of the world’s most thrilling rides and attractions.
At the end of the 2022 season, Nemesis will close. Signs have been placed around the park to notify guests that Nemesis will be closing by order of the Phalanx. The Phalanx are the team who launched their extreme security division to pin down and disable the monster when it was disturbed during maintenance back in the mid 90’s. The good news is that this is not a permanent closure it is actually closing for a retrack due to the age of the ride. Once rebuilt it will once again run like a brand-new roller coaster but with the same fantastic design and theming. The only thing that we may see change is the loss of the ride’s distinctive roar as it is possible that the hollow steel running rails of the ride’s track will be filled with sand to help dampen the sound.
Alton Towers Secret Weapons
The roller coasters at Alton Towers Resort often claim title to World’s First elements. Alton Towers Resort often give as little away as they can when building these new rides, giving them Secret Weapon codenames. As the construction of the ride progresses marketing campaigns are launched giving thrill seekers little insights into what is to come, this always leads to lots of speculation on Social Media. During construction, Nemesis was referred to as Secret Weapon 3.
Alton Towers Secret Weapons Timeline
Secret Weapon 1: 1991 – Arrow Pipeline Rollercoaster (Never Built)
Secret Weapon 2: 1992 – Arrow Pipeline Rollercoaster (Never Built)
Secret Weapon 3: 1994 – Nemesis in Forbidden Valley
Secret Weapon 4: 1998 – Oblivion in X-Sector
Secret Weapon 5: 2002 – Galactica in Forbidden Valley (originally named AIR)
Secret Weapon 6: 2009 – Th13teen in Dark Forest
Secret Weapon 7: 2013 – The Smiler in X-Sector
Secret Weapon 8: 2016 – The Wicker Man
Top 10 Listings
Nemesis is featured in a number of our Top 10 listings.
UK Roller Coaster Rides
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Alton Towers Roller Coasters
There are seven thrilling roller coasters on offer at Alton Towers.
Wicker Man is the UK’s first new wooden coaster built in over 20 years, a globally unique experience that will reconnect riders with the primal essence of rollercoasters. Wicker Man was also the first to incorporate fire.
Galactica is a flying roller coaster located in the Forbidden Valley area of the Theme Park. The £12m thrill ride was the first-ever flying coaster manufactured by Bolliger & Mabillard (B&M) and features a dual-platform loading station, permitting three trains to operate simultaneously.
One of the best roller coasters here in the UK, Nemesis is an angry alien creature trying to rip its way out of the ground. It was Europe’s first inverted roller coaster and features a truly thrilling storyline.
Oblivion was the world’s first vertical drop roller coaster featuring a 180ft drop at 87-degrees. As each car reaches the drop it is held by a holding chain 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. Each car features two rows, with the back row being slightly raised in order to give passengers a clear view of what lies ahead.
Rita starts with the train racing forward from the station area, accelerating from 0 to 98.3 km/h (61.1 mph) in 2.5 seconds. The ride negotiates high-speed corners and air-time hills. It was the first hydraulic Launch roller coaster of its kind in the whole of Europe.
The Smiler is the world’s first and only 14 loop roller coaster. When viewed from off the ride, The Smilers batwing element resembles the Smiler logo. The roller coaster’s twisting track combines the world-beating 14 loops with a speed of 85kph.
The £15m Th13teen ride was the world’s first vertical freefall drop roller coaster, on which the track and train freefall in darkness.
Attractions at the Alton Towers Resort
In addition to the famous Theme Park, you will also find a wide range of other Attractions at Alton Towers Resort.
Alton Towers Resort Tickets
Purchase your tickets in advance to save time queuing at the entrance to the park and also save on the full-price admission. View our Alton Towers Resort Special Offers Page for the best discounts on your Tickets and Accommodation.
You can buy your tickets in advance direct from Alton Towers Official Website.
Travelling to Alton Towers Resort
Alton Towers is located in the beautiful Staffordshire countryside. There are a number of ways to get to Alton Towers. If you are travelling by car, Alton Towers Resort is between the M1 and the M6. When driving to any of Alton Towers Resorts Attractions use the postcode ST10 4DB. Please follow the signs for the final part of your journey, as your Sat Nav may attempt to take you down a local farm track, especially if you’re coming down the B5417.
Please drive with care when you’re in the area. There are many walkers, cyclists and horse riders, and the roads can be very narrow in places.
Travelling by Train
The nearest train station to Alton Towers is Uttoxeter, which is accessible from a large number of UK train stations including London, Birmingham and Newcastle upon Tyne, where trains depart every hour. Search for your train tickets using Raileasy. From Uttoxeter, the remainder of the journey can be made by taxi or bus (there is one daily bus service which takes approximately 40 minutes). Visitors also catch trains to Alton Towers via Stoke-on-Trent (four bus departures daily) and Nottingham and Derby (both one bus service daily).
There are lots of places to stay in the Peak District. Alton Towers is surrounded by beautiful countryside. The theme park offers on-site accommodation. If you only planning on visiting the park for one day and would like to explore some of the other attractions in the area then take a look at some of the wonderful self-catering cottages available from Snaptrip.
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