Th13teen is located at Alton Towers Resort in the beautiful Staffordshire countryside. Codenamed Secret Weapon 6, the £15m ride was the world’s first vertical freefall drop roller coaster, on which the track and train freefall in darkness. The ride replaced the very popular Corkscrew which had been at Alton Towers Resort for 28 years between 1980 and 2008.
Th13teen at Alton Towers
Plans for the new roller coaster (codenamed Secret Weapon 6), were first revealed in October 2008 when it was announced that the Corkscrew would be removed. The new ride would travel around the perimeter of the site previously occupied by the Corkscrew and enter a dark, indoor show building for the secret element (a 5-metre vertical freefall drop) to take place. In order to minimise the strain on the hydraulics which operate the freefall drop element, the roller coaster trains and track used for the ride are a family coaster featuring lightweight trains manufactured by Intamin.
Top Speed – 68km/h 42mph
Original Cost – £15m
Est Cost Today – £20.5m
Length – 2480ft 760m
Height – 65ft 20m
Manufacturer – Intamin
Type – Steel
Lift/Launch – Friction Wheels
Inversions – 0
G-Force – 3.5g
Trains – 3
Passengers per Train – 20
Ride Duration – 1m 40s
Theme Park – Alton Towers Resort
Year Opened – 2010
John Wardley – Ride Consultant
In an interview shortly after Th13teen opened, John Wardley, Ride Consultant for Merlin Entertainments, spoke about the development of the ride. The initial idea for the secret element originated from a previous rollercoaster plan that he designed for Alton Towers, in which a piece of track tilted back and forth during the ride. The ride, if it had been built, would have been similar to Winjas Fear and Force at Phantasialand, Germany, and therefore not a world’s first ride. The plan never came to fruition, but the idea of moving track was kept and later developed into the world’s first vertical freefall-dropping track element for Th13teen.
John Wardley Autobiography
We recommend this book to anyone who would like to learn more about John Wardley. 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.
The Element of Surprise
Whilst queuing for Th13teen as you climb the stairs into the station building you may hear a girl counting. Beware that upon reaching 13 a large Van de Graaff generator is activated in the centre of the room. This takes lots of visitors by surprise.
What’s in a Name?
The name Thirteen was used for the ride in acknowledgement of it being located in the Dark Forest section of the park and also the fact that it features a hidden element. In order to increase the fear factor, an early press release on the ride stated that the park was considering limiting passengers to one ride per day and requiring them to sign a waiver of liability. It was also stated that only guests between the age of 16–55 years would be allowed to ride. However, this was only a marketing ploy and there were no age limits or other restrictions put in place, aside from the height restrictions: riders must be over 1.2 metres and under 1.96 metres to ride.
Rather than calling the ride Thirteen, Alton Towers marketing department cleverly came up with the idea to replace the “ir” with a “13” naming it Th13teen.
On 22 July 2010, Alton Towers announced on their Facebook page that due to superstitious reasons Th13teen would be closed on Friday 13 August 2010. Morwenna Angove, Head of Marketing at the Resort, stated: “Our research has revealed that Britons are a seriously superstitious bunch, and as our latest ride is named after the unluckiest of numbers, we’ve taken the decision to close that ride on Friday 13 to reassure our visitors.”
Rather than closing the ride, it was revealed that the ride was to be renamed ‘Fourteen’ (stylized as FOU13TEEN) throughout Friday 13 August 2010. Limited Edition merchandise was available during the day featuring the ‘Fo13teen’ name and the majority of the rides signage was temporarily changed to feature the new name.
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, Th13teen was referred to as Secret Weapon 6.
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
UK Roller Coaster Rides
Click Here to view and compare stats on all roller coasters here in the UK.
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.
Attractions Near Me Offers
Sorry, no records were found. Please adjust your search criteria and try again.
Sorry, unable to load the Maps API.