Videos Reveal Thirteen’s Secret Weapon

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Thirteen’s Secret Weapon Revealed!
You might not want to read this post if you’re planning on visiting Alton Towers and you want to be completely surprised by Thirteen. British news shows GMTV and ITV were on location to film the first footage of Thirteen, Alton Towers highly anticipated new roller coaster. The park boasted that the ride was going to have a one-of-a-kind, World’s first element. Spoiler Alert! The element can be seen in the videos below:

The World’s First Free Fall Drop on a Roller Coaster
As the rumors suggested, Thirteen has a free fall drop section. I haven’t seen stats for this element, but it looks to be maybe twenty or thirty feet. A roller coaster should never be completely judged by a video (or even two), but overall I think Thirteen is a bit over-hyped. It’s a neat idea and it has some pretty good theming, but I definitely can’t see the age restrictions and health insurance option. Unless, this isn’t the full experience.

Where’s the Scare?
Some of the riders who were chosen by Alton Towers’ Bootcamp campaign said that they rode it about 9 times and that every time the effects were not on in the dark ride section. I would assume that they’re saving those for when the ride officially opens. So, the videos don’t likely give you the full effect. Are there people in costumes or does something sinister creep up on you before you drop? That will remain a mystery until the first reports from riders who get the full Thirteen experience review it.

UPDATE – 3/20 Thirteen is now open! You can read some early reviews here. Also, Alton Towers has a two longer commercial that show a bit of the drop. The one on the left is pre-watershed meaning it’s okay to run during the day in the U.K. and the one on the right is only approved to be aired after 9 PM. Again, if you’re easily scared, please do not watch. They’re pretty well done!:

UPDATE – 4/2010 Now that Thirteen has been open for a while, feel free to rate it using my Rating System and leave a short review or comment below.
Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.

What’s Your Take?
What do you think of Thirteen’s free fall drop and the ride as a whole? Leave a comment below.


  1. I have to agree with you Joel. While I think it is a cool concept and nothing I have ever seen before it also doesn't seem like the ride matches the hype. The big surprise seems to be the freefall and it doesn't seem that far. I'm sure it's a fun ride and I can't truly judge until i ride it (which would probably be never). I have to say I've been skeptical the whole time about all the hype.

  2. u should have a contest to see who can guess the feed of the freefall. i say 15 ft. doesn't seem that far from the video but may be deceiving

    • i`d say 25-20

    • 23.666 feet. 🙂

      I have to say, while it looks cool, all the hype makes this coaster WAY overated.

      • good one.

  3. ithought there would be more themeing, but hopefuly CC was right and the themeing will be saved for the grand opening.

  4. well, i put the vid up here last night, and it said that theyre saving it all up for the opening, and none of the 'special' effects were turned on

    • err… did you read the other comments?

  5. I might like it better if the ride was compleatly inclosed rather then partally

    • or at least more enclosed (and better themed) than outside.

  6. Thirteen is a bit overhyped. As you stated CC, there looks like there is no reason for age restriction unless this isn't everything. So far, it looks boring. Coudn't you find a clip that shows the themeing in the line? or the area around? (i've seen you're other thirteen posts and the pictures don't satisfy me enough). The hills look like they're propelled by spinning tires. Yawn.

    • you know that means more speed?

  7. My opinion: Pretty slow, not so tall, and it has to have a lift chain or something to get up one of those last hills before the inclosed part. It doesn't look like it has much airtime eiether. Also, where was that robotic arm they put out there when they first anounced it? How is this a new type of roller coaster? Where's that HyperCoaster thing? Overall: Overhyped, and this whole thing seems a little misleading.

    • errr… Tom, that was harry potter world`s robocoaster.

      • Opps!

    • Actually it does have airtime provided you sit at the back, the trims really do ruin the ride experience if you sit near the front. It is a very good ride, overhyped but excellent. Th13teen is a family coaster, the coaster's developers confirm that ut the marketing people did say that they only advertised Th13teen that way because that is how you advertise roller coasters like that.

      This is a new type of roller coaster because it features a freefall drop where a track section literally freefalls.

  8. the restriction will be 1.2 meters, no age limit , = about 4 feet

    • as it should be. age restrictions: hype all the way.

  9. i think it is over hyped as a coaster but the freefall lives up to the hype

  10. Corkscrew was a family ride and A.T built 13 with that in mind Alton towers have mega restrictions put on them in the park so building a new roller coaster is a very hard but I think 13 ticks all the right boxes theming is great the ride is smooth the effects are great and the suprise works well and will suit alot of riders a bit of everything.

  11. We were one of the lucky few to ride this ride within the first 15minutes of it opening, having only queued for only 45minutes opposed to the 4hrs some waited on the first day!

    The themeing wasn't as good as HEX, it was severely lacking in the queue area… until the entrance area where the words 'You'd better not go to the woods alone…' but then didnt notice anymore themeing???

    The ride was smooth reminding me of an old fashioned coaster but totally smooth, although nothing special at all. No smoke effects in the woods or characters dressed up. The inside tunnel before the drop was poorly themed like a cheap ghost train? the only exciting bit was the drop and backwards thrust because it was dark???

    Totally hyped and not themed enough, no mention of the crypt??

    Seems a little unfinished to me?

  12. Im sorry but the whole phsycoaster thing is a comlete and total lie to me it is not scary because you dont actually see anything completely horrofying and i agree with becky it does look unfinished to me.

  13. Visited AT his weekend, husband & daughter rode Th13teen and thought it was RUBBISH, over-hyped and definitely NOT worth the queueing time (and they only waited about 30 mins.

    WE spent two days at AT and they didn't bother going back the second day, spent the time riding Air, Nemesis, Rita and Oblivion again instead.

    They LOVED the other 'new for 2010' ride – Sonic Spinball which has not been advertised, but was far more exhilarating.

    • Sonic Spinball isn't new, they repainted and re-named Spinball Whizzer and put a Sonic statue outside the ride entrance. Th13teen is a family ride you probably didn't like it because you believed the marketing, if you appreciate it for what it really is a very fun family ride then you'll enjoy it.

      It really does depend on where you sit because the back row is more intense as you do not feel the trim breaks slow the ride down and there is more air time (a sudden moment in which you are off your seat and you're stomach drops).

      It is a shame that you didn't like Th13teen because really it is quite good, but it is in a way a disappointment because they really did lead us to believe that it is a true thrill ride :(. Thankfully the next Secret Weapon coaster in 2013 will be a thrill ride as confirmed by Alton Towers :D.

  14. thirteen is one of the worst overhyped coasters i have been on the themeing outside the drop tower is amazing but inside the tower it is pathetic and the drop is lame alton towers really need to pull there thumbs out for there next secret weapon because thirteen is is tragicly appauling and to be honest they should of just kept the corkscrew there a much better ride and lets hope if they do use the black hole tent it better be something dam good because alton towers seem to be loosing the plot and falling behind thorpe park for thrills

    • Th13teen's a family ride, not a thrill ride. It has a 1.2m height restriction to allow fairly small children to ride. Theme Park legend John Wardley who designed rides at Chessington and Alton Towers served as a consultant when they were developing Th13teen and confirmed that Th13teen is a family ride. The next Secret Weapon roller coaster will be a thrill ride.

  15. A very good ride but rediculously over hyped. Th13teen is a family ride as confirmed by Alton Towers recently, it was only marketed as a thrill ride as that is how coasters are advertised unfortunately.

    The ride experience is more thrilling dependng where you sit, the back row offers a more intense ride as you don't feel the ride slow down on the trim breaks.

    The freefall section is a fun and surprising element but isn't as effective the second time round.

    Overall a pleasant family coaster with good theming, 4/5.

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