Videos Reveal Thirteen’s Secret Weapon

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