UK theme parks from another point of view!

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Air - A breath of fresh air. Review by Matt_

Tue Sep 20, 2005 8:31 pm

Wouldn't it be amazing to experience the sensation of flying? In 2002 Secret Weapon 5 was born, or Arial Inversion Ride. Air is a unique experience, which creates the sense of flying. Air is a first of its kind, but also in terms of themeing and idea, is very simple. Air isn't an 'in your face' ride, but neither is it a ride you wouldnt notice. This B+M flyer has 2 stations, which helps with the throughput of the ride. In Forbidden Valley where Air is situated, you immediatly notice that there is a strong contrast between Nemesis's horror/alien/space themeing and Airs oasis retreat. With Airs calming light blue and sort of organic feeling to it, and Nemesis's red, guts, hell hole theming, it makes you wonder if the ride is situated in the right place. Nevertheless, the battle between Nemesis and Air still go on. Air is a breath of fresh air for the park, and is definetly a unique ride and experience.

Airs crafts are a ride in itself, with 3 trains each train has 7 rows each row consisting of 4 seats. The crafts arent as simple as the theming and idea of the ride, infact they are probably the most advanced coaster cars. The seats are like armchairs with armrests either side, ankle flaps and an overhead vest. Not that you'll need the armrest, your flying!

The moment you enter Forbidden Valley, the sinister Nemesis greets you, with its blood waterfalls and twisting track. You carry on walking down the path, a light theme tune slowly blends into the themeing, a smooth roar of the ride Air as it swoops over you head, and slowly turning towards a tunnel.
The Air sign points you to the queue, the still sleepy theme tune is being played throughout the rides queue, as it twists around the light blue track. You finally get to a point where you choose your station.
The train is quite long, and you choose your seat. Getting into the seat, you realize how comfortable the harness is, you pull down the overhead harness which is interlocked with the small restrains by your feet. The ride assistants, push down firmly on your restraint.
The theme tune suddenly makes a deep bass sound, as the white colored lights turn into a deep blue, as whispered voice says: "Prepare for Air, Assume the Position.Now Fly, Fly, Fly.". You slowly get tilted into the flying position as the floor drops. You slowly move out of the station, with a mixture of cheers and apprehensive looks as to what will happen next.

You travel through a plain concrete tunnel, as the train approaches the lift hill, looking down as the lift hill gets higher, and higher. Crowds gather to watch your train hurtle down the first amazing drop. You suddenly drop, the camera flashes, everything is a blur, but still the ride is smooth and calm. You fly under the monorail, the train twists and turns, freely like a bird. Your suddenly flipped over on your back, this really does take your breath away, you fly backwards facing the sky, you then turn a corner, still facing the sky going backwards. You're then flipped back up into the flying position, as you fly through a small tunnel. Almost being able to touch the ground, flying past long grass, you then elevate. Over the path, oncoming riders in the queue watch you float past them, and then swoop into another inversion, this time a barrel roll. The ride comes out of the inversion, and swoops down picking up more speed, into a small helix looking over the car park. Small statues stick out of the ground, creating the illusion of the ride hitting them, this part of the ride is fairly slow. Then you come out of the helix slowly dropping down into the brake run. The ride enters the station with again more cheers, as you return to the seated position. You climb up the stairs to see your, on-ride photo.
Air is breathtaking, and a ride never to be missed. 10/10
Last edited by TenZero on Fri Jul 14, 2006 8:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Air Review - JezziWezzi

Thu Sep 29, 2005 8:09 pm

Well, where do I begin? the fantastic scenery and comfort of the ride is just one of the many great things about Air.
The tension begins to build when in the queueline having fellow passengers flying over your head and as you head to the part where you choose where abouts you want to sit it all changes.
Front Row - Well, this is my personal favourite, without the view of peoples feet infront of you, all there is is the great view, its brilliant.
Further Back - Still its a great ride, with the fear of not knowing what is coming ahead for first time riders and still as comfortable and a great ride as at the front.
Comfortability - Personally, the seats are really comfy, from the moment you sit in them till the moment you get off the ride.

In the whole of Alton Towers i would have to say Air is one of my most favourite rides, though the queuelines do build up, but to me that means its a brilliant ride.

Dont go to AT without riding it, you'll regret it!

GameOn - The AIR Review

Fri Sep 30, 2005 11:14 pm

AIR, some call it the greatest ride at Alton Towers, but why? It isn’t the fastest; Oblivion, Nemesis and Rita are faster. It doesn’t have the highest drop; Oblivion holds that honour all to itself. Nor is it the most reliable, break-downs are frequent (almost every day.) It isn’t the most forceful ride, the best themed, the list goes on and on.

So how is AIR special? The simple answer is that AIR is pure fun, never designed to be the ultimate thrill-ride but hey, who cares? Swooping in and out of trees, underground and over people, that is the fun part for me. Manufactured by B&M, AIR is very smooth and the elements are perfectly executed, no simple straights from beginning to brakes, but on the other hand it doesn’t throw you through element after element like a monster, rather guides you through as if it were caring for you. The shop is themed excellently, as is the queue at the start.

Unfortunately this is it, a half-finished job, no theming in the concrete tunnel, a half-hearted attempt at the station. In any other theme park I would be singing AIR’s praises but compared to Nemesis, the theming is non-existent. Maybe Alton wanted the area to look minimalist, but there is a difference between minimal and bad, there are puddles in the concrete tunnel, the concrete looks as if it has been there for many years. I will even go as far as to say that AIR is in the wrong place, just plonked there as it was the only place for a roller coaster. What logic is there in introducing a very calm, futuristic and soothing ride right next to rides that have that sinister edge (or in Nemesis’ case, are sinister all over!)

Don’t get the idea that I hate AIR, just be aware that the rides has its shortcomings. Let’s face it, it ain’t the thrill-ride that some think, nor is it amazingly well themed, but hey, fun doesn’t come in numbers. If you think that you will feel as if you are flying, just don’t bother. AIR is a coaster, makes the coaster noises, has a coaster harness and also has the same propulsion.

Your typical ride on AIR:

On entering the queue, first-timers may feel anxious. These feelings are normal, it ain’t that bad. After however long in the queue line, listening to whatever adverts play on the TV screens, having no theming to look at, rather boring really you get into the station. (Yes, the crafts (trains to you and I) come past occasionally giving you something to look at but that’s about it.)

The station looks quite nice but you can’t help feeling that there is something missing, it’s too dark, there are other things running through your head. First-timers may wonder what the hell they are doing. Seasoned riders may wonder which seat to go on, really, you don’t get mega-scared.

Once out of the station, you see the biggest problem with the ride, that concrete tunnel. I’ve harped on enough about that. After leaving the tunnel you go up the lift hill, this offers splendid views of nemesis to your left and the car park straight ahead. Then comes a nice swooping curve, down and back up but don’t think you have time to recover first-timers. You have the next drop straight-ahead, a simple affair but then it pulls into my favourite part of the ride, a half zero-g roll flipping you onto your back for a shallow drop followed by a swooping turn.

This swooping turn banks further and before you know it you are back on your front going under a small bridge and up again. Now there is a climb to a turn above the FV area, nothing exciting here, just some people and a block-paved area. Look at the area and you will see AIR ‘paved’ onto the ground. An inline-twist and turn later and you are on the brake-run, the brakes can be a bit sharp.

Thrill-seekers: Ride on an outside seat at either the front or the back of the craft.
First-timers: Take a middle seat.

Note on photography: Photos are taken in pairs, not groups of 4 so if you want a photo with a mate, one needs to sit on the outside and the other one next to them.

Wed Mar 01, 2006 7:49 pm

Air is one of my favourite rides.

At your Air gate you wait nervously for your train. It arrives then swoops down back into a normal seat position. You board, your very comfortable seat, then the lights dim blue and you hear a whisper 'Prepare for Air, Assume the position.' Your train moves back into a flying position and you trundle off. Through a small boring dirty tunnel you see light then head up the lift hill. Below you, you see Nemesis speed around its helix.

At the top you feel excited and get a big adrealine rush. You swoop down through the trees then do a bunny hop before turning on your back. Infront of you, you see the blue modern track then almost to quickly it turns around again.

After a few tips and turns under bridges and the monrail track you do a twist the a banked curve past the car park. Before getting back to the station.

Whilst this ride is going the feeling is fantaatic, you feel 'wow, i am really flying' when you get off you run up a flight of stairs then into the shop.

The experience is over and it is something i never get bored of and i never will forget.

Thu Apr 13, 2006 11:39 pm

Air- 2002 World First

In 2002 i went for another visit to the good old Towers in late October. I had not really been keeping track of what was going on with theme parks at the time. All i knew was Colossus was new. So we go for our first and last visit of the year. Back then i was still a wimp when it comes to ride and my challenge was to face Nemesis. Saw that there was a new coaster called Air on the map and then stepped into Forbidden Valley and saw a blue coaster flying around the area. I was thinking, what is going on!? The name couldn't be more simple. It sums up the coaster. You fly! On that day i thought that Air was really intense and didn't ride it but then i rode Nemesis, 5 times!

3 years later, after a long break from Alton Towers, i finally went to a long awaited trip to the park to ride Rita, Oblivion and Air. This time though, i wasn't scared of Air. Queued a good 2 hours for the ride but oh yes, it was worth it. Air's theming is not very good though. I was disappointed with it. Looking at how well the rest of Forbidden Valley is themed, i expected more amazing theming from Air but did not get that.

Whilst queuing, the trains fly over and beside you. Usually, the park runs 3 trains for Air. Each train is 7 rows of 4 having a capacity of 28 per train. You would think the queue would go down quickly, but unfortunately, because the ride itself is so complex, it takes a while for trains to dispatch and this therefore means the queue is usually long or at least 15mins (on a quiet day).

Nonetheless, you adore the Oasis ride while you gradually get to the station. Because there are 3 trains, there are 2 stations so you have one train in each station and one running out on the track. When you reach the green lighted station to access the ride, you will have the option to increase your queue time to get front seat. The gates open and you sit down. The restraints are lowered and your feet are buckled in safely. You could not be more secure. Then, you are changed into the flying position. Your arms are now dangling. The ride op/host gives the ok and you dispatch.

The slow run through the underground beginning to the chain hill is very disappointing. There is no theming at all. The tunnel is a dull colour with puddles of rain water and you have to look at it. Not a very impressive start. But, at the end of the tunnel the light appears and you begin your chain hill part. Out you come of the tunnel where you will be lifted over the guests watching. The chain hill has come to an end and you begin your ride. Already you arms are sticking out so you are flying! You take the first drop where you gather some speed. Round a 180 degree turn and up a fun small hill into another little drop. You can adore the scenary as you are flying now. Up onto another hill and your picture is taken. After your photo is taken, the best bit of the ride comes. You twist so you are riding on your backs. You truly are superman/superwoman now. You desend down a drop where you feel the highest Gs on you throughout the whole ride. It is a sensational feeling. You can't help but want more.

After the twist onto your backs, you travel up a rising 180 degree turn and then twist back into the flying position. You drop again and come so close to hitting the ground you feel as though you actually are. It's really fun and makes the ride alot better because of this. You are still in that flying position. Now you fly round another helix where you come up to a bunny hop and take a full twist. Your flight has nearly ended. Flying round another couple of corners but you still have that wonderful feeling going through you. Then the last part is spectacular. The train drops down a small drop and you fly round another 180 degree corner and go down another drop. At this point, again, you feel as though you are going to hill the ground and you try to escape from it. Then round one last corner and onto the brake run which can hurt.

Now you go back into the station where you await to be moved back to sitting position and can leave the ride to view your on-ride photo.

What a terrific ride. Not the most intense ride ever but truly doesn't disppoint thee. I'de say its more fun and relaxing than thrilling but that doesn't take any credit away from it.

Air is a sensation like no other and in my opinion, was a great addition to the park.

Enjoy your flight.


Wed May 10, 2006 5:26 pm

This ride is amazing! It's not scary at all! Not like Nemesis or Oblivion but I would say it is freaky when you go on your back because theres nothing supporting it so it feels like your going to fall out! When it comes to a stop you want it to carry on, but the only bad thing im going to say is that it doesn't make you feel like your flying! However, it does feel kinda relaxing - going up the lift at the start is kinda spooky and the drop but apart from that it's pretty tame.all in all a pretty amazing ride, especially if your not used to BIG roller coasters! :lol:

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Fri Jun 02, 2006 10:19 pm

Air is an amazing experience and is very calm and smooth which means it's quite nice to ride after nemesis. I'd say this is better than the Superman Ultimate Flight ones in America but theres one problem with Air ,THE THEMING! It has no theming at all. I'd say it should be themed something about nemesis with the rusty theming and should have another mystical name and smoke.other than that its great.
A nice smooth ride after nemesis

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Fri Jul 14, 2006 8:27 pm

Air- The new twist for 2002

On the 11th and 12th July 2006 it was my first time at Alton Towers would you beileve, I love thrills and I havn't been to Alton Towers. I didn't realise what I was missing until I went with my school.

As we queued for Air (which my friend Bethan chickened out first time) we saw everyone float by on the trains and they looked like they really enjoyed it. Charlie my best friend said there was nothing to be afraid of it's really gentle. I was like 'What the hell' RollerCoasters aren't gentle, but she was right.

Literally we couldnt be asked to queue for front because it was 40 mins topps time. So we were in second row with our teachers behind (Some of their faces were priceless) and we were strapped in and it felt so comfy with the restraints.

As we entered through the concrete tunnel after being lifted up into position, the tunnel was awful and disgustingly gross so I thought the ride might be like that. But It wasn't, you get over the hill and you are gently but fast lifted around and spun so nicely it is really close to feel as if you are flying. I loved the ride so much we did it 3 times (Queues were massive)

Good Points-
Comfy Restraints
A detailed roller coaster. (Well thought about)

Bad Points-
Disgusting Concrete Tunnel.
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Wed Oct 04, 2006 9:02 pm

This ride is great, but not as good as Nemesis, it's not a scary ride, but an enjoyable one. It really does feel like your flying. I think this ride could be capable of so much more. It's quite short and has no big drops or anything. My favourite part is when you get flipped over onto your backs. The theme is quite faint but quite good.
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Wed Aug 29, 2007 8:51 pm

Gives a great sense of flying, BUT looses its thrill the more you ride it. :)
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Mon Sep 10, 2007 1:17 pm

Many enthusiasts slate Air for not being thrilling enough, but that is the point of the ride - smooth and gentle flight, and that is exactly what it does.

When you board the craft, it soon comes to you just how comfy the seats are, and that you are going to be in for a pleasant ride. After cresting the lift hill, you make many smooth turns, twists and dives which really do give you a sense of flying. Then once the ride is over, most want to ride again.

Air is definitely a ride everybody can do, and as it was with me, it is a great ride to go on before building up the courage to go on Nemesis.

Positive Points

- Great for all the family to enjoy, and be the first 'thrill' ride for youngsters.
- Does it's job well, makes you feel in free flight.
- Very smooth.
- Very comfortable.
- Can be quite exhilarating in parts.

Negative Points

- Thrill seekers may find it a little tame.
- Very popular so creates long queues.


- Air is extremely popular, so head to the ride first thing in the morning to avoid long queues.
- If you are a thrill seeker, try the back seat for a more intense ride.
- If you tend to hold on, try and let your arms dangle freely for a true flying experience.

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Post 2!!

Sat Jan 05, 2008 12:22 am

Ok, here we go, its gonna be a long night...

My first trip to AT was last year (May 07 for those (like me) still think its 07...) and AIR was a BIG deal for me, I watched the ads when I was younger and longed to go... anyhoo, the first few rides where GREAT! Fantastic ride, comfy, great layout, fantastic concept and really well thought out, HOWEVER...

[rant]with the increasing decreasinly reliabilty (wow, does that make sense?) the ride faces, the staff can get a little short with riders who have ques for god knows how long... who can blame them, I feel like the same in the returns desk at B&Q, everyone blames YOU. So realibilty is a MAJOR let down, also, AIR is now one of my least 'must do that' rides... on our last trip, we were just about to board the next train when it ES, all seemed ok, but then it took well over 45 minutes and a diesal genertor (which takes forever!) to get screaming kids up the hill lift... kids were coming off the ride in tears after being held static in the 'flying position' for too long... I would like to point out that they were paid VERY kindly in Priority passes (rightly so).

The detailed AIR paved logo is defaced by that bloody cafe, half the R has been included in the sitting area, silly AT, and having been hung for 15 minutes while staff just chatted about how drunk they had gotten waiting for the engineer to turn up was highly pissing me off, there we were, ready to land when 6 car jammed upright meaning all other cars were stuck too, two unamed staff members bragged about how pissed they had been the night before... not impressd... :roll: LOL! (BTW, they were my feelings THEN not now... I find it quite funny now :o )

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Sat Jan 05, 2008 5:58 pm

Air was the first rollercoaster i went on at Alton Towers, so it had a lot to live up to. As i entered the Q-Line, i couldn't help but feel a little bit nervous. The music adds quite a nice atmophere to the ride area which i think is a nice touch to the whole experience.

Anyway onto the actual ride. Once you are seated comfetably and all the checks have been made, the lights change colour and the seats rotate 180 degrees leaving you facing the floor. The train then moves slowley out of the station and up the lift hill. Once at the top of the hill, you hear a small click before dipping down and to the right. The train then does another little dip forwards and the on-ride photo is taken. After narrowly missing the ground you are taken back up and then flipped onto your back before travelling 180 degrees to the right. After being flipped back to face the ground, you travel round a small bend and then go over onto your back and over again to once again face the ground. You then go through a small section of dips and turns before running smoothly into the brakes and then into one of the two stations.

Overall a great experience and a great ride for people who are not really ready for the big thrills of Nemesis anbd Oblivion.


Last edited by amylovesaltontowers on Tue Mar 18, 2008 8:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Fri Feb 22, 2008 4:56 pm

Air is a great rollercoaster ,which is good for people looking for small thrills. If you hate being fastened in this ride may not be for you as it is very claustrophobic. Once tipping , you head into the tunnel then start climbing the long lifthill. Once half way up the car slows down to wait for the train the get into the brake run. Once that has happened the ride speeds up and your away. The feeling as you turn onto your back is great and the best of it being that you are like that for many seconds. Once you reach the 2nd tunnel you feel great with air blowing in your face and turning in the roll. When you see Splash Landings in the backdrop , you know that the ride is coming to an end. Then suddenly you head into the brake run before slowly entering the station. Air brakes down loads too. Good ride and a great experience. Good for people who want small thrills. 9/10
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Tue Mar 18, 2008 2:35 pm

Air - I believe this is one of the greatest rides ever to grace Alon Towers.

When I was planning My October 2007 "Scarefest" trip (Which was basically me and my friends Going on a college trip there, so less planning the trip, more planning what we would do :D) I knew that Air was a must. as the year previously we had tried to go on it (We Anually go in september/october - kind of a tradition now) but the line had been incredibly long. So we hadn't made it. Although we didn't head directly to Air, it was top of our "Must Ride" list.
Although a little short for my liking, it was one of the most Exhilarating rides of my life. the 1st inversion is makes you truly feel as if your flying, and is nice and smooth, which really is needed to add to the effect. It's got great pace too - at all times I felt as if I were soaring through the sky. also I know that all this "Flying like a bird" stuff is a bit of a cliche when it comes to Air, but it's the only way I can put it into words :D The final section of the ride was a blur to me, but as far as I'm concerned, that means it was a good coaster.

A few other things now, mostly about the station. <B> that is the greatest station ever!!</b> I haven't been on too many coasters, but I still think Air has a great station. It's all kinda lit in a way that makes you feel relaxed about the coming ride, almost creating a calm before the storm effect, if you get my drift. The way the Cars raise up and the floor is dropped is fantastic. I love it. I did have a some problems with the ride, So i'll tell you in a little story about when I visited.

I queued for about 15 minutes which isn't a bad amount of time, to be honest, and me and my friend, were quite lucky, because as we were a pair, we were able to "Queue jump" almost, because the ride operators needed two people to finish filling a train. Lucky :) Now, as when it was time to board the train, I put my belongings in the cage and went to sit in my seat. Now, as i am a stupid idiot, I managed to slump forward in my chair, Which meant as i was (and still am) a big guy, The restraint wasn't going to secure. Oh, and my feet hadn't got into the foot restraint either (I was quite thick on that particular day) and just as I was gonna get chucked off, I slid back into the seat properly, and the restraint secured. RESULT! and the ride was brilliant :) Now, my word of advice to slightly larger riders: Make sure you slide back fully into the seat. :oops:

Overall, i believe Air is the greatest ride ever, and I give it a full 10/10.

EDIT: oh yeah, if you don'tget my signiture, It's cos at times when I was on Air, I felt like I was falling out of the restraints, thus "Air nearly let go of me..." :P
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Sun Apr 06, 2008 4:17 pm


here goes

I love AIR, adore it even. If i'm at AT, i go on AIR. but one thing makes me sick. the spit. why do people think its funny to spit at the end. you all know what i mean. right at the end, rolling into the station, the whole train seems to think "hey guys, lets let out this disgusting flem, all over the floor, HUH HUH HUH!!!" Come on people, we've paid £38 (£25 online ;D), we dont want to have to look at the contents of your noses and in some cases, brains!

On that note, lets move to the positive side of things. For starters, i disagree with a lot on this thread, i love the scenery. i tend to ignore the beginning tunnel though. the rest, however, is brilliant. its like a space age airport (sort of). especially the gift shop. and once on the ride, you do feel like you are flying. no question. its an amazing ride. The seats are comfortable, it is one of the only rides in the park that doesn't give you a numb bum. AIR is my number one ride, i stand by my idea that the name AIR is there because you fly, not because its an Aireal Inverted Rollercoaster or whatever. When i go to AT in a couple of weeks, i will be glad to go on AIR 49504678.6 times! well, not that exact number, but it shows how much i love AIR, so i'm sticking with it!!!

AIR: Comfort: 9/10
Scenery: 7/10
Thrill: 3/10 or 9/10, you decide, depends on what you mean by thrill
Overall: 9/10


Do do do do do do dooo, do do doooo, do do dooo, do do do do do do do do do do do do dooooo!

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Sun Jul 20, 2008 5:50 pm

Air .... is just Air i wouldn't say it's the best ride there but it's in the top three. I don't mind much about theming i'm in it for the roller coaster Yes air is so GOOD but could be better ... is it really worth the hour long queue? just for a few turns on your back and dips ? i would say No but others would disagree. But still it's Air and their was nothing like it.... your flying isn't that what mans always wanted to archive.

AIR: Comfort: 10/10
Scenery: 3/10 or 8/10 depends if you like car parks =P
Thrill: yes it's thrilling whats better then flying ?
Overall: 8/10
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Wed Sep 24, 2008 9:00 pm

Air.. well the theming could be better, a lot better actually, if they gave it the scenery it was going to have in the first place (waterfalls, geysters/spouts, spruced up tunnel etc.) In my eyes it would've cemented its place in the top 10 coasters in Europe.

A great experience, if perhaps an under-rated one. It's a human's dream to fly.. And this is closest thing to it; simple as that.

John Wardley is a living legend, if AT didn't have him they'd be basically screwed..

Prepare for air..


Comfort- 10/10 Smooth as glass and the most comfortable restraints in the business :D I'd happily spend a night on air..

Thrill- 7/10 Some non-enthusiasts actually think this ride is scary as nemesis or even oblivion. Its not.. its just an experience, it was built for the 'feel' of flying; nothing else.
Theming- 4/10 The station and air store is the mostly themed part of this ride. Like i said before; if it had the theming it was going to have, it would've been in the top 10 coasters in Europe.

Overall- 8/10 A great experiance, wouldv'e being a perfect 10 if the theming was right :D
Do Look Down..
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Sun Sep 28, 2008 3:25 pm

Air is a great far- my far the parks best experience I love the atmosphere- particularly in the queue- a buzz you don't get on any other rides (apart from Oblivion)

Air Comfort- 9/10

Thrill- 8/10

Theme- 6/10- I think the scenery is good- you feel like you're flying- isn't that the point?

Overall- 8/10- As I say the parks number one experience- I'm not sure about it being top ride though :?
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Re: Air

Mon Oct 06, 2008 6:25 pm

I thought air was one of the best rides at alton towers along with nemesis. It really gave me a flying sensation. I was really upset when we left the park though because i really wanted to go on all the rides again!!!!!!!!

I would reccomend it for thrill seekers

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