Oblivion (Alton Towers) - OnRide (720p)

Oblivion (Alton Towers) - OnRide (720p)

Park Alton Towers
Location UKAlton, Staffordshire, England, UK
Status Operating
Opened March 14, 1998
Cost £12,000,000
Height restriction 56 inches (140 cm)
Manufacturer Bolliger & Mabillard
Designer John Wardley, Werner Stengel
Type Steel
Model Diving Machine (Oblivion)
Riders per train 16
Riders per hour 1900
Lift/launch system Chain Lift
Height 65 feet
Drop 180 feet
Top speed 68 mph
Length 1,222 feet
Duration 1:15
Inversions 0
Steepest drop 88 degrees
Maximum g-force 4.5G

Oblivion is a Bolliger & Mabillard Dive Machine roller coaster located at Alton Towers in Staffordshire, England. The ride opened in 1998 amidst a large publicity campaign as the first vertical drop coaster in the world. It is the tallest and fastest roller coaster at Alton Towers.


Early HistoryEdit

During 1997, Fantasy World (Now X-Sector, where Oblivion is situated) was closed off and all the Fantasy themed rides, except the Black Hole were removed. Surrounding the area were signs announcing a world-first, codenamed SW4. Alton Towers' secrecy and the ever-deepening hole fuelled hype and speculation, which had built up over the year. Oblivion was finally unveiled in March 1998.
Oblivion Logo

The codename SW4 stands for Secret Weapon 4. Nemesis was SW3, and SW1 & 2 were unbuilt roller coasters to be built on the Nemesis site.

Oblivion's opening was accompanied by a massive publicity drive. This included appearances on The Gadget Show, Blue Peter, news channels and cereal boxes.

Marketing memorabilia was also released just before Oblivion opened, including its own brand of deodorant (which was re-introduced for the 2011 season).


When Oblivion did open, it brought an entire new theme to the area. It is themed around a sinister government facility, unlike the fairground theme Fantasy World had earlier. This meant a re-theme was needed, and thus the area was renamed X-Sector. The last remaining ride from Fantasy World, the Black Hole, had its tent repainted dark-blue and silver, replacing the original yellow and green striped pattern. The Energizer and Enterprise flat rides were moved to the X-Sector from other areas of the park to make it a major ride area. Both rides were repainted, and Energizer was moved to Ug Land in 2001 under the name Boneshaker to make way for a new flat ride, Submission. Boneshaker was removed altogether in 2004.

The RopersEdit

On May 3, 2012, Alton Towers' lost its appeal to prevent The Ropers from taking their grievances to the high court, making way for a court battle at a later date. This involved noise made by the park, especially rides near the boundaries, including Oblivion. If the Ropers won their case, Oblivion would potentially have to be shut down, and demolished. Needless to say, they lost this case.


An almost identical coaster, Diving Machine G5 was built in 2001. The layout is the same, but Diving Machine G5 has a 0.5 deg steeper drop and a slightly longer track length.


7 cars. Riders are arranged 8 across in 2 rows for a total of 16 riders per car

  • This ride has special Dive Machine trains, which can seat 8 people in a row. There are four trains, with two rows, making each train have a capacity of 16 riders per train.
  • To increase tension and add excitement, the car is held at the top of the hill for 2-3 seconds. Riders get a full view of the hole which they will plunge into.
  • To increase excitement even further, Oblivion had speakers in the trains which said "Don't Look Down". These were however removed due to noise complaints, but the "Don't Look Down" logo was painted on the floor, so riders can view the message before they drop.


  • Although Oblivion was marketed as the first roller coaster with a vertical drop, the steepest point of the drop is only 88 degrees. This is to allow easier maintenance, and also to smooth out the ride. If it was to have a 90 degree drop, the car would jolt when it enters the tunnel, as there are no springs on the wheels.
  • Oblivion is the tallest and fastest roller coaster in Alton Towers, however Secret Weapon 7 (The Smiler) has the same height now that it was completed on March 16, 2013, yet Oblivion is still the fastest in the park.


On 8 May 2012, a 20-year-old man climbed over safety fences and accessed the underground ride area. He reportedly dropped into the hole from which the roller coaster track re-emerges from the underground tunnel, walked through the underground section and emerged on a ledge where the track enters the ground. Neither he or guests on the ride were harmed following the ride cars being held at the boarding station. He was arrested for a public order offence, and the ride returned to normal operation the day after.

Other InfoEdit

  • Single Rider Line available
  • Fastrack availabe


Alton Towers Roller Coasters
Present AirNemesisOblivionRitaRunaway Mine TrainSmilerSpinball WhizzerThirteen
Former 4 Man BobAlton MouseBeastieBlack HoleCorkscrewMini AppleNew BeastThunderlooper
Concepts Secret Weapon 1 & 2unknown
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