Aerial transportation over the gardens and across the valley...
|Theme Park||Alton Towers|
|Opened||28 March 1987|
|Max Speed||9 mph|
The Skyride is Alton Towers' cable car system which provides transportation around the park.
The cable cars travel between three stations, taking guests from Towers Street to the edge of Dark Forest via Forbidden Valley. During the journey, riders can look out over spectacular views of the famous gardens and down into the valley.
Alton Towers originally featured land trains and a simple 4-person cable car system between Towers Street and what is now Forbidden Valley in order to transport guests around the park. By 1987 this was becoming inadequate and the Skyride was built, connecting Towers Street with Fountain Square (beside the Towers ruins) with a cable stretching out across the valley for the first time.
The cable car system has suffered two fires in its history. The first damaged the roof of the Forbidden Valley station during Scarefest 2007 and caused the Skyride to be closed until the summer of 2008. A second fire completely destroyed the original Fountain Square station in July 2009, meaning guests were again forced to endure long walks across the park for the rest of the 2009 season.
Between the two fires, the original gondolas were upgraded to a replacement fleet of 52 modern multi-coloured cabins with bench seating inside.
The Skyride is an almost essential part of Alton Towers and can save a lot of walking. However long queues can accumulate on busy days, especially at the middle station in Forbidden Valley where oncoming riders must wait for a gondola with empty spaces or vacated by other guests disembarking at the midway point.
Photos of the Skyride with its original set of gondolas used between 1987 and 2008.
Towers Street Skyride station
View across the Valley
A choice between walking and riding the cable cars
Over the gardens
Near Skyride's Ug Land station
About to cross the valley
The Skyride over Mutiny Bay
Travelling over the Courtyard
Approaching Forbidden Valley
View from the Forbidden Valley station
Looking out across the valley
Over the gardens
Dark Forest station
Skyride station beside Dark Forest
Maximum of 10 people per cabin
Leaving the station
Cable cars over the valley
Forbidden Valley from the gardens side
Forbidden Valley station
Cable cars over Dark Forest
The Skyride passes next to Rita's launch track
Through the bushes
Visitors can catch cable cars in either direction from Forbidden Valley