Take a rollercoaster ride through a pinball machine, with you as the pinball...
|Theme Park||Alton Towers|
|Park Area||Adventure Land|
|Opened||27 March 2004 (original opening)|
20 March 2010 (as "Sonic Spinball")
19 March 2016 ("Spinball Whizzer" again)
|Model||Spinning Coaster SC2200|
Alton's rollercoaster is the smaller twin to its sister ride, and arguably the poor sibling. The ride is loosely themed around a giant pinball machine, with riders sitting in small four-seater cars representing pinballs which can freely spin as they run around the track.
There are a few minor theming elements placed around the track including some large silver pinballs, but nothing particularly immersive. Compared to some other Maurer Spinning Coaster installations, Spinball cars rarely spin particularly wildly, unless you are lucky enough to get an extremely unbalanced car.
Between 2010 and 2015, the ride was sponsored by Sega and known as Sonic Spinball. Alongside a track repaint, various Sonic related theming elements were added including a giant Sonic the Hedgehog statue outside the ride entrance. When the sponsorship agreement ran out, the original Spinball Whizzer name returned and the Sonic theming was removed.
Spinball Whizzer splits opinion - some recognise it as a fun ride, less intense than Alton's larger rollercoasters and more appropriate for families. Others think it was a cheap addition with lazy theming, and a poor choice of location near the front of the park. It certainly isn't the best that Alton Towers has to offer, and Spinball's longterm future is uncertain: the park's Long Term Development Plan indicates there are already at least high level plans to remove it in the fullness of time.
Spinning past pinball theming
Spinball Whizzer entrance
Sonic Spinball entrance
Signature extreme overbanked turn "immelmann" element
Almost 90 degrees
Games in the queueline
Spinball Whizzer station
Engaging with the lift chain
Top of the lift
Mid course brakes
Sonic Spinball on-ride photo shop
Spinball Whizzer seen from the Front Lawns