Thousands of thrillseekers flocked to Alton Towers Resort for one last chance to brave the Nemesis rollercoaster, which closed amid a spectacular live takeover on Sunday. Die-hard fans gathered at the Resort to experience the twists and turns of the famous ride for the final time, until it reopens again in 2024 following an exciting transformation. Nemesis was closed by order of the Phalanx - the secret organisation tasked with keeping the beast pinned beneath its steel structure under control - over fears about her “abnormal behaviour”.
Following the Resort’s spectacular fireworks display, a jaw-dropping event which marks the last day of the season, spotlights searched the darkened skies of the front lawn to create the illusion of a helicopter landing. A Phalanx spokesperson, appearing on a giant screen, announced that its “most experienced team” was in charge of the operation and urged park-goers to say their final goodbyes to the famous ride.
Back at the ride, mysterious figures in hazmat suits were seen marching in formation towards Nemesis, with some collecting samples and covering parts of the site in biohazard tape, and white chemical investigation tents were hastily erected around the ride’s entrance. The dramatic performance spanned across the Forbidden Valley where Nemesis is situated.
Once the queue had emptied, the very last of group riders - known to the Phalanx as the ‘final test specimens’ - took their seats on the ride, to claim their money-can’t-buy experience which they won through The Resort’s own competition, which received more than 15,000 entries from fans wanting to be part of the action.
Dressed in boiler suits, they were escorted by the hazmat-clad team as they walked through the site and also received a guard of honour as they took their seats, along with Nemesis’s creator John Wardley.
One of the lucky last riders, Ben Clarke from Sheffield said: “What an amazing experience.
“Nemesis is an incredible rollercoaster and I’m so happy I got to ride it one final time before it's given a revamp.”
Superfan Ben rides Nemesis on average 700 times a year. He proposed to his fiancee on the ride in March 2022. It holds such a special place in their hearts, they’ve even got matching Nemesis tattoos.
He added: “It truly means the world to be part of history on our favourite coaster.
“The theming, the near misses and intensity all add up to it being the world’s greatest coaster. I will miss Nemesis more than anything.
“Especially my favourite seat - row 8 back right - that seat really is something else.
“I honestly don’t know what we’re going to do next year without it.
“Few rides provide so many thrills. I can’t wait for it to return.”
Excitement around the theme park was palpable for hours. And Nemesis devotees have keenly followed developments since news of the closure last month. For them, the ride’s terrifying twists, corkscrews and loops mark it out as one of the world’s best rollercoasters. But for now, and until the Phalanx have completed their investigations, Nemesis will stay closed.
Details of its transformation remain tightly under wraps and more details will be revealed over time via the link here.
But the revamp will leave adrenaline-junkies trembling in anticipation. Kate McBirnie, Head of Guest Excellence at the Alton Towers Resort, said: “It was wonderful so many people came for Nemesis’s big send-off. “The legendary rollercoaster has been thrilling fans and visitors since 1994 so it’s understandable so many wanted to take one final ride before it undergoes its exciting revamp.
“We can’t reveal too much at the moment but more details will be revealed ahead of its spectacular return in 2024."
Nemesis cost £10m and was crowned Europe’s first inverted rollercoaster when it opened in 1994. Riders experience 3.5 G-force as they race past the rocks and rivers of the theme park’s Forbidden Valley at speeds of up to 50mph. It carries dangling thrillseekers along numerous twists and turns and four inversions and has attracted people from across the globe to the Staffordshire theme park.