They were the go to on school trips or family days out
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Through the decades, thousands of thrill seekers across Merseyside and beyond have headed to these popular amusement parks for a day out and to try these incredible rides.
From Alton Towers to Drayton Manor, Thorpe Park and lost sites like Frontierland and Camelot, many of us have made happy memories on a school trip or a family day out. But over the years, a number of popular and much-loved rides and rollercoasters have been confined to history.
Some were staple rides from childhood that numerous generations remember. Others only had brief stints at theme parks or only recently closed for good.
From rides that have been completely demolished to relocated or renamed, families from our region have loved and lost a lot of them. To reminisce, we take a look back at 23 rides we remember from our childhood that are no longer around.
This list isn't intended to be comprehensive, we've chosen a number of lost rides from different sites through the years. But if you feel there is something we should have included, let us know in the comments section.
Opening to thrill-seekers back in 1980, Alton Towers' Corkscrew quickly became one of the most iconic rollercoasters at the theme park. Attracting thousands in its 28 years - it arguably put Alton Towers on the map,
The ride was an adrenaline rush and Merseysiders may remember getting off the ride feeling as though their necks would never be the same again. Sadly, it came to the end of its life in 2008 and it was fully removed by 2010.
Another lost attraction at Alton Towers was Black Hole, which first opened in 1983. It was very different to your standard rollercoaster ride, with the ride taking place in total darkness, seeing passengers enclosed in a tent for the space-themed ride.
In 1988, the ride was dismantled and went on holiday to Europe, before reopening and changing its name to Black Hole II and the New Black Hole, before returning to its original name. The ride was closed in 2005 and the remaining tent was dismantled in 2012 to make way for the Smiler.
During its six-year stint at Alton Towers, Thunder Looper attracted huge crowds all eager to have a turn on the 53mph thriller. However, the ride did come with its own controversy.
Its height is said to have prompted complaints from nearby residents, as well as the noise which affected local wildlife. The last known location of the Thunder Looper was in Brazil's Hopi Hari park.
According to Lancs Live, Trauma Towers at Blackpool Pleasure Beach was o riginally The Haunted Hotel and was a themed funhouse and haunted attraction. Opening in 1980, visitors could tour the derelict hotel and be taken through haunted rooms.
In 2009, the attraction was closed and left standing, but not operating. In January 2018, the entire building was demolished.
Do these awaken any memories for you? Let us know in the comments section below.
The Gold Mine opened in 1971 at Blackpool Pleasure Beach and was a familiar fixutre for 40 years. Many will remember being taken through a maze of underground tunnels and seeing miners hard at work.
The well-known ride closed forever in September 2011, Lancs Live previously reported. It was later turned into the Wallace and Gromit Thrill-o-Matic attraction.
Opening in 1958, The Wild Mouse was a popular wooden ride. According to Lancs Live, it was one of only four remaining wooden Wild Mouse coasters left in the world as of the end of the 2017 season.
It was removed in 2018. But many still have fond memories of the ride in Blackpool.
Located at Frontierland in Lancashire, the 3,000ft long coaster was renamed Texas Tornado in 1987 after the entire park received a western theme. Demolished in 2000, it was a familiar fixture at the theme park for 60 years.
It was built by the legendary designer Harry Traver. Materials were used from another roller coaster at the 1937 Paris Exhibition to save on construction costs.
Back at Frontierland, Haunted Silver Mine was ghost train ride that opened in 1987 and closed in 1998. The ride was originally known as Scream Machine when it first started operating in 1978.
Although it soon changed its name to Star Treker. The ride was given a western mine theme when the park changed its name to Frontierland and the ride was removed in 2000 when the park closed.
Frontierland's The Rattler was a classic family friendly roller coaster known as a wacky worm ride. It had the face and body of a giant caterpillar made up of six single train cars.
The ride was later removed from the park and put into storage until 2004 when it made a second debut at Blackpool Pleasure Beach called Big Apple - but it only stayed there for one season. It's now thought the ride is at Fun Land in Towyn, Wales.
At Thorpe Park, Loggers Leap opened in 1989, as part of a brand new area known as Canada Creek. According to Surrey Live, it was dubbed the UK’s tallest log flume and the tallest attraction in the park at 53ft high - and with a 50ft drop.
After 26 years, it closed at the end of the 2015 season and remains a favourite memory for Thorpe Park fans. Nowadays, Tidal Wave is joined by Rumba Rapids, Storm Surge and Depth Charge, as the park’s quartet of water rides.
Another lost Thorpe Park ride is Slammer which opened in 2005. Described as a Sky Swatter thrill ride, Slammer was one of only two of this style of ride to be manufactured, Surrey Live previously reported.
After twelve years of operation, the attraction closed in 2017. It was said to be the last remaining ride of its kind in the world.
Flamingo Land Resort in North Yorkshire has attracted many from Merseyside through the years. One of its lost rides, The Bullet, operated in Austria, Florida and Germany before arriving there.
The train would see riders launch backwards out of a station and up a first spike, before travelling down a vertical loop, Teesside Live previously reported. The shuttle loop style roller coaster technically shut in 2005, but wasn't sold until 2012 when it moved onto Mexico.
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Magnum Force was a triple looping rollercoaster that was loved by thrill-seekers. According to Teesside Live, it operated at Flamingo Land from 2000.
The popular ridehad previously called Germany and Malaysia home and its time at Flamingo Land was relatively short, with visitors saying goodbye back in 2005. The ride later moved to Mexico.
A flat ride sat in the Seaside Adventure area at Flamingo Land, Tidal Wave lasted on site for 15 years. At the end of the 2008 season, it was removed to make way for Mumbo Jumbo.
A Vekoma Wakiki Wave ride, many will have fond memories sitting side by side with friends and family and the thrill of being lifted up into the air. But, contrast to normal top spins, Tidal Wave's arms could move independently, tipping the gondola diagonally as it spun.
Southport Pleasureland's Cyclone wooden roller coaster dated back to 1937. Many will know the amusement park closed in 2006 and later reopened and was transformed by businessman and tourism entrepreneur Norman Wallis in 2008.
When Pleasureland closed in 2006, campaigners in Southport concentrated their efforts on saving Cyclone. A bid to get it listed failed after the Government decided not enough of the original structure remained and contractors later arrived to start knocking the famous old ride down.
In 1998, Chaos was one of Southport Pleasureland's newest rides. Costing £500,000, the ride, which carried 36 people at a time, was imported from America.
Each car rotated through 360 degrees both forwards and backwards and it was once described as "the ultimate adrenalin-rush ride." Chaos is believed to have closed alongside the park's 2006 closure.
Installed at Southport Pleasureland in 1985, the Looping Star was the first of the new generation rides at the time. But it only had a brief stint at the site.
The ride closed in 1987 after welcoming hundreds of customers. The Looping Star is said to have been dismantled and taken to France.
Opening in 2014 at Gulliver's World, Twist 'N' Joust was once one of the biggest rollercoasters at the site. Many will remember the train of circular spinning cars that could be spotted across the park.
The ride is said to have been removed in 2021 and later relocated.
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Another lost Gulliver's World ride was Python, which opened around 2002. A Pinfari Mini Mega Coaster, the ride boasted a yellow track with a matching red and yellow train.
Once one of the largest rollercoasters on site, it was removed in 2018. But many will remember the ride from recent years travelling to Gulliver's World.
Camelot, at its height, attracted millions every year from when it opened in 1983. Sadly, those numbers fell in later years and in 2012, the once vibrant, family orientated theme park closed for good.
In 2007, Knightmare opened and boasted a stomach-churning 'psycho drop' and a two minute ride full of twists, turns and gravity-defying drops. Costing £3m, it is believed to have closed in 2012 along with the site.
Another Camelot favourite was the Tower of Terror. Operating from 1989 to 2000, it was 100ft tall.
At a time, 24 passengers could hop on the trains for a thrilling ride. The ride is said to have been later relocated and renamed in other amusement sites.
In October 2021, Drayton Manor Park confirmed the closure of Pandemonium, a ride that had been thrilling guests for 17 years. Before its official closure, Pandemonium invited thrill seekers from across the country to experience its exhilarating G-force one last time, Nottinghamshire Live previously reported.
Opening in 2004, the gravity-defying ride was one of the park’s most thrilling attractions. It was known for its infamous swinging gondolas, sending passengers soaring at a full 360 turn.
In October 2022, another popular thrill ride at Drayton Manor Park announced it was closing for good. According to Birmingham Live, Apocalypse closed for good October 30.
Opening in 2000 as the world's first stand-up drop tower, Apocalypse hag been one of Drayton Manor's most popular and thrilling attractions. The gravity-defying ride had been a firm-favourite among guests for decades and had amassed multiple awards including ‘Best Thrill Ride’ in Europe.
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