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I design roller coasters and the front isn’t the best place to sit – here’s why

A ROLLERCOASTER designer has revealed why the front seat isn’t always the best place to sit when going on a ride.

Most people think that right at the front is the best place to experience a rollercoaster to its fullest, but that isn’t necessarily true.

John Wardley designed Nemesis, Air and Oblivion at Alton Towers
John claims that, particularly on Nemesis, arguably his most famous achievement, the front seat isn’t always the best place to sit

John Wardley, who is responsible for designing Alton Towers classics Oblivion, Air and Nemesis, has ridden rollercoasters more times than some people have been in cars.

He claims that, particularly on Nemesis, arguably his most famous achievement, the front seat isn’t always the best place to sit.

He told Sun Online Travel that the disorientating nature of the front means that it’s not always the spot to get the most out of a ride.

He said: “You get a different type of ride whether you’re in the front or the middle or the back.

“Obviously sitting in the front you can see the the track ahead. Although of course it’s whizzing by very quickly so you don’t really orientate yourself to where you are.

“It’s the most disorientating journey at the front.

“But the middle and the back also provided a totally different type of ride. And so there isn’t a rule of thumb as to where you have to sit – all the seats are equally as exciting.”

John has ridden Nemesis hundreds of times, a lot of which were on the first day it opened.

The roller coaster closed for refurbishments earlier this year, but John has promised it will offer an even better experience when it reopens in 2024.

While information on the refurb is being guarded closely, he hopes that whatever seat people are in when it opens again, it will have new storytelling and scenery, while still being Nemesis.

He said: “I’ve ridden Nemesis many hundreds of times – on the official opening day I had to ride it over and over again doing interviews, live pieces to camera, all live on the ride.

Alton Towers are very much keeping it under wraps what we’re going to do with it, but essentially it will be the same Nemesis that everybody loves, no matter where they’re sat, but even better.

“Those trains have done the equivalent of 30 times around the Earth, so I think Nemesis deserves to be be given a bit of extra TLC and refurbished and that’s what will happen.

“The basic themes of the ride will be the same, but there will be much more storytelling, more special effects and scenery and so it will be Nemesis, but even better than before.”

When creating Nemesis to begin with, John said he was focusing on the experience rather than breaking records, and he claims that is the secret of the ride’s success.

He said: “The normal way people build roller coasters is to take a flat piece of land. They look at record books and work out which is the highest roller coaster in the world and throw a load of steel up in the air hoping to beat that record.

“That’s not really what entertainment and escapism is all about – superlatives are all very well, as is getting in the record books, but they’re not necessarily the starting point.

“My first objective was to build a thrilling adventure that would sort of test the boundaries of what people dare and doing that succeeded very well.”

Meanwhile, video footage has shown a new roller coaster in America that rides over the top of a mountain and has a 110ft drop.

And this is how the brand new Peppa Pig World compares to the original.

The front seats are disorientating but not the best according to John

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