The Ultimate: Europe’s longest roller coaster to be dismantled
Europe’s longest roller coaster, the Ultimate at Lightwater Valley in the UK, will soon be dismantled, according to a post on the ride’s website.
“We have devoted much time and effort considering the future of The Ultimate," said Anne Ackord, Chief Executive Officer, Brighton Pier Group PLC, the owner of the famous ride.
"The ride has been out of service for some years now and the process of assessing the viability of bringing it back into use was a long one."
A nostalgic status and fond memories
“We are mindful of its nostalgic status and that many of our visitors have fond memories of riding the Ultimate Coaster," said the statement.
"Nevertheless, given both the investment required to bring it up to acceptable standards of safety and the re-imagining of Lightwater Valley as a family-orientated Adventure Park, we have decided to close The Ultimate permanently and remove it from the Park.”
Ackord added that she had ambitious plans for the former roller coaster’s home.
“We look forward to welcoming everyone to the new-look Lightwater Valley as it develops and evolves into the north of England’s number one destination for family adventures,” she concluded.
The ride, located near Ripon, has been out of service since 2019. It was shut down following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Experience a #rollercoaster ride in “The ultimate #Vrcoaster” here at Lightwater Valley🎢— Lightwater Valley Family Adventure Park (@LightwaterV) October 17, 2021
With all the twists and turns to look out for, this is one you can’t miss out on
We’re open today from 10:30am-5pm with tickets on sale on our website for £16.50pp https://t.co/NoqUfBfAKB pic.twitter.com/zcXsiH7ZRe
Amongst the reasons for its closing, park management cited safety concerns and the costs to refurbish the ride, as well as the park's shift in focus to becoming more family-oriented.
The park does now offer a virtual reality roller coaster.
An iconic status
The park was purchased by the Brighton Pier Group in 2021. At the time, the firm stated, "The Ultimate is not dead in the water. It needs some work doing on it, but we are more than conscious of its iconic status. If we can do something with it, then we will. Obviously, safety has got to be the priority, so in due course, we will have a look at it and make sure it complies with modern standards."
In 2000, it was surpassed by the Steel Dragon in Japan which is 8,133 ft (2,479 m) long. However, it remained the longest in Europe.
At the time of its creation, the Ultimate cost a whopping £5.2 million ($6.36 million) and was designed from a concept created by the park's original owner Robert Staveley. Construction began in early 1990 and took a total of eighteen months to complete.
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