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The Class Of '94

Who's made the biggest impact?

  • Nemesis

    Votes: 5 62.5%
  • Shockwave

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Big One

    Votes: 3 37.5%

  • Total voters

Darren B

Active Member
20 years ago saw the roller coaster boom hit the UK. 3 ground breaking coasters were built at Alton Towers, Pleasure Beach, Blackpool and Drayton Manor Park. But which of these 3 mean machines has had the biggest impact?

Nemesis, Alton Towers

Widely regarded as the best coaster in the UK and the finest Invert to grace the planet. It's unique appearance amongst the sunken grounds of Alton Towers makes for wonderful viewing, and it doesn't ride too shabby either. But, did it make the desired impact it was supposed too?

Shockwave, Drayton Manor Park

When the Bryan family went in search of thrills for their 1994 coaster they bagged themselves a beauty in Shockwave. The tallest Stand-Up in the world until Cedar Point announced Mantis, and is still to this date the only Stand-Up in Europe. DMP also bagged themselves a bargain with Shockwave; paying just 4 million pounds in a double deal which also included the rapids ride that runs alongside this steel beast. Shockwave really did put DMP on the map, but just how big an impact did it actually make?

And finally..

The Big One, Blackpool

Blackpool shocked the world in 1994 when they constructed the tallest, fastest and steepest roller coaster in the world. It came with an astonishing 12 million pound price-tag which was almost unheard of in 1994, but boy did the gamble pay off. Still to this date it remains just as iconic as Blackpool tower on the Blackpool skyline, and its still bringing in the crowds by the millions.

Remember folks, you're not voting for the best coaster, you're voting for the one thats made the biggest impact.


Staff member
Nemesis made Alton Towers a "professional" park. It's the perfect ride to accompany the then burgeoning change in quality of theming and approach at Alton. The Towers were already popular, but Nemesis allowed them to be the best park in the country and a world class attraction.

PMBO however was the calendar girl for the UK coaster industry. It was world record breaking (not a world first or whatever, an actual record breaker), it's got an iconic layout which makes for a famous skyline and it's always been that classic "Rollercoaster" look and feel that makes it a vehicle for press, etc.

I'd say Nemesis pushed the UK theme parks to up their games, but PMBO reignited a love for parks across the UK that fuelled the industry into what we see today.

Shockwave? Drayton would never be as big as they are today without it, but the influence was never really universal other than as a "there are also other places worth going to" also ran.


Credit Whore 2016
This is a gooood question...for me I'd say Nemesis has had the most influence. It put Alton Towers on the map. It was a BIG addition. The first inverted coaster (I think) in Europe.

OK, the Big One was the tallest, fastest, steepest coaster at the time but Nemesis just has so much more to offer. What has the Big One spawned at BPB? It is it's signature coaster yes, but the only ride that has come after to keep BPB on the map was infusion...and that went well...

Nemesis on the other hand was the first (and some might argue the best) 'big' coaster at Alton Towers (I suppose you could count corkscrew but that's gone now) and it has spawned every other big coaster there, by this I mean if it wasn't for Nemesis, it's likely they'd have never bothered with the other coasters because AT wouldn't have been on the map in such a coastery way!


Staff member
Social Media Team
Nemesis is the better coaster; PMBO had the biggest impact. By far.

You've got to take off your enthusiast head and look at what PMBO was at the time: the tallest, fastest, steepest coaster in the world. It reached far beyond the UK in scope.

Anyone old enough to remember will say the same. Nemesis got a fair bit of attention, but nowhere near as much.

Shockwave wasn't even a blip on the radar.


Well-Known Member
I was into theme parks back then and pmbo stole the show.

It was the ride with the adverts, the publicity and the one on the news.

Pmbo also featured in music videos and various stunts through out the years.

The ride back then is also very different to now as well, the drop and the turn around were so much better back then.

I had never even heard of Shockwave until I joined cf.

Nemesis did have a strong advert campaign but many including me just thought it was another coaster like Vampire.

Even though nemesis was secret back then it probably also did not help. Everyone knew the pmbo was being built but no one had a clue what nemesis was as you could not see it.

Pmbo for me.


Well-Known Member
I'm sure we've had this before in quite some detail?

Think last time I went with PMBO just ahead of Nemesis.

Nemesis is an icon within the theme park industry, PMBO is an icon within Blackpool as a town. Most people won't know of Nemesis unless they've been to Alton Towers, PMBO literally is Blackpool along with the tower.


I Lied About My Age!
Staff member
Social Media Team
Nemesis is an intriguing case. Yes, it really helped demonstrate the extent to which B&M could push the envelope with inverted roller coasters, but so did Raptor at Cedar Point which opened the same year. Raptor was the first large scale Inverted roller coaster (not to mention large scale B&M in general), and also helped advance the cause of B&M Inverts as a staple roller coaster to every amusement park lineup.

Nemesis is a one-of-a-kind design, where Raptor's general layout was used going forward for majority of large B&M Inverts. Both arguably helped advance the B&M cause.