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Lightwater Valley Discussion Thread

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This thread is simple! Rather than having a million little threads about everything that goes on at Lightwater Valley, this thread is designed to consolidate it all into one user-friendly thread. Feel free to use it to post updates, trip reports, questions, comments, and of course, general discussion. For pictures and videos of the park as well as past updates, see TPR's Park Index Page.


Official Park Website


Below are some links to past updates from the park, you may be interested in. Enjoy!






January 12th, 2010 - Raptor Attack! to debut in 2010 (news below)

March 10th, 2010 - Raptor Attack viral video released!

August 16th, 2010 - Vekoma Whirlwind from Särkänniemi finds new home at Lightwater Valley in 2011



February 18th, 2011 - Skeleton Cove expansion rides revealed!

February 18th, 2011 - Skeleton Cove to debut for 2011 season!

July 11th, 2011 - The Ultimate Rollercoaster hits its 20th Anniversary!



February 26th, 2012 - The Ultimate offseason maintenance info



January 10th, 2013 - Onsite accommodations plans approved to help save park

March 13th, 2013 - Angry Birds Activity Park announced for 2013 season!



Original Post:


Lightwater Valley's website lists a new coaster "Raptor Attack" will debut in 2010. This comes on the heels of the closing of Rat Ride. Information on Raptor Attack is limited, so it is not known if this will be a new coaster or a retheme.


What is known is that the park is getting an upgrade in the thrill area with the addition of a Top Scan to be named Whirlwind.

Edited by jedimaster1227
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I got to visit LWV several times back when I lived in England in 2002-2003. I thought the rat ride was the best ride there. I loved the tunnels you had to go through to get to it. The more ghetto it got with age, the better!


How much do you want to be this is the same coaster though, just with a dinosaur at the entrance? At least they've got a top scan though.

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  • 1 month later...
  • 5 months later...

Found this information on Valley Mania


We've been pretty manic these past few days with speculation, rumours and Chinese whispers over Lightwater Valley's plans for the 2011 season, but now is the time to put you all out of your misery!


Valley Mania can confirm that Lightwater Valley will be home to a new rollercoaster come next season. After considering a number of different options, the park have settled on a Vekoma Whirlwind. Formerly located at Särkänniemi Amusement Park in Finland, Korkkiruuvi (that's Finnish for Corkscrew) closed in 2009 and has been on the market ever since.


As far as Valley Mania are aware at this moment in time, a deal hasn't quite been tied up yet, but we understand it will cost in the region of £900,000 (including shipping). Members of park management are heading off to Fort Fun shortly to try out Speed Snake - one of six Whirlwinds still operating. Should the deal go through, the ride will stand on the current Grand Prix Go Karts site - which will be leaving the park.




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  • 6 months later...

I got this information off of valley mania and I asked the moderator who put it on the site for permission to post and he gave me that permission so here is the information:


Skeleton Cove Rides Revealed

Tue 18th January 2011

Ahoy there shipmates! Following last month's Skeleton Cove announcement, Valley Mania can today exclusively reveal the 5 attractions that will initially make up the area. Speculation has hit fever pitch over these past couple of weeks, with many of you correctly guessing each ride's place of origin. But which rides were they? Read on to find out you scallywags!


All hailing from the now defunct Loudoun Castle, the rides that will make up Skeleton Cove are; Black Pearl, Powder Kegs, the Flying Cutlass, Pirate Swinger and Skull Rock!


Black Pearl, a Weber inverting ship, is arguably the star attraction of the area which is to be built on the former site of Grand Prix Go Karts. However, it is the addition of The Flying Cutlass, a HUSS swinging ship, which is set to raise most eyebrows considering the park placed their very own, The Wave, on the market at the end of last season. The Flying Cutlass is joined by fellow HUSS attraction, Powder Kegs (Break-dance), Skull Rock (Zamperla Regatta) and Pirate Swings (Mini Chair-o-planes).


But wait... there's more! As reported on Valley Mania, a 6th ride will be joining Skeleton Cove later in the season. Small children's ride, Junior Pirate Ship, also of Loudoun, will be debuting under the name of Wave Rider (TBC). With the ride not being available from launch, a decision was made to cut the addition from all official marketing material. With something for everyone, we're sure that Skeleton Cove will prove to be an enormous success come opening day on April 9th.


Other news coming out of the Valley is that Vintage Cars are to be removed. The area will be converted into outdoor seating as part of Riviera food court's transformation into Hungry Harbour.


As always, be sure to keep checking Valley Mania for all the latest news on Skeleton Cove and the rest of the park as we head towards the start of the 2011 season! In the meantime, you can download the 2011 park brochure by visiting our mini-site below!


Larry if nobody has been before me and not gotten pictures of the newly developed site I will be happy to take a few snaps the next time I go.


The Logo for the newly developed area

Edited by jedimaster1227
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In the forums on valley mania one of the members put in the speculation part that lightwater might be doing what Drayton manor did get little rides first and then move up to the big coasters because the scraped their plans to buy the vekoma whilwind for these other rides instead

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  • 3 weeks later...

Lightwater Valley has sent us a press release about the upcoming opening of the new Skeleton Cove area.


On 9 April Lightwater Valley’s latest attraction, Skeleton Cove, sets sail with five brand new rides for the start of the 2011 season.


Officially the Best Value Theme Park in the UK, Lightwater has upped the stakes with a £1.2million winter investment. The all new Skeleton Cove, pirate-themed land is the most recent in a series of developments which have been taking place over recent years.


The first year witnessed a £1.2 million investment through the winter of 2009 /2010 with the purchase of Wild River Rapids, a re-theme of the iconic Rat ride into Raptor Attack, hire of a Mondial Top Scan ride branded as Whirlwind and the establishment of the Frightwater Valley Halloween weekend. This year's investment is aiming to improve the visitor experience by offering new attractions and decreasing queuing time across the park – ensuring visitors get more for their money.


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Lightwater Valley has sent us a press release regarding the 20th Anniversary of The Ultimate Rollercoaster.


This weekend will see the 20th Anniversary of The Ultimate Rollercoaster at Lightwater Valley, Ripon.


Over a 20 year history, the coaster named by BBC Radio One listeners and launched by Frank Bruno MBE in July 1991, has completed over 200,000 laps of the 1.5 mile track, carrying an approximate 7,500,000 passengers.


During the anniversary weekend Lightwater Valley will be welcoming back competition winners from the launch competitions which ran in regional newspapers in 1991. The winners, who are now in their 30s, will be visiting the Park with their families to experience how Lightwater Valley has changed and ride the coaster again.


The ride was formerly known as The Ultimate Beast and is Lightwater Valley's signature ride. It cemented the Park in the history books when it opened as the World's Longest Rollercoaster and, occupying 44 acres of land, the ride is still the longest in Europe.


After initial designs were completed by Big County Motioneering and the Park's original owner Robert Staveley, construction began on the ride in early 1990 and took teams from British Rail and the Park 18 months to complete.


Mark Bainbridge, General Manager & Director, said: “The Ultimate remains a huge achievement of engineering and imagination. Twenty years ago the vision of Robert Staveley to construct the longest rollercoaster in the world was a major investment for the park but, two decades on, the ride remains a massive draw for visitors and roller coaster enthusiasts from around the world.”


He added: “Constructing the roller coaster was a challenge but the end result is an enduring ride which continues to bring people great enjoyment.”


Lightwater Valley Theme Park in Ripon, North Yorkshire is home to over 40 rides and attractions. After developing from a self picking strawberry farm, rides were introduced in 1987 making it into a modern day theme park. Lightwater Valley Theme Park re-opened to visitors on 9 April 2011.


For further information on days out at Lightwater Valley visit http://www.lightwatervalley.co.uk



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  • 7 months later...

Bonner & Hindley has sent us a press release regarding the annual maintenance of Lightwater Valley's 'The Ultimate' during their offseason.


You could be forgiven for thinking that when Lightwater Valley Theme Park closes to the public at the end of October, nothing happens there until it re-opens in the week before Easter. But, actually, quite the opposite is true.


In the ‘winter breakdown’, nearly every single one of the 33 rides - including ‘The Ultimate’, which is the longest rollercoaster in Europe - is completely stripped down for full maintenance: a huge undertaking that requires specialist engineering, experience and a lot of hard work. Anybody that was to visit the park in the summer and then pay a return visit in the winter months would find it barely recognisable, such is the scale of the breakdown.


Lightwater Valley employs 13 maintenance engineers and regularly takes on apprentices, one of whom, Mark Taylor, has just passed all his NVQ exams and is now working full-time at the theme park as a maintenance fitter. The team is headed up by Engineering Manager Tony Bolsover, who has been at Lightwater Valley for 14 years. Tony spent five years working exclusively on ‘The Ultimate’ and then becoming a supervisor before being entrusted to lead the team.


Tony said: “People probably wouldn’t expect it but winter is when the really hard work begins. “We literally completely dismantle the rides, thoroughly assess the parts and then make any fixes that need to be made in the workshop. Each and every element of the rides has to meet the exacting standards of the ride inspector (electrical, mechanical & structural), or else that ride will quite rightly not be allowed to run. “It’s a huge task, but it’s ultimately hugely satisfying; particularly when you see each of the rides working like clockwork when the park re-opens to the public in the spring.”


Each of the engineers tends to specialise on certain rides and every one of them needs - for very good reason - to complete a working at heights course before they can start maintenance on the rides. Any contractors that are used must have full health and safety regulations in place before they can start work at Lightwater Valley.

Lightwater Valley Theme Park in Ripon, North Yorkshire is home to over 40 rides and attractions. After developing from a self picking strawberry farm, rides were introduced in 1987, making it into a modern day theme park. Lightwater Valley Theme Park will re-open to visitors on 24 March 2012.


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  • 10 months later...



A last ditch effort to save Lightwater Valley has been approved.


Plans for 106 holiday units at the theme park were unanimously approved by Harrogate Borough Council’s planning committee.


Councillors said they were “150 per cent behind the plans” which are expected to benefit Ripon and the Harrogate district as a whole.


Marketing manager Simon Edward spoke passionately about his love for the theme park to the committee.


Afterwards he said: “This is great we are really happy.


“I know a lot of my colleagues have worked very long and hard on these plans, it has been four years in the making.”


He added: “This is just the first of many big announcements to come from Light water Valley.”


Councillors were told the site would provide 54 full-time jobs in the area.


Mr Edwards stressed that the accommodation would not be like Centre Parcs and would instead encourage people to use the facilities in the local area.


He said: “We estimate visitors will spend around one and a half days at the theme park and will visit nearby attractions like Fountains Abbey, Knaresborough and Harrogate.”


Earlier in the week Lightwater Valley director and general manager Mark Bainbridge spoke of his worries about the future.


He said: “This year has been horrendous for outdoor attractions, especially those like Lightwater without accommodation.


“This year we are 12 per cent down on profits, which is the equivalent of 40,000 visitors. We can’t sustain another two years in this kind of business.”


Mr Bainbridge argued that the only way Lightwater Valley could become a sustainable business was by providing overnight accommodation.


He said: “At the end of the day, the theme park model has changed vastly. Unfortunately, all of our competitors have now gone into accommodation and several of them that didn’t are no longer in existence.”

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