Skip to main content

Alton Towers celebrates 30th anniversary of Nemesis

Alton Towers
Tuesday 19th March 2024

Alton Towers Resort is celebrating the 30th anniversary of its iconic Nemesis rollercoaster by sharing a treasure trove of unearthed photos documenting its construction three decades ago.

It follows the incredible scenes at the park this weekend when Nemesis Reborn was officially unveiled.

Thousands of fans who had travelled from all corners of the country hailed the extensive makeover of the iconic coaster that first opened on March 19, 1994.

It has seen the entire 250-tonne, 716-metre-long track - with its iconic corkscrews, nerve-shredding drops and four full inversions - replaced.

In addition, new state-of-the-art audio visual technology including a giant blazing eye ringed by razor sharp teeth brings the creature that gives the ride its name vividly to life.

On setting foot in the Resort’s Forbidden Valley visitors are plunged into an unrivalled immersive experience as the giant beast seeks vengeance.

Incredible timelapse footage shared by the Resort today captures the epic scale of the transformation.

To mark today’s milestone anniversary, the honour of being the ride operator for the day has been given to Joe Beasley - who was born on the original opening day of Nemesis. A lifelong Nemesis fan, he joined the Resort in 2014 and has been a ride operator since 2016.

Construction of the original attraction took place at the renowned Staffordshire theme park between 1991 and 1994.

Thousands of tons of rock were excavated to build the ride pit deep into the ground as planning restrictions meant it could not go above the treeline.

The brainchild of celebrated rollercoaster designer John Wardley, during its original incarnation it travelled over 800,000 miles, carrying more than 52 million people.

John, 73, recalled: “The design and build of Nemesis stands as one of my undisputed career highlights.

“I don’t think anyone involved with the project could have predicted how much of a game-changer it would be and how it would be cherished by so many.”

The project to reimagine Nemesis for a new generation was led by John Burton, the Senior Creative Lead at Merlin Magic Making.

He said: “Being entrusted to take John Wardley’s creation and update it for a new generation has been an incredible honour.

“The original Nemesis is an undisputed masterpiece of rollercoaster design.

“With Nemesis Reborn we believe we’ve raised the bar again - and created an utterly-immersive, heart-pounding experience that you can get nowhere else.”

Following the launch of Nemesis Reborn, Alton Towers Resort is giving fans the unprecedented opportunity to have an audience with these two giants of the Nemesis story with the launch of a brand new VIP package.

Expected to sell out swiftly, the unique events featuring both John Wardley and John Burton will take place on May 4th and June 28th.

And, to further mark today’s 30th anniversary, Alton Towers Resort has recreated an iconic photo from the 1994 build.

Originally featuring John Wardley at the top of the ride’s lift hill, the Resort has recreated and released the image with John Burton who has been responsible for re-imagining the ride for 2024 as he takes over the mantle.

Opened in 1994, Nemesis was heralded as Europe’s first ever inverted rollercoaster and became an immediate hit with thrillseekers from around the globe, who were blown away by the combination of its 50mph top speed and its numerous twists and turns with four inversions.

Bianca Sammut, Divisional Director at Alton Towers Resort, said: “It’s been a real thrill to dig deep into the Alton Towers archive and unearth this astonishing collection of images that show how a legend was brought to life.

“The original Nemesis rollercoaster set new standards when it was unveiled to an unsuspecting public back in 1994.

“A monumental engineering achievement of its time, it was a smash hit from the outset, creating a worldwide army of dedicated fans throughout its first thirty years.

“And after unveiling Nemesis Reborn to the world this weekend, we’re equally thrilled to take the wraps off our new VIP package where guests can come face to face with the legendary individuals who have shaped the Nemesis story.”  

Nemesis In Numbers

53 pieces of track

89 columns

Over 2,500 bolts

716 metre track length

250 tonne track weight

Each of the two passenger trains weighs 10 tonnes unloaded

13m - Highest Point

50mph - Top Speed

3.4 - G Force

The original Nemesis travelled the equivalent to the moon and back, and back to the moon again

This is equivalent to circling the world 32.2 times

More people rode the original Nemesis than the population of Colombia, Spain and South Korea

Nemesis Reborn In Numbers

1400 working days over 17 months

Team of over 500 construction workers

Over 750 different tradespeople from all over the world

10,000 test runs of the ride will be completed before opening day

Over a mile’s worth hand-painted veins on the track

Over 8,000 crane lifts during construction

10 mile’s worth of cabling to operate the ride, power operate and generate SFX

Each track piece was manufactured in Ohio, US

Over 100 metres of tentacles have been hand-made to bring the new creature to life

Photos Credit: 1993/4 images - credit to Paul Burton