The iconic Oblivion was the world's first vertical drop rollercoaster. That's a 180 feet drop, straight down!
I’m calling shenanigans on this blurb from Alton Towers, beyond the fact that it’s obviously not entirely “straight down”. I have long peered into that hole when the mist effect is light and thought “…it doesn’t look that tall”, but having thought about it a little more, I’m convinced we have been fed a big fat whopper for several years.
Oblivion’s height about ground (before the hole) is apparently 65ft. Accordingly to official blurb, theres another 115ft of “drop” before the drop ceases. Doing some simple maths and rounding up, that would mean that 64% of the “drop” is underground. Or, 178% of what you see above ground, is underground. Dang!!
To anyone that has an eagle eye and viewed oblivion from the side, you can clearly see that the steepest part of the ride is above ground (i.e. before the hole). This is because at the point of going into the hole, you can see the track starting to level out.
Lets’s now look at, say, Sheikra:
On every image of this and other dive coasters, the lowest part of the steepest track always seems to be approximately half-way down the drop.
So for Oblivion’s drop, which as far as I can tell from looking at it is no different, this doesn’t make sense. It’s it’s 65ft above ground, the true drop in height (from heights point to lowest point) would only be ~130-140ft.
I have a theory: is the “180 foot drop” on Oblivion the length of the track from the tallest point of the drop to the lowest point? Looking at the image of Sheikra, that seems to make sense - the movement forward would boost the “drop” by an approximate amount that would add up to 180 ft, by my crude calculations.