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Stealth vs Oblivion; which of the UK’s one-trick coasters do you prefer?

Stealth vs Oblivion

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Matt N

Strata Poster
Hi guys. I know it feels like I’m dominating the Polls section somewhat at the moment, so I apologise for that, but I have another really intriguing comparison thread idea.

The UK has two coasters that are short rides, but pack a huge punch within the given duration. They are Stealth at Thorpe Park and Oblivion at Alton Towers. They're two quite different rides in terms of ride type (Stealth is a 2006 Intamin Accelerator Coaster, while Oblivion is a 1998 B&M Dive Coaster), but they are similar to each other in terms of their succinct, one-trick approach. So my question to you today is; which do you prefer?

This might be controversial, but my vote goes to Oblivion. Oblivion is a coaster that I never used to rate very highly, but it's one that's grown to become one of my favourite coasters in recent years. Yes it might be short, but man it packs a punch! That drop provides a phenomenal moment of sustained airtime, and then when you fall through the tunnel, that raw sense of speed is absolutely unrivalled! After that, you get a nice bonus pop of surprising airtime into the brakes! The ride is also lovely and smooth for a B&M of its age, with nice comfortable OTSRs, and it's a coaster that I feel like I could ride over and over and not get bored of, in spite of its length!

Stealth is an interesting one for me, because while I think that launch is a raw sensation that Oblivion can't quite match and the airtime over the top hat is excellent, I have a few nitpicks & caveats with it that mean it doesn't match Oblivion as an overall ride experience for me. Firstly; this is something I've only noticed on my recent rides, and it's something that no one else ever seems to pick up on, but from my experience, it's been getting a bit on the rough side lately. The entry and exit from the top hat have been rather jolty as of late; the entry in particular really jostled my head about and gave me a bit of a headache on my recent rides. This is a fairly recent development; in the past, I only ever noticed a slight rattle on the exit. Secondly, the harnesses aren't as nice as Oblivion's; while this is a very minor niggle, I do feel rather pinned into them by the end of the ride, which does make me feel a bit uncomfortable, although the very brief interval between hitting the brake run and getting off makes this one more OK. Finally, I don't think it's as consistent as Oblivion, although in fairness I think that's by virtue of it having longer trains. For me, Stealth has a definite "magic seat", and that's the front row. While I won't deny that front row Stealth is brilliant, the quality of ride in the front vastly outweighs the quality of ride in the other rows for me, to quite a surprising extent, so the fact that I can't guarantee being able to get the best out of Stealth every time does take away from it a bit for me. Oblivion is far more consistent; there's no real difference between seats, and you know you're getting the best out of Oblivion every time you ride it.

I feel like most will prefer Stealth, however; I'll be interested to see how much of a minority I'm in... what are your thoughts?


Mega Poster
Don't apologise for the polls, I love them!

Stealth for me as it's a great rush and it's the fastest launch I've done. Oblivion though is great. I love the build up and the drop is fantastic.


Strata Poster
Stealth's launch is phenomenal but it's just a bit much for me after that. The sheer force of the pull up, coupled with the rattle that feels like you're sat in that one trolley at Morrisons with the broken wheel... It's a tough sell tbh.

Oblivion needs a refresh but my god that drop really gets ya. Slap some of that sexy Steampunk drill theming that it was originally proposed to have and you're onto a winner. Also the logo is just... *chef's kiss*


Strata Poster
It's a tough one, this. I'm a fan of both.
Right now, I'd rather ride Stealth - it's a newer, more modern, more dynamic ride that still gets me pumped before boarding.
On the other hand, when it first opened, Oblivion was a far more terrifying experience. It represented a greater leap forward in coaster design, was a 'genuine' world first and had a much bigger and lasting impact on me as an enthusiast.
However, it's been 23 years - that impact has faded and the ride itself is not what it used to be, what with the sound & visual effects turned off, the holding brake lasting a mere second and all the pre-ride tension-building gone, so with that in mind I'm gonna go Stealth. As I said at the beginning, it's the one I'd most rather ride right now, sooo...
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Mega Poster
Easy one for me. Stealth in the front row is one of the world's finest coaster experiences. I'd choose that over any other row on Formula Rossa, Top Thrill Dragster or Kingda Ka, for instance. Doubt I'll ever tire of it.

My first ever ride on Oblivion was unforgettable though. It was a few years after it opened and I was familiar with all the hype surrounding its launch, but somehow I had manged to remain completely unaware of what the ride actually involved.

So it went "Okay, cool drop, let's see how they use this big train's momentum on the rest of the layo...oh, brake run".

I had one further ride a few years ago to confirm how sh*te it was.

I'm no huge fan of either of the other two dive machines I've tried (Baron 1898 and Valkyria) but at least they do something after the drop.


Roller Poster
Stealth any day of the week. As everyone has already said, the launch is just insane, even when compared to other hydraulic launches its noticeably more forceful. The top hat matches the intensity with the crushing positives and airtime, and the bunny gill is great fun. The launch is underutilised, but what is there is fantastic from start to finish.

Oblivion is still an awesome, awesome ride. But is more of a one trick pony than stealth. The build up to the drop is great, and the drop itself is stellar. But after pulling up from the drop, the rest of the track does nothing. Sure the hill into the brakes is fun, but the overbank is a pointless meander after straight track out of the tunnel. The drop still makes it a must ride, but it is much less of an experience than stealth.

(Both of these are front row opinions. We always wait the extra time for stealth's front because it's so good)
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Giga Poster
I don't actually know.
I feel like I'm more likely to skip Oblivion because of what else is available on park, but that's not to say it's the worse ride.
Stealth still gives off good vibes with the audio and whatnot while Oblivion has had almost all of the soul sucked out of it.
Oblivion gives a better singular sensation in the drop.
Stealth does a bit more in terms of other things, but is still a shorter end to end ride experience.



Hyper Poster
Oblivion easily for me! The queue and station add tension, the steeper-than-usual lift and slow crawl round the top just ratchets it up until you're hanging over the edge. The drop is mint and I'm a big fan of the overbank, especially in one of the outermost seats where you can really feel the rotation.

Stealth is just boring to me tbh, it goes fast and you're down before you realise you're up. My favourite part of Stealth is the sigh from the brakes on the hill!