Here in the UK, we hardly have what you would call a thriving flat ride scene. Sure, there are one or two stand-out flats, but overall, UK parks tend to rely on roller coasters and the odd dark ride. That’s why, when we lose a flat ride from an already far-from-stellar lineup, it usually hurts. And whenever the UK industry has flat-ride-related news, it tends to be about something closing or being removed.

However, today is not one of those days, as it would seem that Alton Towers is keen to add a permanent flat ride to the site once occupied by Ripsaw, the park's Huss Top Spin which opened in 1997 and closed in 2015.

Planning application submitted

While the park hasn’t confirmed anything, a planning application submitted to the Staffordshire Moorlands District Council website on 6th February 2024 confirms that something is indeed coming. The application doesn’t specifically say what it is, only that it will be located on the site of Funk N Fly and have an overall height of 18m. Ordinarily, this might not be much information to go on, but what other ride just so happened to also have a height of 18m? Yep, you guessed it – Ripsaw.

Hope on the horizon

It seemed inevitable that news like this might come at some point during 2024. After the love-them-or-hate-them retro squad lineup of traveling rides was announced to be leaving the resort late in 2023, fans have held on to a scrap of hope that permanent replacements might be on the horizon. It may be too late to expect the ride to debut in 2024, but the future for this small plot of land in Forbidden Valley is bright.

Alton Towers’ once had a strong lineup of flat rides. Ripsaw, Submission, Enterprise, Bone Shaker, Astro Dancer, Twirling Toadstool and 1001 Nights are just a handful of the spin ‘n’ spews that once called the park their home. However, over the last 20 years – and especially over the last decade – these rides were sentenced to the scrap heap and not replaced. Well, apart from the out-of-place retro squad rides, which quickly outstayed their welcome.

With Alton Towers embracing nostalgia, could we see the return of this crowd-pleasing flat ride? Of course, while this news is music to the ears of many enthusiasts, if a brand new Top Spin is indeed set for the site, it’s yet to be seen how the casual theme park visitor will take it. Naturally, we can assume there will be some kind of spin (excuse the Ripsaw-related pun there) on the project, and Alton will hopefully strike a balance between old and new… if it is a Top Spin at all. Currently, none of the thrill rides on the Huss website are listed 18m tall, so until more information is released we can only speculate.

The only clear thing is, that Alton Towers wants to add a new flat ride to the former Ripsaw site, which is surely nothing but good news.