The Wave is now open at Drayton Manor! Popular coaster Shockwave has been reimagined as a family thrill ride, boasting a fresh look and a new name. The ride reopened to eager theme park-goers at midday on 26th April 2024, just shy of its 30th birthday on 26th March.

Shockwave originally opened back in 1994 – a big year for British roller coasters, as this is when Nemesis also opened at Alton Towers. We’ll be honest, The Wave had pretty big boots to fill. Its predecessor, Shockwave, was the last remaining stand-up coaster in the world with a zero-G roll.

So, how does The Wave stand up against Shockwave? Read on for our full review.

Riding The Wave

When the decision to remove Shockwave’s stand-up trains went public, it’s safe to say the reactions were mixed. Managing Director of Drayton Manor Resort, Victoria Lynn, explained during the Media Preview that the team did not want to scrap the ride entirely, instead wanting to keep the legacy for a wider range of park-goers.

ART Engineering manufactured the sit-down trains, which has also taken the height restriction from 1.4m to 1.2m. This was a brilliant move – the lap bars are a lot more comfortable than the over-the-shoulder restraints on Shockwave, which were extremely unpleasant for anyone over 6ft. It’s safe to say that isn’t the case with the new ride vehicles. 

The track itself has largely remained unchanged, starting with a chain lift hill that reaches a height of 120 ft. After a vertical loop, riders reach the standout zero-G roll, which still packs a serious punch, even on a sit-down train.

The queue line has also been given a new lease of life, with retro surfboards and posters lining the walls. It matches the Adventure Cove theming perfectly – and the new mid-ride sign, half taken out by the coaster, is a very fun touch.

Check out a sneak peek of the ride for yourself...

The Wave at Drayton Manor: Our Verdict

The Wave seriously impresses. The new trains are smooth, unlike the previous ones which were clunky and tired. It’s the perfect first “big coaster” for younger theme park fans, but still thrilling enough to satisfy even the most daring rider.