Roller coaster in the United Kingdom
Watch the on-ride POV
Alton Towers
Location Alton, Staffordshire, England, UK
Coordinates 52°59′06″N 1°53′27″W / 52.984959°N 1.890869°W / 52.984959; -1.890869
Park section Dark Forest
Status Operating since 1 April 2005
Cost £8 million
Rider height 140 cm minimum
Manufacturer Intamin
Product Accelerator Coaster
Designer / calculations Ing.-Büro Stengel GmbH
Type Steel - Launched
Riders per train 20
Propulsion Hydraulic launch
Height 21 metres
Top speed 98.3 km/h
Length 640 metres
Inversions 0
Duration 0:25
G-Force 4.7

Rita (originally known as Rita: Queen of Speed) is a steel launched roller coaster located at Alton Towers in Alton, Staffordshire, England, UK. It was manufactured by Intamin and opened on 1 April 2005. Two years after the opening of Rita, Heide Park in Germany (also owned by Merlin Entertainments) opened a nearly identical roller coaster called Desert Race.[1]


The ride first opened on 1 April 2005 as Rita: Queen of Speed. It was built at a cost of £8 million.[2]

In 2010, the ride would be rethemed as part of the new Dark Forest area.


Following the launch track is a series of curves shaped like a figure-eight when viewed overhead, which contains three airtime hills. Rita has separate areas for loading and unloading.


5 cars per train. Riders are arranged 2 across in 2 rows for a total of 20 riders per train.


The cable used to launch the train snapped during an early morning test run on 24 July 2012.[3] Rita reopened shortly after with additional scaffolding to cover the path underneath the launch track.



  1. "Offizielle Desert Race Eröffnung". Heide-Park-world.de.
  2. Bray, Elisa (2005-03-28). "Hold on to your lunch: 'Rita' is fastest roller yet". The Independent. Retrieved 2022-10-02.
  3. Rita roller coaster closed at Alton Towers after launch cable snaps - Theme Park Tourist

External links

  • Rita on the Roller Coaster DataBase.

Articles on Alton Towers