Reviewed: Ben 10 Ultimate Mission
Ben 10 however is the first junior boomerang of its kind in the world, and is a great stepping stone for younger children that seek a more thrilling experience but aren’t yet tall enough to ride the 1.4m attractions. All riders for Ben 10: Ultimate Mission must be at least 1.0m tall and if under 1.2m must be accompanied by a responsible adult.
Your journey begins as you approach the queue line building. The entire queue line for Ben 10 is held indoors, similar to G-Force, although Ben 10 has a host of things to help keep you entertained while you wait. The entrance has a balcony above it where characters from the show can parade to entertain guests, although we didn’t see this in use whilst on-park.
As you enter the queue line building, first stop isÂ Azmuthâ€™s Lab on Galvan Prime planet, where you are introduced to Azmuth, the creator of the Omnitrix, which is used by Ben to transform himself into aliens. The Omnitirx is broken so Azmuth needs to fix it before villain Vilgax discovers that itâ€™s on Galvan and tries to
capture it for himself! All exciting stuff! In this area there are interactive screens where children can read about the show’s characters and play games, along with see Azmuth speak on TV screens placed around the room. The atmosphere here is fantastic, and even if you’re not too familiar with the show, you’ll find your surroundings and attention to detail to be impressive. The only niggle we had here was that the three interactive touch screens seemed to stop working after the first hour of the day – they simply displayed a network error message, and remained that way for the rest of the day.
The next section of the queue line isÂ the Alien Chamber, where visitors are said to be ‘immersed in intergalactic alien world. As visitors progress through the workshop, laser beam blasts and warning alerts can be heard, bright lights flash and the ground begins to shake â€“ the lab is under attack from Vilgax.’
There are some fantastic effects here, with the use of lights, sounds and some really brilliant themed characters. However, we couldn’t help but feel the last area was let down by the use of temporary metal fences, and a security flood light that was turned on inside all day, which tainted the effect somewhat. It’d also add a brilliant dimension if the floor did actually shake in this area as described in the pre-launch ride PR text.
After you’ve negotiated the last few alien encounters, you’re ready to take on Vilgax by riding the Ben 10 coaster! Riders sit in pairs, the trainÂ accommodatingÂ up to 20 passengers at a time. The ride uses a new type of lap-bar restraint system which is very comfortable and allows for a very “open” feeling as your sat waiting to be pulled backwards for the initial drop. Once strapped in, the floor either side of you drops away and the friction wheels engage – your ascent begins!
The train reaches a height of 20 meters and once released, hits a top speed of 55kph and pulls around 3G. The first drop is fairly tame when compared to larger attractions, but as a junior coaster, it’s perfect. If you sit at the back (which we did) you get a real sense of speed both on the initial drop, and as you hit the two helixes as the g-forces kick in. You hurtle past the waiting crowd in the station, which certainly feels much faster than 55kph, and into the first of two helix turns – the first to the left, then past the on-ride photo and into
the second helix to the right. You can then see the end of the track and the train begins to lose pace, then you hear an alien type reversal noise come from the speakers mounted on the second drop and bang; you’re now in reverse!
You gather pace, this time going backwards along the same track; round a helix this time to the right, then to the left and back into the station. You survived and Vilgax is defeated! Riders exit to the right after the floor has been raised and lap bars released and exit through the on-ride photo sales area, where you can buy a photo or keyring for a reasonably priced ÂŁ5. There’s also a Ben 10 shop opposite the attraction if you’re wanting to treat the kids to other souvenirs.
We really enjoyed Ben 10 – both due to the level of themeing throughout the ride, and the attraction itself. It’s good to see a well themed attraction installed where children can identify with it at all points throughout the ride. Although the ride time is really quite short, it is still very enjoyable for both children and adults – for the whole family. The only improvements we’d like to see are cosmetic – replace the temporary queue line fences forÂ permanentÂ ones like in the first part of the queue line and, since all the queueing is done inside – some indication of queue time at the entrance would be welcomed as we noticed many guests asking how long the wait was.
If you havn’t been to Drayton before then 2011 is the year to go – with Ben 10 Ultimate Mission, Thomas Land and Europe’s ONLY stand-up coaster, it’s not be missed.
Ben 10: Ultimate Mission Video