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Sonic Spinball, formerly known as Spinball Whizzer, is a steel spinning roller coaster made by Maurer Söhne of Germany and sponsored by Sega. The ride is located in the Adventure Land area of Alton Towers in Staffordshire, England.
The ride opened to the public in 2004. It was themed around a giant pinball machine with silver cars for the balls. The ride also featured several high-banked turns, adding to the pinball theme. A large variety of music could be heard from the rock 'n' roll genre whilst queuing up or standing near the ride. This was appropriate, as its name was a play on the title of "Pinball Wizard", a song by The Who. In the past, riders have expressed frustration at the long queues this ride could attract on a busy day, with each car holding only four people.
After rumors of sponsorship, on 3 January 2010, it was confirmed the ride would be re-themed into a Sonic the Hedgehog style for the 2010 season and become known as Sonic Spinball, a reference to the game Sonic the Hedgehog Spinball.
Sonic music is heard during the ride and Sonic can be heard telling guests about the ride. The karts are themed around the main characters of the series: Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, Amy and Eggman. Alton Towers also has a Sonic-themed hotel suite with Chaos Emerald lighting, palm trees, Splash Hill Zone wallpaper, a widescreen TV, Wii, PS3 and Xbox 360, along with a loan of several controllers and Sonic games for each console. For the 2016 season the ride will be returning to its Spinball Whizzer theme, likely ending the partnership between SEGA and Alton Towers as the 5 season contract had expired.
Sonic painting the ride upon announcement of the re-theme.