The 2014 Theme Park Insider Tournament: Nemesis vs. Shambhala

March 11, 2014, 11:19 AM · We've got two more Bolliger & Mabillard favorites for your consideration today in the 2014 Theme Park Insider Tournament. We're returning to Europe for today's tournament vote, where you can choose between roller coasters in England and in Spain.


Alton Towers' Nemesis was Europe's first B&M Inverted coaster, debuting in 1994. Nemesis is especially notable for its many trench and tunnel elements, features included on the ride to accommodate height restrictions at the park, but which have helped create a unique experience among Inverted coasters, giving Nemesis the feel and visuals of a terrain coaster. Let's take a ride:

Port Aventura's Shambhala debuted in 2012. One of the ever-popular B&M Hypers, Shambhala offers a 256-drop on a coaster that's just 249 feet tall, made possible by some underground trenches of its own.


The coaster hits a top speed of 83 mph. While Nemesis brings you close to the ground to heighten the sense of speed (and ignore the often-lousy English weather), Shambhala celebrates the Spanish sunshine with wide-open, sky-views.

Which one would you ride first, if you had that choice?

Break down this coaster match-up in the comments, and invite your friends online to vote!

Replies (9)

March 11, 2014 at 11:25 AM · Nemesis lacks height but it remains possibly the best coaster I have ever ridden - it's subterranean setting ensures that it feels astonishingly fast, coupled with tight turns, extreme G-forces, and brilliant landscaping.
Nemesis is everything that is good about coaster design and packs more excitement into it's short circuit than you can possibly imagine if you have not ridden it.
It really is that good....
March 11, 2014 at 5:06 PM · To me, Shambhala looks like the better coaster...longer, faster, some interesting elements, but the entire course is ruined because it runs next to a roadway which kills the aesthetics. While I would probably prefer to ride Shambhala, I will vote for Nemesis as it is appears to be the more immersive experience.

Why do parks build these coasters next to highways and parking lots? Ugh. Nothing takes you out of the magic faster than a badly placed attraction.

(The rumors ARE true, I AM a theme park snob!!!!!!)

March 11, 2014 at 1:04 PM · I have been on both and whilst I do love the now retro theming of the Nemesis, I thought that Shambhala was one of the smoothest and most spectacular coasters I have ever ridden, especially in contrast to the head banger 'dragon khan' that lives next door.
March 11, 2014 at 1:57 PM · Nemesis is a classic. Hard to believe it is 20 years old though!

Shambhala shows just what B&M can do when the park are willing to pay for it.

Having ridden both here (a rare thing in this competition!) I will go with Nemesis. It's not my favourite at Alton Towers - thats Oblivions spot - but it's certainly a unique and brilliant coaster. It's what all B&M's stateside wish they were. If you haven't ridden it - do it soon before she gets too old!


March 11, 2014 at 4:01 PM · Finally! I'm actually voting with the majority this time.

I know it's not the same as being there, but from the videos only, Nemesis seems amazingly well-themed because of the way it works so perfectly with the surrounding terrain, while Shambhala just felt like a big - okay, a REALLY, really big - coaster in someone's muddy, dug-up backyard. Do they ever plan to theme, or even just landscape, this ride a little?

March 12, 2014 at 8:46 AM · Shambhala barely got my vote not having ridden either because when I'm on a steel coaster I want to see great distances as I whip around. Shanbhala seems to have this edge.
March 12, 2014 at 9:20 AM · This was a tough one since both coasters look outstanding and both rank in the top 15 on the Mitch Hawker Poll. I chose Shambhala because based on my riding experience I generally prefer hyper coasters to inverted coasters, but I would love to ride either one of these (and probably have a better shot at getting to Nemesis).
March 12, 2014 at 11:20 AM · Based just on the videos, not having ridden either one (may get to Alton Towers this year), I would first ride Shambhala because I'm a sucker for coasters with long drops and for me a ride such as Millennium Force or I-305 offers more thrills than a ride such as Montu or Alpengeist. As to placement of attractions near parking lots, James sure got that right. A prime example is a coaster in my home park. Kingda Ka offers a spectacular view, primarily of the parking lot, when you get to the top. And the only place to get a really good photograph of it is - you got it, the parking lot. Poor placement has negatively impacted so many rides. I-305 is nicely themed but essentially in the middle of a field, which is why I give MF with its spectacular view of Lake Erie a higher rating.
March 12, 2014 at 11:53 AM · Hope this didn't go through twice, as I previously attempted to submit a comment. Based on the videos, I would read Shambhala first because I'm a sucker for coasters with long drops. Shambhala would be more like Millennium Force or I-305 than Nemesis - and I find that rides such as MF and I-305 offer more thrills than rides such as Montu or Alpengeist. As to the inadvisability of erecting coasters near parking lots, James got that right. A prime example is a coaster in my home park. Kingda Ka offers a spectacular view, primarily of the parking lot, when you get to the top - and the only place to get a good photograph of it is from the Skyride or, you guessed it, the parking lot.

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