It’s 2012. It’s the height of the Olympics fever. London, in fact, the whole country, is in such high spirits hosting the Games. Stratford is humming with athletes and volunteers (and Westfield shoppers of course) And there, amidst the landscape of the Olympic stadium, was the Acelormittal Orbit. Otherwise known as that red squiggly structure in Stratford. Londoners may not have known exactly what it was for, but it was a ‘thing’ everyone knew about. Post Olympics, the red squiggly thing has been turned into an exhibition as well as the world’s longest and tallest tunnel slide. Yuh-huh!
I was getting a preview of the new attraction thanks to AttractionTix who were hosting a gaggle of press and bloggers for the evening. Even though the slide has been open for a couple of months, I had never been. I was really eager to 1) see it up close and 2) ride the slide
To get to the ArcelorMittal Orbit, head to Stratford station and follow the signs to the Olympic stadium (now West Ham’s new football stadium). You’ll see it on the horizon- just keep walking towards it.
-It takes about 40 seconds to slide down the Orbit. That’s nearly a whole minute hurtling down a tube!
-You speed down at approximately 15 mph.
-The actual structure is 76m tall…it’s a long way down basically. It’ll make you feel dizzy.
-There are dark and light sections of the tunnel, which just MESSES with your head. I thought I was nearing the end of the slide, but no. Just one sick turn throwing me down even faster.
-You twist around the Orbit 12 times
-When they painted the structure, it was the wrong shade of red and had to be painted all over again!
There are lockers down below to hold your belongings, then its a quick trip in the elevator up to the top of the tower. You get to wear very fetching safety gear- knee pads, elbow sleeves and a helmet that had me feeling and looking like a walking talking cotton bud.
After that, you’re placed feet first in what can only be described as a giant Domino’s pizza delivery box. You pull the straps up towards your chin, keep your elbows locked in and shuffle down…
…a gentle push and before you know, you’re screaming down a long metal tube at 15 miles per hour!
Once everyone had their go, it was back up the lift to appreciate the views…
I had such a good time on the slide. There are clear sections of the tube tunnel but to be honest, I was going so fast that I couldn’t exactly stop and admire the view! But once back on the viewing deck, it was very impressive to see just how far up we were after all.
Also, I never tire of a good view of London.
Quick tip- if you place your camera phone flat over one the small holes on the deck, you’ll get a birds eye view of the slide. It’s pretty much the world’s highest flat lay.
Tickets to the slide are from £15 for Adults or £10 for children.
(It says the ride is suitable for 8 years and over, but it’s pretty scary so I would personally say 10 is better)
Afterwards, I cooled off and shopped inside Westfield…not compulsory but highly recommended!