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Alton Towers Discussion Thread


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Fire. Yes, I'm thinking, long shot but possible, could be a world first and have fire. On a wooden coaster (not as crazy as it sounds as timber can be fireproofed and distances made safe etc, surely very possible with what we now know, maybe even a fire tunnel like stunt rider props for coasters hehe)

 

 

They could go for the world's ONLY though since Apocalypse's at sfmm hasn't worked for a long time (as far as I know?)

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Fire wouldn't be a World First, but I do think the trains will be fire themed, with possible fire effects on the Wicker Man after the train passes through it. We know the lift is going to be magnetically propelled rather than a chain lift so I would assume the World First would be first wooden coaster with a launch. I assume they would go for the World First marketing rather than European First with their reasoning being that Lightning Rod isn't a true wooden coaster because of all the steel used.

 

As much as I love Alton, I gotta ask what the heck was going on in the board meeting hat discussed the theming.

 

"So, we got GCI to manufacture the coaster, but we need a theme... ideas?"

 

"...a statue built by a bunch of people that worship the Celtic gods and demand a human sacrifice?"

 

"BRILLIANT!"

 

It could well be that Wicker Man was maybe a codename or working title for the design, with it being a woodie. And they probably liked the idea of it and designed a theme around it. The SW prefix is used more for marketing and hype these days. Their design team will be designing potential rides for certain parts of the park all the time, they will all have different project names. They will just get the Secret Weapon number as and when the ride is confirmed to be the next one to be built and the final plans are submitted for approval.

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We know the lift is going to be magnetically propelled rather than a chain lift so I would assume the World First would be first wooden coaster with a launch.

Well...

 

Well what? Is that the only part of my post you read? Keep reading, Lightning Rod is mentioned. While I agree that that Lightning Rod is the World's First, I wouldn't put it past Alton Towers to claim theirs as the first all wooden coaster with a launch due to the amount of steel used on Lightning Rod.

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Have Alton even said it will be a world's first? Regardless, I honestly I think it's a waste of bandwidth debating and over-analysing the world's first feature on any of Merlin's rides. At best it will be disappointing, at worst it will not even be a world's first.

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^ Except not all the Secret Weapons were world's first. Nemesis wasn't. Air was the world's first B&M flyer but the GP don't care about that. All the marketing so far for SW8 simply says 'Something's Coming' and groundbreaking ride development - which it is the first major modern woodie in the UK for a long time. Nothing about world's firsts has been said so there's no point debating that.

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Apparently I see flumes through rose colored glasses because on our last trip to Magic Mountain the only rides in the entire park that we bothered re-riding were Ninja (what a criminally underrated coaster), Tatsu and Jet Stream since we were so pressed for time.

 

This was pre YOLOcoaster and TC.

 

Will second, Ninja was shockingly fun and I rode it like 4 or 5 times in a row.

 

And woo new GCI woodie! A Wicker Man theme?? Odd but I love it!

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Have Alton even said it will be a world's first? Regardless, I honestly I think it's a waste of bandwidth debating and over-analysing the world's first feature on any of Merlin's rides. At best it will be disappointing, at worst it will not even be a world's first.

 

They haven't specifically said World First, but "groundbreaking" does suggest a first of some kind, and they do like their big new rides to have a unique selling point.

The price of the ride is a lot more than a typical GCI woodie, especially for it's size, although I would think it will have extensive themeing which will be part of the budget. And placing a ride with a Wicker Man theme in a Pirate themed area may mean a full area re-theme which may also be part of the budget. Although maybe not given that the ride it is replacing was themed to baths and rubber ducks, which wasn't exactly Piratey.

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A full area re-theme would have to go a long way. They would have to re-theme their relatively new pirate water splash battle ride, and a host of other flat rides. Not impossible, but I feel they will make this an area of its own or add it to a different existing area. It may look odd and out of place though.

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Even the barrels would have to be re themed. This is modern Merlin, and the best thing they could do, is leave it how it is.

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^ Bit late mate. This is what we have been talking about for the last few pages. So, in some words, it is actually

In current news, if you look at the plans of Sw8 sent to the local Council there seems to be some kind of statute involved..?

 

Sorry, but yeah, already posted.

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Have Alton even said it will be a world's first? Regardless, I honestly I think it's a waste of bandwidth debating and over-analysing the world's first feature on any of Merlin's rides. At best it will be disappointing, at worst it will not even be a world's first.

 

They haven't specifically said World First, but "groundbreaking" does suggest a first of some kind, and they do like their big new rides to have a unique selling point.

The price of the ride is a lot more than a typical GCI woodie, especially for it's size, although I would think it will have extensive themeing which will be part of the budget. And placing a ride with a Wicker Man theme in a Pirate themed area may mean a full area re-theme which may also be part of the budget. Although maybe not given that the ride it is replacing was themed to baths and rubber ducks, which wasn't exactly Piratey.

'Groundbreaking' doesn't suggest it will be a first it is just a hollow marketing adjective, it really doesn't mean much so don't read too much into it I'm sorry if I sound like a Debbie Downer

 

It will be interesting to see where the £15m goes; not sure if it's just the ride or whether it includes the deconstruction of the Log Flume, but please don't read too much into the marketing blurb as they always exaggerate.

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Here's a great video that explains why rides sometimes stop. Nothing new for most of us, but I think it's very good for people who don't know how these rides work. Also, the drone footage of the rides is amazing!

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Wood, fittings and a whole lot of everything else has arrived as progress continues on the construction site itself, with a generous helping of concrete.

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Source: TowersStreet

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Source: TowersStreet

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Source: TowersStreet

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Source: TowersTimes

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Source: TowersTimes

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Away from the SW8 site, work continues on the latest restoration project, the Grand Conservatories. Designed and built by garden architect Robert Abrahams in 1827, the Grand Conservatories have served many purposes over the years, from tea shops to pottery studios. Their original form was described in the brilliantly and specifically titled 'Tour of Alton Towers including Ashbourne, Historical and Scientific with a description of the splendid gardens and the interior of this regal establishment' by William Adam in 1851.

 

Three hundred feet long, consisting of a central house for palm trees and other stove plants; two glass-roofed open corridors for half hardy plants and terminated at one end with an orangery and a house for Cape and New Holland plants at the other. The beautiful plants with which they are stored delighted us exceedingly, but to enumerate them would be impossible.

 

Work has been going on since the turn of the year with Treasure and Son Ltd, who appear to be in charge of the project and were established 80 years before the building they're working on, tweeting out a number of photos of the work they're doing.

 

This restoration of one of the gardens' most iconic structures, follows similar work on the Pagoda Fountain, Prospect Tower and of course The Towers themselves in recent years. Whether they are being restored with an eye for a future use, we'll have to wait and see.

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Whilst certainly not in their pomp, the Grand Conservatories in more splendid times.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I just wanted to share a really interesting interview session with John Wardley. It gives a really good insight about how Alton Tower and Merlin in general choose what rides they are going to build, and some very exciting concepts are discussed. The video also (although made in 2013) explains the way which, despite the way the rides are chosen, a wooden coaster is now being built at Alton Towers, despite the reasons why one has not been made in the past.

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  • 2 weeks later...

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