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Alton Towers Discussion Thread


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Some additional windows were cut into SW8's construction fence in the last week, with posts and electrical outlets alongside them. As expected, TV screens have been placed in these windows, interestingly with speakers. Whether we'll be getting a POV like Icon's at Blackpool or something to build the ride's story we'll have to wait and see.

 

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Source: Theme Park Worldwide

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Source: Theme Park Worldwide

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Source: Theme Park Guide

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Source: Theme Park Guide

 

Universal Rocks, who did the rock work for Taron at Phantsialand, have also been on park today.

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Source: Theme Park Guide

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The path that runs alongside the construction fence was closed for a few hours on Monday, allowing the bents for the turn by the large theming feature to go up. Across the site, the tiling on the roof of SW8’s station and maintenance buildings is now almost complete, with the frame for the pre-show building now being constructed.

 

The TVs that were mentioned in the last update have now been switched on, with them currently showing the image seen elsewhere along the fence. I'm assuming Leek Signs, who do the vast majority of outdoor graphics for the Resort, will be on site again in the coming days to install similar framing graphics to those seen around the other windows along the fence.

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And another from ground level through one of the construction fence's viewing windows

Source: UK Theme Parks

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Another viewing window highlights the scale of the excavation towards the centre of the site and a view of the tiling on the station buildings.

Source: UK Theme Parks

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A view from the River Rapids exit path showing the seemingly finished roof tiling on the station and maintenance buildings, as well as progress with the pre-show building that sits alongside them.

Source: Towers Street

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Source: Towers Street

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A view of the newest bents from the Skyride

Source: Towers Street

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And another...

Source: Towers Street

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And a third.

Source: Towers Street

Edited by Moley
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This coaster excites me, but that's the sad thing, cause I don't have any will to go back to Alton towers until they add a couple flats and make it just generally a nicer place to be.

 

Because besides possibly this and Nemesis the park doesn't have any standout attractions that you have to go to Alton towers specifically for and just a few coasters doesn't make me want to spend a whole day at a park anyway, but it would be nice if they spent money on making the park a bit less "british" (In the sense that the park generally feels like just a "park" not a theme park in many areas) and more atmospheric.

 

TL;DR Positive about the new coaster but I feel the park needs many other improvements besides just a coaster

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hey everyone. I'm heading from Utah out to the UK for a work trip and have a spare day on Saturday, September 16th. I have never been to a UK park before (although I had the privilege of visiting Phantasialand last year), so I'm not entirely sure what to expect. I'd be appreciative of any advice or heads up you could provide. I'll be making the trip from London to Alton Towers by myself. I decided to extend my trip for a day specifically to visit this park, and my co-workers are all heading back to the states a day before me.

 

I'm thinking the best option for me (since this is quite possibly a once in a lifetime opportunity for me) is to buy the day pass that gives me early entry and a Fastrack for Nemesis (£36). Given what crowds are *typically* like on a September Saturday, should I spring for one of the bigger Fastrack packages? Or just wait and see until I get there?

 

I've been to the major US parks, so Oblivion and Galatica aren't as high on my list (as I'm guessing that Valravn and Tatsu provide at least similar experiences - and I'm not a big fan of the VR rides) as Nemesis and Rita are (nothing quite like those in the US, I don't think). How would you tour the park to be able to do the rides and see the attractions that shouldn't be missed? I'm not a big fan of stage shows, but the grounds at Alton Towers look beautiful from the pictures, and I'm guessing I'll want to check that out a bit.

 

I am also planning on driving a car from London up to Staffordshire, rather than using transit. The reason for this is that I don't think any trains/busses/taxis can get me to Alton by early entry, and quite frankly, the bus system in the countryside make me a little more nervous because I'm unfamiliar with it. I can get around London just fine (I've been out there 4 times in the last year), and have driven along the southern coast through Wales and such. Is there any specific advice when driving a car? Would you recommend a different way to travel the 150 miles that might be better for a foreigner?

 

Any and all help is GREATLY appreciated!

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You're definitely better off driving to Alton Towers as the transport links are pretty poor. I live in the same county as the resort and it would take me 3 different buses/trains and between 2 and 3 hours to get there. Your best bet is to head to Uttoxeter and the resort is a well signposted 9 miles from there. I'm not sure if it is still the case but sat navs were sending people through Stoke and Cheadle (rather than Uttoxeter) and a route that was a few minutes quicker but almost guaranteed your car's bodywork would have a souvenir of the trip from one of the many extraordinarily narrow roads.

 

Fastracks are a definite wait and see purchase. You might get lucky in regards to the crowds as schools will have reopened by the time you're making the trip and in my experience the first few weekends after the school holidays tend to be on the quieter side as weekends go.

 

In regards to the grounds, they're absolutely worth a portion of your day. Unfortunately the 'Towers' themselves are closed for Scarefest preparations and a couple of the features within the gardens are undergoing restoration but there is still plenty to admire. Now, the Skyride does go over the gardens offering some rather great views so there is that option if you don't fancy the walk around.

 

As for touring the park, I don't think you'll find 5 people who will agree on the same method. Personally I make use of the splitting path at the bottom of Towers Street and go with the smaller crowd at the start of the day.

 

It might be worth posting this on one of the Alton Towers focused forums (i.e. TowersTimes or TowersStreet) as the people on those visit the park considerably more often than myself.

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It's national rollercoaster day today, and Alton Towers have released a video showing the history of Secret Weapons at the park, with a little SW8 tease at the end.

 

The SW8 website has also been updated, giving us the first idea on what the ride's theme might be. Let the speculation begin!

 

With the park announcing earlier in the month that there was going to be 4 mazes at this year's Scarefest, but only giving a name/theme to 3 of them, it's pretty safe to suggest that #4 will tie in to this ride in a similar way to The Sanctuary did with The Smiler during the 2012 event.

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The teaser image for SW8

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A closer look at the symbols that feature on the updated SW8 website

Edited by Moley
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The park also released this video:

I like it a lot. I love that the park embraces the Secret Weapon aspect of the marketing. With 6&7 that was more to the fans who knew what was going on, now they have this list of all the rides and their "first" feature and this feels more accesable for a broader group. Also love how the music shifts.

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I am also planning on driving a car from London up to Staffordshire, rather than using transit. The reason for this is that I don't think any trains/busses/taxis can get me to Alton by early entry, and quite frankly, the bus system in the countryside make me a little more nervous because I'm unfamiliar with it. I can get around London just fine (I've been out there 4 times in the last year), and have driven along the southern coast through Wales and such. Is there any specific advice when driving a car? Would you recommend a different way to travel the 150 miles that might be better for a foreigner?

 

Any and all help is GREATLY appreciated!

 

Hey! I just did the same as you, travelled solo to Alton Towers. You basically have two options: Get to Stoke on Trent or Uttoxeter the night before(nearest Rail Stations and book a nearby hotel, THEN take a Taxi to the park and set up a time for one to bring you back from the main entrance after close (35/40 pounds round trip from those stations, not including the Rail , or bus fare via National Express coaches or hotel).

 

Or you can just drive which is highly recommended. The park is just not convenient at all to get to by public Transport. Some tips as well for your visit:

 

1. Nemesis is completely barren for early entry, I got 6 rides in the first 30-40 minutes, however...

 

2. It's also really dead throughout the day. The queue does not hit more than 10-15 minutes at most. It's also way way in the back left of the park. You will not need a fast track for it.

 

3. When I was there by FAR the longest queue in the park was for the Octonauts coaster at 75 minutes in Cbeebies land. This is open for early entry and if you are one of the first people in the park and a credit-hoe like me, I would HIGHLY recommend this as your first stop as soon as the gates open, before walking to Oblivion or Nemesis and before the kids find it lol.

 

4. Several rides do not open until 10:30AM including Thirteen and Rita. Thirteen has single rider (short), as does Oblivion (no waiting at all) and Smiler (single rider about 1/3 to 1/2 regular queue). Spinball Whizzer Regular was posted at 40 minutes, I waited about 25 in single rider for my lone ride.

 

5. Runaway Mine Train, and Galactica would all therefore be the most likely fast tracks. Their queues are long and slow.

 

6. The gardens are down in a valley and a very large area. The Skyride is faster than walking even with the queues because of the distance and up/down elevation. I trekked from Nemesis to Thirteen after Early Entry and it was taxing. Then finding out those rides don't even open until 1030.

 

7. The Burger Kitchen near Cloud Cuckoo land was heaven sent for me after all the walking. The menu is standard fast food but the queue was short and the meal deals are reasonable at about 8 pounds with drink. The other food in the park was not that impressive anyway, unless you go for the Rollercoaster Restaurant sit down experience near Galactica/Nemesis.

 

Have fun and good luck!

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Back at the SW8 site, we've two rather intriguing updates in regards to the track and the theming element.

 

Meanwhile the slightly lower profile project taking place in the gardens seems to be at a very advanced stage. The architects responsible for the restoration of the Grade II listed Grand Conservatory posted a photo on their Instagram showing a glimpse of the work that has taken place. I realise this is not an attraction that will ramp up visitor numbers or too much interest on social media but I have a real soft spot for the gardens and feel they're rather underappreciated.

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While today saw the installation of bents at the centre of the site with some rather hefty banking. Work on the roof of the pre-show building has also begun in the background

Source: Theme Park Worldwide

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Yesterday saw a crane lifting some more elements of the main theming structure into place, whilst also giving a glimpse of the top of whatever the heck it is.

Source: TowersTimes

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Its come quite a way in a very short period of time. Hard to believe it's last restoration work was a 20 years ago.

Source: CTD Architects on Instagram.

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NEW FOR SCAREFEST 2017 - The Welcoming: Be Chosen

 

A mysterious group who worship the woods and the animals that live therein like Gods have been disturbed. Every year they host a festival to celebrate their own interpretation of Halloween - the crossing of the worlds of the living and the dead. For the first time they have allowed outsiders to celebrate with them.

But what part will you (‘the outsiders’) play in this ritual? Is this really an initiation?.....

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It has been a busy week all things SW8. Firstly Alton Towers released the first episode in a series of videos about their Secret Weapon programme. In this first video, they explain the history of the Secret Weapon attractions and promise a first look behind the scenes at construction of SW8 in the next instalment of the series.

 

 

The 'runes' and 'Be Chosen' theme continues throughout (note the author of the book that falls) and there are a few nice nods to other rides in there too. The choice of production and the hosts (apparently at least one of them is a YouTuber) does make me realise that I'm no longer in the target audience for these things and feel rather old

 

Eagle-eyed people noticed that the wording of the maze description had also been slightly changed:

The woods surrounding the village of Alton harbor a mysterious group, which until recent sightings were unseen by the modern world. Whispers around the village say that the group are angered by people abusing the world’s natural resources and the rapid advance of technology. Every year the secluded group host a festival to celebrate their own interpretation of Halloween – paying homage to the earth and celebrating the crossover between the living world and the dead. The group have recently infiltrated the Alton Towers Resort and for the first time are allowing outsiders to celebrate with them. But what part will you (‘the outsiders’) play in this ritual? Is this really an initiation?

 

Then the viewing windows around the construction fence were updated to match the website, runes were scratched around them (again 'Be Chosen') and the video began playing on the screens that had been fitted.

 

Inside the construction fence, work has begun on the yet to be placed concrete foundations as well as on the queue-line, whilst bents continue to be put into place across the site.

 

Finally today it emerged that an European Trademark application covering categories including those associated with theme park attractions has been filed for the name 'WICKER MAN', along with an associated logo. Obviously the rumours have been doing the rounds as long as we've known about SW8 and it certainly matches the look of recent graphics associated with the ride or at the very least the Scarefest maze.

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The queue-line begins to be put into place

Source: Theme Park Worldwide

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The video now playing on the screens, with 'Be Chosen' in the runes scratched/burned alongside them.

Source: Theme Park Worldwide

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The logo that has been submitted as part of the European Trademark application. While I'm not jumping for joy at the name, I have to admit that the logo is pretty damn great.

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I swear Alton Towers is the BEST park when it comes to teasing roller coasters.

 

I can't wait for the details for this new attraction. At some point my partner and I will make a trip over seas to this park. . . And then we will finally get to experience all the SW's!!

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Slight tangent, I had a weirdo dream last night where Air had a pretzel loop and the operator neglected to lock the ankle restraints. Not sure how that came about.

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My observation, but after seeing this logo, I am betting that the "structure" that the coaster goes around

and (apparently) through, is a Wicker Man statue. Maybe?

 

It goes through it 3 times, 2 times between the legs and somehow through the body of head!

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A couple of weeks ago saw the closure of the Courtyard Tavern in Mutiny Bay.

 

In the long term, it is set to get an overhaul and re-open as a smokehouse, probably similar to the one that opened at sister park Chessington World of Adventures last year. In the short term it is home to 'The Welcoming', the newest maze to the Scarefest line-up and tie-in to Secret Weapon 8.

 

As with SW8, the Skyride gives some rather good views of construction.

 

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The eagled eyed can just about make out what appear to be either candles of dream catchers in the shape of the runes for 'SW8' on the stage in the corner.

Source: Theme Park Guide

 

Back at the SW8 site, work continues...

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A snapshot of the four elements that are the centre of attention at the moment.

Source: Towers Street

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Source: Towers Street

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Source: Towers Street

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