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Alton Towers Discussion Thread

P. 235: "The Curse at Alton Manor" dark ride opens Spring 2023!

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What if SW8 is a Game of Thrones themed coaster, with trains styled as dragons & real fire and ice elements throughout the ride (possibly the large person-like structure is indeed on fire in some way?). Perhaps the launch element is part of a ride narrative about escaping the army of the dead?


Alton Towers could even be working with their old friends at Tussauds to create waxworks of some of the main characters, which would feature in various themed rooms that you pass through in the queue section. The March 2018 opening would of course tie in with the final season arriving in the summer and would be a massive PR fest for the park.


If this were true then AT could be going with the Wicker Man-esque theming as an elaborate ruse to keep the project a secret, as anything remotely GoT-related would be instantly recognisable...


I could have just dreamt all of this up with zero evidence, of course

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The Skyride is closed today due to work on Secret Weapon 8's construction. Mostly notably additions to the main themeing structure that have been put in place and since covered up again.


Source: Towers Street


Feel like David Rose's 'The Stripper' should be playing here.

Source: Towers Street


Source: Towers Street


Source: Joshua Eaton

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The park is closed today as per Merlin's cost-cutting exercise of just not bothering to open on the quietest of quiet days now the schools are back open. The latest

has been uploaded, filmed yesterday, with a few shots of interest.


There is a rumour that the park had the themeing brought onto the site and assembled on Monday-Tuesday, rather than waiting for today when the park will be empty, because they're filming some sort of promotional material today that will use it in some capacity.


A shot at the current highest point of the structure, with the workmen giving a sense of the size of it.


Cue David Rose's 'Stripper' again.


A view of the top from the other side of the construction site. There does seem to be something resembling piping towards the centre there.


A close up of one of the horns on what seems to be the head of this structure.


Work continues on the few remaining bents to go into place. In the background work is being done on the concrete wall, so hopefully we're not looking at another concrete pit like SW7 has.


Back over towards the station, the pre-show building continues to take shape with the first stage of the roof and walls seemingly in place.

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The park is closed today as per Merlin's cost-cutting exercise of just not bothering to open on the quietest of quiet days now the schools are back open. The latest
has been uploaded, filmed yesterday, with a few shots of interest.


Sounds like crowds won't be an issue at all for my visit next Monday as I suspected. I'm really looking forward to checking the park out for the first time!

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  • 2 weeks later...

As expected the logo that was found as part of the European Trademark application, back in August, is associated with SW8. Both the construction fence signage and the screens around the fence have been updated, in preparation for Scarefest which begins at the weekend.



The 'Secret Weapon' branding has been replaced with the logo.

Source: Towers Times


Edit: TowersStreet have uploaded a video of the screens, including some new music.


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My two thoughts on the name of SW8


1. It could be 'The Welcoming' (The Wicker Man could be used for merchandise or something else as it could just be the theme, it doesn't have to be called Wicker Man even if it has that theme) but no trade marks have been applied for for 'The Welcoming' that would fit.


2. ...however my new theory based on the trademark check I just did below- they are still in the process of getting the desired trademark and using 'The Welcoming' as the prequel tease and placeholder name. I think trademarking IP's involves multiple trademarks usually and Merlin have secured some but not all- Trade mark status is registered for Lane IP's earlier application (word TM) but for the logo with the name in bold WICKER MAN (figurative TM) is still (latest update) Trade mark status: Application under examination.


So I'm sure it will be Wicker Man if the Trade Mark gets passed or that may be something associated with a ride of that theme that could have a different name such as 'The Welcoming'


But being a poet something jumped out at me at Scarefest that wasn't one of the scare maze actors:

The Wel- co- ming-

The wi- cker- man-

T W C M and four syllables



Official trademark info:



https://www.tmdn.org/tmview/welcome (amusingly) then search 'Wicker Man'


Speaking of scare mazes the SW8 linked 'The Welcoming' is a must, kind of confirms it without giving you any maze spoilers. If they theme the ride as good as this gives them scope to it will be awesome and the ride's looking good too. Airtime and extreme banking/speed? Multiple head-choppers? Both seem very possible and the lots in a limited space factor could be good. Higher than it looks too? And that extra thing warned of on the notice for this maze only at the park might be a clue- it's rather dark. A bit like an enclosed space?

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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.




Look closely at a certain bone coloured construction....

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Scarefest 2017 got underway at the weekend and as well as 'The Welcoming' opening, the SW8 site saw a number of developments. The most obvious was that the scaffolding came down around the main theming element, giving us a glimpse of one of the three head chopper moments. In terms of the coaster itself, it seems like track work has begun on the lift hill and the tunnel back into the station building is beginning to take shape.


It'll be interesting to see how the site develops over the next few weeks as daylight hours get shorter and the season draws to a close. It would seem that the main theming element is still some time away from being unveiled, at least as a public event, so maybe the hopes that there will be a big reveal at the end of Scarefest or the Firework events are a little ambitious. Personally, I'm expecting a video announcing the name and a reveal of the structure to make its way onto the Resort's social media accounts before the calendar year is through.




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