xstech25 wrote:Saw John Wardley giving a presentation a few years back and during Q&A someone asked why Alton Towers didn't have a wooden coaster. He said that he constantly tried to get a wooden coaster but Nick Varney would never build one because he didn't think they were marketable enough (no gimmick). Its kind of funny how now that Wardley is retired, it looks like AT is going to finally get a wooden coaster. And not only are they getting a wooden coaster but its likely going to be a GCI which are the least gimmicky of the new generation of wooden coasters (don't go upside down, at least).
There was a formal screening option submitted in march 2015 for a coaster in forbidden valley made from timber truss, which if rumours are to be believed was going to be an RMC launched woodie, like Lightning Rod but with inversions and was probably going to be built to open next year. That would have been easy for them to market as could have been advertised as Europe's first launched woodie, or World's first launched inverting wood coaster (they would have gone with the World first marketing, it is Merlin we are talking about afterall). Then The Smiler crashed and a looping launched wooden coaster became the wrong choice given the general public's safety concerns, so they have gone with a family thrill coaster, but will still be Europe's first launching woodie so they still get the USP.
It is a shame that they never built one while John Wardley was there, maybe this is one of his designs that they have modified to include a launch, but he said he's had nothing to with this ride, so probably not.