The world famous Alton Towers Resort has had a closely guarded new ride code-named SW8 for quite some time. After almost 2 years of total secrecy, Alton Towers Resort has just finally revealed some major details about the new ride. It’s a wooden roller coaster (yes – wood!) and, until now, was only referred to as Secret Weapon 8. Rides at the Alton Towers theme park are famously known for breaking many boundaries. As expected, there’s lots to get excited about with this ride!
Alton Towers Resort has now announced that its latest ground-breaking thrill attraction, which is set to open in Spring 2018, will be called: Wicker Man.
Wicker Man is UK’s first new wooden roller coaster ride in over 21 years. The experience comes with an interesting twist – it brings together wood and fire for the very first time! Wood and fire? Yes – but the risk assessments and testing on this ride are through the roof – read on for more!
The Wicker Man’s structure stands at 57.57ft (17.55m) tall. That’s the height of a six-storey building. It will ‘appear’ to burst into flames as the wooden track races through the structure on three separate occasions.
Bradley Wynne, Creative Lead at Alton Towers Resort commented, “We hope visitors will be blown away by Wicker Man’s breath-taking scale whilst the primal essence of the wooden coaster and astonishing effects will leave them delighted, exhilarated and eager to ride again.”
What do we know so far?
1. It’s a ride called Wicker Man
Rumours were rife that the new ride would be themed around the classic (and very creepy) British horror film, and this intensified after planning documents appeared to include a giant structure.
2. It’s the world’s first roller coaster to feature wood and fire in the same attraction
Theme park guests will be ‘chosen’ by Beornen to take part in a celebratory rite of passage (similar to this year’s scare maze, The Welcoming).
3. The ride features a six-storey high Wicker Man
The 57.57ft / 17.55m structure stands towering over the tracks – and (terrified) riders will pass through it three times during the ride, as it appears to burst into flames.
4. It’s been over 20 years since a wooden roller coaster was constructed in the UK
Until construction of Wicker Man started in 2017, the most recent wooden rollercoaster to be built in the UK was Megafobia at Oakwood Theme Park in Pembrokeshire, Wales.
5. Alton Towers Resort spent £16 million creating the ride
The ride replaces The Flume, which had been at the spot (now Mutiny Bay) since 1981. When The Flume first opened it was the longest flume ride in the world. But a lot has changed since 1981 and despite being a much-loved family ride, it was probably time for a new kind of ‘ground-breaking’ attraction.
6. It’s been in development for over four years
But exactly what the ride was going to be was strictly kept under wraps – until now – and they used the code name Secret Weapon 8 (SW8).
7. The track is 2,028 ft (618m) long
To put this into perspective, Galactica is 2,760ft (840m), Nemesis is 2,349ft (716m), and Oblivion is 1,222ft (372m).
8. Wicker Man was constructed by Great Coasters International
The company specialises in wooden roller coasters and has built rides such as Thunderhead at Dollywood, USA.
9. It’s due to launch with the new season, in Spring 2018
And Belle Vue Coaches, for one, can’t wait to try it out! You can book your coach and attraction tickets from Belle Vue and it costs less than buying them directly. Deals are available for school trips and for more information, see our Funtastic Trips website here.