WICKER MAN is SW8 at Alton Towers?

Line IP has submitted an application for a European Trademark for the name WICKER MAN and a logo. It covers many categories including theme park rides.

This could be the confirmed name for Secret Weapon 8, the new wooden roller coaster in the area previously occupied by The Flume, opening at Alton Towers in 2018. The ground-breaking new ride development is currently being built by Great Coasters International.

In a document submitted to the local planning authority various details are already known, including a layout for the new ride, with a station towards the top of Mutiny Bay, the track passing through several buildings including a pre-show, a lift hill or launch section, followed by a series of turns and changes in elevation. 

It is specified that a 10m 'silent’ magnetic lift hill at a 24° incline will guide the roller coaster to the first and highest drop. The structure will be formed from dark stained timber elements, predominately made up of Southern Yellow Pine. The rails will be formed from a combination of timber and steel. The build-up will comprise six timber strips fixed on top of one another, with a solid steel rail guider fixed on the top of the strips. The trains will have steel wheels that will be guided by the steel and timber construction.

The new ride development will include a maintenance and station building, shop, games unit and food kiosk, which will have a combined maximum of 1,223sqm interior floorspace. It is proposed to build a new board walk linking the entrance to the proposed new buildings. The buildings will have thatched effect roof tiles and the upper portions of the buildings will be clad in aged, horizontal timbers, while the lower portions will be clad in a combination of grass and earth or sandstone effects.

In addition, two themed features are proposed to be incorporated into the ride, the first a maximum height of up to 14.6m and the second a maximum height of up to 16m. Reference sound measurement data has been provided by the ride manufacturer, which was taken from similar roller coaster constructions located in the US. These are the Kentucky Rumbler at Beech Bend ParkWildcat at Hersheypark and Ozark Wildcat at Celebration City

The plans also state that the theme park expects the new ride to bring in an additional 120,000 visitors annually along with a 5% increase in traffic. If the planning application is successful construction may begin in September 2016 for completion in December 2017, with the ride opening for the 2018 season.

SW8 follows a long line of Secret Weapon roller coaster projects including SW3 (Nemesis), SW4 (Oblivion), SW5 (Air), SW6 (Thirteen) and SW7 (The Smiler). 

Previous plans for a wooden roller coaster at the park have included a cross-valley ride between Dark Forest and Forbidden Valley.

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