The new ride, known only as SW8 – Secret Weapon 8 – is a wooden rollercoaster, marking a step away from more commonly seen steel structures.
Work began on the attraction two years ago on the site of the old Flume ride in the centre of the park. It took more than 100 construction workers to pour the concrete for the foundations after 50,000 tonnes of earth was moved away.
The theme of the attraction remains secret but the creator says it won’t be just a rollercoaster made out of wood.
The wooden rollercoaster itself is just one small part of the experience.
“Once you’re in there and going through the theatrical experience and you’re hearing the story, you’ll completely forget about that and this is one of the most compelling themed attractions we’ve built in a very long time.” – Bradley Wynne – Creative Director
Alton Towers has said lessons have been learned after the Smiler crash left 4 people of the 16 people injured with serious injuries. Parent company Merlin Entertainments was fined £5 million for breaches of health and safety after the incident.
The Operations Director of Alton Towers said that safety is important for everyone.
Safety is the number one priority for us, for our guests and for our staff.
“It starts with a root and branch review of what we’ve been doing and we’ve doubled up on a lot of the things that we’ve had in the past – around the focus on safety and our processes and how we manage rides as a whole.” – Francis Jackson – Operations Director
The SW8 roller coaster will be tested 500 times with the ride cars containing water-filled dummies, and then extensively re-tested using real people.
It will debut in March 2018 when Alton Towers re-opens after a winter break.