Thursday, June 2, 2016

Taking a Look at Alton Towers' 2018 Wooden Coaster Plans

England's Alton Towers has filed plans for a new wooden roller coaster that will replace the park's existing log flume.  The plan calls for the new ride to open in 2018, so if the attraction is approved it will still be some time before it opens to visitors.

The plan above shows both the layout of the new wooden coaster and also the current log flume (in yellow) to show how the new ride will be situated.  It won't use a bunch of the log flume's path, meaning that area will return to woodlands.

Here is a closer look at the ride's layout, including the station building.  There appears to be a small bit of track that will interact with the building before heading to the lift hill.  There are also two thematic elements shown on the plans, one built on top of what is currently the station for the log flume with the coaster's track wrapping around it.  The rest of the ride's layout is quite twisted and compact.  However, I believe this is much more of a family than a thrill ride, due to size and some other factors.

This elevation shows how the ride will use the landscape to its advantage.  It's worth noting that the ground under the lowest track area (at the base of the lift hill) is about 22 meters from the top of the lift - so the ride's maximum elevation change is 72 feet.  But the ride also meanders a bit after the top of the lift, completing a small dip and rise before turning and then finally completing what would be considered the "big" drop.  I would estimate that the largest drop will be in the neighborhood of 50 feet.

Here are some additional views from the planning documents (you can download them all at this link) that show the ride's layout and location.

The top portion of the ride also appears to contain a sound tunnel to keep noise from traveling.  This seems like a pretty interesting addition for the park, especially if they use that tunnel for theming or other features.  I saw no mention of manufacturer in the planning documents, though it would seem that either Great Coasters or the Gravity Group may be a safe bet.