During the recent celebrations for the Nemesis rollercoaster’s 21st anniversary, John Wardley and Nick Varney took questions from theme park enthusiasts.
The ride’s designer and the Merlin Entertainments chief executive – then a marketer for Alton Towers – revealed a number of interesting facts.
The Q&A session was the culmination of a celebratory event for Nemesis, which included presentations and a cake-cutting ceremony.
Below we take a look at some of the most interesting points raised in Wardley and Varney’s responses to questions.
- Nemesis’ track is entirely original, dispelling years of unfounded rumours of sectional replacement.
- A wooden rollercoaster at a Merlin park is “not off the agenda” according to Varney, but he highlighted how they remain difficult to market.
- Following the 2017 major addition at Alton Towers, the next big ride will come in 2020.
- Wardley believes that retrofitting rear-facing seats onto rollercoasters is a “mark of desperation” and that such things are “gimmicks”.
- Overall, The Swarm is seen as a disappointment and Merlin are unlikely to be build another winged rollercoaster.
- Varney is extremely critical of the Paramount London project and does not think it will happen.
- Filling rollercoaster track with sand – to reduce the noise of the ride’s trains – adds around £250,000 to the overall cost.
- Varney said he can’t imagine circumstances under which Nemesis would ever be removed from Alton Towers.