Alton Towers plans depict SW8 ride layout


Alton Towers has submitted planning documents to Staffordshire Moorlands Council that reveal the layout of its next major ride.

A plan drawing depicts a rollercoaster or similar tracked ride that will be located on the site of the former Flume water ride.

The park’s next major project is dubbed SW8 – or Secret Weapon Eight – and is expected to form part of the pirate-themed Mutiny Bay area, lying between there and the Katanga Canyon area.

The ride is expected to be at least partially of wooden construction, following Alton Towers last year submitting a preliminary planning query relating to a ride of “timber truss construction”.

The latest plans – which are an environmental impact query ahead of a full application – reiterates that tunnels will be used to mitigate sound levels produced by the ride.

It will have a maximum height above existing ground level of 38 feet, but associated landscaping will feature ground level changes meaning any track drops could be considerably higher.

The documents claim that the ride will bring in “well below” 250,000 guests per year.

Opening date

The latest query documents state that a detailed application seeking planning permission for the proposals will be submitted “in due course”.

Activity consistent with civil engineering surveying has been reported at the Flume site in recent weeks.

Park operators Merlin Entertainments have stated that their major capital investment strategy at Alton Towers has not been impacted by reduced visitor numbers following last year’s Smiler accident.

Major ride investments are made every four years under Merlin’s strategy for its resort theme parks, with the next major launch at Alton Towers previously stated as due in 2017.