Alton Towers to unveil SW8 rollercoaster details

SW8 logo

Alton Towers is expected to unveil the name and more details regarding its wooden rollercoaster SW8 on Monday.

The Great Coasters International-manufactured ride will open at the start of the park’s main season on 17 March.

It is expected to have a ‘wicker man’ theme, although it is not known if this will serve as the ride’s name.

Marketing material online has so far suggested a revived primitive cult theme, similar to Paganism in nature.

It has invited people to “give up their modern lives”, and introduced the ‘Beornen’ people as a backstory to the ride.

The relatively short rollercoaster track length has been reported to feature an enclosed theatrical finale, which will considerably boost the ride time.

Wooden first

The ride will be the first wooden rollercoaster at Alton Towers, and the first built by park operators Merlin Entertainments.

The company had for years dismissed the possibility of a wooden ride, stating that their research suggested that the public considers timber rollercoasters to be unsafe.

In 2013, Merlin chief executive described them as “not good investments”, stating that the general public did not “get” them.

The new Secret Weapon ride, the eighth major rollercoaster development to bear the codename, has not been described as a “world first” in the same manner as previous rides.

Alton Towers’ Divisional Director, Ian Crabbe, last year described SW8 as “unique” and “very different” to the park’s other rides.

The ride is however described as a “world class experience” on its promotional website.