Wicker Man: Weather delays opening of rollercoaster

Wicker Man, Alton Towers

Alton Towers has been forced to delay the public opening of its new rollercoaster Wicker Man, as sub-zero temperatures swept across the UK.

Thousands of guests descended on the Staffordshire theme park for the first day of its 2018 operating season.

All of the park’s rollercoasters have been unable to operate as temperatures hovered around zero degrees Celsius all day, with intermittent snow also seen.

A statement read: “With below zero temperatures, snow and high winds all still expected throughout the day – meaning we won’t be able to operate our rollercoasters today, including Wicker Man, our new thrill attraction.”

Alton Towers generally does not operate its rollercoasters in freezing temperatures, or slightly above freezing.

The issue occasionally arose during the February half-term events, which have now not featured major rollercoasters in their line-up for several years.

The park said it would re-validate park tickets for anyone visiting today for a future date, and offered hotel guests a 50% discount on a repeat booking.

Weather forecasters are currently projecting temperatures at around 0°C on Sunday, and the park said it will provide further updates in due course.

A press launch night for the wooden rollercoaster Wicker Man went ahead last night as planned.

Alton Towers has hosted a series of preview events for the ride, which is the first major wooden rollercoaster built in the UK since 1996.