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"BACK TO BASICS  Theme Park set to go back to old fashioned roller coasters after losing trust in modern steel ones. Alton Towers Resort have submitted plans for a roller coaster to made ent

I predict SW8 will open before WC16...

I look forward to seeing "AQUATRAX" posts for the next 2 years.

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 Is that?

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Shrek 2: the ride confirmed. The wicker man figure in the plans has yet to be painted green- it’s actually a shrine to the ogre.

 

On a more serious note, this ride just seems full of recycled ideas. Unoriginal. We once again have hooded mysterious figures (th13teen) in some sort of cult or group (The Smiler). Theyre paying homage to something (pretty sure Nemesis in a promotional video had some hooded figures ‘drawn’ to its site) and there’s some sort of ancient runes and ideology to do with it (once again, Nemesis) 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have to say it looked pretty decent on my last visit.

Its not amazing but its gonna be probably the best Merlin addition next year (even if the theme doesn't excite me..)

 

I hope this turns out good as I'd love to see some of the other Merlin parks get a GCI.

I think it also fits the Towers lineup really well too.

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It feels like they're trying to take inspiration from Hex and Th13teen in terms of theme and style.  If they can translate that into the ride's area and queue without going too over the top or too scary, then I think it'll work well. 

 

But finding the balance with that sort of style is difficult, and there's a good chance that they may not get it right first time.  So that's a big risk on Towers' part...

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15 minutes ago, BaronC. said:

It feels like they're trying to take inspiration from Hex and Th13teen in terms of theme and style.

It's just a symptom of their completely unimaginative, unadventurous corporate attitude. Hex was fantastic concept that took a leap of faith on something outside the box and in keeping with the amazing Towers. Thirteen was just a very cheaply produced throwback to that theme because it was next door, resulting in 2 spoopy woodland areas at Towers.

 

Thirteen ironically would have worked much better down in Gloomy Woods, between the SW8 and Haunted Hollow where a coaster had been planned a couple years before. Would have been a great setting and been less grey than not-very-Dark Forest.

 

And now this, weird cult (Nemesis) + spooky woods (Thirteen) + 1 big grey theming structure in the middle again. Wickerman does look like a much better version of a similar theme as Thirteen, but I'm very tired and bored of the same thing being rehashed over and over.

 

Dark themes don't need to be drab and passive. The Smiler proved that, still their best original theme I think, even though it ended up as a bare concrete building and some bins strapped to a truss in the end. They're probably relying on a big flame effect again (just like The Swarm  and Scorpion Express) to add any life to SW8. I look forward to when someone produces a really instinctively fun, energtic & amazing themed ride in the UK again.

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It is a paint by numbers style and theme for Towers now.  And I guess that's a by-product of Merlin wanting everything to have instant success and return on new investments, and seeing that those things have worked.  But trying to look more positive, it does appear like they're going for something more akin to Hex, which is a bit riskier and could have more pay off long term.

 

I don't really blame Merlin for sticking to dark themes.  Even amongst enthusiast communities, the dark themes across all parks are the ones which arguably capture the most discussion and spark the most imagination.  So Merlin are just responding to demand.  I'm sure if they produced a high quality ride with a very loose theme/style (say something akin to Shambhala), everyone would lap it up, but all they see and hear is that people want theming, and people respond to darker themes best, so that's what they'll go with.

 

Maybe I'm just so used to, and understanding of, Merlin's take on things I'm just happy and willing to take what we get, which is why I'm less bothered by the excessive dark and drab things around.  

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14 minutes ago, BaronC. said:

I don't really blame Merlin for sticking to dark themes.  Even amongst enthusiast communities, the dark themes across all parks are the ones which arguably capture the most discussion and spark the most imagination.  So Merlin are just responding to demand.

Its all to do with their very corporate interpretation of market data. Most fans Ive seen online & on social media are actually demanding more energised and creative themes, and less dark themes if anything! Same with Thorpe Park.

 

They know the public respond well to intimidation when it comes to big coasters, which is true. But you can do a bold or edgy theme without it needing to be bland and grey. This is what they don't seem to get.

 

Even within the world of Merlin, The Smiler already proved this - they went through many of the same 'abandoned warehouse', 'dark', edgy themes before suddenly at the last moment it was changed into an energised, exciting and still intimidating concept. The public LOVED it!

This Wickerman theme seems like they looked at the woodland setting (it was originally going to be in the valley forest), watched the Wickerman movie and then thought 'that fits'. You can even do a dark & spooky forest theme much more creative and original than this, and I'm sure the designers are capable of it, but the company choses not to as usual.

 

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but all they see and hear is that people want theming, and people respond to darker themes best, so that's what they'll go with.

To be honest, I don't think the vast majority of their market research says the public want richly themed rides at all. That's something the public like when they see it, if its done well, but they tend not to actually ask for it. That's at least something Merlin intepret right, otherwise we'd just get more Ritas. But again the public responded hugely to the 'out there' (for Merlin) Smiler theme, and that wasn't dark in the same tired formulaic way. They pretend to be the most creative company on earth, but in the world of theme parks they're just cheap and bland.

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Okay so according to some Sources SW8 has completed its first test run...

Theme Park Thrill seeker FB 

 

Over at the European Coaster Club we have heard reports that SW8 has carried out it's first test run. It's looking like SW8 is well on target and hopefully we will start to see some pictures coming in soon.

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Looking forward to giving this a ride on a slight de-tour before I reach Icon.

Nice to see this won't be another Smiler with opening.. Well, lets not jinx that.. :blink:

 

Its a shame the theme for this looks like a pile of bollo***, but past the assumably drab attempt of a theme you have a mini GCI which will hopefully be fun and will give hints of airtime.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I’d been waiting to see that side of the structure but I couldn’t find a picture, so thanks Baron! 

I do think the face looking up is rather unusual, and perhaps makes the figure seem more passive than powerful and intimidating. 

 

The body area is a little odd too, it just seems to be a bulky wooden rectangle, as opposed to something that links in with the 2 beautifully crafted faces above it.

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