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It wouldn't surprise me if someone has said 'put that on the back burner for now', they are dealing with an antagonistic press of which some quarters are out to hang them at the first opportunity, so the last thing they need is to start announcing, promoting or 'celebrating' something while the Smiler issue is ongoing.

If I had to guess I would say nothing will be done until the Smiler investigation is finished and result made public and any litigation/charges/trials finished, then a decision will be made about The Smilers future, then after the storm surrounding that has blown over (they are damned whatever they do) they'll start moving forward, Merlin are playing the long game here.

Until then the park is stuck in limbo, this isn't America where killer rides reopen a few weeks later or Germany where chain link fences take the place of our 3 meter high fences, this is the UK.

The big question is what will happen to the budget, presumably it's already been allocated, so will Merlin just sit on it and wait, or will they reallocate it somewhere else within the group?

Assuming the source is accurate of course, and you'd all probably be better qualified to say whether it is than I.

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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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The only reason I can think that The Smiler incident would push back the new plans was if they thought the H&Se report would include recommendations that would directly necessitate a change in the new coasters design to comply? Rather than have to fix something that's brand new, wait and order something compliant in the first place - make it the suppliers problem.

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  • 2 months later...

I don't really see them as real wooden roller coasters as they're just steel coasters with weird layouts which are only accepted because people think they're wooden coasters.



I don't think that's completely true. I see what you mean about how they're not true wooden coasters, but people love them because of the ride experience, not just because of the materials they're made out of. 

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I don't care what type it is, just so long as it's thrilling enough to be a Secret Weapon but not to scary so it can attract families, I think that's what Towers needs at the moment. Make it like Thirteen but good. And don't market it as "TaLLESt FAsTEsT ScARIEsT RoLLEr CoASTER EVAHHHHH", make it tall and fast but no inversions and not too forceful. And for world firsts, how about "World's First _____ Coaster In A Valley"

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  • 5 months later...

When did we see SW7 signs pop up?


Could this be for 2017?


SW7 signs popped up in early-to-mid 2012.


Towers' high investment year was originally set for 2017, but I believe it's been pushed back to 2018.  Seems like a good way to say "We have a reason for closing Flume!" to me.  


I think Heide started 'advertising' Flug in 2012, so it's not unheard of for Merlin parks to be so keen in advertising rides.

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Well this a surprising and slightly unexpected awakening.

Then again it's good news and all honesty desperately needed with ride closures, likely to drop visitor numbers and the need for something fresh. A facelifted flyer, children's area and dodgy Gerst are not enough to keep the park fresh.

I'm guessing this will be a 2018 opening, unless this has been in the works for a while. We will see.

Anything but an Aqua Trax with an abandond theme!

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Here we go...


Though advertising before any planning application? I mean obviously not all rides need planning permission but I expect a secret weapon to have some form of major landscaping that needs permission! 


Though obviously this is very exciting to see, I do wonder could this be the first none-coaster SW? 

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It's also worth reminding that this will be the first secret weapon without the involvement of John Wardley. It'll be interesting to see how they can pull this one off without a legend! :)

John has had exactly the same involvement with this as he did with everything Merlin did post-Air. ie, almost nothing, he gives advice and they barely listen. He has done the same meetings in the planning for SW8 as well.

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Posted on TST, Flume lake (and Katanga) do not require planning permission, which makes this potentially interesting...




Of course, one would hope that if we didn't get planning permission to detail over, those 'in the knows' wouldn't harp on about the development and be awful humans...

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