Alton Towers - Enterprise to be replaced…
Alton Towers is reportedly set to replace the ageing Enterprise ride with an updated model, as it prepares to revamp the X-Sector area for the 2013 season.
Fan site Towers Times claims that the ride will be replaced with a similar, but newer model next year. However, reports on other sites such as Towers Street suggest that a more modest refurbishment, involving the replacement of several parts, will be undertaken. Enterprise will also receive an updated colour scheme in order to tie in with the new SW7 roller coaster, which will open in time for the new season.
Enterprise is one of Alton Towers’ oldest attractions, having made its debut in the Festival Park area in 1984. The ride is a classic Huss Enterprise attraction, identical to those seen in other theme parks and travelling funfairs all over the world. It was relocated in 1998 to become part of the new X-Sector area alongside the Oblivion rollercoaster.
Riders are seated in pods hanging from a wheel, which starts in a horizontal position. Initially, it spins close to the ground, causing riders’ pods to swing outwards. It is then raised to a vertical position, with the forces generated pinning riders into their seats as they travel upside down before the wheel is gradually lowered back to a horizontal position.

Alton Towers - Enterprise to be replaced…

Alton Towers is reportedly set to replace the ageing Enterprise ride with an updated model, as it prepares to revamp the X-Sector area for the 2013 season.

Fan site Towers Times claims that the ride will be replaced with a similar, but newer model next year. However, reports on other sites such as Towers Street suggest that a more modest refurbishment, involving the replacement of several parts, will be undertaken. Enterprise will also receive an updated colour scheme in order to tie in with the new SW7 roller coaster, which will open in time for the new season.

Enterprise is one of Alton Towers’ oldest attractions, having made its debut in the Festival Park area in 1984. The ride is a classic Huss Enterprise attraction, identical to those seen in other theme parks and travelling funfairs all over the world. It was relocated in 1998 to become part of the new X-Sector area alongside the Oblivion rollercoaster.

Riders are seated in pods hanging from a wheel, which starts in a horizontal position. Initially, it spins close to the ground, causing riders’ pods to swing outwards. It is then raised to a vertical position, with the forces generated pinning riders into their seats as they travel upside down before the wheel is gradually lowered back to a horizontal position.

Alton Towers - Scarefest Extension
Alton Towers has added an extra day to its Scarefest 2012 Halloween celebrations, which will now run through to November 1.
Although the full range of Scarefest attractions will be on offer on the final day, the late opening hours that are usually a feature of the events will be absent. Rather than closing at the traditional 9pm time for the Halloween events, Alton Towers will instead shut its gates on the final day at 6.30pm.

Alton Towers - Scarefest Extension

Alton Towers has added an extra day to its Scarefest 2012 Halloween celebrations, which will now run through to November 1.

Although the full range of Scarefest attractions will be on offer on the final day, the late opening hours that are usually a feature of the events will be absent. Rather than closing at the traditional 9pm time for the Halloween events, Alton Towers will instead shut its gates on the final day at 6.30pm.

Alton Towers - SW7 UPDATE
Alton Towers has released several new details of its planned “Secret Weapon 7” roller coaster, although the “world’s first” element remains a secret.
The park has confirmed that SW7 will open to the public on March 16, 2013, on the site of the former Black Hole coaster in the X-Sector area. Manufactured by Gerstlauer, it will feature a new train design which will seat 16 riders in 4 rows of 4 each. Alton Towers is spending £18 million on its latest addition, its biggest ever outlay on a single ride.
The new coaster is claimed to be “the first of its kind in the world”, and will hit a top speed of 53 miles per hour. Its tallest drop will stand at 98 feet, with the total ride time coming in at 2 minutes 45 seconds. Guests will need to be at least 1.4 metres tall to ride.
SW7 will feature at least 8 inversions and 2 lift hills, and will be located alongside the existing Oblivion roller coaster. Alton Towers has previously claimed that the ride will feature a “world’s first” element, and while several rumours are circulating on the web, the park has yet to confirm the nature of this.

Alton Towers - SW7 UPDATE

Alton Towers has released several new details of its planned “Secret Weapon 7” roller coaster, although the “world’s first” element remains a secret.

The park has confirmed that SW7 will open to the public on March 16, 2013, on the site of the former Black Hole coaster in the X-Sector area. Manufactured by Gerstlauer, it will feature a new train design which will seat 16 riders in 4 rows of 4 each. Alton Towers is spending £18 million on its latest addition, its biggest ever outlay on a single ride.

The new coaster is claimed to be “the first of its kind in the world”, and will hit a top speed of 53 miles per hour. Its tallest drop will stand at 98 feet, with the total ride time coming in at 2 minutes 45 seconds. Guests will need to be at least 1.4 metres tall to ride.

SW7 will feature at least 8 inversions and 2 lift hills, and will be located alongside the existing Oblivion roller coaster. Alton Towers has previously claimed that the ride will feature a “world’s first” element, and while several rumours are circulating on the web, the park has yet to confirm the nature of this.

Alton Towers - Scarefest 2012

Alton Towers has confirmed the locations for its Scarefest 2012 horror mazes, as it gears up for the start of its annual Halloween celebrations.

The all-new maze for 2012, The Sanctuary, will be located inside the Alton Towers mansion itself, along with the returning Terror of the Towers: What Lies Within. Carnival of Screams will be moved from last year’s location in the former Black Hole tent to the Goal Striker tent close to the Towers, with the ZOMBIES! Scare Zone being in the same nearby location that it occupied in 2011.

Both The Sanctuary and Carnival of Screams will carry an additional charge on top of the usual Alton Towers ticket price. Terror of the Towers and the ZOMBIES! Scare Zone are both included with the standard admission fee, along with a range of minor Halloween attractions and shows aimed at younger guests.

To promote Scarefest 2012, Alton Towers has sent a bus full of “zombie nurses” to London, where it is challenging members of the public to test their “fear threshold”. It claims that the results will be incorporated into The Sanctuary, as well as the SW7 roller coaster, which will debut in March 2013.

Scarefest 2012 will run from October 13-31, excluding October 15-18. As in previous years, it will see Alton Towers stay open until 9pm every evening, giving guests a rare chance to experience the park’s rides in near-darkness.

Alton Towers - SW7 Update

The brand new coaster coming to Alton Towers in 2013, branded SW7 for the time being, has made some strong progress on the construction front. The piece of land was incredible small and major excavation was needed to get the ground prepared, that all seems to have been completed now. Vertical construction is expected shortly…hopefully over the Halloween season. 

Photos credited to Themeuk.net

Alton Towers - Scare Rooms
The Alton Towers Hotel will host a special “Scare Room” experience during the Scarefest 2012 Halloween events, with guests being invited to stay in the “Altonville Motel”.
The Scare Rooms will only be available during the later part of the Scarefest events, from October 26-31. The themed suites will be based on a shuttered motel, which ceased operations following an incident at the nearby “Mclynn Farm” in 2006. The motel is said to have reopened under new management, who promise that the spooky stories relating to it are just “local folklore”.
The new Scare Rooms appear to be a more in-depth experience than in previous years, with Alton Towers promising that they will offer an “extreme theatrical experience” until 2am. Performers will have access to guests’ rooms, as well as a limited amount of personal data - presumably, so that they can refer to guests by name.
Some of the Altonville Motel experience will take place outdoors, in a throwback to previous Scarefest events when the park hosted the Field of Screams horror maze just outside the Alton Towers Hotel. This saw hordes of zombies terrorising guests as they made their way through a cornfield.
The Scare Room package includes an overnight stay in the Alton Towers Hotel, a 3-course evening meal, breakfast, free parking and the theatrical experience. It can be booked now by calling 08712221100, with further details available on the Alton Towers website.
Scarefest 2012 will run from October 13-31, excluding October 15-18. As in previous years, it will see Alton Towers stay open until 9pm every evening, giving guests a rare chance to experience the park’s rides in near-darkness. A range of free Halloween-themed attractions will be on offer alongside the usual array of rides and shows, along with two upcharge horror mazes.

Alton Towers - Scare Rooms

The Alton Towers Hotel will host a special “Scare Room” experience during the Scarefest 2012 Halloween events, with guests being invited to stay in the “Altonville Motel”.

The Scare Rooms will only be available during the later part of the Scarefest events, from October 26-31. The themed suites will be based on a shuttered motel, which ceased operations following an incident at the nearby “Mclynn Farm” in 2006. The motel is said to have reopened under new management, who promise that the spooky stories relating to it are just “local folklore”.

The new Scare Rooms appear to be a more in-depth experience than in previous years, with Alton Towers promising that they will offer an “extreme theatrical experience” until 2am. Performers will have access to guests’ rooms, as well as a limited amount of personal data - presumably, so that they can refer to guests by name.

Some of the Altonville Motel experience will take place outdoors, in a throwback to previous Scarefest events when the park hosted the Field of Screams horror maze just outside the Alton Towers Hotel. This saw hordes of zombies terrorising guests as they made their way through a cornfield.

The Scare Room package includes an overnight stay in the Alton Towers Hotel, a 3-course evening meal, breakfast, free parking and the theatrical experience. It can be booked now by calling 08712221100, with further details available on the Alton Towers website.

Scarefest 2012 will run from October 13-31, excluding October 15-18. As in previous years, it will see Alton Towers stay open until 9pm every evening, giving guests a rare chance to experience the park’s rides in near-darkness. A range of free Halloween-themed attractions will be on offer alongside the usual array of rides and shows, along with two upcharge horror mazes.

Thorpe Park - Snoozebox Hotel

Thorpe Park has applied for planning permission to install temporary on-site accommodation in time for the 2013 season, ahead of the construction of a permanent hotel.

In documents submitted to Runnymedge Borough Council, the park outlines a proposal to install container-style bedrooms provided by UK-based portable accommodation specialist Snoozebox.

If the plan is approved, then Snoozebox will install a total of 117 bedrooms on a site close to the park’s entrance bridge, which will be highly visible to guests at the park. Each bedroom will be housed inside a recycled ISO shipping container, and will feature an en-suite wetroom. The containers will be arranged in two rows, with a central walkway between them, with each row featuring a maximum height of two containers (which are designed to be stacked on top of each other). 

In June 2011, Thorpe Park received planning consent to install a much larger, 250-room permanent hotel on the site of a plant run by building materials firm CEMEX that was in place during the park’s previous life as a quarry. The park submitted an adjusted plan in November 2011, and it cites delays in the approval of this as one reason for the move to install the temporary accommodation.

Thorpe Park also claims that installing the Snoozebox rooms will allow it to test demand for an on-site hotel before it begins full construction of the permanent hotel in late 2013 or early 2014. Sister parks Alton Towers, LEGOLAND Windsor and Chessington World of Adventures have all successfully opened hotels in recent years. If its revised plans are approved, the park hopes to open the hotel in 2015 or 2016, and to keep the Snoozebox rooms in place until then.

The site of the Snoozebox rooms is one of two identified as potential locations for a new roller coaster for the 2015 season. Thorpe Park’s assertion that the temporary hotel will remain in place until 2016 suggests that the other site, on an island close to the recently-opened The Swarm coaster, is the park’s preferred option for the coaster.

My honest opinion of this addition….shockingly awful. I am not sure why Merlin think it appropriate to encourage guests to stay in containers? This is a world class theme park NOT a festival. I think that if anything this will put people off staying at Thorpe Park, there has never been any sort of demand for a hotel at Thorpe Park but this is certainly not the answer. Merlin just need to wait for the new “official” hotel to be built, I am almost positive that it will bring in the “buck” without testing phases of small boxes dumped outside the park….not impressed Merlin, not impressed!! 

My other issues with this accommodation:

  • How is this family friendly in any way shape or form?
  • What will guests do when the park is closed, there is hardly room to move let alone play board games or drinking games.
  • The snooze box is a MASSIVE eyesore.
  • What will happen when the park is closed for 5 months?

This may seem like a good move by Merlin but I will NOT be calling Thorpe Park a resort any time soon with the installation of these crates….

Alton Towers - New Online Photo System
Alton Towers has unveiled a new on-ride photo system, which enables guests to acquire a digital copy of their photo from the park’s website.
Currently, guests must still purchase a physical copy of the photo from the park before they can download the digital version. The picture can then be downloaded 24 hours later for free fromhttp://www.altontowers.com/photos, using a system that is provided by specialist firm Picsolve.
Visitors to Alton Towers are able to purchase photos of themselves riding on a number of the park’s most popular attractions, including roller coasters Nemesis, Air, Oblivion, Rita and Thirteen. The images are captured by cameras that are strategically located along the rides’ circuits.
It is not yet clear if the online system will be extended to enable guests to purchase digital-only copies of on-ride photos, or if it will remain a complement to the existing, lucrative physical copies.

Alton Towers - New Online Photo System

Alton Towers has unveiled a new on-ride photo system, which enables guests to acquire a digital copy of their photo from the park’s website.

Currently, guests must still purchase a physical copy of the photo from the park before they can download the digital version. The picture can then be downloaded 24 hours later for free fromhttp://www.altontowers.com/photos, using a system that is provided by specialist firm Picsolve.

Visitors to Alton Towers are able to purchase photos of themselves riding on a number of the park’s most popular attractions, including roller coasters Nemesis, Air, Oblivion, Rita and Thirteen. The images are captured by cameras that are strategically located along the rides’ circuits.

It is not yet clear if the online system will be extended to enable guests to purchase digital-only copies of on-ride photos, or if it will remain a complement to the existing, lucrative physical copies.

Alton Towers - Rita Incident
The Rita roller coaster at Alton Towers is currently out of action, after the cable used to launch the ride’s train snapped during a test run.
The incident occurred early in the morning on July 24, 2012. It is not yet known how long Rita will be closed, with the park currently routing guests around the ride to the other major attraction in the Dark Forest area, Thirteen. A new cable will be need to be installed and tested before the coaster can reopen to guests.
Rita is an Intamin accelerator roller coaster, which opened in 2005 at a cost of £8 million. Its opening section launches riders from 0 to 62 miles per hour in just 2.2 seconds, sending them into a series of high-speed corners and hills.
The launch mechanism is based around hydraulic pumps, and employs several metal cables. A number of previous cable-snapping incidents have been reported on Intamin accelerator coasters, with the most serious having occured on the Xcelerator coaster at Knott’s Berry Farm in 2009. This created a cloud of debris and caused a laceration to a 12-year-old boy’s leg.

Alton Towers - Rita Incident

The Rita roller coaster at Alton Towers is currently out of action, after the cable used to launch the ride’s train snapped during a test run.

The incident occurred early in the morning on July 24, 2012. It is not yet known how long Rita will be closed, with the park currently routing guests around the ride to the other major attraction in the Dark Forest area, Thirteen. A new cable will be need to be installed and tested before the coaster can reopen to guests.

Rita is an Intamin accelerator roller coaster, which opened in 2005 at a cost of £8 million. Its opening section launches riders from 0 to 62 miles per hour in just 2.2 seconds, sending them into a series of high-speed corners and hills.

The launch mechanism is based around hydraulic pumps, and employs several metal cables. A number of previous cable-snapping incidents have been reported on Intamin accelerator coasters, with the most serious having occured on the Xcelerator coaster at Knott’s Berry Farm in 2009. This created a cloud of debris and caused a laceration to a 12-year-old boy’s leg.

Alton Towers - UPDATE
Alton Towers has bowed to pressure from fans and scrapped a decision to cut the operating hours of popular rides including the Air and Thirteen roller coasters.
Fan site Towers Times reported that the cutbacks were only in place for five days before the park returned to the previous set-up. It is the latest in a series of u-turns by the park’s management, which has also dropped plans to close the Skyride during off-peak periods and close Enterprise and Submission for the entire 2012 season in recent months.
The reduced operating hours affected a number of major attractions at Alton Towers, including the Air and Thirteen roller coasters, The Flume, Battle Galleons, Congo River Rapids, Skyride, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Driving School. Rather than opening alongside the rest of the park at 10am, these rides were scheduled to open an hour later.
The reduced hours for Air and Thirteen, the latter of which only opened in 2010, proved to be particularly controversial with fans of Alton Towers. However, the majority of the affected attractions will now switch back to a 10am opening time, with the exception of the Congo River Rapids and The Flume water rides (both of which have consistently opened later than the park for some time).

Alton Towers - UPDATE

Alton Towers has bowed to pressure from fans and scrapped a decision to cut the operating hours of popular rides including the Air and Thirteen roller coasters.

Fan site Towers Times reported that the cutbacks were only in place for five days before the park returned to the previous set-up. It is the latest in a series of u-turns by the park’s management, which has also dropped plans to close the Skyride during off-peak periods and close Enterprise and Submission for the entire 2012 season in recent months.

The reduced operating hours affected a number of major attractions at Alton Towers, including the Air and Thirteen roller coasters, The Flume, Battle Galleons, Congo River Rapids, Skyride, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Driving School. Rather than opening alongside the rest of the park at 10am, these rides were scheduled to open an hour later.

The reduced hours for Air and Thirteen, the latter of which only opened in 2010, proved to be particularly controversial with fans of Alton Towers. However, the majority of the affected attractions will now switch back to a 10am opening time, with the exception of the Congo River Rapids and The Flume water rides (both of which have consistently opened later than the park for some time).