Whilst it doesn't look like the most impressive wooden coaster layout in terms of scale, I am hopeful that it will be a solid coaster that appeals to guests of a wide age range. It also looks like there's the potential for a fairly well-themed experience, with the theming envelopes suggesting that the two main theming features could be quite large, along with the documents stating that the sound tunnel will be themed and the inclusion of a substantial 140 second pre-show.
The plans don't really give any idea of what the Secret Weapon / world's first element, but perhaps it wouldn't be a bad thing if SW8 is more just a project name for a well-thought out and well-finished rollercoaster. It's also good to see that the construction schedule has them completing the project in December 2017, hopefully providing enough of a buffer for them to open it with the park in March in order to get the maximum benefit from the investment.
It does seem that some people are underwhelmed by this proposition mainly due to being teased with what could have been in Forbidden Valley, although I wonder if those plans will resurface in the future when the resort are in a better financial position. Clearly that project was initially viable as it had seemingly gone a fair way in the planning stages, the only significant change since then has been The Smiler incident and the consequent impact on visitation and revenue/profits. If the two experiences are sufficiently different (e.g. GCI family wooden coaster & launched RMC with inversions) I don't see why it wouldn't be feasible.
Just a thought but with the powered/launched lift hill and the relatively short track could the trains make 2 circuits of the track with a different speed of launch on the second circuit to give an out of control/runaway train type of feel. Not sure how this would work with multiple trains but maybe there could be some kind of switch track in the station building so the running train doesn't actually pass through the loading area, just close by adding to the out of control feel.....
My knowledge on layout is fairly limited, but if it is possible for trains to make multiple circuits even on multiple train operation, could the train complete a forwards launch and a backwards launch? Or even just a standard backwards and forwards lift/circuit like fire chaser express at Dollywood? This would be a European or worlds first surely?
I'm not aware of any wooden attraction that travels both backwards and forwards. This would explain the short track layout and adds some motive for Merlin to call it a SW. Furthermore some people have indicated that there is a show building before the lift hill and this could presumably hold a turntable of some sort paired with a few effects.
Although it isn't the longest of layouts, I don't think it is short enough to justify multiple circuits, there is also nothing to suggest that there is a switch track around the circuit. When the train exits the station it makes a rightwards turn and presumably descends enough to go under the main station building (going under the pre-show room and what looks to be a short interior queue section) and then turns left until reaching the lift hill, which is in a broadly similar direction to what the train emerged from the station in.
Looking at the plans, the first drop in the sound tunnel seems somewhat lacking.
Perhaps the lift hill is not a launch as such, but just to get the rid up to speed. Perhaps theres an inversion in the tunnel.
Just for the sake of it, i'll go way out there - worlds first inverted woodie
Assuming you're referring to it having an inversion rather than it being an inverted coaster in the style of Nemesis etc. , several wooden coasters with inversions have opened in the last few years with the first being Outlaw Run in 2013.