Aidan Lowe wrote:
For enthusiasts who visit AT regularly of an adult age this is the only big investment since The Smiler back in 2013, so 5 years is a long wait for something really big so anything really is going to be hyped up. Sure TLC has worked some charm across the park but with removals, closures & minor additions (Galactica imo was a huge error but that's my personal opinion) it's been a very tedious agonizing wait. Obviously, there will be some people who enjoy The Smiler (I love the theme, the engineering and overall look as well as the ride duration) but it's still quite a pathetic ride.
Oh and it's wood, that's always good. I for one am simply hoping for a well-themed area & ride.
I think it is pretty obvious to anybody that has seen the layout that SW8 is not going to be a thrill coaster, after the disaster that was Thirteen's marketing and hype in 2009/10 (not for visitor numbers but expectations) any enthusiast over a certain age would be foolish to expect this ride to be anything more than a glorified family coaster.
I know The Smiler is the only real thrill attraction Alton Towers has installed in (arguably) over a decade and along with the criminal removal without replacement of most of the parks flat ride offering the lineup for adrenaline seekers is looking increasingly bland, but the last thing the park needs is another 1.4m coaster. We have five already! I am pretty sure that is more than most major theme parks in Europe?
On the other hand the family offering at Alton is woeful. A 30 year old grotty, poorly themed tamed Rapids, 25 year old powered mine train and transit dark ride in such poor state a regional fairground would be embarrassed and a handful of flats the crowning jewel a prehistoric swinging ship. Hex is the only world class ride at the park that fulfils Alton Towers role to entertain young and old simultaneously.
Therefore in this instance park management have absolutely made the right move with their investment decision - creating a solid family ride with quality theming in the heart of the park. Admittedly it is disappointing that this spells the end of the cross valley woodie and a park staple with the loss of the flume but I think for once they are bang on identifying what the park needs.
Sadly in my opinion the biggest disservice the park is doing is giving this coaster a Secret Weapon tag, because regardless of whatever marketing gimmick they stick on it to sell it to the GP it is clearly designed to be a family woodie - why do they insist on shooting themselves in the face?