They won't get the 7.
And yet there it is, for every visitor in 2012 to see. It says 'Coming Soon SW7' If they won't get it next year, then why should they get it this year. But it's there!
Look at it this way. To the casual visitor, which makes up 95% of the total visitors, the SW tagline means nothing. Take off your enthusiasts hat for the moment and imagine you went into a park elsewhere knowing little about the place and you saw an area fenced off with the words 'Coming Soon - ZX4' in a nice, glossy logo. You'd have no reason to suspect it to be anything else other than the name of the attraction. It's not a tease like LC12 which, as far as I know, never said 'Coming Soon LC12'. The project name, like just about every other project name in AT's history was only used in-house and known to enthusiasts and used subtlely but never directly even suggesting that was going to be the final name of the attraction.
95% of the people who read that sign on the BH Site fence will see SW7 and assume that's the name of the attraction.
Even if the poster said 'Coming Soon Secret Weapon 7', it's at least giving a hint that it's a secret codename of some kind, but to actually only use the SW7 moniker is what makes this rather interesting. The casual visitor just doesn't know what the SW stands for.
With Th13teen, the 'Ride the Demon of the Dark Forest, Surrender in March 2010' slogan can (and was) mis-construed, but even if the ride name was known then, it would still read correctly as 'Th13teen: Ride the Demon of the Dark Forest, Surrender in March 2010'. Likewise, 'Ride Into The Unknown' is a statement; if it was mis-construed, then that's all about the interpretation of the visitor.
To us, the statement that SW7 is coming soon is a no-brainer, we've known it for some time. But for the park to officially use that straightforward statement to all the visitors makes a big difference, much like they were blatantly told they could 'Ride Rita in 2005' at the end of the 2004 season...
We said then that the park would be foolish to blatantly use that statement if they were going to change the name and have the casual visitors say 'What happened to that Rita ride they were going on about last year?' And hey ho, the ride was actually called that.
I'll re-iterate; it's not that I'm getting all excited that this ride's going to be called SW7, but to actually use the codename so publicly and to actually have the direct, difficult to mis-construe 'Coming Soon...' pre-fix is extremely interesting. I'm no marketing genius, but surely to make that statement to get those three figures into the casual visitors heads is a bit odd if they're going to change it later.
I just think it's an interesting decision more than anything else and worth discussing rather than just saying 'There's no way it'll be called SW7'. There's no reason for it not to be called that and no real evidence that it will be, but there is a small amount of weight that it might be. And it's an interesting marketing decision that's worth talking about anyway.
And let's face it, back in 2004 when the Rita name controversy raged, who'd have thought such a bizarre name would now be such a solid part of AT's history? Rita meant nothing to anybody and most visitors probably still don't understand that idea of people (men in particular) naming their cars after ladies.
For the third time that day, his flaps fell off.