Ive said before and ill say it again, something like eagles claw at lwv would look great and could easily be themed very well to fit into the area.
Its a great ride and i have never seen or heard of any major downtime so for alton to get a brand spanker they would be onto a winner. To make it a bit more intense alton should program the ride to go almost upside down a few more times rather than lwv it only seems to hit the high spot the once during the cycle.
The spinning cycle at the beggining of the ride would tie in with the thirteen story as to being sucked into the crypt then thrown out. The drop down platform could reveal something special or instead of a drop down floor possibly a trap door style floor to just increase the through put that extra bit.
The structure of the ride could easily be converted into tree branches too.
Somebody must think this is a good idea also please!..
You raise some fair points there, both Eagles Claw and Vortex are practically bomb proof and are very reliable. The ride type does lend itself very well to the Dark Forest, but that's about where I'd stop. A KMG Afterburner is a VERY fairground ride, in fact, the park models are just adaptations of a portable ride. I don't see this as the way Alton want to go at the moment, and I certainly don't think they intend on building a ride that is so common around the country. Almost every fair has one, and it wouldn't bring a new audience to the park just for the one ride.
The ride cannot swing any higher than the existing models do; If it does it automatically emergency stops and cuts all power. If the ride was designed by KMG to swing higher than current models, the entire framework around the ride would need completely re-engineering. It would cost a fortune for a ride that is still going to be fairly average. A trap door floor would also be difficult, this is because it has to lower from all corners simultaneously and be able to raise again. It wouldn't work; Vortex experiences most of it's downtime due to it's creeping floor that takes a good 30 seconds to lower.
Finally, the rides type throughput, especially based on the 24 seat version installed at LWV is a pathetic 340 PPH. Even Vortex carrying 8 people more and running a short cycle only attains 450 PPH. The throughput is far too low for a signature attraction at a park like Alton. If they were to go for a swing I would see it being something like Maelstrom, with the latest outward facing seating design as it is far less common around the country and a better ride. That said, I don't see the park investing in this type of ride.
The problem with flat rides is financial. They serve one of two purposes; centrepiece or filler. A filler flat is, generally speaking, not advertised, not too expensive and would not draw much of a new audience to the park. A centrepiece flat is high budget, highly marketed and has potential to pull a new crowd. The problem Alton face is two fold. The construction hight limit prevents the park doing anything extreme, which is, unfortunately, the way flat rides are going currently (Ie: Height race with Screamin' Swings, Sky Swatters, Combo Towers). The other option is a new concept, which, there are currently none. This puts Alton in a difficult position. They could install a high budget proven concept flat ride, with a large marketing campaign and attempt to pull a crowd, or go for a cheap option simply as a filler ride.
The issue then extends to what type of ride would actually be suitable. As far as any form of spinning swing goes, with Maelstrom being so close to Alton Towers the impact could be highly negative. Many visitors living within 50 miles of the park will already have ridden Maelstrom and look at a similar ride in one of two ways, either, Maelstrom was really good, I can't wait to go on this one, or, that's just like Maelstrom, what's the point in going on something I've already been on? The same would apply to any inward facing swing, but on an even greater level as they are currently seen on fairgrounds across the country.
To this end, I really don't have any idea what sort of flat ride would suit Alton. A robo arm would not be much of a centrepiece, although they are not too expensive, so may work well as a filler. That said, I personally hate the look of the rides, so hope they don't install any.
For now, I think I'll just get excited about Th13teen.