Launch coasters aren't gimmicks in any way. In practical terms, they are perfectly suited to a park like Alton Towers which cannot have a high lift hill in most areas.
We need a thrill ride for SW9, it has been nearly 6 years since the last one.
An Intamin blitz in Forbidden Valley would do the job nicely.
I feel I just need to clarify that I don't think launch coasters are a gimmick. By my gimmick statement i meant like their usual worlds first gimmick idea. Also AT have managed for many years without launches. If memory serves me right (Which it probably isn't) AT have only had 1 launch coaster out of all the ones it has had, and all bar Rita have always been a hit with enthusiasts.
Swarm Chris wrote:
A launch coaster makes the most sense given Alton's restrictions. Perhaps there's a gimmick side of things in terms of it being the current fashion for roller coasters. However, it allows a pretty decent level of freedom to control the rides flow that gravity based rides lack.
If they went for a launch coaster, they would need to outdo Blackpool in some manner, to distinguish itself to the public. The simplest way I can see to do that is through theming. Market the experience, not the ride's technical features.
My feeling is that SW9 will be more family based, or family thrill. I wonder if Wicker Man has showed Merlin that rides can be marketed on more than intensity alone. That building something that as many people can enjoy as possible, will end up with more guests coming through the gates. Plus Varney has made a fair few mentions of shared experiences for families recently.
I could see SW9 being their most heavily themed attraction. Something that taps into Alton's magic and that has things to get everyone excited for. I have it in my mind that Merlin bought into the interactive magic wands at one of their European parks, following Universal and Efteling this year I believe. I could see them bringing that to Alton and if they wanted to do it properly, rather than just a cheap cash grab, a new well themed world would be a great way of doing it.
I agree. I think Merlin would stick with the family thrill market as Wicker Man was a hit and they have a habit of repeating on successes. I don't think they will go down the interactive magic wand idea as other places would already have it and Merlin would be late to the party, though that being said, I've just convinced myself that they will now do