X-Sector Development

14th March 1998

Plans & Concepts

Secret Weapon 4 was one of the parks most ambitious projects to date: to recreate Fantasy World as the enigmatic X Sector. As well as creating concepts for Oblivion and the rides being relocated into the area, the park drew up concept boards for all aspects of the area, from the shops and theming right down to the area’s uniforms.

Port Discovery

Port Discovery Dive Machine

One of the earlier concepts for the redevelopment of Fantasy World was to create a Steampunk themed area named Port Discovery. It is unknown what Oblivion would have been called in this iteration of the area but the Dive Machine would have been themed to a large Victorian drill, burrowing deep into the earth.

Port Discovery was clearly the favoured plan for the area for several years, to the extent that Tussauds trademarked the name in late 1994, indicating their intention to bring this area to the park. It was not until two years later in February 1997 that X-Sector was trademarked along with the slogan 'Don't Look Down', indicating a significant change in direction for the area.

Black Hole's new look

A little slice of Port Discovery did come to Alton Towers, however, when the Black Hole received an internal upgrade for the 1996 season. At this point the presumptive theme for the area was still Steampunk and so the Black Hole's station upgrade saw it clad in the copper metal theming that was synonymous with the style. Though the external theme for the Black Hole was updated along with the rest of the area, seamlessly blending the tent with its surroundings, inside it retained its unique design that put it curiously at odds with the X-Sector for its remaining years in the park.