Future Plans

It is looking like a busy few seasons coming up at Alton Towers, from Nemesis Reborn, through to the exciting new plans for a new flat ride in Forbidden Valley and Project Horizon on the old ‘Coaster Corner’ site. Let’s take a look at what we know about the projects the park have lined up…

2024

Nemesis Reborn

The big news for the 2024 season is Nemesis Reborn. After a year-long absence, which has seen the majority of Nemesis retracked, the iconic coaster returns with a striking new black paint job, complete with vein decals.

Nemesis Reborn Visual

In 2022, the park revealed plans to retrack Nemesis to extend the coaster’s life long into the future. They submitted plans to Staffordshire Moorlands to receive a certificate of lawfulness for the work. The certification, which was passed on 23rd March 2021, is an agreement from the council that the work is classed maintenance of the existing structure, rather than a new development, and so will not need full planning permission.

The plans have seen the entire track replaced from the top of the lift hill right through to the break run, but there are no significant changes to the coaster’s design, beyond strengthening and extending some of the ride’s foundations in the most intense parts of the course. The only significant variation from the existing structure will be that the supports will be now filled with sand, which was not a practice commonly used when the ride was originally built, but is now standard.

Whilst the structure of the ride will be the same when it reopens, we now know that the theme for the ride will have a revamp when it relaunches, with much closer ties to the Phalanx storyline, which has been a prominent feature of Forbidden Valley since Sub-Terra opened in 2012. In practice, this means that the rusty, post-apocalyptic look of Forbidden Valley is giving way to a much more striking red and black aesthetic.

Nemesis closed at the end of the 2022 season on Sunday 6th November and is due to reopen on 16th March 2024, in time for the ride’s 30th birthday. In keeping with the ride’s adopted story, the closure and subsequent work has been announced as being by order of the Phalanx, the mysterious militia first introduced in the Nemesis Comic and later featured heavily in the plot of Nemesis:Sub-Terra.

Nemesis Station, missing its legs and exit ramp, in the middle of a replaint. You can also see the repainted lifthill, brake run and photo booth.

When the ride reopens it will be known as Nemesis: Reborn, a trademark Merlin registered in February 2023. For more information and images of the retrack, check out our dedicated Nemesis Reborn construction archive, or the detailed timeline on the Towers Street Forum.

Forbidden Valley Refresh

All eyes will be on Forbidden Valley in the 2024 season when Nemesis reawakens in its pit. And beyond the ride itself, the park have plans to spruce up much of the valley ready for the new season.

The big news, beyond Nemesis Reborn, is new plans the park has submitted for a flat ride on the former Ripsaw site, code named Project Ocean. There’s no indication of when the park intend to open the  new ride, but we will certainly be seeing some changes to the site in 2024, now that Funk’n’Fly has departed.

The details of the new ride are currently under wraps, but from the planning application we know that the overall development will be an attraction that sits atop a building that straddles the current path to Galactica will include an an underpass that will maintain guest access.  The development will have an overall height of 18m, with theming features situated on either side of the structure and a queue line wrapping to the South and South-East.”

Forbidden Valley after Funk'N'Fly's removal in November 2021

For the past few seasons, the site has been home to Funk’n’Fly, one of the temporary Retro Squad rides, which left the park at the end of last season. The new flat ride will therefore be welcome news for many park visitors, many of whom had been hoping the park would add more permanent support attractions to help absorb the queues from the park’s big attractions.

We have already seen changes occurring in and around the Nemesis pit, with the coaster’s theming and support buildings receiving fresh paint jobs, including the photo booth and the iconic Mushroom Cloud Tours Bus. Towards the end of the season, we also started to see alien tendrils taking over the surround area, including around the ride’s entrance structure.

And the changes aren’t restricted to the immediate area around Nemesis. The park have submitted planning permission for two further projects in Forbidden Valley.

A design rendering of the proposed new arcade. The rectagular building is surround by a conopy supported by columns.

The park have demolished the existing building of The Edge Games and are proposing replacing it with a new purpose-built arcade unit. The former building is one of the oldest in the park, having been added back when the area was Thunder Valley in the early 90s and whilst it might look like a permanent building, it was actually a pair of very well disguised Portakabins. The ‘temporary’  building has therefore done very well to last 30 years, but it is great to see the park investing in new permanent infrastructure. The new building will be around twice the height of the current unit, which will allow the park greater diversity in the arcade units that can operate in the building.

A design rendering of the proposed new shop. The new half of the building features a striking bay window for the entrance.

The park are also going to extend the former Refresh@Ripsaw café and reopen it as a new merchandise shop for Forbidden Valley. Whilst the new shop will arrive just in time to become home to the new lines of Nemesis merch that we can expect next season, its location suggests it will also be the retail location for merch themed to all the rides in Forbidden Valley, which has been missing a permanent shop since the Galactica Store closed during the pandemic. Similarly to The Edge, the existing unit is actually a temporary structure, made up of four shipping containers. The proposed plan will see two of those containers removed and replaced by a slightly larger and more impressive structure.

Further changes to Forbidden Valley will see the Nemesis Cannon, which once sat near Nemesis Sub-Terra replaced, as well as a new entrance portal for the area. Most of the buildings in the area will be receiving a new lick of paint, but the Gloomy Wood Kiosk, on the path to Forbidden Valley, has been completely replaced and will become a Coca-Cola Freestyle Refresh & Refill station.

Retro Squad Retire

At the end of the 2023 season, the park announced that the Retro Squad had completed their mission at the park and after three seasons the temporary pop-up attractions would depart the park for good.

We therefore know that the Retro Squad rides have now departed. And we now know there is a plan to replace Funk’n’Fly with a permanent attraction. But the park have yet to confirm their future plans for the other former Retro Squad sites, but it is hoped that there is a plan to reintroduce some more permanent well-themed flat rides into the park’s line-up.

CBeebies Land

CBeebies Land turns 10 in 2024 and we know that the park is planning to celebrate in style, but Alton Towers have yet to fully reveal their plans to mark the milestone. But they have started to drip information about their 10 Years Celebration.

What do we know so far?

The big news so far is that Bluey is coming to CBeebies Land. The park have announced that the popular character will be meeting with guests starting from the 23rd March, in time for Easter. Whilst we know that Bluey will be a meet and greet character this year, it remains to be seen if the park have any further plans for the character and if she might also appear in a show, or even have an attraction associated with her.

Now the February Half Term event is under way, it is clear that work is being carried out on the old Nina’s Science Lab. The work walls do not yet give any indication of what is planned for the space, or if it relates to Bluey’s arrival. But this would make a good meet and greet spot for Bluey right at the heart of the land, if that’s what the park are planning.

Over the coming weeks there will be more announcements about the 10 Years Celebration, but in the meantime, we can speculate on what else might appear as part of the celebration…

What else could they add?

By far, the easiest spot to add new characters to CBeebies Land is Big Fun Showtime. The park have updated the show line up several times over the years and it is a very straight forward way to add new IPs to CBeebies Land. Equally, Big Fun Showtime is also home to the Funster Games, which could be due a refresh, or maybe we could see new characters replace the In the Night Garden Meet and Greet?

No new planning permission has been submitted, which makes it unlikely we will see a totally new attraction this year. But a retheme of an existing attraction could be on the cards. We now know that the building that used to be Nina’s Science Lab is likely to be home to a new addition in 2024, but two other attractions have also been omitted from the February Half Term line-up, which might suggest one of them might be receiving a refresh ready for the new season – Bugbie Go Round and Go Jetters Vroomster Zoom Ride. It will no doubt become clear what is occurring with these rides during the Feb Half Term event.

Whatever is coming to the park, it will likely be complemented by at least one new suite at the CBeebies Land Hotel. It seems that not all the CBeebies Land Hotel suites are available for hire yet for the 2024 season, suggesting that maybe the resort will shortly be announcing new options.

Resort Changes

The resort has seen some significant changes over the closed season, most notably with the closure of the Spa on the last day of 2023. Several themed rooms have also either been discontinued or are no longer available for stays in 2024, suggesting they will either be mothballed or replaced. In Alton Towers Hotel the Hidden Hideaway, Peter Rabbit and Benjamin Bunny rooms have been removed, with the Ice Age Rooms in Splash Landings also no longer available for stays.

The resort have yet to announce anything specific about what might replace any or all of these shuttered facilities, so it remains to be seen if we will be seeing some new additions to the resort for the 2024 season.

What Sites are Available?

There are several sites around the park that are currently available for redevelopment. Here we take a look at some sites where we can expect to see new attractions built in the coming years.

The World of David Walliams

The World of David Walliams Construction
The World of David Walliams may be new, but the park’s latest area has plenty of room to expand.

Most of the buildings on one side of the area are no longer open to the public, from the shuttered 4D Cinema and Toy Shop at one end through to the old Nickelodeon building at the other. Will the area to expand over the coming years to incorporate these unused spaces? And not forgetting the Driving School, which is likely to be rethemed in the near future.

The arrival of Project Horizon in the area behind the 4D Cinema, means there is also potential for The Alton Towers Dungeon to be redeveloped in the coming years, which could return the popular family boat ride to the regular ride line-up.


X Sector

X-Sector after Mixtape's removal in November 20212021 saw the end of The Submission Memorial Garden to make way for the Retro Squad. However, the former site of Submission is now vacant again, so perhaps it is time for the Ministry of Joy to add a new experiment and bolster the park’s dwindling flat ride line-up.

The Enterprise also departed the park at the end of 2022 and is now also vacant and ready for a new ride to be added in that location.


Dark Forest

Dark Forest after Roller Disco's removal in November 2021The Dark Forest is brimming with potential for future development, most notably on the former site of the Ug Swinger, which was more recently home to Roller Disco.

When the area was Festival Park in the 90s, the area around Th13teen’s entrance played host to several other rides, including The Beastie and Enterprise, so there is potential for more than one attraction in this under-used area. Perhaps the park could re-visit plans for the Robo-Arms that were considered as part of the Dark Forest development.

Equally, the site that currently houses the Dark Forest Lockers was once the site of the Magic Carpet and later The Spider. Whilst the site itself is compact, the queues for these attractions once ran through the neighbouring woodland, with some evidence of the site’s past still visible today.


CBeebies Land

Even with the new attractions added to the land over the past few years, there is still room for new additions in CBeebies Land, which has not yet expanded to use the entire corner of the park that was once home to Old MacDonald’s Fram.

Next door, in Adventure Land, there is also the long abandoned Refresh@Spinall site, which site in an area which could be re-used as part of either of the neighbouring lands.