Since June 2012, TowersStreet.com has been dedicated in bringing you the latest Alton Towers Resort news and as a new year begins we take a look at some of the most popular news.
June 2012 brought the first signs of theme park wide Wi-Fi, which had been rumoured for a number of months. The little boxes started appeared all around the Resort, from the rooftops of Cloud Cuckoo Land to Oblivion’s brake-run. The Wi-Fi installation also spawned our popular Where’s Wi-Fi Wednesday game, in which our Facebook fans try to guess the location of the Wi-Fi transmitter in a newly uploaded photo each week.
July was a busy month for the park, as families began their summer getaways, and Alton Towers Resort launched the Fantastical Express event to bring lucky winners from a different location each week to the Resort. Alongside the Fantastical Express the Resort also picked one guest a day at random to win £1,000 in the Instant Escape week.
The lowlight of July was the Rita cable snap, which caused some downtime to the popular launch rollercoaster, although fortunately nobody was injured. The ride reopened after only 4 days of downtime, with extra safety measures in the form of holding the queueline before the launch track and redirecting guests heading to Th13teen through the arcade.
A temporary new restaurant serving the hotels opened in the Conference Centre to handle the busy summer crowds called Sir Algenon’s Bar & Grill, the restaurant operated a similar menu to Woodcutters in the Dark Forest and was a huge hit. TowersStreet sampled the food and we hope the restaurant will be back next year!
And finally for July, new posters appeared advertising SW7: the ‘world beating’ ride set to open in March 2013.
The Sanctuary, the new Scarefest maze which was rumoured to bring us the backstory of SW7, was announced in August as Scarefest preparations begun earlier than usual. After the Rita incident in the previous month the ride was removed from Early Ride Time and replaced by Th13teen, and a large scaffolding tunnel under Rita’s launch was constructed to allow guests to pass under the ride.
August also saw half the park close mysteriously for a number of hours due to an incident which was rumoured to be either a gas leak or maybe even an unexploded WW2 bomb! We suspect we will never officially know the cause, but nobody was injured or at risk during the incident.
Finally, there was an incident involving the monorail on the 5th of August which was rumoured to be a minor collision. The details were once again unconfirmed, but the monorail reopened after a few days of downtime, though the Daisy train – believed to have been involved in the incident – has not since been seen on the circuit.
September is usually one of the quieter months in the theme park season, but groundwork for SW7 started to progress during this month as well as new marketing for the highly anticipated roller coaster. Strange smiling faces started to appear all around the Alton Towers Resort, spray-painted everywhere from the grass of Towers Street to the scaffolding in Dark Forest.
October brought the ever popular Scarefest event back to the Alton Towers Resort, and with The Sanctuary promising an insight into the work of the sinister Ministry of Joy – believed to be the group behind the SW7 project – there was more hype than usual for the event, which certainly didn’t disappoint. Excitement for the world beating 2013 attraction also grew further as TowersStreet brought you the first pictures of track as it arrived.
TowersStreet revealed in October that 2012 would be Burger King’s last season at Alton Towers Resort: all three of the fast food chain’s former outlets will be replaced by The Burger Kitchen (an internal Merlin food outlet) in 2013, leaving Eastern Express as the only remaining external food outlet.
The biggest news to break during October was the announcement of the Alton Towers Resort Village, a new accommodation option at the Resort. The village will expand the resort’s accommodation offering with a large development of woodland lodges, set to open in 2014, with a second phase coming in 2015.
The main theme park season ended on the 4th of November with the 3 day Ultimate Fireworks event, which were so explosive this year that a small fire started in the Cloud Cuckoo Land area of the theme park. Thankfully it was only a minor incident, with no injuries except an unfortunate Driving School car!
With the theme park closed to the public, SW7 construction work started to pick up pace as even more track was delivered to the resort, and you can see those photos on our dedicated SW7 Minisite and Facebook page.
SW7 began vertical construction during this month as track installation began, with large amounts of track erected rapidly. In other SW7 news, TowersStreet had another exclusive as we announced new SW7 themed hotel suites coming in 2013.
During every closed season all rides are inspected and refurbished, but this year a number of attractions are rumoured to be getting more attention than usual:
- Submission is expected to run both arms simultaneously next season on busier days, for the first time in a number of years.
- Enterprise is believed to be receiving a number of new parts.
- Hex has had extensive work on its vault to try and correct the recent parking issues and abnormal noises heard during the ride cycle, plus significant improvements to the audio equipment throughout the attraction
- Rita has been given a number of further modifications following the cable incident in July, in order to negate the need for the scaffolding tunnels.
- The SkyRide has also been serviced by the manufacturer.
With these extensive improvements coming to various attractions in 2013, and the opening of the brand new world beating roller coaster SW7, this season is set to be a very exciting one!
We would like to thank all of you for your support since June, without you TowersStreet would not have become the success that it is and the TowersStreet team are very grateful for all your support. Here’s to 2013 and beyond!