Alton Towers have today revealed that a group of retro-inspired, pop-up attractions will be added to the park’s line-up this season. In the press release announcing this seasons events, the park have indicated that they will be welcoming several new flat rides, which we understand have been brought to the park on a temporary lease agreement from various showmen.
Interestingly, while the park have announced three pop-up rides, over the past few weeks images have emerged online of four different travelling attractions at different spots around the park:
- Super Trooper – A spinning glider style ride by PWS in Forbidden Valley, located on the former Ripsaw site.
- Waltzers – Possibly Thunderdome by Fairtade Services, located in the Dark Forest on the former Ug Swinger site.
- Jumper Jumper – A Satori Smashing Jump on the former Submission site in X-Sector.
- Sizzler – The classic fairground Twist from PWS, joining the line-up in The World of David Walliams.
More information will no doubt surface regarding the new attractions as the park prepares to open in two weeks, but these extra rides for older audiences are certainly welcome additions alongside the new family offerings this season.
The park’s other new addition for 2021 will be The World of David Walliams, which was originally slated to open in 2020 before being delayed due to the Coronavirus pandemic. The new land will now open for the start of the season, but its headline attraction, Gangsta Granny – The Ride, will not open until May 17th, once social distancing guidelines allow. Formerly Cloud Cuckoo Land, the new area will also be home to Raj’s Bouncy Bottom Burp and the Royal Carousel, a new look for two family favourites – Frog Hopper and the Gallopers.
The news of additional ride capacity will no doubt be welcomed by park guests and will help reduce queues around the park, hopefully allowing for more rides during your day out and with more variety than the park has seen in recent years. It is understood that the extra flat rides will be temporary installations, providing the park with several new attractions at a much lower cost than purchasing and installing the hardware themselves.
The practice of hiring rides from showmen is not unknown in the industry, offering a low-risk means of adding extra capacity to support a park’s line up as a stop-gap solution. Alton Towers will no doubt have taken this step due to current pandemic guidelines, which will likely mean that several of the park’s permanent attractions will not be able to operate at the start of the season, whilst others will continue to run on significantly reduced capacities.
Naturally, the temporary nature of the new additions means the attractions may not be themed to compliment the areas in which they are located, though it is understood that efforts will be made to blend them into their surroundings, including the addition of proper queue lines and signage. But even unthemed additions are welcome news in a period when it was not expected that the park would be gaining any extra investment after a year of lockdowns significantly bruising the park’s income.
Today’s announcement also suggests that the park are aware of the capacity issues caused by the recent trend of removing the park’s support attractions. Since 2010 Alton Towers has seen a number of its larger, non-rollercoaster attractions close without replacement:
- Submission – Closed 2013
- Ripsaw – Closed 2015
- Nemesis Sub-Terra – Closed 2015
- Twirling Toadstool – Closed 2016
These removals came in spite of the growing guest figures that park had enjoyed prior to the 2015 season, and left a number of gaps in the ride lineup.
It is hoped that if the temporary additions are successful this season, we will see newer, more permanent support attractions installed in the coming years as the park begins to recover from a challenging 2020 season.
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