Project Horizon: Planning Application Submitted

Matt N

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Mako (SeaWorld Orlando)
Do we even *want* this to be a coaster? We already have 10. Surely the best option for the park is a non coaster, indoor family attraction
Personally, I’d quite like an indoor coaster for this. There are a couple of reasons for that.

Firstly, one thing that’s easy to forget is that the park has a prime family dark ride development opportunity located a very short walk away from where this attraction is to be located. I doubt that the Alton Towers Dungeon will last an awful lot longer in its current form, or that it was even designed to last for a very long time in the first place, so if it were to be removed from that space, you’d have a perfectly good, usable family dark ride system in the form of that Mack boat ride. And if that boat ride became a family dark ride, and Nemesis Sub Terra returns in some form as is rumoured to be potentially happening, the park would have 5 dark rides, 4 of which are suitable for families. I think that’s a pretty formidable number; even during the Tussauds era, I don’t think the park ever exceeded 4 or 5 dark rides (correct me if I’m wrong there).

Opportunities to build an indoor coaster are far more limited. None of the park’s current dark ride buildings (bar possibly Duel, but that’s irrelevant now that the retheme for 2023 is happening) are well suited to accommodate an indoor coaster, and adequate flat pieces of land to build a new building upon are also somewhat lacking. I think that Coaster Corner is the absolute perfect opportunity for Towers to build one; it’s a big plot of flat land which is definitely big enough to accommodate an indoor coaster, and an indoor ride is basically the park’s only option on that land. Some real world case studies suggest that the building, going off of the specified dimensions given by Towers, could certainly accommodate an indoor coaster.

The second reason I’d like an indoor coaster is because I feel that it would plug the only large hole left in Alton Towers’ rollercoaster selection. In spite of the park having 10 roller coasters, I think a family-orientated indoor roller coaster would be a very valuable addition; an indoor coaster is a very different product to any coaster that Towers currently offers, and given the likely scale of this attraction (the size of the building implies it probably wouldn’t be overly thrilling), it would give the park a middle ground family roller coaster, which is something it currently lacks aside from RMT (Spinball is 1.2m like Thirteen and WM, so I refrained from calling it a middle ground family coaster; I’d say it’s more family thrill myself).

I would also say that there are far more options with an indoor coaster now than there were a few decades ago. They don’t have to be simply a regular roller coaster in a shed like they were back in the day, and you can create something with quite a heavy immersion/dark ride focus that would likely have similar appeal to a family dark ride. For instance, something like a Mack Suspended Powered Coaster (e.g. Arthur) could have a fairly heavy dark ride focus while incorporating roller coaster elements, and I’d wager it would have very similar appeal and a very similar effect to any non-coaster family dark ride. Other models could be used to similar effect.
EDIT: Sorry, never realised I was double posting…
 

jon81uk

TS Member
Do we even *want* this to be a coaster? We already have 10. Surely the best option for the park is a non coaster, indoor family attraction
Ideally we want a family indoor coaster and other new family attractions. They could just use the existing boat ride (currently the dungeons) for a more sedate attraction. The Black Hole wasn’t that much more thrilling than the mine train, a coaster that sits between the mine train and Thirteen for thrill level would be great.
But they also need the boat ride re-opened and at least four flat rides, for thrill and family.
 

Matt N

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Mako (SeaWorld Orlando)
Doing some measurements you can almost fit a smiler in that space. Not to get hopes up as it won't be anything like that, but we cannot completely discount it either. But replace the lifts for launches and drop about 1/8th of the length and it would go. Purely academic and likely not practical.

And for reference... X / WD

Screenshot_20220924-101901.png
Interestingly, the actual footprint of TWD:TR is even smaller than that; the area you’ve highlighted includes Black Mirror, as well as the plethora of indoor queue/walkthrough sections that TWD has.

That shows, though, that this building could definitely accommodate an indoor coaster dependent on its height!
 

Matt N

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Mako (SeaWorld Orlando)
Is Arthur classed as a coaster? Powered maybe? I would not mind that type of coaster as it doubles up as a decent dark ride.
Technically, it is a powered roller coaster, and it has a fair amount of coaster sections as well as dark ride sections!

I think that many other models of indoor coaster could have a similar effect. As I said above, you have a lot more options with an indoor coaster these days than simply “traditional coaster in shed”.
 

s_g_k

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Oblivion
Hopefully the dungeons will be incorporated this new area and be reverted back into a family attraction. I don’t know how long the dungeons will last - take today for example which is a busy Saturday, there are tickets available for every single 15 minute time slot bar the usual lunch hour break.
 

dazza4783

TS Member
Larger or largest? Pirates of the Caribbean & Phantom Manor at DLP opened within a few weeks of The Haunted House and are much larger dark rides. So if it even did hold that title, it was only for a couple of weeks. I mean, at the time of opening, it was not even the largest dark ride in the UK. Pirate Adventure at Drayton Manor was much larger is both area and volume. That opened 2 years earlier.

Back to this project, interesting size, this would be a tight squeeze for a full blown coaster, which leads me to think that perhaps this is going to be some other family oriented dark ride. I personally fell a family oriented dark ride would be the better fit for Towers, even if an Arthur like dark ride.

I did at first think a flying theatre, with the obvious connection between flying and horizon. But I think that is perhaps looking into it a little too much.

I wonder where they plan on putting this building exactly, in relation to the old Jazz Land plan.
1663998378518.png

I *think* the "enclosed transit system" shown on these plans is the general free area these days. With the "enclosed 5D attraction" being roughly where Merlin Studios is today.
Looks like they could be re-visiting these plans, if so then this is likely phase 2 of The World of David Walliams, he has apparently been on park quite a lot this season. With the rumours of The Dungeons possibly closing soon i'd love to see it converted to what we see in these plans.
 

Matt N

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Mako (SeaWorld Orlando)
On a side note, for those of you who aren’t sure what we’re talking about when we keep referring to the Mack Suspended Powered Coaster, here’s a POV of Arthur at Europa Park to give you some idea:

I rode it in April, and it’s such a neat little ride, in my view; I’d be very happy if Towers built something similar! It’s a very clever ride system, and I can imagine that it’s very versatile indeed in terms of how you could use it!

Another area where I think this ride type would work well for Alton Towers is in terms of throughput. Arthur comfortably processes over 1,000 riders per hour, and due to the way the ride system is loaded, there’s very little room to go wrong in terms of throughput. It’s a bit like the coaster equivalent of Duel; the trains are small, holding only 12 riders, but they’re moving constantly through the station (not even stopping at the end in the way that something like Spinball does), and the lap bars are also self lowering rather than requiring a staff member to check them.
 

DistortAMG

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Pirates of the Caribbean (DLP)
On a side note, for those of you who aren’t sure what we’re talking about when we keep referring to the Mack Suspended Powered Coaster, here’s a POV of Arthur at Europa Park to give you some idea:

I rode it in April, and it’s such a neat little ride, in my view; I’d be very happy if Towers built something similar! It’s a very clever ride system, and I can imagine that it’s very versatile indeed in terms of how you could use it!

Another area where I think this ride type would work well for Alton Towers is in terms of throughput. Arthur comfortably processes over 1,000 riders per hour, and due to the way the ride system is loaded, there’s very little room to go wrong in terms of throughput. It’s a bit like the coaster equivalent of Duel; the trains are small, holding only 12 riders, but they’re moving constantly through the station (not even stopping at the end in the way that something like Spinball does), and the lap bars are also self lowering rather than requiring a staff member to check them.


Important to note that the omni mover station is an optional extra on this ride type. That said, no reason why Alton would not opt for that. It is very versatile though, capable of sudden stops and powerful accelerations.

Features as listed on Mack Rides:

  • Most comfortable seats
  • No shoulder restraints
  • Automatically lowering lap bars
  • Individual layout design
  • In-Seat Multimedia Options
  • Powerful onboard motors
  • On-Board Lighting Options
  • Customizable train design
  • Interaction with show controls
  • From just 1 meter of height
  • Indoor & Outdoor capable
  • Great for Dark Ride Integration
  • High-Capacity trains
  • Great viewing angles
  • Omni-moving station available
 

Squiggs

TS Team
Looks like they could be re-visiting these plans, if so then this is likely phase 2 of The World of David Walliams, he has apparently been on park quite a lot this season. With the rumours of The Dungeons possibly closing soon i'd love to see it converted to what we see in these plans.
Those plans were not made by the park, they were made by a fan many, many years ago. Still quite fun to remember, though... I think they were by the same guy that made the Broomsticks over Gloomy Wood design.

I honestly can't see DW World expanding in any meaningful way. Potentially, the 4D Cinema or Driving School may get incorporated at some point, but I would expect the land that Flavio and the Carousel are currently no longer be part of the area if this new attraction is built.
 

Tom

TS Member
I'd be staggered if it was not marketed as thrill, even if it contained hardware more akin to family in nature (think Thirteen). It's likely going to be 6 or 7 years since Wicker Man, so not sure how they could go even longer than that without a major thrill/semi-thrill investment.
 

AT86

TS Member
I'd be staggered if it was not marketed as thrill, even if it contained hardware more akin to family in nature (think Thirteen). It's likely going to be 6 or 7 years since Wicker Man, so not sure how they could go even longer than that without a major thrill/semi-thrill investment.

I suspect the re-launch of Nemesis will be filling the ‘thrill’ gap. I know it’s not a new ride, but if there is one thing Merlin can do, it’s marketing. They’ll find a way of packaging it in a way to pull in thrill seekers.
 
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