As it's now looking like Project Horizon may well not be SW9 after all, I thought I'd resurrect this thread with some new food for thought.
Some may remember that back in 2019, the park performed KPI surveys asking how highly guests rated two rides on park; Nemesis
. Here's a post from 2019 to jog your memory; I could have sworn there was one with an actual picture of the KPI screen, but I can't find it. Sorry about that:
If there's any Nemesis fans here - and i know there is, you might want to fill out the surverys in the tablets in the Alton Towers shops. There's two questions about "How well do you rate the following rides", the only two options there are Nemesis and Rita.
I hear you asking "What does some old feedback survey from 2019 have to do with SW9, Matt?". In fairness, I can understand your confusion, but entertain me for a second, as I have a theory.
The important thing to note is that at the time, many construed this KPI question as scoping out guest opinions on two rides that could potentially have been removed to make way for SW9.
However, here's where it gets a little more relevant.
was one of the two rides referenced in this feedback survey. As most of you know, Nemesis' future was assured in January 2022 when Alton Towers revealed their plans to retrack it in its entirety. However, this was not always the plan... John Wardley revealed in his August 2022 Q&A with Attraction Source
that Alton Towers asked him "quite a few years back" about what they should replace Nemesis with
. John said that he was willing to be involved with a Nemesis replacement if that was what they wanted, but he recommended that they got people's opinion on removing Nemesis first
. Public opinion was overwhelmingly against the removal of Nemesis, and that was what ultimately decided the retrack:
(If the timestamp doesn't work, go to 22:20
My theory was; could this survey from 2019 be the public survey about Nemesis' removal that John was referring to? It would certainly line up with the timescale he indicates, and it most certainly asked about public opinions on Nemesis.
At first glance, I'm conscious that that probably still sounds totally irrelevant to SW9. However, with John's response to this Q&A question and the reveal of the Nemesis retrack, I find the presence of Rita
in that survey ringing intriguing alarm bells, in hindsight.
My theory is; with Rita being grouped alongside Nemesis in a survey that could quite possibly have been concerning the latter's removal, could the park be planning to remove Rita to free up a site for SW9, if and when it arrives? Nemesis and Rita are certainly an odd pairing if the topic wasn't on the removal of either ride, and given that Nemesis has now been saved for another few decades, that only leaves Rita's site as the potential SW9 area.
I'm aware that Project Horizon likely wasn't planned at this point, and COVID also hadn't happened, but even still; could this provide weight to the theory that the park has actively considered the removal of Rita
? And could this also add considerable weight to the idea of Rita being removed for SW9
, if and when it arrives? The theory of removing Rita for SW9 had often been dismissed as wishful thinking from enthusiasts in the past, but if we join the dots of John's Q&A response and that 2019 survey, could the Rita removal for SW9 theory be less unfounded than previously thought?
I apologise, as I'm aware that I probably come across a bit of a rambling, incoherent mess here, but I just thought I'd offer some possible food for thought on SW9 now that we have some new evidence since the topic was last discussed.