Thirteen vs Wicker Man; Battle of the 1.2m Secret Weapons

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Matt N, 23rd May 2021.

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Thirteen or Wicker Man?

  1. Thirteen

    11.7%
  2. Wicker Man

    88.3%
  3. Undecided

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    Hi guys. When talking about the Alton Towers Secret Weapons, the first to come to mind for many enthusiasts are the extreme behemoths with 1.4m height restrictions, like Nemesis, Oblivion and The Smiler. But an often forgotten group of Alton Towers’ Secret Weapons are the “family thrill” Secret Weapons, with 1.2m height restrictions; these are Thirteen and Wicker Man (OK, calling Wicker Man forgotten is a stretch, but it doesn’t seem to get mentioned as often by enthusiasts as the likes of Nemesis and Oblivion). So I’d be intrigued to know; which of Alton Towers’ “family thrill” Secret Weapons do you prefer?

    For me, it’s an easy vote for Wicker Man. As much as Wicker Man is the simpler, more obtuse ride experience of the two in terms of technology, I think it feels a fair bit more thrilling and vastly more fulfilling as a ride experience for me. As much as I’m not someone who necessarily thinks that a ride needs to be intense to be great fun, and I can often find that too much intensity is detrimental to a ride experience, I personally find that Wicker Man hits just the right balance for me, and its blisteringly fast pacing, smooth (well, smooth in woodie terms) curves, surprisingly strong pops of ejector airtime and general rerideability just make it float my boat a fair bit more than Thirteen does. Controversially, it’s actually my favourite coaster at Alton Towers, and one of my favourites in the UK, but that’s a story for another day!

    That’s no slight against Thirteen, however, as I do actually really like Thirteen for what it is! I think it’s very smooth, has some nice twists, turns and pops of airtime, and the drop track and backwards section are always a laugh! However, I’ve felt that it feels slower on recent rides, and I generally find it to be lacking something compared to Wicker Man; I can’t quite put my finger on what, but there’s a certain je ne sais quoi that Wicker Man has that Thirteen just doesn’t have, for me, personally.

    But which of Alton’s family thrill, 1.2m height restriction Secret Weapons do you prefer? As much as I voted WM, I know that Thirteen has its fans, and I equally know that there are many who aren’t too fond of WM, so I’m intrigued to see what people’s opinions are!
     
    Posted 23rd May 2021
    #1
  2. Danscott22

    Danscott22 TowersStreet Member

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    I do love them both, Wicker Man is currently my #2 at Alton and Thirteen is #4, I suspect Wicker Man will slide a place after my visit on Friday in favour of Oblivion unless I get put towards the back of the train, as I really don't rate Wicker Man on at least the first 6 rows. if this were to happen, that would put Wicker Man as #3 and Thirteen as #4 so my vote goes to Wicker Man (for now).
     
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    Posted 23rd May 2021
    #2
  3. Heidi

    Heidi TowersStreet Member

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    Wicker Man 100%, it's also my favourite. But I will always defend Thirteen, it gets so much hate! Front row Thirteen at Scarefest was ace, not being able to see the first drop in the dark is crazy! But overall for me WM has better themeing and all round experience and is definitely hard to beat
     
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    Posted 23rd May 2021
    #3
  4. AstroDan

    AstroDan TS Forum Team Team Member

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    Wicker Man is good. Great theming and the definition of family-thrill.

    13 is rubbish. Poor build quality of theming, badly engineered, overhyped claptrap.

    Of all the coasters at Towers, if 13 was lost in fire and flames one night I'd shed not a tear.

    Sent from my SM-G991B using Tapatalk
     
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    Posted 23rd May 2021
    #4
  5. Jb85

    Jb85 TowersStreet Member

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    Thirteen is an excellent idea very very very very poorly executed
     
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    Posted 24th May 2021
    #5
  6. RoyJess

    RoyJess TowersStreet Member

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    For me, a woodie will always win hands down over a steel coaster any day.

    I do like Thirteen theming, but again I think the Wickerman theming tops Thirteen's
     
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    Posted 24th May 2021
    #6
  7. jon81uk

    jon81uk TowersStreet Member

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    What if we added the vertical drop element from Thirteen to Wickerman!
     
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    Posted 24th May 2021
    #7
  8. Burbs

    Burbs TowersStreet Team Team Member

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    Same here. Who needs something like Helix when you've got Blue Flyer?!

    ;)
     
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    Posted 24th May 2021
    #8
  9. s_g_k

    s_g_k TowersStreet Member

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    Hands down Wickerman. For me, Thirteen just feels way too over-engineered and gimmicky. The basic ideas of it are good but I think it was just poorly executed. If each main element was “bigger” then it would have been a much better coaster.
     
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    Posted 24th May 2021
    #9
  10. Ethan

    Ethan TowersStreet Member

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    Wicker man or Th13teen. Hmmm. For me it's spinball whizzer
     
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  11. Danscott22

    Danscott22 TowersStreet Member

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    I do think Thirteen gets far too much hate, it's definitely not the worst coaster on park (for me anyway) - in fact it doesn't even come close to being the worst on park. All subjective though I guess.
     
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  12. jon81uk

    jon81uk TowersStreet Member

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    Thirteen and Oblivion have similar issues in that the ride centres around a gimmick, a vertical drop.
    It's just overall Oblivion although being the shorter ride offers the more intimating thrilling experience.
    I think Thirteens issue is the rest of the ride always just feels like it could have been longer, the pre-drop section in the woods could have been twice as long.
     
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  13. Ethan

    Ethan TowersStreet Member

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    What's your least favourite? Rita or galactica may I guess
     
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  14. Jonathan

    Jonathan TowersStreet Member

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    I've always said part of Th13teen's problem is that it's a decent ride, but the marketing was out-of-place for what it is. Having said that, I can't disagree with the comments about the first section in the woods potentially being a bit longer.
     
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  15. Tibble

    Tibble TowersStreet Member

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    You may be top of the suspect list if that does happen

    I like the idea of thirteen and the ending and station is great. But I think the styling and the rest of the ride is poorly done. I think they were so excited by the ending the rest of the coaster was rushed and poorly executed to the point where I get bored.

    Whereas I think Wickerman is a great ride with great theming round it. It feels more immersive and very nippy.
     
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  16. Danscott22

    Danscott22 TowersStreet Member

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    Of the Big 7, it' currently Rita, although a bad ride on Nemesis would immediately place it last again as Nemesis has typically always been my least favourite.

    Back to Thirteen though, I just love the drop track element too much to justify putting it lower than #4. I think the drop track has some force to it at least, particularly compared to how tame the rest of the layout is.
     
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  17. John

    John TowersStreet Member

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    I'd be interested to see someone try to make the case for Thirteen being the better of the two, it's just not in the same league as Wicker Man IMO. OK the drop is a cool feature but there's not enough actual coaster to flesh it out.

    Thirteen ranks way below Spinball for me, a distant third of the 1.2m coasters. WM isn't the best GCI I've done but they rarely make a bad ride (just InvadR, really).
     
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  18. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    In fairness, even though I lean strongly on Wicker Man’s side, personally, I could certainly see why someone might prefer Thirteen. Some reasons I can think of include:
    • Thirteen’s smoother (although that’s no criticism of WM; I’d personally say WM is still about as smooth as it gets for a traditional woodie).
    • Thirteen’s a bit longer, or at least feels it.
    • It has a “proper” first drop, if you like, as opposed to Wicker Man’s more gradual descent across a couple of dips.
    • It’s a bit more “techy” than Wicker Man, with the drop track and backwards section adding that little bit of something different that Wicker Man perhaps lacks. Some might find that a bit more interesting.
    • Some might find Wicker Man too intense, and find that Thirteen floats their boat more intensity-wise.
     
  19. Ethan

    Ethan TowersStreet Member

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    I disagree with this one. I think Th13teen has more intense moments than WM. Wicker man really lacks force imo and that's its only letdown
     
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  20. AstroDan

    AstroDan TS Forum Team Team Member

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    Th13teen is depressing. Riding it is a chore. It's hidden out the way. The theming is rotting. The throughput is a shadow of its true capability and the ride's coaster section is basically a Mack Young Star with less twists.

    The only point of any quality is the drop track, but beyond that it's a fairly slow corner.

    Honestly, I think Th13teen is just rubbish on multiple levels. It is the only ATR coaster (except Octonauts for obvious reasons) that I have not bothered with since early last season.
     
    Last edited: 24th May 2021
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