Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Craig, 14th Mar 2018.
They stopped sending people via the fire exit who want to skip the pre show in late 2019.
It's never guaranteed and from experience, staff generally will ask you to move on if you request it.
I had no intention of asking; I’m hoping to get it by chance through assigned seating! I know it seems a long shot, but I’ve had the front row twice out of 6 total rides on Wicker Man since it opened back in 2018, so luck of the draw can put you in a surprisingly desirable (to some) seat!
Think I saw that happen to someone in front of us when I last rode. Then my group of 5 got allocated the back rows.
I sat at the very back and it was surprisingly super smooth!
@Matt N let me know what you think if you manage to get it.
Ik ive already mentioned this but out the of all the wicker man screens which returned this season which wasn’t all of them but it was a lot, how over half of them have now been taken out again, ik it’s something small but it looks a bit stupid with holes in the structure. The smiler has lots of screens outside but they are pretty much always working so why do the screens for wicker man keep getting removed?
The effects are very hit and miss on Wicker Man I notice. It’s a shame that almost all the screens have now been removed, or those which are left seem to be turned off.
At the weekend there was only one screen working on the whole structure.
Also the fire is off more than it’s on. Sunday was the first day I’ve seen both sides of the fire on since the start of the season. You often get the right hand side on (near the queue) and the other side off. But more than not both are off.
I've had the back row 3 or 4 times this season I can say it's hands down the best row by a long shot, I do also enjoy every other row though, but I will say if you're sensitive to the joltyness of a wooden coaster that's less noticeable towards the front.
On a random note, I was thinking to myself the other day; where were different bits of The Flume with regard to the current Wicker Man ride area? I’ll admit that now WM has been open for a good 3 years, and it’s been nearly 5 years since The Flume was standing on the area, I’m struggling to place what different areas of the Wicker Man site were home to when the area held The Flume.
I know that not much of The Flume actually encroached upon WM’s present area, as most of it was in the woods, and one of the stipulations of WM being built was that the wooded section of The Flume would return to how it was prior to 1981.
However, am I correct in remembering that The Flume’s station turntable was situated roughly where the initial section of switchback queue within the turnaround is now, as I seem to remember that the first big turnaround between the first and second Wicker Man pass throughs was actually originally designed to encircle The Flume’s station, with the building being kept?
I also feel like the first bit of The Flume before the first lift hill was roughly where WM’s extended queue line now resides, but I could be wrong there.
I’m struggling to place the rest of it (e.g. the final drop, the first lift hill) though… can anyone else remember roughly what bits of the WM area held when the area held The Flume? I’m not wondering for any particular reason; I’m merely intrigued!
Yes it is the same spot. Download Google Earth Pro (the program rather than the Google Earth web version) and you can turn on a time line of pictures. The latest clear picture of the area is when it is being built but the general extremities of the layout are visible. Move the timeline slider back to 6/2013 - the last picture of the flume running - and you'll see the station is pretty much exactly where the queue line and turnaround bit is.
Also look at POVs of the flume and you'll see most of the conifers the trough goes around between the station and the first lift hill are still there in the extension part of the WM's queue.
On a side note; what are everyone’s general thoughts on Wicker Man 3 years on from its opening? Have the good reviews from opening stuck, or has the novelty of having a wooden rollercoaster at Alton Towers worn off? I’d say that 3 years is a sufficient amount of time for any novelty factor/“new ride hype” to wear off, as well as for the comparisons with Icon to stop, so the general opinion of WM now may be a fairly good indicator of how it’s reviewed in the long term.
Personally, Wicker Man has grown on me since 2018, if anything!
When I first got off Wicker Man in 2018, I have to admit that I was absolutely floored by it, given that prior to riding, I was very much psyched up for a family coaster in the same vein as Thirteen! I was very impressed; the ride had massively exceeded expectations, and I placed the ride about level with Megafobia as my favourite woodie (after getting off, I was honestly unsure which I preferred, which I certainly wasn’t expecting), but I did have some very minor niggles with the coaster itself. I didn’t feel that the ride was quite as intense as Megafobia, and the ride seemed to lack airtime other than in 1 or 2 sections. The ride did later grow on me as the season went on, and did cement itself a place slightly above Megafobia as my favourite wooden coaster, but these niggles still remained.
I was unable to ride Wicker Man at all in 2019, as the ride’s chain lift was broken on my one and only visit of 2019, so I had gone nearly 2 years without a ride on Wicker Man by the time I got back on in July 2020. I was rather worried before riding that the coaster wouldn’t live up to 2018, and that the novelty would have worn off, but I shouldn’t have been, because the ride seemed drastically improved, and better than ever! The two main niggles I had with Wicker Man in 2018 seemed to have been resolved, as the ride packed some amazing moments of intensity, and a fair few surprisingly strong pops of airtime seemed to come out of nowhere! I was stunned; the ride comfortably beat any prior rating I had of it out of the water, and it reclaimed the title of my favourite wooden coaster back from Mine Blower at Fun Spot Kissimmee, which did briefly take the title away from Wicker Man when I visited Florida in 2019! As well as that, the ride was vying with Icon for my favourite UK coaster overall after those stunningly good rides; Icon just topped it in the end for me, as it’s a bit more my style, but Wicker Man shocked me that day!
Since then, I’ve had a hugely greater love of Wicker Man, and the ride seems to have improved a lot! Even my front row ride in April 2021 was absolutely awesome; while not quite as strong as my July 2020 rides, it still hit all of the right notes for me! So I’d certainly say that my love of Wicker Man was never based on novelty or new ride hype!
But what are your thoughts on Wicker Man 3 years on?
I'd say the true longevity of the popularity of a ride is best considered once it is no longer the newest at a park. It still is the new thing, what with there being no new things (of note), so it is still the new thing most people will be attracted to. It is still very popular, there's no denying that.
My thoughts remain as they did 3 years ago. It's a missed opportunity to put a properly good wooden coaster in the UK. If its a stepping stone for either Merlin or another operator to have the confidence to go full scale with wood then it'll have been a success. If this turns out to be the peak of woodie we are going to see it's even more of a shame that the opportunity was wasted.
The obvious next step from Wickerman is an RMC. However theres lots of things at Towers that should be higher priority than a coaster (flats and full family dark rides). When the time comes a launched RMC to replace Rita seems like a no brainer.
Next step for a wooden coaster at a Merlin park would probably be at Thorpe park, but I think Saw took up quite a bit of the possible location for one.
I reckon one would easily fit on the Logger’s site, as it’s worth remembering that Logger’s Leap has been removed since the original proposal (well, closed permanently, at least). It’s a surprisingly big area.
A bit off topic. But I would of preferred a wooden coaster and a log flume at Thorpe. A nice out and back along the old railway tracks (probably wouldn't fit though).
Looks like some more retracking may be on the cards. White marks at the bottom of the dip between tunnels and immediately after the second fly through.
Was on Park today. Joined the queue for Wickerman around 2pm and it was advertised at 50 minutes but we only ended up queuing 40 minutes due to the most efficient operations I’ve seen at AT in a long time. We were batched onto the back row purely because the ride hosts were searching the queue for a couple, and we were so glad we ended up on the back row! The speed and the airtime was insane and I was so happy that all the smoke and lighting effects were running well, even the first tunnel before the lift hill was filled with smoke. There was so much smoke being pumped into the tunnels that we came out stinking of the stuff. Absolutely loved it! I’ve only ridden it 2 or 3 times but I always forget how intense it is, which was amplified today by being on the back row and having all the smoke machines operating as they should!
I also got row 12 yesterday, for the first time ever, and I concur; it was absolutely insane! The airtime was stupidly intense in places, the ride was hurling us round corners at what felt like breakneck speed, and even though I’m not usually a screamer on rides, I quite honestly screamed my way round back row Wicker Man!
And although I’m raving about row 12, my two other rides on row 4 were honestly insanely good as well!
My experience on Wicker Man yesterday was quite honestly my favourite I’ve ever had on it, and I’m undecided as to whether it or Icon is my favourite UK coaster!
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