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Alton Towers reveals its SW8 project - a GCI coaster named 'Wicker Man'

January 8, 2018, 4:48 PM · England's Alton Towers this spring will open the first wooden roller coaster to debut in the United Kingdom in more than 21 years — Wicker Man.

Designed by Great Coasters International, the £16 million Wicker Man is the long-discussed "SW8" project that Alton Towers started building in late 2016 with the demolition of The Flume. The centerpiece of the new coaster will be a 57-foot "Wicker Man" that will appear to burst into flames as coaster trains run through it.

The GCI coaster will be the first wooden coaster in the UK since CCI's Megafobia opened at Oakwood in 1996.

Wicker Man will run along 2,028 feet of track and the theme — for Americans unfamiliar with the history of Celtic paganism — is the large wicker effigy that ancient Druids would burn as a sacrifice. (In other words, it's Burning Man 1.0.) An Iron Maiden song and a 1973 cult British horror film also have featured the "Wicker Man" title.

In other UK coaster news, Blackpool Pleasure Beach announced that it has removed its wooden Wild Mouse coaster to clear space for future development.

Blackpool Pleasure Beach is opening a double-launch Mack Rides coaster named Icon this spring.

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Replies (7)

January 8, 2018 at 5:25 PM · Sweet. Alton Towers has needed a wooden coaster since like, forever.

I didn't ride the mouse at Blackpool, it didn't look like I was missing much.

January 9, 2018 at 12:44 AM · Whilst the Wild Mouse at Blackpool was a challenge to ride, (it was violent and rough and you took your life in your hands) it was one of a vanishingly small number of 'original' wild mouse coasters left in the world so it's loss is a great blow to the historical coaster community.
January 9, 2018 at 9:43 AM · Looks quite intersting, though alton towers are marketing it as the first roller coaster to mix wood and fire- seems a bit disapointing compared to 14 loops or first drop coaster. Will have to wait and see what it turns out like.
January 9, 2018 at 10:36 AM · Given how that movie ends, this idea is in very bad taste.
January 9, 2018 at 10:37 AM · A wooden roller coaster with apparent flame effects.... what could possibly go wrong here? Just kidding :-) This actually sounds pretty cool!
January 9, 2018 at 11:02 AM · I've been following this with interest and it is indeed good to see a wooden coaster at Alton Towers. I would have hoped for something a bit taller and more in the extreme thrill category but this park's zoning restrictions might have made that a challenge. (Unless things change drastically you won't find a hypercoaster at AT.) Also, perhaps the park specifically wanted something that would be family friendly. Alton Towers has an interesting mix of coasters, about half of which are family friendly and the other half of which (most notably The Smiler) are most decidedly not.
January 9, 2018 at 1:26 PM · I've seen everyone clamoring to say this theme is awful, but what they don't recognize is that it isn't themed around either of the films, but rather the general idea of The Wicker Man and the rituals that have surrounded it.

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