|A promotional poster released alongside the attraction's announcement on 8 January 2018.|
|Manufacturer||Great Coasters International|
|Designer / calculations||Merlin Magic Making, John Wardley (first two drops)|
|Riders per train||24|
|Propulsion||Chain lift hill|
Wicker Man is a wooden roller coaster currently under construction at Alton Towers in the United Kingdom. It was manufactured by Great Coasters International and will open on March 17, 2018. It is the sixth operating "Secret Weapon" and was codenamed SW8 during development. The Secret Weapon line is a line of roller coasters at Alton Towers emblazoned with the Secret Weapon code name during development. This line started with SW3 (Nemesis) and has been emblazoned onto all of Alton Towers' major thrill coasters (excluding Rita) ever since. Judging by the current state of construction, the ride is likely to open at the start of Alton Towers' 2018 season in March, however nothing has been confirmed.
The Flume closed on October 10, 2015. While not revealed at the time, it would later be replaced by Wicker Man.
In March 2016, the park began teasing the ride through its Towers Loving Care Twitter page.
On May 31, 2016, Alton Towers filed for planning permission to build Wicker Man on the site of The Flume. The plans revealed that the ride would be a wooden roller coaster, and sound comparisons hinted at the ride being manufactured by Great Coasters International. The application was approved on August 24, 2016.
In December 2016, construction on the ride began with the demolition of The Flume.
On May 7, 2017, wood arrived at Alton Towers. This followed the arrival of GCI earlier in May.
On May 21, 2017, vertical construction of the ride's station track and pre-lift section began.
On May 30, 2017, vertical construction of the ride's large theming element began.
In June 2017, vertical construction of the station began.
On June 27, 2017, vertical construction of the ride's lift hill began.
In July 2017, construction on the rest of the ride began with the installation of part of the first drop.
On July 7, 2017, the ride's lift hill reached its full height. This was commemorated by the British and American flags being placed on top of the lift hill, representing the two countries involved with the project.
On August 16, 2017, Alton Towers began a new marketing campaign for the ride. This marketing campaign involved the tagline Be Chosen, some Pagan-esque runes being placed on the construction fences surrounding the ride which apparently also translate to Be Chosen and the first in a series of videos marketing the ride. The second of these videos features YouTuber Elliott Crawford and was released on August 23, 2017. The ride is also currently being marketed as a world class experience by the park.
In early September 2017, Alton Towers announced a new scare maze for the park's Scarefest event called The Welcoming. The Welcoming was heavily linked with Wicker Man.
On October 6, 2017, Alton Towers introduced a new logo depicting a burning wicker man into the ride's marketing. Also, the SW8 minisite started redirecting people to TheWelcoming.co.uk, where people were given more of an insight into the ride's story and the scare maze, including the introduction of another slogan; Feed The Flames.
On October 22, 2017, the park released another teaser featuring Elliott Crawford. This teaser featured runes teasing parts of the ride's storyline.
By the end of the park's 2017 season on November 5, 2017, the ride's queue line was being erected and most of the ride had the wooden track installed and was only awaiting the installation of the steel rails. Also, the exterior of the station and maintenance shed was mostly complete.
In late November 2017, Alton Towers released a partial time lapse video of the ride's construction. This was followed by a teaser on November 22 entitled Unite with the chosen ones.
On December 9, 2017, the European Coaster Club and multiple other sources reported that the ride made its first test run on December 7, 2017.
On December 22, 2017, Alton Towers sent out planks of wood to the media with the ride's logo on reading All will be revealed 8-1-18, confirming an announcement on January 8, 2018.
On January 8, 2018, Alton Towers announced that the ride would be named Wicker Man and that it would be the world's first roller coaster experience to fuse wood and fire. However, this claim was later removed from the marketing campaign following a complaint to the Advertising Standards Agency.
The roller coaster is planned to open on March 17.
Wicker Man features four sound tunnels during the ride; one after the lift hill, one on the first airtime hill, one during the pre-lift section and one on the brake run. It is being built on the site of the park's log flume, which closed in October 2015.
The ride's lift hill changes gradient half way up. It is stated in the plans that the lift hill gradient changes from 24 degrees to 12 degrees midway up. Whether this is to accommodate the ride's lift system or not is currently unknown. No other GCI roller coaster has a lift hill gradient change akin to this one.
In October 2017, a component was installed on the ride that is seen on GCI roller coasters with chain lift hills, proving that the ride would contain a regular chain lift hill.
British ride designer John Wardley has stated that he was involved in reprofiling the ride's initial two drops.
- on the Roller Coaster DataBase.
|Roller coasters at Alton Towers|
|Present||Galactica • Nemesis • Oblivion • Octonauts Rollercoaster Adventure • Rita • Runaway Mine Train • Smiler • Spinball Whizzer • Thirteen • Wicker Man|
|Former||4 Man Bob • Alton Mouse • Beastie • Black Hole • Corkscrew • Mini Apple • New Beast • Thunderlooper|
|Unbuilt||Secret Weapon 1 & 2 • unknown|