A while back we were discussing theme park attractions based on horror movies and characters. We gave the top spot to a ride based on the Saw franchise here in the UK, reflecting that such a ride would never have been allowed in any Disney or Universal park in the US. Well, if we made any international readers jealous – have a look at what the UK’s top theme park have unveiled. It’s a ride themed around the imagery found in legendary horror film The Wicker Man.
Wicker Man is an upcoming wooden roller coaster at Alton Towers in Staffordshire, set to open in the next six months. The attraction is set to be the park’s first wooden roller coaster, and the UK’s first new wooden roller coaster in 21 years. It’s final design was only released recently, part of the park’s marketing tradition of keeping new rides under heavy secrecy and ‘Secret Weapon’ code names.
The highlight of the ride will be a six-story wicker man, which might explain the price tag of over £16 million which was spent on the attraction. Alton Towers is build on historic grounds, and have previously worked the history of it’s surroundings into attractions such as HEX and Th13teen. This time around, riders be immersed into the world of the Beornen, a secret community that live in the nearby woods surrounding the theme park.
The Wicker Man himself will have a human face on one side and a ram’s head on the other. Publicity pictures teasing the nature of the forthcoming attraction include artwork created by illustrator Kyle Lambert – who horror fans will know as the artist behind the imagery for award-winning show Stranger Things.
Other marketing included the spooky cult-like branding of The Wicker Man logo on the London Eye.
Some horror fans however, are not impressed with the attraction. Writing for The Guardian, Stuart Heritage slammed the decision to adapt a slow burning horror film into a fast-paced ride. “A chilling, folky, doom-laden meditation on the consequences of unchecked religion now shares a form of entertainment with Professor Burp’s Bubbleworks. The indignity. It’s a move akin to making a Rosemary’s Baby board game, or a Don’t Look Now inflatable bouncy castle set.” he explained.
However, Alton Towers are confident in the project, Bradley Wynne, Creative Lead said – “We hope visitors will be blown away by Wicker Man’s breath-taking scale whilst the primal essence of the wooden coaster and astonishing effects will leave them delighted, exhilarated and eager to ride again.”
What’s your take on the new attraction? Do you think it takes away from the original film, or will you be riding this impressive wooden creation on your next visit?
You can check out new drone footage of the ride in action below, and find more info on Alton Tower’s site.