United Kingdom (Abbreviation: AT)
Merlin Entertainment Group
---- THE LATEST BUZZ ----
(9/2/2023) Nemesis Construction Update (MORE...)
(8/3/2023) Alton Towers Says Two Attraction Closed For the Rest of the Season (MORE...)
(7/23/2023) Nemesis: The Next Mutation (MORE...)
(6/21/2023) Nemesis Construction Update (MORE...)
Park News - (9/2/2023) A new construction update from Theme Park Worldwide reports that the installation of the new version of Nemesis supports and track is now nearly complete. Scaffolding for the painters to upgrade the look of the lift hill and brake-run is also in place, as those track sections were not required to be replaced for the rebuild. With the reopening not slated to take place until March 2024, Alton Towers has plenty of time to finish up the project.
(8/3/2023) According to an announcement made by Alton Towers, the park has confirmed that Hex and Skyride will now remain closed for the rest of the 2023 season. Teams have been working to get these attractions up and running, but the park has made the tough decision to keep them closed, saying “this step is essential for the long-term delivery of these attractions. This will allow us to carry out extended maintenance on Skyride, which is required to help us preserve the experience for the future. We continue to invest in Hex – The Legend of the Towers, as we know this is a much-loved attraction. The extended closure will help support our teams carry out maintenance work and training on the ride. I want to assure you that our teams are working hard to bring this back as soon as we are able.”
(5/29/2023) Alton Towers reopened the Nemesis Sub-Terra attraction with a fun little bit of drama as Phalanx was on hand to announce the reopening of the Phalanx Research Facility (see the below). A number of the usual park bloggers were covering the event, but I haven’t seen any footage of the revised attraction experience itself, so I imagine that the park is banning all cameras while still weaving the threads of the story they are telling with the Phalanx and the rebuilding of the original Nemesis coaster.
(5/20/2023) After sitting dark and silent for the past eight years, Alton Towers has confirmed that the Nemesis Sub-Terra attraction will reopen to guests on May 27th.
The short-lived attraction first opened way back in 2012 as a spin-off of the Nemesis story, with guests entering a Phalanx facility where a Nemesis “egg” had been discovered deep underground. Of course, guests are loaded onto a set of four benches surrounding a chamber in order to view the egg, which appears ready to hatch at any moment. In typical theme park fashion, things so horrible wrong, the benches drop into another chamber about 2 stories underground where more chaos follows as the creature attacks. The lifts return to the surface, guests are then rushed into a series of escape events featuring live actors to try and get back out into the safety of daylight.
Unfortunately, in the wake of budget cuts following the incident on the Smiler roller coaster, Nemesis Sub-Terra and several other park attractions were cut from the park’s operational budget, closing it in late 2015. Since it featured a number of live actors to bring the attraction to life, Nemesis Sub-Terra was an easy target for the budget axe. Fortunately, with the rest of Alton Towers going into an entire season without the popular Nemesis roller coaster, it only makes sense to bring back a revamped Sub-Terra experience that can help tie-into the story the park is promoting this season featuring the Phalanx group and why the Nemesis roller coaster is being reconstructed.
(12/22/2022) A trailer for an upcoming documentary about the creation of Alton Tower’s original Haunted House attraction can be seen below. I’m not sure exactly when it will be released, but the trailer does promise it sometime in 2023.
2023 - The Curse at Alton Manor - (5/29/2023) For anyone interested (Spoilers!), a nice 4K video showing off the new Curse at Alton Manor dark ride experience can be seen below. Overall the experience seems very creepy, very dark and loaded with both practical and projection based effects to create a fantastic looking supernatural realm. Take a look and see what you think.
(2/19/2023) TowersTimes reports that ahead of the launch of the new “The Curse at Alton Manor” dark ride attraction, giant creepy doll houses have begun appearing throughout London in an awesome bit of viral marketing. The new attraction is set to open to guests in just one month on March 18th and will feature a new storyline featuring the character of Emily Alton from the park’s original version of the Haunted House attraction that predates Duel.
Readers know I’m a big fan of haunts and dark rides, so I’m loving all this attention and teasing about what is expected to be a cutting edge new haunted dark ride experience. TowersTimes was invited to a preview of the giant doll house experience, tucked away in the middle of no-where, and served as a mini scare-hour walk-through tour full of easter eggs about what the The Curse at Alton Manor is going to be about.
(1/28/2023) Alton Towers has revealed the name for their latest attraction: The Curse at Alton Manor. The new haunted house / dark ride promises to take riders deeper into the dark past of Alton Manor. More details are expected to be released sometime next month, though it’s been said a number of hints as to the story can be seen in the promotional image the park has released.
(1/7/2023) The latest video update from Coaster Chall goes over what we can likely expect from Alton Tower’s efforts to transform Duel into what is now expected to be something more like the park’s original 1992 Haunted House but modernized and with a completely new storyline.
Alton Towers has been making headlines as of late for a large number of projects taking place at the park right now. This includes the refurbishment of Duel into a new Haunted House for 2023, the recent closing of the park’s iconic Nemesis roller coaster for a complete rebuild to open in 2024, and planning applications for a new £12.5 million indoor attraction project under the codename, “Project Horizon” likely to open in 2025.
(10/9/22) More fun signs have been posted around the walls of the closed “The Duel” attraction at Alton Towers. They feature a similar message saying that the property has been repossessed and “no unwanted visitors” along with a phone number to call. Of course in a fun wink-wink enhancement, many of the letters on the posts have been double-printed with red ink, to relay the messages “Possessed” and “Want To Play”.
As the number is an international one, I haven’t called it myself, but I’m curious if anyone has recorded it and posted it online yet somewhere.
(9/8/22) Duel is now closed at Alton Towers and a sign has appeared on the closed gate outside that now says, “Property Repossessed”.
(9/5/22) Some interesting things are starting to happen at Alton Towers it seems. For starters, something is happening within the Duel dark ride. According to the Towers Times a photo frame containing an odd message has now appeared within the queue, “06-09=The Duel is over” at the top in a proper print font, and below that in hand-written scrawl it says , “This is my house”.
The assumption is that Duel may close for some kind of change on September 6th that could bring an end to the current form of the attraction. Duel did not open as it currently runs, as the article reports that the attraction first opened simply as “The Haunted House” back in 1992. In 2003 the attraction was upgraded with some new scenes and the addition of the interactive laser guns and zombie theme that it currently has, and promoted as “Duel - The Haunted House Strikes Back!”. What exactly Merlin has planned for Duel is anyone’s guess right now, as they could upgrade and keep the attraction as an interactive concept. However, as the message clearly states that “The Duel is over”, this could also signal a return of the attraction to being a pure dark ride experience, with the scares cranked up to 11.
If that wasn’t enough, drop on tower to see what else may be taking place in the years to come during and after the proposed Nemesis rebuild.
2024 - Nemesis 2.0 - (7/23/2023) Theme Park Worldwide has posted a new video showcasing the construction progress on rebuilding Nemesis at Alton Towers. They have also noticed some interesting design changes to the trackwork on the new Nemesis, particularly on the vertical loop, which now has thicker spine sections to connect to the supports, and that the inversion is actually made up from three different track segments, where formerly it was done with two longer segments. So clearly B&M did choose to re-engineer the track from the designs used for the original version.
(6/22/2023) Coaster Studios has posted a new Nemesis update after a recent visit to the park. As we’ve seen before, more of the new black track with the red veins has been put into place as the crews look to take advantage of the summer weather. Lots of fun teaser signs are now up along the pathways, some from the Phalanx and others telling guests to “#SeekTheTruth” and uncover what is really going on behind the Nemesis mystery.
Now I’m going to say what everyone has been saying… while the track looks pretty slick and cool right now, what it is going to look like by next year when Nemesis reopens? How will it look 5 years from now? Roller coaster track does fade under the sun, and I’m not so sure they’ll be able to repaint those red veins back on when the time comes, or at least not in quite such detail. So I am quite curious what Alton Towers’ long term plan is.
(6/12/2023) A great video has been posted showcasing a view of the entire Nemesis construction site as it currently looks, along with a look at all the track parts now stored on site, along with a look at the rest of the Forbidden Valley section of the park.
(4/29/2023) The Phalanx forces are back at Alton Towers to mark the arrival of the first new pieces of Nemesis roller coaster track as part of the refurbishment of the park’s epic ride. Gone is the old light grey track and instead we see new pieces of dark black track arriving on site, complete with deep blood red veins painting along the side that just make it look completely creepy.
According to Screamscape sources, the new track pieces have been quietly arriving in the UK from the track fabricator in the US for weeks now, but to keep from spoiling the surprise f the new look, the track segments have been arriving just with a plain black paint job and were stored at an off-site location about 15-20 miles away in the Derbyshire area. We can only assume that this is where the custom paint theming is being applied to the track segments by local artists before being shipped to the theme park for installation over the 2023 season.
A few weeks ago Screamscape was sent some pictures (see below) of the new track arriving in the UK, but hearing that a bigger reveal with extra theming was on the horizon, I opted to hold off a bit until now.
(1/1/2023) Pictures showing off a load of black painted B&M track sitting at the plant in Ohio have been posted to Facebook by TowersTimes. They believe the track could possibly be new track destined for the rebuild of Nemesis at Alton Towers, but this would also indicate a major color change for Nemesis, which was previously a more natural grey color with dirty/dark splotches all across it.
So far only three B&M coasters are being built for 2023 (Legoland Germany, SeaWorld Orlando and Chessington) and none of them have black track, so if this isn’t for Nemesis, then it would be for another yet-to-be-announced 2024 coaster project. Otherwise a color shift wouldn’t be completely out of the realm for the reborn Nemesis, as sister coaster Nemesis Inferno at Thorpe Park was build with black supports and dark red/crimson looking track.
(10/23/22) Alton Towers has now posted details for a last-ride event for Nemesis that will give you the chance to ride the park’s most popular coaster with the ride’s creator, John Wardley. Currently Nemesis is under the control of The Phalanx, a secret organization tasked with keeping the beast under control. As told through the story of the ride, the roller coaster is actually a complex device built to pin down the actual Nemesis beast. A final list of test specimens are to be selected to brave Nemesis on the final ride day on November 6th.
After this, Nemesis will close down an undergo ‘an exciting revamp’ before it can return to service in 2024. If you have what it takes to become one of the final riders, you can nominate yourself to take the last ride here where winners will apparently be chosen by The Phalanx at random.
(9/23/22) Alton Towers has confirmed that you have until November 6th to ride Nemesis before they shut it down to undergo extensive track replacement. They have also confirmed that this renovation project will keep Nemesis closed for the entire 2023 season, and not see the coaster reopen until 2024.
(1/25/22) Back when Universal Orlando chose to tear down and completely rebuild their Incredible Hulk coaster from B&M, it was somewhat of a unique event. At the time, no one had ever just kind of come out to say that they felt their coaster had reached the end of it’s lifespan so quickly and needed to be replaced, after opening in 1999 and then shutting down the original coaster in September 2015 to replace it with a new copy of Hulk that opened in August of 2016.
While we’ve seen many coasters replace sections of track in the off-season over the years, a process especially well known to fans of The Big One at Blackpool Pleasure Beach, about the only other time I can recall a coaster being taken down and entirely rebuilt from the ground up would be when Disneyland did it to Space Mountain, closing the 1977 ride in 2003 and replacing it with a modern built version that opened in 2005.
Now you are probably wondering why I am bringing all this up on our Alton Towers news page. This is because Merlin and Alton Towers have submitted plans to do nearly the same thing to the park’s extremely popular Nemesis coaster (also from B&M). Nemesis first opened in early 1994 and has now submitted plans to remove and replace the majority of Nemesis’ track (they are keeping just the station and lift hill) along with the majority of the ride’s support pieces.
The layout will be kept the same, but the track pieces will be filled with sand this time, which is now a common method of making the coaster run quietly, which is sure to please the neighbors.
Keep in mind that the application to perform this work was just submitted, so the park still needs final approval to go ahead with it. Assuming this is approved, and I don’t see why it wouldn’t, then if I had to guess we may need Nemesis close sometime later this year in order to get it rebuilt in time to reopen for the 2023 season if possible. Or at least we hope it will be ready to roll again in 2023. It took nearly a year to replace Hulk and given the way that Nemesis interacts with the ground and surrounding landscape, replacing it may end up being a bit more complex.
2025 - New Indoor Attraction / Project Horizon - (2/19/2023) According to an update posted to TowersTimes, Alton Towers was approved to move forward with their large new indoor attraction project, aka: Project Horizon. As before, I believe the timeline on this wouldn’t see it open until 2025. Follow to link to read more details about what the structure itself will likely look like from the outside, as well as the placement of it in the park.
(11/23/22) The latest word on the proposed new indoor coaster project for Alton Towers (referred to as Project Horizon) is that construction on the large building for the indoor ride is set to begin in Spring 2023 and the ride is expected to open in Spring 2025.
(11/6/2022) According to a post by TowersTimes, the new indoor Project Horizon planning application mentions that the new attraction inside would be some kind of indoor roller coaster. A family friendly indoor coaster would be a good fit for the park that has been without such an offering ever since they closed Black Hole in 2005.
(9/5/22) In other news it has come to light that Alton Towers will “hold a public exhibition event” on September 19th featuring proposals to add a new indoor attraction on the former site of Alton Mouse in the former Coaster Corner section of the park. According to the limited information in the leaflets, the proposal will be for a new attraction building on the site. As for the location, Towers Times mentions that guests have not had access to the former Coaster Corner area since 1992, following the removal of the 4 Man Bob and Alton Mouse from the area, and the relocation of Alton Beast to the Forbidden Valley area as “The New Beast”. Noise from the outdoor rides in this area was always an issue with the locals, so the area has sat unused for many years, so building a new indoor attraction should be a viable solution to breathe new life into the site. A new video on the CoasterChall channel also discusses this new development in further details (see below).
In other news a post to Twitter shows off markings on the ground in the park said to be placed just outside of the Enterprise ride, hinting that it could be related to an SW9 project.
Keep in mind that the park is also planning on closing Nemesis for a complete rebuild that will likely see Nemesis closed for all of 2023 to reopen in 2024, so between Nemesis, Duel, and this new indoor ride project, and whatever SW9 turns out to be… there a lot of activity being planned for Alton Towers all at once.