Alton Towers VIP Press Event for Wickerman
So where do we start with this one, well we were invited to attend the preview night of the Wickerman and what an event it was.
It all started with a coach trip from the Alton Towers hotel down to the park and in via one of the sides entrances into Mutiny Bay. From the very start of the very short coach trip we were being entertained by the roaming characters, they were extremely good throughout the event.
As we arrive the lights, fire and lasers are at full tilt, the soundtrack for Wickerman is blasting and the atmosphere is alive. As we walk to the main entrance plaza of The Wickerman we are greeted by what I can only describe as one of the best-looking coasters in the UK, I would even go to say one of the best in Europe. It honestly feels like we are at a Disney park it looks absolutely outstanding, pictures and vlogs do not do this ride justice.
The actual overall look of the ride is stunning. I must admit I did not have high hopes for this ride and I was absolutely gutted when the closure of the log flume was announced. But what a ride to replace it, we couldn’t have asked for anything better. As we walk around the ride and take it all in we are greeted by all the entertainment team and they really are adding to the whole atmosphere. As we take the ride in it doesn’t feel like we are in the Uk at all, it’s not like anything we have seen before here at Alton, anyway its time for a ride lets make our way to the entrance and see what this coaster rides like.
As we make our way along the empty queue line it’s apparent there are a lot of great places to watch this coaster, it’s not like some queue line’s, this is very open with great views of the coaster, it is a long queue line but that is to be excepted. Just before the baggage drop off area, there is a fantastic viewing point of the coaster where you can watch it going up the lift hill and when it runs through the actual Wickerman structure.
As just mentioned the next area is the baggage drop off, once that is cleared you make your way into the pre-show area.
The pre-show is great, consist of a short projection video to tell the background of the Wickerman and that you are the chosen one.
Straight after this the doors open, and we get our first look at the station platform and the trains themselves. A lot of effort has gone into this. The station is very well themed, and the trains look fantastic, up to now I have not found a negative to say about the coaster. The lighting within the station area works well and the soundtrack fits perfectly.
First ride of the Wickerman and we get the back row, this should be good.
Well, what can I say this is a fabulous coaster, it has beaten all my expectation’s, as you leave the station it’s a banked drop down to the right and into a smoke-filled tunnel where you make your way to the left hand turn to start the climb up the lift hill. The soundtrack to the coaster is playing all the way up the lift hill and looking down on the rest of the coaster is a delight. We now turn round to the left enter the next smoke filled tunnel where we make our way to the first drop.
Wow, here we go, the coaster is very smooth but at the same time it still throws you from left to right, picking up speed all the time, it’s so much faster than I excepted. It picks up pockets of airtime and still picking up speed. The banked turns really do help to keep the pace of this coaster. The head chopper moments are fantastic as you pass through the actual Wickerman structure, speeding past the fire and smoke effects. This is on a Dry track with half a train load, this is going to be really really quick on a damp day with a full train, ore first ride comes to a stop as we return back to the station. There is a little surprise as we make our way back to the station, but I will leave that for you to find out for yourselves.
All in all this is an all round fabulous coaster, Alton Towers and GCI have worked very well. Hopefully this is a start to some more amazing coasters in years to come.
The only negative I can say about this coaster is the lack of big air time, but honestly, it doesn’t miss it too much, but if have add a negative this is it.
It runs extremely fast on a full train and feels like a different coaster when sitting on the back row and the front row.
I now looking forward to riding it the daytime to see what the differences are. Just with the fire smoke and lights this coaster is most definitely a night-time coaster and will look amazing during Scarefest and fireworks.
It’s a strong 4 out of 5 from us.
Speak soon Chris