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Alton Towers to open groundbreaking thrill attraction in spring

Alton Towers Resort has announced its latest ground-breaking thrill attraction set to open in the spring, named Wicker Man.

Wicker Man is the UK's first new wooden rollercoaster experience in 21 years and comes with a globally unique twist - bringing together wood and fire for the very first time. A Wicker Man structure standing at 57.57ft (17.55m) tall - the height of a six-storey building - will dominate the very centre of Alton Towers Resort, appearing to burst into flames as the wooden track races three separate times through the structure.

The project, previously known as 'SW8'*, is the latest in a series of mould-breaking ride launches from the Staffordshire theme park that have helped define the industry. A world-class team of experts continue to work on the new attraction, led by Great Coasters International, the world's leading creators of wooden rollercoasters. The safety of guests has been paramount in the design and build of Wicker Man, incorporating the latest in proven safety technology, rigorous testing and hundreds of training hours for ride operators.

Bradley Wynne, Creative Lead at Alton Towers Resort, commented, 'We are delighted to finally be announcing Wicker Man as the latest ground-breaking thrill attraction from Alton Towers Resort for 2018. Guests will be 'chosen' to take part in a celebratory 'rite of passage' as they race through the flaming Wicker Man.

'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.'

Visitors to Alton Towers Resort in 2018 will embark on a multi-sensory rite of passage, in which they'll be drawn into the mysterious world of The Beornen, a shadowy group living in the woods surrounding the theme park.

The first publicity pictures hinting at the nature of the forthcoming attraction include artwork created by globally-celebrated illustrator Kyle Lambert - known across the world as the artist behind the imagery for award-winning show Stranger Things, alongside other Hollywood movie work including Jurassic Park, Super 8 and Jumanji.

Andy Hine MBE, Chairman of the Roller Coaster Club of Great Britain commented on the announcement saying:

'We've been hoping that Alton Towers would invest in a wooden coaster for a long time, and we're so pleased it's finally coming with Wicker Man. GCI are known for building really exciting, smooth coasters, and this will be a great complement to the 'Big Six' steel rides already at the park. It's a big investment which is great for thrill-seekers everywhere, and I for one can't wait to ride it.'