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Sea Life and Secret Weapon 6

Park News
Sunday, 5th October 2008 By Dan Ketteringham

Here's a look ahead into what Alton Towers are planning for the next few seasons.

First of all, it is thought that Corkscrew will not be sold to another park - it will simply be sold as scrap.

However, fans of the ride will be happy to hear that the famous corkscrews themselves are likely to be saved and used somewhere in the park. This would be a fitting tribute to the roller coaster that really put Alton Towers on the map.

For next year, Cred Street is due to be refurbished, with Ug Swinger being relocated to the area and presumably rethemed to fit its new home. Cred Street itself will have a new name, which is not yet known, and a new adventure playground will be put in.

More entertainment is also promised, with extra characters and side shows expected on the park in 2009. The Sky Ride is also having an overhaul, with new gondolas rumoured to be replacing the current ageing ones.

Across the park in Mutiny Bay, the 3D Cinema - which has not operated since 2004 and has since only been used as a shop - will finally be replaced by a Sea Life aquarium. The resort's owners, Merlin, also own Sea Life so this make sense financially. It is said that the attraction is coming from Germany, where it has been a touring aquarium. The attraction is apparently costing £1.8 million to install. It is unclear at this stage whether it will be included in the gate price, or operate as a separate attraction (such as Extraordinary Golf).

Looking further ahead, all the attention is on Ug Land, which will be mostly bare in 2009. With the removal of Corkscrew and the relocation of Ug Swinger, that will just leave Rita in the area. However, most of Ug Land is likely to be a building site next year; the new roller coaster, which funding has now been secured for, will take around a year and a half to construct, so we can expect to see work starting on it fairly soon if it is to open in 2010 as predicted.

And here's something else that enthusiasts will like to hear - ATA has learned that the ride's codename will be Secret Weapon 6, or SW6 for short. The Secret Weapon codenames are well known to fans of the park - Nemesis was SW3, Oblivion was SW4 and Air was SW5.

This does not automatically mean that the ride will be manufactured by Bolliger & Mabillard, as all of the others were. There are various rumours as to the type of ride it will be; one such rumour is that it will be a Gerstlauer Eurofighter, an example of which can be found at Oakwood in the form of their ride Speed. A ride of this type was originally planned to replace the Black Hole but that plan was shelved at the time.

Another rumour is that it will be an Intamin Wing Rider coaster, such as Furius Baco at PortAventura in Spain.

Whatever it turns out to be, it will change Ug Land as we know it, and presumably the area will be renamed to fit.

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Don't spend too long in the arcades, you've paid to use the attractions.