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Alton Towers unveils Thirteen

In the News
Friday, 11th December 2009 By Dan Ketteringham

A plethora of information about the new-for-2010 coaster has been revealed.

The first big piece of news is that the ride will be named Thirteen. The name carries obvious connotations of bad luck and, to some degree, fear; one of the resort's Halloween mazes previously went by the name "Room 13".

The launch date for the £15 million coaster has also been announced, and as usual it coincides with the park's open season beginning on 20th March 2010.


Thirteen's logo was also shown for the first time


The ride's theme and back-story have also been given, as follows:

"Thirteen will be based on the discovery of an unearthed ancient burial site in an area of unexplored woodland known as the Dark Forest. Built on the site of the old Corkscrew rollercoaster, visitors will be invited to take a petrifying ride on Thirteen, venturing into the seemingly living and breathing Dark Forest. There they will face an unknown horror that has been unleashed from the ancient crypt."

Intriguingly, although the park have been bolstering their family-based attraction line-up in recent years, Thirteen is being marketed as a terror-thrill ride, or "psychoaster" as they put it - a collaboration of the world's leading coaster and thrill consultants who have combined the ultimate elements of physical and psychological fear.

The technology behind Thirteen is what gives it its 'world first' status. In what is surely marketing bluster, the park say it "will potentially make the ride so frightening that the Resort is considering introducing a controversial age-rating." This is almost certainly a device to build hype for the ride, as opposed to a credible proposal.

John Wardley, who has worked with Alton Towers in the past to create Nemesis, Oblivion and Air, said: "This ground-breaking technology is something never seen before and will open up a whole new concept for theme park rides.

"By combining physical and psychological terror, Thirteen will be the first ride to play on emotional fear and something coaster fans will not be prepared for."


Other confirmed facts revealed today are:

  • Built on a burial site that is part of the original Alton Abbey, Thirteen will be themed around a crypt, with one of the main features of the ride taking place inside the unearthed crypt
  • The ride was tested and built in Europe before being shipped to the UK
  • Thirteen has been in design for 2 years and taken 9 months to build by a team of 35 working round the clock, to ensure it's ready for launch in March
The official Thirteen website was also updated today, with new photos and a video of part of the ride's theming being installed. A special preview weekend event was also announced, set to take place a week before the ride is officially opened. As well as the regular benefits of staying at the hotel, guests would get the following:
  • An overnight stay on Friday 12th & Saturday 13th March 2010 in the Alton Towers Hotel including, Bed, Breakfast and Evening meal
  • Meet the team behind the project:
    • Morwenna Angove, Sales & Marketing Director presents the Marketing of Thirteen
    • Gary Moss, Brand Vista Director presents some of the research behind Thirteen
    • John Wardley, Ride consultant gives an insight as to how Thirteen was evolved and what makes it so unique
  • Exclusive opportunity to ask the team questions and find out information before anyone else
  • Tour of the new ride itself - meet Keith Workman the project manager on site and get the opportunity to look in places which will usually be inaccessible
  • See behind the scenes of nearby attractions Rita and Hex
  • Get limited edition merchandise - including a certificate and photograph
  • PLUS many extra surprises and giveaways
Crucially, the event does not guarantee a ride on Thirteen, as it may not be ready at that stage. However, most park enthusiasts would probably be willing to take that risk.

It's going to be an interesting few months ahead and these details amount to a nice early Christmas present from Alton Towers!


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