Proposed to be located in the Forbidden Kingdom area of the theme park, the new drop tower will be a direct replacement for Rameses Revenge. Standing at an overall height of 25.6m, the base of the tower will be set in the existing hollow alongside the ride’s operator cabin and plant and mechanical rooms. Guests will be carried to the top of the ride on board a 16 seat gondola, before released to ‘free-fall’ down the tower. Although it is not stated within the application who the manufacturer of the ride is, plans do confirm that there are no comparable attractions at Merlin parks in the UK, ruling out the possibility that it could be a transfer of an existing attraction.
The key theming feature for the new ride will be a 12.1m tall and 12.5m wide open-mouthed crocodile head, which will be situated around the tower to make it appear that guests are plummeting into the crocodile’s open mouth as they drop. This structure will be based on the Ancient Egyptian god Sobek, who was represented in Egyptian mythology in both crocodile form, and as a human with a crocodile head, and will have an “aged and rustic mystical appearance” to fit in with the already established Egyptian theme of Forbidden Kingdom. The ride will also incorporate fountains to spray water at riders as they submerge into the themed tunnel, as well as a range of lighting and smoke effects, all designed to enhance the narrative for both riders and spectators.
If approaching from The Gruffalo Arena, guests will pass under a 5m tall entrance portal that incorporates the logo for the ride. Guests will then enter the queue line for the new attraction via the existing ‘Pharaoh’s Bazaar’ building. The queue will lead out the back of the Pharaoh’s Bazaar to a new outdoor queuing area, which will loop around until it joins the approximate line of the existing Rameses Revenge queue. Guests will then continue down some steps, finally arriving at an entrance waterfall feature through which they’ll walk to board the ride. Fastrack and Ride Access Pass queues will also be provided with a separate access to the ride using a platform lift available for guests with disabilities. Once they’ve experienced the ride, guests will exit the ride from the rear and follow a route to a raised walkway which leads up to and through the Pharaoh’s Bazaar building, where a small themed shop and photo collection point is proposed to be located.
Also part of these latest proposals is the relocation of Flying Jumbos from its current home on the pathway to Zufari, to the site between Tiny Truckers and the Adventure Point Gift Shop which used to be home to the Resort’s old carousel. Both Flying Jumbos and Rameses Revenge will be removed from their current locations at the end of the 2019 season, with Flying Jumbos intended to be relocated in time for the 2020 season and the new ride expected for the 2021 season. The area formerly housing Flying Jumbos will be planted to create a grassed area surrounded by landscaping.