Unless you have been living under a rock for the past six months to a year, you’ll be aware that the theme parks of the United Kingdom are undergoing a period of massive change, growth and development. It’s certainly a positive revelation to see such exciting and new work happening to our beloved attractions, but it can be hard to keep up to date with everything that’s going on! Here at Attraction Source we’ve created a one stop guide to everything that we know about, both confirmed and rumoured, that is currently happening across the UK.
Alton Towers Resort
First things first; Alton Towers Resort, where there are currently multiple projects underway. These include:
A sign appeared within the attraction on 23rd August 2022 reading 06 + 09 = The Duel Is Over, seeming to provide a date (6th September) that turned out to be the day that the attraction closed in its current form. It has long been rumoured that Duel will be receiving a refurbishment, and, over the past few months, Merlin Magic Making vans have been spotted around the side of the attraction. On the 7th of september, the doors to duel were boarded up, with a sign sat on the steps to the attraction that reads, Repossessed, Strictly no unwanted visitors. Due to unnatural displays in the area. It is expected that the classic dark ride attraction will reopen in 2023 with a new theme and some major changes to the experience! Whether that will include retaining the original ride system and some of the scenes remains to be seen.
To find out more about what our suspicions are about the future of Duel, check out our article on TowersTimes – The end of Duel? The arrival of a mind boggling clue.
Nemesis retracking work
Plans were submitted back in January to Staffordshire Moorlands District Council to confirm the lawfulness of maintenance works to the park’s iconic inverted roller coaster, Nemesis. Since then, Alton Towers have announced through noticies around the park and a press release that the 6th of November will be the final date that Nemesis is open in its original form by order of the Phalanx. It’s understood that the track from the top of the lift hill to the start of the brake run will all be removed and replaced with a newly fabricated sand-filled track, produced by the ride’s original manufacturer, Bolliger and Mabillard. This intervention to secure the future of Nemesis at Alton Towers comes as the ride reaches the end of its service life, after opening in 1994! It will be exciting to see what a new Nemesis experience will ride like.
To find out more about what is currently known about this project take a look at our article on TowersTimes – Nemesis confirmed to close at end of the season to be refurbished for 2024
‘New Indoor Attraction’ in Coaster Corner
It was announced on the fourth of September that Alton Towers are beginning consultation and planning to open a new ride in the old Coaster Corner area of the theme park. The plot of land identified for this new attraction is located to the west of where The World of David Walliams and The Alton Towers Dungeon currently sit. Whilst there has been no confirmation from the Resort, people familiar with the situation have cited this location to be that of the next ‘secret weapon’ project at Alton Towers, SW9. Whilst there is much left to guess at, all we know for sure is that something new is happening in the old Coaster Corner, and that John Wardley referenced SW9 at our recent TowersTimes 20th Birthday Celebration, as well as stating that the new rollercoaster technology he has been most impressed by “is coming along here”.
Find out more about what is currently known about these plans in our article on TowersTimes – Alton Towers Resort to hold a public exhibition for new indoor attraction.
Chessington World Of Adventures Resort
Now it’s time to turn our attention down south… because something huge is growing out of the jungle at Chessington World of Adventures Resort.
On 16th August, Chessington announced that the new World of Jumanji will be opening at the theme park in Spring of 2023, confirming the speculation about what Project Genesis’ theme would be. It’s been impossible to miss photographs of the growing jaguar sculpture in the building site, which will serve as the centrepiece of this new themed area. Currently under construction, The World of Jumanji will be host to a wing shuttle roller coaster presumably being built by Bolliger and Mabillard, along with two family flat rides. Some questions remain about how the roller coaster will operate, but what is known is that it will feature a swing launch, an inversion, and a twisted spike wrapping around the Jaguar structure. To follow the construction of this area, take a look at our construction gallery for the World of Jumanji.
Thorpe Park Resort
Not one to miss out on any jaw-dropping news, Thorpe Park Resort submitted a full planning application for their proposed roller coaster, codenamed Project Exodus, in March of 2022.
Upon completion this will be the UK’s tallest roller coaster, standing at a maximum height of 72m, and will be located on the site of the old Logger’s Leap attraction in the area formerly known as Old Town at Thorpe Park Resort. Whilst many details are still unconfirmed about this attraction, the layout is public knowledge after being included in the planning application and it seems fairly certain that the manufacturer will be Mack Rides. At this time, details of a possible theme and intricacies of the area within which the ride will be located are not public knowledge. Whilst currently objections from the Environment Agency relating to the risks of flooding around the attraction remain a block on its progress, we remain hopeful that Thorpe Park and its planning consultants will find a way to overcome these so as to be able to progress the project.
To find out more about the latest progress with this application see our latest article on the topic, Progress continues to be covered on Attraction Source as Thorpe Park Resort Seek Project Exodus Planning Decision To Avoid Delay To 2024 Opening and follow along with any construction updates on our dedicated page.
Whilst there has been no word from Paultons Park directly about future additions to the park, following the opening of Farmyard Flyer in April 2022, a recent application has been sent in to the local council to confirm the lawful use of the land to the west of The Edge and Cobra as ‘Amusement Park’. This technique is used to enable the construction of rides and attractions without having to give away too many details within the planning process, most recently seen by the way the park approached the construction of Tornado Springs. Despite the lack of communication from the park about this, it seems to confirm what we already understood – Paultons Park won’t be sitting on their laurels and are definitely thinking about possibilities of future expansion. Whether this site will be the location of their next investment or not remains to be seen – it could just as easily be the park thinking even further down the line, beyond the next major addition.
LEGOLAND Windsor Resort
New Shuttle Coaster
At LEGOLAND Windsor Resort, news erupted last week when they submitted an application for a lawful development certificate for the installation of a new duelling family shuttle roller coaster. Located on the site of the old Raft Racers attraction, to the west of Duplo Valley, this roller coaster would be situated on the hillside and feature a backwards lift hill from which riders will be released to complete the layout facing forwards before stalling at the furthest point and taking the entire layout again in reverse. Details around who might be building the ride, or any potential themes the park might have in mind cannot be determined from the information currently available, but, given the Resort’s high annual visitor numbers, a large new attraction of this kind will add some much needed throughput for the theme park.
Indoor Mini Golf
Not happy with just one current application on the go, however, this latest development comes just a couple months after LEGOLAND submitted a planning application for a new indoor Adventure Golf attraction comprising four themed courses. The project, codenamed ‘Birdie’ is planned to be located on the site of the existing priority car park (Car Park A) located just to the west of the theme park, near the site of the proposed future Holiday Village. You can find out more about Project Birdie in our article – LEGOLAND Windsor Resort submit application for Adventure Golf attraction.
Holiday Village Progress
To complement the Resort’s accommodation offering, LEGOLAND Windsor have also been working on the plans to add a Holiday Village as outlined within the Resort’s Long Term Plan. Information has been submitted within the last month containing further details on the proposed development, include the addition of LEGO themed characters with lighting and audio, as well as details of the external materials that will be used to construct the accommodation offering. You can find out more about this proposed expansion to the accommodation on offer at LEGOLAND Windsor Resort in our article – LEGOLAND Windsor Resort submit information to progress holiday village developments.
Drayton Manor Resort
Following the arrival of Drayton Manor Resort’s new themed area Vikings, it was revealed to Attraction Source by a member of the staff at Drayton Manor that the park’s iconic drop tower attraction, Apocalypse, will be leaving the park at the end of the season. Whilst there have been no official statements from the park confirming this to the public, with the removal of Pandemonium, the now confirmed removal of Apocalypse, and some suspicious paint markings on the floor, could we be on the cusp of a future announcement from the park about a new attraction? The most recent roller coaster to open at Drayton Manor was Accelerator, which opened 11 years ago in 2011. With a sizeable plot of land available behind Vikings with Apocalypse and Pandemonium gone, along with the recent investments and changes brought on since the park was taken over by the Looping Group, it doesn’t seem a massive stretch to suggest that this could well be the location of a future roller coaster shaped investment for the park.
Blackpool Pleasure Beach
Since 2020 Blackpool Pleasure Beach have been working to reimagine their indoor water ride, Valhalla. As yet it is unknown when the ride will be opening to the public, with many supposed opening years coming and going without the opportunity to experience the new take on this brilliant water ride. Amanda Thompson has posted on Twitter describing her annoyance at the length of time the ride has been down and the issues behind the logistics of getting hold of the materials required to complete the ride reimagining.
Details have also come to light over the past few weeks of “head above the clouds”, what appears to be a big wheel project for Blackpool Pleasure Beach. Pleasure Beach Experience reported just over a week ago of the arrival of a Bussink R80XL capsule, a big wheel model produced in partnership with Chance Rides and Maurer Rides that stands over 250 ft above the ground! As yet nothing has been announced from the park regarding this developing story, but it’s assumed that such an attraction would sit around the current location of the Bowl-A-Drome.
To keep up to date with the latest developments from across the UK be sure to follow us on social media for the latest news as it breaks.