Alton Towers has announced plans for its latest attraction – a rollercoaster that combines wood and fire on a “breath-taking scale” and begs the question: ‘what could possibly go wrong?’.
Unfortunately and unsurprisingly for the theme park giant, the plans have not been particularly well received by Twitter, with many hitting out at Alton Towers over the ill-conceived project.
The Staffordshire theme park has spent an estimated £16m on the The Wicker Man – a ride seemingly inspired by the classic 1970s horror movie of the same name rather than the remake involving Nicolas Cage and a mask of bees.
It’s the first wooden rollercoaster to be built in the UK for 21 years and features a 58ft wicker man who appears to burst into flames as riders race through the structure three times on a giant 2,028 ft wooden track. Sounds… interesting.
Bradley Wynne, the theme park’s creative lead, said: “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.”
The plans have been met with some scepticism online and it’s not difficult to see why.
Merlin Attractions, the theme park’s operator, was previously fined £5m for a “catastrophic failure” of health and safety rules that resulting in two visitors losing a leg after a collision on the Smiler rollercoaster in 2015 that left a further 16 people injured.
As a result, many fans have been left unsure as to whether plans for a rollercoaster combining fire and wood is a bright idea.
Some were immediately put off the plans before the words ‘fire’ and ‘wood’ were even mentioned…
"Alton Towers" new rollercoaster ride…..that'll be a no from me pic.twitter.com/sLTAzrUJmC
— Millie (@OriginalPatsy) January 8, 2018
Others imagined how the idea for The Wicker Man ride might have come to pass:
Alton Towers Designer 1: We need to make our rides safer but without compromising the thrill-factor.
Alton Towers Designer 2: How about a rollercoaster but with wood and fire?
Alton Towers Designer 1: Genius! #WickerMan
— Niecy O'Keeffe (@NiecyOKeeffe) January 8, 2018
Then there were those that did the research… kind of.
Is the new Alton Towers wooden roller coaster ride involving fire a good idea? Our survey says… pic.twitter.com/IiGmxQVxrt
— Scott (@Chicaned02) January 8, 2018
Some were still haunted by memories of the movie…
Alton Towers has just announced it's going to build a gigantic Wicker Man and set it on fire. New CEO, Lord Summerisle promises it will be perfectly safe and definitely not an attempt to sacrifice anyone to the pagan gods. Definitely.
— Chris Denton (@severusd) January 8, 2018
While others urged people to remember what happened back in 2015.
Seeing a lot of enthusiasm for Alton Towers new ride online. Can't believe people have such short memories.
— Keith McGregor (@Captainjock) January 8, 2018
There were also those that wondered aloud – possibly sarcastically – what could go wrong.
Alton Towers have revealed their new £16m Wicker Man roller coaster! It's a wooden roller coaster featuring a 6 storey fire structure. What could possibly go wrong?
— Jennifer Mills (@jennffer) January 8, 2018
Wood and fire? Yeah this seems like a good idea, Alton Towers… pic.twitter.com/BSMtdtjaXO
— Phil (@philbet5) January 8, 2018
This guy got a run out too…
Alton towers are making their rides safer for the public… but are introducing wicker man which is a ride to do with fire and wood… pic.twitter.com/6J7pbFPhkf
— K (@kayleighhodgess) January 8, 2018
Though the whole thing did go some way to explaining why Jurassic Park kept getting reopened. Well, for one Tweeter, at least.
people say it’s unbelievable that they’d rebuild Jurassic Park so many times but Alton Towers is out here building a ride that “combines wood and fire” pic.twitter.com/lzUa17eXHk
— Hannah Thompson (@H_L_Thompson) January 8, 2018
The Wicker Man is set to debut in the Spring at Alton Towers.
Fingers crossed everything goes according to plan.
Loaded staff writer Jack Beresford has produced content for Lad Bible, Axonn Media and a variety of online sports and news media outlets.