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What is: Wicker Man – Alton Towers


Wicker Man is a wooden roller coaster, located
at the Alton Towers Resort, in Staffordshire, England. The ride opened to the public as the first
Wooden roller coaster to be built within the United Kingdom in over 20 years. On top of this, it was marketed as a globally
unique experience in which guests ride an attraction that fuses both wood and fire. At its core, the entire roller coaster has
been designed around an impressive 6-story tall burning Wicker Man effigy. While on the ride, guests burst through the
structure three times, causing it to ignite into flames. Alton Towers newest roller coaster addition
focuses on being an immersive experience, featuring a unique backstory, and impressive
theming. The attraction itself opened to the public
on the 20th of March 2018 at the cost of 16 million pounds. Wicker Man replaced a former ride at the park,
The Flume, what was once the world’s longest log flume. Upon the rides closure in 2015, signs appeared
around its perimeter reading “SW8 Groundbreaking Ride Development” – SW8 referring to Wicker
Man’s code name, Secret Weapon 8. Vertical construction began in May of 2017,
and further teasers debuted showing the Beornen, a mysterious cult like group living in the
woods surrounding the park. The Beornen invited guests to join in on a
celebration of the earth, away from the technologies of our modern society. They spoke of a ritual, to reignite our senses,
reconnect with the world, and be chosen. It is this strange group to which the attraction
is themed. As guests walk up to the Wicker Man ride,
they are greeted by a festival like entrance plaza. The huge constantly burning two headed effigy
looms over visitors, featuring an upward facing human head on one side, and a downward pointing
rams head on the other. The trains of the roller coaster, constructed
by American Company Great Coasters International, can be seen hurtling in the background. Custom designed music, produced by IMAscore,
can be heard in the plaza welcoming guests to partake in the ritual. To do so, visitors pass underneath the ride’s
entrance sign, and join the queue. Beginning within the centre of attractions
turnaround section, bunting, as well as the Beornen runic alphabet can be seen scattered
around. Riders then make their way along the side
of the area, gaining fantastic panoramic views of the wooden coaster. At this point, guests pass directly adjacent
the rides flat turn, and navigate beneath the lift hill. As they continue to traverse the queue, the
soundtrack begins to darken, becoming more sinister. Finally, visitors move towards the entrance
building, witnessing the ride from a new angle, with the Wicker Man’s Ram head in full focus. Riders pass through the building and enter
a room encased in wicker. It is at this point that guests experience
the attraction’s pre-show. Visitors learn of their true fate, sacrifice. The Beornen were told of a day where the wicker
man would rise, giving them freedom and eternal wellbeing. However, to start the ritual, the Wicker Man
must be given a gift, you. You will feed the flames, allowing the Wicker
Man to rise. Once the preshow is completed, riders enter
the dark station building. A wall of wicker burns across the ride platform,
while smoke floods the room. At this point, guests board one of three ride
vehicles. Each train is wicker themed, seating 24 riders
in 12 rows of 2. Once visitors have boarded, they’re ride
begins with a 180 degree right hand turn, followed by a second turn through a smoke
filled room. The trains then engage with the lift hill,
allowing guests to climb to the coaster’s highest point. As riders crest the hill, they enter a smoke
filled tunnel, and undergo a left hand turn. The trains emerge from the tunnel into the
ride’s first drop, and immediately enter an airtime hill, encased by a second sound
tunnel. Guests plummet from the tunnel into a sharp
downward right hand turn, followed by a large sweeping left hand turn through the base of
the Wicker Man effigy. Riders climb the turnaround element and come
face to face with the Wicker Man himself. The trains burst through the structures chest,
before entering a twisted airtime hill, leading to a flat 180 degree right hand turn. Guests navigate a further drop, followed by
a small airtime hill, causing riders to pass through the Wicker Man effigy for a third
and final time. The trains traverse another twisted airtime
hill, before entering a upward left hand turn. At this point, a quick right hand bend leads
guests into the final brake run. Similar to most GCI roller coasters, riders
of Wicker Man navigate through the attractions maintenance shed before re-entering the station
building. Over the course of the full ride, guests reach
speeds of up to 70kmh (44mph) and navigate 795m (2609ft) of track. All of this takes place within approximately
50 seconds of ride time, measured from the top of the lift hill, to the final brake run. Despite it’s tame statistics, and small
size, Wicker Man packs a punch. The snappy transitions, moments of floater
airtime, and interactions with the burning effigy, make the attraction loved by many. Wicker Man is more than just a roller coaster,
but an entire experience from start to finish, encompassing a unique and interesting storyline. It has quickly become one of the UK’s most
immersive rides, putting Alton Towers on the forefront of theming within the country. This leads to the question: Would you like
to see Alton Towers, and potentially other UK parks focus more on story-based attractions? What’s your opinion? A big shout out goes to all of those supporting me on Patreon, including: Inverted Studios, Harrison Abrahams, and Lindsay Yale Entertainment. Click the Patreon button if you’d like to learn more about how you can support the channel.

Stephen Childs

100 Comments

  1. This and Mystic Timbers and this are the two best GCIs… you wanna know why?

    They have sheds

  2. is this a satanic theme? all that story and video of this themeing looks like it lol

  3. For some reason, I thought that Wicker Man was themed to some kind of movie or show of the same name.
    Strange.

  4. Nice video
    Is it better than Wodan ? Because that's sadly the only GCI I have ridden 🙁
    And I think parks could do more theming but not this heavily pre shows. A preshow is really cool for the first time but if you have ridden it multiple times it begins to sucks 😛
    I marathoned Kärnan this year and after the first three rides you just wanted to get on it. :-

  5. What is the wicker Man?

    The 3rd best wooden roller coaster in the UK! And the most immersive!!

  6. I'm still curious as to why Wicker Man's lift hill has 2 gradients to it. I remember in early days it was rumoured to have a chain lift first half, then LSMs for the rest upwards to combat noise.

  7. Personally for me, I prefer that the ride itself be focused on first and foremost, then theming second. If a ride is terrible but it has cool theming, I’m still going to think it’s a bad ride. Obviously there are exceptions, but I’d rather have an awesome ride with minimal theming (think Millennium Force) than a subpar ride with good theming

  8. Wickerman looks like a fantastic roller coaster! I think parks should definitely add theming to their roller coasters because it would make them so much more enjoyable. I’ve heard rave reviews about this ride, so I cannot wait to ride it someday!

  9. where did you get this music? because the one on IMAscore put on their youtube channel is diffrent.

  10. Very interesting.
    Only remark would be that there's nothing about the curious lift hill

  11. What is Wicker Man?

    Amazing by day, even better by night.

    Please like, comment, favourite and subscribe and I'll see you next time 😂

  12. “We must present him with a gift and that gift is YOU
    WTF ALTON TOWERS LITTLE TIMMY CAN RIDE THIS

  13. Alton Towers has always been great with their theming! They put a lot of effort in, going all the way back to Nemesis in 1994! The Smiler, Oblivion and Thirteen all have read theming too.

  14. where did you get such a lovely recording of the soundtrack?? can you direct message me please lol 🙂

  15. Is it just me that is wondering how he got the whole Wickerman soundtrack?!?! It is playing in the background.

  16. I love theming on rides. I especially loved Nemesis Sub Terra. Ok the ride itself was just a small drop tower, but it was the way it delivered the story and was more immersive. I've yet to ride the Wickerman, would be interested to experience it. I'm a little disappointed by Airs rebranding to Galactica with vr headsets? But I guess I'll give it a go and see what it's like. 🙂

  17. This is my white whale. When I went to Alton I was hyped up for it but (like all big coasters I go near) when I approached it, I was so intimidated by it that I ended up waiting for the rest of my family in the gift shop. Ever since then, I've looked at pictures and videos of it online with anger towards it and my mum has betted that she will get me on it by year 11 and I highly doubt it. I'm a bigger gift shop enthusiast than I am theme park enthusiast. I'm hopeless.

  18. Hey coaster bot, can you do a explained video on Gröna Lund, Stockholm sweden, PLEAASE! because in 2021 they are getting a B & M invert. please do it i have subscribed. i will make a video of you

  19. I know I'm probably gone sound weird, but when will artists and writers personify this ride as well?

  20. Wickerman has the immersive story whereas ICON is the The more thrilling ride even though it still has a good theme

  21. It may be the best themed but it isn't the best coaster. I would rather an excellent ride than a good theme with a crap ride. Can you do a video on. ICON soon

  22. Btw baron or wicked baron right wicked is cool and the fire but barons thememing is just 😮😮

  23. Wait? Do you like Thorpe Park or black pool pleasure beach more? I’ve always wondered

  24. Such a great ride. Nemesis has stiff competition as my all time favourite roller coaster that I’ve ridden

  25. i don’t really love rides too much but i still went on this ride:,) i’m still so proud of myself to this day y’all 🤪🤠

  26. When I went on wicker man it was amazing, unlike any other ride coz it had a backstory to it

  27. Honestly yes. There is only so much you can do with world records so focusing more on an expirence is something everyone would enjoy imo. I'd imagine a King da ka with immersive theming.

  28. Holovis designed the pre show… I’m surprised you neglected to mention this… they’re an incredible British motion theatre company.

  29. Ah what a great ride this is, subscribe to this channel today to become a patriot.

  30. hey coaster bot sorry that I didn't see your comment sooner sure you can use my clips in your video

  31. Hey Harry! I love your videos! Another youtuber I watch is called Mr. Roller coasters, and he says that if you watch one of his videos, he will release his biggest project yet, and so since I obviously want to see this big project, I would really appreciate it if you watched one of his videos and commented to prove it. I understand if you think this is a waste of time, but thanks no matter what!

  32. Yeah this Wicker Man is nice, but if only it had Nic Cage screaming about bees.

  33. Can someone please link me this background music not the one on imascores YouTube channel the music used in this?

  34. The sound of the train flying round the wooden structure make a truly unique sound and the whole structure visibly shakes when the train passes by

  35. I saw the operator symbol behind that old druid’s Head and said “this is gonna have something to do with extra-dimensional entities, isn’t it?”

  36. like 90% of all my favourite coasters have focused on theming and immersive stories. I'm of the belief that it's the queue lines job to tell a compelling story and to put the rider into whatever world that the ride is trying to portray. This is why the smiler is my favourite coaster of all time. Alton in general, is simply the best in the world at theming and storytelling imo

  37. Yes I think when a coaster has an actual story behind it, it seems very realistic. Like the similar and the whole ministry of joy thing. Just adds to the theming and makes the ride a whole better experience.

  38. There is a video before it and it’s so spooky! Before the ride I mean

  39. I mean this is probably the worst secret weapon. I haven’t rode many but this just seems the worst.

  40. It definitely feels faster than 44mph. Anyway, Happy Birthday Wicker Man!

  41. If you burst through the wicker man why are there exit wounds on where there should be entry wound !?!?!? CONSPIRACY THEORIES

  42. I love Merlin because of the theming they put on their rides it adds so much to the experience

  43. I just finished up the wicker man movie, and man! That was, scary, intense, exciting, and wonderful! Like this ride!

  44. "The second is Molech, the strange god that demands sacrifices (Jeremiah 32). Man offers up his sons and daughters to appease this being he conceives to be God. But the Voice said, “I command them not, neither came it unto my mind, that they should do this abomination to cause Judah to sin.” This Eye is in every man who thinks he has angered God and must make sacrifices to appease Him. All the wars of the world are an appeasement. The Inquisition with its tortures was an appeasement to God. The wicker baskets in which men were burned alive were an appeasement. They did it all to appease God that he might not be angry."

    Great idea, the human sacrifice thrill ride.

  45. Rattling through the wickerman the first time is incredible, hits you like rock, amazing coaster.

  46. Having been to Orlando, FL and living in the UK, I definitely would like to see more theming and story telling for rides, especially if that theming flows between different rides, becoming 'lands' just like the Disney and Universal parks. It is the one thing I feel that we are missing with our parks, that immersive theming. I would LOVE to see Wicker Man theming being spread into new nearby attractions. Maybe another ride being themed to mirror Netflix's The Ritual or maybe The Blair Witch Project.

  47. Alton Towers really has amazing theming for their rides. This is of course no exception.

  48. Yeah were just gonna pray this thing doesn't set on fire

    im not trying to be a GP im just saying

  49. Wicker man was a horror movie and involved a wooden man. You can already tell they took inspiration from that movie!

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