Plans for what appear to be Secret Weapon 8 at Alton Towers Resort have been added to the Staffordshire Moorlands District Council website, giving us fresh clues about the new attraction which is set to replace The Flume which closed at the end of last season.

Documents submitted to the local planning authority describe a ride development located between Mutiny Bay and Katanga Canyon, which will include a station, maintenance building, shop, games unit and food kiosk, all of which will have a combined maximum total area of approximately 1150sqm (which is slightly larger than the total area of the Flume site). Most buildings will be single storey with a maximum height of six metres. The main station will be situated to the north east area of Mutiny Bay, in the area as guests walk from the pirate themed area towards Katanga Canyon. The track layout indicates that the ride will encompass most of the former Flume area, and include a turn just behind Congo River Rapids in Katanga Canyon. Plans indicate that the highest point of the ride will be 10 metres above ground level, with an incline on the initial lift hill of 24 degrees. In order to enhance the ride experience, and to help mitigate noise levels, the attraction will also feature a number of tunnels which will take the total height of the ride to 11.5 metres above ground level.

In addition to the main track layout, plans also show that there will be three themed features located around the ride, the tallest of which will be 15 metres tall. One themed feature will be located on the former location of The Flume’s station, the second will be at one of the high points of the ride, whilst the third will be located in an area between two parts of the ride track. Plans also show a possible pre-show area just prior to the main station, however it would appear that this is yet to be confirmed.

Whilst the structure and layout of The Flume will be removed to make way for the new attraction, the concrete footers will be left in place in order to minimise the impact on the surrounding woodland. Mexican Cantina, which has been closed for the 2016 season, is also due to be removed to make way for the new attraction. The new ride will also see the removal of a number of trees, some of which will be compensated for by a replacement planting scheme.

These latest plans to emerge follow on from an Environmental Screening Application submitted last year (2015) by the Resort for a proposed new attraction for Forbidden Valley. However, due to a number of factors, these plans were later dismissed by the Resort in favour of the plans for SW8 on The Flume site. It has already been confirmed that, if plans are approved, this latest addition to the Secret Weapon Cannon will open in 2018, making it the latest addition to the Resort’s series of signature rides which started with Nemesis, and was last added to in 2013 with the opening of The Smiler. Traditionally, Secret Weapon attractions have contained at least one element which is new or unique at the time of the ride’s opening, however, until more detailed plans are submitted later this year it is unknown if or what SW8’s unique element will be.

What are your thoughts on these latest plans to emerge from the Resort? Could they indicate the long awaited wooden coaster at Alton Towers Resort? Have your say on this and more over on the TowersTimes and SouthParks Forum. As further plans emerge for Secret Weapon 8 TowersTimes will continue to bring you all the latest. Alton Towers Resort from another point of view!

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