There are two new additions to Alton Towers Theme Park in 2016! ‘Air’ and its former shop are together being redeveloped into Galactica, the world’s first rollercoaster fully dedicated to virtual reality, and the UK’s first Rollercoaster Restaurant. We document the progress below.

Here you can see Air’s station, shop and plaza area as it was in October 2015. As part of its redevelopment into Galactica and the construction of the Rollercoaster Restaurant, the station will become more enclosed whilst the building will be extended into the plaza area to facilitate a new shop, enabling the former retail space to be used for the restaurant. There will also be a rear extension and a small section of the roof will be raised to fit all of the equipment and appliances that the restaurant requires.

MI7 returned for his annual closed season flyover, providing a look at what progress had been made on the development in the months that the theme park had been closed.

The ride’s track had received a deep clean giving it a much refreshed, like-new, look in preparation for its new theme. The station was now enclosed on both sides, while, in the queue line, the green screen photo booth was under construction at the previous fastrack merge point.

The extension of the former Air shop to accommodate the new Rollercoaster Restaurant appeared to have had its exterior completed, with most of the construction now taking place within the building.

In the days following our previous update, Merlin Magic Making delivered the components that would make up the large portal theming element. Although the plans indicated that it would be situated around the lift hill, it was seen instead being installed at the bottom of the first drop, as was shown in one of the concept images released when Galactica was announced.

Construction of the walkway from the Resort Hotels to the Rollercoaster Restaurant had also progressed, with wooden beams starting to be placed, presumably to provide guests with cover during the walk.

Thank you to TowersTimes Member Dan Cotton for the photos.

Although Galactica wasn’t due to open until during the week following the opening of the theme park for the 2016 season, TowersTimes had the opportunity to preview the new attraction. These images show the addition looking largely complete, covering the new portal theming element, the unique queue-line photo-opportunity and restyled station interior. We also took a look inside the new ‘Galactica Shop’, which had been merchandised with a range of Galactica branded products.