Alton Towers Resort have today confirmed that after 34 years of soaking guests The Flume is to be retired from the Theme Park’s ride line-up.
Announcing the news in their official blog, the Resort confirmed that the ride will not open for the 2016 Theme Park Season, meaning it will become the second ride to leave the park following the departure of Ripsaw from Forbidden Valley. Since it first opened in 1981, The Flume has been a family favourite and has seen a number of changes both to its theme and the surrounding area in which it is located. Holding the record for the longest ride of its kind in the world when it first opened the attraction was themed to the transportation system used by loggers using water channels to transport guests throughout the woodland. In 1984, the attraction gained some rather unusual residents in the form of some dinosaurs who had been relocated to make way for The Black Hole, however the dinosaurs left in 1996. In 2004 The Flume was to be transformed as the result of a sponsorship deal with Imperial Leather. Out went the traditional logs and in came a fleet of bath tubs alongside a range of bath-time themed additions including a giant rubber duck.
The decision to close The Flume comes after the ride was closed early at the end of the 2015 season, with it not being available for the Scarefest and Fireworks events. Although not officially confirmed, it is thought The Flume will now remain SBNO (standing but not operating) with Alton Towers Resort keeping any plans for what may replace it a closely guarded secret.
Alongside the news of The Flume’s departure the Resort have also announced the opening date for Galactica, the virtual reality re-theme of Air. Due to open on 24th March, just in time for the usually busy Easter holiday, Galactica will offer guests the opportunity to take a journey into space, complete with virtual space suits and visuals which will be synchronised to the twists and turns of the ride. The Resort have also confirmed that, as part of the makeover of Forbidden Valley, a new coffee shop will open in the area. Although the precise location has not been revealed it is thought this new outlet could be situated in the building previously occupied by Fresh Fish & Chips.
In recent weeks there have been regular updates from the Resort’s ‘Towers Loving Care’ initiative – a three year programme designed to completely refresh all areas of the Resort. One of the largest parts of this has included a complete re-paint of Nemesis’ track and the first part of a two year refurbishment of the station monster to restore the beast to its former glory. Also completed so far has been a re-paint of several of the fascias in Cloud Cuckoo Land, a re-build of the Octonauts Rollercoaster Adventure’s station, re-paints in Mutiny Bay, and the rebuilding of the tunnel beneath Rita to remove the scaffolding.
What are your thoughts on the retirement of The Flume? Are you sad to see it go? Have your say over on the Attraction Source Forum. As the Resort announces further details regarding the 2016 season we’ll continue to bring you all the latest developments.