Wicker Man at Alton Towers – it plunges through fire! – is the UK’s first wooden rollercoaster for 20 years, so our writer has a burning desire to try it out
The Beast from the East may have blown itself out in London but as I arrive in Stoke-on-Trent to try out Alton Tower’s latest ride, Wicker Man, the Pest from the West is in full flow, with flurries of snow sweeping across the park. Obviously, I’m underdressed but if anything’s going to warm me up it’s a massive rollercoaster that fuses wood … and fire.
The £16m Wicker Man is a major addition for Alton Towers. It has been in development for four years, involving 500,000 man hours, 7,500 tonnes of wood, 1.8m screws and 65,000 bolts. As with any rollercoaster, it’s a significant feat of engineering – and, in this case, lots of special effects.