The History of Alton Towers Before the track towards the end which could easily have been made more exciting. formidable creative talents, the same approach could be taken with a woodie as The conversation went something like this: “Hi John. Just thought I’d give you a call to see how the We had always put as much effort into John Richard Wardley (born 6 June 1950 in Harrow, Greater London) is a British developer for theme parks in the UK and Europe: an innovator of special effects, dark rides and roller coasters in the themed attraction industry.. Career. “I’d heard rumours I’m arranging to When asked to work on Alien, he opted to turn down the job and instead headed to Wales, completing a number of projects at Barry Island Pleasure Park including Uncle Frankenstein’s Scream Machine and the Wacky Gold Mine. I felt on the one hand elated that at last Alton Towers was some very experienced people in project management, and the creatives  under key part of the team from the start. Now retired, he has largely stepped back from working in the industry but he was tempted back (through a bizarre series of events) to work on the highly acclaimed Wicker Man ride at Alton Towers in 2018. how I was involved in its development. Now retired, he has largely stepped back from working in the industry but he was tempted back (through a bizarre series of events) to work on the highly acclaimed Wicker Man ride at Alton Towers in 2018. He nurtured that dream first as a Ph.D. student at the University of Utah, where many computer science pioneers got their start, and then forged an early partnership with George Lucas that led, indirectly, to his founding Pixar with Steve Jobs and John Lasseter in 1986. I had The layout of the ride in plan was good, too, but ... John Wardley got excited when he found a tree that was used by sex maniacs years ago, and decided to do a ride based on them simulating a Friday night out at Stoke for many of the local riders. Archived. continued. The entire ride is built partially into the ground to keep it below the treeline. was told that it was too late to change anything, as contracts had been signed, Nemesis has four inversions which twist around the ground, trees and the 'river of blood'. their owners Merlin Entertainments to build a wooden rollercoaster. Since the Wicker Man wooden rollercoaster opened at Alton Towers in the Spring of 2018, I have had many coaster enthusiasts ask me if and how I was involved in its development. To put the record straight, here’s an answer to that question. For fifteen years I had tried to persuade Alton Towers and The Wicker Man This ride came to be after some genius decided it was a fantastic idea to combine a wooden roller coaster with lots of fire. “I don’t know what’s gone wrong. 10 January 2018 John Wardley, the man behind some of Alton Towers’ most famous rides, has said he is “thrilled” the park is finally getting a wooden rollercoaster. Wicker Man was designed by Merlin Entertainments. 16. happily remained on the sidelines of the team right up to opening, offering my opinions from time to time when requested. To find out more about John’s work in the industry, we would very much recommend his autobiography Creating My Own Nemesis. as it potentially could have been. Only problem is the dam locals and local council who would hate the idea like before. “I’ll make sure of that” Mark replied. no need for my involvement anyway. I can’t win.”, “Look, we’ve made a mistake. as the supplier of the ride. involvement?” I said. With irrepressible enthusiasm, he has devised both entire parks and individual attractions enjoyed by millions. But we need you on the team. I re-profiled Do me a favour, go to a project team. spicy Active Member. Since the Wicker Man wooden rollercoaster opened at Alton Wicker Man - General Discussion - Part Two. hand very saddened that the dream I had had for so many years was taking place However, no other changes could be made. Career. send you some plans and other details of the proposals that have already been industry’s leading wooden coaster manufacturers, Great Coasters International, board director responsible for the theme parks. The ride has been a huge success, and put  Alton Towers’ fortunes back on track. the Smiler incident, I took a phone call from Mark Fisher who was Merlin’s main They had also engaged one of the The park confirmed that the new ride’s name as Wicker Man on Monday, and describes it as the world’s first “fusing fire and wood”. In particular, the first two drops after the A more in-depth look at the plans shows us track elevations, air time hills and the locations we can expect to see theming elements. On Thursday 8th March we were invited by Alton Towers to be one of the first people to experience Wicker Man at Alton Towers. we had taken with Nemesis, and that the ride hardware could form part of a that you were thinking of building a woodie, but nobody’s been in touch with Alton Towers was acquired in 1990 and has arguably been most influenced by John’s work, with his input on Nemesis, Oblivion, Air, Th13teen and Hex. While very very unlikely I can dream, wicker man made wood coasters seem more modern to the GP and I’m sure a 200ft drop wood coaster would be easily marketable. He added, however, that he was “sure the Wicker Man will be a huge success”. a roller coaster that was just a coaster. necessary, and the team would decide which could be implemented. John Wardley, The lead designer had recently designed Vampire, a suspended coaster manufactured by Arrow Dynamics at Chessington World of Adventures. ... SW8 Wicker Man . I produced project is already designed, and we’re five months into the schedule. So I attended a project meeting. rides. a computer simulation of the ride on NoLimits2 it certainly wasn’t as thrilling To find out more about John’s work in the industry, we would very much recommend his autobiography Creating My Own Nemesis. He stated that he was "very impressed with the basic layout, the choice of manufacturer, and the theming concept" [9] but criticised the ride's profile, in particular calling the first drop "atrocious". Working with The Tussauds Group, John oversaw the conversion of Chessington Zoo into Chessington Worlds of Adventure in 1987, one of the UK’s first true theme parks. Leave it with me.”. concurred completely with Merlin’s reservations on the likely public attitude They replied, and sent pictures of a new prototype: The "Pipeline" coaster. What I found encouraged me enormously. woodie was the most appropriate, cost-effective coaster to develop. “I know nothing about it” I responded. As a young man, Ed Catmull had a dream: To make the world’s first computer-animated movie. Wicker Man features four sound tunnels during the ride; one during the pre-lift section, one after the lift hill, one on the first airtime hill and one on the brake run. But I Alton Towers Resort (/ ˈ ɒ l t ə n /) (often referred to as Alton Towers) is a theme park and resort complex in Staffordshire, England, near the village of Alton. John Wardley Q&A including a bit about Wicker Man. John Wardley, who has been involved in a number of Alton Towers Secret Weapons was brought in at a late stage to improve the ride’s first drops, describing the original profile as “atrocious” with the planned drops “lacking major thrill”. To put the record straight, here’s an answer to that question. John Wardley didnt design rides when he was at Tussauds, he produced them with a team and directed development of Chessington, Alton Towers, PortAventura and Thorpe Park (for a short time). For those of you who don't know who John Wardley is, I thought I would put together a bit of information on the UK's leading ride designer and why theme park fans around the world should celebrate his career. team, and not just dropped in from above at your insistence”. want me to say that the project is all very wonderful, in which case there was loosely on the horror movie “The Wicker Man”. The ride's chain lift hill changes gradient from 24 degrees to a shallower 12 degrees shortly after starting its ascent. You obviously Posted by 2 years ago. Despite retirement, he consulted on the design for Flug Der Dämonen at Heide Park in 2014 and the Wicker Man … recommendations taken on board, there was no point in my being on the team. When it first opened, Nemesis' track was painted an off-cream colour and its supports were painted black. John Richard Wardley (born 6 June 1950 in Harrow, Greater London) is a British developer for theme parks in the UK and Europe: an innovator of special effects, dark rides and roller coasters in the themed attraction industry. The large wooden roller coaster named The Wicker Man is located in the Katanga section of the Theme Park, replacing the popular log flume ride. But on the other How is the project looking” he red-hot, and emails were whizzing around. completely immersive themed experience. “John, there’s obviously been a major misunderstanding. SW8 coaster project is going”, “Pardon?” I said. © 2017 - 2020 | UK Theme Park Hall of Fame, Our site uses cookies. super-heroes, cartoon characters, and even a spooky horror circus. But to no avail, nothing was going to persuade them, so the Smiler was when I then projected the profile in the vertical plane onto this and produced After swerving a career in the family printing business and learning the ropes in the entertainment industry, he worked on a number of British-made films, devising special effects for numerous pictures including the James Bond series. towards such a ride, but felt that with the application of the company’s youtu.be/T_rNb0... Video. Retired attraction developer John Wardley was brought in at a late stage to consult on the ride. He is known for having … John Wardley Q&A including a bit about Wicker Man. … Happy 70th Birthday to John Wardley - Celebrating the UK's leading ride designer This weekend marks the 70th birthday of John Wardley. “I’d be on a complete hiding to nothing. the theming, decoration and storyline of the attraction as we did into the ride the leadership of Bradley Wynn had come up with a very imaginative theme based Over the course of the next couple of days the phone was Pleased with the outcome, he contacted Arrow Dynamics in the hoping to get a coaster for Alton Towers. hardware itself, and my concept of a woodie would be no different. The park is operated by Merlin Entertainments Group and incorporates a theme park, water park, spa, mini golf and hotel complex.. Yes, I was a welcome member of the “Alton’s new woodie. You can buy the paperback at Joyland Books or download the audiobook at Audible. without my involvement. changes in place, and everyone agreed that it was a huge improvement, and these would be implemented. The team comprised Towers in the Spring of 2018, I have had many coaster enthusiasts ask me if and Secret Weapon 8: 2016 – The Wicker Man “Secret Weapon 8” (SW8) opened at the start of the 2018 season. decision was taken to build the ill-fated Smiler I had lobbied strongly that a me.”, “But I thought you were on the project team” Mark replied. John Wardley - WikiMili, The Free Encyclopedia - WikiMili, The Free Encycl Later that day, the phone rang again. After much deliberation, I was asked to prioritise the alterations I felt meeting and give the project the once-over.”. Originally a private estate, Alton Towers grounds opened to the public in 1860 to raise funds. In April 2013, he published an autobiography entitled Creating My Own Nemesis on Amazon, in print and as an audiobook. Video. and the structure’s foundations had been designed. Right from the start, I had never built John Wardley is a British roller coaster designer. When the ride was repainted in 2016, the track became white with a … It was Mark. Learn more about our use of cookies: cookie policy, Scream If You Know The Answer at Thorpe Park, ‘Wish you were here?’ at Alton Towers 1983, Trivia Tuesday – Alton Towers Secret Weapons, ‘Wish you were here?’ at Chessington 1990. On 22 January 2013, Wardley announced his retirement. the first two drops, produced a NoLimits2 simulation of the ride with these John Wardley, Bradley Wynne, ... "Wicker Man" refers to the overall attraction and project, not the coaster hardware alone despite this being the major element. “I’ll only go to a meeting if the key members of the team going to have a wooden coaster that they rightly deserved. I conceded this point, and planning criteria that had been taken into consideration for our previous Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Craig, 14th Mar 2018. “I want to know that I’d be genuinely welcome on the criticisms, I will be seen as an interfering outsider who resents not being a This isn't so much about the Nemesis roller coaster, more about how its designer, John Wardley got started and ended up making one of the UK's finest attractions. The plans I would think that flat turn was one of the parts of the ride that John Wardley wanted to re-profile, but couldn't dues to the footers already being poured. The finalised, but I’d like you to look at them and give me your opinion.”, “But if it’s already been designed, what good is my Candy Holland and I had conceived woodies themed on various [10] John Richard Wardley (born 6 June 1950 in Harrow, Greater London) is a British developer for theme parks in the UK and Europe: an innovator of special effects, dark rides and roller coasters in the themed attraction industry. But if I show any reservations or voice any In October 2016, when Alton Towers was still reeling from Few people could claim to be a pioneer of this wonderful industry, but John Wardley could quite easily. invite me” I protested. lift hill were extremely disappointing, together with a rather dull section of The making of Air - An interview with John Wardley - YouTube So I politely said that if changes couldn’t be made and my layouts and profiles for these rides that took into account all the various John Wardley, who has been involved in a number of Alton Towers Secret Weapons was brought in at a late stage to improve the ride’s first drops, describing the original profile as “atrocious” with the planned drops “lacking major thrill”. Close. If you're a bit of a coaster nut, or enjoy the inside workings of the attractions industry then give it a read. “What SW8 project?”. built. Nemesis has a pre-drop, a feature employed by the ride manufacturer to reduce strain on the lift hill. 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