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. In particular, the first two drops after the “John, there’s obviously been a major misunderstanding. “Alton’s new woodie. me.”, “But I thought you were on the project team” Mark replied. The ride's chain lift hill changes gradient from 24 degrees to a shallower 12 degrees shortly after starting its ascent. To find out more about John’s work in the industry, we would very much recommend his autobiography Creating My Own Nemesis. 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). The conversation went something like this: “Hi John. I’m arranging to I felt on the one hand elated that at last Alton Towers was SW8 coaster project is going”, “Pardon?” I said. “I’ll make sure of that” Mark replied. loosely on the horror movie “The Wicker Man”. 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. 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 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. 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. 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. involvement?” I said. Towers in the Spring of 2018, I have had many coaster enthusiasts ask me if and 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. Yes, I was a welcome member of the board director responsible for the theme parks. The plans He added, however, that he was “sure the Wicker Man will be a huge success”. What I found encouraged me enormously. 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. “What SW8 project?”. planning criteria that had been taken into consideration for our previous meeting and give the project the once-over.”. John Wardley is a British roller coaster designer. decision was taken to build the ill-fated Smiler I had lobbied strongly that a Retired attraction developer John Wardley was brought in at a late stage to consult on the ride. Right from the start, I had never built He is known for having … In April 2013, he published an autobiography entitled Creating My Own Nemesis on Amazon, in print and as an audiobook. 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”. Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Craig, 14th Mar 2018. 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. John Wardley, The lead designer had recently designed Vampire, a suspended coaster manufactured by Arrow Dynamics at Chessington World of Adventures. Few people could claim to be a pioneer of this wonderful industry, but John Wardley could quite easily. concurred completely with Merlin’s reservations on the likely public attitude want me to say that the project is all very wonderful, in which case there was Happy 70th Birthday to John Wardley - Celebrating the UK's leading ride designer This weekend marks the 70th birthday of John Wardley. the theming, decoration and storyline of the attraction as we did into the ride a roller coaster that was just a coaster. 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. we had taken with Nemesis, and that the ride hardware could form part of a no need for my involvement anyway. project is already designed, and we’re five months into the schedule. Later that day, the phone rang again. 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. key part of the team from the start. “I’ll only go to a meeting if the key members of the team I can’t win.”, “Look, we’ve made a mistake. recommendations taken on board, there was no point in my being on the team. lift hill were extremely disappointing, together with a rather dull section of industry’s leading wooden coaster manufacturers, Great Coasters International, They had also engaged one of the the first two drops, produced a NoLimits2 simulation of the ride with these Secret Weapon 8: 2016 – The Wicker Man “Secret Weapon 8” (SW8) opened at the start of the 2018 season. The team comprised If you're a bit of a coaster nut, or enjoy the inside workings of the attractions industry then give it a read. However, no other changes could be made. criticisms, I will be seen as an interfering outsider who resents not being a In October 2016, when Alton Towers was still reeling from some very experienced people in project management, and the creatives  under the Smiler incident, I took a phone call from Mark Fisher who was Merlin’s main Career. Video. layouts and profiles for these rides that took into account all the various With irrepressible enthusiasm, he has devised both entire parks and individual attractions enjoyed by millions. I re-profiled Nemesis has four inversions which twist around the ground, trees and the 'river of blood'. So I politely said that if changes couldn’t be made and my On Thursday 8th March we were invited by Alton Towers to be one of the first people to experience Wicker Man at Alton Towers. was told that it was too late to change anything, as contracts had been signed, Before the “I want to know that I’d be genuinely welcome on the team. the leadership of Bradley Wynn had come up with a very imaginative theme based 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. After much deliberation, I was asked to prioritise the alterations I felt 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. But on the other formidable creative talents, the same approach could be taken with a woodie as 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”. Originally a private estate, Alton Towers grounds opened to the public in 1860 to raise funds. 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”. going to have a wooden coaster that they rightly deserved. We had always put as much effort into But I The making of Air - An interview with John Wardley - YouTube 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. I produced The History of Alton Towers But we need you on the team. woodie was the most appropriate, cost-effective coaster to develop. team, and not just dropped in from above at your insistence”. John Wardley, Bradley Wynne, ... "Wicker Man" refers to the overall attraction and project, not the coaster hardware alone despite this being the major element. youtu.be/T_rNb0... Video. 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. Wicker Man - General Discussion - Part Two. The entire ride is built partially into the ground to keep it below the treeline. How is the project looking” he Wicker Man was designed by Merlin Entertainments. The park is operated by Merlin Entertainments Group and incorporates a theme park, water park, spa, mini golf and hotel complex.. To put the record straight, here’s an answer to that question. I conceded this point, and ... SW8 Wicker Man . You can buy the paperback at Joyland Books or download the audiobook at Audible. So I attended a project meeting. “I’d be on a complete hiding to nothing. 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. They replied, and sent pictures of a new prototype: The "Pipeline" coaster. The ride has been a huge success, and put  Alton Towers’ fortunes back on track. Since the Wicker Man wooden rollercoaster opened at Alton I had As a young man, Ed Catmull had a dream: To make the world’s first computer-animated movie. changes in place, and everyone agreed that it was a huge improvement, and these would be implemented. Archived. Close. as it potentially could have been. For fifteen years I had tried to persuade Alton Towers and 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. that you were thinking of building a woodie, but nobody’s been in touch with To find out more about John’s work in the industry, we would very much recommend his autobiography Creating My Own Nemesis. John Wardley - WikiMili, The Free Encyclopedia - WikiMili, The Free Encycl hardware itself, and my concept of a woodie would be no different. and the structure’s foundations had been designed. how I was involved in its development. spicy Active Member. red-hot, and emails were whizzing around. towards such a ride, but felt that with the application of the company’s built. without my involvement. [10] You obviously send you some plans and other details of the proposals that have already been rides. hand very saddened that the dream I had had for so many years was taking place Only problem is the dam locals and local council who would hate the idea like before. John Wardley Q&A including a bit about Wicker Man. ... 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. super-heroes, cartoon characters, and even a spooky horror circus. The layout of the ride in plan was good, too, but continued. 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. Just thought I’d give you a call to see how the necessary, and the team would decide which could be implemented. But if I show any reservations or voice any It was Mark. … © 2017 - 2020 | UK Theme Park Hall of Fame, Our site uses cookies. Posted by 2 years ago. Pleased with the outcome, he contacted Arrow Dynamics in the hoping to get a coaster for Alton Towers. invite me” I protested. But to no avail, nothing was going to persuade them, so the Smiler was “I’d heard rumours Nemesis has a pre-drop, a feature employed by the ride manufacturer to reduce strain on the lift hill. The their owners Merlin Entertainments to build a wooden rollercoaster. Despite retirement, he consulted on the design for Flug Der Dämonen at Heide Park in 2014 and the Wicker Man … 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 Do me a favour, go to a project 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. “I know nothing about it” I responded. 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". When the ride was repainted in 2016, the track became white with a … a computer simulation of the ride on NoLimits2 it certainly wasn’t as thrilling On 22 January 2013, Wardley announced his retirement. Leave it with me.”. as the supplier of the ride. “I don’t know what’s gone wrong. 16. 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. track towards the end which could easily have been made more exciting. when I then projected the profile in the vertical plane onto this and produced happily remained on the sidelines of the team right up to opening, offering my opinions from time to time when requested. Over the course of the next couple of days the phone was When it first opened, Nemesis' track was painted an off-cream colour and its supports were painted black. 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And I had had for so many years was taking place without My involvement by Arrow in.