New footage has been released online showing Alton Towers' highly-anticipated Thirteen rollercoaster undergoing testing prior to its March opening.
The video, along with several new images of the ride in action, was posted to the ride's official blog and is embedded below. It reveals few new details about the ride, briefly showing the train entering the "crypt" building that forms the centrepiece of Thirteen.
The "world's first" element that Alton Towers claims will form part of the new coaster is not revealed in the video. It will be located inside the crypt structure, and is strongly rumored to be either a section of track that "freefalls" vertically, a backwards-tilting section - or a combination of the two. The official blog describes the element as a "drop feature or world's first".
The release of the video, along with the ongoing publicity blitz from Alton Towers around Thirteen, suggests that the £15 million ride is on course to open at the start of the park's 2010 season on March 20. Alongside Thirteen's construction, the Rita: Queen of Speed rollercoaster has also undergone an extensive retheming to fit in with the new ride's "Dark Forest" theme.
When the ride's name was first announced, Alton Towers claimed that Thirteen will be so terrifying that it is is considering restricting guests to one ride per day and only allowing those aged 16-55 to ride. However, such marketing talk is unlikely to be translated into reality when the ride finally opens.
Theme Park Tourist will be attending the opening day of Thirteen in March and will bring you exclusive video and photographs from the event.
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