Alton Towers has cancelled the preview weekend for its Thirteen rollercoaster, sparking fears that the ride may not be ready for the opening day of the park's season on March 20.
The park has contacted guests with bookings for the preview weekend to offer them a full refund. In addition, the park will organise a free behind-the-scenes tour of the new ride along with an evening presentation by designer John Wardley for later in the year for those who have missed out. Disappointed guests will also receive a free "fastpass" allowing them to skip the queue for Thirteen on a day of their choice.
The event was due to take place on March 13-14, just one week before Thirteen is scheduled to open. Although attendees were never promised a ride on Thirteen, the cancellation of the planned behind-the-scenes tour has led to concerns that the opening date may be pushed back. However, Alton Towers' website still officially lists the ride's opening date as March 20.
Speculation as to the cause of the cancellation is rife, with some suggesting that the park may be suffering from issues with the ride's rumored freefall drop element. The harsh winter weather has also been pointed to as a potential factor in the delay.
Alton Towers will contact guests with bookings for the Thirteen preview weekend within the next 5-7 days with details of the complimentary evening event.
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