Drayton Manor has confirmed plans to add a new rollercoaster for the 2011 season, with the ride set to be the first in Europe themed around the popular Ben 10 children's cartoon show.
The family-friendly coaster will form part of a new area of the park themed around the Cartoon Network TV channel (on which Ben 10 is broadcast). Also featured in Cartoon Network Street will be a new themed restaurant and a retail outlet selling merchandise based on Ben 10 and other Cartoon Network shows.
Drayton Manor has secured an exclusive deal with Turner CN Enterprises, which controls the Cartoon Network brand, to use the Ben 10 characters in the new attraction. The cartoon show depicts the adventures of 10-year-old Ben Tennyson, who is able to use a mysterious watch to turn himself into a variety of alien superheroes. The show debuted in 2005, being succeeded in April 2008 by a follow-up dubbed Ben 10: Alien Force. The latest series - Ben 10: Ultimate Alien - began airing on on Cartoon Network in April 2010.
The rollercoaster's queue will feature themed entertainment designed to enable guests to "revel in the world of Ben 10" while they wait to board. Drayton Manor has yet to confirm the nature of the ride itself, but it is widely believed to be variation on Vekoma's classic Boomerang design.
In November, Peter Van Bilsen, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Sales at Vekoma, let slip in an video interview that a "Junior Boomerang for Drayton Manor" is among the company's projects for 2011. Little is known about the Vekoma Junior Boomerang design, although its name suggests that it will be a non-looping rollercoaster that features a "shuttle" design. This would see it traverse the track in a forwards direction, before completing a return trip with riders facing backwards.
Colin Bryan, Managing Director of Drayton Manor, said of the park's new addition: "Drayton Manor has a reputation for firsts. We opened Europe’s first Thomas Land in 2008, and we have Europe’s first stand up rollercoaster (Shockwave), as well as the world’s first stand up tower drop ride (Apocalypse).
“Drayton Manor first opened to the public in 1950. Over the past 61 years we have always invested in first class rides and attractions to ensure our visitors have the best possible day out. This is why I am confident that this new Ben 10 themed rollercoaster will be an amazing and popular addition to the park.”
The Ben 10 rollercoaster will replace the Sombreros attraction, which was removed at the end of the 2010 season.
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