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In-depth: Thorpe Park reveals plans for "LC12" B&M Wing Rider rollercoaster for 2012

LC12 teaser image

Thorpe Park has released the plans for its planned new rollercoaster for 2012, which reveal that it will be a B&M Wing Rider model featuring a "crash site" theme.

The details were included in a planning application submitted to Runnymede Borough Council, which confirms several rumours that have surrounded the proposed coaster for months. The coaster, code-named "LC12", is set to cost some £18 million to construct and Thorpe Park hopes that it will debut at the beginning of the 2012 season.

The plans reveal in detail the proposed layout for the coaster and the surrounding theming elements, all of which are covered in-depth below. It also confirms that Thorpe Park still intends to build another major coaster in 2015, as detailed in its Medium Term Development Plan in July 2010.

An all-new island

Thorpe Park rollercoaster locations

The proposed locations of Thorpe Park's new rollercoasters.
Image © Thorpe Park

The LC12 rollercoaster will be constructed north of the existing Stealth coaster, on an island in Thorpe Park's man-made lake. A new bridge will be constructed to connect the island to rest of the park, while another may be constructed in future to link it with one of two potential sites for the 2015 coaster.

Thorpe Park LC12 site layout

The layout of the island that will host the LC12 coaster.
Image © Thorpe Park

The island will be almost completely dominated by the rollercoaster (none of which will extend into the lake), but it will also play host to a range of other amenities including a photo booth, a retail outlet and a food and beverage kiosk.

Winging it

X-Raptor render
LC12 will feature a similar design to Gardaland's X-Raptor.
Image © Gardaland

The plans refer to the new ride as a "Wing Coaster" and reveal that its trains will be four times the width of standard rollercoaster trains. This almost certainly confirms rumours that LC12 will be the second Bolliger & Mabillard Wing Rider coaster to open at a Merlin-owned theme park, following X-Raptor at Gardaland (which is due to open in spring 2011).

Wing Rider coasters see riders seated either side of the track in a "winged" formation. While X-Raptor's seats will remain static throughout the ride, it is rumoured that they will rotate in Thorpe Park's version - making it the UK's first "4th Dimension" coaster. However, the plans do not confirm or deny this.

Twists, turns and inversions

LC12 track layout

LC12's layout appears to include at least 4 inversions.
Image © Thorpe Park

The plans for Thorpe Park's 2012 coaster include detailed images of its layout, which appear to show that it will feature some unique design elements. This includes a heartline roll just after the 126-feet-tall lift hill, which would see riders starting the first drop in an upside-down position before roaring down into an upright position for the ensuing turns.

LC12 track layout 2

LC12 will pack in a number of tight twists and turns.
Image © Thorpe Park

Following the first drop, the coaster will climb a second, 66-feet-tall hill that culminates in another inversion. The train will then enter a series of banked turns which appear to include at least two more inversions.

LC12 track layout 3

The ride will be contained entirely on the island, and won't extend over the lake.
Image © Thorpe Park

The length of the new rollercoaster has yet to be confirmed by Thorpe Park, but it is known from the Medium Term Development Plan that it will not exceed 2,788 feet (850 metres).

LC12-Stealth comparison

Stealth will tower over the new rollercoaster.
Image © Thorpe Park

At 126-feet-tall, the new coaster will be towered over by the 205-feet-tall Stealth. However, it will become the second-tallest coaster at Thorpe Park ahead of Nemesis Inferno (95 feet), Saw - The Ride (100 feet) and Colossus (98 feet). The 2015 coaster could be taller, with a maximum height of 164 feet.

"Flying" through a crash scene

Thorpe Park is aiming for a post-apocalyptic theme for its new rollercoaster, as suggested by a previously-released teaser image. The plans claim the ride will offer a "fly-through experience through a crash scene", which will be populated with derelict buildings and vehicles. To match the depressing scene, the coaster's track will be painted grey with grey-brown supports.

The ride's station will be one of its central features, and will be based on a burnt-out chapel or church. The station will cover 437 square metres and reach a maximum height of 12 metres tall, as shown in the images below:

LC12 station preview image

The station is designed to resemble a crumbling church.
Image © Thorpe Park

LC12 station preview image 2

Smashed-out windows will be a feature of the mock church.
Image © Thorpe Park

Dotted around the ride's course will be a number of elements designed to add to the disaster theme. These include life-size replicas of a crashed aeroplane close to the first drop, a crashed helicopter jutting out of a pond and a burnt-out fire engine. Some of these elements were originally due to be located in the lake, but Thorpe Park has withdrawn this idea at the request of planning officers.

Crashed aeroplane design

A huge replica of a crashed aeroplane will a major theming feature.
Image © Thorpe Park

Crashed helicopter design

A helicopter will also succumb to the cause of the "devastation".
Image © Thorpe Park

Fire engine design

Fire engines seemingly proved ineffective in the face of the disaster.
Image © Thorpe Park

The ride's queue will also feature similar theming, with a fire-damaged tree marking its entrance and "damaged" fences along its route.

Queue line entrance design

The tree to be featured at the queue line entrance has seen better days.
Image © Thorpe Park

Fence design
Fences will be themed to appear to be on the verge of collapse.
Image © Thorpe Park

Shopping after the apocalypse

The other amenities on the island will also be designed to fit into the disaster theme, with the photo sales unit and food and beverage unit both designed to resemble destroyed vehicles. The retail outlet will be made up of "damaged" containers, while the toilet block will be a semi-collapsed building.

Food and beverage unit design

An "overturned" lorry will act as a food and beverage unit.
Image © Thorpe Park

Photo unit design

A crashed news van will act as LC12's photo sales unit.
Image © Thorpe Park

Retail outlet design

The retail outlet will sell goods from damaged "containers".
Image © Thorpe Park

Will it happen?

Thorpe Park warns in its planning application to Runnymede Borough Council that it needs a quick decision if it is to open the ride in time for the 2012 season. The council is yet to make a determination on the park's Medium Term Development Plan, although the park hopes that it will do this at the same time as it considers the new application.

B&M's Wing Rider model is claimed to be quieter than the inverted Nemesis Inferno and the coaster will be located within the area that has been approved for development by Thorpe Park. The decision to build a coaster that is set to be less tall than the 2015 coaster appears to be designed to smooth the approval process and enable work to get underway quickly.

What do you think?

We've already included the first B&M Wing Rider, Gardaland's Raptor, in our list of the 10 most exciting new theme park attractions opening in 2011. It should come as no surprise, then, that we're equally excited by Thorpe Park's plans to bring the concept to the UK. The proposed theme for LC12 looks impressive, and goes well beyond anything that Merlin has attempted at its UK parks in recent years. We hope the plans are approved as-is, and the park can get to work building its most exciting new addition in years.

What do you think of Thorpe Park's plans for its 2012 rollercoaster? Let us know through the comments section below.

There are 22 comments.

I think the new plans released this week look great. The theming should be amazing especially the crashed plane! I can't wait to see what the finished product will look like. :)

The coaster looks a great design & some fantastic theaming, but seems the layout needs to be longer as not everyone likes tight turns.

What Thorpe Park needs to build is a "wooden coaster" like "Kingda Ka" but on a smaller scale say 120ft high.

Making a woodie that tall would cost way to much money for a park to actualy consider doing so. Anyway, no park would ever have enough room, unless we're talking about Kings' Island.

How can a 500 acre site not have enough room?

Kinda ka is not a wooden coaster

Kingda Ka isn't a woody? Its a launch coaster like Stealth.

Nice article. This coaster sounds great even if it is a little on the short side. It's B&M and it looks to be highly themed. I'm in!

If the seats do rotate, then it could top X2. I'd prefer a few perfectly executed maneuvers and elements over X2's seemingly endless onslaught of rotations.

Thanks Joel. I agree, apart from the length it looks like a really exciting addition and I'm pleased to see that Merlin looks like it will go all-out on the theming after the let-down of Thirteen at Alton Towers.

Could The Coaster Critic or some one else tell me what X2 is? It sounds cool.

Also, whoever wrote this article did a great job. I found it very interesting and imformative, it also helped me explain to my friend what a B&M Wingrider is

does anyone else think that a theme park situated on man made islands in a man made lake is begging to have a roller coaster that goes 'underwater'?

by which i mean, takes riders through a transparent tube as part of the journey.

if we can build the channel tunnel, surely this isnt beyond the possibilities of a good engineering team?


I like the whole idea of the wing seating, and the seats twisting, much like a stable samurai,but i wish thorpe would be more like America's theme parks.

I know Thorpe Doesnt have alot of room compared to places such as six flags, but Thorpe's coasters are so short, its not really worth queing for more than an 45 minutes-1 hour as their over in 3 minutes. They should builed them on the height and length scale of America.

I would also LOVE to see an underwater coaster, as mentioned up there, a man made island over a lake, surely that becomes compulsory? And, additions such as a 'standing up' coaster, or lying down on your stomach, flying head first, as they do in America.

What are the Theme Parks in the USA like? I've heard they're great and a few names i've heard are six flags, universal studiods, disneyworld florida, cedar point and ils of adventure, USA have alot more space which is why the coasters are so big and long - i think?
Whta are the best coasters? i havn't had the chance to got to the USA yet

You mean like air? #fail

Unfortunately THORPE PARK have limited space to play with and a limit to how high they can build, so no we will never see the mega coasters like in the US. There is a limit to how far they can expand into the lake as well so they can not possibly fit one in.

I for one am looking very forward to riding this, it should be a great achievement for the UK.

LC12 should be amazing. 127 ft is a great achievement for the UK. It is not often that rides are built here that break the 100ft mark. Also really happy to see that B&M are making this, and that it will be a wingwalker! We should have a world class ride next year.

They have a 220ft restriction due to it being near an airport.Stealth is well over 200ft so there was no restriction in height on the new coaster.

So far Thorpe Park is a mixed, theme park. I mean, there are rides for 5 - 8 year olds and rides for people 10+ as Thorpe is gradually adding bigger, faster and scarier rides to it's location, then shouldn't they just scrap the baby rides so that young and old don't clash?
The arrival of the 2 Saw attractions and the future arrival of LC12 and others, has proved that Thorpe is planning to do even scarier and extreme coasters. In no time, Thorpe will become a no toddler/young child site anyway.
Anyway, the new coaster looks awsome - cant wait, 2015 + 2018 are the next dates for the new coasters i think, and Saw Alive experienced a small fire on April 5th 2011 and it is closed untill they find the source of the fire, so they can repair it.

Thorpe Park is the best i love STEALTH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Stealth is awsome, so are Saw and Slammer x :)

I'm pretty impressed with how this coaster is going, however, I'm not to keen on 4th Dimension coasters quite yet. Can't wait until it opens :D

I hope that the queue will be as detailed as some of the rides at Universal and Saw The Ride, I think it really adds to the experience of the ride

I also hope it shoots video like Saw did

I don't think this is a 4D rollercoaster. It's a winged one, the seats don't rotate.

I agree with you, Thorpe Park is definitely going at full steam for 2012 =)

What's up, just wanted to mention, I liked this blog post.
It was inspiring. Keep on posting!

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