Alton Towers has confirmed that it is still aiming to open its new SW7 roller coaster on March 16, 2013, but has admitted that it "can't say for sure" that it will meet that target.
Rumours have persisted that SW7's opening date will be delayed, with significant construction work and testing of the ride still to be carried out. With many fans having already booked tickets and hotels stays for the opening day of the season, Alton Towers' has confirmed via its official Twitter account that it will move bookings for free if the coaster does not open in time.
In a move which could be viewed as an "insurance policy" in case the construction schedule slips, the park has confirmed that it will bring back The Sanctuary horror maze for the start of the new season. Originally installed as a temporary attraction for the Scarefest 2012 Halloween events, the maze is hosted inside the Alton Towers mansion itself. Its plot is believed to have been designed to complement the backstory for SW7, focusing on the mysterious "Ministry of Joy", which undertook experiments on humans during the early 20th century.
Manufactured by Gerstlauer, the £18 million SW7 is claimed to be the "first coaster of its kind in the world". Its circuit will feature at least 8 inversions and 2 lift hills, and will be located alongside the existing Oblivion roller coaster. Alton Towers has previously claimed that the ride will feature a "world's first" element, and while several rumours are circulating on the web, the park has yet to confirm the nature of this.
For more details of Alton Towers' new addition for 2013, see Theme Park Tourist's detailed breakdown of the SW7 plans.
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