Nemesis Sub Terra, Alton Towers

It probably came as a shock to many Alton Towers fans that a couple of weeks ago Alton Towers announced that Nemesis Sub-Terra would reopen on May 27th ready for half term crowds.

Well, it has now reopened and we take a look at the changes that have been made. Theme Park Worldwide has shared a video on YouTube of the opening of Nemesis Sub-Terra which is embedded below.

As you can see, during the opening ceremony all employees are in character and we are told by the official who appears in the marketing videos that we are here to view their latest discovery, learning how they are creating a secure future for generations to come at the newly recommissioned Phalanx Research Facility. Then it all goes wrong and workers come stumbling out of the building which is then covered up by the official saying everything is indeed okay!

It is really good to see Alton Towers putting a lot of effort into these openings and immersing guests in the theming and stories behind the experience. Hundreds of people arrived at Alton Towers ready for the reopening.

All employees are in character with official lab coats and clip boards or as security guards. Many people will want to know if anything has changed so here is a list:

  • So, for starters the sign has been changed to include the black and red theming but currently there is a temporary sign as they wait for the proper one to arrive. We expect this to arrive soon.
  • The pre-show videos in the queue to begin the back story remain mostly the same although some have been updated to include scenes from the marketing videos that have been released of the new Nemesis track arriving.
  • The Phalanx employees are not as aggressive as they were before while inside the building.
  • There are televisions all around the room in the first area rather than just at the front and black and red branding has been added.
  • The classic ending where the actors would chase you through what felt like a scare maze to exit the attraction has now gone. 

Nemesis Sub-Terra is not a headlining attraction but certainly gives Forbidden Valley a new lease of life while Nemesis is closed for its retracking this season. It is a 7-8 minute experience and has a 1.4m height restriction and includes a 40mph 20-foot drop. 

When Nemesis Sub-Terra opened for the 2012 season it was billed as "your worst nightmare underground". It had mixed reviews and after the Smiler incident when budget cuts were needed it was permanently closed near the end of the 2015 season. Its reliance on actors made it a sensible choice. It returned briefly in 2018-19 as Project 42, a horror experience which didn't include the drop tower which was boarded up.

It makes sense this year for Alton Towers to use this former closed attraction to bring attention to the Phalanx Research Facility as the extensive Nemesis reimagining continues. Warning: SPOILER ALERT

Nemesis Sub-Terra is situated on the periphery of Forbidden Valley, sandwiched between Nemesis and Alton Towers' monorail and is housed entirely indoors. 

Pre-show videos fill in the Nemesis Sub-Terra backstory which is an extension of the original Nemesis storyline, which was based around an alien that had been buried beneath the Earth's surface for 2 million years. A shadowy organisation known as The Phalanx has now taken over the site, and has discovered a further series of caves beneath the alien's subterranean home. Guests are about to enter these, in order to study an egg that has been found within.

Nemesis Sub-Terra, Alton Towers
Image: Alton Towers

The Alton Towers staff members that operated Nemesis Sub-Terra are all dressed in black, military-style Phalanx uniforms and play their role in creating the atmosphere of being inside a military facility. 

Whilst inside the building the climax is going into the elevator which vibrates to suggest that guests are descending deep underground, and a short video explains that they should proceed into a chamber once they reach the bottom.

On exiting the elevator and navigating a short tunnel, guests finally come face-to-face with the Nemesis Sub-Terra ride itself and the small drop tower manufactured by Swiss firm ABC Rides which focuses guests attention on the mysterious egg. At the end the egg hatches and you are chased out of the attraction by the already mentioned Phalanx employees.

As we expected, Nemesis Sub-Terra has remained essentially the same and give guests a very similar experience as it did when it opened in 2012 but with a few tweaks some good and some not quite so.

Nemesis Sub-Terra queue entrance

We are uncertain if Nemesis Sub-Terra will remain open long term although it seems very likely it will continue to function next year at the very least when Nemesis reopens at the beginning of the 2024 season.

Are you pleased to hear the news that Nemesis Sub-Terra will reopen on May 27? Let us know your thoughts by leaving us a comment below or on our Facebook page.


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