Alton Towers to offer ‘a new flight’ into space?

A new trademark listed by parent company Merlin Entertainments, paired with the upcoming changes for Air next year, could suggest an out of this world experience is landing in Staffordshire.

With the current amusement and theme park season only a few weeks away from the winter season, the marketing machines have begun their campaigns to advertise new attractions and experiences for the forthcoming 2016 season.

For Alton Towers one of those experiences will be in the form of Air, the world’s first B&M flying roller coaster that opened in 2002.

Earlier this year, planning applications were submitted to convert the ride’s current retail space into a brand new restaurant, as well as proposals to install additional theming around the ride area.

Recently, Alton Towers have installed banners around the ride and have updated their website, teasing ‘the future is here’, as well as marking several areas in the queue line that will be altered according to the plans.

The future is coming: a banner teasing the forthcoming changes to Air. Image by Liam Wright.
The future is coming: a banner teasing the forthcoming changes to Air. Image by Liam Wright.

Alton Towers’ parent company, Merlin Entertainments have also trademarked the name ‘GALACTICA’ back in August. The idea of Air receiving a new space theme is also strengthened by the file extension name of the resort logo that is featured on the new banners and website: air-space-logo.png

Property of Merlin Entertainments: The trademark document for ‘GALACTICA’.

The strongest rumour surrounding the ride however is the addition of virtual reality headsets. These headsets would allow guests to be transported into a distant pocket of space whilst navigating the familiar layout of the ride as it currently stands.

The Alpenexpress ride at Europa Park in Germany currently offers guests the chance to experience the ride with the experimental headset in allocated rows, believed to be making its debut on Air next year. Europa Park is also home of the Food Loop restaurant which is expected to take up the current retail area above Air’s station.

WATCH: Alpenexpress virtual reality experience at Europa Park: