By Brady MacDonald
Los Angeles Times staff writer
11:47 AM EST, January 1, 2012
A new indoor dark ride debuting in 2012 at Britain's Alton Towers theme park promises to be a psychologically terrifying and physically thrilling experience set in the secret underground catacomb of an alien creature.
Dubbed Nemesis: Sub-Terra, the new ride is based on the original back-story for the 1994 Nemesis inverted roller coaster that travels over a river of blood. The Nemesis legend tells of a brooding and unpredictable extraterrestrial discovered during an excavation and worshipped by a cult.
Concept art for the new ride shows the blood-red tentacles and a bulging serpent's eyeball of the ancient malevolent creature emerging from a volcanic terrain.
Construction has already begun on the Nemesis: Sub-Terra building, which will descend two stories below ground.
Set to open March 24, the new attraction is expected to be built by ABC Rides of Switzerland, which created the Extremis indoor special effects drop tower at London Dungeons (also run by Merlin Entertainment, parent company of Alton Towers).
A prototype Vertical Dark Ride concept by ABC Rides features a central drop tower with benches that rotate and stop at animated scenes at various levels inside a themed building.
A master at marketing new attractions, Alton Towers has been dropping clues about the new ride in an ongoing online campaign, including suggestions of hazardous materials and containment zones. As a promotional stunt, the park plans to install heart-rate monitors at the exit of what promises to be a pulse-quickening ride.
Jack Osbourne, star of the British reality TV show "Adrenaline Junkie," will serve as Director of Fear for the new ride. An underground caving expedition on "Adrenaline Junkie" is said to have inspired the new attraction.
The ride will be located in the post-apocalyptic Forbidden Valley section of Alton Towers near the Nemesis and Air roller coasters and the Ripsaw and Blade thrill rides.
Two existing attractions, the Lava Lump rock-climbing wall and the Body Zorb bumper orbs, will be removed to make room for the new indoor ride.
The exterior of the new attraction will match the industrial and military theme featured throughout the Forbidden Valley.
Located between Manchester and Birmingham in central England, Alton Towers also plans to add an "Ice Age 3: Dawn of the Dinosaurs" 4-D movie in 2012.
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