With their rickety structures, questionable harness systems, and lack of insurance waivers to sign, wooden roller coasters offer daredevils a glimpse at death from the (relative) safety of a fast-moving cart.

While most modern roller coasters are built of metal, there are still some amusement parks that stick to the tried-and-true method of making thrilling rides out of wood. Case in point, the Alton Towers’ upcoming Wicker Man attraction.

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Opening this Spring, the ride does away with the childish illusions of old-fashioned wood roller coasters and opts to bring fear to its thrill-seeking riders. After all—the Wicker Man is the first wooden roller coaster to be built in the UK in over 20 years; why not create a massive bust of a two-faced witch doctor which looms down on passengers as they go through him?

The bust in question stands six stories high and, like the rest of the roller coaster is made entirely out of wood. Passengers enter and exit the bust a total of three times for the duration of the ride.

Oh, and did I mention the bust has freakin’ flamethrowers? Because it has those too.

Yes—torches ignite themselves as the roller coaster travels through its designated route. The Wicker Man himself is already ablaze, but the most exciting part seems to come after you leave his body; as the train exits the chest of the Wicker Man, he promptly ignites himself in a sea of flames – a spectacular finish that just might leave some thrill seekers with soggy underpants.

In total, the ride took four years to develop and stands 57 feet tall at its highest point. If you live in the vicinity of Alton, Staffordshire and have a death wish, do let us know if you’ll be trying this out later in the year! Additional details on the Wicker Man can be found at the Alton Towers webpage.


Carlos wrestles gators, and by gators, we mean words. He also loves good design, good books, and good coffee.