A short TikTok video has racked up over a million views this week, and it’s letting people into one of Alton Towers’ best-kept secrets: The Staffordshire-based theme park has a ‘tree top’ rule.
If you’re unsure of what that rule actually means at first glance, then you’re definitely not the only one. Judging by the rising number of views, it doesn’t appear to have been something on the radar of many thrill-seekers until it was brought to our attention thanks to Theme Park Faulk on TikTok.
The short clip posted to the video sharing platform briefly explains the rule specifically applies to the designing and building process of roller coasters.
Some of the theme park’s largest and most popular rides have had to take the rule into account over the years, and it’s one that requires consultation when any new attractions are built.
“Did you know that Alton Towers can’t build any attractions that are taller than the tree height?” the video explains.
“This is why rides such as Oblivion and Nemesis are built into the ground.”
Explaining why this is the case and what the reasoning is behind the rule, Theme Park Faulk then goes on to say that it’s so “local residents are unable to see track from the roller coasters”.
It sort of makes sense really, doesn’t it?
The rule has been confirmed as true by the designer of some of the park’s most famous roller coasters.
Speaking to Birmingham Live back in 2015 about the build process for Nemesis – which was completed and opened in 1994 – John Wardley explained his vision of what a theme park should be like, and how that led to him revamping and re-theming existing areas within the Alton Towers grounds for “big thrill” rides in an attempt to make it world famous.
But when phase one of the planning was complete, John encountered a new challenge: “We were instructed to keep everything below the height of the existing tree levels to keep in with the surroundings.
“We quickly realised that we couldn’t go up [and] we needed to be creative due to the planning restrictions, so we built down instead.”
When a huge hole had been dug into the ground, that’s when John designed Nemesis – a rollercoaster that suspended riders underneath the track, rather than riding on top.
It was the first roller coaster in the world to do so, and now many others have followed.
The so-called ‘tree top’ rule is required to be adhered to each time Alton Towers adds a new ride to the attraction, but it isn’t one that’s been widely welcomed by theme park fans over the years.
A poll on the Attraction Source Forum all the way back in 2008 revealed 39% of voters were unsatisfied with the restrictions and felt the rule would hold the park back from its UK competitors.
35% were on board.
What’s your take on it all?
Featured Image – Alton Towers
I’m A Celebrity line-up announced for brand new all-star series in South Africa
The all-star line-up for I’m A Celebrity… South Africa has been announced, with some massive Manchester celebs taking part.
The brand new show is due to air in April and will see some of the series’ most memorable campmates heading to a new setting in South Africa.
And that’s just part of the first wave of celebrity contestants – more famous faces will take part in I’m A Celebrity… South Africa, entering the camp as the series goes on.
The new series will ‘push them to their limits and test them like never before’, ITV has said, promising bigger and tougher challenges and an even harsher environment.
Also taking part from the launch episode will be Diversity star Jordan Banjo, TV presenter Carol Vorderman, Olympian Fatima Whitbread, former royal butler Paul Burrell, ex-England cricketer Phil Tufnell, and supermodel Janice Dickinson.
ITV said: “Whilst nodding back to the Australian jungle, I’m A Celebrity…South Africa is a uniquely different series so viewers can look forward to lots of unexpected twists and turns.”
The trailer also shows the celebs taking part in pre-recorded challenges, taking on everything from nasty food to terrifying heights.
I’m A Celebrity… South Africa will air on ITV1 and ITVX from April 2023.
Featured image: ITV
Commentator Arlo White shows off what the Old Trafford gantry walk looks like
Ever wondered what it’s like to be up in the gantry in a football stadium, say, Old Trafford? Well, we certainly have.
You see the odd shot of the commentators sat there on the telly from time to time but it never really gives much away either and, at some venues, it’s quite a ways up there. There’s a little bit of allure behind these mysterious parts of footy grounds that most fans will never get to see.
After hours of mindless scrolling on the social media app, we stumbled across the well-known sports commentator‘s channel where he’s been showing off what it’s like to go in the gantry and one of them is his long walk to crow’s nest up at the Theatre of Dreams.
As it turns out, Arlo’s been doing these videos for a couple of years now, revealing how the gantry looks not only at Old Trafford but other big Premier League grounds too, such as down the road at the Etihad, Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium, Tottenham Hotspurs’ sparkly new ground and many more.
Another reason we found ourselves stuck on his TikTok for so long was also because of the other behind-the-scenes details he reveals too, even shedding light on how he prepares for games: note-taking, data sheets, how keeps himself warm up there during those cold nights on comms and so on.