Children’s favourite Ben 10 will add another popular brand to UK park
Drayton Manor Theme Park in the UK has revealed it will open another major branded attraction for the 2011 season based on the hugely popular children’s character Ben 10.
Taken from the animated TV series produced by Cartoon Network, Ben 10 is based around the adventures of 10 year old Ben Tennyson, who finds a watch-like device known as an Omnitrix which gives him the ability to transform into various alien forms, each with its own powers.
At Drayton Manor the character and his adventures will form the storyline behind a new family launch coaster from Vekoma Rides Manufacturing, Ben 10 – Ultimate Mission, the first of its type in the world. Based on Vekoma’s junior coaster system, the attraction features an out and back track layout, similar to the classic Vekoma Boomerang, which launches riders forwards on their first tour of the track before they return travelling backwards along the same route to the station. The track will be 180m in length and will have a highest point of 20m. Maximum speed will be 55 kph and riders will experience up to 3G. Minimum rider height will be 1m and hourly capacity approximately 850 riders.
The new attraction will be heavily themed on Ben 10 and will also incorporate special elements within the queue area. Set in a truly immersive environment, riders will enter Asmuth’s laboratory (who built the Omnitrix) where they learn that earth is under attack from the evil Vilgax. They move through the Alien DNA workshops where various interactive devices will allow them to explore the Alien DNA-based breeding and experimentation programme before boarding the laser cannon power generator, which needs to be fired into outer space to destroy Vilgax and save the world! Ben 10 fans will get to help Ben and his friends in a mission to save the planet from invading aliens – and make a video of their experience too.
As well as in the queue area and on the ride, the Ben 10/Cartoon Network theming will be maximised in the surrounding area of the new coaster, not least at the ride entrance which will, not surprisingly, be emblazoned with suitable signage and artwork. Additionally, a stage above the entrance will accommodate a live show as part of the pre-show element before the ride.
“The show will act as a prelude to the ride and will set the scene, ” explained show producer Paul Hammond of Paul Hammond Productions. “It will feature Ben 10 and his cousin Gwen and one of the monsters (from Ben’s adventures) in a live setting. It will run for approximately seven minutes before guests enter the ride, on a custom-built stage above the entrance, and will feature state-of-the-art effects.”
The diner and retail outlet directly opposite the ride entrance, which were redeveloped just two years ago, will also be completely rethemed and rebranded as Cartoon Network outlets, with Cartoon Network cartoons being played on flat screens around the diner and a variety of other related decor also being added both inside and out. The retail outlet will become a Cartoon Network store with a host of related merchandise on offer.
“The new coaster will fill a gap we feel there is at Drayton in our arsenal of coasters, ” commented the park’s general manager park operations, Edward Pawley, “and will slot in between the Gerstlauer Troublesome Trucks ride in Thomas Land and the Maurer Sohne G-Force coaster. Ben 10 – Ultimate Mission will be the first coaster of its kind in the world, so another ‘first’ for Drayton Manor, and will incorporate the same principles and a similar layout to the hugely successful Boomerang coaster, but without the inversions. It will be a fun, exciting attraction for all the family themed on one of the most popular children’s brands around.”
The coaster, however, is not the only new element being introduced to the park for 2011. Aside from the previously announced new 150-room hotel, a new Junior Regatta style ride from Zamperla will replace the Terence the Tractor attraction in Thomas Land, which will be moved to a new home in the expanded Farmer McColl’s Farm, situated at the far end of the railway track on which guests travel from Thomas Land. The new addition will have a capacity of 32 riders and will feature four locomotives and four coal wagons, at the same time introducing four new Thomas and Friends™ characters to this section of the park. Two live shows, again produced by Paul Hammond Productions, will also be a feature of Thomas Land for 2011.
A new 4D film (details to be announced at a later date) will be shown in the park’s 4D effects theatre and the Cafeteria food outlet will be transformed into the California Grill, a new sit-down, waitress service restaurant available to all park visitors, hotel guests and the general public, and open all day from breakfast right through to dinner.
Drayton Manor Theme Park is one of the UK’s most popular family attractions with over one million visitors a year. This year, the park is celebrating its Diamond Jubilee. Drayton Manor was first opened to the public by the current owners, the Bryan family, in 1950 after husband and wife co-founders, George, OBE, and Vera Bryan, converted 80 acres of derelict land, which once belonged to the former British Prime Minister Sir Robert Peel and his family, into a wonderful family attraction. Today, set in approximately 280 acres of beautiful woodland and countryside, the family owned and run Drayton Manor Theme Park features some of the biggest, wettest and scariest rides around, including Shock-wave, G-force, Maelstrom, and Apocalypse, as well as a 15-acre zoo, the hugely popular Thomas Land™ attraction and a 4D Cinema.