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John Richard Wardley
6 June 1950
|Known for||Chessington World of Adventures, Prof. Burp's Bubble Works, The Vampire, The Haunted House, Nemesis, Oblivion, Air, The Smiler|
John Richard Wardley (born 6 June 1950 in Harrow, Greater London) is a British developer for theme parks in the UK and Europe: an innovator of special effects, dark rides and roller coasters in the themed attraction industry.
Wardley started his career as a stage manager at Windsor's Theatre Royal, then moved on to the film industry creating special effects, including several of the James Bond movies. He was later hired by the Tussauds Group due to his experience in designing animated figures and rides for amusement parks. His first project with Tussauds was the development of animatronics for the 'Royalty and Empire' exhibition at Windsor.
After this he was employed by the Tussauds Group to transform the declining Chessington Zoo in London to become the Chessington World of Adventures theme park. There, Wardley oversaw the production of attractions including The Vampire suspended coaster and the Dragon River log flume. In 1990, Wardley collaborated with attraction developer Keith Sparks to produce the popular Prof. Burp's Bubble Works dark ride at Chessington World of Adventures, which ran for 15 years. Following this, he worked again with Sparks to produce a second large dark ride, The Haunted House (now Duel: The Haunted House Strikes Back) at Alton Towers, in 1992.
Continuing as a development director of the Tussauds Group, John produced roller coasters such as Nemesis, Oblivion and Air. He also produced several rides at Thorpe Park after its acquisition by Tussauds in 1998.
One of his other projects at this time was producing the Mystique show at Blackpool Pleasure Beach, with leisure developer Geoffrey Thompson, which ran for nearly 20 years.
Wardley also worked with Chris Sawyer and Frontier Developments for RollerCoaster Tycoon 3, a game about amusement park management. His name is also a secret cheat code in the game - when visitor's title is named after him all height restrictions are removed, alluding to the severe height restrictions that his most well-known work at Alton Towers was required to comply with.
Wardley went into semi-retirement after completing Air (now Galactica) at Alton Towers in 2002 some years after the Tussauds Group had been acquired by Charterhouse. However, Merlin Entertainments took over the company in May 2007 and invited Wardley back as a ride design consultant. He consulted for various rollercoaster projects, such as SAW - The Ride and The Swarm at Thorpe Park, TH13TEEN and The Smiler at Alton Towers, and Raptor at Gardaland.
On 22 January 2013, Wardley announced his retirement. In April 2013, he published an autobiography entitled Creating My Own Nemesis on Amazon, in print and as an audiobook. Despite retirement, he consulted on the design for Flug Der Dämonen at Heide Park in 2014 and the Wicker Man at Alton Towers in 2017.
- RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 - consultation
- NoLimits Coaster 2 - technical adviser
- Creating My Own Nemesis - print edition (April 2013) - author
- Creating My Own Nemesis - audiobook (December 2017) - author & narrator
- Creating My Own Nemesis - kindle edition (December 2017) - author & narrator
Attractions produced by John Wardley
- See also: Category:Rides designed by John Wardley
|c.1975||Uncle Frankenstein's Scream Machine (Barry Island)||Design & production||Dark ride|
|c.1976||Wacky Gold Mine (Barry Island)||Design & production||Dark ride|
|1984||Royalty & Empire||Animatronic development||Exhibition|
|1987||Dragon River||Design & development||Log flume|
|1987||Runaway Train||Design & development||Roller coaster|
|1987||The 5th Dimension||Layout||Dark Ride|
|1990||Prof. Burp's Bubble Works||Development||Water dark ride|
|1990||Vampire||Layout & development||Roller coaster|
|1992||Runaway Mine Train||Layout & development||Roller coaster|
|1992||The Haunted House||Development||Dark ride|
|1993||The Spirit of London||Development||Dark ride|
|1994||Nemesis||Layout & development||Roller coaster|
|1995||Dragon Khan||Layout & development||Roller coaster|
|1996||Megafobia||Layout & development||Roller coaster|
|2000||Hex – The Legend of the Towers||Development||Dark ride|
|2002||Air||Layout & development||Roller coaster|
|2009||Saw - The Ride||Consultancy||Roller coaster|
|2012||The Swarm||Consultancy||Roller coaster|
|2013||The Smiler||Consultancy||Roller coaster|
|2014||Flug der Dämonen||Consultancy||Roller coaster|
|2018||Wicker Man||Consultancy||Roller coaster|
John Wardley Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.