Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Alton Towers Brings in Contortionists to Help Staff Overcome Claustrophobia

Alton, UK (May 30, 2012) — In an attempt to help staff suffering with claustrophobia from working in the suffocating conditions of Nemesis Sub-Terra, Alton Towers Resort bosses have gone to bizarre lengths by introducing a series of claustrophobia workshops.

Led by one of the UK’s most popular contortionists, Pixie Le Knot, the classes will train staff to become comfortable working deep underground, in the confined spaces within Nemesis Sub-Terra.

Since the attraction opened a few months ago, a large proportion of staff have admitted to having suffered with claustrophobia from working in airless catacombs, endless tunnels and dark, cramped cages.

Deep underground in the belly of the attraction, Pixie and her team today began the class by demonstrating their skills in dealing with intensely small spaces. As the contortionists crammed themselves in to a perspex box, workers looked astonished at the body-shocking spectacle whilst Pixie explained how they handle such tight and often uncomfortable conditions.

Resort bosses are confident that their unique, if not slightly unusual, approach to staff training will pay off. Katherine Duckworth from Alton Towers Resort commented, “Nemesis Sub-Terra is set to push you to your limits. While our guests experience around four minutes of the intensity underground, our employees spend eight hours in the claustrophobic confines of this attraction. We’ve given our staff an unusual training session today and hope that Pixie will help them overcome their fears of the small spaces in the attraction.”

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MERLIN ENTERTAINMENTS is the leading name in location-based, family entertainment, and has seen the most successful and dynamic growth of any company in the sector over the last five years. Europe’s Number 1 and the world’s second-largest visitor attraction operator, Merlin now operates 89 attractions, seven hotels/two holiday villages in 19 countries and across four continents. The company aims to deliver memorable and rewarding experiences to its 46 million visitors worldwide, through its iconic global and local brands, and the commitment and passion of its managers and more than 17,000 employees. Among Merlin’s attractions are – SEA LIFE, Madame Tussauds, LEGOLAND, The EDF Energy London Eye, Dungeons, Gardaland, LEGOLAND Discovery Centres, Alton Towers Resort, Warwick Castle, THORPE PARK, Chessington World of Adventures Resort, Blackpool Tower, Heide Park, Sydney Aquarium, WILD LIFE Sydney, Sydney Tower Eye and SKYWALK, Siam Ocean World and Busan Aquarium. All brands which are distinctive, challenging and innovative – and which have great potential for growth in the future. Visit for more information.

Joe Kleiman
Joe Kleiman
Raised in San Diego on theme parks, zoos, and IMAX films, InPark's Senior Correspondent Joe Kleiman would expand his childhood loves into two decades as a projectionist and theater director within the giant screen industry. In addition to his work in commercial and museum operations, Joe has volunteered his time to animal husbandry at leading facilities in California and Texas and has played a leading management role for a number of performing arts companies. Joe previously served as News Editor and has remained a contributing author to InPark Magazine since 2011. HIs writing has also appeared in Sound & Communications, LF Examiner, Jim Hill Media, The Planetarian, Behind the Thrills, and MiceChat His blog, takes an unconventional look at the attractions industry. Follow on twitter @ThemesRenewed Joe lives in Sacramento, California with his wife, dog, and a ghost.

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