was instrumental in the master planning and detailed design of
Chessington World of Adventures in Surrey, the considerable success
of which led to its owners, the Tussauds Group (of which he became a director) subsequently
acquiring Alton Towers in Staffordshire. He was then involved in the
Group's major expansion program at this attraction, and at Thorpe Park, Heide Park and Gardaland.
His design and
concept work at Alton Towers included the Runaway Train, Haunted
House, and the
world-renowned Nemesis rollercoaster, followed by Oblivion, Hex,
Air, Th13teen, and, more recently, the Wicker Man wooden coaster. As a
result, Alton Towers has become acknowledged as Britain's number one
theme park, and John has continued to work with Merlin's creative team
on projects up to the present day.
John Wardley's early background
in the film industry (he created the special effects for five of the
James Bond films) equips him with a deep understanding of what
entertains the British public. His experience in constructing and
performing stage illusions led to him to collaborate with the late
Geoffrey Thompson at Blackpool Pleasure Beach to create the
long-running magic spectacular "Mystique", which ran for
nearly 20 years! As illusion consultant to the first production, he
designed and created many of the illusions used throughout the entire
run, including the incredible finale, where the entire cast of the
show vanish onstage, and instantly re-appear amongst the audience.
John acted as story and script
adviser on the four-hour major BBC TV drama serial "Have Your
Cake", in which the lead character's professional career is
based on his own.