For the first time in its history, the British Board of Film Classification has been called in by Alton Towers for advice on a new underground ride.
Nemesis Sub-Terra, set to open on 24 March, is entirely underground and pitch black. It tested so severely with a panel that the resort has consulted the board (BBFC), who recommend the ride be rated 12A, meaning many of Alton Towers' younger visitors will have to miss out.
Before now the BBFC had only ever rated films, DVDs, television and video games.
Senior Examiner at the classification board, Murray Perkins, said: "The BBFC is seeing a real blur of the old boundaries of visual content and physical experience in both 3D and 4D cinema, and at theme parks.
"Applying our experience of the public’s acceptability of moments of threat on screen, to more physical experiences, is something we have begun to do as cinema and other theatrical experiences evolve."
The BBFC believes the ride contains "intense moments" which will provoke similar feelings to watching horror films.
Alton Towers specifically targeted classic fears for the ride – with the resort's research finding that 75% of the British public fear being trapped underground, with one in five still afraid of the dark.
"We are aware the enforcements that will now be implemented will mean that many of our younger visitors are unable to experience Nemesis Sub-Terra, which we are obviously concerned about," said an Alton Towers spokesperson.
"However, the Alton Towers Resort prides itself on offering a variety of rides for all ages and we hope that those under the age of 12 will continue to enjoy our other attractions."
This isn't the first time a theme park have had to adapt a ride for safety issues. In January, Thorpe Park had to head back to the drawing board for their new ride, The Swarm, after dummies' limbs were ripped off during a test.