Community member Lottie returns to the memories of her first ever TowersStreet meet to explore how it felt, and gives tips on how to overcome those first meet nerves.
So if you have ever wondered what a first meet with TowersStreet might be like, read on… and then Join Us!
First Meet Nerves: How to conquer this big fear!
So there I was, amongst the crowd of a theme park enthusiast forum at Alton Towers, heart beating like crazy. All these faces were new, with a mixed bunch of personalities combining together. By the end of the day, I felt like I was part of a big family and so that began my many trips to theme parks with theme park enthusiasts.
You are probably sat here right now reading this and wondering when you are going to attend your first meet. We have all been there.
Meeting new people is always a daunting experience. We all get nervous but it’s that niggling ‘fear of the unknown’ that makes us quiver with fear. So how do you take that very first step and attend your first meet?
I ended up throwing myself in the deep end and attended an official meet of TowersStreet – probably one of the biggest meet-ups of 2012.
I remember driving up to Stafford Central after work on the Sunday, and getting ‘butterflies in my tummy’. I knew that in a few hours time I would be meeting with some of the members of TST. Excited but nervous. I could’ve turned back but I was committed.
After settling in to my first hotel stay of a meet, I met with a small bunch of the TST lot after they returned from a group meal (a lovely way to socialise and get to know people). This was great for calming the nerves as I knew what lay ahead for the next day. Getting a good night’s sleep is great for building up energy, but I was excited to be return to Alton Towers. Shame the weather decided to rain for most of it – to be expected for the Midlands (as said by a southerner.)
So, I woke up nice and early on Monday morning in order to arrive at the park for ERT. I had got some numbers off a couple of members* whom I knew would be arriving for ERT, so I could enjoy a few rides before the rest of the official meet began to arrive. A trend you’ll find with TST is the first day at Towers will involve ERT where as the second day will involve a casual wake up and scattered arrival times. It was great to get a couple of rides on Oblivion, which is where I met Jem (Jem8472), Carla, Vez and Jenna. After making our way to the Valley to ride Nemesis, it was time to meet up with some of the group who were on park at Ripsaw. Now the nerves started kicking in again but I was ready!
*Top tip for all newbies, remember to get a couple of mobile numbers of people who are confirmed as attending a meet so you can meet up with them, especially if you are arriving late!
Getting yourself into the group can be daunting as everyone knows each other. But there is always a friendly face that will help to settle you in. They’ll be able to introduce you to everyone and is the perfect way to get yourself involved. No one is an alien from outer space, we’re all human and have all been there. Think of it like starting a new job, it’s scary as you’re never quite sure how nice everyone is going to be. Then when you get there, everyone is friendly. A meet-up is exactly the same, minus working!
For myself, I tried my best to go around the whole group and introduce myself. Of course, with so many people this was difficult to achieve! The perfect time to socialise with other members is in the queuelines. Sometimes about general stuff, but mostly it’s a constant roll of knowledge and information on all things theme parks. From my experience, I had little theme park knowledge when I first joined TowersStreet, but now I know way too much about all the UK theme parks and some of the abroad theme parks too. Of course, is there such a thing as too much knowledge on theme parks?
After a very long drive home in the rain (which was a shame as some sunshine in August would have been very lovely, then I realize I am in the UK so no such thing as summer exists!) I felt proud to have attended my first ever theme park enthusiast meet-up. This has been followed up by many other numerous meet-ups both at theme parks and outside theme parks too. All I can say is, once you have done your first meet, the rest is a piece of cake and you’ll make lots of new friends!
For some people, going on your own to a theme park to meet a bunch of strangers is frightening. If you still want to go, bring a friend with you (they are always welcome to join the group!) and I would highly recommend this if you are under 16 so as to give your parents peace of mind. A good thing about having a friend with you is you have the option to meet with the group for a few hours then spend the rest of the day with your friend if you feel more comfortable. If you are like me and happier to go on your own, then get yourself involved and join up on a meet. You won’t regret it!
Finally, if an official meet up with around 60 odd people is a bit too much for you but you really want to go on one, a mini-meet might be the perfect option. A smaller group of people is less daunting. Plus it’ll be easier to get to know everyone so when you do attend your first official meet you’ll know who to look out for! Whatever the case, enjoy the experience of your first meet and it won’t take long till you are ‘one of the gang’. I’ve made some wonderful new friends for life, and you will too. So, in the words of the Ministry of Joy: Join. Us.