1st Visit to AT since 2014-October 2020

Discussion in 'Your Alton Towers Trip Reports and Plans' started by SirDossa, 16th Oct 2020.

  1. SirDossa

    SirDossa TowersStreet Member

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    Having had to postpone my first ever trip to Phantasialand for the second time this year,I decided to book a last minute two day trip to Alton Towers.I hadn’t been since 2014 and despite the *ridiculous opening hours,I was looking forward to *hopefully riding the Wicker Man for the first time.I had also only ever been on the Smiler,Galatica,and Thirteen once before so was looking forward to getting on these again as well as the classic staples Nemesis and Oblivion.

    I have put an * above the opening times and Wicker Man availability as these were originally big concerns of mine. However,I can safely say that given how quiet the park was on both days,the opening times were justified as we had done every coaster on the park by 1.30 pm on day one. Having said that,it would have been nice to have experienced some night time rides as well as this year’s Scarefest offering but this couldn’t be helped given the days that I had booked off from work for holiday.

    Across both days, we experienced no ride downtime at all which was great as I had noticed that the Wicker Man failed to open on Monday and has been having problems throughout the last month or so_Operations across the park were pleasantly surprising and it was great to see two trains in action on all the coasters despite most of them being practically walk on.I think the most we waited was 20 minutes for Thirteen on day one.Before I get on to my thoughts on all the rides,I must say that the park’s handling of Covid was very efficient and we had no issues at all with the entry process or the social distancing measures that are in place. Although I imagine this was helped by the low numbers that were on park for both days. I must also point out that all of the Staff came across as very friendly and enthusiastic throughout our trip.

    Now,on to the rides!

    Wicker man-I did really enjoy it and i think it’s definitely a back row coaster.The theming really is excellent so well done to Alton on that front.Would I want to queue a silly amount of time for it? Probably not,but it is a very enjoyable ride.My girlfriend said it was too rough but I don’t think woodies should be a smooth experience throughout.I was expecting a bit more airtime,but I did get a few good pops towards the back of the train.

    Nemesis- Wow,I had forgotten how intense this is!It was great to get back on Nemmy and it was walk on for every ride I had on it.I will always hold a soft spot for it as I remember braving it as a young 7 year old lad in its first year of opening.

    Galactica- Would benefit with some more theming throughout the layout but is still a solid coaster (especially on the front row)

    Thirteen- Probs the biggest surprise of the trip for me.I don’t recall enjoying it all that much on my one and only previous ride on it but I found it great on this trip.We did back to back front row rides on it on day 2 and it was a lot of fun.

    Rita- Another coaster that I found to be much more enjoyable than on previous rides.The launch somewhat sorted out my hangover first thing on day 2!

    Smiler- No,not for me.Maybe I’m getting old but the constant barrage of inversions was a bit too much and not a particularly pleasant experience.I get why some people would love it and it looks great off ride,but definitely not one of my favourites.

    Oblivion- Was always a fan of Blivvy and it didn’t disappoint. Love the views from the top and the airtime was pretty relentless down the drop.

    Spinball Whizzer- A lot of fun actually! I think they should give it a re-theme though and whack it indoors.It would be crazy in the dark.

    Runaway mine train- Is what is,perfectly acceptable family coaster.

    Dual- I was really looking forward to getting back on this as I have fond memories of it as a kid before the guns and re-theme.I didn’t bother with the guns on either ride I had as I wanted to take all of the theming etc in.I enjoyed it and it was good to notice that some of the older/original set pieces have remained.However,it was evident that it could do with some investment and a bit of a re-vamp.I would personally remove the shooting gimmick too.The soundtrack was the highlight for me.

    Hex- I had never been on this before so was looking forward to experiencing it.The theme is great and although I’m not a fan of the mad house ride system,I would say that this is the best one that I have ever experienced.

    Congo River Rapids- This really has become a lazy river now. It’s pleasant to ride but I came off as dry as the dessert.

    We didn’t venture in to CBeebies or do the Dungeon so I can’t comment on these attractions.We did escape from the rain on day one via Sharkbait Reef which we found to be a decent little Aquarium. We didn’t explore the Gardens either but they looked great from the cable cars.

    We stayed at the Royal Oak Inn which is a 15 minute drive away from Towers.It is basically a pub with rooms so suited me as they had a strong selection of lagers and ales and also served up some good grub.The mixed grill was humongous and very tasty.

    I was hoping to visit the Welcom-Inn for a couple of beers but sadly this was shut throughout our visit.All in all,we had a very enjoyable couple of days and it definitely won’t be another 6 years until my next visit to AT. I think my views may have been different had we experienced the park on a busy peak day but I’m glad that I left the place with only positive things to say.It was also really good to actually get on some rides again for the first time this year!
    HowExcited?, Mikw, Matt N and 4 others like this.
    Posted 16th Oct 2020
  2. Mikw

    Mikw TowersStreet Member

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    A very nice report there, glad you had a great time. This board is so negative sometimes that i think we forget how good Alton Towers is.
    SirDossa likes this.
    Posted 16th Oct 2020

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