25th October

Discussion in 'Your Alton Towers Trip Reports and Plans' started by Ben, 26th Oct 2016.

  1. Ben

    Ben TS Founding Member

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    Who: Me, Rich, Boychild (14) and Girlchild (12).

    Why: We were invited to see Scarefest and give our thoughts on the event... tada...

    After a pretty rubbish drive down we arrived at the resort just after 11am, we headed to the Monorail but with a queue stretching past the golf we decided to walk it. The new walk way (that is really for Rollercoaster Restaurant) looks brilliant, it then makes the rest of the walk to the park look ropey.

    So we were met at the Plaza and luckily (and generously) given tickets for the 3 mazes, House of Monsters, and a couple of ride specific fast tracks.

    Towers Street
    Looked really good, I loved the music and we were met by the ancestors who were hilarious even one joined us for a photo (which we totally bought) there seemed a real buzz around the place, which was great to see.

    We grabbed a couple of drinks and hopped on the Sky Ride over to Forbidden Valley

    Galactica
    I love the music in the area. We had fast-track to use, which would beat the 60min queue, so popped down the fast-track queue. Which sadly loses out on the photo ability and additional theming of the newly boxed in areas. Also even with fast track we had a 15/20 min wait.
    Loading - good god I see why its all so slow. Also Im not convinced a quick slap with a baby-wipe counts as cleaning but I suppose its better than nothing.
    I found the headset a bit cumbersome and not the easiest to fit on, same goes for Rich and Girlchild - who both had to adjust theres significantly.

    Beyond that... I am genuinely impressed with the ride. The music was great, graphics well done and timing perfect. Its clear to see this is (thankfully) more than just a gimmick and while Ive always loved Air and approached Galactica with some caution I am happy to admit I was wrong. If loading could be sped up Id be really impressed.

    Nemesis
    Myself and Girlchild couldn't miss what was advertised as a 15min queue for Nemesis which was actually 5. Almost walk on! Nemesis looks amazing, I didnt even really miss the red water. I did notice she's starting to run a little rougher, whether its end of season or showing her age... But certainly still one of the best coasters worldwide.

    Forbidden Valley......
    Good
    Rollercoaster Restaurant looks brilliant, but was so busy we couldn't get near.
    Nemesis Gun looked in great knick.

    Bad
    Forbidden Sweep - NO, burn it.
    Sub Terra being closed looks bad.

    ---

    So we hopped onto Sky Ride again to Cloud Cuckoo Land

    Lunch was (warily) Burger Kitchen - you know what - it was good. Actually very good! Better than the last actual Burger King I had.
    Cloud Cuckoo Land, feels dead at the bottom where Driving School be. The Twirling Toadstool looks a state. Down by Charlie, which has haphazardly been covered off, looks like its ready for some Urban Exploring its that bad of a state. Also I noticed the old Cred Street Streetlight is still there, and hasn't been touched since it was installed. BUT

    Monster House beckoned us, with no queue, I was wary this was a bad sign.
    ***SPOILERS WITHIN***
    You are met by a Vlogger who has been monitoring a house he's convinced is full of monsters and wants your help to prove it.
    You go into the house, he gets 'hypnostised' by the first monster in an amusing fashion, disappears and you're locked in the house -you need to find Ed to get out. All the characters you meet are descendants of the famous monsters of old (Dracula, The Mummy, Frankenstiens Monster et al) so recognisable but not scary.

    A couple of entertaining challenge rooms i.e. spell words out on a floor, dress some manakins in costumes and you end up in (my eyes) the best room. A huge, misty greenhouse, with a Mummy running it, who hates the smell of humans. You take a seat, he makes no bones of his dislike for you - getting a child participant and insisting on calling them the wrong name. Insulting peoples hair, and generally being hilarious.
    One Parent is called out to be made to 'smell better' (Rich in this case) - theres a hilarious shower scene where he throws bits at them "but not too many because of Brexit".
    Eventually he gets bored of you and his plants start to attack - leg tickers and sprinklers!


    You get to Eds scene, the final room - his american high school type girlfriend is there.They've um... been... experimenting. He's been shrunk and is missing, queue a room search to find him. Basic magic trick later and he's here, and like Elvis and the Fonz has a love child. He agrees to let you out, and you go off...

    To the actual Finale. A proper maze where the monsters are jumping out, popping out of fake wall areas etc. It gives just enough of a scare but with the familiar faces takes out the real scares.

    I applaud Towers for taking a risk, its cleverly done and pitched PERFECTLY. Its funny, silly, interactive and just right for families. Its a shame to see it quiet.
    The only reason I can think is the price, if you're visiting Scarefest in a group to mazes you all pay individually, so £20 for 3 mazes doesnt seem too bad. Come as a family and £20/£25 for one extra attraction seems a lot. It needs to turn a profit though and cant have been cheap to set up or run - I just hope it gets more attention.
     
    jon81uk and Burbs like this.
    Posted 26th Oct 2016
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  2. Ben

    Ben TS Founding Member

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    Ok so after a quick trip on the (terrible looking) Twirling Toadstool we headed towards Dark Forest not before lamenting the closure of Hex. If/When Hex returns I expect it to look amazing.

    So Rita had been down a lot of the day using the app (which is frankly BRILLIANT) we saw it had barely been open, it was still closed, as notable were a lot of food stands. In an area that clearly has design issues, yes the fence is better than scaffolding but the area still looks a mess, to mirror that with closed units looks sad.

    We reached Thirteen where we had a fast-track, getting us swiftly to the station. Does the Tesla coil still work? I didnt see it or hear it. Aside from that the ride is running really well, its aged brilliantly with the woods growing back around it.

    Luckily as we were leaving Rita re-opened rather opportunely so we joined a short queue. Worth noting those cattle pen queues of 13/Rita are still horrible and so messy. Rita is Rita, she's not stand out, but not bad, Boychild was almost dragged on but he really enjoyed it.

    Forcing myself past Woodcutters (I fancied a pint) we went onwards, Girlchild being the braver of the 2 wanted to do ToTT with its new 12+ age restriction. We had a look and were advised the queue was an hour-ish, we didnt fancy the wait (and I was pleased I think it would have been too much for her).
    We did stop and watch the Sub Species exit, much to everyones amusement - a great idea having it leave into a public space.

    X-Sector was next on the plan, again, oh it looks sad. The submission grass, the hastily removed Smiler theming, Oblivions queue buildings literally falling to bits.

    Oblivion - full credit to the staff who were friendly and fun, the track looks ok but our shuttle looked like it had been dropped off the ride it was that battered. Shame.

    The Smiler - ok whoever thought the concrete pen for a queue deserves to be kicked, we fast-tracked it but I disliked that walk alone. Also you can go through the single rider queue, and then your honesty is relied on the take the correct staircase to the station... oh. Anyway the ride was very good, I felt safe and its pretty relentless without being silly. (Side note the children wouldn't ride, they had promised their Nan they wouldn't - I do wonder if stuff like this is an issue).

    The kids at the same time took a ride on Enterprise - how is it still running? Its so old but as one of a pitiful amount of flat rides lets not wish it away.

    We decided to bypass spinball which had a ridiculous queue. So we popped into Corner Coffee to warm up and get some energy back because the kids wanted to do the Scare Zones.

    Just after 6 we headed into the conveniently located Freak Show - or no show. Scare Zones can be a difficult beast being inconsistent and I think we were unfortunate. I think we encountered 3 maybe 4 actors just stood on their podiums. No interactivity, no enthusiasm, just people stood there. The props looked good though.

    So next was the long walk to Dark Apocalypse - with a stop off at Duel - oh dear. The pre-show queue areas are the best theyve looked for year (hello hand in bell jar!) but the ride, no trommel, a lot of non working props, and someone has raided poundland to throw some extra tat on it. Id sooner have lost Duel to Hex.

    Dark Apocalypse - so good! It was incredibly foggy so it was hard to tell if the figures were zombies or guests. The zombies were active, multiple and surprisingly fast! And the chainsaw man was great, hiding away before popping out loudly and impressively.

    Managed another quick night ride on Nemesis which looked brilliant bathed in red. The kids were getting tired though and we'd apparently walked 7 miles around the park. We grabbed a few bits from Towers Trading on the way out and were home before 9.
     
    sianmann88 and Burbs like this.
    Posted 26th Oct 2016
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  3. Burbs

    Burbs TS Site Team Team Member

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    Ah, yes, of course! Totally hadn't realised until just now that you can clearly see the exit this year to Sub Species over the normal fence, whereas last year there were pointless metal fences in the way that meant to see the exit it was a case of standing on the rocks or the main wooden fence. Much better in my opinion. :)
     
    Posted 26th Oct 2016
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  4. Ben

    Ben TS Founding Member

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    TL:DR and Stray Observations...

    Towers Street looks good
    House of Monsters is BRILLIANT
    Park looks tired
    Staff were good
    Dark Apocalypse was good

    I look live Ive moaned a lot, but we had a great day - I just wish the park looked as good as it could. Heres hoping this TLC project really kicks off and drags the park up to the high standard it should be.

    ---

    RMT and Spinball both had mega queues all day, minimum 40mins all day often reaching an hour. I think with Hex, Ripsaw, Flume and Sub Terra gone a lot of the family rides are missing, which is a huge shame and has impacted on these remaining rides.

    Rapids opened lated (for extra safety checks) and closed at dark also for safety - a sensible move by the park on the day of the Australian tragedy.

    --

    DONE. Cheers.
     
    Last edited: 26th Oct 2016
    Burbs likes this.
    Posted 26th Oct 2016
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  5. Matt.GC

    Matt.GC TowersStreet Member

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    The rapids where open till park close on the 23rd and 24th when I was there. They where great in the dark. It sounds like you had a better experience than me in the Dark Apocalypse zone. After sub species I would have loved another chainsaw man to come at me!

    Sent from my D6603 using Tapatalk
     
    Posted 27th Oct 2016
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