12th September 2021 (Day 1) Hi guys. Today, my parents and I went to Alton Towers for Oktoberfest. We’re actually spending 2 days on park this trip, so today’s report is the first of two! We actually didn’t arrive at the resort until just after 12pm today, so as the opening time crowds had migrated into the park by this point, we decided to take the monorail into the park for the first time in quite a few years, as it was a practically walk-on queue! I apologise; I would have taken pictures of the views from on the ride, but the windows aren’t that easy to take pictures through: Due to some stacking on the Monorail, we ultimately didn’t get into the park until about 12:30pm: As I inferred above, we visited for Oktoberfest, and I have to say, the event has been very nicely done! There’s a surprising amount of decorations about, a lot of food and entertainment around, and the Oompah music in various parts of the park is a nice touch: Once we got into the park, Galactica was actually on a 5 minute queue, so we decided to head over there. I was keen to get back on it, as I’ve always really liked it previously, and I hadn’t ridden since July 2020. Unfortunately, however, we were unable to ride; it broke down and ceased operation, so after we’d been in the queue for around 20 minutes (the advertised time had gone up to 25 by the time we reached it), we were evacuated from the queue. After our failed attempt to ride Galactica, we went to something that was definitely open, and had a reasonably short queue... Wicker Man Wicker Man was on a 50 minute advertised wait time, so we decided to give it a go. The advertised wait time actually turned out to be somewhat of an overstatement, as we only waited around 35 minutes; always a bonus! Today’s ride was also interesting because it was the first time I’ve actually done the pre-show since about 2018, and in terms of the pre-show; having experienced it today, I’m a little unsure on it returning overall. I love the video itself (I still don’t quite know how they’re able to hide the curtain moving so effectively!), but I think it does pose a few cons in terms of practicality. The scrum to leave the room isn’t too pleasant, and they did seem to occasionally be having a few issues with batching. The ride’s general operations are still phenomenal, however, and the queue still moves at a fair pace; trains were frequently hitting the lift hill no later than the train in front was hitting the brake run, which I’d say is brilliant! But enough about operations; how was the ride? Well, I was seated in row 7, and it was tremendous fun as always! Great pacing, loads of little pops of airtime, and overall, it was just a really fun ride; I do absolutely love Wicker Man! I know I’ll get a lot of funny looks for this, but it’s certainly my favourite ride on park for sure, and up there with Icon as one of my UK favourites: After a great ride on Wicker Man, we headed over to ride… Oblivion Oblivion was on an advertised 30 minute queue, so me & my dad decided to give it a go (my mum doesn’t like Oblivion). As it turned out, 30 minutes was once again a bit of an overstatement, as we were on within about 20 minutes; always a bonus! So, how was the ride? Well, it was excellent as always! We were seated in the back row (first time in ages I’ve done the back), and the airtime felt amazing, as well as the raw sensation of speed! Oblivion’s definitely one that’s grown on me a lot over the years, and today did nothing to make me go off it; Oblivion might be short, but it’s certainly sweet, in my opinion: After a great ride on Oblivion, we decided to head over towards Forbidden Valley, but we actually decided to go back on Wicker Man on the way by, as it only had a 35 minute queue and we all either like or love it. This time, we were seated in row 4, and it was just as great as earlier on! By this point, however, I realised that my mum & dad were not very happy about the pre-show’s return; my mum’s exact words to me after we saw the pre-show for the second time were “Meh. That literally adds nothing other than more time onto our wait to get onto the ride and a scrum to get into the station”, and my dad’s thoughts were similar: After Wicker Man, we headed down towards… Nemesis Nemesis was on an advertised 30 minute queue, so me & my dad joined it (my mum doesn’t enjoy Nemesis). The queue looked much shorter than 30 minutes (it only reached the end of the main queue, not going into any of the extensions), and it ultimately turned out at more like 10-15 minutes; yet again, it’s always a bonus when you get an overestimated queue time! So, how was the ride? Well, I was seated in a row 5 middle seat, and I have to say, it was great; no head banging, a nice level of forces (the helix made me grey out a touch, which wasn’t too enjoyable, but other than that, the ride was generally quite enjoyable)! What’s not to like?: After Nemesis, we decided to see if Galactica had rallied. Sadly, it hadn’t; in the meantime, my parents asked me if I wanted to go off and have another ride on Nemesis, and I couldn’t say no to that! The queue had died down substantially; I walked into the station before even waiting (advertised time had dropped to 10 minutes), and this was while other rides had rather long waits! The second ride I had is one I had alone, and I was seated in an outer seat in row 4 this time. It was perhaps a little bit rougher than the one I had earlier, but nothing major; still very enjoyable, on the whole! After my second ride on Nemesis, me and my parents met back up just in time for the ride we had pursued earlier to reopen… Galactica We were right by Galactica when it reopened, so we entered a walk-on queue; we waltzed straight onto row 7 with no waiting whatsoever! As I said above, I was keen to get back on Galactica, because I hadn’t done it since July 2020, and I had always rather liked it. So, how was the ride? Well, even though I’d always liked Galactica previously, I’m afraid to say that it was a bit of a disappointment for me today; I’ll admit I wasn’t too enamoured with today’s experience compared to some of my past ones. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t dislike it, and there’s a lot going for it; the layout is nice (other than the fly-to-lie, which I’ll admit I’m not personally huge on), it’s really smooth, it’s not too intense. But the thing is; I really don’t think I find the position on the whole overly comfortable. I’m not sure that riding in the prone position, and the restraints that it brings with it, are really my favourite, and because of that, I’m afraid that Galactica has dropped down a fair bit in my rankings: After Galactica, we headed back towards the entrance, doing one final ride on our way out… Runaway Mine Train Runaway Mine Train was on an advertised 30 minute queue, so my mum & I decided to give it a go (my dad doesn’t like RMT). However, 30 minutes seemed like a drastic overestimate; we were barely waiting much beyond the station, and were on within 5-10 minutes. So, how was the ride? Well, we were seated on the very back row, and it was great fun! I’ve got to admit that RMT has always been a real guilty pleasure of mine, and I genuinely do rather enjoy a ride on it; it’s not the most intense or thrilling of rides, but it’s just a tremendous amount of fun, in my opinion! I do apologise; I forgot to take any pictures of Runaway Mine Train! After RMT, we made our way out of the park, taking a little look at the Oktoberfest area as we walked by; as I said earlier, the park’s done a great job with all the Oktoberfest stuff, by the look of it: After that, it was getting on for 5:30pm, so we left for the day as we needed to get to our hotel in time for a dinner reservation: So, that sums up our first day of the trip at Alton Towers! I hope you enjoyed my report, and I look forward to bringing you my summary of our second day on park tomorrow!