Alton Towers 3rd September 2020

Discussion in 'Your Alton Towers Trip Reports and Plans' started by Matt N, 3rd Sep 2020.

  1. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    Hi guys. We returned to Alton Towers today, 2 months after our last visit in July. I was hoping to get back on the rides that we didn’t get on last time, so I was looking forward to it.

    Prior to visiting, I had a feeling that Wicker Man might be shut, and this sadly turned out to be the case. While this was disappointing, what with it being my comfortable favourite ride at Alton, it can’t be helped:
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    In terms of rides that were open, we decided to start our day off in Dark Forest, as we didn’t even venture into this part of the park last time...
    Rita
    Rita’s queue was practically walk-on, which is always a bonus, so we joined it. Now, I hadn’t actually ridden Rita for 4 years prior to today, with my last ride being in April 2016. It was my least favourite roller coaster at Towers prior to today’s ride; I remembered it as having a fantastic launch, but the rest of it being very rough. So, how was it after 4.5 years of not having ridden? Well, I certainly hope my next ride is far sooner than 4.5 years in the future, because I’ve got to say, it was far more enjoyable than I’d remembered! The launch, while not quite up there with Stealth last month, was decently strong, and there was more airtime than I’d remembered! As for the ride’s smoothness; there was a little bit of a vibration, but it was honestly far smoother than I’d remembered! It didn’t really detract from the ride for me, and I have an incredibly low roughness tolerance; it honestly wasn’t painful at all for me! Smiler was far rougher on my last ride, and I’d even say that Nemesis’ ear bashing sometimes leaves me with more pain! So on the whole, while Rita still isn’t one of my all-time favourite coasters, I was thoroughly impressed by it today, and I wouldn’t have been averse to another ride had the queue been shorter:
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    Next, we moved onto the other Dark Forest coaster...
    Thirteen
    Thirteen had just come back up from its deep cleaning, so we joined the queue. It was listed as 0 minutes when we were about to join the queue, but it later turned out to be 45, and the app changed to reflect this once we were further into the queue. So, how was the ride? Well, for the first time ever, I actually got batched into the front row, and it was really good fun, although I thought it possibly felt a touch slower than when I last rode. That being said, I did still get 1 or 2 nice pockets of airtime, and the drop & backwards section are always a laugh:
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    (My apologies; I struggle to get good photos of Thirteen due to the fact it’s mostly hidden from view until you’re on it)

    After Thirteen, we headed into Fountain Square for something a bit different from coasters...
    Hex: The Legend of the Towers
    Hex was on a mere 15 minute queue, and we didn’t ride it last time, so we joined the queue for Hex. I was very intrigued to see how socially distanced Hex actually worked, because Wicker Man has not been running its preshow this year, and Hex’s similar elements do add a huge amount to it as an overall experience, in my opinion. So, how did socially distanced Hex work? Well, in reality, it was actually pretty similar to pre-COVID Hex, with the only real differences being that they now hold you outside the Towers and let you in in groups, and there are social distancing markers within the pre-show rooms as well as benches blocked off on the ride. In terms of Hex itself, I do always really enjoy it; I adore the overall ambience and experience it builds up, and the ride itself is a very clever illusion, in my opinion:
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    After Hex, we headed down to Katanga Canyon to take a spin on...
    Congo River Rapids
    Congo River Rapids had a 30 minute queue (one of the shorter queues at the time), so we decided to join. The queue did seem slightly longer than this to me, probably exacerbated by the fact that the ride did go down for a period due to the deep cleaning while we were in the queue. So, how was the ride? Well, it’s probably the wettest run I’ve had on Congo since the waterfalls were turned off, actually; it’s never seemed quite as wet since the waterfalls went to me, but there were a fair few good waves today; I actually got off fairly well, but my mum got drenched by one just before the RMT tunnel, and while it didn’t hit any of us, the “KFC Megawave”, as it’s often called, looked pretty wet! We also had a rather unique experience on it due to one of the kicker wheels at the end not working, meaning that the bottom of the final lift hill got rather congested, and we briefly floated backwards before getting bumped forwards by the boat behind us:
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    After the Rapids, we initially had the intention of riding Nemesis, but when we got over to Forbidden Valley, the queue for that, despite being advertised at 65 minutes, was stretching past Sub-Terra and towards Gloomy Wood, which didn’t bode well for its length. Galactica was also advertised at 120 minutes, so we instead headed towards the other side of the park, riding something slightly different en route...
    Duel
    The queue for Duel was advertised at a mere 10 minutes, so me and my dad decided to give it a go. The reason that I say Duel was “something slightly different” is because despite having visited Alton Towers many times, I’ve only actually been on it once (and from memory, that was all the way back in 2014). Since my last ride, a series of changes have been made; a change I particularly liked was the installation of computer generated paintings in the queue that follow you and change to spooky things when you look at them! So, how was Duel? Well, it was very good fun; there was a lot of scenery to look at while going around, with scares around every corner! Not being too familiar with Duel as a ride, it certainly got me a few times! In terms of our scores, I fared rather poorly, with a score of 3,100, while my dad did fantastically with 33,200! On the whole, I did enjoy Duel (even if it did make me jump quite a few times), and it was nice to get back on something I don’t do very often at Towers:
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    After riding Duel, we headed over to X-Sector to get on...
    Oblivion
    Oblivion was on an advertised 60 minute queue, so we decided to join. I hadn’t actually ridden Oblivion since September 2018, despite it being a ride I rather enjoy, so I was excited to get back onto it. In a much-valued bonus, the queue actually ended up only being around 20-25 minutes! So, how was the ride? Well, it was very good fun; the drop gives a phenomenal sensation of speed, and the ride also had two decent pops of airtime, which I really enjoyed! Overall, it definitely grew on me compared to my memories of my last ride; it was really good fun:
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    After Oblivion, we initially contemplated joining the queue for Spinball Whizzer, but we later decided against it, as we had a long journey ahead of us and my parents didn’t fancy joining a 60 minute queue for Spinball.

    So there ended our day at Alton Towers! We definitely had a nice time (if a little busier than our first visit); I have to admit that some things were a bit up and down reliability wise throughout the day, with certain things going down for periods, and the queues were quite long, but that didn’t inhibit our enjoyment too much, as we still got a decent ride count of 6 in today, including some things I hadn’t done in a while or wouldn’t necessarily do on a regular day, which I really enjoyed!

    I hope you enjoyed my trip report today, and I look forward to writing the next one for you all, which will likely be from Legoland Windsor on 4th October!
     
    Posted 3rd Sep 2020
    #1
  2. Danscott22

    Danscott22 TowersStreet Member

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    Solid report Matt! Re Rita, I do find actually that sometimes it's actually really good yet other times it's a real headbanger. I think it's luck of the draw with it to be honest!
     
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    Posted 3rd Sep 2020
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  3. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    Thanks @Danscott22; I was incredibly surprised, as all of my rides when I was younger felt incredibly rough, yet today it was absolutely fine!
     
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    Posted 3rd Sep 2020
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  4. Danscott22

    Danscott22 TowersStreet Member

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    I can't comment on it this year mind, when I visited in July the plan was to do Thirteen>Rita first but it didn't actually open until about midday so hopefully when I'm there in two weeks I can see how its riding!!
     
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    Posted 3rd Sep 2020
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  5. D4n

    D4n TowersStreet Member

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    Way to put a positive spin on a day where the park wasn't exactly on top form, Matt! Was very interesting to read your report especially as you started out your day very similarly to myself.

    For reference, the queue for Nemesis is actually about 40 minutes from the Sub Terra entrance (I did it later on when it was advertised as being 80). There are a couple of anomalies that I've noticed with the length of the queues that can be exploited at present, I see you noticed that Oblivion is only 25 minutes from the entrance and similarly Spinball is also only 25 minutes from the entrance at present (although it was stretching out of Adventure Land today). They are all always advertised as longer, presumably to discourage people from joining the queue.

    Frankly they had let in far, far too many people today. It was deeply unpleasant. At one stage we were turned away from Galactica, Congo River Rapids and The Smiler in quick succession as the queues had reached capacity. Crazy.

    But I'm glad you had a good day - agree with your sentiments regarding Hex in particular - shame you left so early as it sounds like you were enjoying it. 3100 is a shockingly bad score on Duel though... you know the yellow targets are worth 500 each, right!? ;)

    Best attraction today - Welcom Inn. What a blessed relief.
     
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    Posted 3rd Sep 2020
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  6. John

    John TowersStreet Member

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    Something must have changed since opening day to make the queues move much faster now. Back then, a half full Nemesis queue was 40 minutes, a Spinball queue to the vending machines around 30 and a WM queue half way round the extensions around 80 minutes. Since then, all reports seem to be of queues moving much quicker than that.
     
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    Posted 3rd Sep 2020
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  7. D4n

    D4n TowersStreet Member

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    The cleaning procedures are noticeably quicker and less intensive (probably less frequent too?)... although I doubt that accounts for all of it.

    Maybe just the new staff getting used to their roles?
     
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    Posted 3rd Sep 2020
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  8. AT86

    AT86 TowersStreet Member

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    Nice report Matt.

    Although if you consider 6 rides a decent count, when you make a trip to Europa Park it’s going to blow your mind! ;)
     
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    Posted 3rd Sep 2020
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  9. Burbs

    Burbs TS Site Team Team Member

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    At Europa-Park we did 6 rides in the first half hour.
     
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    Posted 3rd Sep 2020
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  10. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    Ah right; I never knew that a 40 minute queue for Nemesis stretched so far! As I said, we considered joining, but it had stretched to about the boundary of Sub-Terra’s warehouse and just into the path between Forbidden Valley and Gloomy Wood, and my parents said they had never seen it that long even in its opening year, so we decided to head to Oblivion instead. With this in mind, I’d wager that I could also feasibly have gotten on Spinball in less than 60 minutes, as the queue didn’t look to be out of the entrance, or possibly only just outside if it was. Thanks for the info though @D4n; I’ll have to keep it in mind for a future visit!

    With regard to Duel, I must admit all of the scenery making noises was making me jump and distracting me from the shooting element somewhat (I suppose they’re trying to make it difficult), but even without that, my aim is pretty terrible!
    With regard to the bolded, I think I’ve heard enough statements about Europa that infer this exact sentiment to make me incredibly excited for my first Europa visit! I’m hoping it may potentially be in 2021 if all goes well, but we’ll have to wait and see!
     
    Posted 3rd Sep 2020
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  11. Danscott22

    Danscott22 TowersStreet Member

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    Weren't they cleaning every 30 minutes upon opening and now it's every 2 hours? On July 24th on my visit, Oblivion was the only ride which went down for cleaning on both rides I had on it. Wicker Man in a 55 and 45, Smiler in 45, Galactica in 30, did not go down for cleaning. So i assume it is approximately every two hours??
     
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    Posted 3rd Sep 2020
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  12. Mikw

    Mikw TowersStreet Member

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    Good report Matt.

    I find Rita is rough on one train and smooth on the other - can never remember which one though.

    Bit like The Smiler, some trains are smoother than others Luckily i've done it dozens of times, although not this year yet, and have never bashed my head yet.
     
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    Posted 3rd Sep 2020
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  13. AstroDan

    AstroDan TS Forum Team Team Member

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    The park does sound vastly better now vs. the awful day we had back at the start of July.

    It also sounds vastly better than TP or CWOA, even with the issues raised.

    I've never gone this long within a season without visiting. Bring on Oktoberfest.

    Sent from my SM-G973F using Tapatalk
     
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    Posted 4th Sep 2020
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  14. Pleasure Beach Valhalla

    Pleasure Beach Valhalla TowersStreet Member

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    i'm sorry to say but i still find Rita a pain in the head, shoulders, neck @Matt N
     
    Matt N likes this.
    Posted 6th Sep 2020
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  15. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    I used to when I was younger (my last ride on it 4.5 years ago was very painful, from memory), but for some reason, this time was absolutely fine, and I have to confess that my roughness tolerance is incredibly low compared to most on here!

    However, you don’t need to be sorry because you still find it painful by any means! You can only speak for your personal experiences and your opinions!

    For all I know, I could just have struck lucky and had a particularly smooth ride compared to the usual ride Rita gives; I can’t really say!
     
    Posted 6th Sep 2020
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  16. Pleasure Beach Valhalla

    Pleasure Beach Valhalla TowersStreet Member

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    All I can say is quickly get an Intamin Blitz!
     
    Matt N likes this.
    Posted 7th Sep 2020
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