I was at Alton Towers yesterday, the 1st September. It was, to be honest, quite a spontaneous visit that we'd only planned the night before due to us having been given free tickets earlier in the year. The Towers We set off travelling at about 6:30am. There wasn't an awful lot of traffic thankfully. At least, not until we arrived in Farley anyway... The amount of traffic on Farley road was insane, and that literally extended right into and through the roads inside the resort. We had arrived at Farley at about 11am. We eventually got in to the car park (one of the ones right at the back, where the Enchanted Village is too!) at 11.40am. We waited FORTY minutes to be parked as far way from the theme park entrance as possible! We decided to walk to the entrance rather than take the monorail given the amount of people already choosing to walk. If that many people were already walking, I can only imagine what the queues for the monorail would have been like. Park Entrance Upon arriving at the park entrance, we got into the park with relative ease since we weren't buying our tickets on the day (RIP to those that did). Even though we were already very late to enter, having our tickets ready to scan at the turnstiles still managed to get us ahead of the massive crowds that were still queueing to buy a ticket. Towers Street First ride: Wicker Man. When we arrived the queue was at 70 minutes, which ended up being pretty accurate, but at least it was constantly moving. The experience itself was as good as I remember it to be. Also the first time I have witnessed the flames in operation as well. They don't really add that much to the actual ride experience, but they are great to watch offride either the queue or surrounding areas. Wicker Man There was a fantastic atmosphere around Wicker Man, too. One thing I enjoy is hearing people talk amongst themselves about the ride and hearing their genuine enthusiasm. They can genuinely see that so much has gone into creating Wicker Man, because for once, it actually shows in the final product. In fact, once our train had arrived in the final tunnel right before the station, a group of people on it actually burst out in applause! We next headed to Spinball Whizzer, making a stop on the way at Towers Street for donuts to eat in the queue. The queue itself was probably around 70 minutes, even though I think it was advertised as 55 minutes. Not really too much of a problem though, as like Wicker Man, the queue was constantly moving. The ride itself was great fun, just as Spinball always is! Spinball Whizzer We decided next to head for TH13TEEN. And what a mistake that turned out to be. The queue was again advertised as 70 minutes, but in reality, the queue may have actually been DOUBLE that time! At one section in the queue – the cattle pen just in front of the vending machines – the queue became so slow moving (and because we'd already been queueing for so long) that almost everyone in that section was literally sitting on the ground, exhausted! TH13TEEN Upon our arrival in the station, it was pretty obvious that the closure of the baggage hold was the primary reason for such a long, slow moving queue. The amount of faff on the station platform where people are literally pushing each other out of the way either trying to reclaim their belongings or putting them on the racks is just unreal. Sadly, the queueing for TH13TEEN had eaten such a large portion of our day, that there wasn't an awful lot of time left. We decided to stop and have a sit down outside Woodcutters and have a drink and a rest (we really needed it!). It's always great to be able to sit down and enjoy the atmosphere. It's just a shame that at Alton Towers, you can't really do that and go on a good amount of rides in one day. Woodcutters Bar & Grill We decided that we'd head to Duel next, as it didn't have any queue (nothing unusual there I guess). We walked down to Mutiny Bay where we decided to then head down Haunted Hollow directly to Gloomy Wood. I've been down Haunted Hollow before, but it was only this time that I truly managed to appriciate it for what it is. It's actually a very pleasant walkthrough attraction, and certainly makes the walk more enjoyable than if there wasn't anything there to see. Now for Duel. To be honest, this particular ride through left me far from impressed. The effects were, more often than not, pretty badly timed (although some of the effects that were not timed as well last time were timed a bit better this time around). Lighting was still an issue and there were some areas that I think looked much worse than I remember. There were only a few areas that I thought looked reasonably good, one of them being the spider scene. No surprise to see that the trommel tunnel still doesn't rotate. I do wonder if it ever will... Duel: The Haunted House Strikes Back! After Duel, we walked down to, and through Katanga Canyon to Mutiny Bay where we did Sharkbait Reef. It's a nice little attraction if you want to get out of the crowds (and the sun!) for a while. We didn't spend that long in there, but it's definitely the best SeaLife attraction I've done (althoughI haven't done that many tbh). Sharkbait Reef by SEALIFE We decided to leave after that. It was exhausting, and despite it not being closing time yet (it was very close to it mind), we just didn't have the desire to stay longer and queue up for another ride, even though we still had enough time. Overall, it was a mostly enjoyable and relaxing day, which we chose to have over a fast paced "do as many rides as possible" kind of day, so we can't really complain too much for not having done very many things. Corkscrew Thank you for reading!