I don't often make a formal complaint at Alton Towers, indeed I cannot remember the last time I did so. Yesterday, however, was another matter - down to the sheer scandal that was the sheer volume of fastrack on certain rides. For the record, my complaint was in no way aimed at getting some form of compensation - in fact, upon visiting Guest Services - my first comment was 'I am not here to get compensated' - and I happilly left with nothing, safe in the knowledge that I had passed on my frustrations to the resort. So, the problem? Obviously, everyone has noticed the increase in fastrack sales through the 2012 season, which has reduced the movement of main queue lines. This has in itself been a frustration for guests who, even if they are not aware, will be riding less per day. There have also been throughput reductions on Rita and Oblivion. Rita, due to the cable snap incident earlier in the season, which now means (riightly or wrongly) Alton Towers H&S feel nobody can stand below the launch track (even though Stealth at Thorpe Park hasn't altered the queueline). Therefore, there are now additional queue line hosts, and the operator cannot dispatch the train until he/she has verified the area is clear. So, a ride which already has an awful queue, is now made worse and has been 90+ minutes on many, many occasions recently. Oblivion, also - the hosts were checking safety harnesses twice for some weeks, and, although this has now stopped, airgates are noticeably not opened until (most) guests have left the station from the previous ride. As a result, a ride whose theoretical capacity is well over 1,600 per hour - is barely getting 1,100 or so these days. The question is: Has fastrack sale been cut on these rides due to the less throughputs? Furthermore, hotel guests have free fastrack on selected rides to make up for the lack of ERT. However, if the hotels are full - this can amount to 1,500-2,000 guests - each with a free fastrack to use at any time on Oblivion and Th13teen. Add this to the standard fastrack sales - and you end up with a fastrack situation that is massively extending the waiting times for guests in the main queue. Yesterday, I had never seen anything like it at Alton Towers. Oblivion guests were waiting up to 2 hours for their ride - this because, the rear shuttle being loaded was principally for fastrack guests. The front row was often made up of disabled guests through the exit. Therefore, the main queue was getting only 1 or 1 1/2 of the 4 rows available per dispatch! You can imagine the speeds at which the main queue was moving. Barely 30-40% of the hourly capacity was actually going to the main queue - or some 4-500 per hour... Upon arrival at Th13teen, the queue board advised a wait of 120 minutes. This, for a ride which boasts an achievable hourly capacity of 1,400. In 2010, to the entrance and on 3 trains, this would have been a queue of 60 to 70 minutes - even in all queue areas. So, why suddenly 120 minutes? Well... a fastrack queue of 40 minutes was to blame. Bulging right out of the fastrack/single riders split, and down past the photo unit and behind the supplies shop. The main queue was to the entrance, and the single riders were all mixed in with the fastrack. Add in exit riders ("disabled" guests) and the main queue becomes an absolute farce. Again, around 50-60% of Th13teen's capacity yesterday was not being allocated to the main queue. I did not ride either due to this. I have no problem with queues if the park is busy, but when it is simply because they are over allocating fastrack - then this is not acceptable. If they wish hotel guests to have fastrack, the park sales need to be cut, and hotel guests should have timed slots to ease the problem. It was embarassing, and something akin to the very worst days at Thorpe Park. Queues for fastrack purchase were awful. Queue times yesterday, and I bet most of these were made worse by serious fastrack use: Th13teen: 120 (with a throughput of 1,440?) Rita: 120 (really, in that queueline!?) Air: 90 Oblivion: 90 advertised, actual 120 (the highest capacity coaster in the UK? hmmm...) Sub Terra: 75 (this thing just shouldn't have any fastrack at all!) Charlie: 70 (honestly? is this a joke?) Nemesis: 80 RMT: 50 (where on earth do all these guests fit in that small queueline!?) Sonic Spinball: 90 They need throughputs, common sense and fastrack restraint back and pronto otherwise Fireworks Saturday 2012 is going to be one of the most exasperating days at Alton Towers ever.