First Trip on 18th June

Discussion in 'Your Alton Towers Trip Reports and Plans' started by activist3, 15th Jun 2013.

  1. activist3

    activist3 TowersStreet Member

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    Hello All,
    I have been a frequent reader of this website and followed the excellent updates through twitter and facebook over the last few months. I used to go to Alton Towers frequently in the 90's when i lived in manchester and had an annual pass. I now have a 10yr old roller coaster fanatic son who for christmas last year asked for a trip to alton towers. He wanted to wait until the smiler was open so it has been delayed several times and we are now committed to tuesday!

    My question is this... i really want him to go on as many rides as possible and preferably all these
    Air
    Battle Galleons
    Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
    Congo River Rapids
    Duel - The Haunted House Strikes Back
    Enterprise
    Hex - The Legend of the Towers
    Nemesis
    Nemesis: Sub-Terra
    Oblivion
    Ripsaw
    Rita
    Runaway Mine Train
    Sonic Spinball
    Submission
    Th13teen
    The Blade
    The Flume
    The Smiler

    However i have been watching the ride times over the last few days and it seems like there is no way this is going to be achievable unless we spend out on some fast passes. The trip is already expensive with two nights in a (non alton towers )hotel as we are over 100 miles away but we are only in the park for one day. I really want to make sure he has an unforgettable experience (for the right reasons) as he has had a really tough year and i know we wont be able to come back for a while.

    I was thinking of getting the fasttrack silver and hoping to get a smiler fastpass for us both and was wondering if i did that wether you thought i would have time to fit everything else in?

    Any other advice would be very much appreciated. I am using a kellogs voucher as ticket so wont be able to qualify for early ride time.

    Thanks
     
    Posted 15th Jun 2013
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  2. Ted

    Ted TowersStreet Member

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    Hi there, considering you're going for two days I think you should do all the rides but here's some tips I'd recommend.

    1. If you're travelling from your hotel to the park by car, then save Smiler until the last ride of the day.

    2. Skip Charlie because it is really not worth it. And if the weather is awful, skip Battle Galleons, Congo River Rapids, and Flume.

    3. Don't buy fastrack as it's a complete waste of money. Hopefully though 18th of June won't be THAT busy since it's a weekday. (and not of the schools have finished yet)
     
    Posted 15th Jun 2013
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  3. activist3

    activist3 TowersStreet Member

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    Hi
    Thanks for the quick response. I wasnt clear in the first post...but i am only going to the park for 1 day. I am staying in a hotel the night before and night after.
    Weather is also forecast at the moment to rain so that might cut out the water rides.
    Do you think the rest are doable in one day without fast passes?
     
    Posted 15th Jun 2013
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  4. TheMan

    TheMan TowersStreet Member

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    No. I was there Wednesday and it was rammed. You can get into the park at 9 whether you have a MAP or not, my advice would be to get The Smiler done first if this is one of your main reasons for going, and rejoin the queue just before park close to do it again.

    The Smiler has proven to be very temperamental you really need to accept that fact before you travel and incorporate allowing at least 2/3 hours of queue time for it or dismiss it from your trip.

    Wednesday just gone, although I got onto park quite late, I managed 4 rides. 2 Smiler, Nemmy and Rita. 3 1/4 hours queue for the first go on The Smiler alone, Rita was about a third round it's cattlepen(maybe a bit less) and Nemesis was up to the waterfall but not quite up to the gate.

    My advice if this day is special check how the park feels in the morning, and be ready to go for a full pass to cram as much in as possible.

    If I had the cash to do it, and the trip was special, and it meant we had full freedom of the rides all day as a special occasion, my only advice would be DO IT.

    Those kinds of special occasions/treats is exactly when they make sense to me.
     
    Posted 15th Jun 2013
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  5. djtruefitt

    djtruefitt TS Site Team Team Member

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    I would suggest getting to the park entrance before 9am. Idealy park up and get the monorail for about 8.30-8.45. and in the queue for the gates to open at 9am.

    Do you have tickets already or are you buying them on the day, as this can take time!

    TH13TEEN, Nemesis, Hex, Sharkbait Reef are open for ERT (early ride time) from 9-10, then the rest of the rides open at 10, this is technically for annual pass holders, pre-booked tickets and hotel guests, but so far this season there has been no staff at the ride entrances so anyone can take advantage of them! I would say try and get one or two of these rides done during ERT, maybe head straight to TH13TEEN and maybe do HEX as well during that hour, then at 10 do RITA, charlie, Oblivion and all the rides around there. Then head over to the valley do the coasters (start with Air, that will have big queues) and work your way round the park including gloomy wood, katanga and mutiny bay and Sonic (which will have large queues all day usually!).

    If you are in no hurry to get back to your hotel, then join the Smiler queue right at the end of the day, even if it has a 3 hour queue at 5pm you will still get on the ride. Its better to waste 3 hours when the park is closed, rather than when the park is still open!

    In terms of fastrack it really depends on how the park is on the day. I wouldn't rush and buy fastrack at 9am, because the park could end up being dead and you would have wasted your money, but if you do need fastrack for the Smiler I would suggest you buy this straight away in the resort box office (on towers street), as that has been selling out very quickly!

    I hope that is a help, any other questions feel free to ask me!
     
    Posted 15th Jun 2013
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  6. activist3

    activist3 TowersStreet Member

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    Thank You. Out of interest if you book the fast passes online then do you know where you collect them from?
     
    Posted 15th Jun 2013
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  7. Alastair

    Alastair TS Forum Team Team Member

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    You get them from the prebooked ticket collection office in the entrance plaza :)
     
    Posted 16th Jun 2013
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  8. GaryH

    GaryH TowersStreet Member

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    Sorry but im gonna disagree here...... you could spend all morning queueing, it may open at 11, or 12, or not at all and thats 3 hours wasted. Leave the Smiler until last ride of the day. Remember its the queueline that closes at the advertised time and not the ride.

    Get the ERT rides in first as others have said, and try to stay in the same area and get the rides done otherwise youll spend time travelling from each area back and forth.

    I agree, forget Charlie its rubbish. If its raining remember queues for flume and rapids will be quiet. You will get soaked to the skin on battle galleons so unless its a stonkin hot day, dont bother!!!

    I usually head towards Hex, then Thirteen, then get in the queue for Rita. Then head to Nemesis on the skyride. Do Air and Sub Terra, and walk to Duel, Runaway Train, Rapids. //keep walking and you come to Sealife centre and the flume. By now it should be midday.

    Head over then to Spinball which usually has large queues.... maybe get a burger to eat on the way....

    Then if you head up to X Sector get the rides done there. Depending on time, you could opt for Charlie, 4D cinema etc or so single rider options, and then at 4:30 head towards The Smiler as the queue will close at 5pm.

    Use the cable cars as much as possible to save time walking.

    Oblivion single rider is usually very quick.

    You should get all the main rides done during the day, just use your noggin with regards what is worth queuing for and what isnt. If I had to tell you what I wouldnt queue for on an exceptionally busy day it would be:

    Charlie
    Flume
    Ripsaw
    Blade
    Submission
    Enterprise
    Spinball

    Oh.... if its raining Spinball will operate with 3 riders not 4.... so the single rider queue will move quickly.

    Have a good day! Oh, park the car by 8.30 as you will need to get in the queue for the monorail. You want to be in the gates at 9am...
     
    Posted 16th Jun 2013
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  9. activist3

    activist3 TowersStreet Member

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    Thanks so much for this, i am going to print it off and try and generally follow it. I am going to try and get on as much as possible. I think enterprise is closed and im not sure if oblivion may still be shut by tuesday. I will probably give the mega water ride a miss but try and fit on rapids and flume if possible. Looking at the ride times throughout today, it seemed to have been quite good with most things under half hour apart from the smiler, but it could be different tuesday!
     
    Posted 16th Jun 2013
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  10. josht

    josht TowersStreet Member

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    I hope you have a good day, and manage to get on everything :)
     
  11. djtruefitt

    djtruefitt TS Site Team Team Member

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    I would also say leave battle galleons, unless its a really nice day, or you dont mind being soaked to the bone! Flume and Rapids are ok, and if its not hot, they wont have massive queues. Charlie isn't as bad as people are making out! If there is a queue outside the building, don't bother but if its inside you wont be waiting too long.

    Also aim to have dinner early or late, and not at dinner time when everyone else is eating. Otherwise you spend half your time queueing for food, when you could be on rides!

    Enterprise will be closed on Tuesday as I think it has a major problem and Oblivion may or may not be open, depending if the part they need is fitted by then!

    Have a good time and be sure to come back and let us know how you got on!
     
  12. Alastair

    Alastair TS Forum Team Team Member

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    Out of interest, what part are they waiting for?
     
  13. djtruefitt

    djtruefitt TS Site Team Team Member

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    I believe it's something to do with the lift hill, but no idea which particular part!
     
  14. John

    John TowersStreet Member

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    RE: ERT

    There are several ways of getting round the rides during ERT. A lot of people focus on one or two rides and attempt to get on them as often as possible, but depending on how athletic you're feeling it should be possible to get on RMT, Nemesis and Thirteen during the hour and still get in the Rita queue before 10am. It might be possible to fit Hex in too, but I wouldn't bother as it's unlikely to be busy later anyway - better to do 2 rides on one of the coasters. After Rita, getting the Skyride to Air is usually a good bet.

    There are a number of possible starting points, but the important thing is to try to do as many of the major coasters as early in the day as possible before queues build up, then do the less popular rides between 12-3 when the park is busiest.

    Doing the Smiler last is definitely advisable, doing it first is risky as it often opens late so you'd lose the benefit of getting into the park early. You're better off using the time to get on the other coasters with minimal queues. This strategy is a little risky though as you only give yourself 1 shot at riding it.

    There may also be school trips, but they are likely to arrive late and/or leave early - this makes it even more important to avoid the coasters during peak times, as the queues can be disproportionately long.
     
  15. activist3

    activist3 TowersStreet Member

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    Thank you for all your comments. Because of my sons crazy excitement we are here already!
     
  16. djtruefitt

    djtruefitt TS Site Team Team Member

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    I hope you had a good day, I also was at Towers today for a last minute trip and the park was much busier than I thought it would be, with a good deal of trips (however most of these didn't arrive till 11-12).

    Be sure to let us know how your trip was when you get home!
     
  17. activist3

    activist3 TowersStreet Member

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    Hello,
    Well i finally have some network and have returned home to Wales. In general we had a brilliant day! We arrived at the park very early, just after 7 and parked up and walked to the entrance. Obviously we were the only one's there at this time! Even though we met up with two guys later who had been wandering around since 6am! I knew the park didnt open until later but couldnt contain my son's excitement! We sat and chatted for a while until around 8.30 when the monorail began, so he stood at the front of the gates waiting for them to open and i waited outside the first ticket booth to get tickets at 8.45 when they open. This is when we hit the first problem.
    The ticket booths didn't open on time and in fact the majority of them didn't open until 9am. Thankfully and very gratefully a member of the public in the only booth which had opened at 8.55am realised what was happening and allowed me to go in front which enabled to join my son and be the first in the park. So many thanks if that was you!!

    As i entered the park i went straight to the box office and picked up my silver fastpasses and bought a smiler fast pass each for me and my son. (we were also given 2 x fast passes for a previous issue!) i know many on here hate fast passes, but i wanted this to be an honest report

    I then headed over to Hex to see if we could sneak in for ERT but got spooked by 2 members of staff on the door so continued past them to thirteen were we managed to ride it fine (without using the fastpass) we then tried hex again and the members of staff were chatting to a family so we just walked past and that was great. My son was quite scared by both these two rides but enjoyed them. We then got into the queue for Rita and waited for the front row which wasnt very long. That was much faster than i remembered!

    We then headed over to the nemesis area to do the rides there and started with Air as it was still a short queue at that point, so we did that twice, both times on the front row and once using the fastpass. I completely forgot about the it where you go backwards for a while so that was exciting! My son absolutely loved the ride.

    After this my son couldn't wait for the smiler so we got on the cable car back over to entrance and around to the smiler, the queue was over 2 hours long already and this was about 11.30. We went through the fastpass queue, straight through the correction facility thing and up to the ride which only took about 5 minutes. To be honest i thought the smiler was a really good ride, but i was slightly underwhelmed. It didnt seem to be very quick and seemed to just basically slide around the ride, not really with much ooooomph if you know what i mean. Great ride though obviously. And thought the last bit after the ride was quite fun. As i was going around the ride. the only marmalisation thing i realised/noticed was the fine water spray, didnt really notice anything else as you are being flung around.

    We then went to sonic spinball which was over 60 minutes queue so i bought i a fastpass for this, and while i was queuing there were about 15 people asking for smiler fastpasses which had clearly sold out by this point. Went on spinball which was good, but im not convinced its worth spending over 15% of the day queueing for it.

    After this was an incident that really shocked me and threatened to ruin the day. I was walking on the path by sonic and the duck and its chicks came past on the path which someone had posted a picture of recently. A lad walking past in a group picked up one of the chicks in his hand and then threw it on the floor. The poor things just bounced and landed on its back before its mother came over to pick it up. I was completely gobsmacked. Somebody went over and slapped him and a couple of people had a go at him, i went and reported him to three members of staff who were stood on the stall outside sonic and they did absolutly nothing. I have a picture of him so should do a name and shame!

    Anyway....We then went over and did the runaway mine train which was queuing out of the door but got through in about 15 minutes and then the rapids which took about 30 minutes. Over to duel which was a straight walk on and then we walked to nemesis. We fastpass sub terra as the wait was 45 minutes and then fast pass nemesis which was 50 minute queue. One thing i realised is that the queutimes on ridetimes.co.uk dont seem to accurately reflect the rapid changes in the park. I was in the rapids queue and for the whole 30 minutes it reported a 5 minute queue on the rapids which was clearly wrong!. I really enjoyed sub terra which had changed a bit since i first went on it and i had completely forgotten about the drop down into the cave! So that was exciting. Nemesis was great and felt really fast compared to the Smiler, even though its beginning to look tired and the head restraints etc are looking very worn. Also the extended queue area up the top near the turn and the full loop is closed off and is clearly just been left to grow over which looks quite strange and sad.

    Also the majority of shops and kiosks were closed in a lot of the areas, it seemed strange and sometimes derelict.
    After this we did ripsaw which was about 30 minute wait but was enjoyable and got a bit wet!
    By now it was 2.40 so we headed back over to the smiler to use our timed fastpass at 3. When we got there the ride was closed for technical issues and they were not letting anyone join the queue. After about 20 minutes this was reopened (not sure how long before i arrived it had closed) and we went back on. This time we were queueing from inside the correction facility which was very very warm! And didnt really do much. But we were excited to go back on the ride. After about 30 minutes waiting we got onto the ride and it was a completely different experience. It was noisier with a grinding noise the whole way around the track (the yellow scuff marks are around the whole track) but the ride felt much faster and a bit jerkier which actually made it a much better ride. I asked the staff and they said it gets faster as the day goes on!!

    Following the smiler we raced back over to the dark forest and used our fastpasses on Rita and thirteen again before whipping over and finishing the day with a final ride on nemesis and air.

    So all in all we had a brilliant day...apart from the idiot with a chick.

    The only caveat to all this is that i was in a very luck position as i had been saving from quite some time for this trip and it is not something i could do often. This was a delayed christmas present. I spent £39 on entry (BOGOF) and then £74 on fastpasses. But i honestly think if i hadnt spent that money it would have been a totally different experience. The £6 smiler ones are a no-brainer for me. The trip cost me probably £150 in hotels and transport and then £39 on entry, if i can skip a 3 hour queue for the price of £6 then it makes complete sense. I would rather skip a burger and have those extra three hours in the park.

    Also at times (thankfully i managed to avoid them) but rita broke, air broke, ripsaw broke, smiler broke and oblivion didnt open all day. On top of this it was very very busy. So if i had turned up without being prepared and without the money saved up to buy the fastpass i dont think this would have been such a positive review!

    Thats enough for now, i have waffled on for long enough! Any questions let me know!

     
  18. Natalie

    Natalie TowersStreet Member

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    It was me and if I see anyone doing it I will tell a member of staff and maybe give them a little piece of my mind. They are literally just over a week old and animal abusers are just below child abusers in my opinion and should be treated as such. Anyway I'm glad you enjoyed your day, the more you go on The Smiler the more you know where you are on the track and can enjoy the 5 different legs.
     
  19. GaryH

    GaryH TowersStreet Member

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    I feel so sick to the stomach reading about what that scum did. Honestly, if I had been there and seen it I would have been arrested for what I would have done to that heartless thug. I alos find it unbelieveable that none of the AT staff did anything, I would have demanded he was removed from the park and arrested for animal cruelty.

    I do wonder sometimes what the hell is wrong with humanity. I read about all these reports of animals being abused, but a tiny little chick, can some people sink any lower :( hope its ok.
     
  20. activist3

    activist3 TowersStreet Member

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    After I spoke to the staff I stood to see if they did anything and they didn't so I was kind of at a loss of what to do. I wasn't sure if he was in a big group as the walkway was really busy so didn't really want to grab him. I did go back to check on the animals and they all seemed ok.
     

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