First visit in 14 years - what can I expect?

Discussion in 'Your Alton Towers Trip Reports and Plans' started by andyramone, 11th Mar 2013.

  1. DiogoJ42

    DiogoJ42 TowersStreet Member

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    If you are walking in to the park, you won't need the monorail, since the car parks are on the far side of the park (have a look on Google maps and you'll see).
    Unfortunately the windows of the trains have been covered in vinyl whick looks very nice from outside... but means that from inside you can't see squat :( So it's no longer possible to get those great views of Nemy. :(
     
  2. andyramone

    andyramone TowersStreet Member

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    Wow, that's a shame. At least I won't be missing much then.

    Why the hell have they covered up the windows then? The views of FV on the monorail are one of my favorite memories as a child. It's hard to put into words how excited I was by it all the first time I went. Such a shame.
     
  3. Scott

    Scott Former TS Team Member

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    That's not entirely true... It's the same kind of vinyl used in bus adverts - so you can still see out of the windows - although I'll admit the view is darkened and obscured a bit. If you haven't been in a long time and wish to ride the Monorail though, it does still provide you with some nice views.
     
  4. Alastair

    Alastair TS Forum Team Team Member

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    It's more like looking into (or out of) a microwave - that's how I always think of it. ;)
     
  5. DiogoJ42

    DiogoJ42 TowersStreet Member

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    Yeah, the stickers are a mesh rather than solid. The outsides have bright printing on, but the inside is just black. Unless you put your face up to the windows it is hard to see anything. :(
     
  6. CoasterCrazyChris

    CoasterCrazyChris TowersStreet Member

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    I wish they would just cut the vinyl out of the window sections of the Monorail trains, it would be so simple to do and yet would make such a big difference! And while they're at it they can replace some of them, imagine how cool a Smiler or Th13teen vinyl would look...the tackier designs need replacing anyway, like the jelly bean and stawberry trains.

    As for visiting the park for the first time in 14 years, well what can I say....

    Expect to see many of the same rides and themed areas you fell in love with in the 90s, but looking like nobody has so much as come near them with a paintbrush since then. They literally have just let the majority of the park rot appearance wise, which gives off the impression that the place is now well past its heyday. X-Sector for example has really fallen from grace over the last ten years or so (which from your last visit you will remember in its full glory) but thanks to The Smiler should look much better this year, if not quite to its original standard.

    However I think you will still have a great time, Air and Hex are probably the standout new rides since the millennium, but if you care less about theming and experience and just like to go on a fun ride you will really enjoy Rita and Spinball too. Don't expect much from Th13teen and i'm sure you will be pleasantly surprised.

    :)
     
  7. Poisson

    Poisson TowersStreet Member

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    Spinball may be worth going for last ride due to the stupid queues. Or when it is raining go SRQ as they do 3 per car loading in adverse condition.

    In all honesty I don't know how you have survived this long without visiting :p
     
  8. James

    James TS Founding Member

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    I think when the vinyl's were first created the majority of people thought that over the years the 'tacky' ones would be replaced by news rides and developments. Although that never seemed to have happened. Stupid really. If they never intended on changing them in the first place then why didn't they go for a Nemesis themed one, a Hex themed one etc...

    [hr]

    If you get funny with disorientation then Spinball may be a bit of a bad ride to go on. I've only been on it once and I just found the constant spinning a little too much personally. It might be worth going on. Although if the queue is too long I would not bother and go on the other rides.

    Regarding Hex, if you close your eyes in the vault/'spinning room' you just literally feel like you're on a pirate ship. I've always found staring at the centre columns wither side of the seating areas helps too, as that moves with the seats and you usually feel better when you're looking at an object that's stationary/moving with you. I used to get disorientated on Hex when I was younger, but I love it now and look around admiring everything. :p It is a brilliant ride though, more of a brilliant experience really. One of the best dark rides you'll ever come across!

    Sub-Terra is great too, another very well created ride! Th13teen is a nice fun ride, as is Air too. Many of the rides from the 90s are still as good as they were, although some rides are looking a bit more worn put than others, this is just due to some rides not having had much tlc done to them.
     
  9. Wilsy

    Wilsy TS Founding Member

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    In regards to Hex, I'm sure the staff wouldn't mind letting you experience all the attraction except the vault. Just let them know and something can easily be organised :)
     
  10. TheMan

    TheMan TowersStreet Member

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    I am probably the best to advise you from this lot, I did Hex not knowing what to expect, and anything that spins totally has me over. I can't even handle the spinning tunnel in Duel (Haunted House) - and like you, hope for that reason they don't washing machine SW7!

    Hex wrecked me. I closed my eyes during a more intense part of the illusion, this made it worse. However, even having said that, I had to experience it! It is brilliant and I assure you, even if you come off feeling a little worse for wear (which having a clue as to what happens, you may not, because you can be a bit more prepared - where as I had no clue!), you will be extremely glad that you went on it. I have not been on it since, and wont be any time soon that's for sure - but as something to experience at least once, even for those of us who seem rather susceptible to this nature of ride, you just have to do it - trust me. I wish I could handle it better as I love it.

    Spinball whizzer looks like waltzers on a track, but most certainly doesn't feel like it. If you go on it and find it disorientating, use the old dancers trick of turning your head quickly so that you are almost always facing "forward". It is deceivingly intense, and quite a good laugh - but I would avoid at all costs, especially if prone to spinning issues, riding it on 3 rider wet days.

    Hope this helps :)
     
  11. andyramone

    andyramone TowersStreet Member

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    I'm thinking Hex may be a possibility for me. Maybe. I'll see how I feel on the day. Will make sure I have lunch after I do it though!

    Spinball Whizzer is out of the question, it looks like my idea of hell. I hate those WildMouse style tracks with unbanked sharp turns, and add spinning into it? No way.

    Also, I've heard the queue on that gets pretty bad? Another good reason to avoid it I think.

    Just to go back to one of my previous questions, does anyone have any thoughts on this:

    I know it's a difficult thing to answer, and you chaps get it all the time, but a rough idea of how busy it is likely to be around then would help.
     
  12. Scott

    Scott Former TS Team Member

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  13. DiogoJ42

    DiogoJ42 TowersStreet Member

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    All of Spinball's turns are banked, so you don't get those pointless hairpins that you find on wild mice. It is possible to ride it and hardly spin at all, if you get the weight loading right. If the car is evenly balanced, it's less of a spin, more like the car stays facing the same way regardless of what the track does.

    However, unless you have three mates that are pretty much the same weight as you, there will always be some turning. But often it's more of a slow rotation than a wild spin.

    Of course, if you get end up with kids in an unbalanced car, you can get a really good spin going! :D


    I'm afraid I couldn't say what the queues will be like. But I'm sure one of the more local members that visits every other day will have a better idea ;) Mid week when the kids are locked away in their cages is usually a safe bet though.
     
  14. TheMan

    TheMan TowersStreet Member

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    Have to agree with Diogo (and in public as well, darn it ;) ) - Spinball is nothing like a wild mouse. It feels a ride with intense sweeps, but as he also alluded to, an unbalanced car is brilliant/awful dependent on how you experience the rides.

    There is Heave-Ho - it is a gentle, kids, spinning pirate ship - I hated every second of it, yet I still used to ride Spinball all the time. It leaves you feeling a bit dizzy, but not disorientated - however last time I rode was on an unbalanced car, in the wet and cold at night, and it was viciously fast, intense and painful. Still not as bad as Chessingtons version though, which was just way too rough and spinny for me. Certainly, they don't ride the same if you go on one and use it to compare to the other.

    I would never ride it again on the three person wet day. 4 however, and it is definitely more coaster than spin - and is pretty well liked on these forums, and packs more coaster intensity and force than you may imagine. It looks tame, it really isn't, but not in a "spinny" way which did surprise me.

    As for busy days, from sort of May onwards, you can end up with Schools - I have tried to find quiet days lately and failed. Sometimes they prepare for busy days, and it is quieter, which results in an unprepared quiet day, when they get unexpectedly busy. They are worse in my opinion. With The Smiler due to open, people may hold off, but given SW6's opening year, every day I went regardless of when was absolutely rammed - and I only went "off season" week days!

    It was quite unacceptable that so often they were unprepared. I hope they learn from that this year, and air on the side of "it will be busy" rather than some of the ridiculously understaffed days I went on.
     
  15. andyramone

    andyramone TowersStreet Member

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    Don't mention Pirate Ships TheMan! They are even worse for me than spinning! The last time I went on one I threw up. Never again. I'm pretty sure Spinball will be a miss for me.

    Looks like it could be a bit busier than I was hoping then. I suppose it's all about how prepared they are. Fingers cross they get their arse in gear. I've read some horror stories from last season that I hope they don't repeat.

    The main reason I booked 2 days is to make sure I got everything I wanted to do done without resorting to Fasttrack, and not waste a 4 hour journey there and back, so I should be OK.

    I'm happy to queue up to an hour or so for most things. I'll never forget having to queue 2+ hours for my first ride on Nemesis in '96 in the summer heat. If I can handle that, an hour or so seems like a doddle.
     
  16. Scott

    Scott Former TS Team Member

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    At the kind of time you're going (midweek, kids are at school) an hour will be maximum queue time really across most rides. Though I would expect The Smiler to go as high as 2 hours if open.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk.
     
  17. andyramone

    andyramone TowersStreet Member

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    That should be OK then.

    Here's a question - if I book the tickets online, does that give me ERT?

    Also, Scott, nice to see you're a fan of my hometown Park Pleasurewood Hills. Not wanting to derail the thread, but have you been on The Jolly Roger yet? I haven't been for a couple of years, but hope to have a day there later this year. Need to get me a ride on Enimga, I love that blessed machine.
     
  18. Rob

    Rob TS Forum Team Team Member

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    It does indeed!

    :)
     
  19. TheMan

    TheMan TowersStreet Member

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    There is a thread here you may be interested in Andy:

    http://www.towersstreet.com/talk/your-trip-reports-and-plans/micro-meet-pwh-meet-up-1591/

    Stemming from a conversation between myself, Hobohippie and Poison Tom and my absolute adoration of the much maligned former American Adventure: MISSILE boomerang beauty.

    It is along way to travel for me but if I can, I am getting there!
     
  20. Scott

    Scott Former TS Team Member

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    Off topic: didn't get to PWH last season so haven't been on Jolly Roger yet! Looking forward to the new 'scary' in-house dark ride called Hobs Pit which opens this year too.

    On topic: as Rob says, ERT comes with your online tickets and is well worthwhile!


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