Talbot Street Lock In

Squiggs

TS Team
1994 was a quiet year for Alton Towers, there's not much to report...

Only joking... the park had one of its biggest years ever, with the addition of three classic attractions, which expanded the park in all directions.

The undoubted headliner of '94 was Nemesis, but the season also saw the addition of Toyland Tours as well as Peter Rabbit and Friends on Ice.
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Squiggs

TS Team
Nice post! It's interesting when the Haunted House opened there was a debate over how scary it should be, which is why things like the fingers got changed and the troll popping up in the swamp got moved, they were decided not scary enough! After previously saying the ride shouldnt be too scary, Alton Towers changed their tune and asked for things to be made scarier. I'm pretty sure the giant head lasted all the way until Duel though.

Am I right in thinking that the Cup of Tea demon was also changed to increase the scares?

The Giant's Head was definitely absent by the end of The Haunted House but I've never seen anyone able to pin down exactly when it went, so it might only been missing for a season or two at the end.

Also not wanting to sound pedantic but the names often online 'The Lunatic' , 'Tigger', 'Electric Bill' etc, are just fan nicknames first put on Hauntedone, the effects never had titles or names other than like 'column', 'rock monster'. It doesn't matter either way, but maybe fans assume they've got official names or something.

Interesting. I knew Tigger was a staff nickname for the Bridge Monster but I had always thought the lunatic and Electric Bill were more official. I'll see if I can work that info in somewhere.
 

DistortAMG

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Pirates of the Caribbean (DLP)
I only ever rode The Haunted House in 2002. The Giants Head was there then. We went around riding the ride loads of times in late October as we did not know what was going to happen to the ride so we wanted to get the most out of it.

I distinctly remember it being there October 2002
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Squiggs

TS Team
It's fascinating stuff, there does seem to be a very sharp divide of people who distinctly remember it being there and another group who distinctly remember it being missing.

It makes me wonder if at some point in its final years the Giant's Head was removed for an extended period of maintenance and then restored before the house was remodelled for Duel. It certainly wouldn't be the only example of last minute maintenance before an attraction is removed.
 

DistortAMG

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Pirates of the Caribbean (DLP)
Yeah I have noticed the sharp divide too.

One of the things that makes me distinctively remember it, is I remember being quite intimidated by the size of half his face as we went past. With his massive eye and just general large size. That shocked and intimidated me quite alot. I suppose that was the effect they were aiming for.

Then I was quite disappointed the year later to see that effect removed altogether. With just those opaque windows in place of where the giant sat behind.

Very possible they did sone last minute maintenance before it was removed. Maybe given how basic the Dual retheme was. With only the end of the ride drastically changing, there were not sure or they had not decided what was going and what was staying in parts of the ride yet. Who knows, but you are right, it is fascinating.
 
Am I right in thinking that the Cup of Tea demon was also changed to increase the scares?
Yeah that's right! Also a lot of relighting and repainting to look darker

Years later there was a refurb in 1999 which saw more changes to try make the ride scarier and less of a family ride (match with Alton Towers' rebrand around that time with Oblivion opening and that), which saw loads of scenery painted over or lighting removed and some effects changed.

Could be the giant head was one of the things that got hidden in darkness, but maybe it got relit towards the end?
 
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Squiggs

TS Team
The park pulled out all the stops for the launch of Nemesis, rightly expecting their first major coaster to put them on the thrill map.

One of the more unique promos created for the ride was the Nemesis Comic, which introduced the Phalanx and their battle against Nemesis and the evil cult, who had awakened the beast.

Who got to ride Nemesis during that first season? How did it compare to today, 26 years on?
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Squiggs

TS Team
Not resting on their laurels, Tussauds continued their transformation of the park in 1995, bringing Energizer to Festival Park as well as reimagining the farm into Old MacDonald's Farmyard, adding the Tractor Ride and Doodle Doo Derby.

Later in the season they also added the much missed Singing Barn.
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djtruefitt

TS Team
I know the Energizer moved to x sector when that opened and then went back to Ug Land, it when it went to Ug Land was it located in the same location do you know? Or somewhere new in that new area
 

AT86

TS Member
I believe it was located in two different places (happy to be corrected if my memory is playing tricks!). First time around it was placed in the exact location of the removed 1001 Nights.

Second time around it was shifted to the left a bit and stood roughly where the queue line entrance to 13 is today. This was home to the Astro Dancer between 1997 and 2000.

Between its move from Festival Park to X-Sector the ride was modified to give it more of a permanent look. Originally the ride had a metal base and was raised off the ground and looked more like a travelling ride.

By the time it moved to X-Sector (and when it subsequently went to UG Land) it was built directly into the ground.

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WillPS

TS Member
I believe it was located in two different places (happy to be corrected if my memory is playing tricks!). First time around it was placed in the exact location of the removed 1001 Nights.

Second time around it was shifted to the left a bit and stood roughly where the queue line entrance to 13 is today. This was home to the Astro Dancer between 1997 and 2000.

Between its move from Festival Park to X-Sector the ride was modified to give it more of a permanent look. Originally the ride had a metal base and was raised off the ground and looked more like a travelling ride.

By the time it moved to X-Sector (and when it subsequently went to UG Land) it was built directly into the ground.
Yes, the original location was behind where the Corkscrew ride photo unit would go, later location was over by Ug Swinger.

It really did look the part in Ug Land, it was a great retheming effort. A shame it lasted only 3 seasons.
 

AT86

TS Member
Yes, the original location was behind where the Corkscrew ride photo unit would go, later location was over by Ug Swinger.

It really did look the part in Ug Land, it was a great retheming effort. A shame it lasted only 3 seasons.

Is the current 13 photo unit the old Corkscrew one do you know? Or did they rebuild it.
 

DiogoJ42

TS Member
Favourite Ride
The Metropolitan Line
Am I right in thinking that the low walls being reclaimed by nature that you can see from Thirteen's queue are remains of Boneshaker ... or 1001 Nights?
 

DiogoJ42

TS Member
Favourite Ride
The Metropolitan Line
If they are the low walls I'm thinking of (breeze blocks painted green), they are actually the remains of the Dragon Coaster, back when The Beastie used to operate in the area.
Yup, thems the ones.
Huh, well I never!
 

Squiggs

TS Team
In 1996 Alton Towers took its first steps towards becoming a resort with the addition of the Alton Towers Hotel.

These days themed hotels are more or less an expected part of a theme park's line-up but it is easy to overlook the game-changing nature of bringing this overnight experience to the park back in the mid 90s.

Meanwhile in the park the area around the ice show become Storybook Land, featuring the Squirrel Nutty Ride as well as the impressive animatronic Bookworm, who would tell tales and jokes from his giant book in the centre of the area.

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Squiggs

TS Team
Artist impressions are a core feature of any development at the park, but perhaps none more so than the Alton Towers Hotel. As well as public promotion of the ride, for such a large and revolutionary change, artist impressions were also used to give partners a taste of what to expect as well as inspiring designers.

The hotel had many sets of artists impressions created in different mediums and at different times to show off different features of the hotel, such as the iconic fountain at the entrance.

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Squiggs

TS Team
This Wednesday it is over to you! We hope you've been enjoying our Talbot Street Lock in so far - we love sharing pictures from the past with you, but now we'd like you to share your old photos with us.

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If you're looking for new ways to pass the time during lockdown then how about cracking out your old photo albums and home videos and sharing some of those precious memories with us.

Check out the site for various ways you can get your pics over to us.
 
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