When you have been to Europa-Park. Or Disney. Or Cedar Point. Or Universal. One can become difficult to please when it comes to good operations in a theme park. And, truth be told, even in the dour days of 2016 and 2017 when operations at ATR really seemed to take a dip post-Smiler, they have never been *really* bad at Alton Towers. Not compared to those infamously badly operated parks like most Six Flags properties or somewhere like PortAventura, where single trains or needlessly slow loading times are commonplace. Yet, I have to say, 2019 has been much more positive. The sluggishness of the past few years seems to have gone away. I know opening hours could still be more generous, there could be more of this or more of that - but when it comes to the ultimate Nemesis of any theme park: QUEUES... Alton Towers do, actually, seem like they are (in most cases) trying their damnedest to shift them. Nemesis has always been the one that stands up and delivers - very much the workhorse of the park. The ride doesn't stack on two trains the majority of the time and tends to hook up over 1,000 riders per hour without too much of an issue. Galactica has seen a renaissance of capacity since the VR goggles were removed. We're back to 'slowing down on the lift' territory because the block isn't clear. In my view, there isn't a better operated B&M flying coaster anywhere in the world. Even Universal Japan. Runaway Mine Train is perhaps one of those that doesn't quite fit the bill. Ever since that wretched host dispatch thing was put in meaning that the host has to walk all the way from the back of the train to the front again before dispatch... not to mention the silly delay between the ride stopping and the bars releasing. It's not exactly badly operated, but it's far from a beacon due to silly procedure. Wicker Man has become a behemoth. I know the ride achieved a record hourly throughput this year and you can see why. Just two hosts on the platform but due to the baggage system employed on the ride, it consistently achieves upward of 1,000 riders per hour. No mean feat on a GCI and I would put money on this being the second highest capacity single-track GCI in the world - after Wodan. The ride is often having to wait several seconds in the station even when all bars have been checked because the system simply won't let it send. Good job! You won't queue an hour to the entrance - and that is saying something. Spinball Whizzer has an inherently lower capacity due to the design. However, we're often seeing 6 or 7 cars on the system and when compared with every other Maurer spinner I have done (aside from yes... you guessed it... Crush) - the capacity is higher. Unlike the stupid policies on Dragon's Fury, Spinball loads the cars properly. There isn't too much fastrack and cars are dispatched frequently. Oblivion is one which has never quite lived up to the alleged throughput which is almost the highest B&M capacity in Europe. But, I have to say, on my past two visits - I have been quite pleased. Running 5 is about right and today, it was achieving over 1,000 per hour. Again - more than satisfactory for a park like Alton Towers. We queued to just the other side of the small building where fastrack comes up the bank and joins the main queue... only 25 minutes. More than happy with that! Smiler is an example of a ride which could benefit from a baggage store being returned. Ultimately, like Wicker Man, it's the park's most popular ride and people are willing to wait. It consistently has some of the longest queues in the park and, as such, like Wicker Man it should have a baggage store system. This would immediately boost the capacity by 10 to 20%. However, in spite of this, the ride is still reasonably well operated. Like Runaway Mine Train, some changes to the way it operates would help capacity and I feel the resort should look at this. Th13teen is another coaster which would benefit from a baggage store renaissance. On opening day in 2010, the ride achieved 1,440 per hour. These days, it's around 2/3 of that only. The removal of the baggage store on this has had an even bigger impact than on Smiler. Due to the narrow design of the station, guests towards the front of the train have to wander several metres to deposit their bags. It really does suffer for it. This is a pity because it's a well designed attraction and trains are moved about by the system quickly. Sadly, Alton's changes here have caused a drop in capacity over the years and as a result the queue is artificially increased. Rita is a ride which is tough to get a throughput on. I worked on the ride in 2007 and saw this first hand. Yet there was one big difference in 2007 compared to now. 2 more staff on the ride. As a consequence, there were more people checking harnesses and this meant trains were checked and ready to send at least 10 seconds more quickly than they are now. I recall in 2007 the ride achieved a throughput of 1,060 per hour on one occasion. Baggage isn't an issue because the cages are before loading. Yet, due to the clunky ride system and lack of staffing these days, Rita struggles to get anywhere near its capacity. So - most coasters are definitely doing pretty good at ATR these days. But with 2 more staff on Rita, baggage brought back on Smiler and Th13teen and a look at the host dispatch panel on RMT - they could all be on fire, all of the time. It would be great if the resort would look at these little changes to enhance guests' days even more.