Trip Report 19th and 20th October

Discussion in 'Your Alton Towers Trip Reports and Plans' started by GaryH, 21st Oct 2013.

  1. GaryH

    GaryH TowersStreet Member

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    Went up to Alton this weekend, arriving around 6pm Friday evening to ATH. Took up 3 work colleagues who had never been to a Scarefest event before and given how much I had blagged it up, we were looking forward to a good weekend.

    Checked into the hotel fine and was given a room on the bottom floor overlooking where FoTS used to be. The room was ok, fitted the 4 of us in there ok, but the carpets hadnt been vacuumed, there was litter under the single bed, the window didnt stay open, and the bathroom, while cleaner, was starting to really show its age. But, these are minor things, we didnt pay full price for the room, but hardly a good sign that the hotel maintenance is up to scratch.

    Friday evening was spent in Flambo's for dinner. Usual stuff, but they have now taken away the free soft drinks refills, unless your a kid that is. Bit cheeky. Food was ok though. Headed over to ATH afterwards to see what "fantastical" entertainment there was. Unfortunately, there was a young lad (about 17/18 years old) sat on the boat singing. Well, trying to sing. The songs were slow and dull, at points he didnt seem to remember the words and it was just like bad karaoke. Hardly fitting entertainment for a hotel like this. Back over in Splash instead to escape the racket. As per usual, nothing much going on in Splash.

    Next morning up ready to get into the park for 10am to make the most of our 1 hour hotel fast pass..... get to the monorail at 9:50...... Big big queue right back to mini golf, monorail entrance closed. So we decided to walk instead, as did most others. Finally get into the park and collect horror maze tickets and buy a fastpass for Carnival. Serving was very slow, so we got our fastpass 20 minutes later.

    Headed over to Rita, hardly any queue for a quick blast, while the others wanted to check out Hex, CATCF and Ice Age 4D. Headed over to Battle Galleons after this and got absolutely drenched. Jumped on Log Flume, got more drenched though the duck and shower inside was not working before going on Rapids and getting more wet.

    At this point it was midday, so we ate at Burger Kitchen. I think some improvements have been made as the Quarter Pounder I had was pretty decent and the fries were good. Decided now due to how soaked through we were to pop back to the hotel and change into dry clothes. Jumped on monorail and got back to our room. Walked through Splash on the way and the waterpark looked pretty busy.

    After changing, back to the monorail.... sat on train for 5 minutes... announcement that there was a problem with the train and could we get off. Looked like the doors would not close so a staff member had to go along and manually close them. Next train pulls in, sit on, wait 10 minutes, announcement, problem at the other station.... wait..... another 10 minutes staff member advises us there has been a power cut and we should walk.

    Walk back to the entrance, get inside and ask member of staff what is open. Told everything on the left side of the park is working so we head over towards Katanga Canyon. Rapids closed, mine train closed. Duel was open, but the secret was out as most of the park had decided to also head over here. As such the queue stretched back towards the vending machines (extended queue was closed). Nemesis, Air and SubTerror had queues now in excess of an hour.

    Decided to head back over to the Courtyard (skyride also out of action) and have a drink. Power was down for about an hour and a half and I think came back on around 4:30 ish. Queues for Smiler were between 100 - 120 minutes so we decided to leave the bigger rides until the evening and had a few goes on Duel. Quite a lot not working inside, looks quite tatty now to be honest.

    By now it was approaching evening, so we decided to head towards Carnival. Fasttrack queue was pretty long, while the main queue looked short. However, people in the main queue told us they had been waiting an hour as we walked past them after waiting 10 minutes. Carnival was "ok", nothing more.

    Zombie scare zone was fun and offered a few laughs before we walked over to ToTT for our 7.15 timeslot. Sky ride was still closed and we wanted to go on Air as queues were now down to 10 minutes, but, we would have time to walk across, and walking through the gardens in the dark and soggy muddy ground wasnt an option, so we decided to head over there at the end of the night.

    Walked into the rather chaotic entrance for ToTT and Sanctuary, and walked up to the queue line. It was full and started at the top of the stairs by the chapel. The queue went all the way around the gardens, and was split by a fence in the middle for each maze. People in the queue lines were angry, fed up and many saying they had waited 2 hours. We eventually waited 1hr 20minutes for ToTT.

    Again, ToTT was "average" I felt. by now it was 8:30ish, so we could kiss our idea of going on Air last thing goodbye, especially with no skyride. We had to walk back around to the Sanctuary entrance, get back in the same queue line (but other side) and queue 45 minutes for the Sanctuary. This was the better of the 3 - but, because of the time and the queues, staff were batching groups of 14-15 people, so for example, the marmalisation scene didnt work for those further back (me included).

    We finally got back to the monorail entrance at 9:50. We had a table booked in Secret Garden for 9:30 and wanted to see the entertainment in the hotel that evening, but the queue for the monorail was huge, so we walked, quickly back.

    Back in ATH, it was now 10:15, the entertainment was in full swing, and the Secret Garden was closed. We were advised to get a pizza from Splash. We decided to have a drink in the Dragon Bar first and catch the last 10 minutes of the entertainment (which looked good). Queue for the bar was as long as ever, and only the 1 bar open.

    Finally, over in Splash we ordered our pizza, along with I think most of the other people sat in the area. It arrived about an hour later. While the chips were nice, the pizza was pretty rank, but we ate it anyway just out of sheer hunger.

    Overall, this was a very frustrating day in Alton, granted the power cuts didnt help, and whether the mazes were oversold or they had a backlog due to the days events, it meant our entire evening was spent queuing for them, and as such we managed no rides in the dark. One group we spoke to in the queue for ToTT had come up from Southhampton and managed just 3 rides.

    To top it off missing our evening meal slot and the entertainment in the hotel just spoilt the day. This is supposed to be a "resort" and given the mazes were so late in running, the power cut, and the loads of people ordering pizza's, surely they could keep one of the restaurants open a bit longer to accomodate those of us delayed.

    Also, on weekends like this where a lot of people will be returning back late, surely it would also make sense to run the entertainment longer. Once its over in ATH there is nothing, just dull sometimes morbid music on in the background, while Splash has as much Carribean party atmosphere as a morgue.

    The skyride not reopening after the power cut (rapids didnt either) was a blow as it meant walking between the different areas took ages, not good when you want to maximise your time riding in the dark.

    I appreciate power cuts happen, but, they seem to happen a lot lately here, there must be some reason for it? Funny thing was, all the shops remained open with power while the rides were closed. As we left the park late at night the queue for Guest Services was pretty long and speaking to the receptionist in ATH she said they had seen a lot disgruntled customers that evening.

    Not the best weekend in the resort I have to say, not sure if my work colleagues would go up again, the whole thing just felt very flat, but maybe this was due to one thing happening after another! On the plus side, it was good to see some effort made with the lighting, and the weather was kind to us!
    Posted 21st Oct 2013

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