Trip Report - 23rd/24th July 2019

Discussion in 'Your Alton Towers Trip Reports and Plans' started by KiMa, 25th Jul 2019.

  1. KiMa

    KiMa TowersStreet Member

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    Had my second visit to Alton Towers of the year over the past couple of days, and it will forever stand out as one of my best visits as I was bringing along a friend who had never been before. I was also with two other friends, all of them mostly GP, so I kept being their encyclopedia of useless knowledge for them. (Although one of them is practically obsessed Wicker Man, and we'll get to that later on in the story)

    Our goal for the trip was to do the big 7 (plus a ride on Hex) so that our friend who was going for his first time will have experienced the main attractions. The other two in our party had been before, though it was mostly new experiences for another member of our party too as last time he went he didn't do much.

    Unfortunately, none of us drive, and we don't know anybody who could drive us to Alton Towers (as it is a 3 hour drive from where we live) so I had to bite the bullet and pick a coach trip, as much as I really hate it, and had to persuade my friends that it would still be worth going by coach, which is difficult when nobody really wants to go by coach.

    Regardless, we arrived at around 1:15pm on the 23rd, which unfortunately was the final day of the school trips as the coach park was completely full, our coach driver couldn't even get parked! However, we still managed to have a successful day.

    We headed to Wicker Man first, as our first timer was now incredibly excited for it and the rest of the park had long queues across the board regardless, and Wicker Man was at an advertised 70 minute wait.
    We ended up waiting around 85 minutes, but my friends still loved every second of it thanks to the lovely heavy theming in the queue and our Wicker Man obsessed friend who was explaining all of the lore and the rune translations.
    After a long wait, we get to the station and after considering whether or not I wanted to ask for back row (being somewhat socially awkward doesn't help after being rather bluntly told no when I asked for the back at scarefest last year), I didn't even need to as the ride host simply said "back two rows" to our party of 4.
    What followed was an absolutely amazing ride on Wicker Man which all of us loved and almost rivaled my ride on it from scarefest last year. A fantastic ride which managed to take my breath away, giving us an amazing start to our trip, and cementing Wicker Man as my number 2 ride at the park.

    After this point, we headed to Smiler, planning to just use the SRQ to get a nice ride on it, only for the ride host at the entrance to say "I'm not allowed to let people into the single rider queue at the moment" and when I inquired about it I was simply told "because the main queue is too long". (Is this common???)

    With a main queue time of 70 minutes, we decided that it wasn't worth the wait as we needed to be back at the coach for 5 so rather unwillingly I headed to Thirteen with them which was a 45 minute wait according to ride times, with our group wanting to do that with the prospect of getting more stuff done.

    On the way to Thirteen, we had a ride on Hex as it was a walk on (despite ride times saying 10 minutes), as our first timer had never done it before and I love seeing people's reactions when they have no idea what to expect. The audio doesn't feel as loud or as good as it has been before, but I still love Hex for what it is and I'll happily do it on visits. Our first timer loved it and so did the rest of our party despite the rest of us having done it previously.

    Checking ride times after Hex gave us a nice surprise, Nemesis had reopened after it's long downtime! We all ran to it from Hex, and it had gathered an advertised 20 minute queue by the time we got there, which ended up actually being around a 30 minute wait.
    Unfortunately the back couple of rows were taken, so I think we were in row 5 or 6, and actually provided a very fun ride on Nemesis, although it didn't feel as intense as usual. Everyone in our party loved it, but it's only me who holds it at their favourite, with everyone in our party preferring Wicker Man.

    Oblivion was also having a lot of downtime that day, but after coming off Nemesis, Oblivion was back up and running with an advertised 5 minute wait on ride times! So we ran from Nemesis to Oblivion which remained at an advertised 5 minutes, although we waited around 10 to 15 minutes for it. We were in the second row, but it wasn't a standout ride on Oblivion for me and I have definitely had better.

    This concluded our first day which we loved and were happy to get what we did done despite the busy crowds, very confident that we'd be able to get everything else done on the second day.

    We arrived at 10pm on the 24th, right at park opening, with the plan to get Rita, Thirteen and Galactica done first before they'd gather a queue. We had to be back at the coach for 3:15. The park ended up being much quieter and allowed for a fantastic day.

    We went straight to Thirteen as Rita unfortunately failed to open. Thirteen was basically walk on, and our friend enjoyed the surprise at the end and we had a pretty nice ride on it, though nothing special about it for me.

    Then we headed over to Galactica, hoping Rita would open soon, and got a nice ride on it after waiting 5 minutes. I've always enjoyed Galactica and once again it did not fail to disappoint, with the rest of our group really liking it to.

    Rita had then opened at this point, but whilst in the area, we had a cheeky ride on Nemesis, 1 row further back from the previous day. We had a more intense ride compared to the previous day and it just kept itself at my number 1 spot, I just love the thing nowadays.

    Afterwards, we headed back over to Dark Forest to get Rita done, which had an advertised 10 minute queue, although we ended up waiting around 20 minutes for it. We all found it a little bit rough and definitely found it to be the least enjoyable coaster on the park out of what we did, and it did actually hurt my shoulders a little but nothing to really cry about. The launch is definitely the best thing about it though.

    With Rita done, we only had Smiler left to do. The queue time board advertised a 50 minute wait, and with 3 hours still to go before having to return to the coach, my friends decided to go against our original plan and wanted to main queue it. We actually ended up waiting around 40/45 minutes and we would've waited less had there not be a small 5 minute delay (which they didn't even close the ride for).
    We were rewarded for our patience with the front row, however, as much as I really want to love this coaster, I still found it quite rough but being at the front did help me have a ton of fun regardless!

    However, it was a mixed consensus from our friend group. I was sat on the outer-right seat, with my Wicker Man obsessed friend next to me, and it seemed like we had the same experience. Our first timer was sat on the outer left seat, and our other friend in the middle left. Our other friend told us he had an incredibly smooth ride and absolutely loved it, which I honestly still struggle to believe how smooth he claimed it was and I can only dream to have a ride like that on Smiler. Unfortunately, our first timer found it to be insanely rough, pretty much comparing it to roughness levels of Ultimate at Lightwater Valley, and he had a massive bruise on the inside of his shoulder which shook him for a bit, though after a few hours he felt a bit better. (He later told me that it actually bled a bit overnight that night)

    After that, our party wanted a re-ride on Wicker Man, so we headed there as it only had a 35 minute wait which ended up being pretty accurate. We only ended up in the middle of the train but it was a still a fun ride as always!

    Our Wicker Man obsessed friend wanted to spend a bit (well, a lot) of time in the Wicker Man shop, so the remaining 3 of us headed back to X-Sector for our final ride of the trip. Our first timer headed onto Oblivion whilst my other friend and I went onto Smiler once again, this time using the SRQ, which was walk-on. My friend got front row, left outer seat and I was sat 1 row behind him, luckily getting in the same train as him. My friend found it rougher than his first time, though still enjoyed the ride, whilst I found it to be similar, if not slightly less rough actually, though the last 3 inversions are definitely horrible.

    After that, we met back up with our first timer, who actually told us that Oblivion was walk on despite the advertised 15 minutes, and he actually stood and watched the queue line videos, nobody even walking past him too. He also said that he had a really good ride too, in the middle of the second row and told me that it felt quite intense. We then headed back up to the Wicker Man shop, where our friend was still undecided on what to buy and spent... some money (not disclosing, sorry) on a lot of merchandise.

    We relaxed for the final half an hour, I bought another fridge magnet for my collection, and we headed back to the coach after a visit we all loved!

    And I'm now off to Blackpool Pleasure Beach for my Mother's first time on Tuesday, so what's not to love. Thank you for reading!

    (p.s. I really hate wasps, and this was my first summer visit in a couple of years so I forgot how many wasps there really are, after normally having March/April and October visits)
    Posted 25th Jul 2019
  2. Alsty

    Alsty TowersStreet Member

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    Sounds like a busy couple of days but at least you had a good time and got on all the main attractions.

    It's funny how The Smiler can be so divisive :)
    KiMa likes this.
    Posted 25th Jul 2019
  3. KiMa

    KiMa TowersStreet Member

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    The first day was definitely busy but the second day really wasn't too busy and allowed for a really great day!

    Yeah, our first timer friend definitely wants to give Smiler another shot to have a better experience, he keeps telling me how crazy is it that being 1 seat to the left gave him a polar opposite experience to my other friend, funny how divisive it is indeed!
    Posted 25th Jul 2019

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