Trip Report - 24-25 August 2013

Discussion in 'Your Alton Towers Trip Reports and Plans' started by huzzellio, 28th Aug 2013.

  1. huzzellio

    huzzellio TowersStreet Member

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    Okay, I've been lurking here for some time and decided to finally join after visiting Towers for the first time since Oblivion was the big thing. I'm from down south so my family Annual Pass has always been used at Thorpe, Legoland and Chessington.

    Anyway, we felt it was time to give Alton Towers a visit, so packed our bags, shipped our youngest to the inlaws for babysitting duties and took our eldest for a weekend of fun.

    First thing that struck me was how massive the place is! I looked in panic as we were parked up in carpark H, every carpark is massive and we were in H?? This would be a day of queuing for sure, or so I thought. Turns out the park is big enough to accommodate this. So after walking through the entrance and looking like lost puppies we made it to X Sector where the sight of The Smiler amazed me. I've never seen such a tangle of track in all my life! Unfortunately my son is an oh so close 1.35 metres tall so was unable to ride the bigger coasters apart from Th13teen.

    We saw Submission and my son decided he'd like to give that a try and there was hardly any queue. Now, when you're seven years old and get turned upside down it either makes you or breaks you. His previous big rides had been Rush and Detonator at Thorpe, neither of which put you upside down. Luckily, he loved Submission and it turned out to be his favourite ride of the whole weekend.

    Next we walked over to the Forbidden Forest for Th13teen. This was a ride I was sure he would love, that was until that electrical thing in the station buzzed whist he was stood next to it. Once I peeled him off the ceiling I could see it had freaked him out a bit. This was then compacted by the drop in the dark. The result? My boy totally freaking out in the queue for Hex. Oh well, onwards.

    We decided to walk over to the other side of the park via the valley. On reflection this wasn't such a great idea as we were all covered in sweat by the end! But at least we made it to Air. This was the ride I wanted to do the most as I'd never been on a flyer before. My wife took the boy to have a go on The Blade while I joined the single riders queue. 20 minutes later I'm pointing head first and going up the lift hill. What a great ride, especially the part when you're on your back. I came off a happy man.

    Next we made our way down to the rapids and the Mine Train. Now, bear in mind that the only rapids I have been on is Rumba at Thorpe, I was really impressed with Towers' offering. It seems to go on for ages and we actually got wet. It was fun. Next up was the Mine Train. I was expecting something like Chessington's version, but Towers' version was certainly more interesting. For a children's ride it certainly picked up some speed going into the tunnel. Very good.

    After this we made our way back round and ended up at The Flume. To be honest first impressions weren't great. It's clearly a very tired ride, we got into our 'bath tub' and set sail. I could feel as if the underside of the boat was bottoming out. What I wasn't expecting though was the THREE drops and an utter soaking! Overall we really enjoyed that one.

    It was then time for me to do The Smiler. 45 minutes in the single rider queue was well worth the wait. The theming on this ride is brilliant. If The Joker were to make a ride he would make this. All the effects were in full working order and the mist in the station as you launched looked great. I came off feeling battered but with a massive grin on my face, so I guess the marmalisation worked! Then it was on to Sonic Spinball. I was impressed with the throughput on this on, much quicker than Chessington's Dragon's Fury. Overall though, whilst enjoyable, Dragon's Fury edges it.

    Day two was much the same, but this time we made use of the Parent Pass, allowing me to queue for the big rides whist my wife does something with the boy, then afterwards (once an attendent has signed my pass) I passed it to my wife who can then use it to fastrack for her turn. We loved it, The Smiler, Air and Oblivion were all ridden using this Parent Pass and it was free which was great.

    A special shout out must go to Oblivion. It had been many years since I'd been on that ride, and even now it still packs quite a punch. I wish the smoke around the hole was better though.

    Overall we got back tired but desperately wanting to go again. A great weekend.

    I wish I had something witty to say here.....
     
    Posted 28th Aug 2013
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  2. RyanY

    RyanY TowersStreet Member

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    Saying this is like one of the 7 deadly sins on here. ;)

    Glad you enjoyed it, but where did you stay overnight?
     
    Posted 28th Aug 2013
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  3. huzzellio

    huzzellio TowersStreet Member

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    Ooh, am I causing controversy already? Hehe.

    We stayed at a Holiday Inn Express just off the M6 about 45 minutes drive from Towers on the Saturday, but we stayed at Wychnor Park Country Club on the second night. Mind you, it would have been nice to make more of the facilities there but we were so late getting back that we just crashed. It took us over an hour to get out of Towers' carpark!!

    I wish I had something witty to say here.....
     
    Posted 29th Aug 2013
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  4. Poisson

    Poisson TowersStreet Member

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    Location:
    Behind You
    Favourite Ride:
    The Giant Squid
    On the 24th did you see a terrifyingly big group of slightly geeky people either singing, jousting on Oaf-back or filling a queue? If you did you spotted the meet occurring that day.....and if you avoided it, we don't blame you :p
     
    Posted 30th Aug 2013
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  5. djtruefitt

    djtruefitt TS Site Team Team Member

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    Location:
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    I'm always interested to read trips from people at Alton Towers, especially if they haven't been before, or not for years. How did you find the park, staff, food, rides, etc compared to those down South?
     
    Posted 30th Aug 2013
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  6. BarryZola

    BarryZola TowersStreet Member

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    Nice report, I enjoyed reading that. As mentioned above, it's always good to get a perspective from someone who hasn't visited the park for some years :)
     
    Posted 30th Aug 2013
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  7. huzzellio

    huzzellio TowersStreet Member

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    Did you not see a tall bloke running away from you as fast as he could? That would have been me :p

    I have a theory that the more you go to a particular theme park the more critical you become. Thorpe Park is a perfect example, I'm very critical of areas where there has been underinvestment, but then I've been going since I was seven years old,and am now taking MY own seven year old there.

    The overall impression with Alton Towers is very good. Considering how vast the area is, I was impressed with how well staff kept up with the cleanliness of the place. The park is also very tidy in terms of presentation.

    To be honest, there were only a small handful of issues I found. Firstly (and this one disgusted me quite a bit), the entrance to The Smiler's station in the single rider queue had clearly been the target of graffiti. How people can deface stuff is beyond me and they should be strung up, however, I also want to know which moron thought that patching it up by slapping (and I mean SLAPPING) gloss paint over matt paint and letting it dribble is acceptable? A multi million pound attraction being patched up like that is pretty bad.

    Also, The Flume is in dire need of refurbishment. It's actually a good ride but needs some money thrown at it soon.

    Ripsaw was also making a horrendous screeching sound everytime it stopped a spin. I certainly didn't have any confidence in it, especially after seeing what happened to Rameses at Chessington.

    Apart from that I was impressed. The staff were ultra efficient at throughput, more so than other parks.

    The only food I tried was at the Fish and Chip place by Nemesis. It wasn't the best I've had (the fish seemed more mushy than fishy) but the staff were friendly and helpful, offering to help me carry the food to my table.

    A special shout should go to the staff on the Runaway Mine Train. They were very chatty and polite.

    We all came away feeling as though we'd had a great weekend.

    I wish I had something witty to say here.....
     
    Posted 31st Aug 2013
    #7
  8. Poisson

    Poisson TowersStreet Member

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    Location:
    Behind You
    Favourite Ride:
    The Giant Squid
    The Flume has needed a refurb since about 10 years ago, it is ancient

    Ripsaw is getting on a bit, but is perfectly safe. The same problem which meant Rameses Revenge's restraints were cut off would be resolved by opening the restraints manually at Towers.

    The staff always continue to impress me most of the time, really crack on with it but are friendly all the time

    I have actually never found an unfriendly AT staff member.....

    Always nice to hear people unfamiliar with the park enjoy it. This TR was a pleasure to read :)
     
    Posted 1st Sep 2013
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  9. huzzellio

    huzzellio TowersStreet Member

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    Glad you enjoyed it.

    Really dying to get back there again. I've turned into somewhat of a theme park addict over the last couple of years.

    I wish I had something witty to say here.....
     
    Posted 2nd Sep 2013
    #9

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