Trip report 30-31st May 2016

Discussion in 'Your Alton Towers Trip Reports and Plans' started by FrightTime94, 1st Nov 2016.

  1. FrightTime94

    FrightTime94 TowersStreet Member

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    [if you can't be bothered to read it, i have some questions at the bottom which i would appreciate being answered]

    No idea why I'm posting this so late but meh
    Anyway I generally only go to Alton for two days, about once a year. I would love to go more, but I live three hours away, and I visit thorpe a lot due to the annual passes and tickets being cheap, which isn't too true at alton.
    Here goes

    We drove up on Sunday night so we could get two full days, and crashed at a relative's place in Birmingham (about an hour away from the park)
    Left at around 9 in the morning, but with parking and monorail queue, wasn't in the park until about eleven
    As always, I headed straight for oblivion, as there's no better way to wake yourself up, especially when the queue's only 10 minutes
    The smiler queue was too long, and i had no intention to do enterprise again, so we headed out of the x-sector to elsewhere
    Dark forest is imo quite inconveniently placed to the other two coaster areas, but it's easy enough to get to from x-sector, so we headed there and went on thirteen which had a 20-30 minute queue, and which I had only experienced once before. It's definitely the tamest of the big rides there, but is pretty smooth and the backwards section is fun. I prefer it to rita anyway, which I went on next. Rita had about the same queue time, but I found it to be rougher than the last time I'd been on it. That hill which is the highest point on the ride has always hurt my head, but overall the whole ride was less enjoyable. At the moment (it changes a lot) my favourite ride at thorpe is stealth, and the launch on rita and the whole ride is just less enjoyable, but it's still fun.
    What I'd been anticipating the most for the trip was galactica, as i'd never done a vr coaster before, but i can say i don't feel the need to again. I waited around forty minutes, and was very disappointed. The vr was low quality, the headset fell off my face, the tunnel over the bridge leaving to the left station made me claustrophobic, and it murdered a brilliant ride. However, I did bag a free fast track, so that was good. After a bit of a rest, I decided to go on Nemesis. When I was younger and less experienced with roller coasters (on my first visit to the park), I found Nemesis actually too intense. Bear in mind before this I'd done Chessington and Air, but that was it. However, this time it was brilliant, which was very good news.
    After the long-ish walk to the x-sector, I used my fast track from galactica to get a virtually queue-less ride on the smiler, which as always, was great and much smoother than it looks (i also bought a ride photo).By this time, it was nearing the end of the day, so we got the cablecar to forbidden valley and went on nemesis again. It's astonishing how nemesis is the most famous coaster at the park and probably the best, yet still has the shortest queues.
    We finished the day on rita, hoping to get on thirteen again, but were minutes too late. Rita was a bit better than earlier though. I bought a nemesis tshirt and a thirteen hoodie, and we waited in the car for a bit, until the time was right for us to make our way to the rollercoaster restaurant for an eight o clock booking. The food was very good, and I loved the experience, although it was a little pricey, however it was indeed everything I'd hoped for. We then drove to our (classy) premier inn for some well earned rest.
    Desperate to get all of the ERT, we woke up at 7 and left the hotel at around 730 or 8, and got to the park before it opened, which was great (I also met theme park worldwide, which was cool). Obviously, when the gates opened we ran straight for oblivion, and managed to get two rides in, both walk-on. We were planning on joining the smiler queue early, but it was somehow already long, so we walked to spinball whizzer. I'd never done this, but I had done Dragon's Fury so I knew what to expect. It was surprisingly intense - I'd say more so than thirteen. We wanted to try galactica again with the vr, so started the confusing journey to forbidden valley. Foolishly, we went the dark forest route, before realising the cable car was closed, so walked through the gardens, which was nice but wasted some precious ride time.
    When we (eventually) got there, the queue for galactica was only about 20 minutes, so we went in, but the vr gave me yet another bad experience. I was disappointed but hadn't lost all hope, so explained, got a fast track and queued again, only to find it was just as bad. This time I got another fast track and saved it for later (I think I might've slightly exploited this system). We used the fast track from the first ride to ride without vr, which was familiar and wonderful, then had another go on nemesis and walked to the x sector. We used the fast track on the smiler which was really good, then had lunch outside and realised the queue was now 20 minutes so went again, and then had another ride on oblivion. Ironically, our longest queue of the trip was on Congo River Rapids which was nice but no substitute for the Flume. For our last ride of the trip, we decided to end with galactica without vr, making it our fifth ride on galactica of the trip. On the way back, we were stuck on the cable car for 10 minutes and received two free fast tracks each, but really needed to go (the drive home was long and looming) so gave them to passers by out of the kindness of our hearts xD.
    It's a shame that you can't see the skyline as you leave as there is no skyline, but it was still a great trip. I will return in 2017
    Sorry for writing so much, i got a bit carried away

    Does anyone have any tips on better ways to do the towers next time, as i feel like i could've done it better? Also is duel any good (i havent done it but am intrigued)?
    Posted 1st Nov 2016
  2. MattyH

    MattyH TowersStreet Member

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    On the basketball court inside the Matterhorn
    Favourite Ride:
    It's a small world
    From the top!

    If you and your party are capable of comfortably walking moderate distances, I would suggest if the Monorail queue is big to take the 15-20 minute walk to the entrance (Well signposted, if in doubt follow the crowds). If you don't mind being split up and sat with strangers then use the Single Rider queue for Smiler as you'll get on a lot quicker, I find that Hex missing is the worst closure of the year as it used to break up the monotonous walk from Dark Forest through to X-Sector. In future if heading to th13teen, rather than heading through the archway past the entrance to towers, past woodcutters etc from X-sector, head straight along the path, as this continues round to come out at the entrance to Th13teen and Rita and avoids the big trek! Nemesis avoids big queues because it handles people very well and doesn't require a lot of effort from ride hosts and ops to get a great throughput. You can now ask not to wear VR when riding Galatica meaning you end up riding Air. Next time you find yourself booked in the RCR a few hours after park closes, they open the gate by Galatica for people to exit by at the end of the day, wander up to the hotels and have a drink (Alcoholic/Soft depending on whatever takes your fancy). I did it in Summer and me and my friend sat outside in the summer air relaxing and chatting away. Then you can gently meander down to the restaurant and enjoy your meal before heading back to base.

    Smiler's queue may have looked long, but this is because they don't open the pit until 10am and so the queue uses the top bit of the queue up towards the loos and back. Once the pit is opened how long you queue for depends on where about you are in the queue. From Spinball Wizzer to Forbidden Valley, go back towards the entrance, along the path/grass in front of the lake and then down through Haunted Hollow, which brings you out by duel, go past the loos towards forbidden valley! Finally, I'd definitely recommend you ride duel! It's a great attraction, each cart seats 5 people and has a surprisingly long ride time! Glad you're going back next year, hope this information helps. Anymore queries feel free to ask and I'm sure people on here will help you out!
    Posted 1st Nov 2016
  3. Matt.GC

    Matt.GC TowersStreet Member

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    I also live 3 hours away but visited 7 times this season. But then I'm actually enjoy a long distance drive and I know they're not for everyone. I also like to get my money's worth out of the rides when I visit and have (sad I know) managed to perfect my route-

    #I leave home at 6:00am (I travel from the west so I'm guessing as a Thorpe regular you're coming from the east). I then miss all traffic from queuing to get on the M5, get past Bristol half hour before it gets busy but usually grind to a halt getting onto the M6 at Birmingham. I'm usually off the M6 at Stoke by 8:15 and generally at the monorail station by 8:50 ish.
    # If there's a queue for the monorail past the vending machines, I tend to walk to the entrance which takes 10 mins without the kids.
    # As a MAP holder, you can get in an hour early than the general public at 9:00am, for Oblivion, Enterprise and Cbeebies land with Spinball opening at 9:30. So I head straight to Oblivion which is almost always walk on at that time.
    # Spam as many rides as you can on Oblivion for the first half hour. I usually grab a go on Enterprise as well. When it's walk on, you can get a good 4 or 5 back to back rides in before 9:30.
    # At 9:30, get yourself over to Spinball for a couple of goes when it opens. So far that's 3 rides done in just over half hour before the park is even properly open!
    # About 9:45 I make my way over to Forbidden Valley. This is because, with the GP being let in at 10:00, this area is the furthest area away from the entrance and it will be virtually deserted until 10:30, still quiet until the skyline opens at 11:00. I usually walk from Spinball across the Lawns towards Battle Galleons. At Battle Galleons, head towards Haunted Hollow but turn RIGHT at the entrance to Haunted Hollow and it takes you past some boarded up house, past a small lake on a gravel path and up the steps to Prospect Tower right behind the Forbidden Valley Skyride station! It's less than 10 mins walk from Spinball to FV! When at the FV Skyride toilets, carry straight on and you walk behind the food outlets and end up next to Forbidden Sweep.
    # Should be near 10:00 by now so grab the first train out on Galactica which will be walk on. Grab another go without the VR afterwards. By this time, the GP will still be flooding in at the other side of the park and into X Sector. Get these rides on Galactica in now as it will have a massive queue for the rest of the day.
    # Grab a couple of goes on Nemesis and a ride on Blade. Should be around 10:30 by this time.
    # Re trace your steps back to battle galleons and get over to Dark Forest for about 10:45. Turn left at the Hydration hut instead of going under the Towers archway for a more direct route into the back of dark forest. You will notice Dark Forest starting to fill up with crowds but the majority of guests will still be at the entrance gates or flooding in to X Sector and adventure land.
    # Get on Rita first whilst the area is still quiet as like Galactica, it's one of the lower throughput rides. Then grab a go on Thirteen.
    # I then usually walk over to X Sector via the route behind a southern Fried chicken to grab a single rider on the Smiler then grab an early lunch.

    That's how I manage to get all the major coasters done before 11:30 and also beat the lunch time queues as well. After lunch I do Mutiny Bay, Katanga Canyon and Duel whilst my food digests then I still have a few hours to get as many re rides as I want, which normally consists of many re rides on Nemesis.
    Last edited: 2nd Nov 2016
    Marcus and AndrewH like this.
    Posted 2nd Nov 2016

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