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Alton Towers 25th/26th March 2023 (26th March 2023: Alton Towers Day 2)

Matt N



26th March 2023: Alton Towers Day 2

We had our second day in the park today! And it was an interesting one, with some new stuff experienced today that we hadn’t done yesterday!


We started out somewhat earlier than we did yesterday, arriving at Alton Towers at around 9:30am for entry into the park at around 9:45am:



For our first ride, we headed off down Haunted Hollow to a certain new ride that none of us had ever done before…

The Curse at Alton Manor

The Curse at Alton Manor was closed for most of the day yesterday, so I was hoping to get it in today. Thankfully, the ride was open, and it was also pretty much walk on! As such, I didn’t really see much of the queue, although I did get a brief look at the new indoor queue, which I thought was quite neat! So, how was the ride? Well, I’ll keep it spoiler-free for now… in part because I don’t think my review containing spoilers would go into an awful lot more detail at this stage! I thought it seemed like nicely done ride, but I did perhaps find it a little overwhelming on my first ride; it is a lot to take in, and being a bit of a weakling with horror stuff, I spent most of the ride either on edge or jumping out of my skin! It was all a bit of a blur for me! My mum went round the ride terrified, as evidenced by our on-ride photo (she was always frightened of The Haunted House and Duel, so this wasn’t too surprising), but my dad said he was “underwhelmed”, saying that “it’s nice, and better than Duel, but the marketing over-egged it”. I’ll watch a POV later and see if I can do a more in-depth review with some spoilers, but that’s about as much as I’ll say for the time being:




After The Curse at Alton Manor, we headed onto our first coaster of the day…


Galactica was on an advertised 0 minute wait, and it was a ride that my grandad hadn’t ridden yet, so we decided to take a ride. The queue time board was pretty true to its word, with us waiting very little before entering the station! But how was the ride? Well, we were seated in row 3, and I must admit that I found it a bit uncomfortable. Galactica isn’t a favourite of mine, and today’s ride did seem like one of the more uncomfortable I’ve had on it; I’m a bit sceptical about whether flying coasters are really my sort of thing. As for my grandad, he said that the experience was “different” and that he found the ride “less intense than some of the others”:





After Galactica, we were initially going to go on the Runaway Mine Train, but the queue was spilling well out of the entrance, we decided to steer clear and go on a different ride…

Wicker Man

Wicker Man was on an advertised 50 minute queue, so we decided to have a go on it. The queue time was ultimately somewhat overstated; we waited around 35 minutes to the pre-show, and we were even on the ride within 40-45 minutes, which is always a bonus! So, how was it? Well, I was seated in row 6, and it was phenomenal; the airtime was stunning, the speed was incredible, and it was overall an incredibly fun ride! My grandad seemed to really enjoy it too, as he had yesterday; he even bought himself a Wicker Man hoodie from the shop straight after our ride, which must surely be a good sign:




After Wicker Man, we noticed that a certain non-coaster staple had opened for the first time this trip…

Congo River Rapids

Congo River Rapids had just opened while we had been on Wicker Man, so we decided to have a ride on it. The queue was fairly short; we were on within just a few minutes, which is always good! So, how was the ride? Well, it was decent; I got a somewhat wet back, there were a few fair waves, and my grandad seemed to enjoy himself! The ride was also spiced up somewhat this time by a jazzy new soundtrack, complete with an Australian announcer making various enthusiastic remarks during the ride; this was a fun touch, but I must digress that the irony was palpable when the announcer encouraged us to “face these waterfalls head on!” just before the waterfall section, even though there were no waterfalls running:



After Congo River Rapids, we decided to try the other ride in the area…

Runaway Mine Train

Runaway Mine Train’s queue looked visibly shorter than it had done earlier, so we decided to give it a go. The queue ultimately took around 25-30 minutes, which I wouldn’t say was too bad at all, personally! But how was the ride? Well, I was seated in row 10, and I thought it was great fun; it is a guilty pleasure of mine! My grandad thoroughly enjoyed it too; his first words to me upon getting off were “That tunnel bend was absolutely mental!”:


After our ride on the Runaway Mine Train, we sat in the Mutiny Bay Courtyard and ate our packed lunch for a bit before asking my grandad what ride he fancied doing next. To our surprise, he said “I’ve done all the others, so I want to try The Smiler!”. As such, we headed over to…

The Smiler

As my grandad wanted to give Smiler a go before we left, we obliged his wishes and joined the queue. Unusually for The Smiler, the queue was only advertised at 30 minutes, and while it wasn’t quite this short in reality, it only took around 40-45 minutes, which is honestly quite a short queue for The Smiler! So, how was the ride? Well, we were seated in the back row, and I personally found it a fair bit less pleasurable than yesterday’s ride; it was rougher and also seemed notably more nauseating for me. My grandad initially seemed a bit overwhelmed by the experience when we hit the brake run, but later remarked that he did thoroughly enjoy the ride, saying that he found it “absolutely mental”! He also remarked that going upside down was nowhere near as bad as he’d feared it might be, saying that he dealt with inverting far better than he’s dealt with spinning things in the past. However, he did say that he was glad that Smiler had been his final ride, declaring that “doing that first might have terrorised [him]!”:



After The Smiler, we headed to one final coaster that was on a very short queue…


Oblivion was on a mere 10 minute advertised queue time, so I, for one, couldn’t resist one final ride! My dad and my grandad joined me, and the advertised queue time seemed pretty accurate; we were on in no time! But how was the ride? Well, we were seated in the back row, and it was absolutely sublime; I had a loose restraint, so I got some impeccable airtime, and the sense of speed in the hole seemed particularly amazing today! My dad and grandad also seemed to enjoy it, and overall, it was a brilliant way to close our Alton Towers trip, in my view:


By this point, it was heading towards 3pm, so we decided to head home. As it was quiet, we took my grandad on the Monorail to head back to the car park, which was certainly a welcome sit down after all the walking and standing during the day!


After we rode the Monorail, we got in the car to head back home and our trip to Alton Towers ended.


On the whole, this was a brilliant trip, in my view! Yes, it started off slightly rocky yesterday with the rain and the long Thirteen queue, but today was brilliant, yesterday afternoon was an improvement on the morning, and I overall thoroughly enjoyed seeing my grandad’s first reactions to Alton Towers and theme parks in general! He said that his weekend had been “fabulous”, and while he admitted that Alton Towers probably wouldn’t be somewhere he’d want to revisit too frequently and that he hadn’t become a “convert” like me, he didn’t rule out potentially visiting a theme park again in the future and said that he'd thoroughly enjoyed his weekend. His favourite ride of the trip was Wicker Man, but he also leant an honourable mention to The Smiler, which he deemed "absolutely mental"!


Thanks for reading; I hope you've enjoyed this trip report! I'm not sure when I'll next be writing one or where it will be from, but I hope to be writing another one soon!


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