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    Alton Towers

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Paul's Achievements


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  1. I've just watched a POV from this season on youtube, having not been on the ride myself since 2010. What the heck has happened??? It is completely bare, void of anything interesting and just looks terrible! (Obviously I know watching a youtube video is nothing in comparison to being there in person, but still!). Just another reason why I haven't visited Thorpe since 2012 and have absolutely no intention or inspiration to again. So sad, used to be one of my favourite parks growing up.
  2. I'm a bit late to the party on this one. Went to Chessington recently and can't say I'm particularly impressed with Tiger Rock. This however is based on the fact that I much prefer the zoo/animals being in a separate area of the park entirely, and the theme park being a completely different part. I'm not really a whole fan of this whole idea of integrating the zoo. I've never liked Busch Gardens for the same reason. The whole Land of the Tiger area lacks theming, and the ride areas just look bare and sparse. I LOVE the new soundtrack in the station however, although this would have worked perfectly with the old Dragon Falls. To me, it's still Dragon Falls, and always will be. The Tiger head over the final drop is far too big; a huge part of what everybody loved about Dragon Falls was the fantastic view for spectators. That has largely been ruined by the huge tiger's head covering the majority of the drop. I would much rather the tigers had been added to the zoo section of the park, the whole Mystic East area simply brightened up, given a new lease of life, and Dragon Falls remain as it was, with the fantastic addition of the new soundtrack. There are some new elements that I like, including the added lights/sounds in the tunnel. Although not executed particularly well, the thought of using the tunnel to create more of an impact is a good one. I just wish it had been thought about a bit more and executed a bit better. Overall, I love the soundtrack and the attempt at making the tunnel more exciting. Other than that, bring back Dragon Falls.
  3. Is the ability to walk the monorail route from hotels to theme park new for this year? If not I've never noticed it before. I thought it was a great addition - one day we had to use it as the monorail was broken but the other days we chose to use it for the exercise! I'm surprised they haven't had it longer.
  4. During my Alton Towers trip last week I finally got round to riding Galactica for the first time. Before I launch into my review, I've just got to comment on that recent newspaper article about riders being stuck on Galactica upside down for 30 minutes in the searing heat. I was there, not on the ride, but was in Forbidden Valley at the time. Tuesday was boiling yes, but Wednesday wasn't even hot. It was a much cooler temperature, very cloudy. Can't have been more than 24/25 degrees. And yes, they were facing down, so would have actually been in the shade, even though it was a cloudy day. And the ride stoppage was about 15 minutes. So the whole article is not only an exaggeration, it's just lying on most counts. Media rant over. As for my ride on Galactica, it was a mixed experience. No matter the quality of the actual ride, the whole experience was ruined by the painfully slow boarding process. It was a quiet day, and so the ride was only running on one station. (I presume this is the case for quiet days only?!) Not only was it painfully slow watching every train have the goggles cleaned and put away, only to be taken out again when the next riders board, but the queue line now moves at an incredibly slow pace. The queue when we joined was just past the new photo point, and we were queueing for 45 minutes until we got on. The second time we rode Galactica on Thursday, the queue was just up to the food and drink vending machines, and we were waiting for over an hour. The actual ride was quite impressive. As a new experience to me, I thoroughly enjoyed the ride and it did offer a brand new experience. Arguably yes much of what I experienced could be experienced in a simulator, but the added effect of being on a rollercoaster (ride forces, wind etc) really created a great unique experience to AT. Once again the positive experience on the ride was let down by trains being held outside the station for up to 5 minutes, causing most people to end the ride with an uncomfortable rush of blood to the head, arms and legs while they wait to get off the ride. This was really unfortunate, as it did deter me from riding again. I only did as everyone else in my group wanted to. I presume this problem will go when two stations are open in peak seasons (I really hope that will be the case - the ride would be an absolute nightmare on one station in the summer). So as for the ride, it was a fun, new and exciting experience and that I really enjoyed. It's just such a shame that it has become such an inefficient ride in terms of throughput. Having said that, the staff were working their socks off and were boarding as fast as they could. It's a real shame that even with that hard work, the installation of VR on the ride has created such a lengthly ride process. Logistically there may be reasons why this wouldn't work, but while queueing I couldn't help think that they could have one station for VR and one without, so that if you didn't want VR you could head straight to that station and have a reduced queueing time? I presume the percentage of people wanting to use VR heavily outweighs those not though...
  5. Paul

    The Flume

    What was the actual reason behind the closure of The Flume? Was it solely due to SW8, or was SW8 planned because the Flume needed to close? Personally I'm not happy about the decision at all. Alton Towers doesn't need another coaster, and needs more water rides. With the recent departures of Charlie and The Flume, the park now has just one water ride, which really isn't that impressive for a park of AT's size. Yes the flume was looking quite sad, but an upgrade could have made it into a really great log flume attraction.
  6. Most people who do stand up during the ride don't really think about it - it's a natural instinct to get away from a big wave of water, which I understand. Then there are some people who deliberately stand up for whatever reason. Either way, if they want to dramatically reduce the risk of people falling in then seat belts are the only way forward. Every other type of ride has restraints (nearly, anyway), so why not rapids?
  7. Why do the waterfalls create a safety hazard? I presume because people often stand up/try to move seats to avoid getting wet? If that's the case, then removing the waterfalls won't solve the problem. People often stand up/move seats throughout the ride at any point, particularly when they see that their seat is heading towards a particularly large wave or current. If they want to stop people standing up, they need to add some sort of restraint to each seat on the boats. As long as there is a chance of getting wet, people will always stand up. I'm not saying that's the right thing to do; obviously it's a water ride so you can expect to get wet when boarding. Hopefully the increased signage will help. Correct me if I'm wrong - don't some rapids rides have seat belts? I seem to remember Popeye and Bluto's barges in Universal had seat belts when I went several years ago? It's not a huge thing to implement and if it's going to save lives then I'm all for it. Sadly no amount of signage or ride op announcements are going to stop people from standing up or trying to move seats during the ride. If we need to stop standing up, which we do, to avoid this kind of terrible thing happening again, then the only real option is to physically restrict people from standing up with seat belts. People might say it's all health and safety going mad, but if incidents like this are happening then something needs to be done.
  8. Paul


    There are some moments of good airtime on the ride - the first main drop through to the dark section is great. After that I think the ride could end and I'd be just as happy - the dark section doesn't really do anything for me. If it was a taller first drop with a longer track twisting and turning through the forest, it would be a much better attraction I think.
  9. Paul

    The Smiler

    I don't really remember much airtime - my head was so dizzy from all the constant inversions I don't remember much else!
  10. Has anyone played Extraordinary Golf this season? I know they were doing some work on it, any notable improvements? I always love to play this but have noticed it has become tired over the last few years. Particularly with the Flume hole always seeming to be having work done when I play!
  11. Glad you had a good day! I've always loved Quantum, it's so deceptive. I always missed it out due to it looking too 'tame', but it really packs a punch! Same with Zodiac - it's a really strange sensation but a brilliant little ride!
  12. Retheming Old Town to something that would accommodate Timber Tug Boat would be pretty pointless, considering there are other areas of the park that would already perfectly accommodate that ride!
  13. 'Upgrade' used very loosely then!
  14. That's understandable, but a huge shame. Removing the trees removes most of the theming that the ride had!
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