Popped in for a few hours today as I had a meeting in Heathrow that was done by 10am and I was really pleasantly surprised! At the entrance staff were doing a good job separating people with bags for security search and the new turnstiles scan passes much more quickly than the old ones.
Coasters were all running two trains and Saw had plenty of cars on. Really efficient team on Swarm with no stacking going on, and Nemesis Inferno not too bad but seemed to be having a few issues with restraints. Didn't ride Colossus but this seemed to be struggling to despatch with any urgency. Two boats on Tidal Wave.
Queue times were bizarre and it seemed like a lot of people in the park were going round in a huge group; at one point in the day Colossus' queue time was indicated as 50 minutes, and later on Stealth was going out with empty seats while at the same time Nemesis Inferno's queue was reaching the second cattle pen!
Swarm's fire effect was going off on every other train, but sadly still no water effects. Also the new fencing in the queue line while sturdy is totally out of theme - seems they got a job lot as the same stuff is used (in different colours) at the park entrance and in a few other places around the park.
Stealth's smoke effects are back but still one of the green lights is out.
On Saw the indoor drop and the bit with the arrows/air blasts is in total darkness for some reason.
Vortex and Samurai both closed but work visibly going on to fix both of them.
Generally a really nice atmosphere on park - plenty of people around but mostly small queues and good ops and it seemed lots of people were taking the opportunity to enjoy a beer or an ice cream in the sun. On my visits to Thorpe Park this year even on quiet days it's felt like it has some life and vibrancy and that it's being run fairly creatively (events, promotions, minor refurbs etc) - so why does Alton Towers with its brand new major coaster feel like an exercise in managed decline?