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Alton Towers Trip Reports

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First TR of the new year? Well be prepared for a slight wall of text as I didn't bother with pictures...So yesterday was the last day of Towers' Half Term opening, so a visit was arranged and an empty Sunday road led to a pleasant morning jaunt to the park...Transport from the car park this year was excellent, with the bus replacements being efficient and quick, good job there from Towers to ensure that the Monorail didn't fail on them like many times before...So into the park and straight to Nemesis, which unsurprisingly was suffering from the cold and running VERY slow... But she's still fab so no complaints really... The top end of Forbidden Valley is currently mostly construction for Sub Terra, with the Nemesis entrance shut off completely and the queue starting at the Fastrack merge point (which for re-rides is FAB)... Not that there was a queue of course, to say the park was dead would be an understatement... Walk-on B&Ms are my favourite kind...After 3 goes on Nemesis, we noticed Air was testing so wandered over a got a quick go on it... Again suffering from the cold, an even slower Air was a strange sensation to say the least...Walking back past the Sub Terra construction (which doesn't look too bad atm, the Stag for example, is brilliant), Duel was the next port of call, and I was surprised to see new lighting (and apparently) fewer LEDs being on... According to some, staff are aiming to improve the ride by only having targets on monsters and moving objects... Which is a good idea tbh and could easily improve the ride... Electric Bill's corridor has more old set pieces as well and looks very different without as many targets... Hopefully it'll look even better come opening, and maybe the Pillar Monster will return as well...Back in the cold and the first queue (of 5 minutes) on RMT, usual stuff really and it's weird without the Rapids being open how quiet and un-interactive the ride actually is... Oh well, moving onto more warmth and Sharkbait Reef...Good news, the rays are back (CHEERS!)! And are naturally much more entertaining with the other fish as well... The giant crab still sits above the area but, I don't care cos they're gone for good... Huzzah!Then to Blivvy, which was also walk on (and that was without using one of the four cars)... Still a brilliant ride, although some new tvs could be put into the first two areas with them and the mist back on... That area will look incredibly different next year though, I look forward to it...Next up was Hexy, which has got the curtain working again (woo!) and the music is back to being nice and loud in the vault (WOO!) still funny how the parking is failing, but it's not a major issue to me and I doubt many people even realise... Oh well, still an awesome dark ride...That was it really, meandered to the farm to see the baby ducks, failed to get the QR code working on my phone for Sub Terra's promotion, did Sharkbait Reef again as well as Air and Nemesis... It's good that the park has all it's good rides open at this time of year, and I'm looking forward to Sub Terra a fair bit at least...Roll on March!

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I was there on Sunday on a TTF Mini Meet - I really enjoyed the day compared to the weekend before when the park had to chuck grit everywhere. The gardens and ruins were open also, which just added to the offering.I was impressed that Nemesis ran 2 trains all day in spite having no queue whatsoever. Typical AT!Roll on 24th March now, with Sub-Terra and Ice Age 4D!:(

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So I went to Alton Towers today for the first time this season with the rest of the Loughborough University Formula Student team.Lets start on a high. I have never seen the park so beautiful at this time if year. The weather was brilliant and it just emphasises the beauty of the park. I don't just return to Alton for the rides, but the whole experience of being in such a lovely location.Queues were light as you would expect for a Monday, with the longest queue being 20 minutes for Nemesis Sub-Terror.On the subject of Sub-Terror, what a complete was of time it is. Some of the 'ride' is done well, but its just a short, rushed, and confusing ride.Ride Count:Oblivion x2Sonic x1Rita x2Thirteen x2Air x1Nemesis x2Ripsaw x1Blade x1Nemesis Sub-Terror x1Kongo Rapids x1Runaway Mine Train x1Flume x1Hex x1Duel x1Highlights:Beautiful day with very light crowds.Nemesis was running superb.Very friendly staffLow-lights:Sub Terror was just dreadfulSmall bit of downtime on Air but nothing serious.Here's some pictures taken with my IPhone:Posted ImageIMG_0115 by DCernuschi, on FlickrPosted ImageIMG_0104 by DCernuschi, on FlickrPosted ImageIMG_0117 by DCernuschi, on FlickrPosted ImageIMG_0110 by DCernuschi, on FlickrPosted ImageIMG_0111 by DCernuschi, on FlickrPosted ImageIMG_0101 by DCernuschi, on FlickrPosted ImageIMG_0113 by DCernuschi, on FlickrPosted ImageIMG_0098 by DCernuschi, on Flickr

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First Towers visit of the year yesterday...Was great weather once again (probably meaning summer will be dire), and arriving later than planned it was straight to Nemesis for a quick go. Like Inferno, she's running very well and it's a reminder of how good the ride is even at 18 years...Then it was Sub Terra time, which I have reviewed already, it was enjoyable and what-not. Though I think I would prefer to ride it with unsuspecting guests rather than enthusiasts, kinda like Hex in a way...Air was running well also, though I don't see the point in the on ride DVDs, not like Raptor or the others were it films the entire ride of you...Duel looks great (Aside from the finale and lack of pillar monster)... Lots of light changes and fewer targets throughout have made a world of difference to the amount of visible fire exits and hydraulic pistons and bars, which can only be a good thing. Still got nearly 65k mind :PElsewhere, not much else to really report. Ice Age has been put in with some guile actually and isn't dreadful, Sea-Life has the rays back, and the park just looks nice in sunny days...Hex broke down meaning I didn't ride it and Oblivion's 30 minute (:)) queue that was reaching the point where fastrack begins to run alongside meant I didn't bother...Good day overall though...Ride CountNemesis - 1Sub Terra - 3Air - 1Duel - 2Rapids - 1Mine Train - 1Sharkbait Reef - 1Charlie - 1Ice Age - 1Thirteen - 1

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Oblivion's 30 minute ( :)) queue that was reaching the point where fastrack begins to run alongside meant I didn't bother...

Blimey, I went on the right day then! Mon was walk on for Oblivion (and everything really, except Spinball first thing which we obviously avoided at that time) all day.Was a great day, I don't know if it was just the sun literally showing the park in a good light or if they have done a lot of subtle work to make it look so good, but it really was beautiful.We arrived just after opening, no heavy upselling on Towers Street and an Ice Age character meet going on it was a great feeling to the place. Straight to a walk on front row Nemesis which by Nemesis standards really wasn't great, very rough and jerky, slow and forceless. I've never had that before and didn't know it ever rode like that. Late afternoon we had two more goes though and it was back to its best again, I love that ride.They hadn't got round to opening Nemesis ST yet so we went for a wonder. Duel, as Benin said, has seen massive improvements. It is very dark, subtly and effectively lit and the scenes change pace well with the speed of the car. Makes such a huge difference and was thoughly enjoyable.Rapids and RMT were as good as ever, great interaction with the RMT op and a very wet rapids. Then the Flume, which really lets the side down. It's knackered. Bumping alnog the bottom of a half full trough is not a whole lot of fun, I still think it can be fixed up rather than torn down, but one of the two needs to happen.We got to Dark Forest just as 13 went down, spilling all it's people into Rita, resulting in a 15 minute queue. For the first time ever I found Rita's restraints really painful, even though the ride itself was quite smooth. 13 opened as we got off so walked straight on, once at the front, once at the back. I liked it a lot more than I did last year, was probably overall my most enjoyable ride of the day. I still swear at the trims as they destroy the outside section each time and think the crypt is such a wasted opportunity for effects, but the drop and earilly cold underground section are so much fun.I've given my thoughts on Ice Age elsewhere, I loved it. Hex is properly knackered, sound is poor everywhere except the octagon, but the effects in the octagon don't happen. The madhouse is so creaky it destroys the effect and half the lighting and all the smoke doesn't happen. Needs fixing.Walk on Oblivion was it's usual solid self, so we went round a few times. Enterprise doesn't feel like it is going quite fast enough to keep me stuck to the floor, or maybe it's that I weigh too much? Didn't bother with Submission as it hurts!Spinball was rough, the farm was charming. We did another lap including the terrible N:ST and Air which I find is getting rougher and rougher which really detracts form the feeling of flight.Overall, the place and our day were fantastic. I didn't find an unhelpful or unfriendly member of staff, it was empty yet everything was at full capacity (Air three train/2station, Nemesis 2 train etc), Ice Age character meets were happening throughout the day, the pirates show ran three times and they were there at close interacting with guests, as was the hilarious man in his motorised boat. All this stuff is so good, especially on a quiet day. This is how you run a themepark. Quite why they insist on leaving you with the sour taste of a £6 parking charge at the end of the day instead of building it into the ticket price is beyond me though, I'll never come round to that being acceptable.

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^Unfortunately for me, it seemed a fair few school trips had decided to turn up yesterday... Most of the big rides had 15 minute+ queues all day really...

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Unlucky, 15mins not too bad thoughDidn't do a ride count: X1 unless statedNemesis x3Air x2N:ST DuelRMTRapidsFlumeSeaLifeTeacupsHeaveHoSkyride x2Rita x213 x 6 (!) Ice AgeHexOblivion x3EnterpriseSpinballNutty SquirrelDoodle-Do-DerbyTractorsRiverbankThink that's about it. And we were far from rushing about!

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Aww all these epic trip reports are making me desperate to get up to Towers! Rer!Interesting that Duel has fewer targets and that they're doing it to improve the ride. Personally I've always thought that with all the theming to look at/interacting with you and the fast pace, it was sometimes a bit too much with all the targets. Especially when those scary men jump out and completely distract you :) By the sounds of it, it's working great ;)

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Some passionate ride staff at towers have spent a long time getting Duel into a better standard - the works not completely finished yet, however it'll remain as is throughout 2012.Still need to ride it, but I've heard it's made a world of difference. Looking forward to it.

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Some passionate ride staff at towers have spent a long time getting Duel into a better standard - the works not completely finished yet, however it'll remain as is throughout 2012.Still need to ride it, but I've heard it's made a world of difference. Looking forward to it.

I can't remember the tunnel working at the end of last year whenever I went but when I went in Feb half term it was on and really made you feel like you were spinning around the room!

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So what with Terry getting some improvements, Nicky wanted to go along again, so with some speaking to Fred, we ventured off for a visit...

Arrived to a balmy 0 degree temperature, meaning that the Monorail was out of action and with 2/3 bus/coaches available, we walked to the entrance, where they now send ERT people to the gates on the side further away from the bus stop (toilet end) and naturally have alllllll the APers queue up for one gate. How comes we can't use the turnstiles anymore? It's silly and does provide some aggro from guests... On the other hand, someone had listened to the minor complaint Nicky put in last week about the now mis-leading AP entrance sign, and it has now been covered up... It seems that they are taking even minor things on board this year...

Off we went to Blivvy, which we didn't ride last week and it was still brill if not freezing at the top as per normal... Plus the mist didn't help, but I reckon it will be interesting to ride it when construction of SW7 is in full swing later in the year, providing some good views of the site...

Then we headed to the opposite end of the park for some early morning Nemesis. Upon arrival, the new policy of letting normal guests into the entire park at 9:30 reared it's head, and made me wonder who thought it would work, with a queue for Terry going to the Nemesis entrance which in turn inter-mingled with a non-ERT queue as well... It's confusing for everyone involved and I hope this gets abolished quickly, the idea is right, the current application of it, is not...

Nemmie back row far right, it's still brilliant and running sooooo good... Love it...

It was time for Terry, and the changes most certainly improve it, see my post in the relevant topic, but it is so different to the version I rode last week and it does show that Towers do seem to care a lot this year about improving faults. It was never gonna be gotten right first time, and I'm glad they have paid attention to the faults and changed it for the better...

On to the next ride, which was Duel, again a decent score in amongst the new look and lighting... Once they get their hands on the finale, it will be a brilliant ride...

The Runaway Train was next which was as per the norm, before heading up to Hex, another ride missed out on last week... On the way we surveyed the damage caused on Wednesday and concluded that closing the park was the right idea, and they were relatively lucky (or unlucky) that the tree outside the Flume didn't fall in a way to cause massive damage to the game buildings, BK or the Flume entrance... Still, good to see how much effort the park has made to clear up...

Unfortunately Hex seems to have gone the complete opposite route to lighting this year, it has never been bright in there, but mass lack of the group moving forward and late arriving caused the video to begin before the doors were shut and just annoying times all around... It just needs a couple more Volts in the lights during the breaks between the set pieces and then it will be a lot better... Still over-shooting but still great to ride everytime with randomers who get SO confused...

Interestingly, the chapel was open today, possibly as the ruins themselves had been shut due to wind damage, including a fully broken listed window. Which of course HAS to be replaced... Oh well, improving the ruins is always good...

Then there was Charlie, where once again children were awed by the ride... It's amazing how being old and cynical can change conceptions of a ride, but still, least it isn't Bubbleworks ;)

Thirteen was next, which has seen a few more gravestones and music in the final switchback section, a nice touch that would normally be unheralded in this modern view of "MERLIN ARE EVIL!" but hey, little touches are the best... Rita can go away though...

Lunch was called, and ham sandwich was had whilst Fred and Nicky (who had already eaten her ham sandwich) ate some Fried Chicken... Which was apparently good with top notch service that makes even Woodcutters seem slow... Nice happy staff as well...

We then visited the Medical Centre as Nicky was complaining of foot issues, whilst Fred grabbed an Ice Cream from the themed van outside, which plays HOTMK jingles, hence is made of awesome... We decided we wanted to watch the new Pirates show, so faffed in Sea-Life for a bit before grabbing a seat and awaiting the brilliance that was the wonder of a UK theme park show...

It's not on the scale of Disney, and is SUCH a panto at times, but wasn't that bad really... It's silly and daft and I guess kids enjoy it... Maybe? I dunno... But the cast whilst never changing, always seem quite good... Exceptionally camp pirate was exceptionally camp as well... Whilst I preferred Suprisingly Curveavicious Pirate more when she was meant to be a girly girl, to each their own...

Hopping onto the Skyride (SKYRIDE, SKYRIDE) back to the Valley, we elected for the rather short queue of Air, which was running VERY slowly in the morning, but was back to normal speeds upon our arrival... We purchased Nemesis bears and a resin statue with a generic park Tumbler glass as well in the shop, I ADORE the merch atm, it's sooooo good (especially the new ride bracelets the shop outside Galleons were selling, though £6 is arguably tooooo much)...

We wanted Donuts, but the Valley queue was long, so we walked back to Duel, and re-rode it (With me and Fred not bothering to shoot, allowing me to realise the ABANDON ALL HOPE sign being visible) and through Haunted Hollow we went to Mutiny Bay...

After some duck entertainment, it was back to the Valley for another ride on Terry, where it all went to pot upon the point in which the bars did not release manually and caused a great kerfuffle, where only 10 of us were in one lift, confused by the lack of everyone (Who presumably, were cramming 30 people into the other lift, would not want that) it resulted in the unsurest ending of the 5 times I've now ridden it...

With that, another Terry review was given to the staff, and we parted ways to venture home... A good day overall with the park not being too busy however was very very cold due to the rather troll weather... Oh wells, we left with the last event being the Pirates dancing to YMCA, those are the memories that stick with you more...

Ride Count

Oblivion

Nemesis

Terry - 2

Duel - 2

Runaway Mine Train

Hex

Charlie

Thirteen

Sharkbait Reef

Air

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Had a really good day at Towers. Was good to have a day of not feeling rushed and just being able to wander around the park.

First time I had tried Fried Chicken Co (not done it at Chessie either) and really loved it. Definitely better than any KFC I have had and was good to have really prompt service though I can see there being a problem with lack of seating and it does get a bit crowded so getting to the tables is hard.

Another first was a visit to the medical centre. My foot was playing up so I went to get it strapped up. Didn't have the support I needed but improvised up one for me. Nice to see they have even themed the centre in way that is there but not in your face. Gave Benin something to look at while my foot was sorted out.

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Went for a whole day on the way back from a Week's holiday in Blackpool.

(We left there early.)

Saturday 7th April.

RIDECOUNT:

Thi3teen X4

Oblivion X2

Nemesis X2

Nemesis SUB TERRA X2 (Actually quite impressed with this!)

Air X1

Duel X2

The flume X1

Congo river rapids X1 (Because at Alton towers you are still permitted to go on a truly dangerous rapids ride if you are over 12.)

HIGHLIGHTS:

- Not too busy at all, probably due to unhappy guests after the customer service recieved on the closure of the park on the 4th of April.

- Getting on most of the rides that we wanted to

- Enjoying Nemesis SUB TERRA (Don't expect a big drop ride but the special effects are really good!)

LOWLIGHTS:

- Not getting a go on Sonic spinball or Rita.

- Leaving!!!

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- Not too busy at all, probably due to unhappy guests after the customer service recieved on the closure of the park on the 4th of April.

Best presumption of a quiet day ever. As if like anyone but the tiny minority of guests even knew they were closed on weds!

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Just got back from a a couple of days at Alton Towers with my two sisters and mum, report may contain spoilers.

I arrived at the Towers Hotel at about 4 on Tuesday to be greeted by very helpful hotel staff. Because it takes ages to get to the towers from where I live we decided to stay a night before we went to the park itself.

Day 1 - After breakfast we arrived at the monorail at 8:30 to catch the first monorail towards the park entrance, which we got on. Unfortunately the monorail wasn't up to taking us all the way to the park entrance and decided that it would like to stop midway through the journey right outside Nemesis. After about 15 minutes of a technician trying to fix the problem we got evacuated car by car from the monorail and were told to walk along the metal mesh between the two tracks back towards the hotel. Once down the stairs where the two tracks split again we were greeted by some park staff with forms for us to fill out about our evacuation and then some fastpasses to be used for the inconvenience and us almost missing all of our ERT. After walking to the entrance we rushed straight to Nemesis which I managed to get a couple of rides on using our ERT and a parent pass.

The rest of the day was fairly family orientated although I made sure I got a ride on Sub-Terra with my mum which I found to be really good fun, my mum was terrified as she was unaware about what was going to happen within the ride. I was unaware of the effects in the ending lifts which break down and become engulfed by the nemesis creature at the end which also seemed to scare most people that were there. The Phalanx control team were very in character, especially one of the actors who sorted us out in the pre-show before the first lift. He singled one guy out for "sounding like a woman" and made him stand in the corner and then proceeded to shout "right you motherfuuuh athers, sons and daughters" and after explaining that ranks 1&4 should enter the lifts first followed by ranks 2&3 "right you rankers" was shouted at us.

Something else that I noticed was that SW7 signs are now up along the construction walls in the X-sector, this may have been posted somewhere else but I havn't had a chance to look through the forums properly yet, not been home long.

Day 2 - Monorail worked, got into the park and headed straight for Oblivion for ERT as its my sisters favourite, it was being advertised as open but turned out to be closed and remained closed for a large part of the day and opened at something like 3 O'clock. Nemesis Sub-Terra was also down for most of the day, but eventually opened at about 4 O'Clock. Not sure what was wrong with Oblivion or Sub-Terra, will be checking the forums after I've finished writing this. Anyway, ERT consisted of Rita followed by a walk on Nemesis and a ride on Air at 10 O'Clock when the park opened.

Ridecounts for both days below, not as high as I would have liked but we ran into our fair share of problems.

Nemesis - 4

Sub-Terra - 4

Air - 2

Thirteen - 3

Hex - 1

Duel - 1

Runaway Mine Train - 2

Congo River Rapids - 2

The Flume - 1

Sonic Spinball - 2

Ice Age 4D - 1

Charlie - 2

Oblivion - 2

Rita - 2

Thanks for reading it all

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So yesterday I went to Towers for the first time since Opening Weekend and was impressed with the weather, after an whole week of april showers is was really sunny untill 4pm where the wind was horrible, of course I wanted to get on Sub-Terra asap!

So once inside myself and Luke rushed to Sub-Terra and I was very impressed, instead of the mix emotions of opening day, I came out laughing and shaking, the public reaction was good, everyone loving it and screaming! The Phalanx wasn't shouting, just being normal army stare at you and say orders, the new pre-show and main chamber is brilliant, both of us was very impressed with the tension before the drop

After that we moved onto Nemesis, and wow. just breath-taking, We went front row this time and from the head-banging last time to the smooth eye-watering ride this time, it was amazing!

Queue moved fast, waited about 30 mins for Sub-Terra and 20 mins for Nemesis

After FV we went to Duel! This was pretty much walk on and me and luke got a car to ourself! Loved Duel, such a good ride, noticed some new scenes aswell and first time I got high score!

Next was Runaway Mine Train and a first time for me, loved it! The tunnel is epic and the head choppers! :D

After that we got food and went off to Oblivion, The black hole is nearly done, was really strange seeing no blueness on the way in, but Oblivion was epic as ever and was walk on!

We then went over to Dark forest, Hex was broken down so we went to Thirteen, long queue but soo worth it! Thirteen is one of my Favorited rides at Towers, makes me smile every time I ride it! Aswell felt the roof of Thirteen, very fury... and also the crypt door didn't close, I didn't really notice the light but Luke did, not sure why it didn't

We went to see if Hex was working but was shut down till 4pm so we did Oblivion again, bit more of a queue this time but still epic, then we went down to Sonic which wasn't as rough as opening day, still love the bit after the first breaks! :wub:

And then it got cold, and windy but so what nice warm ride would you go on in this weather conditions? The Flume. So fun and no scary duck! their was loading boats in any order you wanted and we also noticed the new boats for the younger riders.

After that we got fastrack for Rita! The launch is amazing but my neck was killing afterwards, and the bit after the breaks is also fun ;)

Overall a very good day at Alton Towers, Even if I had the flu and its got very cold towards the end! I enjoyed it!

Ride Count

Sub Terra - 1

Nemesis - 1

RMT - 1

Duel - 1

Oblivion - 2

Thirteen - 1

Rita - 1

Sonic - 1

The Flume - 1

Thank you for taking your time to read this

Liam

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My ride count for Saturday was:

Nemesis: Sub Terra - 2

Nemesis - 1

Oblivion - 3

Sonic Spinball - 1

Rita - 2

Th13teen - 1

Ice Age 4D - 1

Submission - 1

Enterprise - 1

Duel - 4

The Blade - 1

Congo River Rapids - 1

The Flume - 2

Overall a good day, Weather was on our side! Queues weren't too bad but was a pain in the butt that the skyride was down all day!

Loved Sub Terra aswell!

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I guess you could say this was a spur of the moment trip, as I’d decided the day before that I was going.

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Arrived just after 9.00 and ran down to the Dark Forest for some ERT on Rita. Queues were starting to form by 9.40, so I moved on to X Sector for one or two rides on Oblivion.

Forbidden Valley next, which was surprisingly quiet? Did Nemesis four times and Ripsaw once, before queuing for Sub-Terra. Sub-Terra saw a 30 minute wait, but the SRQ was walk on.

For some strange reason, Fresh Fish and Chips was closed, so I decided to grab some lunch in the Dark Forest. Had a bite to eat from the baked potato stall, then it was over to Th13teen. The main queue was absolutely horrific, yet the SRQ was walk (as per usual).

Didn’t fancy doing Hex this visit, so decided to go back to X Sector and get some rides in on Oblivion and Enterprise. Oblivion’s main queue was almost down to the entrance itself, and the SRQ wasn’t that quiet, either.

Sonic Spinball next! I don’t usually bother with Spinball or Air, but seeing as the SRQ wasn’t too bad, I thought I’d get a ride in. It really is a fun little coaster, unfortunately the queues always let the side down.

By now the park was heaving, so I thought about doing Nemesis one last time before leaving. Jumped on the Skyride to Forbidden Valley and made my way over to Nemesis. After seeing the SRQ snaking back round the station itself, I decided against a final ride and went on my way.

Ride Count:

Nemesis X4

Ripsaw X1

Nemesis Sub-Terra X1

Rita X3

Th13teen X1

Oblivion X3

Enterprise X1

Sonic Spinball X1

Merchandise bought:

Nemesis Sub-Terra mug (the smaller variety).

Oblivion on full mist yesterday

Posted Image

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^ I had a good look at that area from the top of Blivvy, and it's absolutely huge. More than enough space for a eurofighter, and they're usually quite compact to begin with :)

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Went to Alton Towers yesterday, not going to be a big trip report but I'll give my opinion of Sub-Terra and Ice Age 4D

Woke up at 5:30 and me and Daniel9 dragged our bodies to the car, Dan's Sat Nav said the trip from Oxford would take 2 and a half hours but we left an extra half an hour just in case! - Therefore on the road at 6 in order to be there for ERT at 9. - We seem like keen beans but when a park offers ERT on a late september weekday, why miss out? Also because a trip to Alton Towers is so rare I felt that it was a necessity.

Being a Londoner, I knew the way to Alton Towers via the M1, then past the McDonald's near the A something and past the infamous JCB factory. (I think we might've been more excited to see the JCB statue than anything at Alton ;) ) But Dan's Sat Nav took us via the M40, M24, M6ish and all sorts which led to unknown country roads and a huge surprise when we saw the entrance to the resort.

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After arriving at 8:15 and parking as close to the monorail as possible we took our time before getting on the mutiny bay monorail at about 8:40. Whilst it was bad news I was very happy to be told by the monorail driver that Sonic Spinball would be closed all day, I would rather hear that when passing over Air and Nemesis than when walking up to it and be told later. I don't know why but I was just happy to have all the information needed before planning the day.

9, it opens, straight to Oblivion. Easily the best ride of the day due to being on the front row, and the build up of mist in the tunnel meaning complete darkness and confusion. Just brilliant start to the day, I had forgotten just how forceful it was inside the tunnel. Breathtaking etc etc blah blah. Our photo was embarrassingly number '1' of the day because of just how keen we were.

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Then onto Th13teen which was pure banter just because of the first un-banked curve and the hilarious trim. I forgot just how crazy and forceful the layout was too. Guilty pleasure ride for sure.

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A short walk through the gardens as it was only 9:30 we had only the intention of doing Nemesis before 10. Gardens provided a relaxing stroll and entertainment when Dan slipped on some stone steps. I may have fallen into a bush too but whatever.

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Nemesis was gooood although it was incredibly awkward having to push past a lot of people and get out our annual passes to prove we had ERT, got a lot of jeering from loads of school trip kids because we got on before them... twice. We decided we preffered the old system where you needed to show your ticket to get into the park as opposed to on the rides; this also must create issues for rides like Sub Terra on busier days as queues build up outside the entrance long before the rides start operating! Oh well.

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Air next which was good, I genuinely left with a 'why is this always 5/5' on everyone's UK B&M lists?' question in my mind because it's unique and more thrilling than I remembered.

Sub-Terra review spoiled here but not in the main topic

I went in expecting the worst, but was really surprised by how good I thought it was!

Walked through the queue so didn't have time to look at the video screens or anything but I assumed they were just explaining about what Nemesis was etc, I really didn't care.

The briefing room was immersive with a great Phalanx operative giving military style briefing. Good video to tell the story and what we were doing in the building - perfect length by not being too long and explaining the story with correct amount of detail and all of that.

I had not known much about the experience before going myself, so I didn't know what the 'lifts' would do. I thought the use of lights was good, and the rumbling floor; what more could you want from the lift portion?

The ride/show itself was good and reminded me of alien encounter but maybe even better (?!) due to the drop portion. The rides intentions were well hidden and I was surprised about the depth of theming throughout (I didn't expect another themed area below the Egg hatching?! - I even thought we might drop down another level just because the ride was so unpredictable) The back pokers and leg ticklers were good and the experience would've possibly lacked without them.

The pacing of the whole experience was really good, completely different from other really themed rides like Hex or even Tower of Terror, where it ends and you just walk out; I didn't expect a second lift sequence and although I didn't understand the point, the 'scare maze' section really just adds onto the whole package as if the creature escape down below has an impact even on the surface after you've escaped potential harm.

After reading the whole of the Sub-Terra topic I can see what has improved however I don't remember the water or wind effects at all on my visit. Despite this, it felt like the full experience and I'm not sure why it isn't being praised more.

I'm not sure about re-rideability as I only rode once, but the experience was so full that I can't remember the drop or when the back pokers kick in etc so I'll be excited to ride again. Dare I say 9/10 just because the scare maze section lacks story. I honestly think this rivals alien encounter and is the most in depth experience Merlin has ever offered.

Then the usual Duel, RMT, blah. Short visit to Sharkbait Reef was great as it was fairly empty; the theming is easily missed and I realised just how good an addition such as this is to a theme park (when it's not horrendously busy or in a huge white tent).

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Ice Age 4D was good although it suffers from not really being in a 4D theatre (just because it looks like it doesn't really belong in my opinion), and the fact that the film is just a cut up version of Ice Age 3 (Dawn of The Dinosaurs). The effects were good and the film quality was really high, like seeing a 3D film in the cinema as opposed to usual 'theme park 3D'.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is genuinely great and I don't know why people dislike it. It's no Toyland Tours but I would rather ride Charlie, an immersive dark ride experience as opposed to Vortex at THORPE PARK.

Front row Rita was somehow amazing and me and Dan felt it was less rough than Stealth somehow?! Although due to the cable snapping, the batching of riders into the queue is fairly awkward, oh well it just requires more staff but still fine. There's also only a small passage allowing access between Th13teen and Rita's entrances and the rest of Dark Forest; it must be incredibly congested on busy days.

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Didn't bother with Enterprise because I live 30 minutes away from Zodiac. Submission is a joke. Ripsaw had water running and it was a cold cold day. Dan wasn't keen for Blade. ;)

Only negative was no blood on Nemesis, but oh well, it doesn't impact the experience much at all. :)

Overall great day and just a sharp reminder that despite a few rides like Submission, Alton Towers truly is the best theme park in the UK. The endowment of huge amounts of space makes a clear difference, but the whole park offers a total experience that is missed especially if guests only focus on the roller coasters and main attractions.

Ride count

Nemesis 4

Sub-Terra 1

Air 2

Oblivion 2

Rita 1

Th13teen 3

Hex 1

Charlie 1

Ice Age 4D 1

Squirrel Nutty 1

Marauders Mayhem 1

The Flume 1

Congo River Rapids 1

Runaway Mine Train 1

Duel 1

Most of the pictures are from another trip, but I hate reading picture-less trip reports for some reason so there you go!

Edited by Rattlesnake1

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