It’s been years since I’ve been to Alton Towers. The last time I went to Alton Towers Oblivion was the newest ride and I got soaked after going on Ripsaw. But then quickly dried off after a spin on Nemesis.
Well that was the last time I went to Alton Towers until last weekend. Last Saturday the entire day was spent in Alton Towers. I don’t think I’ve ever done a theme park from opening to closing time. That’s usually because I go to Thorpe Park and I’ve done all the rides at least twice by 2pm. That’s not exactly the case with Alton Towers.
Started off by heading straight for the new ride – Thirteen. The queue wasn’t too bad. It was moving along and it didn’t feel as though my whole life passed by when I finally got on the ride. Now this rollercoaster has been very hyped. It’s been named the most exciting, amazing, unique rollercoaster EVER. Erm, sorry, not my experience!
It’s your standard runaway mine train type rollercoaster. It was definitely smoother than other ‘coasters I’ve been on. You could hold a decent conversation with the person sitting next to you while on the ride. Which was one of my main issues.
The other? The ‘big drop’. What an utter let down. I was expecting more than falling just a few feet! Though the going backwards was fun, but it’s not something new!
Overall, Thirteen was a big let down. I don’t see what all the fuss was about. There wasn’t even much effort in the setting around the ride and queue to invoke any fear!
Then it was off to find a ‘real’ ride. Rita had an enormous queue, due to it not being open yet, so we headed to Air. The ride where it’s almost as if you’re flying. Well flying while being firmly strapped into a seat.
Queueing for Air was the downfall of the day. The timer on the front of the queue said 90 minutes, but I didn’t really think it’d be that long. The ride was whizzing along, the queue looked fairly tame in size. It would be fine!
90 minutes later and things weren’t fine. Still in the queue and getting colder by the minute. Getting on the ride was just a relief – to have a sit down! Air is a fantastic rollercoaster. Really smooth, very unique and a lot of fun to ride. The corkscrews were probably my favourite bits and the upside down/backward flying was awesome. The 2 hour something wait for it? Not so awesome.
After some food and a much needed sit down it was back out to join the back of a queue for a slightly smaller ride this time. That ride being Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Hey – don’t mock it til you’ve tried it. Apart from nearly capsizing the boat, which actually added a bit of excitement, it was a good ride! The Glass Elevator was probably the better part of the ride. I wasn’t paying attention to the various screens and puppets!
In need of a little bit of excitement, Oblivion was next on the list. It looked a lot smaller than when I first went on it. Which disappointed me. What also disappointed me was the increasing amount of rain that was getting chucked down. Not good! Still, despite the rain and sitting on a wet seat and getting more wet, Oblivion is still a fun, if a little short, rollercoaster. The climb up is a good build up. I forgot the amazing view you get when you’re up there. When you’re held for a few moments over the edge, it’s a lot shorter time than I remembered. My memory’s failing me! The pure speed of Oblivion is just the thrill.
After a few moments of umming and ahhing it was off to go on Enterprise. A little ride which looks tame and uses the magic of physics to keep you in your seat. Barring a little bit of movement. I love rides like these. Short queue times, plenty of ride time and when you come off the ride you’re left with a good feeling. That ‘good feeling’ is probably the lack of blood in your brain, but it works!
Despite it still raining, getting colder by the second, the buzz from Enterprise was keeping me going. So it was off to the Sonic Spinball ride. What looks like a fairly fun and slightly tame ride. Wrong on both counts. It’s a very fun and not at all tame ride. Each cart rotates as you blitz along the track. I’m guessing that each rotation and the choice of which way you’re facing is chosen by the track. Doesn’t matter – it still feels like every time you’re turned around it’s a random attack on your directional senses!
One minute you’re facing downward and going downward and then you’re looking up at the sky and then going backwards down a track. I wish I had bought the photo from this ride – there were two taken and in both the full force of my hair was covering my face. It’s a good visual of how I felt on the ride. I’m sure I’m grinning like a maniac underneath all the hair.
There were plans to try one of the bigger rides after coming off the Spinball, but it was getting to closing time and didn’t really fancy a 20 minute walk back to the car park after missing the last monorail train!
Alton Towers is a lot of fun. It’s a nice looking theme park. I like how things are spaced out. However that’s its downfall too. There’s, what feels like, miles to walk between rides at times. You need a real plan of attack to get around all the things you want to do. Or alternatively, skip the big rides and do all the little ones which will probably give you just as much joy with smaller queues.
I think I’m done with Alton Towers. Least for another … five years this time?