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    1 [T] 16.06.2006 : Alton Towers
le Ven 16 Juin 2006 - 21:22


J'ai écris un reportage sur ma journée a Alton Towers. C'est en Anglais, parce que c'est tard et long et pour ca, je suis désolé. Si tu peux comprendre l'Anglais, c'est bien - si non, je vais essayer de le taper en Francais dans 2 semaines après mes vacances pas voud devez comprendre que pour moi de taper un reportage en Francais comme celui-ci, ca va durer 1 ou 2 heures! Mais j'ai fait quand meme mes notes pour les attractions que j'ai fait.

Spinball Whizzer: 8/10
Rita - 7/10 (ca fait mal, les Intamins!!!)
Corkscrew - 6/10
Ug Swinger - 6/10 (chaises volantes)
Charlie - 7/10
Hex - 10/10 (meilleur mad house)
Tea Cup Ride - 6/10
Flume - 7/10
Rapids - 7/10
Runaway Mine Train - 8/10
Duel - 7/10 (record avec 55.100 points)
Blade - 5/10 (c'est cassé!?!)
Ripsaw - 9/10 (top spin super avec les jets d'eau
Air - 9/10 (le coaster zen, avec le soleil c'est trop bien)
Nemesis - 10/10 (impeccable)
Oblivion - 10/10 (immense)


Time of arrival 09:15
Time of departure 18:00

Please note, before reading, my trip report will go into detail about my day and is quitre long!

We arrived at the gates at 9:15, were dropped off by some kind parents (yes, I’m 22 and still don’t drive), before making our way to the entrance. There was a large crowd at the entrance. We made use of the toilets before joining the mass of people. At 9:25, to a mass of screams and applause, the barriers were lifted and a day of fun beckoned to the waiting guests.

As we moved onto Towers Street, through the ticket gates, I noticed the new Towers Street music. Now, it isn’t a patch on the old music, and from the online recording I heard, I was totally anti. However, on hearing the music turned up loudly, it really isn’t quite so bad – it had a happy feeling to it and kind of sums up a day at Alton Towers – although, granted – not as well as the old music.

Incidentally, at this point I should say that I was in a group of 3 people – never the best number, to be odd, but alas – that’s what we were. The other two were both French, one of whom has never been to a theme park before – and the other has only been to Europa Park. We made our way straight to Spinball Whizzer, as I knew that queue’s got pretty crazy later on and judging by the people waiting at the entrance, I was expecting the park to be reasonably busy. The Spinball Whizzer queue wasn’t yet open, and a friendly AT chap was telling guests the queue would open at 10.00am. However, come 9:45am and the queue was open, and the ride was eating up the guests. Spinball may not be very well themed, and be a bit garish when placed in view of the Towers, but the ride it offers is one of fun and enjoyment. The vertical bend is superb, and there are times when you literally think you left your stomach some metres behind.

After Spinball Whizzer, I told my friends that if we got Rita out of the way we would then be free to get on with some of the less popular rides. We joined the queue for Rita at 10:15am, and after a short breakdown of approximately 10 minutes, we were at the station platform. Whilst Rita is, in itself, a thrilling launch coaster, it was very rough today. I was sitting at the back of the train, and I never recalled it being so rough. I hope the painful Intamin bug isn’t spreading! Still, the French people were impressed with Rita’s powerful launch and the airtime segments over the crest hills. After Rita, we got a coffee from Bronto Bites before going on Corkscrew. After all the Corkscrew bashing I had been reading on various internet forums lately, I enjoyed my bumpy ride and, for once – bought the Corkscrew on-ride photograph and had it sent to Towers Trading for collection at the end of the day. Corkscrew may be dull after the double inversion, but it’s still decent enough. The very reason for Corkscrew’s existence however was highlighted when I saw numerous young kids on it, who were to small for Air and Nemesis, but Corkscrew they could manage. It’s great for the little ones who want to do a loop the loop!

Following Corkscrew, we did Ug Swinger (fun as usual on an AT classic) and then headed out of Ug Land to the top of Cred Street to experience Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Family time was not in operation and the queue was only 5 minutes. I had only ridden Charlie ones up until today, and had not been impressed. However, it was slightly better. I could clearly here the commentary from the boats and the music was louder. I love the music – it’s almost the best in the park. Most of the effects were working (i think) but the waterfall was not on. The use of lighting in the ride was noticeable – loads of blue lights make a nice effect. The signs introducing you to rooms are also a good new addition. However, overall, the boat ride is still neither here nor there. The staff on the ride were dressed in Willy Wonka outfits, which was a nice touch. Upon alighting the boat, we went into the TV room, which was cool, before going into the elevator. They seem to have scrapped the whole ‘spots’ thing, as people didn’t have time to find one before we were ushered into the lift. I enjoyed the lift more today, I new what I was expecting, so had downsized my expectations, and it was fun. The new exit sign ‘bon-bon voyage’ is also nice, as are the Willy Wonka shadows on the walls. The most interesting thing? The French people actually enjoyed the ride. And the reason I think why? They don’t know the hype, the cost – anything at all. They just went on it like any other ride. And as such, they were pleased by it. So all in all, whilst still a disappointment, Charlie was better today – and the short queue time helped.

We immediately made out way to Hex – The Legend of the Towers. The French guests were very impressed – and the one who knows Europa Park well said it beats ‘Kassandra’ (the EP mad house) hands down, and I have to agree. Hex is superb – the pre-shows, the effects, the fact that it is in the Towers, the smells, the main feature itself – are all superb. I just love Hex – it is the best dark ride I have yet experienced. The exit into the Garden is just lovely.

After the two dark rides, we moved onto the Flume. As we waited in the short queue, I was kind of saying to myself – I am enjoying this day at Alton Towers, so far, more than any day at Alton Towers in a good few years. I don’t know what it was – but the day was turning out very well indeed – i couldn’t find a complaint – even the staff were really friendly (I noticed this numerous times during the day). After a soaking ride on the Flume, on which I was pleased to see the ‘Demonic Duck’ (as I call it) frightening unsuspecting riders in the tunnel, we took a spin on the Tea Cups and took a short breather.

As the sun gradually came out from behind the clouds, it was time for the Congo River Rapids. It wasn’t the best ride on the Rapids, mainly because there wasn’t much water – bring back the old boats I say, even if it does mean longer queue’s. The new ones just aren’t as good. Still, the ride was fun if not very wet. Was interesting to see that Runaway Mine Train’s tunnel lights were on as we went past in our dinghy.

We took a ride on Runaway Mine Train, and was pleased to see the operator getting fully interactive with the riders. We had 3 circuits, which was really nice as of late i’d been getting only 2. The queue for the mine train wasn’t long at all. The French guests loved the Mine Train, particularly the ‘head scraping’ entrance to the tunnel at high speeds! They also commented on the theming of the ride.

We walked to Gloomy Wood, for a ride on Duel. I got a record score with 53,000 – whilst one of my friends got 28,000 – which for a first-time rider I thought was pretty damn good! I’m not Duel’s biggest fan, but my two mates said it was good and they said they thought it was a great concept. The Duel music has really grown on me too – was loving it!

As we made our way into Forbidden Valley, we grabbed our sandwiches and had some lunch on a bench next to Blade. By this stage it was about 1pm. We took a ride on Blade, which was mediocre at best, before going in Ripsaw. Ripsaw’s operators were doing some serious harassment of the guests with the fountains, soaking random riders as they boarded! The cheeky buggers! Those fountains are just awesome! We took a ride on Ripsaw, which was on its usual setting, but soaking nonetheless. My French friends loved it and said it was a great ride – especially with the water.

After Ripsaw, we went on Air – the queue was 40 minutes, but this was well spent putting on Sun Tan lotion. My friends commented that the ride sounded ‘really smooth’ – which it does. We queued for the front row, and I was glad to see both stations were in use. Air really is THE coaster for a bit of tranquillity. It does exactly what it says on the tin – offers a gentle, whilst still thrilling, flight over the far end of Forbidden Valley. I love it, simply for its difference and soft nature. My friends loved it too. Although I admit, there are occasions when you are willing it on to something more. But I can’t complain, Air’s soft nature means more people get the experience of a major coaster.

Following Air, we went on Nemesis, which was queuing at 45 minutes. Was great to see all the blood falls working. The ride looks stunning! We went front row and WOW! Nemesis gets better and better and better. Probably my best ride to date. Front row, I even got splashed by the blood water under the tunnel after the loop. You are so damn close to the rocks and that final inversion – well all I can say is, keep your knees up! The ride has so much power behind it, it is truly my favourite rollercoaster that I have ridden – simply superb. I cannot get enough of it.

Following Nemesis, we decided to head to Oblivion. Sadly, the Sky Ride was down today, so we had to walk round via Katanga Canyon. It was 4.00pm by this point, and Oblivion was queuing at 45 minutes. I thought that seemed a lot, so as a result, we decided to go back to do it later on, before queue close. We subsequently had another ride on Corkscrew (as my friends wanted to go on it again) and then another trek to Nemesis, this time across the gardens. After yet another superb ride on the B&M masterpiece, we went back to Oblivion and joined the queue at 5.25pm, just before queue close. There was no queue whatsoever, so front row it was. The French were quivering, the view of that drop as you climb that noisy lift hill is one of absolute insanity, even today. As we curved round at the top, and headed towards the edge, even my heart was pumping – and I have been on Oblivion countless times. This coaster has edge – and those new restraints and logo’s helped . Off we went, plummeting 180’ into the black tunnel, with the misty spray – that moment of immense power you feel at the base of the drop is simply unforgettable. As we rose, turned and came to the breaks, my friends were smiling – ‘Wow it’s crazy’, ‘Wow it’s intense’, ‘Wow that is a feeling’. It’s true, look at Oblivion from the point of view of a drop ride and, is there anything better in the world? Possibly not.

So we made our way to the exit, collecting some park maps and my Corkscrew photo’s on the way out. Bye Alton, till next time!

Conclusions of the day

Without doubt my best day at Alton Towers in a few years. I don’t know what it was, but the place was just buzzing. The staff were courteous and noticeably friendly, there was a good mix of people on park, the weather was good, I was on one of the newly re-vamped Oblivion cars, Nemesis was awesome, my friends were sending out good signals – it was perfect. It really made me think about the park – I always try to balanced in my criticism of the park, and usually I have things to say that are bad after each visit. But not today. Today summed up why, for me, there is nowhere better to spend a day than at Alton Towers. I love the place, and I know my French friends loved it too. I’ve had bad visits over the last couple of seasons, but today made me remember that Alton Towers is a fantastic theme park.

Day Faults (i am nit-picking, the average GP wouldn't notice this)
- Rita getting rough
- Blade not high enough
- Rapids not wet at all

    2 Re: [T] 16.06.2006 : Alton Towers
le Sam 17 Juin 2006 - 17:58


Un peu long, mais c'est un bon trip report bien détaillé!

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