[Apologies if in this is in the wrong thread - please move if need be!]
Wow! Just got back from a brilliant day at Alton Towers and thought I'd write up a trip report. I'm a pretty slow typer, so apologies if anything's changed since I got back. We were initialy going to go to Thorpe Park, but that place is just too family-based (even though the new Thunder River Rapids look great - apart from that kid losing their ear), so we went to the nation's favourite thrill park instead.
To celebrate having recently turned 15 (I know - I'm really old now!) my cousin, his friend and I took a coach trip to Alton Towers from Penzance, Cornwall. After leaving Penzance at midnight, we eventually arrived at Alton Towers around 9am. We were all really excited about trying out the exciting new addition for 1987 - the Kodak Skyride - all £6m worth!
I know you're all dying to hear about the new ride, so I won't wait any longer. The Kodak Skyride is a great new addition. It's basically an extended version of the old Cable Car that now travels over the Gardens to Festival Park. All I can say is wow! It's like a million miles high and passes right over the Pagoda Fountain on it's way to Talbot Street. Great views and really scary!
Next is the UK's best coaster - Corkscrew. This ride has to be ridden to be understood. It's so fast that if you don't zip up your orange 80s ski jacket, it'll very gently flap about! I've heard that it reaches speeds of nearly 35mph and if you don't like spoilers then look away for the next sentence. It turns you upside down - TWICE! The airtime on the first drop is amazing and the themeing is phenomenal - it's themed as the world's first unthemed Vekoma Corkscrew and it's done really well - I was knocked out by the unthemed theme. The ride could benefit from some brakes on the first drop - everyone loves them right? Maybe one day they'll replace it with a kiddie coaster that does just that.
Next was 1001 Nights. This is one of my favourite rides on the park although it's restraints are a tad too tight (hey - I hope to have a wife and family sometime!), it has great views and makes me really look forward to the day when Alton Towers build even taller rides - hey, maybe one day they'll add one of those Schwarzkopf Shuttle Loop rides *prays*.
Next was Doom and Sons the scary 2 minute walk through thingy with actual skeletons, followed by Around the World in 80 days. It was a bit like It's a Small World, but not crap and it's a ride with actual character. I really hope they don't one day make it even better and theme it around a toy factory, then destroy it by spending £9m on the world's worst dark ride. Nah, that'll never happen.
Enterprise, Waveswinger and the Dragon Rollercoaster were great fun, but I didn't have the courage to ride the Spider. Next stop was 4 man Bob a very intense coaster in Talbot Street that sets future technology by ensuring that the cars have to be pushed by hand in order to reach the station. This is gonna really take hold, I swear!
Now it was time to walk over to Fantasy Land to ride the park's main attraction, Black Hole. This huge ride never fails to deliver and everyone says it has a vertical drop. I don't believe that as - a vertical drop? - that'll never be possible, but it was really scary and apart from suffering a minor skull fracture on the front of the ride in the brakes, I loved it. Maybe one day in the future they'll replace it with a ride that goes upside down like three times. Now that would be a world-beater! Turbo Star is by far the most intense ride on the park and I had to sit down and have a can of Quatro afer - or was it 'New Coke'? I can't quite remember. Next was Pirate Ship. This is my favourite ride at Alton Towers and unlike anything anywhere else (apart from that new one at Chessington Zoo). It's like a big ship that swings back and forth but goes like really high. Everyone says you can fall out of it and quite frankly I believe them - I felt my arse lift a bit, so I can well believe all that. I didn't ride the Cine 2000 as that's just so far into the future as to not matter.
We then went over to ride Sonic Spinball, but instead were greeted by a member of staff telling us it wouldn't open until 2004. We did the Cookie Mountain, Amazing Maze and Fireman's Pole instead. There was something about the Fireman's pole I loved, can't quite put my finger on it though.
After doing some shopping in the diverse Towers Street and marvelling at the new Medical Centre and Car Park, we rode the Log Flume. Great ride and apparantly it's the world's longest. Something's missing though - it could really be improved by a retheme, something that suits it's woodland theme. I just hope no-one screws it up by making the boats red bath tubs or something awful like that!
Next was the Grand Canyon Rapids. So much better than that boring family-based Thorpe Park's version. It even has a grass theme this year. Truly the best-themed ride in the UK.
Now it was time for the biggies, so we headed over to the path that leads through Katanga Canyon and Gloomy Wood to Forbidden Valley. Upon arrival, none of them had even been built - shame on Alton. Eventually we found the path, only to discover that the park ended at the entrance to the rapids and that we'd need to come back five years later for Katanga and seven years later for some ride where instead of making it high, they're going to build it below ground and have the coaster travel below the track. Sounds awful - no-one will ever like that sort of ride. Apparantly it's going to be called SW3, or so some guy with a full head of hair told us, called John? What was SW1, or SW2? Who cares, we've got the Kodak Skyride and the Swan Boats.
Anyway, we then went back via the new Monorail, (see - I hid that from you!) which was awesome!
Here are some photos, taken on my brand new Kodak Star 110 camera!
More Black Hole
Onride Black Hole
The brilliant new Black Hole stage
The new Skyride!
My friend on the Log Flume
The Pagoda Fountain from the new Skyride!
Skyride over the gardens
By the lake
More Log Flume
The scary Turbo Star
Grand Canyon Rapids
4 Man Bob
More 4 man bob
The themeing on the rapids is amazing!
More Log Flume
Onride photo on the Log Flume
More Pirate Ship
More Kodak Skyride
Even more skyride
The Swanboat ride
More Fantasy World
The scary Waveswinger!
Thanks for reading, hope to see some of you in 26 years.