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Dear TPR-Community,

I'll go to the UK next weekend and Iamb pretty excited about it! (Although it's not my first time in the UK, but my first credits there!!)

I've planned this trip half a year ago and I hope everything will be fine:

2nd of October: Blackpool Pleasure Beach (Pay one day, get one free)

3rd of October: Blackpool Pleasure Beach (Drive to Alton Towers)

4th of October: Alton Towers (Drive to Thorpe Park)

5th of October: Thorpe Park (Pay one day, get one free)

6th of October: Thorpe Park / Windsor Castle (Flight back home)


I'll use the 'fast-track / fastpass' system in all parks and i've got a rental car. All hotels near the parks are booked .


Can you give me some tips, advices (about some park-strategys, the best pubs / restaurants (near Manchester, Blackpool, Stroke-O-Trent, West-London) or some wisdoms about the UK / Parks.


Thank you for replies!


Photo: http://www.2cuk.co.uk

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I haven't been to Blackpool for years but I can tell you a bit about Alton Towers and Thorpe Park.


As you'll be going to both parks midweek there shouldn't be any big crowds so you will probably get on every ride pretty easily. If you are on your own, or don't mind breaking up a group, I'd recommend using the singles rider queues at Alton Towers if there is any sort of a queue. I went on a weekend in April and rode Nemesis 10 times in about 25 minutes using the single rider queue. It also allows you to walk straight on to Thirteen most of the time.


As for what rides to do I would recommend getting the Sky Ride from near the park entrance to the Dark Forest first. This will give you some nice views of the park and you'll get a feel for what to expect, and how much walking you will have to do! Do Thirteen and Rita if there if it looks like the park will be busy. After that make your way anti-clockwise around the park, so go to Air and Nemesis. You should have no problem fitting things in if the park isn't busy so enjoy walking around the park and do everything you can. I would recommend leaving Oblivion until later in the day. I found that the rush of adrenaline you get on it made every other ride seem tame in comparison!


As for Thorpe Park, again midweek it should not be that busy. Also it looks like you have at least a full day, and possibly part of a second day, at the park so again you should get everything done. If the park is anyway busy head for Saw: The Ride first. This gets some of the longest queues later on in the day. Colossus is pretty close to Saw so do that next. Then you can either go on the flume ride which is that side of the park or go to Nemesis Inferno. After Nemesis have a go on Stealth, if the queues are long but the single rider queue isn't that long use that queue. You will usually get a few quick rides using the single rider queue. If you want a bit of confusion have a go on X:\No Way Out. It's possibly the strangest coaster I've ever been on!


If you like getting wet (not very desirable in England in October!) have a go on Drenched. However you will get completely wet so be warned. You can try the newest attraction, Storm Surge, but every time I've went to the park the queues have been ridiculous and it doesn't look like a ride that would interest me. I would recommend the flat rides, some of which are very good.


Again you should have plenty of time to get everything done so I don't think you'll need much of a plan.


As for food and pubs Alton Towers really is in the middle of nowhere. The village of Alton itself is quite nice and has a decent countryside pub if I remember correctly. Thorpe Park is in quite an Urban area and there isn't much of interest around, just a few small commuter towns that have standard restaurants and pubs. As for food in the park it's of the usual Theme Park quality. Someone else might be able to recommend a place but none come to mind.


Most of all I hope you enjoy your trip. I'm going to Alton Towers and Drayton Manor on the 8th and 9th of October and can't wait.


So have fun and post a trip report when you're done!

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How come you are only doing Alton Towers for 1-day? It is by far the biggest of the parks. Thorpe Park, if quiet, can be completed in 1/2 day (although 1 day is necessary for re-rides).


For nice pubs near Alton Towers, try Uttoxeter Town Centre (around a 15 minute drive). "The Old Swan" is a Wetherspoon pub and serves food daily until 22h.


I hope you enjoy your trip.

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Thank you very much for your replies !!


We will land in Manchester with the plane, but will leave from London Heathrow. Alton Towers is in the middle, that's because we've just one day for it .. I hope the weather will be fine, i mean.. it's england

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If you are staying at Alton Towers Hotel, make sure you use the Club TPR Discount Scheme. I have organised a Running Club Visit in October and the Price for Rooms and Park Tickets is less than half the usual prices.

Hope you enjoy your visit to England, weather is normally quite good at this time of the year, can be cool, but should still be mainly dry.

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I forgot to say! You may not need the Fast Track Upgrades mid week. Best option is to get normal tickets and see how you get on. If queues are too long, then upgrade to Ultimate Fast Track late morning. They are quite expensive, so you can save a fair bit if you don't need them. As other posts have mentioned, the Single Rider Lines move quickly 90% of the time as well. I have never know Alton Towers or Thorpe Park to reach their limits for Fast Track Tickets.

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  • 5 years later...

Hello all! Bumping this Topic as I'm planning a visit to the UK in a few weeks and it's the only England trip planning post I see. Trip has come on kind of quickly as I bought my flights last month. Flying back to US from Paris (was about 300 cheaper). Never been there either. I will be visiting and doing some things with Family, however all theme parks will be completely Solo. Planning on getting an 8 day Britrail pass, Oyster Card and buying any additional tickets. Bringing only a School Backpack with 5-7 days of clothing. My trip would be a mix of Theme Parks and Historical things.


When I vacation, I tend to try and get as much done as humanly possible, walking 3-5 miles in one shot is no issue, could do 20ish miles in a day on foot. Crazy train connections are no issue as long as they can be completed. Accomodations/Rest as cheap as possible with Internet, breakfast is a bonus. Would definitely want to be at each park at opening or early ride time. Not planning on renting a car.


Here is my rough itinerary, Apologies for the Formatting


Mon 31st July: Overnight Flight, Arrival at 11AM Gatwick, walking around Central London (London Bridge area), Evensong at St Pauls Cathedral 5PM, Dinner with Family

Tue 1st Aug: Thorpe Park ( Thinking FullThrottle Fast Pass) Evening Performance in West End.

Wed 2nd Aug: Borough Market for Breakfast, Globe Theater Performance of Much ado about Nothing at 1PM, Buckingham Palace after performance/St James Park, Harrod's then Picadilly Circus

Thu 3rd Aug: Tower of London (morning) with family then Westminster Abbey (afternoon), Hyde Park late afternoon/Sunset

Fri 4th Aug: Chessington World of Adventures until about 4PM (assuming no queue system upgrade), then Hampton Court Palace.

Sat 5th Aug: British Museum, other Free Museums, then around 7PM taking Trains to Blackpool Pleasure Beach


Sun: 6th Aug: Blackpool Pleasure Beach, getting Speedy Pass, Sleeping in Blackpool

Mon 7th Aug: Very early morning train to Alton Towers (what Fasttrack level is needed, Silver, Gold or Platinum?) , Travel to Monmouth, Wales after Park Close


Tue 8th Aug: Through Thur 10th Aug: 3 days on the Offa's Dyke Trail with Family from Monmouth to Hay-on Wye

Fri 11th Aug: No Plans (thinking day trip to Bath, England)

Sat 12th Aug: No plans, could see part of England or go to Paris early and see Museums/city that day

Sun 13th Aug: Disneyland Paris Parkhopper?

Mon 14th Aug: Half day in Paris, Rodin Museum, Eiffel Tower (flight at 5PM from CDG)


Whew! So a few questions:


1. Is Utoxetter, and then a Taxi to Alton Towers be my best bet for getting to the park by 845 in the morning? The busses from Stoke-on-Trent and Derby are horrid, not even arriving until 11AM and then leaving well before the park closes. How does one go about getting a taxi? Anyone going to the park that day?


2. I'm assuming the Busiest attractions would be (and hit these early):

Thorpe: Darren Brown's Ghost Train/Colossus/Saw

Blackpool: No worries, Speedy Pass is very cheap

Alton: Thirteen, Smiler, Spinball Whizzer, Galactica

Chessington's: Gruffalo, ???

DLP Full plan (if I go): Rope Drop Fastpass Tower, then immediately Single Rider Crush/Ratatouille/ RC Racer, Then Tower/Rockin/Mickey Magician/Cinemagique, then Transfer Parks and Fastpass Indiana Jones, (later) Fastpass Big Thunder, Afternoon Walkthroughs/Pirates, ride Space/Casey Jr. Phantom later in the day. Skip Star Tours, Peter Pan, and possibly Small World.


3. Internet: I have an ATT Samsung Galaxy S5 that is probably region-locked (I don't really know). What are my options for Sim Card? Is there enough free Wifi in England to manage along with a Hostel Stay? Do any of the four parks feature Wifi?


4. What to do after Hike, I have 3.5 days before my flight leaves from Paris, Could do more London, could go to Paris, could go to Oakwood for Megafobia, Disneyland Paris, It's really open. If my other Itinerary is bad, I could do Blackpool/Alton after the Hike. I like Roman stuff, Natural Stuff, and Scenic Areas typically more than Art/History/literature.


5. Fly, or Eurostar from London to Paris?


6. This is generally the busy season for England and London I gather. Same as I would never go to Magic Kingdom on a Saturday in July, is there anything that will be just terrible with crowds? I gather that the Cotswalds/Bath will have a lot of visitors at this time.


7. Do I need a full-fledged rain jacket, or will a Poncho be okay for most of this?


8. Food Suggestions? Any and all. In park/In London/Paris. Cheap and Delicious is great, Unique Restaurants great, unmissable local delicacies great.


Thanks to all! I know it sounds like a lot but I'm not entirely planning on returning to England soon (sad to miss Icon at BPB though) so I want to see and do as much of the essentials as possible.

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That trip sounds great! I haven't been to England, but I have been to Paris. Since I see you have a couple free days and are going to be flying out of the hellhole that is CDG, I would definitely suggest a couple of days to see the city. You appear to enjoy museums, so do yourself a favour and go to the Louvre. It's easily a multiple-day museum. I spent one entire 8 hour day there, and I really just got to see the essentials: Rennaissance French, Spanish, and Italian art, and Egyptian antiquities in the basement. Venus de Milo and Mona Lisa. Go see it.


Montmartre and Sacre-Coure are worth seeing as well. Montmartre is actually higher up than the Eiffel Tower is, and I think has a better view of the city. It's the old artist enclave of the city as well, and was home to Picasso, Dali, and other refugees of the Spanish Civil War. Also, one of the best things you'll ever experience in Paris is some random hole in the wall wine bar. Don't look up reviews, don't ask where the best place is. When you're ready for dinner, stop walking, look around you for the place that looks like sh*t, and go there. Order the house wine and whatever they've fried to keep you sober. It will be the best meal you have in the city.

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UK resident here,


I've never visited BlackpoolYelford so can't comment on that. I have however been to Thorpe and Chessinot on a fair few times. Out of the two, Chessington is actually the busier of the two, so if pushed for time I might recommend buying some fastrack tickets. The fastrack packages do not save you much money, so would honestly just recommend buying on the day if you need them. Both parks will be busy in summer. Despite what people about the UK, you won't need a raincoat...it's not that bad, unless very unlucky!

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My advice regarding the fastrack options is to wait until the day, while you can pretty much guarantee it will be busy when you visit, you never know what the weather is going to do, so if it is not the best the parks might not be too bad. As for options I wouldn't go for Platinum at Alton Towers, the jump in price is quite steep from their gold option, which will get you on most of the big rides once. If it's in your budget the one park I would spend more on is Thorpe Park, as the queues can really get bad there, and the Full Throttle pass only gets you on the main coasters and only after 1pm I believe, the Ultimate pass gives you unlimited entry to most of the rides plus once onto Derren Brown. Also Chessington does have fastrack, but the options for that really depends on what you are wanting to ride there.

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