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Retro Photo TR: Alton Towers; August 1995


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Well, I decided I would post this in light of the "Off Season" thread made today. I found these photos last year when I was moving, I had forgotten I had taken them really, and please forgive the quality of them, I was 17 and all I had was a disposable Kodak Fun Camera, and for some reason, out of the 2 days we were there, I decided to take the photos on the second , rather dull cloudy day.

 

From what I remember, and we are going back ten years here, and lately I can barely recall last week's events, me and a few friends decided to take a trip up to Alton Towers for a couple of days. Aside from getting dreadfully lost on the way there and having an unfortunate incident at the Service Station involving my friend being wrongly accused of stealing a CD, which in fact, the shop didn't even stock, we had a great time.

The first day was lovely and sunny, and not really that crowded, which was surprising for the middle of August. The second day was rather dull and grey, with some rain early on, and this was the day I decided to take the photos. Idiocy.

 

So what was it like? Well, Nemesis was just a year old, and had massive hype in the UK press, and it did not disappoint. I remember being a tad worried about how close it came to that Mushroom Cloud Bus Tours bus, but aside from that, I recall on the first days we had multiple rides on it. Back then, Forbidden Valley was different to what it is now, no Air, no Blade, no Ripsaw, just Nemesis, the Thunder Looper and The Beast, and in my opinion, a great selection of rides for the area. Damn those local moo cows giving birth earlier in distress at the Thunder Looper. What a great ride it was, again, I recall we must have had a ride in every seat that day. And The Beast, which I think was exactly the same as the other Beast that used to be in Talbot Street, but was moved and painted from green to red. Another great Schwarzkopf coaster. Both, in my opinion, sorely missed.

 

So what else, well, I remember the Mine Train being quite fun and well themed, and actually getting quite wet on the Rapids Ride, but not so much on that everlasting tour through the woods Log Flume. I believe we took the Sky Ride to the then Festival Park, which is now UgLand, and back then home to the Corkscrew (ouch even then), Enterprise, Energiser (replacing the Weber 1001 Nacht) and Waveswinger (still there, moved around a bit and now the, erm, Ug Swinger). Corkscrew still made that funny winding noise as you went up the chain lift, and still provided its fair share of bumps and bruises, but I guess, even back then, it was the Icon Coaster for the par, aside from Nemesis. Energiser was fun, its a shame that after it was moved to X Sector (then Fantasy World) and moved back (as Boneshaker) it has been tamed down quite a bit. It was good for what it was, a "filler" flat ride, which I think was new for that year. Enterprise was, well, the Enterprise, but fun all the same.

 

I can’t remember much else of what we did, I do remember us once not getting the Sky Ride back from Festival Park to Forbidden Valley and walking in those bloody gardens.

 

I don’t think we spent much time in Talbot Street (Cred Street) and I recall Fantasy World (now X Sector) having the Black Hole, which was great, and the Pirate Ship, which actually gave a really good high swing, comparable to the one at Chessington for the height it reached. And also the Huss Breakdance, Astro Dancer, which was another ride shoved from pillar to post throughout the years.

 

Well there you have it, sorry for my patchy memories, all I do remember was having a blast of a time, getting ready for our last year at school and just having fun, like al seventeen year old guys do. Oh, and it was also the day that I was officially outed to my friends, but that's another story.

 

I hope you like the photos, like I said, they aren’t the best quality, but as I explained, cheapo camera and a dull day.

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Enterprise, with some Sky Ride plastic windowsill for your pleasure

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Swing it..not the highest point, but i can't find that photo

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Pirate Ship, now Blade, then blue, now Nuclear, spot Astro-Dancer behind

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More yellow Vekoma, er, goodness

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Evil

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Should have actually been renamed "Boneshaker"

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A tree trunk, a letter "I" and Energiser

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Energiser, with letter "I" , moved, then returned as the lamer Boneshaker - was a good ride

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Waveswinger, now UgSwinger

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The "NEW" Beast actually , as a lick of paint and a move warranted it being "new"

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The Beast

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It's in Brazil now isn't it? Lousy cows

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Thunder Looper, sorely missed

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Mushroom Cloud Tour Bus!

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Nemesis, again

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Nemesis, a baby at 1 year old

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Congo River Rapids, again and i think we got wet. Kind of.

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Congo River Rapids

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Runaway Mine Train

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Haunted House, now Duel, in Gloomy Wood

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The Towers, August 95

Edited by Rooey
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OMG! Those pics are awesome! Reminds me of my early trips to AT.

 

I totally forgot about the Pirate Ship just sitting there what seemed all alone in that plot of land. And it was nice seeing pics of Thunder Looper and Beast again.

 

I can't believe at one point the park had three Schwarzkopf's running and now they have none.

 

If we can have more Retro Photo TR's like this, it wil be a GREAT winter!

 

--Robb "Who would rather have Thunder Looper than Air!" Alvey

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1995 was (I think) my first trip to AT, and the Beast was my first non-Disney coaster. This TR brought back so many memories! My mum completely fell in love with Nemesis that day. Wish the Thunderlooper was still there, and if my memory serves correctly you're spot on about Energiser being far better than the current version. My personal peeve with AT from the last few years is Duel though. I love the interactive shooting rides, and I also love haunted houses, but for some reason I've never liked the idea of shoving both together, it was way better before they put the guns in there.

 

Might be visiting AT next week if we can all get the same day off, otherwise I probably won't go again until the UK tour next summer. Finally got a digital camera for my birthday in July, maybe I'll take some pics and post my first Photo TR!

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Great Retro Report. I also went to AT in 95 and I remember it very clearly. Thunder Looper was such a great ride. I remember that if you looked to your right at the top of the spike then you would get a good view over the valley towards Festival Park.

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Woah Alton is like sooo different back then!

 

Btw where the hell is this building on the rapids..

 

I swear I have never seen that building before on my many trips getting soaked. what is it..?

 

The whole park just looks not Alton Towers.. I think my first time going there was 1998 the year Oblivion opened and that changed half of Alton Towers with rides going and moving..

 

Ahh if only that Pirate ship was good now.. It actually struggles to move when it has a full boat.. Whih his never because no-one likes it.

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I actually liked the Pirate Ship at AT, it used to swing up pretty high. I haven't been on its since it became THE BLADE but I'm guessing its not as good. I guess it is 25 years old though.

 

Thunder Looper was awesome. I remember the time before that i went to AT was in 1990, and TL was the only ride in "Thunder Valley" as it was then, it was strange just seeing a new coaster in the middle of nowhere. Such a shame they removed it. As i say, lousy cows.

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The Beast, which I think was exactly the same as the other Beast that used to be in Talbot Street, but was moved and painted from green to red.

 

The old Beast called the Alton Beast I think was taken back to Schwarzkopf in 1990, and was replaced by another exactly the same, but a different colour.

 

This 'New Beast' was placed in the new 'Thunder Valley' area rather than Talbot street. Local residents had forced the closure of ride section of this area due to noise - back in 1990 you could walk from the corkscrew to the black hole around the back of the towers- passed the Beast and the Alton Mouse another now gone ride.

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Oh The Alton Mouse, i remember that, again from 1990 trip., it was a Vekoma model. It had a strange slanted lift hill as i recall, i wasn't that keen on it.

 

Its at Idlewild park now it seems.

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Strange Lift hill!

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