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Photo TR - Alton Towers 15/10/05

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Hi everybody


I finally get to file a Photo TR after lurking on this site since May following aborted trips to Oakwood and Thorpe Park. I discovered the site in April having been a coaster fanatic as a kid and then not really visiting any for years except for two trips to Alton Towers and one to Drayton Manor Park four/five years ago. In late April I got to go on a two-week dream holiday in Orlando, hooked my girlfriend, Clare onto coasters and Theme Parks and now at the grand old age of 28 I have California booked for April and are planning Disneyland Paris as soon as we have the cash plus a plan to hit all the UK parks next season.


Incidentally, would it be permissible to do a condensed Photo TR of my Orlando holiday from April, I've got the TR bug now and I am a bit disappointed with the photos from this report and I've got some good ones from Florida (I say condensed as we took 600!!!).


I'm afraid there aren't that many photos and none of Air and Nemesis as I'd planned to take them later in the day (Thank you Rita). If you don't fancy reading all this we had a good day and the photos tell some of the story.


Anyway, we planned a trip to Alton Towers with our friends Sarah and Paul who live fairly close by in Coventry. We travelled up on Friday night to their house from Cardiff following an early morning accountancy exam which I had spent the last few weeks revising. I couldn't wait for Nemesis and Oblivion to shake all the boring annoying formulas out of my head.


We got to the park just after nine, jumped on the monorail and picked up tickets booked via the internet (£22 each) and got in the park as it opened at 9.30am. I fancied Oblivion first but Clare and Sarah wanted to warm up with something else first, we knew Rita would be busy but had seen Nemesis and Air running from the monorail (presumingly for the hotel guests) so we headed for the Forbidden Valley.




We walked straight on to the front row and WOW!!!. I knew from two previous trips that Nemesis was a great coaster but didn't realise how great it was having not had a frame of reference at the time. Very fast, very intense and a fantastic way to start the day. Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant.




I'd heard mixed things about this and I'm not sure if the fact we got the back row made a difference but I thought this was great. WE walked straight on and were all looking forward to it after seeing it running overhead and after adopting a Superman pose off we went. Totally surprised by the early inversion so we ended up facing, erm, upwards and I'm guessing that being at the back added to the intensity of it. Thumbs up all round.




Loved this, possibly more than MIB and Buzz in Orlando. Our third and final walk on of the day. It had Zombies, seemed to go on forever and Clare had as all laughing when she announced three quarters of the way through that she didn't realise she had to shoot the lights!!! Strangely, she still came third with Paul narrowly defeating me for first place.


Then we jumped on the Skyride to Ug Land.


Queue for Rita was already at the gate so we decided to wait until later.....much later




Luck of the queue(?) gave us front row seats for what it was worth after a 5 minute wait. Seemed even slower than I expected and I can't say it even caused any discomfort but its the Corkscrew so you've got to go on it for history's sake (or something)




I'd been on this five times before over two different trips. My first ride back in 1998 was the only time I've ever shut my eyes on a coaster, on my second ride I kept my eyes open and Oblivion became the scariest thing I'd had ever been on at that point (I think Tower of Terror might have shaded it since as I'm not a big fan of elevators). Clare and Paul had never been on this and Sarah had been on once and been petrified. I had built this up all day and eyes popped out of heads when we finally walked into the X-Sector. We had about a twenty minute wait and nerves were showing. I enjoyed myself and the other three were suitably terrified. It only does one thing but it does it very very well. Disappointed that 'Don't Look Down' wasn't said before the drop but otherwise great stuff.


Quick MacDonalds break and we decided to get wet. Spinball Whizzer had a big queue so we decided to go back later.


The Flume


Had fond memories of this. Last time I was here, me and my mates got a bit silly with splashing and came off the ride absolutely soaked from head to toe. The ride ops said it was the wettest they had even seen anyone get off the ride and we got some strange looks as we walked around the park. In hindsight it wasn't the cleverest idea as it was late September and we were an hour from getting back in the car. Anyhoo, I've matured since then?! and with my girlfriend (who'd have killed me if I'd splashed her) I settled for shouting nonsense in the tunnels. Didn't care much for the re-themeing (although the duck was cool) but a favourite flume of mine and we got a good picture out of it at the drop. Waited about 5 minutes as most people didn't fancy getting wet that day.




Disappointing as no-one got wet. After 3 rides on Bilge Rat Barges in April, I'm not sure if anything is going to come close. (Not that we wanted to get soaked in October in England). Still nice to have a relaxing ride. About a ten minute wait would have been quicker but they weren't organising things that well.


Runaway train queue was pretty long so we headed straight to




I'd heard a rumour that this no longer had the water jets running but fortunately that wasn't true. Sarah didn't fancy this so she got to take some snaps. Great fun ride with no wait and an especially sadistic ride operator who soaked the people who were waiting to see if there was any seats left. Past experience told me to close my eyes for the descent in the water as I lost a contact lense last time I rode.


Air and Nemesis had big queues at this point so the plan was to return to the Forbidden Valley at the end of the day to re-ride. Back on the skyride to Ug land and the queue for Rita was coming out of the gate plus it appeared to have broken down so we headed to...


Spinball Whizzer


Liked the look of this, thought the theming was great and the 20 minute wait flew by thanks to the games on the way around and just watching the ride itself and anticipating the vertical bank (if that’s the right term). Ride lived up to expectation - good fun stuff.




Sarah didn't fancy this either so took photo taking duties. We sat at the back which became the front halfway through. I was enjoying this until halfway when the ride left us upside down for a few seconds and after that it was a bit too much spinning.


Oblivion queue looked at least 30 minutes + and time was running out if we wanted to get on Rita and back to the Forbidden Valley. Foolishly we decided to go on....




Used to love going on this in Porthcawl in South Wales and always been a fairground favourite but this was a horrible ride which probably felt worse as we'd just been on Submission.


Rita - Queen of Speed


The time board said the queue for Rita was an hour so we made our way over thinking we'd just have enough time to ride it, jump on the skyride and hit Nemesis and Air for the second time. While everyone else stopped to stock up on Ice Cream and a quick toilet break while we queued, I watched as a load of lads jumped to the front of the queue by climbing the fence right at the loading station. Considering we'd seen a lot of attempted queue jumping that day through the fast pass queues it seemed daft that the Rita had been designed with the final part of the queue easily accessible for this sort of thing.


None of the staff saw this happen and somehow these lads all managed to get onto the next train except one genius who couldn't manage to climb the fence and so angrily swayed from side-to-side while some more of his cronies joined him after jumping out of the queue further down?????. A woman at the exit flagged what had happened and the staff delayed sending the train off while a big row erupted between the lads on the train and the staff. Eventually they all got off, still arguing as they went to the exit although in the middle of this the guy who couldn't climb the fence walked through the exit onto the platform and ended up being given a front row seat. The whole thing delayed the train by about fifteen minutes and the lads were still all hanging about when we made our way to the entrance of the queue.


Started to queue, Rita stops for maintenance and our chances of getting back to Nemesis and Air were dwindling. We carried on queuing and then Rita experiences "technical problems" and we wonder if we will ever get to ride it.. Eventually after 1hr and 20 minutes at 5.40pm we get to the front of the queue.


Was it worth all the queuing? I'm not sure but our seating luck held and I got to sit in the front row. Not my favourite ride ever and I wouldn't queue for that long again but the launch was fantastic and it lived to up its speed billing. A good way to finish the day especially with being up front.



A really good day - disappointed to not get back on Air and Nemesis but we had some great rides (Enterprise not withstanding), front or back on all the coasters and only missed out on the Runaway Train (and Hex but we all believed it to be the same as something in Drayton Manor Park that we all hated so had no intention of going near it). Weather was overcast but it never rained, was a decent temperature and the sun poked its head through occasionally.


Favourite Ride was Nemesis closely followed by Air then Spjnball Whizzer with honourable mentions to Rita, Oblivion, the Flume, Duel and Ripsaw. Roll on next season. A selection of pictures below (not that good I'm afraid and none of Nemesis and Air as I planned on taking some at the end of the day)


I'll shut up now.




Overcast but it didn't rain




Rita - Queen of Queues




Spinball Whizzer


See it is part of the track






Let the Contact lense losing commence




Attack of the Killer Ducks


Into Oblivion




Don't Look - You Know the Rest


On the Way Up


Doh! Should have made a Zombie Pose

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I'm so glad the water jets are back on at Ripsaw!! I can understand why you heard that they weren't there anymore, they were switched off at my last two visits. They always scare me slightly ever since watching my brother ride it a few years back... The guy next to him was sick as they flipped upside down, just as the jets came up and.... You can guess the rest. Let's just say all the windows were down in the car coming home... :?

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