Just Published: Theme Park Insider: 2016 Year in Review
Mark: Hey Adrian! I’m starting, get over here.
Adrian: (Playing PS2) Nearly finished, nearly done...
M: Hurry up!
A: (Curses) …alright coming. (Adrian turns off PS2 and grabs a chair next to the computer) So what are we doing?
M: The Alton Towers trip report.
A: Oh right. What a great day that was!
M: Are you sitting comfortably folks? Then let’s begin.
A: We woke up early and drove our car (Our parents, not us LOL) for a 3 hour drive from London to Stoke – On – Trent.
M: It was about 5:00 so we stayed at a hotel called ‘The Swallow’ and watched England vs. Ecuador.
A: After that unsatisfying 1-0 victory over Ecuador we didn’t do much after that except watch Austin Powers 2.
A: Wow that journey to the park was a theme park attraction in itself.
M: Lots of hills but no queuing of cars means we could put the foot down so many close calls with corners.
A: Nice landscape with plenty of hills and lots of farm animals. Of course I know you people would rather listen to me go on about the change of landscapes between London and Stoke – on – Trent…
M: Hell no!
A: Oh very well then.
M: We passed some random location I can’t remember and the legendary pub that hardly any TPI’s talk about, ‘The Chained Oak’, which is known mainly for its connection with Hex. Eventually reaching the park entrance, there were two options to get to the park gates.
A: Taking the lazy ass way by taking the monorail,
M: Or by taking the massive walk around the park. With Adrian’s best interests at heart, we took the monorail.
M: We paid the parking toll, grabbed a map then proceeded through the park gates to the magical world of Alton Towers.
A: Time to see how this park measures up to the other parks like IOA and Thorpe Park.
IN THE PARK, STILL MONDAY
A: Still Monday?
M: …?...Pay attention! Over the last few months, TPI’s have had bad days and send in negative reviews. The main reasons for this are sheer bad luck, or they choose a really bad time to go. Will our report be any different? Read on folks!
A: Usually we would go through each land in our path. However Mark had a most brilliant ‘plan of attack’.
M: We arrived at the park very early, so I decided to head straight for Forbidden Valley, usually I would run all the way, but then how the hell would Adrian catch up.
A: By running with you genius! First attraction we reached was Nemesis in Forbidden Valley. Mark queued up for it while I assigned myself for the near impossible task of trying to get a good photo of him on the ride.
M: A warning to all TPI’s, Adrian has ‘Zero G Tolerance. His false bravado is replaced by weak and pathetic excuses for not going on even the most gentle thrill rides…
A: Yes, Yes get on with the ride review!
M: Sure, whatever. You’ll probably know about John Wardley’s legendary creation Nemesis. It is in my opinion the best ride in the park, I have never screamed out HOLY S*** that loud before. This ride is so good it deserves its own thread, seriously, it’s that good. And guess what? You Americans will never get a ride as legendary as this!
A: Space Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain, X, hulk coaster, Dueling Dragons, Top thrill dragster…
M: No Adrian. Those are classics. After Nemesis, its time to ‘prepare for AIR’!
A: Yayyyyy! More photos! I actually got a brilliant photo which had great detail and was the correct angle, brightness and contrast. It was perfect in everyway with the slight exception that Mark wasn’t on it (Told you it was tough taking coaster photos). It’s easy to confuse the person your trying to take the photo of with someone with similar clothes.
M: All you have to do is push the button! Back to Air. I’ve never ridden a flying coaster before (except Roller coaster tycoon 3) so I thought it would it would be an experience to behold. I was half right, When the ‘craft’ assumed the flying position, I was looking at the floor, and I was slightly annoyed I had to put effort into looking straight ahead. But it was a great and comfortable ride. With that done, I decided not to bother with Ripsaw or The Blade. So Adrian and I headed on to Gloomy Wood.
A: After riding MIB: Alien attack, Buzz lightyear’s space ranger spin and Tomb Blaster it was time to complete the shoot-em-up ride list with a ride on Duel. In my opinion this is not only a great ride with great replay value but one of the best shooter rides there is in existence. The ride is your standard haunted house ride but with added guns with lights as the targets. Red lights = already shot, green lights = 100 points, yellow lights = 1000 points, Mark = no points but guaranteed satisfaction that enhances ride experience.
M: You cheap C**T. Anyway, after my ‘best shoot em up ride’ article, I noticed no one talked about Duel, as if nobody liked it. If I had to give one word to describe this ride, it would be ‘Underrated’.
A: I would also say that this attraction has some of the best ride music I’ve heard EVER! In fact this park has music that rivals IOA’s collection of soundtracks.
M: I love stories and music in a great ride because those rides are usually the best. Adrian and I are very competitive on shooting rides so we went on Duel three times because I lost the first two.
A: Next land is Katanga Canyon which sounds similar to Katonga canyon in Busch Gardens. As you may have guessed, this park has a rapids ride. Unlike Thorpe parks disgraceful attempt at revamping Thunder river and making it better (erm...right), this was the better rapids ride, but Popeye will always be king.
M: Yeah, this was better than ‘Retarded Rumba Crapids’. And I am not apologising for not censoring that. It’s that bad. Seriously, go ride it.
A: On second thoughts, DON’T ride it!
M: The mine Train was 45 minutes long, so we didn’t (Or should that be I?) bother waiting for it. On to the medieval ‘Merrie England’.
A: This place has two rides in its area. The tea cups ride and ‘The flume unplugged’.
M: Oh dear here comes a mediocre review for the Flume. I was annoyed by the 45 minute wait but it wasn’t gonna get smaller. The awful ride attendant put me in a ‘Bathtub’ (Yes, I said bathtub) on my on. And their was people laughing at me in the queue line. It was humiliating being on my own, let alone sitting in a bathtub. Most of the ride was pretty uncomfortable because the boat slammed into the side on the turns during the ride through the awkward woods. Very natural, besides, what could possibly be more natural than joining your friends for a slow drift through the woods, while sitting in a bright red bathtub? Being on your own drifting though the woods sitting in a bathtub! Despite the mediocre ride, this ride has one of the best and most addictive soundtracks.
A: Sounds like someone had fun. Skipping past Old McDonalds farm we stopped buy Adventure land. Mark wished to go on spinball whizzer so I scouted for a good photo location. I found a good spot right outside the station where the coaster cars come out from.
M: One of the most annoying things I discovered was that they had single rider lines on 4 of their top attractions (Spinball Whizzer, Nemesis, Air and Rita: Queen Of Speed) so that meant that I could have reduced my wait time a lot. Now, Spinball Whizzer is certainly one crazy a** ride. It is really funny with friends so you can laugh at their reaction. We decided to leave X – Sector for later and went to the Towers Ground.
A: In this area is the lands main attraction is Hex: the legend of the towers. This is a one of a kind ride where your mind is challenged by moving elements. In other words (SPOILER ALERT) you are tricked into thinking you are upside down because the room rotates and the seats you are in act like a pirate ship ride without doing a full circle.
M: That type of attraction is called a ‘mad house’ ride.
A: Each ‘mad house’ ride offers a different experience ranging from the ‘classic hall of mirrors’ to more ‘ride-able’ things like Hex.
M: Hex is also a ‘Rated U for underrated’ attraction, very few rides are based on real Legends. Now it’s on too Ug Land.
A: Unluckily for Mark the queues Rita: queen of speed where more than 2 hours long. Joy.
M: Well, today was going so smoothly so something had to go wrong. I wasn’t particularly bothered with doing single rider for Rita, BECAUSE IT MUST HAVE BEEN OVER 1 HOUR LONG (‘scuse the caps lock). I wasn’t really bothered with corkscrew either but that ride will always be a classic. So we headed back over X –Sector.
A: 3 rides are in the vicinity, Enterprise, Submission (A double swinging inverter) and the classic ride Oblivion.
M: I don’t trust gravity without a seatbelt, so I didn’t do enterprise. I don’t do vomit inducers so I skipped Submission and Oblivion was over 2 hours. What a waste of energy.
A: With all the lands visited, we noticed we had only spent half the day at the park. So what do we do next?
M: GO ROUND AGAIN!
M: So off we go to Forbidden Valley.
A: I finished my day with re-rides on Duel and Mark finished me off. We agreed that this would be the final face off and would be the champion. The score?
M: Adrian: 47700 Mark: 47800 I RULE AND ADRIAN DROOLES!
A: That’s the best insult you could come up with? Nice to know 16 years of education haven’t been wasted on you…
M: What would you prefer? Oh wait how about this one.
Scariest and most intense ride ridden:
Adrian: The Cat In The Hat
Favorite Mode Of Transport
Adrian: Anything with wheels
Mark: ‘Cos Mark Walker does it with the expert timing
Just like his roller coaster (tycoon 3) designing
Adrian: I WANT A BIGGER BIG MAC!
A: Why you little!
M: (catching his breath) Wait, Wait, Wait…if we keep fighting we won’t get this article done.
A: Good point (He started it folks)
M: From then on we just followed the same route. The wait times for nearly all the attractions were just 10mins so choosing the right time to go is crucial. We went back to forbidden valley and worked our way round to Ug Land again. So to shorten it up we have put the positives and negatives on our next round.
In order as they happened…
Negative: I go the single rider for air which looks pretty lengthy. 5min wait and then a ride attendant comes up and announces that the wait is DOUBLE that of the normal attraction line, that should never happen, it’s ‘to wrong’.
Positive: Another brilliant ride at the front row of Nemesis but…
N: On Returning to the station the train in front of us isn’t loaded and we have to wait 20 mins before we arrive. The reason, someone vomited in the station, yet another person with 0g tolerance.
P: Adrian loses yet another few rounds of Duel…a pity…
N: Mark loses next few rounds…inconceivable.
P: 5 min wait time for Rapids and the Runaway Mine Train.
N: Both rides break down. Mine Train loses control of lap bars, down for only 5 mins. Rapids break down when two boats get wedged between the lane about to go up the lift hill, then our boat comes right up behind and crashes into the other two…the about 40 other boats crash behind us, resulting in a hilarious pile up. 25 min wait until attendants free boats.
P: 3 more rides on single rider for Spinball Whizzer. Under 10 mins completion time.
N: 2 boys queue jump with skill and style. They used the single rider queue and just when they are about to go on, they jump in front of people who they knew wouldn’t put up a fight. Nobody does anything about it and they both ride together with those ugly arrogant smiles. Oblivion is now 2 ½ hours long. No chance of a ride this time.
N: Electronic queue line timetable says Rita is 2 hours long so the single rider queue should be about an hour less.
P: With time running short, we head for one last ride on Nemesis. I get the front row and get a cool ride photo to take home.
Major Positive: Short waits and despite the break downs, the ride attendants were very professional and some were quite funny.
Major Negative: SMOKING IN QUEUE LINES, AAARGH! And the park map looked like a 2D map of Roller Coaster Tycoon 3.
Mark: This has been overall a really brilliant day, I’m sure Adrian would agree (despite only going on 3 rides)
Adrian: Yes absolutely! Yes that was the number rides I went on but the day you understand people go to parks for different reasons and like different things will be the day England win the world cup.
M: I already know that but you Adrian will forever be a weak, pathetic coward who makes up some of the lamest excuses for not going on thrill rides.
A: ‘sigh’ Why do I bother with you?
M: Thanks for reading folks. Stay tuned for our return in August when we come back from Florida and do the article: Back From Florida, The Return Of The Best Article.
A: In summary, Alton Towers is a good park that whilst it delivers with high tech attractions, music that rivals IOA and some underrated gems, some attractions are poorly themed, conveyed or both resulting in an attraction that rivals ‘Retarded Rumba Crapids’. Something that Mark will enjoy!
(Mark gets up and walks away)
It is one of the better parks in Britain provided you don’t mind walking long stretches and you choose a good day then it will be a blast, just like shooting Mark with a Duel blaster in the eye. (Mark enters with a cricket bat) So feel free to respond and thanks for reading! Until then, keep on ri-
What I will say so far is:
Tell you Dad or Mum that the speed limit on the motorways is 70, might get there in under 5 hours.
Good plan on forbidden valley first..
Nemesis? Thought you'd ridden Duelling Dragons. Pretty similiar style of ride..
OK, gonna carry on reading now!
As for the length, if some of you find this long, it's nothing compared to the first 'Back From Florida'!
Islands Of Adventure (Best Theme Park!)
Universal Studios Florida
Sea World Orlando
Wet 'N Wild
Busch Gardens Tampa Bay
Disney Quest (Arcade Mania!)
(Other Possible Disney Parks)
So until three weeks time, goodbye fellow TPI's.
P.S. Adrian will be coming with me (for comic relief probably because he doesn't really do much). And when I come back I'll expect at least 30 responses on this page. Thank you, and goodbye!
Now then Gareth H, did you finish reading this article? If you have and you liked it, I suggest if you havn't done so already that you check out "back from florida". To find it, type the title name into the googlesearch box.
"Back from florida 2" coming soon to a kick ass theme park website near you!
Walt Disney World
Tokyo Disney Resort