Alton Towers Trip Report.

Alton Towers: Steve Moore offers his experience at and evaluation of a recent trip to one the U.K.'s most prominent parks.

From Steve Moore
Posted August 24, 2003 at 2:37 PM
Having given UK parks a fair bit of criticism I decided to take a trip to Alton Towers and check out the current state of the park.
There are two major factors which influence how good the day will be, one is the british weather and the other is are all the rides working on the day. Well the weather wasnt too bad, warm but overcast with a little shower of rain in the afternoon.

We travelled from the car park to the main entrance via the overhead monorail, and once inside the park headed for the rides, First up was the RUNAWAY MINE TRAIN, Its not the most intense ride but still quite enjoyable as you get two laps, its suitable for fairly small children as well. (Queue time fifteen minutes)

Next ride was 'DUEL' This is basically a ghost train ride which has been updated to create an interactive 'shoot em up'. This ride is like a cheap version of the Men in Black ride at UO and was good fun.
After this we entered the Forbidden Valley Zone where we joined the queue for AIR. I really want to love this ride but it just leaves me cold . The seating position is unique but it feels very slow and the track layout is totally uninspired, I sort of spend the entire ride waiting for the good part that never comes!(queue time 20 mins)

Next a trip by cable car across the park over the beautifull english gardens and woodland that no american theme park could ever recreate. This brings us to the HEX attraction which is actually built inside the rooms of the ancient Alton Towers Castle. Its an Audio/Visual sit down attraction which really screws up the brain. I wont say any more but its good fun, we did it twice.

OK, on to X sector and the awesome OBLIVION. This is a very simple idea, take people up a steep hill and throw them off the edge! Its all over in a few seconds but is a very intense freefall experience, brilliant but over too quickly, especially if you have queued for a long time. (Queue time 10 mins)

Opposite Oblivion is the BLACK HOLE, a total darkness indoor coaster which is very fast and very scary (Queue time 15 mins)

At last we get to Nemesis. This world famous coaster is just fantastic, Decent themeing and very very fast with endless loops and twists. I rate this ride as good and as fast as any coaster in Florida.(queue time 20 mins)

These major rides are complimented by many others including a Log Flume and a River rapids ride which is fairly tame when compared to something like Popeye at IOA.

There is also the Corkscrew,Enterprise,Submission, Ripsaw and The Blade. There is a whole childrens area with well themed infant rides as well. We also checked out the 3D cinema experience and were very surprised to find that it included a short clip from the Universal Orlando Terminator 3D attraction.

So a great selection of rides and attractions to fill the day,
BUT...Alton Towers lets itself down with attention to detail, Litter is a major problem, many of the bins were overflowing and the place was strewn with cig butts and gum which had obviously been there for a long time, If they could get their act together with cleaning and general maintenance of paintwork and graffiti removal I would rate this park more highly.

Overall its a very good day trip but I hate the fact that I constantly compare it to the much cleaner and better maintained Orlando Parks.

From Steve Carter
Posted August 25, 2003 at 4:43 PM
Not bad.

From gary gary
Posted August 22, 2004 at 3:15 PM
I agree with Steve on several of his comments. Litter is clearly a problem, but then, there seemed to be a distinct lack of cleaning staff. In the Orlando USA Parks, as soon as a guest drops a piece of litter, a cleaner appears as if by magic and scoops it up! But thats America, this is the UK. THe car park costs £3.00, and thats a ripp off, if you ask me. The entrance fee is expensive enough. Overall, its a good day, but a little on the expensive side. you move, or is the scenery moving around you? Whatever it is, its very cleverly done.

From Ben Mills
Posted August 22, 2004 at 4:28 PM
For any of the regulars reading this, Hex is one of those great Mad House rides that I keep going on about. Funny how the American industry still hasn't picked up on them yet. Let's not spoil the surprise now, Gary... ;-)

Nice report Steve, but it's a shame to hear that Alton still hasn't smartened itself up. It could be a major player in Europe if it could be bothered.

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