I don’t write those words at the top lightly. I have been to Alton Towers several time (some would say far too any) and I’ve had loads of excellent days there. But yesterday’s opening for the new 2010 season may well be the best one yet… here’s why!
Firstly, Th13teen. This was the reason I was visiting the park, to be one of the first people to ride this brand-new attraction. Alton Towers have been hyping this ride up for a couple of years now and have mentioned that the ride would be extremely scary and a ‘psycoaster’.
Now it’s important to say right now, that that was a load of marketing rubbish. Towers I do think have shot themselves in the foot slightly by saying ti would be terrifying, because quite simply it is not. It’s not even up to the standard’s of Nemesis or Oblivion, the parks two flagship thrill rides.
It is however extremely fun! I really urge people who are visiting Th13teen, to go with an open mind and expect a ride that is very fun, but not a massive thrill ride. The ride has been very well made and has the best attention to detail I have seen at the Towers in a long long time. The whole experience is very atmospheric from start to finish and also doesn’t let up the whole way through.
I would say that the ride is a very valuable addition to the park. It doesn’t beat Nemesis or Oblivion, but is on a par with Air and in my opinion tops Rita.
Having just said that, Rita now looks amazing. The whole Th13teen construction has caused ‘The Queen of Speed’ to be taken over by the forest and the retheme is absolutely excellent. It’s almost unrecognisable as the eyesore of a ride that stuck out in the middle of Ug Land. So a round of applause to AT for the whole ‘Dark Forest’ area, it truly was a great place to visit.
The rest of the park was also looking very nice and fresh. Oblivion’s cars had had a repaint, Sonic Spinball looked like a brand new ride and nearly all the effects were working on Duel and Hex! As always, the runaway mine-train team were great, making an average ride an absolutely hilarious experience! Nemesis and Air also dispatched fairly quickly throughout the day and of course provided some fantastic thrills!
But why was this day so great for me? Yes the park was great fun, but there was something more. After my second go on Th13teen, someone was pointed out to me hiding in the shadows. It was none-other than John Wardley, the designer of Nemesis, Oblivion, Air, Haunted House, Runaway Mine Train, Nemesis Inferno, Vampire, Bubbleworks and most recently Th13teen! I consider the man a true living legend and to finally meet him was an amazing experience. And I must say, he really is the nicest, most down to earth guy you could ever meet. Quite simply a great moment for me.
Also worthy of mention at the park yesterday was the re-introduction of The Corkscrew. The previous ride has been immortalised at the entrance to the park as a giant archway and once again it looks spectacular, much better than I had ever expected. It really is great to see Towers putting effort into the small things again, after all, they are what make the big difference to my day.
But that still wasn’t quite all. At the end of the day whist queueing for the monorail, a member of our group spotted none other than Bill Bailey in the queue behind us! We waited and got to meet the man which really was the icing on the cake. And just like with John, the man was a really nice guy and had lots of time for us despite being with his family!
So that brings me to the end of the best day I’ve ever spent at Alton Towers. I’m struggling to find criticisms with the day, it was almost magical again for the first time in many years. So thanks to the people who came with me, you made the day, thank you to John and Bill, was awesome to meet you and thank you everyone who worked at the park yesterday, you all did an astounding job!