08.09.14 — Journal

Alton Towers With Mum

Afyer a busy three days of Blaze Festival, today me and my mum took off down to Alton Towers for a day of thrills and chills! It turned out to be a beautiful day to go – both because of the weather and the total lack of queue lines!

Me and my mum at Alton Towers

The day started off with the planned rush to The Smiler – as I queued up for ages with the graphics crew a while back (remember this?) only to have the ride break down on us. This time I was adamant that I’d get on it – and I did! Thrice!

Time to get corrected

I accomplished this by first rushing straight there and catching the ride when it’s queue time stood at a relatively short 30 minutes, and then skipped the whole queue by jumping in the single riders line! I practically walked on to the ride twice, then came back later to do the same one last time.

Inside The Smiler station

After my mum had opted not to ride The Smiler, I somehow talked her on to Oblivion. For those who don’t know, Oblivion consists of a 90º vertical 180ft drop into a dark smoking hole in the ground. My mum yelled at me for taking her on for the duration of the ride, but then was the one to suggest that we hop back on again!

Me and my mum by The Smiler

We then managed to score a ride on Rita, Thirteen and then headed over via Skyride to Forbidden Valley for some time on Air and Nemesis!

Soaring over Rita

We did really well with Nemesis and Air, managing to get two rides on each with only about ten minutes queue for each ride! My mum became bolshie and announced that she thought Nemesis was ‘tame’. Okay.

Although I was thankful for the lack of queues for rides such as Nemesis, I did feel a pang of pain when I saw the abandoned sections of queue pen which used to be full to brimming with people excited to get just one ride. It made me speculate as to how long The Smiler is going to need such endless twists and turns of queue line…

An abandoned queue from Nemesis' glory days

I also took the opportunity to score my first rides on Ripsaw and Nemesis: Sub Terra. Ripsaw was as stomach-churning and wild as it looks, although not as wet as it first appeared (quite fortunately I’d say).

But Nemesis: Sub Terra was a totally different beast.

A Google search before I rode made me assume it was a tame 20ft tall drop tower, but kudos to the Alton Towers staff for making it something else completely! After being yelled at and bossed around by the staff posed as top-secret dig site workers, we ended up in a room with a forbidden ‘egg’. Predictably, the egg hatched and all hell broke loose – and then the ride and the guests really got wild. The restraints lifted automatically, alarms began to sound, strobes flashed and we were yelled at to leave as quickly as possible!

In a moment of blind panic, unsure as to weather it was part of the act or we were genuinely been made to evacuate the ride, the whole group of riders began to scream and run out of the room towards an ‘elevator’ back to ground level. After a bumpy ride back to the surface, we were ushered screaming into a decontamination chamber. I ran through it, arms flailing, being scared to death as a gas-mask-clad staff member jumped from a wall.

After this I finally found daylight and left the ride. Definitely something to experience!

Anyway, back on with the rest of our day. My mum, still bitter about the wetness of the water rides in Florida, decided she didn’t want anything to do with The Flume or River Rapids, so we gave those a miss. We did, however, get a ride on Duel and The Runaway Mine Train before heading over to Sonic Spinball.

Sonic Spinball from the queue
Us two on Sonic Spinball

I remember this ride from it’s days as Spinball Whizzer, but I forgot how wild it could really be! Me and my mum loved it, managing to walk on twice!

The highlight of the day, though, was none of the above. My mum convinced me that we should go on the ‘swings’ ride, which turned out to be a toadstool-themed attraction in the kid’s section behind the Towers themselves.

My mum's favourite ride

Although seemingly empty and tame, it was actually quite enjoyable! I do think my mum was a little more excited by it than me though. I’ll let this picture do all the talking…

Fiona loving life on the swingy things

But after another day of travelling and outings, I am back in my beautiful bed again. I am particularly proud of some purchases I made in ‘Buy The Smiler’, The Smiler’s gift shop…

The Smiler glasses, rock, pin and trolley coin

I’m going to go and have another early(ish) night again, as I am in the office tomorrow to work some more on the new Burnley Youth Theatre/Burnley Arts Centre website. Such fun!