Oooh so I've already commented on this before about 2 years ago but I was thinking about my first trip to AT this morning and it really was quite memorable. I can't remember all of it because I was only 7, but I remember who I went with and why we went, and I remember it was a cold and crisp September with my mum, dad, sister, aunt, uncle and cousins.
We had visited for my sisters 5th birthday and it seems strange to me why we hadn't visited before as we were only an hour or so away (in hindsight I think it was probably money related). The park was owned by Tussards at the time and I guess was still living off the back of 90s golden age. Indeed, I remember Oblivion being the attraction my older cousin was desperate to go on, because it was very shiny and new and intimidating.
Neither of my parents liked rides but my sister and I have always loved them, and fortunately I was a tall child and easily 1'3 metres tall. However I wasn't quite 1'4 and wasn't allowed to ride the biggest coasters, but in all honesty, I don't think it even mattered as there was so much for me to do anyway. My sister was about 1'1 I'd guess and she was able to join us on a lot of the rides as a family.
Mum didn't do heights so we never went on The Skyride; incidently I don't even think I went near The Skyride until I worked on it in 2015. This meant we walked everywhere and I have vivid memories of running through the gardens and climbing up the valley pathway. I think we may well have had a picnic in there, although I can't remember.
We went on the Swan Boats which were very quaint and the Squirrel Nutty which my mum hated and said was too high. Not sure whether we did other rides in the farm but we definitely did Squirrel Nutty. Of course I remember the bookworm at the entrance to Storybook Land and watching him with fascination; it was really quite magical.
Next we went on Hex in its opening season, and I don't really remember it well but I remember mum being a bit taken aback. I think we queued for quite some time for it. We went over to the X-Sector and my dad, aunt, uncle, older cousin and I did The Black Hole. I remember the really cool station and the tiny ride cars and how the reflection on the track suddenly disappeared and you were plummeted into darkness at high speed. It was awesome. I'm so happy I rode it before it's closure in 2005. My older cousin and uncle then went on Oblivion and got stuck on the way up. Not sure how long for, but a funny family story.
My favourite place on park? UG LAND! It was amazing! I loved the colourful buildings and the entrance and the music and the massive climbing thing in the middle. It was here I rode the Corkscrew, the main attraction. It was my first upside down ride which is a big deal for a young thrilseeker. Don't remember it being rough, probably because I was ducking my head under the restraint the entire time. Probably did Bone Shaker and Wave Swinger, can't really remember.
Then there was The Land of Make Believe, or Cred Street, I'll have to look up which one. We didn't spend a lot of time there. I just recall the really cool McDonalds and I think Barney? Might have done Toyland Tours.
We essentially bypassed Forbidden Valley I think and I'm not sure whether we did the Haunted House (although I certainly did Duel with my mum and sister on subsequent visits). We did the Congo River Rapids though and the Runaway Mine Train, and The Flume with the logs!
It was a long and fun day and really memorable. The things that stick out for me are UG Land and The Black Hole and the Swan Boats that were quite distinct. I loved it and asked to go again. Now I'm quite literally there all of the time.