Is neither here nor there.
I ride it every time, but it does not give me that "oMG I am actually at Alton Towers on a ride, I can't believe it, at last!" sort of thrill. It does have a good "wow" factor, and is actually a pretty nice coaster, but there is something very strange about it...
When I think of Alton Towers, I do not think of Air. When I enter Forbidden Valley, I do not think of Air. Even when I see it, if I ever do go all the way down to the bottom of FV, I just look at it and think: "Oh, hey, Air." As opposed to when I see the first glimpse of Nemesis or Oblivion in the distance and I almost wet myself.
However, recently it has started to interest me at last. In 2009 I never saw it properly, as I only rode it once at night. However, in the darkness, it had a brilliantly eerie atmosphere. Since the queueline takes you very far away from the rest of Alton Towers, over the hill[s:1m0ov9nx]s[/s:1m0ov9nx] and far away as it were [/teletubby moment], I did feel a bit lost in the furthest part of the park, with the rollercoaster calmly gliding around. I liked it, and the ride experience itself in the darkness was really something to remember.
Then, in 2010, I really started to like it. I love the thrill I get when the trains tilt, and I love the position you fly in. I love the fly to lie... It was all great. Even entering the tunnel did something for me.
However, everything tells me not to like it. It has no themework and has bare, boring spaces that could so easily be filled with a bit of imagination. The ride experience is quite slow and nothing particularly fascinating. But I still quite like it regardless.
Then there is Haunted House, or "Duel" as it is now known by.
Well, I love the original conceptual ideas put forward for it in 1990. It has so much magic and atmosphere. Personally I feel that something definitely went wrong during the process of bringing the original ideas to reality, and the finished ride was not as good as it could have been (judging from the bits of evidence). However, the ride clearly developed its own, refined character and charisma, which is still very evident when you ride it today as Duel. The themework is brilliant, and there was lots of love and effort put into it. I am also very fascinated by all the changes it has gone through, all the lost/failed effects and all its history. Such a shame it is now nothing like it used to be, and I can tell easily without even going on the original ride.
On the down side, it is so naff! Naff, naff, NAFF! I went on Skelvin's Haunted Adventure this year and I just kept thrinking to myself: "Wow! How come Haunted House has turned into something so terribly naff?!"