Only managed to get to AT once this year, as is the usual really. It is an expensive day out but I've always felt it's been worth it. I went in August and to be honest it was one of the best days I've ever had at AT and the quietest which I was shocked to find in August, I thought it would be packed!
To make it all the better, I actually went with my work on corporate team building day which was my suggestion for what we should do for our team building and won the vote, to my excitement! The day started crappy as our car got lost because sat-nav took us to god knows way, thankfully a good old fashioned map got us there, an hour late! Never mind, we took up seats in the Towers Suite which quite frankly totally sucks inside. It's really bland and needs jazzing up! I thought it was going to at least have blue walls or something, that would change it tenfold. It's a really bog standard white room with zero decor other than some pretty naff prints of a couple of the rides. That aside, the coffee was really good which was pretty much on tap for us in there all day. This pleased me! The staff looking after us in the Suite were these two young'ish guys who were honestly the strangest people I've ever met. They seemed to have been born without the ability to communicate because they didn't speak to us once, they just kind of hovered around watching us and putting things out when it was needed they were very awkward and not at all what I expected. So they really need to work on that I guess.
The team building part of the day I wasn't looking forward to cuz' I just wanted to get into the park however, it was a quiz which asked questions that required us to go around the entire park (in 2 hours! because we were late) it was a really well thought out quiz but I must say for everyone else who won't know much about the park and its details I doubt even the full 3 hours would get to through it all. Our team won the challenge because myself and my colleague are obsessed with AT and have been since we were little kids. Following TT and ATA and generally researching we knew the majority of the questions that most people would have to trek across the park for, we also know our way round so well we worked out the best route to take to work through the questions in an order that made the most sense. Anyway, while answering the questions, we were all given fast passes and photo passes and we had to get one person to ride certain rides and get a photo on it as proof for lots of bonus points. We barely needed the fast passes because the queues were so small.
After the challenge was done, we returned to the suite and got lunch which was cool, the food wasn't great but it was adequate. Being veggie all I got was pasta and salad which would of been okay but the pasta sauce tasted like red water. Yum. The desserts were ace though!
After this, we got the rest of the day free in the park not to mention, most of our full work group were older and didn't bother with the rides. We had way more photo and fast passes than we needed as it which come with the package so basically me and my direct work friends (3 of us) got all of the passes able to hop, skip onto all the best rides and get photos too at no cost to us! Amazing! I never buy ride photos cuz' they're a bit pricey and I'm always a bit stingy so this was a good addition to my day. The only thing we queued for was Sub-Terra which wasn't too long, about 40mins. On the subject of Sub-Terra, it's got a pretty good build up I'd say, even if the CG in the video at the beginning is really quite poor and the alien does look like a very demented crab. More crab like than I ever remember it being supposed to look but hey. The concept is there! I love how all the staff treat you like crap, its a good attention to detail that they keep that up.
The ride section is great... while your on it, but once the whole experience was over we did laugh about how pants it probably is. But at the time, in the moment, you're caught up and its all really exciting!! When they're yelling at you to get out, I nearly walked into a little boy and screamed because I thought he was a dwarf that was going to attack me... as part of the ride. Why there would be a dwarf I have no idea, but in any case I probably helped traumatize a child who'd lost his dad in the smoke and flashing lights. Once on the other side my worst nightmare began. Because it more or less becomes a short scare maze, I was in a panic! Rides I can deal with, human beings scare the crap out of me. This guy falls into the lift as the doors open and very nearly bashes me in the face with a torch so I'm screaming and pushing my female friends ahead of me (big brave man) and once inside the 'maze' it wasn't as bad as my mind was expecting. It's all tame really but is a good ending to the ride I can imagine just wandering out of the lift into the quiet would be a bit... "oh, is it over, right then ice blast anyone?"
This post is becoming much longer than I imagined. On the hole I think AT is really on the up. It has a period that I'm sure you all remember when it was going down hill. About 8 or 9 years ago maybe, I was about 15 and went with my brothers and the whole place was just falling to pieces. The rides were a mess, the park was a mess, the staff were horrible and we had a terrible day. Me being me, I wrote this massive 2 page letter to AT and after weeks, got a phone-call from them saying my letter had been discussed in a big meeting of some description and this woman on the phone was seriously shocked to find I was a 14/15 year old kid. I got 2 free tickets (which we never used and sold because my parents wouldn't take me... harsh) and from then on, everything just got better. I've been happily thinking for all these years that I helped to put a kick up their arse from my letter. That's my belief and I'm sticking to it!!
I have never gotten to go to a Scarefest or the fireworks but I will one day, maybe next year. I have always followed Alton Towers in detail and have an obsession with ride themes and music etc. Can't wait for SW7 it will hopefully be awesome! If it can compare to the Saw ride at TP then I'll be happy. Love that ride!!
My visit this year would of gotten 10/10 if it wasn't for the fact that, similar to my visit that year I wrote the letter, I went on Hex to discover the ride section has one to pot yet again. Lights not working, themeing above the sliding doors has fallen off to reveal the workings beneath and the music system in the ride is buggered yet again giving tinny quiet music playback; and to make it worse, the whole dam swing has developed a major squeal while its turning around. Maybe the music would have disguised it a bit, if it didn't sound like it was playing out of iPhone speaker!! I hate when Hex is messed up, as its my favorite overall attraction the park has ever had! It needs some serious redevelopments I feel it could be brought up to date and give the theme a refresh or a new element hmmm...
Repaint the corporate suites on Towers Street AT and make your staff a big more engaging! The lady who spoke to us at the end of the day was lovely I think she was a manager though.
I want to get more active on this forum I used to be years ago but I stopped and forgot my log in, hence this new one first post weeyy!