UK theme parks from another point of view!

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2013 End Of Season Reviews

Tue Nov 05, 2013 12:26 pm


Roll up! Roll up! - It’s time for the Carnival of Reviews.

As the explosive end of the 2013 season approaches and we begin to fear the dreaded closed season blues, it’s time for us all to take a look back at this fantastical year for the Alton Towers Resort - from the opening of The Smiler, to snow storms and power cuts; from the announcement of the CBeebies development and the departure of our beloved mad man, Dr. Kelman. This year has most definitely been one of ups and downs, excitement and disappointment.

So TowersTimes, we ask you for your reviews. What has been your highlight, lowlight and moments in between? What has topped off the 2013 season for you?
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Re: 2013 End Of Season Reviews

Thu Nov 07, 2013 11:18 am

Well the 2013 season has been a bit of a roller coaster ride (pun not intended). Yes there's been highs for example Smiler's opening, and there has been lows, Smiler's downtime. It's not all about The Smiler though, I genuinely believe this season has been one of the best, not due to just the rides but to the staff. They have been exceptional, in my experience their customer service has been brilliant. Ok the situation with The Smiler is back but throughout all this aggro the staff have done their very very best.

I truly believe Alton Towers is getting better each year for both enjoyment and service and next season they will finally iron out these problems that has plagued the park since the very start of season.

Things will only get better for Towers. It has a massive strong fan based community that will stick by its side through thick and thin for years to come.

Bring on next season!!
Last edited by tallicay2k on Thu Nov 07, 2013 6:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 2013 End Of Season Reviews

Fri Nov 08, 2013 10:47 am

In my end of year review I can't exactly compare to previous years, because this was my first year visiting the park. I instantly fell in love with the place, so much so that I have joined the forums and gone a further 2 times ( a round trip of some 400 miles each time!).

I love the way the rides are themed almost as much as I love the rides themselves, I really can't get enough of the back story to the rides (Sancturary, Phalanx, etc) and, maybe controversially, think Th13teen is the best themed ride I have ever ridden.

I just had to Scarefest having read all about it on the forums, and I really wasn't let down. The way the park is transformed is unbelievable, it's great to see how much time and effort went into themeing the whole park for Halloween. I will definitely be going again next year, if only for the Scare Maze which were simply mind blowing!

I suppose you could say, for me, the magic is certainly still very much alive at Alton Towers!
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Re: 2013 End Of Season Reviews

Fri Nov 08, 2013 11:43 am

My first visit in 4 years (been going for 19 years now!) I must say it was great. Most notably from my last visit 4 years ago was the staff. AMAZING! Felt that they were on top form and all happy. The park was spotless too. So clean!!! Nemesis was down all day :-( but I have never had a better time there.

I would say though parts are looking so tired. Paint work and modernizing needs to be done! Hex needs some love and so does the general look of the place. I rode Charlie for the first time and thought OMG how can they call that a ride.

Sub Terra was ok, liked 13 but not great. Smiler was fun but not awesome and personally lacked theming. Nemesis for me is still king. Food was of a far better standard than previous visits. So I can say there have been some great improvements, but it still needs bringing into 2013.
Last edited by Superman on Fri Nov 08, 2013 12:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 2013 End Of Season Reviews

Fri Nov 08, 2013 5:47 pm

WOW! The 2013 season has been an awesome season... Yes The Smiler had it's ups and downs, but overall I will love The Smiler no matter how many times it breaks down.

Let's go back to February which was 9 months ago as February kicked off the 2013 season for me. That's right, my first trip to Alton Towers this year was in February for the February Half-Term event. The first coaster of the 2013 season was Air and during the Feb Half-Term event I did Nemesis for the first time and it was amazing!
The second trip to Alton Towers was back in June to ride The Smiler and it was amazing! I think it's better than Nemesis! (Despite the breakdowns of course ;) ) Also I did Oblivion for the first time and I love it as well!
My final trip of the 2013 season was a week ago today (Friday 1st November) for Scarefest and it was awesome! The Smiler in the dark was epic and I think it's better than riding in the day light! My final coaster of the 2013 season was Th13teen.

I'm sad that the 2013 season is nearly over but hey, the 2014 season shall be a better one for me as I will have an Alton Towers Annual Pass for the first time! So I just want to take a moment to say thank you to every enthusiast who made the 2013 season one of the best seasons! You know who you are! :) See you all in February 2014 for the February Half-Term event (And March 2014 for the ones who can't make the Feb Half-Term event) :) And remember...SMILE. ALWAYS. :) :)
Last edited by SuperWill on Fri Nov 08, 2013 6:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Credit to Lewis97 :) 

Sit back, it's fright time! :D

Re: 2013 End Of Season Reviews

Sun Nov 10, 2013 12:49 pm

Well, where can I begin.

This year I got a Merlin Pass and signed up to the forum here. I have been to Towers 8 times, controversially found The Smiler less than enjoyable as a ride though the Theming is pretty cool.

My first trip was May 8th after The Smiler's promotional photos and the lighting rigs went back - seeing the twist of metal named a rollercoaster left me totally in awe, however that is where it stayed for me. I went back 2 weeks after opening on the 9th of June and rode it first time, front row and it was a really awesome ride, however I have since ridden every other row and left in pain and feeling sick, which is very unlike me with rollercoasters. After complaining about The Smiler stalling in June, I received fasttracks which were used at scarefest which I will get to shortly.

I had another day trip in September, hit all the rides, and remained all together unimpressed with The Smiler, but loving all the other rides there.

Next up was my first ever scarefest. Wow, what a trip! 3 days away, hit all the major rides, did the mazes and wasn't quite as terrified as I thought I'd be. Favourite was CoS and I found Zombies to be lacking more zombies, lots of scare opportunities were missed but with work could be as good as the mazes. The Tuesday was heaving - made full use of my 20 fasttracks from June to go on Oblivion, Th13teen and Sonic Spinball though maintain that Spinball don't know how to manage a queueline as we were left queuing for over half an hour as the main queueline passed us by. Nemesis, Air and Th13teen in the dark were truly amazing!

Finally and what a way to round up the season was yesterdays trip to fireworks, again a first for me. After arriving mid afternoon, we hit Hex, grabbed some food and found a viewing spot for the Fireworks which were truly spectacular - if you couldn't be there get the video watched on youtube as I hear there are some floating around. I was left totally in awe at the spectacular which could seriously challenge Disneys. The season for me was ended with a walk to Duel, Nemesis Sub Terra, Nemesis and finally Air.

I genuinely can't wait to see what next season holds, hopefully a slightly renovated Smiler and an even more awesome plan for Scarefest and Fireworks... and a decent celebration for Nemesis' 20th.

Alton Towers Ride count for 2013 - Air 7, Nemesis 20, Oblivion 16, Rita 9, Th13teen 11, Hex 5, Sub Terra 6, Runaway Mine Train 6, The Smiler 7, Rapids 1, Ice Age 2, Charlie & The Chocolate Factory 2, Duel 4, maurauders mayhem 1, Carnival of Screams 1, Zombies Scarezone 2, Sonic Spinball 1, The Sanctuary 1, Terror of the Towers: What Lies Within 1.
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Re: 2013 End Of Season Reviews

Sun Nov 10, 2013 2:31 pm

I’ve now been a TT member for just over a year, however when I joined around this time last year, I was yet to visit Alton Towers. I had been caught up in the hype for SW7, which was later announced to be called The Smiler. Having intensely followed the construction of SW7 from late 2012 right up until its eventual opening in May 2013, there was no chance that I wouldn’t be visiting for the first time in the 2013 season.

Using The Sun free tickets, my first visit was planned for the 3rd July. So, a little more than a week after my exams I was waking up at 6am, ready to make the 3 hour journey to Towers for the first time. I went with my dad, cousin and friend, who was also eligible for a Disabled Access Pass, and so all was set for a fantastical first visit.

I’ve already reviewed my first Towers trip in much more depth elsewhere, but it was truly amazing seeing all the coasters and rides I’d only ever seen in photographs, in real life. It certainly didn't take long for Nemesis to announce her presence with her B&M roar, and then I got to ride her for the first time on the back row, and then straight after on the front. It certainly isn’t a bad way to have lost my Towers virginity, as it were.

Eventually it was time to ride The Smiler for the first time - a ride which I loved before riding, and still did afterwards. I generally have a very optimistic attitude, and it is that which has allowed me to overlook the endless issues that have plagued the ride this season. However, that is not to say that I do not hope that they use the closed season to open a more reliable The Smiler next year. It is an experience which I personally rank level with Nemesis, and would happily spend all day on park just riding those two coasters alone.

As far as I was aware, my summer trip was likely to be my only trip to AT this year; however after receiving my exam results, which my family were incredibly impressed with, I managed to convince them to take me back to Towers in early October. What’s more, we would be staying at the Alton Towers Hotel for the whole weekend, and so get to spend two days on park.

I literally counted down the days until we would be at Towers, and I would once again get to ride some coasters, and also drag the rest of my family on too. We were welcomed to the ATH by a high-fiving northerner, who is just one example of the stellar staff Alton Towers have hired this season. I had heard good things about the hotel, and it was certainly a lovely place, but perhaps still a tad overpriced.

Whilst I got increasingly excited the night before our first day in the theme park, the prospect of riding rollercoasters was becoming steadily more real for my mum and younger brother. However, the following day I did manage to get them on everything, with the exception of my mum refusing to ride Oblivion. In fact, it seems as though I managed to turn my brother into something of a coaster enthusiast, after he was initially sceptical when it came to riding The Smiler, but ended up riding it several times with myself, and going on to buy a T-shirt to fully embrace becoming a Smiling Advocate. It just goes to show that AT is a place where magical and unexpected things happen, with my brother being just a single example of someone doing something they never thought they would.

Although that was my final trip to AT this year, I must admit to having watched the firework spectacular four times on Youtube now. Again, this is something I have reviewed specifically in the relevant topic, but I must reiterate how impressed I was by them. That leads me on to say; the display is a fantastical encapsulation of my many magical Alton Towers memories, and a reminder that there are still plenty more to come, and I hope that some of them will involve all of you guys who share the same love for Alton Towers that I have.
Last edited by lewis97 on Sun Nov 10, 2013 2:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 2013 End Of Season Reviews

Mon Nov 11, 2013 10:01 pm

Great little season...I saw few things that needed drastic changes apart from a few lights! Look forward to next year
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Re: 2013 End Of Season Reviews

Tue Nov 12, 2013 11:06 am

Well, what can I say about the 2013 season?

For me, it has been my personal best year, for a variety of reasons.

The build up to the 2013 season was immense, I had never been so excited for a season in my life. The amount of hype and marketing put into The Smiler put Alton Towers back on the map after a difficult couple of years, so I was keen to see if they could live up to expectations.

As we all know the season didnt get off to a great start with The Smilers opening being delayed, however this resulted in possibly the quietest 2 months I have experienced at the park. For my first visit in opening week everything was walk-on, I couldn't believe how quiet it was.

Then, The Smilers opening date was announced. Within a flash I had booked a night in the hotel and 2 day park tickets for 23rd & 24th May, such was my excitement. After a whole winter of seeing arial updates from MI7 and then seeing it being built before my eyes in March, the wait was almost over, I was going to be amongst the first people to get corrected. But no, the opening was delayed again, but I still made the trip and had a whale of a time in the hotel (I am now going to make sure I stay in the hotel at least once a year) and ended up coming away with complimentary 2 day tickets due to The Smiler not opening on time, great customer service!

Two weeks later, on June 6th, with The Smiler now being open I made my first solo trip to Towers, bumped into DavidRock at the entrance, and managed to get on front row of the first train of the day. To cut a long story short, I knew without a shadow of a doubt that I had a new favourite ride. I thought that nothing would be able to beat Nemesis, how wrong was I! I find it just as intense as Nemmy, but just an all round better experience, I always come off with a beaming smile, and that is what I look for in a coaster. Above all else they have to be fun, and The Smiler delivers this in spades.

For the rest of the season I visited at least once a month, predominantly by myself. Before this season I had always been sceptical about visiting Towers by myself, but the way I look at it is as long as you enjoy something, why not do it by yourself? I love being able to ride what I want to ride, eat where I want to eat, and just take in the atmosphere. It was on a solo visit in August that I managed to do The Smiler 10 times and Nemesis 7 times in the same day!

My last visit of the season was a 2 day trip in mid-September. The park was nice and quiet, which was perfect for helping my mrs conquer her fear of rides. Ever since I told her I was an enthusiast she couldnt understand it. But with quite a bit of reassurance and light-hearted pressure I managed to get her on Rita and Air. Air she enjoyed, Rita not so much (i've never heard anyone scream so much in my life) Hopefully next season she can take the next step and do Nemesis, she was tempted but spent too much time watching and chickened out!

I had planned to visit for Scarefest and Fireworks, but an accident at work put paid to that so my season was done.

Overall, a thoroughly enjoyable season, like I said earlier it has to rank as my personal best season. Sure there were a few bad points (Smiler throwing a paddy numerous times, power cuts and minimal maintainance budgets) but on the whole this season has restored my faith in Alton Towers, and I am already planning my trips for next season.

The Smiler as a ride experience
Nemesis being as reliable as ever
My first stay in the AT Hotel
Doing Smiler x10 in one day
Getting my wuss of a girlfriend onto a couple of the big rides
The staff

The Smilers shoddy construction
General ride reliability
WASPS (it doesnt help I have a phobia)
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Re: 2013 End Of Season Reviews

Sun Nov 17, 2013 12:04 am

For me this year, Alton Towers simply put all their eggs in one basket, and showed off some of their true colours.
I will start by saying I was never one of the unfortunate ones to miss out on The Smiler one my 2 visits after May. 

For the first time this year I visited during Febuary half term to see what all the fuss was about. Nothing too special, half the park was fenced off though making things that little bit more difficult to navigate. I feel they somewhat missed a trick here for promoting The Smiler some more. There was barely a piece of construction to be seen and no buzz outside the static advertisement posters.

My next visit was specifically to see The Sanctuary. It was a great idea to bring it back and fill the gap, but a ballsy risk considering Saw alives monumental flop. The park was dead. An almost solemn atmosphere filled the park. Their seemed to be very little in the way of spruce ups across the park in the closed season, and the X-sector certainly didn't receive the loving that it should of. Oblivion's overdue paint job was nice, but the queue line was still filled with grime, the disgusting room you pass through just before the station still grosses me out with its moldy windows.

Finally some positives! third times a charm right?
We knew the park would be busy thanks to the Schools on the brink of breaking up, so decided to stay in the hotel. We left it so late that we literally got the last room left which was the Moon Voyager room. Its one hell of a high quality room, and really shows that the Hotel team know what they're doing. It was just full the brim with features that wouldn't look out of place in a Disney hotel. As it was a sweltering evening, we spent it out by the lake, and had a great time. My only issue with the hotel itself would be the lack of Aircon...they really need to make that investment! As for our time in the park, we queued 2 hours for The Smiler, being so close with the ride overhead you can't help but remember the intense amount of work that these coasters go through every day. In the sweltering sun, it plowed through car after car effortlessly. The music and screens set the mood perfectly, and although it was cramped, the queue works incredibly well. We had a lazy 2 days, we didn't rush around, and only got on a handful of rides but that was fine. The park was operating incredibly well and makes you appreciate what goes in to running a Theme Park. But like any company, unless its busy, there just isn't enough justification to spend the extra labour. Its a vicious circle.

The next time we went, The smiler was only open until 1pm, so we got it over and done with before moving on to the rest of the park. It was nice to see nothing had changed. Considering we visited off-peak, the park was relatively heaving. Overall we used our knowledge to get a good day out though.

Inevitably, the spotlight was shining far too bright on The Smiler for them to even think about Scarefest. For the first time this year, I passed on visiting for the Scarefest period. I can just about swallow the fact that they had made no effort to change their already lackluster line up, but I just cannot justify paying for 2 mazes that I have already had the chance to experience for free. And The Smiler in the dark isn't reason enough to visit either.

Perhaps amidst all this, I'm a tad sorrowful and empathetic towards Thorpe Park. They ticked all the boxes for The SWARM with roaming actors, ambitious large-scale theming, fire, water, smoke, blowing up a freaking fire truck and they got nothing in return. The Towers bumble along with a rickety pile of steel that is falling apart, had poor construction management and the world bows down to its glorious king.

When the park was running well it ran like clockwork as all the pieces came together.  Unfortunately, I fear they've made some long term damage with the trust of the Public. Although this may not have ground breaking effects, it will certainly put a dent in to their profit until they can regain that trust. While cbeebies world is undoubtedly an important development, that particular demographic isn't going to help boost their attendance during the off-peak period like The Smiler was doing. From an analytical point of view, they need to delve deep into their metrics and find a way to improve on their off-peak attendance, because when its dead, the park is becoming an absolute ghost town...
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Re: 2013 End Of Season Reviews

Mon Nov 18, 2013 7:26 pm

So this year was my 5th visit to the park and to be perfectly honest the best one yet! I have fallen in love yet again with it all and cannot wait to be back!

I didn't plan on coming this season but once I saw the advert for The Smiler I just had to. It looked amazing and I told my fiancé we just had to go. Everything was booked and I was buzzing. Then ofcourse the bolt came flying off. I was worried it wouldn't be fixed in time for my visit as I was going a few weeks after. I was watching forums and facebook pages for updates and was thrilled it had been fixed so quickly. It did break down again before we went but it opened the day we went in! In those 2 days of being there I rode The Smiler and Rita 3 times, Oblivion, Air and Nemesis  5 times and then Sonic and Thirteen twice - amongst others ofcourse ;) I haven't been able to think about anything else in months! The park wasn't exactly busy because it was rainy but it was still the best visit ever. 2014 you better be ready for us! :moj
I went to OBLIVION and back, faced my own NEMESIS and it's origin. I flew through the AIR, I played with SONIC but was cursed with a HEX from the number THIRTEEN. I was the QUEEN OF SPEED but most of all I was a SMILER
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Re: 2013 End Of Season Reviews

Wed Nov 20, 2013 6:06 pm

My one trip to Alton towers this year was during Scarefest. I went on the day of the Scarmazing event, done by the forum. Met some great people during the event and had a laugh when I was with people, but I left the group and got platinum Fastrack because I wanted to get on everything more than once in my 1 day. The Burger Kitchen burgers are actually quite nice, and the park always feels magical.

The Smiler is a beast to look at, ask martin what my expression was like. I was in awe at seeing it for the first time in person. Themeing in my opinion is minimalist, but works. The queue line, except for the end bit, is awful but enjoyable. It's awful because of what it looks like, but enjoyable because you can actually see pretty much the whole coaster, so it gives you something to watch whilst queuing. The ride itself is different, yet slightly boring. The whole inversion thing has been done before, but it is fun. I didn't find it rough. I rode it 3 times and all 3 times were front row, which I thought was great. Rode it in the dark while raining too. I felt like the coaster car was literally skidding around the track, the ride felt even more extreme than during the day.

Highlight for me this year, other than meeting people from here, was riding Nemesis and Air in the dark. It is always a highlight for me, as I go so few times. Did Ice Age and Nemesis Sub Terra for the first time too. Ice Age is amazing and I was ecstatic over the fact it snowed indoors. Sub Terra isn't as terrible as people say. It is actually quite creepy and I must admit (team wuss ftw) I was a bit scared when it went pitch black, but I think it is actually quite a reasonably good ride.

Final ride count for me was  Nemesis x2, Air x2, Smiler x3, Blivvy, x3  Rita, x2, Flume x1, Thirteen x2, Skyride x1, Congo River Rapids x1, Runaway Mine Train x1, Duel x1, Ice Age x1, Nemesis Sub Terra x1
Last edited by Dom on Wed Nov 20, 2013 6:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 2013 End Of Season Reviews

Thu Nov 21, 2013 12:10 am

Best season ever for us at Alton Towers

Our first trip,of the year was,2 days after The Smiler opened. It was a lovely sunny spring day,and as John and I walked up to X-Sector ,I literally had butterflies in my stomach. The first time seeing The Smiler we were awe struck. A jumbled heap of twisted black metal with 14 inversions and a vertical lift hill. We were both speechless.
The queue was massive, over 3 hours long. Did we do it? No. Not straight away anyway. We saved it for the last ride of the day,as the queues closed at 5,we made the most of our day on park first.
The queues for all the other rides were fairly short,so we had a good day. No ride closures whatsoever on this particular day. So at the end of the day we made our way to The Smiler. Still a massive queue, but we knew we were guaranteed to get in, so we didn't mind. No fastracks available yet for Smiler by the way.
All the way through the queue line I was just amazed at the whole ride. I actually don't mind the queue, I think it's an experience in itself. Our first ride was Amazing and when we came off we were both like yep, definately beat Nemmy.

I couldn't stop thinking about that damn ride,or get that damn tune out of my head for the next few days. I wanted to tell everyone about it, so I started looking for somewhere to do this as such. That's when I came across TowersTimes. And they are partly the reason it's been the best season ever for us.

The next 3 trips to Towers,were pretty much the same. Except we went with family and for my birthday. By this time they had introduced Smiler fastrack and we did take advantage of them. I would also like to say that all 5 times we went this year there were no issues with The Smiler. We also took advantage of The Sun free ticket offer.

Our 4th trip was the TowersTimes Scaremazing Meet. We were so gutted,at not making the Sizzler that we were determined to make Scaremazing Meet.
What can I say that I haven't already about that. You can read my full review,on that in the appropriate thread,
but it was fantastic. Such a great bunch of people and a wonderful time was had by all.

5th trip was for the last day of the season,and fireworks. Once again we met up with,some of the TowersTimes regulars and had another fantastic day. To top it all off,the fireworks were back to being themed and were amazing.
The Smiler and Th13teen in the dark were really really good.

Through TowersTimes we have met some fantastic, friendly and funny people. Who we hope will now be friends for life and we will see many more times.
A massive thanks to Alton Towers, because without The Smiler this year I wouldn't be writing this on here now and sharing my thoughts for the regulars and newbies to read.

I don't usually name names, but these guys deserve a mention for making us feel comfortable, welcome and part of the TT family:
Lee, Michelle, Adz, Luce, Danny, Lakey, Roodles, Alex,Hursty, Emma, Kirsty and Pizzazz,you are all great.
The TT team also for organising the events.

Last but not least, Alton Towers. What have you done to Th13teen? Went on this the year it opened and vowed never to do it again. Oh my,how my opinion has changed this year. Loved it,loved it,loved it. Apart from The Smiler, the ride of the year for me.

Bring on 2014,for some more fantastic memories.
Last edited by Martin on Thu Nov 21, 2013 4:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 2013 End Of Season Reviews

Thu Nov 21, 2013 11:20 am

For me, the 2013 season has been an incredibly interesting once. Realistically, I should have seen the omen coming in advance when I couldn’t complete a Hotel stay at the resort early on due to huge amounts of snow. However, the frost and snow that plagued the British Isles led to one of my first posts on this forum; something I’ve not regretted since.

Having followed the construction via TowersTimes, I began to watch the delayed work being carried out on resort ; camped out at the fences with fellow enthusiasts, peering through holes in boards for any sign of development. At last however, the weekend of The Smilers opening loomed, and I booked a B&B with fellow members and we headed down the day before for a forum meet. Excitement bubbled as we once again headed towards the construction site the day before opening. What greeted us however, was an unfinished rollercoaster and a construction site still in full operation. With less than 20 hours to go, the resort announced The Smiler would not be opening. Disappointment and confusion took over. For me, this was one of the lowest points of the 2013 season as a result of the resorts continued refusal to openly admit the coaster wouldn’t be ready, therefore resulting in the spending of money by guests. Thankfully, being part of the TT community allowed us to drown our sorrows at the Hotel bars.

Eventually, The Smiler opened and passed without fanfare. In my opinion, it sort of opened one day, with the resort hopping people forget it was massively delayed. However, by the beginning of June, Michelle and I had queued two hours for The Smiler and had ridden it. I walked off the world’s first 14 ‘looping’ coaster that I had spent too many hours following with a feeling of disappointment. For me, The Smiler is simply a coaster. There’s no need for me to discuss my opinion and disappointment of The Smiler, both as rollercoaster and an experience as I have documented it well on the forums.

In terms of trips to the resort this year, I’ve most definitely had a fantastical time thanks to this site. Between our two major events; Summer Sizzler and Scaremazing Halloween, I’ve experienced more exclusives than ever before. The season itself towards the first half was incredibly quiet, as a result meaning I’ve got a brilliant ride count with very limited queues. The resort itself has employed some brilliant staff once again, and some of the male staff are very talented indeed ;). There are several major disappointing moments I’ve had on park this year, but guest services have tried their best. The season for me was spoilt by a serious incident towards the end of the season, that I know some of you are aware of. Personally however, the highlight for me was ending the last day of the season with the brilliantly done fireworks. It was lovely to see a theme back, and for me entertainments have shone beyond belief this year.

I’ve met some lovely people through TowersTimes, who I really do now value as friends. I never expected when I signed up to be embraced into a community like I have been, and I am really honoured that I’m able to do the same in return to new members. Being part of the team has allowed to me interact with so many of our fantastic community, and I could never name you all. However, what I can say is it is you, the TT community that has made this season for me. I look forward to 2014 at Alton Towers, Port Aventura, Thorpe Park and goodness knows wherelse we end up.

TT – Thank you :)
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Re: 2013 End Of Season Reviews

Sun Dec 01, 2013 1:08 pm

What a fantastic season 2013 has been!

I first joined the site back in July; and boy am I glad I did! After being a lurker in the shadows for a while I thought it was time I started getting involved, unfortunately I didn't attend the Summer Sizzler as it was a bit short notice having only signed up a few weeks before the event.

After looking through the photos and reviews of the sizzler with green eyes, I was determined to make the next meet; the unofficial FN Meet it was! 

Wow, what can I say! 'Banter' is probably the word I would use to describe it! After meeting some of you for the first time, I was a little nervous, but this feeling soon went away.... And turned into sheer terror as I found myself queuing for 'The cabin in the woods' ?! Not my cup of tea, but either was ' The Asylum' or the Blair witch walk through.

Despite my hatred for the mazes, I enjoyed FN but this was due to the company I was with!

Okay so next up was the Fireworks meet at the amazing theme park this site is all about; of course Alton Towers!
Although the park was packed over the weekend we still managed to squeeze in many rides... Hmm I wonder how?!
The fireworks display was amazing! Loved the story behind it and it even made me laugh when the song 'falling to pieces' was playing during 'The Smiler' display. Oh Merlin how you make me laugh :')

What a brilliant weekend that was... The rides, the fireworks, the lovely weather, the company and um being carried into Nemesis:Sub Terra ?!

Here's to a fantastic season and I hope there are many more to come!

All the team and members alike are what make this site so lovely; just want to say a big thank you for making such fantastic memories! Cannot wait for the next meet in 2014!  :D

Special thanks to these lovely people for making me feel welcome: Lee, Adz, Michelle, Lakey, Alex, Martin, Luce, Dom, Kirsty, Danny, Kim 8)
Last edited by Emma on Sun Dec 01, 2013 5:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 2013 End Of Season Reviews

Sun Dec 01, 2013 4:46 pm

Having signed up to the site mainly to view the pictures of the construction of The Smiler, I never expected to have such a good time this season and meet so many great people.

It all started in March where I made a visit with Roodlesnouter and NigeC. After hitting Nemesis during ERT with Roodlesnouter we headed over to the X-Sector to be greeted with this sight.


Whilst I had a great time it was desperately disappointing to visit when The Smiler was closed so this made me more determined to visit again later in the season.

Having not anticipated being able to visit again until later in the season due to cricket commitments, Lewis offered me his ticket to the Summer Sizzler since he could not make it. With this being the first official event with the new team, I had no idea what to expect. It was in fact probably the most fun I'd had at a theme park due to the session in Berry Bish Bash at the end of the day.

The next visit was to Thorpe Park for Fright Nights, this was my first experience of an event of this sort and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was good to meet up with members I had seen at the Sizzler and also meet new ones as well. I would like to say thanks to the chavs who decided to try to queue jump us which incurred the wrath of Adz and led to me seeing him work his magic in guest services. For the rest of the weekend we ended up having to not queue for anything including the mazes! Also I would like to thank Lee for his "accident" in the shopping centre on the way back to the park on the Sunday, it was highly amusing!

A couple of weeks later it was time for Scaremazing, again there were lots more exclusives with a very informative talk from Pete and Gerry and a group fastrack for all 60 of us on The Smiler. There were lots of highlights during the day including my first ride on Doodle Doo Derby, a takeover of the Squirrel Nutty ride and Adz being locked in a Portaloo with 3 zombies. In the evening I got to see the infamous superhero dance before having a good night with the TT crew.

My last visit of the season was for the fireworks, once again we were blessed with a few fastracks which meant we could do all the major rides skipping 2 hour + queues. It was the first time I had seen the fireworks and at the of the display I was left very impressed. The day was rounded off with a ride on The Smiler in the dark which was a fitting way to end the day along with the usual trip to McDonalds in Uttoxeter! Unfortunately I could only be on the park briefly on the Sunday which was a shame as it sounded like I missed out on a great day.

I would like to say thanks to all the team who put an incredible amount of effort in to keep the site running as smoothly as it does and to all the members who I have met on meets who make it such an enjoyable community to be part of.

Special thanks go to Adz, Danny, Dom, Emma, John, Hursty, Kim, Kirsty, Michelle, Lakey, Lee, Luce, Martin, and Roodlesnouter for making me feel so welcome.

Roll on 2014 and more TT fun! 
Last edited by Alex on Sun Dec 01, 2013 4:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 2013 End Of Season Reviews

Mon Dec 02, 2013 10:43 pm

This year has been great with the opening of the smiler and scarefest was a huge success but what bugged me was the smiler and it's constant breakdowns but then again that's gerstlauer for you, but B&M could never pull off a 14 inversion coaster successfully... Plus they're more expensive...anyway good season all around
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Re: 2013 End Of Season Reviews

Wed Dec 11, 2013 7:44 am

This year has been cool, except on July 6th. I wasn't happy as we were in a traffic jam for 2 hours to see Little Mix and others at Alton Towers, then I missed most of it except LM, Rizzle Kicks, Labyrinth and Olly Murs. I was very disappointed with people in cars, I would've stayed in one of the hotels and I didn't go on every ride  :cry:

Edit: SPG ~Kimberley
Last edited by submission2001 on Wed Dec 11, 2013 9:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 2013 End Of Season Reviews

Fri Dec 13, 2013 4:27 pm

I think it has been a good year. With the opening of The Smiler it got quite busy and when I went to ride it I was queuing for 2 hours. I've had quite a few visits this year and The Smiler has broken down quite a few times :( But I've managed two rides on it :)

I also visited in Scarefest and for the Fireworks and I would have to say it was probably the best display I've ever seen at the park! :D

I'm looking forward to next year's season, there's a few young children in my family who I know will love the new CBeebies Land!  :P
Last edited by Alton Towers on Fri Dec 13, 2013 4:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 2013 End Of Season Reviews

Tue Dec 17, 2013 9:27 pm

2013 for me has seen what have been my best trips to the Alton Towers Resort. Not necessarily for the attractions, but more to do with the people I have been able to share this season with.

Having first heard about The Smiler towards the end of 2012 I decided 2013 would be the perfect opportunity to return to Alton Towers for the first time in almost three years. The original plan was to visit in the Easter Holidays, however as it became clear that The Smiler wouldn’t be ready I decided to postpone my trip until the June half term.

It was searching for information on The Smiler that led me to Towers Times and the great updates on the various elements of construction, and my first posts on this forum. Like many other members I looked forward to the big opening day in May, but was hugely disappointed when it came and The Smiler was still under construction. When it became clear that it wouldn’t be opening until the end of the month I once again decided to postpone my planned trip, meaning it would be August before I got the opportunity to ride The Smiler.

My first visit to the park came in august when I went with my family. After all the waiting and anticipation we headed to The Smiler first. I’ve posted a detailed review in the relevant topic, but I have to say I did enjoy my first ride on the coaster I’d waited so long to experience (however how much of that was down to the fact it was my first ride on a coaster in 2/3 years is difficult to tell.) What this visit did do was remind me just how much I enjoy the whole theme park experience, and made me determined to find a way to visit more often. It was really this visit that was the catalyst for me becoming more involved in TT.

My next visits to the park were a series of firsts for me. The TT Scaremazing event was my first ever experience of Scarefest, and my first time stopping in the AT hotels. Despite being maybe a little bit nervous to start with any nerves soon disappeared and I had a fantastic weekend. There are too many highlights for me to list them all here, from the talk to extreme zombies, but I will definitely be looking to do Scarefest again next year.

The final visit for me was the last day of the season for my first ever experience of Alton Towers’ Fireworks. Not knowing what to expect this turned out to be the best trip of the season for so many reasons. I could not have asked for a better group of people to share it with, and to top it off the fireworks were easily one of the best displays I have seen.

When I first signed up to TT I never imagined it would lead to the fantastic experiences I have had this year. I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has made me feel so welcome, there are too many names to list but you know who you are ;) . I really feel I have made some fantastic new friends who I hope to share many more trips with, both to AT and other parks.

So thank you to everyone who has shared this season with me and made it one to remember.

Here’s to a 2014 full of even  more memorable moments :D

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