Alton Towers

We arrive on time for a 10am opening time and promptly join out first queue of the day to catch the monorail into the park. Luckily it turns out to be pretty much the only queue of the day and we even get some lovely sunny weather.

After enjoying some rush hour traffic on our route to Alton and then some tiny country village roads on the way to Alton Towers - which must be chaos in peak season, we manage to arrive for opening. We head to the monorail station next to the car park and straight into a large queue to get on it. I think at this point we both sort of dreaded that this was a sign of the day to come but it turned out not to be the case and the park was relatively empty.

With a £50 per person entry fee there's no way we would have come normally but we had converted some airmiles into park tickets so for us it was effectively a free day which is awesome, especially as I'm visiting only as chaperone and photographer while the other half plays on all the rollercoasters which for those interested and planing on visiting I'll be naming them as I go along.

We head for the rollercoasters at back of the park first and Andrew walks straight onto Rita. Thirteen is right next door but doesn't open till 11 but our timing is perfect so Andrew walks straight onto that one too. As well as the theme park being quiet there is also a queue skip system for single riders meaning there is pretty much never any time waiting.

Andrew on Oblivion

By lunch time Andrew had done 4 of Alton Towers "Big Six" along with a number of other smaller things and I had even gone on Hex which is sort of a haunted house attraction but one where its like the room is spinning and I just felt ill and had to look at the floor. I pretty terrible spooky story and horrid ride for me but the exit is through the actual Towers and its really cool. If we had had time I would have loved to explore the ruins of the house and the gardens as they are all very pretty.

Sonic Spinball

Our first attempt at The Smiler there is a technical error but unfazed we continue to go round all the rides with Andrew heading on Air, Ripsaw, Nemesis and Nemesis Sub Terra before I join him on a weird laser quest ghost train ride Duel and then I'm convinced to go on my first, and only, rollercoaster of the day;The Runaway Mine Train. Its a kiddies ride but still seemed pretty intense to me which Andrew found highly amusing. But I did go on it twice so not a total wimp.


Ripsaw
I also tag along on the River Rapids in the hope of not getting wet which would have been successful if other people hadn't sprayed me in the face with a water gun, I guess its supposed to be funny but other visitors can pay to shot those on the rapids with spray guns from the path but I didn't find getting sprayed in the face by strangers very amusing. Sinking to the water rides we head to The Flume which has little bit of a queue and the most horrid children even. A small child actually pushed and pushed me shouting "move" to try and skip us in the queue and when I didn't let him he kicked me in the leg! Can't imagine how horrid the queues must be in the busy seasons when you have loads of impatient children.

The flume we also get quite wet. In fact soaked to the skin wet and we end up splashing out (sorry) on the dryer machines which don't really work. So Andrew heads off the try The Smiler again a little soggy while I wait in the sunshine. This is really the only queue of the day. A 45min wait to get on but apparently it was pretty good. This leaves us with half an hour so we squeeze in another go on Rita and Thirteen before we head home.

The Smiler
Overall its definitely a good day but with the park only open from 10am to 4.30pm its a bit of a rush to get everything in. We we're lucky that the park was so quiet but even just wandering from one bit of park to another takes up a fair bit of time. Alton Towers do a second day ticket for £10 and I think if you wanted to go on everything or even just to get the most out the park on a busier day you definitely need it. We skipped a few smaller rides,didn't go to the children's ride sections and Andrew was always in the fast queue as a Single Rider and we only just got everything we wanted done.

As a non rollercoaster rider I agree with many reviews that there should be a supervisor type ticket price. If we had paid full price it would have been such a waste for me to go so it must be such a rip off for parents or grandparents who take the kids but don't ride anything at all themselves.

If rollercoasters are your thing then off peak times will definitely make your day worth it at Alton Towers and even if you're in a group the Single Rider queue will help you skip the lines if you don't mind not being next to a friend.

We manage to make it out the park fairly smoothly and even back to the hotel pretty quick and avoiding rush our traffic so we had a good day at Alton Towers skipping all the stresses that usually come with theme park trips. 

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