The Season Begins

All week I've been looking at everybody getting geared up to head to the Towers on Saturday for opening day. Usually I'd be right there with everyone, but this year I had no plans to. This year's cut back opening hours meant we'd probably spend more time in the car than in the park and we were finding it hard to justify the journey. But Friday night came and jealousy got the best of me, so I pleaded with Conor for us to go and he said yes, so up early on a gorgeously bright Saturday for us as we jumped on the M1 to head to Alton Towers for the first time of the season!

We did our Facebook Live thing as usual, and I was getting a little worried seeing reports from those already there that loads of rides were down. Crap. Conor would hate me if we got all the way there and nothing was running! We pulled into the car park to find that the monorail wasn't running so joined the throngs of families to the entrance plaza where we had to join the back of some of the biggest queues I've ever seen at Alton. Good sign for them of course, but little frustrating having to queue 30 minutes before we'd even got inside.

Once inside we checked queue boards to see that the reports were true, lots of things broken down but luckily Nemesis was up running, so we jumped on the Skyride and headed towards the Forbidden Valley. Of course this gave a perfect birds eye view of the SW8 site. It's absolutely HUGE! When the Flume lived there it was hard to tell just how much space it took up, but honestly I'm so excited to see the coaster go up over the season.

Nemesis's extra queue was open, which was a little annoying but experience told me this probably wasn't more than a 20 minute wait, which turned out to be about right. We faffed and chatted and took some pics. The Nemesis monster has undergone some TLC and was really popping again! It's much more recognisable as an actual creature now as opposed to a fleshy muscly mass with claws, which is actually really cool. First ride of the day we plumped for second row. Honestly it was a little rattly but still forceful as hell. Love this ride.

We meandered over to Galactica, only to find it had been replaced with Air for the start of the season. Ie, there's currently no VR. I know I'm in the minority, but I never really rated Air (hair always got in my face, it's uncomfortable and just...meh) so was only really interested in the VR, so we gave it a miss and decided to wander down to Duel instead.

I haven't seen any reports of Duel having undergone any TLC this season, but there are DEFINITELY new smell pods in there and new cobwebs and stuff. Annoyingly it seems like a few more lights were on inside the attraction asa lot of the mechanics of the creatures were very clearly visible. Also on our run there was no 'ARE YOU SCARED OF SPIDERS?' Hopefully that was just a glitch on our ride through though as it'd be a huge shame if they've spited that!

Seeing as it was glorious blazing sunshine we thought it'd be rude to miss out on the Rapids so we headed down there next. Sadly the Runaway Mine Train was boasting a 35 min queue at this point which we just couldn't be bothered with. The rapids...what the hell have they done? The thing did not stop spinning, the rapids felt extra...rapidy and we got absolutely drenched! Good to see a water ride in the park that actually gets you wet now that the Flume has gone. Also, the exit bridge of the rapids gives an excellent view of both the new SW8 site and the old forest where the Flume used to slither through, with a lot of the troughs and bits and pieces still there for people who are interested in that sort of thing.

So, as I'm sure a lot of you know by now, the path from Katanga Canyon to Mutiny Bay is closed for this season due to SW8 things, so we had to go back up around Gloomy Wood to get around. Bit annoying, but obviously there for a reason and not permanent so meh. We stopped and had a bite to eat and caught up with some of the Towers Street guys before heading towards the Towers for a much anticipated ride on Hex!

Hex was out of action for TLC last season and it was very sorely missed. I was excited to see what changes had been made! The minute you step into the queue the changes are immediately noticeable. Spotlights on theming to pick out detail, more chains and black and yellow tape draped around the place and a newly restored sound system, it's a great impact as soon as you step inside the building! Further into the attraction, it seems that the special effects such as fog and the sparking generator as well as lighting and sound have all been tinkered with to make them better than ever.

The only annoying thing was a new smell pod which inexplicably smells of mouth wash. No idea what they're going for there, and admittedly it is a little jarring against the musty haunted house smell we're used to in there. Other than that the attraction is still an fabulous than ever and I'm glad to see it looked after.

We stopped in Dark Forest for a sec but both coasters had queues of over an hour which we just couldn't be bothered with, so instead we headed over to the X-Sector for a few rides on Oblivion. Sadly The Smiler was out for the day, no idea why! Oblivion was really packing a punch today. I would have preferred slightly more mist around the hole, but I still sat on the brake run having had my breath taken away. Fantastic ride. It doesn't do much but it does it so well.

By now we'd ridden everything we wanted, so we just had a wander around enjoying the sunshine. The park was looking absolutely stunning and I'm so glad we made the choice to head up instead of sitting in the flat all day! It was getting late now so we decided to head over to Forbidden Valley again for a few more rides on Nemesis before calling it a day. On our way back over we bumped into none other than Andy Rumney and Chris from Backseat Blackout! I knew these guys were on park and had been keeping my eyes peeled all day so I'm so glad we managed to catch each other!

This time round Nemesis was walk on so we queued a little extra for front row which was SO much better than I remembered. On the way back out I heard somebody call 'JORDAN!' Turned around and realised it was Ryan, who had been watching our Facebook Live earlier and who kindly offered to let us jump on back row using his Ride Access Pass! Thanks so much Ryan and it was fab meeting you!

We were going to go for one more ride on Oblivion but then decided we couldn't be bothered so started to make our way out. I'm so glad we decided to head up to Alton Towers for the day. The weather was great, the queues for the things we wanted to ride were absolutely fine and it was amazing meeting so many Cupcakes and Coasters readers and some of the guys from the Facebook theme park groups! It's really got me geared up for an amazing 2017 season now and I can't wait to get to visiting my next park.

Talk later xoxo,