You Know It's The Opening Day Of A Major New Coaster When

In case you've been in a coma for the past week or so, you'll most likely be aware that this weekend marked the opening day of one of the most anticipated new coasters of 2018 - Wicker Man at Alton Towers Resort. Yh, yh, we know it didn't exactly go to plan - I won't bore you with the details as if you're reading this you likely already know what happened, the UK randomly decided to plummet to negative temperatures FOR THIS WEEKEND ONLY, meaning the coaster couldn't run. A shame, yes, but Alton did their bloody damnedest, and honestly it ended up being one of my favourite visits to the park in a while.

But anyway, that's not what we're here to talk about today. Oh no. See, I write a calendar of blog ideas about a month in advance, and I've had this idea for a while. And whilst, sure, things didn't exactly pan out as most of us had intended them to, I still found a lot of these tropes to be true from my visit to the park for the opening of Wicker Man. Here's seven sign you know it's the opening day of a major new coaster!

Social Feed Takeover
Let's not pretend a) we're not all guilty of it and b) that we're not all stuck in a slight vicious cycle of seeing the same images over and over from different pages but also not being able to get enough. Yh, days like this see our social feeds absolutely trashed with the same photo of the same coaster over and over again - from the people actually visiting the park to ride to those sharing it and getting excited to those bitching they DON'T CARE ABOUT *insert coaster name here* and to PLEASE STOP SHARING THE SAME DAMN PICTURE.'s a cool picture, no? Basically, on days like this, if you don't want to join in with the excitement of finally seeing the thing in person for the first time and hence sharing pics, best just to take a step back, because I promise you they ain't going anywhere anytime soon.

Coaster Club Logos
I really wish I'd created a coaster club bingo card to bring with me to Alton Towers Resort today (note to self - create one for Icon opening day). From glimpsing Andy Hine in his RCCGB jacket in the car park, to bumping into the TTSP guys in the admissions plaza, to Annual Passholders aplenty and everybody else in between, you literally couldn't take more than a few steps without bumping into another logo that you're usually only used to seeing on your social feeds.

I absolutely LOVE the way everybody so proudly represents their clubs, wearing them like a badge of pride, braving the crowds and taking in the excitement as we all join together to take in the same experience. It's fab.

Cameras Everywhere
The reason for the first point being a thing - everybody and their mother has a camera in hand. From the hardcore vloggers gathering all the content they can (and some even editing it overnight to ensure they're the first to upload, shout out The Jack Silkstone you hero!) to the more casual enthusiast snapping away on their phone to update their Instagram story, everybody is hard at it photography-wise on days like these. It also means that you'll more than likely end up in a million photographs taken by other groups visiting on the day and spend your evening untagging yourself from the more vile ones haha.

Excitement In The Air
The buzz on the admissions plaza this morning was just so wonderful. I feel like we haven't had a 'big' coaster opening day since 2012 and The Swarm, so it's a feeling I've really missed! Because of the added weather drama, the plaza was absolutely abuzz with excitement and anticipation. Rumours were flying around at every angle: "Did you hear, GCI were apparently testing the coaster all night to ensure it runs!" "Well, Alton have just updated on their social media confirming nothing will open today" "Actually my mate works here and he's told me they're planning a 12PM opening!"

So much fun watching everybody just twitching to get inside the park and hopefully get the chance to ride. Sadly that wasn't the case for us today, but honestly the excitement was so palpable and infectious that we really didn't mind!

The Gift Shop Is Rammed
Ah, enthusiasts. We bloody love a bit of merch don't we? And what do we love more than merch? NEW MERCH FOR THE NEW RIDE! Just take our money! OK, again, you can put this largely down to the fact the ride was closed, but damn, the gift shop was absolutely chock-a-block with coaster geeks as far as the eye could see, and by 12PM pretty much every enthusiast I saw on park was clutching some sort of carrier bag with them for the rest of the afternoon. We're so easy to market to haha.

This one is for the poor lambs who couldn't make it to opening day for one reason or another. As the pics and excitement take over your news feed you feel that utter despair - the one known as Fear Of Missing Out. The absolute worst feeling, and the one that spurred me to attend today despite knowing the coaster probably wasn't going to run. I just couldn't live with myself if I'd been sat at home and by some miracle it had actually operated! It's also the reason that so many of us flock to these opening days in the first place - we all want to be the first, we all want to ride and give our opinions and join in the chat with our friends both online and in real life, you'll basically just be left behind if you don't, so best to ride as soon as possible to keep up with the crowd.

Those who manage to avoid this feeling are the true heroes among us - how the hell you manage to resist it I'll never know, but I do salute you!

The GP Look Out Of Place
I hate the term GP, but it's so relevant here. Those poor families, who just wanted a nice day out together suddenly finding themselves surrounded by swarms and droves of excitable and ferocious coaster enthusiasts, cameras at the ready barging and charging their way to the new ride. And they haven't the foggiest bloody clue what's going on, but you notice their grip on their three-year-old daughter tighten ever so slightly as a vlogger rushes past them proclaiming wildly how excited they are to be visiting that day. "Maybe we should have just gone to the zoo instead?" they ponder.

It's an absolute phenomenon to behold, and one I absolutely adore being part of. There's nothing I look forward to more than a new ride opening day and I can't wait to experience it all again next weekend when I head back up to the Towers to finally ride Wicker Man!

Talk later xoxo,