Feed the Flames at Alton Towers

Feed the Flames at Alton Towers

IMG_2315Guys, I did it!

I went on the Wicker Man, after admiring the ride in a blizzard two weekends ago. And boy, I am impressed.

Alton Towers have done themselves proud to make this ride a great addition to the line-up. I would even put it up there with Nemesis, and that is saying something! It’s definitely been a long time coming since we got a woodie in this country. GCI (Great Coasters International) do make some impressive wooden coasters: Troy and Wodan, I am looking at you. I was very much looking forward to experiencing this for the first time.

 

“FIRST IMPRESSIONS – WOW!”

Obviously, I have already admired the coaster in it’s ‘glory’ whilst the snow fell very hard during ‘opening’ weekend. But when you have the audio in the area as well as the effects of the theming element, you start to feel immersed in the experience. The theming of the fences in the area and the Wicker Man entrance sign – LOVE IT! Also worth noting that the area does get very smokey.

The theming details inside the building was fantastic, the walls are made of actual wicker! It is just like being transported into another realm – and as a theme park enthusiast, we like this sort of immersion and detail. The flame effects of the fire torches are a nice touch too. Once you get into the pre-show area, I enjoyed it. I’m not going to post any spoilers but seeing the reactions from the General Public, it really adds to the anticipation and enjoyment of the experience.

Now don’t get my started on THAT station. In a good way I might add! Honestly, it was on par with some European parks in my opinion. Seriously, Merlin has done a great job with this ride and really making it as detailed as possible. The lighting within the station, I do like me some good lighting at a theme park.

 

“GREAT JOB TO THE RIDE TEAM!”

One thing I did notice that affected throughputs is the number of guests that are perhaps a little ‘large’ for the ride. Not too sure why this is a significant problem – certainly didn’t see this as a problem at European parks with the likes of Troy at Toverland and Wodan at Europa Park. Unless I am very much mistaken, please do correct me if I am wrong.

Hopefully with the addition of the test seat, this may help to avoid this issue becoming a significant. I must praise the ride team for doing their utmost best to get every guest on the ride but sometimes, safety does come first. Fab job guys, despite the breakdowns that the ride experienced during the course of the weekend, you were amazing!

In total I managed to get 7 rides on Wicker Man across Saturday and Easter Sunday, that just shows you how much I enjoyed it. I managed to get myself as close to the back as I could and front row – I think riding towards the back gives you the best chance of airtime however I did enjoy riding front row, just to experience all the elements coming right at you.

 

Just one more thing, that downwards S-bend after the second airtime hill… FAVOURITE ELEMENT OF THE WHOLE RIDE. 

I didn’t get a chance to go in the main queue line, and I know there are some good theming elements and photo opportunities of the ride but I hope to go through it at some point when I make a return trip. Yep, Alton Towers has given me more reason to make a return visit before Scarefest! I actually cannot wait to ride this in the dark – yes, I have seen some spoilers of the lighting within the area and WOW, October can’t come around soon enough.

That’s all for now!

LOTTIE TRAVELS

 

 

Let it Snow at Alton Towers

Let it Snow at Alton Towers

IMG_2194What can I say about this weekend just gone?

It certainly did not go to plan with the cold temperatures, wind and snow halting most of the park from opening. However, I can now say I have experience Alton Towers in a blizzard. Seriously, the most surreal feeling was looking at a new rollercoaster whilst the snow fell really hard and turning myself into a snowwoman.

Yes, it was a pain that I drove 3 hours or so with a glimmer of hope that the new ride, Wicker Man would be open but, in all honesty, I thought this weekend was just as fun as a standard weekend at Towers. The snow added to the atmosphere and I must give a shout out to the Entertainments team for doing a smashing job in the freezing cold conditions. Especially when one of the Beoman’s told us ‘The Wicker Man’ was ill in the snow!

 

The number of geeks who had travelled to the park alongside myself were all in high spirits and had some hope that maybe the zero temperature would rise enough for the coasters to open! I don’t know what it is that makes visiting a theme park more fun in adverse weather, maybe it is the fact that it is unpredictable but it’s about the dedication from enthusiasts who still visit despite knowing what the weather would hold for us.

With the park open from 10am to 3pm, the only rides available were CBeebies Land, Sharkbait Reef, Mutiny Bay (Heave Ho and Marauders Mayhem) and Hex. Of course, with Hex being open, at least we got to ride something at the weekend? Their hotels were fully open along with the water park in Splash Landings and Rollercoaster Restaurant. I have to say; Alton Towers did a smashing job despite the crazy weather on Saturday. Yes, most of the park was shut but honestly, they did what they could and I’m sure, if the temperature was a bit milder, Wicker Man would have opened!

It was nice to see a few familiar faces during the weekend, including Jordan (Cupcakes and Coasters), TTSP, TowersNerd, Theme Park Guide etc. I will be back in a few weeks’ time so I can ride Wicker Man – that theming structure looks incredible! To those heading this weekend for the ‘grand opening’, hope you all have a smashing time!

That’s all for now!

LOTTIE TRAVELS