Whilst I love to plan holidays I did ask the family for their input into our road trip. Eldest teen decided on Alton Towers; requested as we’d evidently deprived them of a childhood by never visiting any of the Disney empires.
I had a great time at Alton Towers when I was a teenager. However, 30 years on, the prospect of visiting the theme park again filled me with dread. Knowing that the day was likely to consist of long queues we splashed out and bought fast track passes for the big rides. In the end the queues weren’t as bad as I thought they’d be on an August weekend but the passes definitely saved time.
In an attempt to save at least a few pounds I’d bought half price tickets via a Carex soap offer. The terms and conditions were clear. Soap bottles, one per discount ticket, must be presented at the entrance otherwise the tickets weren’t valid. I duly bought the bottles with me but managed to drop them whilst rummaging for my tickets. They clattered onto the floor and rolled across the entrance in front of other guests. As expected the teens were mortified by their very uncool mum.
I had no plans to go on the thrill rides as I get travel sick at the sight of a road bend. However I did enjoy Alton Towers newest ride, the Wicker Man. A rickety wooden rollercoaster with added fire effects. Afterwards, much to the teens disgust, we went on another tame rollercoaster, the Runaway Mine Train. They won’t admit it but I think it was more of a thrill than they expected. Choo choo!
We also rode Duel, a ghost train with laser guns, and the family took on the Congo River Rapids.
Then it was time for the big rides. The rest of the family ‘enjoyed’ Rita, TH13TEEN, Oblivion and Galactica. However, even the teens couldn’t face The Smiler, the world’s first 14 loop rollercoaster. My other half was made of sterner stuff and went on it alone, declaring it the best ride in the park. At the opposite end of the spectrum we were baffled by Hex, a walk through experience in the Towers with a strange rolling ride at the end of it.
Whilst the rest of the family were enjoying the big rides I wandered around the gardens. You wouldn’t pay to just visit the grounds but they were surprisingly good and the perfect antidote to the rest of the park. They were also devoid of visitors, aside from the odd middle-aged visitor, presumably also avoiding the rides.
We left the park around 6pm, having ridden all of the rides we’d wanted to. The teens loved the day but surprisingly it was my son who’d enjoyed it the most. He’d been ambivalent about going, whereas my daughter had been excited about it for weeks. It’s safe to say that I’m unlikely to be returning!
Back to our Airbnb in Bagnall for a second night. No evening walk, we walked enough miles at Alton Towers.