After arriving at Alton Towers, full of hope and joy and happiness for the day ahead, planned for a good friend’s birthday, disaster struck. As we vacated the car and took in the fresh Alton air, something alarming caught our attention. I thought to myself “Are those people queuing for a bus? But why?”. Alton Towers always seems to make a big deal about it’s Monorail system. I’d even go as far as to say it’s an integral part of the whole “experience”, arriving at the Theme Park entrance in style, ready for the magic.
As I sat there on the shuttle bus, from the car park to the entrance I pictured the adrenaline pumping fun I’d soon be having, checking out the wonderful gardens from the sky ride, dropping off the edge of Oblivion and building up speed on Rita faster than a amphetamine addict with a shovel. Anticipation only built further after successfully getting to ride Nemesis and Air within minutes of each other, we were truly pumped for our day out.
Unfortunately that’s about all Alton Towers had to offer. The Gardens were closed to the public, as was every other ride worth actually visiting for. Oblivion, Rita, River Rapids, the Log Flume and even the ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ attraction had all been rubbed in our faces throughout the day, via adverts covering every square inch of the Park. Though the only open rides seemed to be catered to children of so young an age it seemed almost both a waste of time and money them even being there; sure they’d have fun on the day but they won’t remember it.
Every single last decent fast food franchise seems to have also pulled out of the Park, leaving behind the withered shells of previously great establishments. Where Alton Towers previously boasted the giants of the fast food world such as Pizza Hut and McDonalds, they now somehow think it’s acceptable to instead present us with ‘Pizza ‘n Pasta’ and ‘Burger Kitchen’. Sure, I ate my Pizza and Pasta but it tasted as bitter as I did inside.
We also go the chance to go on Hex, which as just as dull as it’s always been and begs the question “Why?”. The same old story based ride as usual with the same dubious plot line and completely unrelated ride section as always. Though they have changed one thing. Instead of walking through a lovely garden on exiting the ride, you’re now ushered down a fire escape style path as quickly as possible, like cattle going into an abattoir.
Despite Alton Towers, today, being one of the most bitterly disappointing experiences of my entire life, we still managed to have a reasonably great day. With the Gardens being off limits it gave us all the chance to partake in some wholesome trespassing. Because no other members of the public were daring enough to simply ignore a signpost, we were able to take in the whole landscape of the Gardens without the view being littered with people that, for the most part, really don’t look heathy enough to be walking through any part of nature without some form of stand-by medical assistant. That was pretty nice.
The next time I return, things had better be in order or stern words shall be spoken.