15th March 2008

Alton Towers (Alton, England)


Mark Riley
What a fantastic trip!

Thanks to all who joined the Party at the Towers this weekend.  I just hope that everyone had as much fun as I did!  Highlights for me were:

An 11am start.  It’s not often trips start so leisurely!

The Alton Towers Challenge.  To be honest I wasn’t sure how well this would work, but to see members searching the Gardens, Cred Street and the Dung Heap etc, for answers to the clues was great fun!  And the competitive spirit was well and truly alive during the results!

Coaster Corner.  For those who remember the old Beast and Mouse, it was fun to have a poke around the now dis-used area of the park.

Hex Behind the Scenes.  A few months ago I asked members what they’d like to do at Alton.  One of the most popular requests was to see the innards of Hex.  And that’s exactly what we saw.  Whilst some members enjoyed an effects and music free ride, the rest of us stood underneath the ride ‘drum’ and watched it go through its motions.  Seeing such a massive piece of kit being rolled like a tumble dryer was pretty cool!  The groups then swapped over.

Rita ERS.  Madness.  It was dark, it was raining, and it was a blast!  The launch room was also open for a nose around.  Rita in the dark really is something.

Ghost Hunt.  Armed with torches, we headed deep into the Towers with our guides.  Many members reported strangely-goings-on with shadows being seen and voices being heard.  Certainly a few on the trip were pretty freaked out!  This was something very different and proved to be a big highlight.

Those Towers really are spooky after dark!

Evening Buffet.  A fabulous feast awaited us back after our Ghostly tour.

The food at Alton just gets better and better.  And the bar was open (horray!).

Disco.  For those who wanted to dance (or drink) the night away, the party continued until midnight.  Plenty of fun was had – including with the helium balloons…

It was a very different and special trip – and I’m so pleased that so many people were able to make it a success.  Alton pulled out all the stops, and we will be looking at more elaborate trips in the future!  If you were on the trip and have any comments, please let me know as I’d love to hear them.

Richard Foster
What a great day (and evening!)

Really ace to some new faces there too..

Highlights for me included:

The Rita ERS – a “refreshing experience” in the rain, more like an industrial cleaning process than a ride. Very very exhilarating and the front seats were an utterly hilarious ow-that-hurts kind of ride. I’d forgotten the buzz its possible to get from repeat rides on a launched coaster. And it wasn’t just me that had that drug addict look in their eye as we rushed round for another ride. Ber-rilliant.

A surprisingly varied and good quality buffet. In addition to at least two hit dishes, we had cous cous, salad and cold meats!

I really enjoyed sitting chatting with members old and new in the evening, and even shaking a leg dancing at times 🙂 There was some very funny helium-related antics too..

All in all – a real success ..

Margaret Drinkwater
Congratulations to you and all at A.T. (and anyone else concerned) for coming up with an entirely different club trip to Alton Towers.

The later start time meant that I could drive there on the Saturday morning so saving time off work and hotel fees for a Friday night. I’m sure many appreciated this.

This trip day was different as it was not primarily about riding, although there was enough time to experience a few favourites in what was effectively half a day.  It was a chance to see other areas of the park often overlooked – I had not walked in the gardens for years.

What made the day really special was all that happened after the park closed.  That view of Hex from below whilst rotating was just amazing. The size and power of that drum in action!  Riding the front of Rita in the rain?  There is only one word to describe it – exfoliation.

The ghost walk was chilling in many ways.  How many had nightmares?

The hot buffet was beautifully presented with fresh food dishes and healthy options.  So different from what may be thought of as typical “theme park food”.  Delicious.

One final comment. How convenient to have a room to use as a base to go to at any time.  To be able to dump wet weather gear until needed, to drop off purchases, or just take a few minutes break with a free drink.  Thanks.

Congratulations on a fantastic trip experience.

Chris Simon
I echo the sentiments…a brilliant day.  Well thought out, well arranged by both the ECC and the Towers, and much appreciated. Rita in the dark is quite special, the ghost tour was atmospheric, and the Hex behind-the-scenes was awe-inspiring.

Shame about the weather…


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