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"Fireworks & Faff Finale" Reports, Alton Towers, 6 Nov 16

Discussion in 'CoasterForce Live' started by Ian, Nov 8, 2016.

  1. Ian

    Ian From CoasterForce Staff Member Administrator Moderator Social Media Team CF Award Winner 2016

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    If there has ever been a more apt name for a Live, I've yet to hear it.

    We didn't seem to do many rides - Nemesis about 4 times, Galactica once, Oblivion twice, the rapids (I got soaked!) and Duel. Rita was closed when we went to Dark Forest. Th13teen had an 80min queue. Smiler was 90mins all day (whenever we went to look) and, well, that's really all there is to do at Alton Towers at the moment.

    I rode Nemesis three times during the day (morning, afternoon and evening), and with the exception of the second row ride in the afternoon, I found it underwhelming. It's still by far the best coaster in the UK but perhaps the recent GhosterForce trip had spoiled me. I'm not saying I think it's crap - because it's not, it's brilliant - but it failed to thrill me in the same way it has done in the past. Oblivion's drop still excites me although I found the lift hill to be very vibratey. Never really noticed that before. Galactica....hmmm...best VR coaster I've been on so far but I prefer Air (See my soon to posted reply in the topic). The rapids were on point during the visit! I have never got so wet. A massive wave soaked me and I felt cold and damp for the rest of the day, but the Guniness I had a lunch kept me smiling through it. Duel was ok. I didn't bother shooting but enjoyed the ghost train aspect of it.

    The fireworks were amazing. Not as good as last year mind (because last year they were goony!) but they were still awesome. They were themed to a Galactica (urgh) and the story was a space captain's daughter (comically called Luna) accidentally blasts off into space and has to get back through worm holes, fighting bad guys (excellent reference to Space Invaders computer game though!) and blah blah. I cannot stand sickly, annoying children in films, shows, or anything I'm trying to enjoy. Whenever I watch Jurassic Park, I spend the entire time wanting to punch the girl in the face and don't get started on that lispy child bitch in Miracle on 34 Street (whatever it's called, the one with Father Christmas), so imo they could have done away with Luna and just had the astronaut fly the thing though space. But the fireworks themselves were excellent, and when the Hall of The Mountain King plays, it feels so magical.

    Lovely to see everybody as always, and to meet Tom and Howie's partners. I also enjoyed the evening at the AT Hotel and the couple of hours at the water park the following day. Alton Towers fireworks will now become a yearly thing, replacing UK GhosterForce. It's the best way to see out the season, and the rides (the few you can get on due to huge queues) do play second fiddle to the fireworks and faff I enjoy with CF.
     
    nadroJ likes this.
  2. nadroJ

    nadroJ Well-Known Member

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    Didn't take any pics because I'm a burden and left my camera memory card at home like a twat. Last year Alton fireworks were nothing short of epic so couldn't wait to get back up and see the season out! We joined everybody at around midday and rode Oblivion after Rita broke down (spite) and Thirt33n (or whatever) had an 80 min queue (lol nah mate).

    Oblivion was fab as always but we actually had to queue?! Maycock handed out some stale Halloween shugs and we faffed and chatted and moaned about how cold it was and complained about how awful the new CF font is and how clearly the two are linked. Sat on the usually dry rapids, made distasteful jokes about Dreamworld and lolled when Ian got absolutely doused. Went on HUUUERRRGGHHHHH next (aka Duel). We broke down but not in a fab bit with loads of orange dots so not a huge boost of score womp womp.

    Did Nemesis at some point and acquired a Howie and Mrs Howie. Had to use the extended queue (ew) but meant we got EXCLUSIVE RARE photo ops. Burdened the GP by spending ages waiting for the train to go past to get the perfect shot. Moaned when we were assigned middle row seating and how Taron has spoiled us all. Stood in front of Hex talking about how we'd probably be riding it now if it were open before mincing over to Oblivion for one last ride-in-the-dark (ie better).

    Then took up our place for fireworks. Best place is closer to the screen, on the grass. Quickest exit is back through Forbidden Valley near Galactica. Rides are open til 9PM so don't leave just yet. Grabbed some awful discounted tat and overpriced junk food to pass the time before fireworks. Not as good as last year due to lack of goony theme and addition of Extremely Irritating Luna. Not enough Eve, boo! Storyline was camp and ridiculous and the alien was defs a drag queen. Fabulous Bowie section and good mix of music types, although they didn't actually do any fireworks to the Galactica soundtrack? Weird. Hall of the Mountain King finale was epic of course!

    Ended the night shuffling along with the GP and slithering of with the rest of the enthusiasts for last-ride-of-the-season on Nemesis. Love the goon filled station at this time of night <3

    Spent the evening being twats in the hotel, making new enthusiast friends in the bar and running away from security horror maze style. Next day we did Splash Landings (weirdly this was my first time despite being at the Towers so often!) Actually a lot fabber than I thought it'd be, although busier than expected. Highlights were MASSIVE BUCKET, spiting the small child on the stairs and running away from the angry mum, fabulous yet freezing outdoor bit and Conor forgetting his pants.

    It's been an excellent season and so glad ending it with Fireworks and Faff at the Towers has become a thing. Bring on 2017!
     
  3. davidm

    davidm Well-Known Member

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    Just a quick little TR (been distracted by still doing a big-TR from October) - wasn't really trying to take any pics, so theres just
    a few rubbish ones to pad this out a bit...

    Very nice day at Alton's last operating day of the season - ta to all who attended for a generally low-on-faff, relatively relaxed day
    at the park. :)

    --

    I turned up a bit early as I had some ticket faff to sort out and parked up at the hotels, but then the monorail wasn't running (ice on
    the track) so burdenous trek through the car parks to the entrance. After Q ing for about 15mins they eventually opened the gates
    and once through spotted Mushy at the meet up point.

    BUT I had good reason to turn up early, as I had a +1 to get that I (rightly) suspected would not make it into the full day's itinerary -
    shamefully not having been to the Towers for 3 years, I needed the Octonauts Rollercoaster Adventure kiddie cred...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    It was awesome - had to explain myself to some woman in the Q with her kids that I was only riding so I never had to ride it ever again,
    not sure she really understood. ;)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Met up with the rest of the goons after that and we made our way to Air Galactica so those who had not rode it in VR-mode (like
    me) could see what the fuss was about.

    It was a LOT better that the only other VR-coaster I've ridden (@SFoG)) - in that the headset-faff was much better organised, the VR
    itself was a lot better (better synced to the ride), and better headsets. Loading wasn't super-slow, but was apparent that the ops
    had to be on-their-game, making the two stations run in sync and there were swarms of ops (as opposed to back in the Air-days).

    Despite the VR being quite good, I came off thinking that I hadn't really ridden a roller coaster, I'd just done some VR. The whole
    experience could have been done in a shed with a roboarm for example.

    So even done well (arguably) this VR-on-a-coaster fad is still, hopefully, a marketing gimmic that the GP will tire of. I don't think
    I'd object to it on a dull-kiddy-ride to spice them up a bit, but on a fully fledged proper coaster, its taking away from the
    experience not adding to it. Hmmmm.

    ORP snapped from the monitors, me not looking convinced and Tom just looking confused. But of course its NOT an ORP at all is it, its just
    a snap they take in the Q line. Pah.

    [​IMG]

    We rode Nemesis a couple of times then, because Nemesis! Had started raining; front row Nemesis in the rain - awesome (real
    awesome, not fake-awesome like the kiddy creds ;) )

    Burdenous Q for the sky ride in the rain then to make it over to Rita-land to meet up with late-goons, Rita was closed though and
    Thirteen had a huge Q (absorbing the displaced Rita Q no doubt), so we all trekked over to Oblivion instead. (Smiler had a
    big Q too)

    Boo;

    [​IMG]

    Everyone seems to like Oblivion, apart from me that is. Not that I don't like it, drop is nice, its just doesn't do anything after that
    one thing. Then you sit on the break run for about 5 minutes longer than you've had on the interesting part of the ride.

    Lunch was called, kebabs (mostly) were eaten, rapids ridden by those stupid enough to want to ride water rides in the UK in November.

    Duel was next I think, stupid LEDs ruining the otherwise cool Haunted House (in my opinion), then we trekked back to the valley to
    meet up with even later-coming-goons.

    Extra-Q on Nemesis then allowing access to the magic-photo-spot, but faffed with my camera so no magic-photo from me, sorry.

    [​IMG]

    Big Q meant many goons trying to take pics of Nemesis in the gloom, not sure anything really worked for me.

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    Plan was to get in the Q for Smiler then, before they shut it for the fireworks, but by the time we'd trekked over, it was already
    shut, so headed into Oblivion (yay?) again - which was a long Q, but coasters in the dark (was dark by now) are always better - think
    they must have shut that Q just behind us as well.

    Was still best part of an hour before the fireworks, but everyone was gathering on the grass (to be honest I didn't realise that they
    were going to shut down half the park so early), so we all hung about faffing in the shops, Q-ing for dodgy takeaway food - think they
    missed a trick here as some of the food Qs were huge - could have got a load more food trucks in there and made a killing.

    Fireworks-show started around 7, some video preshow faff going on (Space, bratty kid steals dad's spaceship or something) was a bit
    concerned that the bright lights on the stage/screen would cause issues

    [​IMG]

    But turned out the screen itself was see-thru - when they turned the lights off it kinda vanished - thought that was clever.

    [​IMG]

    Fireworks started - were very good, lasted about 25 minutes. Tried to watch them rather than take pics of them, but did snap a few.

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    Crowds dispersed, we all trekked back to Nemesis, because Nemesis-in-the-dark! (think we lost Howie&Mrs somehow at that point, but they
    turned up at the bar later :) )

    Nemesis-in-the-dark is great - I've ridden in the front row in the dark in the rain before now and that was my best ride on it ever, but
    any ride on it is good, and any ride in the dark is extra-good. :)

    [​IMG]

    Energy/enthusiasm was draining by then, so we retreated to the (hotel) bar at that point, taking advantage of the secret exit to the
    park rather than having to trek back to the entrance again. Also close-up view of Air Galactica's themeing, which you obviously
    are not even aware of on the ride. Silly ride.

    [​IMG]

    Those checking into the hotel checked in and joined up at the bar with those who were just (sensibly) waiting for traffic to die down
    a bit.

    Nothing very magical about my room, generic bland hotel, hmmm.

    [​IMG]

    Goon-spotting in the hotel bar then happened for a while, until they closed the bar at 11 and we went to the other hotel's bar instead
    which was still open for a few more hours. Not really sure of much of the detail of those few hours - alcohol, goons, that sort of
    thing.

    In the morning those who were still in the hotel had a few hours in the waterpark - no pics of that obviously, noone wants to see
    goons in their swimming gear do they! - that was all good though - bit silly being in the outdoor slides and pools in November though
    (sorry, not"silly", "f***ing stupid cold" is what I really mean)

    So that was that - nice day and a half out. (and +1)

    Same time next year?
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2016
    Howie likes this.
  4. Ian

    Ian From CoasterForce Staff Member Administrator Moderator Social Media Team CF Award Winner 2016

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    Yes, definitely same time next year. I need the giant tipping bucket in and the fireworks in my life again.

    The bucket was my water park highlight.

    "What shall we do next?"
    "The bucket!"

    "Quick, the bucket is about to go!"

    "The bucket last went about 4mins ago. If we go there now we can enjoy the bucket."

    I really liked the bucket.
     
  5. Howie

    Howie Well-Known Member

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    Bit quiet on this thread innit? Not the outpouring of love seen on the Sweden and Ghosterforce threads. Whassup, did nobody enjoy it?
    To be fair though, there isn't actually that much to report. It was Alton Towers. On one of the busiest days of their season. With a whole bunch of rides out of action.
    In the cold.
    We've all been there countless times, we know the drill. Lots of walking, lots of queueing, lots of standing around, lots of faff, more walking, more queueing... and cold.
    Makes you wonder why we even bothered really.
    Well, for me it was one reason and one reason alone; I wanted to see my geeky goony internet friends again.
    I joined CF about 2 years ago, but this year was the first season I started coming along to CF Lives, and I gotta tell ya, it's been a blast! My best season ever, in fact. Not just in terms of new parks, new creds and new adventures... but altogether just more fun. Hanging out with fellow goons and doing goony things in goony places - it's just ace! Wish I'd have joined years ago.
    It was also nice that Mrs Howie got to meet you all.
    When I first told her I wanted to go to a theme park with a bunch of strangers I met on the internet, there were some raised eyebrows to say the least.
    When I then said I wanted to go to Sweden for four days, sharing cars and hotel rooms and stuff with the same bunch of strangers, those eyebrows went up even further. "What if they're a bunch of weirdos?" She said, "Y'know, swingers and fetishes n stuff. What if you wake up in the night and they're all watching over you, softly chanting?"
    "It's ok" I said, "most of them are fairly normal...."

    Well, I'm happy to confirm that in the car on the way home, Mrs Howie said "Your geeky friends are really nice hon, I had a really nice day."
    So boom to that!
    "Does that mean I'm allowed to go on more park trips next year?" I said.
    "Yes" she said "Go on as many as you want, they seem cool."
    So double boom to that!

    So once again, a big thank you to everyone I've met over the season and for helping to make 2016 such a hoot. Can't wait for next season!
    Special mention to our illustrious leader Ian who, on a chance encounter in 'Murica back in 2014, invited me to join the forum in the first place. If it wasn't for that fateful meeting, I probably wouldn't even be here, so thanks buddy!

    See you all soon.

    PS - the fireworks were pretty good too.
     
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  6. Tomatron

    Tomatron Well-Known Member

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    Finally managed to make it to a CF-Live this year, and was great to see some old faces and meet some new ones.

    After a late night DJing, Liz and I got up at 7am-ish and dragged ourselves to Alton Towers via McDonalds breakfast for a bowl of porridge and a flacid McBacon Roll. Haven't had one in about 10 years and now I remember why. Got to Alton Towers just before 10 to find no-one showing you where to park and a spiteful monorail. So one shortcut around the hotel parking and a cold walk the entrance later, and we met up with the group at the bottom of Towers Street.

    After introducing Liz to everyone, we made our way over to Galactica, which was much better than my last ride in August - mostly because my VR headset didn't cut off halfway around. I'm still not a massive fan; it's improved Air in some areas and ruined it in others. We then walked up the hill to ride the much better, non-VR Nemesis, which was still running really well after 22 years. There's other coasters that have probably pushed it outside of my top 10 now, but it still has something to it that almost none of the newer Alton creds don't have. It's a shame they often spite the back row, but I've done enough back row rides to last me a lifetime.

    The rain came just after our second Nemesis ride, and after wait for some of the group to do a front row ride in the rain, the group made our way to the Skyride. The queue-line (or should I say Sue-line, because it was that burdenous) was brightened up quite literally by Chris Brown doing a science lesson with a Pringle and one of the four elements that wasn't water, wind or earth. After finally making it to the other side, we met up with Jordan, Conor & Ben next to a broken-down Rita and an 80 minute queue for Thirteen. Whilst both were funny in their own way, riding/queuing for them wasn't am option, so we took a stroll round to Oblivion for a ride. Even though almost every other Dive Machine built since has either more inversions, is bigger or a combination or both, this one is still a great ride.

    It was now lunch time, the cue for having a greasy kebab and a :emoji_poop:load of doughnuts. Suitably full, we walked round to the rapids where myself, Liz and the Manchester Davids became bag ladies, laughed at the insane queue for the Pizza/Pasta buffet and waited to see which person would step off one of the least wet rapids going utterly drenched while everyone else was dry as a bone. Ian from Coasterforce came off looking like he'd gone around the rapids by himself without a raft. Sadly I wasn't on the ball to make an inappropriate rapids joke, and we headed for Duel to shoot some LEDs attached to lots of animatronics. Got the highest score I've had in ages thanks to the ride stopping next to about 3 of the orange lights to help bump my score up.

    We then headed for Nemesis again and while going round part of the old queue line and not stacking it on the slippy stairs, Ian informed me that I was the CoasterForce member of the week on the interweb. Felt pretty fab seeing myself and my goon stats on the CF Facebook & Twitter! As for the ride, it has now got even quicker then earlier as per usual, and after a flying lap we walked over to the X-Sector to ride Smiler before the queues closed. Sadly, the Smiler then became the Spiter as the line had shut early on us, as the ride was one of those in the possible firework debris zone. So we did another ride on Oblivion before that closed and then headed over to the lawn at the bottom of Towers Street to watch the fireworks. The group got a nice spot dead centre near the back of the lawn, and with filthy pork baguette and coffee in hand, the show was ready to start.

    I was really impressed with the fireworks. Even though the back story was a cheesy plot about a young girl who accidentally takes a spaceship on a galactic voyage based around a certain rollercoaster, the production was excellent and had some great musical accompaniment including a Daft Punk medley and a David Bowie section. And with the Alton Towers theme closing out the display, I actually felt like some of that never-ending magic the park used to vehemently sell itself on had returned. The amazing night ride on Nemesis before the park closed certainly put the icing on the cake.

    Last ride done, we headed out of the park through the Forbidden Valley exit and walked over the the Alton Towers hotel, where we procured a few tables at the bar for the CF group and had a drink before heading back to Manchester. Was a shame to leave because I would have loved to have stayed for a few more drinks and done the waterpark the next day. Liz and I had a brilliant time with some great people, and we'll try our hardest to do more CF Lives next year. As fun as the CF-Lives at Thorpe and Chessie and getting smashed at the Travelodge were, they've had their day. Will defo be booking a hotel room next year so I can get drunk with goons and not have to worry about going to work on Monday.
     
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