Well, I suppose it's trip report time. There are no photos from me this time around as I was busy shooting video, but on the plus side the video is nearly finished and is rendering as I write this. Alton Towers I think we managed to make the most of a really busy day at Alton. I think most of the general public probably started the day with The Smiler and then moved on to mazes in the afternoon. We started off with the Runaway Mine Train and Duel en-route to Forbidden Valley, got Nemesis and Air out of the way early on and then progressed to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Hex before things got too busy. After Lunch, queues started to build up in the Dark Forest, which resulted in over and hour spent waiting for Th13teen. That was the only really burdneous wait of the day though, as later on after dark the queues for Oblivion and Nemesis were a lot more manageable. The peg game started on Towers Street, quickly escalated to the point where I was fishing pegs out of my camera bag before the morning ride on Nemesis and then took on a life of its own once the general public got involved in the Th13teen queue. The pegs continued to feature throughout all four days of the Live, but day one was definitely the highlight in that regard. After a couple of night rides on Nemesis, the group split and we went our separate ways. I had a while to wait until my taxi was due, so I ended up getting a night ride on Rita and then riding Hex again with a grand total of two other people in order to get out of the torrential rain. Afterwards, it was a quick taxi ride back to Stoke on Trent for an overnight stop before Drayton Manor. Drayton Manor I was a bit late arriving at Drayton due to the fact that trains are crap on Sundays mornings, but arrived at Drayton just in time to meet the other CFers faffing after coming off Apocalypse. Drayton was absolutely dead all day. Most coasters had a 5 minute or so queue. Most flat rides were walk on, and the wait was because the ride ops were waiting for more people to board the rides before running a cycle. Annoyingly, Bat on a Stick was closed all day, much to my disappointment as it's something of a Drayton Manor Live staple. Day two was very much a case of ploughing through the major rides, getting a few re-rides on Apocalypse and then calling it a day. Again I had a bit of time to kill waiting for Tomotron to arrive, but we were soon on our way down south, playing a load of tunes in the car and arriving in Tolworth in good time and good spirits before the storm hit. The rest of the evening involved myself, Ciall, Serena, Tom and Ian grabbing food from a nearby Subway and then chilling out in the hotel room and having a laugh for a few hours. Thorpe Park Due to the bad weather, Thorpe Park didn't open until around midday. This worked in our favour to be honest. I was glad of the lie in, and once we reached Thorpe, it was fairly quiet. Clearly the weather was keeping people away. This time the burdenous queue was for Saw, with wait times for other rides being minimal. Swarm was pretty bumpy in the back outside seat, but fun and smooth on an inside seat in the middle of the train. Inferno was running phenomenally well, giving its older cousin a run for its money. Stealth was amazing as always, but a lot more rattly than I remember it. X is interesting and much improved since its overhaul. Saw beat me to a pulp, but at least didn't leave me with a splitting headache this time around. Colossus was its usual self. Afterwards, it was time for the usual Tolworth Travelodge party. I would write more, but what happens at Tolworth stays at Tolworth... Chessington World of Adventures Chessington was pretty much as it usually is at Ghosterforce - incredibly busy, light on rides and heavy on antics. Over the course of the day we managed to get on most of the major rides with the exception of Bubbleworks and Black Buccaneer. We also checked out the new Hocus Pocus Hall, which was quite impressive with some interesting scenes, effects and actors. It's definitely aimed at a younger audience, but entertaining nevertheless. As for the antics, the Chessington day involved the annual faffle (where Ian "forgot" to bring the fleece... BOO!). The Lorikeets were on manic form, entertaining and terrifying CFers in equal measure. Ian's goon star competition led to seeing how many CFers could fit into a Tuk Tuk (to which the answer is "lots"), and the glow sticks certainly came out in force in the queue for Hocus Pocus hall, leading to a huge line of interconnected CFers. After the obligatory night ride on Vampire at the end of the day, it was sadly time to say our goodbyes and go our own ways. In my case, that meant to the on site hotel at Chessington where I was able to crash out for around 12 hours and desperately catch up on some sleep. Aftermath As I tend to get mid-afternoon trains back home from London, I spent a couple of hours on park at Chessington the following morning getting a re-ride on Dragon's Fury and rides on both Bubbleworks and Buccaneer before having a wander around the big cat enclosures and then finally heading home. The post-Live downer quickly set in, and I miss everyone already, but spending this afternoon putting together the video and re-living some of the more entertaining antics has certainly helped offset that a bit. To everyone who attended: Thank you! I know I say this almost every time, but it bears repeating. You're all amazing people, I miss you all already and I can't wait for next season to do it all again. Have a great off-season, and I'll see you all again in 2014 (if not before).