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Trip Report 28/29th May 2010
garyholc
post Jun 1 2010, 11:08 AM
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Went up to Alton on Fri 28th and Sat 29th, stayed in Splash Landings hotel with Graeme and Andy meeting us on the Sat.

Got to the park at midday, the sun was shining, the shorts were on and the park was pretty busy, with queues for Nemesis at around an hour and Hex queue at one point outside the entrance. Had a leasuirely stroll around the park, did Thir13en twice single rider, both of which reminded me just what a complete waste of space this ride is. The outside section with the extra trim brakes is now dire. Extra lights are now active in the crypt at the bottom, with a bit of smoke too. The Telsa coil in the queue is pretty neat however. But still, a boring and dull ride. The queue for 13 was around an hour most of the day.

Took a dip on the Flume given how warm it was, most of the effects working (i.e. the duck!) and the showers working on the bottom of the drop. Queue for the rapids was too big. Choo choo lady was on the RMT which made the ride a lot more fun, she should get a pay rise!!! Everything working in Duel as it should, sky ride working, overall a pretty good, non rushed day.

Got to Splah landings about 6pm and checked into our room. Forgot how much smaller the rooms were in Splash compared to AT hotel. We only stayed in this hotel due to the good price at the moment (about 35 each). Ate in Flamobo's which I have to say was a lot better than the first time I visited many years ago. There is a good selection of food now which I have to say was very tasty. Desert was of course the chocolate fountain. With discount it came to just under 14 each, and drinks were a reasonably priced 3 a pint with discount.

Up early the next day and into the Secret Garden for breakfast. We got in there 7.30am and hardly any other people were there. No queues nothing. After breakfast caught the monorail into the park and went straight over to Nemesis. Most people headed to queue for 13, which meant nemesis had hardly anyone there. Did front row a few times, in the rain, which for first thing in the morning was surprisingly intense. Followed this up with a back row ride, which was awesome, especially on the loop. Forgot how good the back was as I normally only ride front.

The rain all day was pretty heavy at times, but it didnt spoil the day. It did however put people off visiting which meant the queues all day were minimal. At one point mid day we just walked on Oblivion. Air had a 10 min queue, the biggest queue being on Rita and 13.

We opted for single rider on 13 and to our annoyance they were not letting any on, we were told for an hour and half because it was so busy. We decided to wait, and after 20 mins they let us in. Speaking to Ray inside, he said basically the place got so mental inside and busy due to the batching that they had to stop single riders as the single rider queue at one point hit 1hr 45mins. We had a go and went around to do it again. Still as rubbish as the day before.

Had a go on Rita after just a 10 min queue, before doing Hex. I usually close my eyes during most of Hex because the spinning motion makes me feel a bit queasy, but managed to keep them open for most of the ride this time! Andy and Graeme did their usual singing to the music at max volume and screaming on the top of their voices as we hit the upside down bit, to which point the girl next to me asked if I was embarrised to be with them lol.

A few goes on spinball single rider due to the rain was good, only 3 being loaded per car so no queue. Oblivion was good, mist was working. Charlie and the Choc Factory had everything working inside funnily enough. Left at 4pm after doing eveything several times, was a good 2 days.

Funniest moment of the day were the two old biddies on their electric shopping trollies driving around the park with "Jump Around" blaring out of their speakers, and the screetching sound effect as they came to a stop next to us. Graeme tried to look up their skirt, to which he got a umbrella in his face opened and closed several times lol. Was so funny.

Ate in Pizza and pasta on Fri, very nice but was too busy on Sat so we just walked around munching food. Good to see all the birthday ribbons and cake in Towers Street. Some of the Your Day cameras have been removed I noticed and the shop is still closed.

Overall a fab two days, just a pity it didnt stop raining on Sat, but hey ho, it kept people away!
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AstroDan
post Jun 1 2010, 3:30 PM
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Th13teen's trim brakes on the main drop have been reduced and the system which brakes the train changed. Therefore, I am unsure what you are referring to about how there are now "extra" trim brakes on the ride? Unless of course more have been added in the past 9 days.

The ride is not amazing but it certainly isn't a waste of space. There are some hilarious Youtube videos if you click on "most recent" which show just that!!

This post has been edited by AstroDan: Jun 1 2010, 3:32 PM


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garyholc
post Jun 1 2010, 4:00 PM
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There are 3 sets of trims. Th first is on the drop, and its stil working and still felt as strong as it did when I first rode it opening day. You go around the bend, then into the bunnyhop. However before you do this, there are new trim brakes (mechanical ones) which slow you down, then you hit the hill of the bunny hop with the original trims which also slow you down a bit. By the time you reach the very last bend before the 2nd lift hill you are literally crawling. You then go down a slight drop before hitting the 2nd lift hill.

I disagree I would say its a waste of space. I would much rather have Corky back there than this.

Oh there is some new queue line themeing too. Black wooden crosses have now been placed, along with some freshly dug graves, and some broken stones with Roman numerials have now been placed around the queue line laying on the ground. But given the space the outdoor section takes up and how pathetic it is, surely something better could have been placed there. I mean, come on, the RMT is more thrilling than this!
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AstroDan
post Jun 1 2010, 5:41 PM
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QUOTE (garyholc @ Jun 1 2010, 5:00 PM) *
I mean, come on, the RMT is more thrilling than this!



Get a grip. I don't know what RMT you are riding if you consider Th13teen to be less thrilling. Less thrilling than RMT would be along the lines of Runaway Train / Flying Fish.

And yes, I would just love a themeless, rough Vekoma off-the-shelf like Corky that scored zippo in customer surveys than something that although is stupidly overblown/overhyped, is well themed and moreso unique.

This post has been edited by AstroDan: Jun 1 2010, 5:43 PM


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garyholc
post Jun 1 2010, 6:18 PM
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QUOTE (AstroDan @ Jun 1 2010, 6:41 PM) *
QUOTE (garyholc @ Jun 1 2010, 5:00 PM) *
I mean, come on, the RMT is more thrilling than this!



Get a grip. I don't know what RMT you are riding if you consider Th13teen to be less thrilling. Less thrilling than RMT would be along the lines of Runaway Train / Flying Fish.

And yes, I would just love a themeless, rough Vekoma off-the-shelf like Corky that scored zippo in customer surveys than something that although is stupidly overblown/overhyped, is well themed and moreso unique.


Im riding RMT in Alton Towers how about you? The coaster on RMT is far more fun, the turn into the tunnel is intense, its a far better ride than 13. Corkscrew was also more fun, themed or not, it always had big queues year on year and hardly ever broke down, I give it a year before people give up on 13 and there wont be any queues at all.
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AstroDan
post Jun 1 2010, 6:32 PM
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I agree about the turn into the tunnel - but that's the only "intense" part of RMT.

RMT's turn into the tunnel
or
Th13teen's Crypt drop.

Surely the crypt drop is more "intense"?


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garyholc
post Jun 1 2010, 7:00 PM
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QUOTE (AstroDan @ Jun 1 2010, 7:32 PM) *
I agree about the turn into the tunnel - but that's the only "intense" part of RMT.

RMT's turn into the tunnel
or
Th13teen's Crypt drop.

Surely the crypt drop is more "intense"?


Well, not really, its not very far down, its just like going over a hump back bridge, and unlike Oblivion's drop which you never get used to, the drop on 13 quickly wears on subsequent rides. But I guess different people find different things intense....
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Fruit Corner
post Jun 1 2010, 9:24 PM
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I would rather have corkscrew, which actually worked and made no attempt to class itself as the 'worlds most orgasm inducing ride EVER!!!!' than Thirteen.

Who wants to Q for ages to ride what is essentially a roller skater with a tiny piece of trick track?! If you ask me, Thirteen has about as much re-ride potential as Corkscrew did, which was pretty much 'we might aswell ride it again, while we are here'.

Crap ride, unreliable design and appauling conception = Complete waste of space.

I genuinely would rather have Corkscrew, then at least AT could have saved some more capital and built something that may last more than half a season as a worthwhile use of park time...
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AstroDan
post Jun 1 2010, 9:54 PM
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I didn't realise there was quite as much Th13teen hate. It's a good family coaster, in my eyes.

ph34r.gif



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Fruit Corner
post Jun 1 2010, 10:25 PM
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But it isn't marketed as a family coaster.

I would sing the rides praises, if it was intended as a true family coaster (like RMT, Spinball...), but it wasn't, and I refuse to see it as such.

If AT want to attract the 'excellent family ride' praise, then they should start selling it like that. Untill that point, they have failed on pretty much all counts.

I hate the fact that people are defending it because 'they knew' it would be a good family coaster. No one thought that at the start...everyone was hoping for something extraordinary. Now the truth is out, everyone seems to have settled for a 'good family ride'.

Let's just be honest, it's a parp addition to the park, sold completely wrong, with terrible reliability. If we grow to like it, fine. But let's not kid ourselves by justifying it as a family ride, just to make us feel better!!

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garyholc
post Jun 1 2010, 10:31 PM
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QUOTE (AstroDan @ Jun 1 2010, 10:54 PM) *
I didn't realise there was quite as much Th13teen hate. It's a good family coaster, in my eyes.

ph34r.gif


There is a lot of thirteen hate in the park too on both days I was there, I lost count of the number of people who said "is that it" and who moaned about having queued so long to go on it when the end result was as tame as that. We spoke to people on the cable cars who said it was rubbish, we even spoke to staff on park even those in the 13 photo booth who said it wasnt that good.

I'll give it until next season when the public turn their back on it, it has little re-ride value and no one once they have ridden it will queue more than 15 mins for it.

Still to this day I dont know where the 15 million quid went! The track couldnt have cost that much, the building would have been a moderate amount, surely the drop mechanism wasnt that expensive. I think inside JW's head he also see's this ride has been a failure.

Good family ride, depends on how young you are basing the family on. The ONLY people over 2 days on park I heard saying it was any good were little kids not yet in their teens. If this ride is therefore, based for kids under 12, then why did they build it, they have RMT for that. Hey, maybe thats why its called 13 - because once you reach and exceed 13, you realise while a honking pile of doggy doo this ride really is.
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AstroDan
post Jun 2 2010, 1:42 PM
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QUOTE (garyholc @ Jun 1 2010, 11:31 PM) *
Still to this day I dont know where the 15 million quid went!


As a thrill ride it's a failure, it sure is. However - the 15m - it's called marketing and, if you have been caught up in that - then more fool you to be honest.

smile.gif

This post has been edited by AstroDan: Jun 2 2010, 1:42 PM


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mark9
post Jun 2 2010, 2:44 PM
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The only tragedy with Th13teen (and Rita for that matter!) is we could have something truely awesome like Blue Fire and instead we have two rides that are quite awkwardly placed and aren't outstanding like Nemesis, Oblivion and Air were.

I do like Th13teen. But even I'm not going to kid myself into thinking it is an awesome family ride. It's an adequate one but Runaway Mine Train fits into the family rollercoaster far more easily then the strangely placed Th13teen.

I don't know (or really care) how Th13teen is going down with parks guests to be honest. Whats more important is my own view. If you really hate it then be happy that you don't have to waste time going on it again and get shorter queues for the better rides. If you do like it then you have another decent ride to add to your visit. smile.gif


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AstroDan
post Jun 2 2010, 3:25 PM
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What makes me laugh is that gary says he rode it many times over his two visits. Why bother if it's that bad?

laugh.gif


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garyholc
post Jun 2 2010, 4:46 PM
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QUOTE (AstroDan @ Jun 2 2010, 4:25 PM) *
What makes me laugh is that gary says he rode it many times over his two visits. Why bother if it's that bad?

laugh.gif


Because

(1) we were there
(2) there was no queue
and
(3) you are always hoping that the next ride would be better than the last and hoping to spot something new you didnt see before
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Jay
post Jun 2 2010, 7:52 PM
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QUOTE (garyholc @ Jun 2 2010, 5:46 PM) *
QUOTE (AstroDan @ Jun 2 2010, 4:25 PM) *
What makes me laugh is that gary says he rode it many times over his two visits. Why bother if it's that bad?

laugh.gif


Because

(1) we were there
(2) there was no queue
and
(3) you are always hoping that the next ride would be better than the last and hoping to spot something new you didnt see before


Not to mention you probably should anyway seeing you have paid and have every right to ride and re-ride and form your own opinion, seriously this coaster has had so many bad reviews I need to ride it just to satisfy my deep burning desire to ride 'the ultimate rollercoaster' which doesnt have any inversions, big drops, speed, or ride satisfaction (going by reviews) but does have.. a 20 foot freefall in the dark, Ive heard this element of the ride is no better than the first baby drop on the Tower of Terror (you know the one which they do just before the big one to tease you).


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AstroDan
post Jun 2 2010, 8:40 PM
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Why the heck don't you all get over the marketing? Surely, Jay, having read reviews you will go understanding now that it's a Family ride?!

If you go expecting anything more than I frankly wouldn't bother and go ride Saw instead.

crying.gif

EDIT: Some satisfied riders? Well, we'd better get them stuffed:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EkOgxwh4dsw
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=20LYZbjGMR8
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MhORJBpl_Ag

This post has been edited by AstroDan: Jun 2 2010, 8:42 PM


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garyholc
post Jun 2 2010, 10:01 PM
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Regardless though, the marketing IS the problem. Its hardly the Ultimate ride is it. Its a Runaway mine train pure and simple. And something much better could have been put there.

As for the vids, well the first was obviously a complete coaster noob, he says after going up the ruddy big lift hill "ooh i wasnt expecting that" after going down the drop on the other side lol. The second video is obviously someone taking the mick, the way he is going oooh and ahhhh, sounds like Graeme and me on the ride just to have a laugh, and the third vid, the guy even says after the outside bit "oh, is that it".

Maybe, just maybe, if the outside bit was A LOT better, then the ride would be classed as good, but come on, as coasters go, the outside bit is totally dire. Shockingly so infact. The drop in the crypt in my opinion just doesnt make up for the failings of the ride.
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Jay
post Jun 2 2010, 10:29 PM
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It just grates on me how they marketed the ride, it's almost a form of lies to draw people in under false promises, I give credit where credit is due but they would have you beleive it was another Nemesis when in reality the ride is closer to the Runaway Mine Train than to Nemesis in terms of attraction type.

I went to Florida last summer and all year leading up to the trip I was following the construction of Manta at Seaworld, not once did I see any tripe from Anheuser-Busch about how it would be the ultimate coaster or you would need health insurance because it was so extreme, instead there was a rather straight forward honest approach to the marketing that described the experience being completely unique, and it was quite accurate, the ride was brilliant. Alton went over the top with this coaster in terms of marketing and tried to make it something it isnt.


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hex
post Jun 3 2010, 7:58 AM
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Originally I was going to try and get to Alton towards the start of the year to get on Thirteen, the marketing had lead me and probably most people into thinking it would be something really special. But after reading peoples reviews, I haven't bothered to make the effort to go and ride it yet.

If the ride had been marketed as what it actually is, I would be more inclined to ride it and i'm sure more people would actually get off feeling that what they had ridden is what the marketing had promised.

Morwenna has made a huge error here, obviously the blame can't rest solely with her as i'm sure there is a big marketing team behind her. But in my opinion the fundamental error is the marketing of the ride. If it was marketed as a family ride it would be a decent attraction and not so much of a joke.

Alton have got plenty of 'family' rides now, it's about time they started giving the thrill seekers some decent additions. To be fair the last properly intense ride with good theming was Oblivion and that was 12 years ago now. In my opinion there recent additions and ridiculous marketing approach have probably put a lot of dedicated Towers visitors off going.


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QUOTE (Rollercoaster Tycoon @ Jun 24 2007, 6:24 PM) *
I am willing to turn a blind eye to poor safety regimes as long as they get the theming right. In Six Flags, we get neither.

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